Skip to content

Girls softball league teams up with slo-pitch league for 'win-win' partnership

Partnership will help provide more officials for softball and provide training ground for new umpires
Baseball

A new partnership between the Orillia Girls Softball League and the Orillia Slo-Pitch League will help both groups hit a home run this summer.

Several years ago, the City of Orillia stepped up to the plate to run the girls’ softball program, taking over from a local service club. It’s worked out well.

But for the league to grow or for organizers to add a tournament to the mix, more officials were needed. So, the city reached out to local slo-pitch organizers, who were happy to lend a hand.

“The Orillia Girls Softball League has really grown, but we have just one carded official and he had to hand-pick and train others,” said Chris Gammon, sport program supervisor for the city. “With growth and to move forward and to have tournaments, we needed more officials.”

So Gammon approached Orillia Slo-Pitch League officials “to see if they would be interested in partnering with us to use their officials,” Gammon explained. “From their end, it was great because they don’t really have a training ground for their officials … this gives those newcomers a way to practise their trade and fills a big need for us, so for both sides it was a win-win.”

This year, there are 11 teams who will being their girls’ softball season this week. “There are around 150 girls playing and that number has been pretty steady,” said Gammon.

There are two teams in the junior division for girls aged 7-10, four teams in the intermediate division aimed at girls aged 11-14 and five senior teams for those aged 14-17. Girls in the junior program play at Bayview Park; the rest play at Kitchener Park.

This year’s championship game day, which concludes the season, is slated for Aug. 18. The girls in the junior component cap their season with a massive squirt-gun fight at Tudhope Park.

Thanks to the new partnership, Gammon homes to introduce a tournament next season. “We always do a season-ending tournament for championship day and next year, we are looking at doing another tournament – something we couldn’t even consider before because we didn’t have enough officials.”

While Gammon appreciates the help of the slo-pitch league, he said sponsors are also critical to ensure the girls have a fun season.

“Last year, Nelson Aggregates came on board and sponsored Championship Day and Harvey's has came on board this year and offered to provide lunches for all the girls at the tourney,” said Gammon. “It’s great to have sponsors like this. It really helps to keep the prices down.”

It’s not too late to sign up, said Gammon, noting there’s still time to register, although the early-bird price special has ended. For more information or to register, go to Orillia.ca and search for girls softball.