A modified season is underway for the Bow Valley little and big leagues with games for younger players going until the end of June and a five-team big league for U21 players set through July.
Being back at the diamond with a summer breeze and watching the baseball from the first pitch fly over home plate was a surreal moment for Brenda Ostman, operations manager for Bow Valley Little League.
“I think a lot of parents and a lot of players felt exactly the same way,” said Ostman.
“Last year we didn’t play at all and this year started off with a lot of excitement and we got everything organized and opened up and we were shut down for three weeks. I sent an email out saying, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m not cancelling baseball this year … even if it was just practicing.'”
A maximum 160 youth and adults signed up for the league this season to play in all its age groups.
With games already started, the five U16 teams' schedules will be against other local players and two teams from Cochrane until the end of June.
"For ourselves and Cochrane, just because of the nature of the demographics we have here that just doesn’t work for us to play throughout the summer and so we consolidated our season into roughly three-and-a-half weeks," said Ostman.
However, a big league, for U21 players, was created for older players wanting to play into summer after Alberta had eased its restrictions.
There are five teams involved from Calgary, Chestermere and locally.
Upcoming games at local venues include: Minors (9-10 year olds) at 6 p.m. on June 28 at Elk Run ball diamonds; Majors (11-12 year olds) at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Academy on June 28 at 6:30 p.m.; Juniors (13-14 year olds) at Millennium Park on June 26 at 10 a.m. and June 27 at 1 p.m.; and Seniors (15-16 year olds) at Millennium Park on June 27 at 10 a.m.
For big league, all local games are at Millennium Park on June 27 at 6 p.m., July 6 at 6:45 p.m., and July 11 and 18 at noon.