Coquitlam Declines Western Berth - Burnaby Recommends Changes to Baseball BC Policies

Posted August 1, 2016

The Coquitlam Reds, who qualified Sunday for the Western Canada Championships, have declined to attend and have been replaced by the North Shore Twins. The Braves, who wonder why a team who was not willing to attend Westerns was permitted to attend the Baseball BC Provincial Championship, over seven BC Minor teams who wanted to qualify, have penned the following letter to Baseball BC recommending policy changes.

It is our understanding the Coquitlam Reds qualified for the 15U Western Canada Championships and declined to represent the province.

Simply as constructive feedback, with the understanding that the baseball landscape has changed significantly over the past two years and policies and procedures may have difficulty keeping up with the change, the Burnaby Braves have concerns about what has transpired.

Over the past two seasons, non-member teams (BC Minor) have been required to pay a $5 000 deposit to confirm their willingness to travel. In 2015 this occurred with a significant challenge to teams/associations who were forced to find the money. While mitigated somewhat in 2016 by an agreement with BC Minor, who placed a deposit on their team’s behalf, the requirement on BC Minor teams to be willing to travel in order to participate stood.

While some BC Minor 15U AAA teams have taken issue with the qualification format for this year’s Baseball BC provincials, specifically that the six PBL Bantam teams received automatic berths, the Burnaby Braves never took issue with the format. We understand the benefits of membership and the consequences of not being a member. In fact, we appreciate that Baseball BC permitted non-member teams to participate in their Provincial Championships. We accepted having to qualify and finished fourth in that tournament becoming the last team to miss the Baseball BC provincial. It was difficult to accept being the last team to miss, seeing 4-28 Kamloops in provincials but accepted that as normal policy of the host getting a berth. It was difficult to see lesser quality PBL Bantam teams qualify over us who’d we’d beaten during the season but accepted that as part of the format required above. However, to find that there was a team (and maybe more) at provincials, who received an automatic membership berth to attend, and had no interest in representing the province at Westerns, qualify for the provincial over our team, cannot be understood. Our team, as would seven others who failed to make top three at the qualification tournament, would have collectively given their right arms to represent the province at Westerns. To have a team with a “Nationals or bust” attitude, that in our opinion, is not only disrespectful to Baseball BC programming but the game itself, be permitted to play in the Provincial over the next placed team, in this case Burnaby, is not acceptable and is unfair to our athletes. All teams, whether members or non-members, at any Baseball BC provincial should be willing to travel to and represent the province at all post-provincial competitions.

As we qualified in the beginning, the landscape of baseball continues to change. We hope that Baseball BC agrees that what transpired is not acceptable nor is in the best interests of the game and puts policies and procedures in place for the 2017 season that reflect the changes required.

Burnaby Braves


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