Neepawa Minor Ball holds AGM


By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Banner

Preparations are underway for baseball and softball season in western Manitoba. Neepawa Minor ball prepared itself for the first pitch by holding its annual general meeting on Thursday, Apr. 9 at Hazel M Kellington School. 

President Toni Kuharski updated parents on the local numbers for players who are signed up for the Midwest Baseball League and Westman Softball Association.

“Our girls numbers are up significantly for the Westman Association,” said Kuharski. “But our boys numbers are down a little bit, but it appears they are down regionally throughout the Midwest League for all the age groups as well. Currently, we have about 55, 60 girls in total signed up for the season and for the boys, we have about 30 participating at this time.”

Kuharski also apprised parents on a change that’s been made to minor youth baseball on a national level that will have an impact close to home. Baseball Canada has created a new program known as Grand Slam, which is a pared down version of the game for children between eight and nine years old. It consists of a six player infield instead of having outfielders. Kuharski said it’ll be a bit of a change from what’s been done in the past.

“It’s a Baseball Canada decision. It’s been piloted in communities across the country and it’s gone well, so we’re hoping that it will also be successful here,” said Kuharski.

Several events of note on the upcoming schedule include a baseball clinic at the Yellowhead Centre from Apr. 24-26. The boys leagues for Midwest Baseball will begin on May. 4 and will conclude by the July long weekend. The schedule for Westman Softball Association has not yet been released, but is expected to be finalized shortly and a regional skills camp is set for Oak River on May. 30. 

Kuharski noted that Neepawa Minor Ball is in a very good position heading into the upcoming season, the baseball diamonds are in very good conditions and the yearly upgrades to the fields are already in place. She added that everyone is looking forward to getting back out onto the diamond to play ball.

“We just love ball season. For us, this is the big start,” said Kuharski. “All the kids, the parents, everyone is just so excited to get things going.”