The slo-pitch season wrapped up this past weekend following a mixed tournament.
“It’s been a great year,” said league president Rachel Daigneault-Durocher. “We’ve had a lot of fun, played a lot of ball, and had a great time.”
Only seven out of the 10 local teams played in this year’s finals, but Daigneault-Durocher said that a reduced number of players is pretty typical for this time of year. She also noted that while the finals were set to start Aug. 25, they were delayed to make it easier for teams to fill their rosters.
“It happens every year,” she said. “There’s always a delay, but we always make it happen in the end.”
The format of this year’s finals was different in that they ran over a single weekend, as opposed to stretching over the course of a week as they had in previous years. Daigneault-Durocher said the change was made in an effort to make it easier for teams to get people together.
Another change from previous years is the wrapup banquet, where organizers will hand out trophies and awards in a variety of categories. Daigneault-Durocher said plans for the event are underway and will be announced shortly. Next year, she said, the one thing she would like to do differently is to get the wrapup nailed down a bit earlier in the season.
But perhaps the biggest change for softball in Hay River next year will be the expected completion of a second ball diamond near the Pine Point Ball Diamond.
The land closer to the river was cleared last fall and existing older structures were taken down over the summer, said project proponent Glenn Smith.
“It’s going pretty slow right now, we’re a little behind on what we wanted to do,” he said. “But we (the Pine Point Ballpark Expansion Association) want to get the area graded in the next few weeks.”
Smith said the non-profit group dedicated to seeing this project through relies heavily on in-kind donations of labour and equipment from local contractors and companies, and that with the preponderance of fires this summer, they have been busy elsewhere.
“We’re aiming to have it in use for next year,” he said. “We’d like to have it ready for the Territorial Men’s Fast-Pitch Championships, (next summer) for sure.”