High School Sports: The new OFSAA Slo Pitch Festival requires creative planning at the local level

content of the article

In recent years, the scheduling of the girls’ and boys’ slo pitch championships has been fairly consistent.

content of the article

The one-day girls’ event has historically been scheduled immediately after Victoria Day weekend, while the boys’ event usually takes place a week after.

But the recent proposal to introduce a girls’ slo-pitch festival championship at OFSAA level in mid-June 2023 could soon bring about a change.

Eligibility requirements for the newly introduced provincial championship must be a minimum of six games played at the local level. Most game teams that would need to play under the current one-day championship format would be four, so either an additional day must be added to the championship or the winning team must find another way to add game experience to their local schedule in order to properly qualify for OFSAA to qualify.

One suggestion would be to revert the girls’ schedule back to the format of years past, with day one scheduled as a prelim to form the top eight teams for a championship event on day two.

Logical, right? Well, yes, until you consider how packed the spring calendar already is and how conflicts have actually forced the one-day championship format now in use.

It seems inevitable that any expansion of the girls’ event would result in major conflicts with the football or career schedule unless the chosen championship date falls on a Friday or Saturday, which would raise the specter of conflicts with extracurricular events.

Boys slo-pitch also feels the pinch for available players, effectively ranked between NOSSA football, baseball and track and field, all taking place at pretty much the same time.

content of the article

What’s the answer? Here’s a thought. Abandon the one-day formats but shift the existing schedule by a week so that the girls’ championship will be played on the last Monday in May and the boys’ on the first Monday in June. Additionally, the Girls Champion would then be automatically included in the Boys B playoff draw to help add games to meet OFSAA eligibility requirements.

This will likely dominate discussion at this week’s post-season slo pitch meeting, along with a proposal to introduce an A and B pool format at the boys’ championship. It will be interesting to see how the discussion goes.

High school notes

As far as high school athletic coaches go, Chris Bartolucci is clearly the class of the field. It was with great sadness that the SDSSAA learned of his death earlier this week. Coach Bartolucci, who leads the ever-respected St. Charles Cardinals, is not only the most accomplished football coach in SDSSAA history, he has always been the most respected among his peers. I will never forget a game at Cambrian College years ago where he addressed a disfellowshipped player by telling him to take off his jersey for disrespecting his school and the game of football he loved so much. Rest in peace coach.

Dave Makela is Sports Administrator for the Sudbury District Secondary Schools Athletic Association. His column runs weekly during the high school athletic season.

Leave a Comment