Known for hosting great tournaments, almost too many to mention over the past 35 years, St. Croix has been named the host of the 2012 Bantam Boys Eastern Canadians Fastpitch Championships being held Aug. 23-26.
"Originally, PEI was to host the tournament this summer, but not having a bantam program, Nova Scotia was then selected to host for 2012,” explained committee chair Tony Meehan in an email interview with the Hants Journal.
“I found out in early January from Dave Houghton, President of Softball NS, that we were to be the hosting province. I kept in close contact with Dave in our efforts to host the event, and found out recently that St. Croix was to be the tournament site.”
As for the minimum and maximum number of teams that fans can expect to see in St. Croix, Meehan said, "based on past years being involved now, there should be a minimum of six and typically eight at the most, unless more teams this year submit applications to compete.
The provinces typically involved in the tournament are Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia. Occasionally, New Brunswick and PEI enter teams
As for the number of Nova Scotia teams expected to be on the field in late August in St. Croix, Meehan said, "based on the current format, Nova Scotia sends the two provincial finalists, being the winner and runner-up. Where Nova Scotia has All-Star status, they can put a completely different team on the field as well.”
In the event of an unbalanced number of entries, Meehan said the province can send up to four teams. However, this is only exercised to balance the tournament out for an even schedule.
Currently, Nova Scotia will have five Bantam teams in play this season: West Hants, East Hants, Trenton, Sheet Harbour and Spryfield. Other than the host, West Hants, one or more of these teams will be vying for a spot to compete in the August tournament.
The tournament will be a round-robin affair.
When staging a tournament such as this, Meehan said volunteers are always welcome.
“This is where community involvement is very huge for such events. Tournaments take a lot of people power to make them a success, from the 50/50 draws to running the canteen,” he said, noting that anyone with knowledge in planning or working on such events and wants to volunteer, should contact him through the West Hants Thunder website (www.leaguelineup.com/westhantsminorsoftball).
“ We are hopeful that parents or past event co-ordinators of such events may be willing to offer their time as a volunteer as well."
Although St. Croix has hosted numerous softball tournaments in the past, some of the most memorable from the last decade or so include the 2010 Canadian Jr. Men's and the 2004 and 1998 Canadian Senior Men's tournaments.