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

Quilts for injured soldiers will be some of many on display at quilt show in Chilliwack

Chilliwack Quilters’ Guild brings its quilt show, Our Fabric Gems, to Chilliwack Alliance Church

‘Ballet Rocks’ brings a modern take on ballet at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Ballet Rocks pairs an eclectic mix of music with four Royal Winnipeg Ballet Alumni choreographers

BC Children’s virtual care sites open at Abbotsford and Chilliwack hospitals

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

Sardis Library escape room based on hit Netflix show Stranger Things

This is the second escape room in Chilliwack that the Sardis Library has put together this year

Chilliwack maternity ward gets bundle of new equipment

Breast pumps, small fridges for patient rooms and freezer for donor breast milk given to hospital

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

Man arrested in fatal stabbing at Surrey gas station

Victim pronounced deceased at the scene; RCMP cordon off area

Most Read