Play ball: Noel Booth Park ready for action

Langley Fastball, North Langley Softball teaming up to stage regional U12 softball championships

Four months of hard work are set to pay off with two days of action-packed softball this weekend at Langley’s Noel Booth Park.

“We have been working on this since late January and it has been ramping up ever since,” said Jeff Clegg, who is serving as the tournament co-director, alongside Kimberley Payne.

What the pair are overseeing is perhaps the largest U12 girls softball regional championships ever held in British Columbia.

Eighteen people are on the organizing committee as the Langley Fastball Association and North Langley Softball are teaming up to stage the tournament.

It runs June 7 and 8 at Noel Booth Park (36 Avenue and 202 Street).

Twenty-three teams — from associations representing North Langley, Langley, Abbotsford, Mission, Cloverdale, North Delta, Chilliwack, North Surrey, Fleetwood Park, South Surrey/White Rock and South Delta — will be going for the gold medals.

“We are absolutely elated at the response we got from teams south of the Fraser,” Clegg said.

“The response has been overwhelming, absolutely fantastic.

“It has been outstanding, but also very daunting.”

That translates into more than 300 11 and 12-year-old players — as well as their parents, family members and spectators — who will descend upon Noel Booth Park for the action.

Clegg said the extensive renovations over the past few years at the ballpark on 36 Avenue played a

role in helping the two local associations land the big tournament.

“It is really a fantastic softball facility and without Noel Booth Park, we wouldn’t have been able to host a tournament of this size.”

The hope is that larger tournaments may also help the sport retain players as they tend to see their numbers dwindle after the U12 level.

“If we can provide them with some great memories and experiences of the sport, then there is a greater chance they might stay around the game,” said Payne.

“Player retention is key,” Clegg said. “We want to keep them.”

The action gets underway on Saturday morning with the first pitch set for 8:20 a.m. and the games continuing until 6 p.m.

The opening ceremonies will begin at noon that day with a players’ banquet that evening.

The games resume Sunday at 8:50 a.m. with the finals slated for about 5 p.m. They will be followed by the medal ceremonies.

“No liquid sunshine, hopefully,” Clegg chuckled about the weather forecast.

•••

In addition to the tournament, a fundraiser will be taking place on Sunday through a special hitting competition.

Bats for Bartlett is looking to raise money for Katelyn Bartlett, a member of the North Langley U10 super mite team.

The little girl has been diagnosed with stage 4 RMS (Rhabdomyosarcoma) cancer and both of her parents are off work and by her side as she undergoes treatment at B.C. Children’s Hospital.

Players, coaches, parents, friends and community members are asked to make a small donation for each ball hit in Katelyn’s honour.

This will be done between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Just Posted

Surrey-Langley curlers in the running again for gold

Junior men’s team out of Langley hopes to defend its world title Sunday, going up against Switzerland

VIDEO: Giants earn 40th victory in a 4-0 triumph over Victoria

Vancouver G-Men move within a point of clinching the B.C. division banner at Friday’s at-home game

Developers to unveil plan to transform Aldergrove mall into new town centre

Community to find out new Aldergrove Town Centre plan for dormant 10-acre lot in heart of downtown.

Man sentenced for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

Tardi and team playoff bound in junior curling worlds tonight

Friday night Team Canada’s men’s team faces off against Norway, hoping to secure a spot in the finals

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

Most Read