PLAMONDON - After forgoing last year's popular summer events due to COVID-19, the Plamondon District Community Development Society (PDCDS) will host the Humdinger Breakout Slo-pitch Tourney Aug. 20 to 22.
The slo-pitch tournament is traditionally planned in conjunction with the Plamondon Mud Bog event during the second weekend of July, but been pared down and pushed back this summer due to provincial regulations that were dependent on vaccination rate uptake in the province.
This left event organizers with too many uncertainties and too little time.
Bailey Walsh, the coordinator for PDCDS said, “We decided to just stick with the ball this year and next year will be the full mud bog and ball tournaments.”
Back in May, event organizers had announced the Mud Bog event, including the slo-pitch tournament would be cancelled. However, as restrictions lifted organizers didn’t want to let the summer slip away without hosting some sort of event.
“We left it to the last minute to make a decision, that's why we ended up doing it in August,” said Walsh. “Obviously, it was a little bit touch-and-go in July, so now we are doing last-minute planning and hoping there are still no restrictions by the time it happens.”
Better late than never
The tournament scheduled more than a month later than usual, has teams registered from Plamondon, Lac La Biche, Boyle and Fort McMurray, says Walsh, adding ideally the tournament will consist of 12 teams.
All teams participating in the tournament will have to pay a $400 entry fee, but the top three winning teams will head home with cash prizes. The first place team will receive a $1,000 cash prize, second place will take home $500 in prize money, with third place receiving $250 in cash.
The weekend tournament will include a beer garden, food truck, group camping and a Home Run Derby taking place on Saturday evening.
“Our Home Run Derby is going to be a little bit more like a skills competition because we do have smaller fields, and especially the men that can hit so far, they will have to be able to control their hits to get those home run scores.”
This additional fast pace event will be split into a female and male category with prize payouts being dependent on entry numbers.
Walsh also hopes teams, and the friends and family they bring, take advantage of available onsite camping, which costs $20 per camper for the weekend.
“I like the camping just because there is a beer garden, that way you don't have to worry about people driving home,” she said.
Ball as usual
With provincial health restrictions being lifted and because the tournament and corresponding activities will all take place outdoors, no COVID–19 protocol or additional health measures will be implemented by event organizers.
Unless circumstances change and restrictions are reinstated by the time of the event, the games and event will run as usual, says Walsh, adding “the weekend will be filled with ball and good fun.”
Event organizers are hoping the event will break even. However, if profits are made after paying umpires, scorekeepers, bartenders, security and equipment rentals, any additional funds will go toward PDCDS fundraising dollars as the society is a non-profit.