Foul spring de­lays sea­son at Soft­ball Val­ley

Lethbridge Herald - - HOMESTOWN NEWS - Dave Ma­bell LETH­BRIDGE HER­ALD

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 up 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!

Fol­low @DMa­bel­lHer­ald on Twit­ter

Her­ald photo by Ti­jana Mar­tin @TMartin Her­ald

Games and tour­na­ments at Soft­ball Val­ley have been post­poned un­til May due to the un­usual cold and wet weather that has lin­gered into spring.

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