In the past months, the Dutch government did everything it could to limit the number of victims of the coronavirus. With a limited amount of knowledge, the government made decisions for the best of the Dutch people. Now the virus is almost gone, it might be time for a game of baseball again. If they can play in Belgium, the Czech Republic, and even Sweden, why not in the Netherlands?
As the Czech Extra League has started four weeks ago, as the BBG league in Belgium will start on July 3rd, why can’t baseball be played in the Netherlands? A Dutch professor made clear that baseball can be played again as it is not a full-contact sport.
But unfortunately, the Dutch government equalizes summer sports like cricket and baseball with soccer. With all its wisdom, the government has decided that soccer will be allowed again from September 1st (as that is the time when the regular season normally starts) and with it all other sports. It is clear that the Dutch government is rather stubborn as it refuses to see that there is a lot less contact in baseball than in soccer.
Yesterday, the Swedish Baseball and Softball Federation announced it will start its season on July 4, even if the coronavirus is still raging there. A wise decision? Likely not. But it shows that governments of other countries understand that people need their distraction. In Belgium, the season will also start in about two weeks even though the numbers of new daily cases are still higher than in the Netherlands. Even in Italy, where the virus raged more than in most other European countries, the competition will start on July 10. And don’t forget about Switzerland, where the competition started last weeked.
Several segments of the Dutch economy started to whine and cry about their situation, industries like gyms, restaurants, and cafes for example. Apparently, the government was sensitive to the whining of those segments as it gave in. Restaurants and cafes are open already and gyms will be allowed to open again on July 1st.
If the government is sensitive to whining and crying, I wonder why the KNBSB has not done this yet. It is clear that waiting until it is your turn doesn’t help. Sure the Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation is lobbying to move the start of the season forward but sometimes you need to put your foot down to make yourself heard.
I think that many baseball fans in the Netherlands agree with the fact that baseball cannot be compared with soccer when it comes to full contact. Therefore I would like to ask the Dutch government to think this decision over. If countries around us allow baseball to start with several restrictions and guidelines to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, why can’t baseball in the Netherlands? It is one of the few sports that run during summer. By allowing baseball to start somewhere in July or even per August 1, you would make a lot of baseball (and softball) players and fans happy.
Once again: Please think this over. Baseball cannot be compared with soccer!!!