Expect antics like Kodi Bowman’s crawl back to third during the August Long Tournament.

Expect antics like Kodi Bowman’s crawl back to third during the August Long Tournament.

Fast fun for a slo-pitch

The fun hits the bags at 7:00 p.m. Friday night and will continue right into Monday afternoon

The ITP’s have celebrated. The Brew Jays have swallowed their pride. Burton Barley have gone back down the valley, Jugs and Nutz can be found spinning yarns at the Three Lions Pub, the Wolf Pack have gone their separate ways, Deja Vu feels like they’ve done this before (or will do it again), and the Breeders have probably begun breeding again. But just because the local season has come to a close doesn’t mean ball is over for the year; the infamous August long weekend tournament is just around the corner.

The equivalent of the Tour de France in the slo-pitch world, nothing tests the mettle of a ball player like three days of unadulterated fun at the annual Nakusp Slo-Pitch Tournament. It will be a contest of skill and athleticism, but the carnival-like festival is also a test of one’s grit; the would-be champions must navigate their moxie through trials and tribulations both on and off the ball diamond. It’s fair to say that this tournament is not for the faint of heart or weak of liver and one can expect the best crapulent, family orientated brouhaha this side of Mardi Gras.

Nakuspians do love their soft-ball. It is perhaps the oldest of the village’s athletic traditions with many a long memory able to recall stories of glory and sorrow played out on the Rec Grounds and Jackie James Field. Today, the bat and ball torch has been taken up by a dedicated group of locals who have formed the Nakusp Slo-Pitch Society and have ensured the survival of the August long weekend tournament. This will be the tournament’s 28th year.

The fun hits the bags at 7:00 p.m. Friday night and will continue right into Monday afternoon with the finals scheduled for 4:00 p.m.. Friday night will also host a Home Run Derby sponsored by The Hut Drive-In. This year 20, teams from locations such as Spokane, Abbotsford, Kelowna and even Saskatchewan (who are returning after a 20 year break as part of their family reunion), will be vying for their shot at slo-pitch glory.

Nakusp will be fielding 3 local teams, ITP, Brew Jays and Deja Vu, in an attempt to bring home the tournament’s ultimate prize from The Browns of Kelowna.

“They come here because we are one of the last tournaments that pays out money,” explains Ryan Struck, president of the Slo- Pitch Society. “We get a lot of good talent that comes here. We get the teams that like to play ball. The level of competition is much higher than you would normally find,” he added.

Nakusp Rotary Club will be on hand all weekend for their 4th year in a row to fend off hunger with their line-up of grub while the Slo-Pitch Society will be hosting a beer garden to shellac the inhibitions of would-be hecklers and grease the wheels of sportsmanship.

The Nakusp Slo-Pitch Society have decided to donate $1 to children’s charity for every home run hit during the weekend, to be matched by Overwaitea Foods.