After a year away from the diamond, the players of South Cariboo Minor Softball are back up to bat.
While there are no games planned for this year, due to the pandemic, president Pat Findlay said he’s happy to see his players out playing ball.
“We were a little worried about what we were going to get for turnout this year, interest kind of tends to drop off if you miss a year,” Findlay said.
They have just under 100 players registered, a slight dip from their usual 120 average. Findlay said despite the drop he considers this a good bounce-back year for the sport. They’re fielding nine teams from the U-6 to U-14 this year, with about half their registration being in their U4 and U6 Teams.
Findlay said he’s excited that most of their players are younger because it shows there is not only enthusiasm for softball, but a future for the sport in 100 Mile House. Softball had declined in popularity since he was a young player, so preserving and promoting the sport is important to him.
“It’s still a great game. It’s fast, your bases are closer together so you have to be fast once you get to a higher level,” Findlay said.
Softball B.C. is currently in what Findlay calls “Inning One,” meaning they will focus on skill development only. However, he said they will be able to hold scrimmages within teams that will let the players enjoy the game purely for fun.
“We have live pitching and live hitting but there’s no sliding, no tagging, no run downs. At the same time, it’s getting them out there and playing the game and that’s what’s important to us.”
Parents are also happy to see softball return and have stepped up to the plate themselves to volunteer to make it happen, he said. Findlay put out a call for help this year, as they needed volunteers to carry out COVID-19 protocols such as sanitizing equipment and tracking attendance.
He’s hopeful some 100 Mile players will be able to take part in the Provincial Championships in Barriere this July, but said it’s still up in the air if it will happen. He’s keeping his fingers crossed.
The South Cariboo Minor Softball’s regular season ends on June 24.