Whitehorse awarded 2016 national slo pitch championships

Whitehorse has been named host for the 2016 Senior Men’s and Women’s Canadian Slo-Pitch Championships, Softball Yukon announced last week.

Softball Yukon has hit another home run in a bid to host a major championship.

Whitehorse has been named host for the 2016 Senior Men’s and Women’s Canadian Slo-Pitch Championships, Softball Yukon announced last week.

“We moved forward to bid for it hoping for exactly what happened and we’re pleased it’s coming here,” said Softball Yukon executive director George Arcand. “It’ll be a shot for our players to play in it, to play at home in a national. We’re very happy.”

Next summer will be Whitehorse’s fourth time hosting the championship, which will be held at the capital city’s Pepsi Softball Centre. Whitehorse last hosted the 20-and-over championship in 1989, said Arcand.

In preparation for next summer’s nationals, Softball Yukon will hold a qualifying tournament for Yukon teams this June.

The winning men’s and women’s teams will go on to represent Yukon at home next summer. They will also be eligible to play in this year’s national championship in Dorchester, Ont., in August.

“We will be sending teams to this year’s nationals because it’s based on us getting the championship – our teams need to travel, attend other locations as well,” said Arcand. “That was part of our bidding for it. We said we’d send teams.”

Depending on how many teams from provinces and territories decide to enter next year’s championship, Yukon may be allowed more than one team in each division. So, for example, if there’s space in either the men’s or women’s division, the runner-ups from the qualifier in June may get up to the plate in next year’s nationals.

“It totally depends on how many teams are going to come here to play,” said Arcand. “We won’t know that for quite some time. When we run the qualifier, the winning team will for sure play and we’ll rank the rest of the teams based on finish. Depending how many teams we’re allowed, we can got to number two, number three.”

The 2016 Qualifying Tournament will be held June 26-28 at the Pepsi Softball Centre. This year’s nationals in Dorchester will take place Aug. 9-15.

Next summer’s men’s championship will start on Aug. 7 for the men and Aug. 9 for the women, and will wrap up on Aug. 13.

The 2016 championships won’t be Softball Yukon’s first time hosting a major event in recent years, nor will it be the last.

Whitehorse was home to the 2008 International Softball Federation Junior Men’s World Championship, the 2012 ISF Women’s World Championship and the 2014 ISF Junior Men’s World Softball Championship.

Whitehorse will also host the ISF Men’s World Championship in the summer of 2017.

“We have a very good facility. We have a town that is extremely friendly; hospitality is great, “ said Arcand. “All of those factors have an impact on it.

“And everybody likes coming to Yukon.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com