The Williams Lake Slo-Pitch League is on deck for its upcoming 2021 spring and summer ball season.
Linda Barbondy Rich, president of the WLSPL, said major field improvement plans are in the works toward the end of the year to completely resurface all four of the Esler Sports Complex slo-pitch ball fields’ infields.
Depending on the result of a Northern Development Initiative Trust grant application for $30,000 to complete the project, Barbondy Rich said fundraising could also be taking place throughout the season for the $50,000 project upgrade.
“It’s super exciting,” Barbondy Rich said of the resurfacing that would see all new infield shale levelled and tempered.
League play usually begins at the end of April or early May depending on weather, and stretches throughout the spring and summer into August.
Due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the league started its regular season play later than normal, however, Barbondy Rich said they are planning for a regular start this season and will adjust from there depending on what provincial health regulations look like. The league must adhere to the health guidelines set out by Interior Health, the Cariboo Regional District and Slo Pitch National (SPN).
“Last year (due to COVID-19) we didn’t advertise for new teams, and just sort of messaged the teams we already had,” Barbondy Rich said. “We threw the league together in a week, and had 25 teams.”
Based on feedback already received, Barbondy Rich said people can’t wait to be back outside on the ball field competing.
“Everything’s all in place in terms of (COVID) safety from last year,” she said. “People are pumped. I get at least two messages a day about baseball and it’s been going on for a while now.”
Five new teams have also expressed interest in joining the league, bumping the total number of teams up to 30 for this season, and around 800 players ages 16 to 60, making it the largest adult sports organization in the Cariboo.
COVID-19 rules will still be adhered to for 2021, she said,
Barbondy Rich, meanwhile, said fundraising efforts will be ongoing to help complete the infield resurfacing and three advertising opportunities are available for 2021 in the form of on-field company or organization signage.
Anyone interested in entering a team into this year’s WLSPL or, for more information, contact Barbondy Rich at 250-305-7747 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.