Spruce Grove is home to the Whistler slo pitch games.

Spring is definitely here. While we are pretty happy about hearing the birds chirp and the seeing the flowers bloom, we are even more excited to see the baseball diamonds in prime condition. Softball season is upon us folks! It’s time to kick back and relax in the bleachers as the sun sets and the big lights turn on for the show. There is something about watching Whistler Slo Pitch softball with friends that just screams summer, and we dig it.

Since 2009 the Whistler Slo Pitch Association has been holding it down with a spring and summer filled with slo pitch fun for the community to watch and play. From late May to late September self-organized teams play games to determine their rank and to prepare for the “big games”.

Gibbons Whistler Slo Pitch Summer Series

Twice a year, for the last fifteen years, Gibbons Whistler has hosted a Slo Pitch Summer Series and this year is no different. Mark your calendars for Saturday August 27th and Saturday September 24th, 2016. Spectators prepare for fun-filled Saturdays of slo pitch, sunshine and freshly cooked schnitzels! Spruce Grove is where it’s at, and exactly where you’ll want to be. If you’re on a slo pitch team, you can register for the Gibbons Summer Series 2016 here. The perks of partaking are pretty awesome if you ask us, but no need, the details are below. Team registration includes:

  • Team Dinner at TBC (Tapley’s or Buffalo Bills) and free cover to Buffalo Bills and Garfinkel’s on Saturday night.
  • 12+ Team Tournament = $1000 1st place prize, $500 2nd place (max 14 Teams)
  • 8+ Team Tournament = $600 1st place prize, $300 2nd place
  • Home Run Derby & MVP Prizes awarded on Sunday
  • Concession BBQ and Beer Garden available on site
  • 3 game Round-Robin formats played on the Saturday; Teams are seeded by points (2W, 1T, 0L), then +/- into an elimination knock-out bracket on Sunday.
  • 1st and 2nd place receive a bye into round 2 on Sunday.
Players on field during a Whistler slo pitch softball game.

A game for everyone. The Slo Pitch Summer Series is open to men and women.

Free Women’s Softball Clinic

Ladies don’t shy away, this is a co-ed sport, in fact there is even an event just for you – sorry dudes. On Sunday June 12th, 2016, from 11am to 3pm there will be a free women’s clinic! The event is open to all skill levels and focuses on covering soft ball fundamentals; strategies, throwing, hitting, running bases, fielding, sliding, footwork and will even leave time for a scrimmage. Shoot an email to [email protected] in order to register. Get your gals together and sign up for a Sunday funday of perfecting your softballs skills.

The Whistler Slo Pitch Association

The best way to stay in the loop for all things Whistler Slo Pitch is to check out their website. There is an online schedule so that you don’t miss a game, and if you do you can always check out the current standings of your favorite team online too. While the 2016 season is already in full swing, you can preregister for next year or even reach out for volunteer opportunities. The Whistler Slo Pitch Association is a non profit organization that keeps things fun, safe and as affordable as possible, they are a kind bunch that make this run smoothly and always appreciate a helping hand.

The Gibbons Life softball team sharing the stoke.

Share the stoke! Plenty of enthusiasm for the game from the Gibbons Life team.

The Inside Scoop with Peter Laurence

We caught up with Peter Laurence to get the inside scoop. Peter has been actively involved for the last couple of years with slo pitch and is heavily involved in the tournament side of things.

Q: When did you start your engagement with the Whistler Slo Pitch?

A: It was too late for me to join a team in the league, but the first week I arrived in Whistler (August 2014) I got involved with Slo Pitch through Gibbons and helped run the Longhorn Tournament in September 2014.

Q: How has your involvement changed over the years?

A: Since 2014, Tapleys has taken over as the title sponsor. Our Summer Series Tournaments have grown in popularity in the lower mainland attracting some of the higher level teams in BC. Tournament size has nearly doubled, growing from 8 teams to 14 teams per tournament. Teams from Alberta are reaching out to me now asking how to sign up. It’s only been my 2nd year running Locals Lottery, but I’m told the 2 have nearly doubled in size also.

Q: Do you play on a team yourself?

A: Yes, Defending C League Champs – Buffalo Bills Balls Deep

Q: Why do you love playing softball in Whistler?

A: I grew up playing ball, I love it. Spruce Grove is a gorgeous park, riding your bike to the park at sunset to hang out with your friends is the highlight of my day. Whistler Slo Pitch is a community of amazing people. It’s the most fun thing to do on a summer evening. I can’t advocate enough for it. The great people in the WSPA do an amazing job at making each division, competitive and fun.

Q: What would you tell someone who has never played before?

A: Get involved! It’s the most fun you will have all summer. Don’t be shy at your skill level, knowledge of the game or lack thereof. It’s a long and fun season to improve. There are loads of awesome people that will help you develop your skill.

Looking forward to watching many of our community members play this season and to hanging out with the rest of you in the bleachers! If you’re at the games don’t forget to capture the action and share the stoke – post your pics and tag us, @gibbonswhistler.

Abby Cooper

A lover of all things outdoors, Abby Cooper is a splitboarder, hiker, adventurer, year-round snow seeker, photographer and writer.