Slo Pitch leagues hoping to start season in July

May 15, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

Slo-pitch is one of the most popular sports in Orangeville and in the Province.

Locally there is a men’s league, Masters league, women’s league, and a mixed league that fill the diamonds every day of the week from spring through to the fall.

Orangeville Slo-pitch leagues would normally already be on the diamonds at Rotary Park, however this year they are waiting to find out when local parks will be open for play – if at all.

The 18-team Orangeville Men’s Competitive Slo-pitch league has almost 300 players that are ready to play but are being held back by park closures.

They aren’t alone. It’s the same around the province.

“We generally start up the week that just past,” said Orangeville Men’s Competitive Slo-pitch League president, Jack Rogers. “We’ve been planning for June 1, but I think July might be more likely. My feeling is, I don’t care whether we get a month in, two months in, or three months, I just want to get out on the diamond. Even if we don’t get out there until September we can still have a playoff tournament. I think people are wanting to get out. We’ll be prepared to go out there the minute the town says we’re free to go.”

Town crews have already started doing some maintenance work on the local diamonds.

Even if they do start to play, there is a little concern about how to keep social distancing in an organized sport.

“You’ve got the bench thing,” Mr. Rogers said. “How do you segregate people on the bench when you’ve got 15 guys on the team? It’s not like you can take three players off a team and build another team because there’s just no room for us to expand. We have 18 teams and I had to turn away turn away two teams this year because there’s just no diamond time.”

With so many leagues in town, reserving a spot on local diamonds can be a challenge with different leagues playing on different nights. Most games are played on the two diamonds at Rotary Park with some games being held at Princess of Wales Park in the west end of town.

While some national slo-pitch competitions have already been cancelled this year, the provincial championships are still being scheduled.

For now, the local leagues will just have to wait it out and see when the province and local officials decide it is time to open the parks.

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