Delta to host national softball championships

This is the first major tournament hosted by the newly formed Delta Fastpitch Association

The Delta Fastpitch Association is hosting the U16 national championships in North Delta and Tsawwassen this year. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Delta Fastpitch Association is hosting the 2017 U16 Girls Canadian Fast Pitch Championship in Tsawassen and North Delta from Aug. 9 to 13.

This isn’t the first year Delta has hosted the national competition — association president Chris Roper said Delta hosted them once before in the early 2000s — but Roper is hoping that this year will bring some much-needed publicity to softball in Delta.

“What I’m hoping is that a bunch of kids get to come out and watch, and get the bug to play the sport,” he said. “If that happens, it’s a success regardless of whether we make any money or not.

“If kids grow a love for the game, then that’s what we’re all about.”

The tournament coincides with the Delta Fastpitch Association’s first season as an organization, following the merger of the Delta Heat, South Delta Minor Fastpitch and North Delta Softball associations.

Related: Delta softball takes its first shot at a merged U16 team

“This actually started before we did our merger,” Roper said. The initial application for hosting the tournament happened a year and a half ago. Delta Fastpitch Association only came together at the beginning of this softball season.

Because the Delta Fastpitch Association is gradually aging in the new Delta Inferno teams, the U16 Delta Heat team will be competing in the national championships.

The tournament will host local teams Surrey Storm, the White Rock Renegades and Fraser Valley Fusion, as well as other U16 teams from across the country.

Part of the reason the association wanted to host the championships was because they felt the U16 Delta Heat team had a good chance of winning it.

“Hopefully our thoughts come true and they do win,” Roper said.

The teams will be competing in round robin events from Wednesday to Friday at the North Delta Community Park on 84 Ave. and Brandrith Park in Tsawwassen. The finals will take place largely in North Delta on Saturday and Sunday.

Opening ceremonies for the championship will be held at North Delta Community Park on Tuesday, Aug. 8.

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