Slo-pitch tournament is set for Blackfalds

All-Star Park will host a bevy of slo-pitch teams for a tournament weekend organized by the Chiefs team from Blackfalds.

All-Star Park will host a bevy of slo-pitch teams for a tournament weekend organized by the Chiefs team from Blackfalds.

The event is set to run Sept. 19th to 21st. Sixty-four teams will compete against each other over three days, with the top teams of the four divisions guaranteeing a spot at the 2015 Slo-Pitch National in Kamloops. One hundred and fifty-six games will be played through the weekend, with playoffs happening on Sunday beginning at 8 a.m.

“The teams are playing for $10,000 with money going to 16 teams. The teams are broken into four divisions, A through D, with the top four teams from each division automatically qualifying for the national championships,” said Rory Napier, manager of the Chiefs and organizer of the tournament weekend.

The winning team in Division A gets $1,500, second place gets $1,000 and the third and fourth placed teams will each get $750.

There is $4,000 of prize money to be won for Division A, $3,000 in Division B, $2,000 in Division C and $1,000 in Division D.

Amid the many games of ball there will be a concession, an open cabaret on Saturday night for adults, a kids’ zone, weekend camping for team members, raffles, 50/50 draws and more.

“We’ve got a 35 foot high inflatable slide, a bouncy castle, an inflatable obstacle course for the kids. We’ve also got a face painter out there all weekend, and Peppermint Andy’s mobile ice cream parlour coming out to the park,” said Napier. “The cabaret is an open air cabaret in the beer gardens with DJs and music. It’s somewhere for the teams to go after they’re done playing. We’ve got a concession with the usual foods and some breakfast foods and things like that.”

On Saturday night shortly after 8 p.m., all teams will participate in a huge ice-bucket challenge, during which they will accept donations from park attendees for a cheque to be cut to the ALS Canada Society on Monday morning.

“We will have between 500 and 700 people that will be on the soccer field to do this challenge and we’ve got the Blackfalds fire department involved and they’re going to soak us with their big water cannon. We’re going to have two representatives that have black buckets, and people are going to donate whatever they can.”

Napier said that the plan is to get as many people involved with the challenge as possible with the hope that this event could maybe even break a record for the number of people involved in a single challenge.

This is the fourth year of the Annual Chiefs Slo-Pitch tournament, with each year growing more than the last. Napier adds that there are three tournaments each year, with the final one in September. “Next year, we’ll be giving away $7,500 in May, $10,000 in July and $15,000 in September.”

Along with the raised amounts of prize money available to be won, the tournament goers will gain points per games played and per games won that could ultimately give them the chance to win new uniforms, ball bags, hats, jackets and more.

“I’ve been a ballplayer for 25 years. It’s a chance for teams to get out and have some fun with other teams. The first games start Friday at 6 p.m. The kids’ stuff won’t be going until Saturday morning at 8 a.m. but everything else will be rocking and rolling Friday night.”

The weekend is free and open to all ages. Registration for teams is now closed. All-Star Park is located in the southwest corner of Blackfalds at 4800 Leung Rd. For more information, contact Rory Napier at 403-392-7288.

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com