CEBL, after a successful Summer Series, follows the bouncing ball into an unpredictable 2021

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“It’s still going to be tough, right?” Morreale said when asked about that May start date. “If I look at it from this point forward, there’s still so many unknowns. There’s still that uneasiness, that uncertainty, about what will happen. But had we not played, that would have been almost like falling into a black hole, in some respects.”

The Summer Series was played without fans in the building, available both via streaming and through a partnership with CBC Sports. Players and staff lived and played in a bubble that consisted of the hotel and the host Meridian Centre.

Five players tested positive for COVID-19 in the early days, but they were all found to have been previous exposures and did not pose a risk to people around them. Those players were cleared to play the tournament.

“I literally went to bed at night, just praying to someone, saying ‘Please, let’s just get through this and stick to our protocols and have everything work out,’ ” Morreale said. “Every day was like that. And then the final result was thrilling. It was exhausting, but it was in hindsight one of the best things we could have done. I’m proud of everybody who was involved in it.

“At the end of the day,” he added, “you have to be all-in from the get-go, and we were. We were the first (in Canada). We didn’t plan on being the first, and we didn’t have anybody to lean on. We just put our heads down and did it.”

Morreale conceded there was a financial cost to all this. He thinks the outlay was worth it.

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