The last time Grand Forks hosted the GFI was in 2019. Photo: Chris Hammett

The last time Grand Forks hosted the GFI was in 2019. Photo: Chris Hammett

Pandemic sinks this year’s Grand Forks International baseball tournament

Co-ordinator Steve Boutang cited provincial health guidelines and logistical constraints

Grand Forks will not host its famous baseball tournament this summer, marking the second year in a row that the Grand Forks International (GFI) has been scrapped due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

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“We simply have too many things working against us at this point in time,” GFI co-ordinator Steve Boutang said on Wednesday, March 24. Citing current provincial health guidelines and on-going uncertainties about travel restrictions at the American border, Boutang said the board’s executive ruled out a smaller, Canadian-only tournament amid limited interest by national teams.

GFI tournament coordinator and head umpire Steve Boutang fields questions from the press ahead of the last tournament in June 2019. Photo: Kathleen Saylors

GFI tournament coordinator and head umpire Steve Boutang fields questions from the press ahead of the last tournament in June 2019. Photo: Kathleen Saylors

Boutang said he was “excited” about bringing the GFI back in the summer of 2022.

Speaking to The Gazette in January, Boutang cautioned that it was unlikely that the tournament would go ahead. “There’s 101 things that have to happen and go right,” he warned.

The last time the GFI was cancelled before the pandemic was in 2018, following that year’s freshet which devastated much of Grand Forks and surrounding areas.


 

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