April is already here, bringing with it the reminder that it’s going to get a whole lot greener and warmer. That means Sooke’s slow pitch season – among others – is returning to the field once again.
Slo-Pitch season starts on April 25 with its signature “icebreaker” tournaments – a warm-up period for players before they move on to bigger, games. The sport then runs until the August long weekend, with its last tournament of the year, called the Sooke Invitational.
Like other sports, there’s an A and B league, and there are 24 games their cycle throughout the slow pitch season, as well as two tournaments.
But as much as everyone is excited to get back to the diamonds this Slo-Pitch season, Jason Dumont, president of Sooke’s Slow Pitch Association says the number of teams for this year.
“We used to have 22 teams at one point, with the highest peak being around 2002; now we’re down to 11 right now,” Dumont said. “Would be nice to get at least another team to bring it to 12 even.”
Dumont says part of the reason the club’s player output has decreased is that a lot of people don’t even know there’s a slow pitch club right here in Sooke and in need of players.
“I want to get the word out that there is a slow pitch here in Sooke, you don’t have to drive back and forth to Victoria for that,” he said. “People who come to Sooke don’t know who to contact, or how to start their own team; but it’s actually quite accessible for everybody.”
Criteria to join is simple. If you’re turning 19, got a fastball glove, a hat and a pair of cleats, you’re good to go. The club also supplies its own equipment, including 12 bats for people to use as well as their own bases at the field. Dumont noted that a in lot of teams in Victoria, you have you bring your own base.
The Slo-Pitch club plays down at Fred Milne park and at the diamond behind the SEAPARC arena. It’s also comprised of a six and four league; six guys, four girls. And best part is, everybody plays. “In our league, you can bat everybody, which makes the game a lot more fun,” Dumont said.
Though there’s more to slow pitch – and don’t let the name fool you – if anything, slow pitch stands on a league of its own.
“It’s also co-ed, which makes it a lot more social. Playing slow pitch hones your defensive skills as well, especially if you’re considering to play fastball afterward,” he said.
Cost? Price per team is $16.50, per person is about $100 for the season. Dumont says those fees helps the club pay for its lawn mowing services and its umpires. He noted that the club is also looking for umpires – which make $35 a game.
Last day of registration April 15. Those who would like to join should contact Jason Dumont at 250-744-8852. You can also follow them on Twitter at @SookeSloPitch.