The Gun’s third baseman throws to first base as a runner from Skagway attempts to beat the ball during the men’s A championships. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Dustball Invitational Slo-Pitch Tournament takes over Whitehorse diamonds and dugouts

‘Years ago it started to become the ball tournament of the summer’

Softball Yukon held its annual Dustball Invitational Slo-Pitch Tournament in Whitehorse from July 12 to 15.

This year’s tournament included 65 teams playing in 10 different divisions.

George Arcand, executive director for Softball Yukon, said the tournament ran mostly on time despite a variety of weather over the weekend.

“We had it all,” said Arcand. “We had a beautiful day Friday and we had rain Saturday and Sunday, but nothing that stopped play.”

It seems that this year’s tournament was a home run with players.

“We had a number of folks who came over from Alaska … that came over and thanked us for a great tournament,” said Arcand. “For the most part, it was another good Dustball in my mind. Players seemed happy — that’s the biggest piece right there.”

Teams started the tournament in seeding pools, with the top team from each pool moving into the A elimination bracket, the second team moving into the B elimination bracket and the third team moving into the C elimination bracket.

Finals for each division were July 15, culminating in the men’s A final in the afternoon.

The Great West Grizzlies beat The Jays in the co-ed A final with the BLC Knights finishing third. All three teams were from Whitehorse.

In the women’s A division, the Klondike Rib and Salmon RBIs defeated the AFD Titans in a repeat of last year’s final. RRR from Fort McPherson, N.W.T., finished in third.

The P&M Recycling Guns repeated as men’s A champions with a 32-31 victory against Chico’s Bail Bonds playing out of Skagway, Alaska. In third place were the Brewers, building on a second place B finish last year.

Drawing squads from Beaver Creek, Dawson City, Carmacks, Mayo, the Northwest Territories and Alaska, Arcand said the tournament has long been a premier event for northern teams.

“Years ago it started to become the ball tournament of the summer,” said Arcand. “I think that has continued even though we’ve seen changes.”

The co-ed division is the biggest in the tournament — 37 teams this year — and the remaining teams were split with 18 in the men’s brackets and 10 in the women’s brackets.

“There are more co-ed teams now than there used to be — that’s something that grew with co-ed slo-pitch — but it still holds [the title of] ball tournament of the summer, the one to go to, for whatever reason,” said Arcand. “It’s always held that and it’s just as popular as it ever was.”

Organized and run by Softball Yukon staff with the help of volunteers, the event uses eight diamonds around Whitehorse and Arcand said experience has made hosting the event easier.

“Because it’s gone on so long, there is a bit of a formula that we follow which makes it relatively one-two-three,” said Arcand.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

Tournament Results

Co-ed A

1 Great West Grizzlies (Whitehorse)

2 The Jays (Whitehorse)

3 BLC Knights (Whitehorse)

Co-ed B

1 HUB International (Whitehorse)

2 Jim Shockey Predators (Whitehorse)

3 Whitehorse Massage Therapy Tenderizers (Whitehorse)

Co-ed C

1 Nagota (Whitehorse)

2 Floor by Floor Rugburns (Whitehorse)

3 Westcoast Warriors (Whitehorse)

Co-ed D

1 Yukon Tire Mechanical Happy’s Hobos (Whitehorse)

2 Cardinal Contracting Cardinals (Whitehorse)

3 FHP Ballwhackers (Whitehorse)

Men’s A

1 P & M Recycling Guns (Whitehorse)

2 Chico’s Bail Bonds (Skagway, Alaska)

3 Brewers (Whitehorse)

Men’s B

1 Fountain Tire Mudders (Whitehorse)

2 Rounders (Juneau, Alaska)

3 River Rats (Whitehorse)

Men’s C

1 Kaska Bears (Whitehorse)

2 Mayo Volunteer Fire Department (Mayo)

3 Wolverines (Whitehorse)

Women’s A

1 Klondike Rib & Salmon RBI’s (Whitehorse)

2 AFD Titans (Whitehorse)

3 RRR (Fort McPherson, N.W.T.)

Women’s B

1 Booster Juice (Whitehorse)

2 Skagway Ladies Rock (Skagway, Alaska)

3 G & R Diamond Diva’s (Whitehorse)

Women’s C

1 Frontier Gifts (Juneau, Alaska)

2 Triple J’s Cougars (Whitehorse)

3 Dave’s Cleaning Crew (Whitehorse)

Softball

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Skagway’s Chico’s Bail Bonds throws out a runner from Whitehorse’s P&M Recycling Guns at second base. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

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