You’re never too old

to play ball!!

“Age ain't nothing but a number”, according to a recent hit song. As living proof, the singer might have pointed to the nearly 150 men and women who play softball in the Ottawa 60+ Slo-Pitch League.

Others over 60 may sharpen their tennis game or hunt for foursomes to play golf as the snow melts.  Not these boys and girls of summer.  Every Tuesday morning, they lace up their spikes, grab their composite bats and try to stretch a single into a double.  Well, they do their best, but the important thing is that they have fun and don’t hesitate to remind one another that “the older we get, the better we were”.

This recreational league, which has operated for more than two decades, is open to male and female softball players who are 60 years of age and over.  Some are still playing at the age of 80, or even older, proving the adage that you’re never too old to play ball.

In 2013, the league fielded 10 teams.  All games are played on four diamonds at the RA Centre on Riverside Drive in Ottawa.  Game time is 9.30 a.m. on Tuesday mornings, and in the event of rain, they could be re-scheduled to Wednesday morning.

Occasionally, there are some Wednesday games included in the schedule so that all teams can play each other twice.  The first pitch in the regular season is tossed in May, with playoffs in September.

In addition to regular play, there are pickup games every Monday at 10 a.m. at the RA Centre and batting practice at Hampton Park every Thursday morning at 9 a.m.  There are also miscellaneous social activities, such as post-game coffee and muffins, picnics, an occasional golf day, and throwing practices in the winter, followed by coffee and a light lunch.  Last winter there was senior skating on Fridays and in February a curling ‘Funspiel’ was held. In 2014, a trip to Myrtle Beach in April is being planned to participate in a 3-game tournament with a like-minded league in that city. Officially, the season opens and closes with a league breakfast at the RA Centre.

The Ottawa 60+ Slo-Pitch League was established in 1992 to provide an opportunity for individuals of at least 60 to participate in slo-pitch ball.  It focuses on recreational slo-pitch, fun, exercise and social activities for all players.  At the outset, the league was composed of four teams and 55 players, playing at Carlington Park. Within just two years, it had doubled to eight teams involving 110 players.  In 1996, it relocated to the RA Centre.

As the league evolved, it took on more sophistication.  The players elected an executive, the league formed a rules committee, and umpires and scorekeepers became mandatory.  The league annually canvasses its players through an opinion survey to ensure that their suggestions for improvements go to the executive for consideration.

Throughout the summer, a “Selects Team” consisting of league players participates in a number of exhibition games.  The highlight of the Selects Team’s season is a weekend tournament against a slo-pitch team from Rochester, N.Y., which has become an annual event when the two teams compete for the ‘Friendship Trophy’.

So, welcome to the Ottawa 60+ Slo-Pitch League.  Take a minute to read this message from our President.

And to everyone, regardless of your age: