The Canberra Cavalry's new owners remain optimistic the Australian Baseball League will go ahead, but Brendon Major admits if lockdowns continue into next year it will create a "large amount of pain".
As The Canberra Timespreempted last week, the ABL announced on Wednesday they were pushing back the upcoming season's start date until at least mid December due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The ABL haven't set a revised date only indicating it would now be mid-to-late December.
Originally, the Cavalry were set to hit off against the Melbourne Aces at Narrabundah Ballpark on November 18, with the regular season set to run until January 23 before play-offs.
Now it's unclear whether the ABL season will be shrunk or finals pushed back.
The latter would not only cause problems for Australian-based players who play in the USA, but also imports, with MLB spring training usually beginning mid February.
Major said it was tough for the ABL, given some teams are currently in states or territories under lockdown, while others have closed their borders.
WA indicated they might keep their borders closed to the eastern seaboard until next year.
"The sooner they announce when the season will be the better, but the ABL's doing as well as they can considering they can't get a firm answer out of any of the state governments as to when and where the lockdowns will and won't be lifted," Major said.
"If three of the six states leave lockdowns in place until January it creates a large amount of pain for us.
"We're all just remaining optimistic."
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The delay casts further doubt over whether imports will take part in the 2021-22 season.
It's unclear whether they would have to leave before the end of the season and travel exemptions have become harder to get in the current climate.
But Major was confident they could still put on a high-quality ABL season without overseas players.
"Whether it's an Australian only league or an import league I think we'll have a really good season," he said.
"I don't think having imports or not having imports is going to make or break the season."
Meanwhile, Baseball Canberra has decided to delay the start of their summer season from October until January.
It comes after the ACT government extended lockdown until October 15.
Baseball Canberra acting general manager Michelle Bankowski said they based the decision on the timeframes used last year to return to playing local sport from lockdown.
She said they were yet to decide whether they would extend the season beyond the usual March-April finish or if it would be a shortened campaign.
"It's obviously going to be a staged exit from lockdown. It's unlikely to go any faster than last year's exit," Bankowski said.
"We mapped out it would be mid-to-late December before we'd have any gathering sizes that were feasible for the baseball season.
"We would normally break for Christmas-New Year anyway so rather than try and get something started before Christmas we decided it would be better to plan for a January start and see what we can put together from there."