July 20th, 2018

Foul spring delays season at Softball Valley


By Mabell, Dave on April 17, 2018.

Games and tournaments at Softball Valley have been postponed until May due to the unusual cold and wet weather that has lingered into spring. Herald photo by Tijana Martin @TMartinHerald

Dave Mabell

Lethbridge Herald

dmabell@lethbridgeherald.com

It’s fondly known as Softball Valley.

But right now, the city’s largest ball facility is a little too soft.

And far too wet.

So games and tournaments that were to have been played this month are now being bumped into May, officials say.

“We still have some huge drifts to melt,” says facility manager Hank Stoffer.

“Then we need to dry out.”

With more rain or snow heading our way possibly today, according to the Weather Network, that could take awhile.

“We would normally be starting next Monday, the 23rd,” he says.

By April, the 11-diamond park is usually greening up.

On good days in April, the park can open for players warming p for the season.

“But not this year,” Stoffer says.

Instead, he’s been busy rescheduling games in the hope more seasonable weather will arrive.

“Losing one week for us means we need to reschedule 115 games, as we normally do 23 games per night,” he says – seven days a week.

And this year, “It’s difficult to push back the start a week as we are hosting the Canadian championships in August.”

What that means, he says, is that this summer’s schedule has already been “condensed.”

Hoping to see the parks playable by month’s end, he says, officials have also postponed a tournament that had been scheduled for April 28 and 29. It’s now slated for May 5-6.

Though the diamonds are far from ready, Stoffer knows the players certainly are.

“The players want to get their summer started, so as soon as we get some warm weather, they think it’s time to play.”

Not so fast. For now, they’re safe at home!

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