Skip to content

Minor ball back for 2022

Westlock Minor Ball Association counts more than 140 registrants
WES - Westlock Minor Ball Season Begins
Charlie Mills, left, keeps his eye on the ball as coach Colby Ducharme, gives him some pointers during indoor batting practice on April 11. Westlock Minor Ball began its season in early April and will run until the end of June. Ball players are expected to hit the outdoor diamonds for practices in early May.

WESTLOCK – You know winter’s days are numbered when spring training begins. 

The Westlock Minor Ball Association began indoor practices the week of April 4 and have been busy gearing up for the baseball season at the Rotary Spirit Centre. This year the regular season runs April 4 to June 22.

“Registration ended March 31 and we’ve had practices (at the Spirit Centre), said Westlock Minor Ball Association kids’ coordinator, Chyan Brand. “It’s nice that we have the ability to come indoors for the month of April and get the kids ready.”

More than 140 kids ages four to 14 registered for minor ball this year — that number includes girls’ softball, with several teams in different age categories, including Rally Cap, 9U rookie, 11U and 13U.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough players for some of our older (divisions) … we don’t have enough for a 15U or an 18U team this year,” said Brand. “We haven’t had baseball for the last two years, but I would say four or five years ago, we used to have teams completely filled in all divisions.”          

At the start of the regular season in April, teams practice indoors at the Rotary Spirit Centre and the Westlock Curling Rink for several weeks before moving outdoors to the ball diamonds behind the Westlock Community Hall in early May, weather permitting. Practices are held twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays for baseball and Tuesdays and Thursdays for girls’ softball, until games begin in late May.  

“This is our first season in two years that we’re rock’n and roll’n with indoor training, game scheduling and a big board switchover — we’ve got new board members,” said Brand, noting that the younger kids are just learning the sport and some of the general basics of catching, throwing and base running as well sportsmanship and teamwork.

The older players on teams from 9U rookie and up play in the non-competitive Pembina League.  

“They will play against teams from Barrhead, Legal, Athabasca, Boyle, and Waskatenau,” she said, noting games are expected to begin the third week of May.

“They get about five weeks of games and that’s about a game per week and a practice (per week).”  

After a long two-year pause, both parents and kids are excited for teams to finish spring training and hit the outdoor ball diamonds for the 2022 regular ball season.    

“They’re outside, getting some fresh air — physical movement is so crucial for kids nowadays. I think we’re all excited to find our way into our new normal, whatever that may look like and be flexible and adaptable,” said Brand. “But the key is to have fun and participate, and try our best, do our best, and enjoy being there. We’re just happy to continue growing the sport of baseball in Westlock.”

Kristine Jean, TownandCountryToday.com