For the third time since 1998, the ballfields at the St. Croix Recreation Centre will play host to the Canadian Senior Men’s Softball Fast Pitch Championship.
The championships will be held in St. Croix from Aug. 29 to Sept. 2.
Darrell Lyttle, the tournament chair, is quite familiar with the benefits and challenges associated with hosting such a tournament. This event marks the fourth national championship that he’s organized. He chaired the 1998 tournament and headed up the 2004 Canadian Senior Men’s and the 2010 Canadian Junior Men’s Championships.
"The organizing committee is working hard on the planning and execution of the event. The Municipality of West Hants is presently preparing for upgrades to St. Croix Recreation Park in order to host the event. Updates will follow along with ticket information as the time draws nearer,” said Lyttle.
"The new piece to this event in 2018 are the Master Men’s (division), which represents the age group of 40 years and over,” said Lyttle. “Although we do not have a list of possible teams, the response has been overwhelming and the numbers will have to be limited based upon scheduling requirements.”
The organizing committee is hoping to have a team representing the 1998 Halifax Jaguars, the gold medal winners, and the Halifax Windsor Keiths, the 1998 silver medal winners, compete as a combined team in this division.
Lyttle said in an interview with the Valley Journal Advertiser that Softball Canada outlined that up to 14 teams could arrive in St. Croix but until the championship schedule is confirmed July 15, the exact number will not be finalized.
To date, Manitoba and Quebec are the only two provinces who have confirmed they will not be represented.
The host team will be the East Hants Shooters Bar and Grill Mastadons, which consists of a number of quality athletes from East and West Hants, including one of the top five softball pitchers in the world, Justin Schofield from White Rock, Kings County. The Mastadons will be back to defend their Canadian championship title, which they won in Saskatchewan last August.
Ten teams will be participating in senior men’s championships. They are: Ontario (two teams) Saskatchewan (two teams), Nova Scotia (two teams — the defending national champions, the East Hants Mastadons, and another team from Guysborough), Alberta, Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Newfoundland.
Play begins at 9 a.m. on Aug. 29. East Hants will play at 11 a.m. Aug. 29 against B.C. and then at 6:30 p.m. against Ontario, following the opening ceremonies.