Play ball! Canadian Native Fastball Championship kicks off in P.A.

Andrew
Andrew Schopp
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Hosting 70 teams and more than 5,000 visitors is a tall order, but the 2014 Canadian Native Fastball Championship kicked off with its first slate of games on Friday without a hitch.

After team registration and coaches meetings took place on Thursday, the first official games got underway Friday morning at Prime Minsters’ Park and Downtown Lions Park near Little Red.

As teams from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba took to the field for the first time, event and sponsorship coordinator Debbie McDougall said things are going smoothly thus far.

“It’s going great,” McDougall said of the CNFC’s opening day. “The teams are enjoying themselves, the weather is great and our committee is working hard. That’s why we planned for so long in hoping that these next few days would run smoothly.”

The CNFC was last hosted in Grand Prairie, Alta., in 2013, when the West Bank Cardinals, Red Nation Jets, Sapotaweyak Cree, Four Direction, Kainai Tribe, New Horizon and “Get R Done,” teams took home championships in their respective divisions.  

Prince Albert is hosting the tournament for the first time and even after one day of play McDougall has seen first hand what the tournament is doing for the city as thousands of visitors from across the country pour in.

“It’s definitely brining people in,” she said. “You couldn’t find a hotel room today if your life depended on it.” 

The tournament’s 70 teams are spread across five divisions; Master Men’s, Master Women’s, Senior Men’s, Senior Women’s and U21 Men’s. 

The championship games for all five divisions will be played on Sunday at either of the event’s two venues.

As fans flow through the gates at a steady pace, McDougall said the quality of ball on the field has been top notch so far.

“It’s really good to watch,” she said. “The fans are really enjoying it. The bleachers seem to be full so it’s well worth the price of admission.”

Fastball action at Prime Ministers’ Park and at Lions Park will continue throughout the weekend, with teams competing from 7 a.m. to midnight everyday until closing ceremonies on Sunday. 

Weekend passes for the tournament are priced at $30, which will get holders into all the tournament’s games. 

For more information of the CNFC including game schedules, visit the event’s website at canadiannativefastball.com. 

andrew.schopp@paherald.sk.ca

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  • Tammy
    August 03, 2014 - 19:55

    Any more news on Canadian native fastball tournament?