Organizers hope slo-pitch on the rebound

Dave Mathieson
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AMHERST?-A new season of slo-pitch softball will soon be commencing and seven or eight teams are on slate for a summer of fun.
"The numbers are going to be about equal to last year," slo-pitch president George Martin said.
Seven or eight teams are a far cry from the number of teams who use to play in these parts.
"At one time we had 24 men's teams and 16 women's teams," Martin said. "It started to drop off a while back."
Martin has been involved with slo-pitch since it's inception about 30 years ago and he took up the mantle of president for the second time just recently.
"I took over two years ago so it wouldn't die," Martin said. "I was president before and I gave it up but I was always involved with it whether I was an umpire-in-chief or running the team or league."
He said he's not entirely certain why slo-pitch has decreased in popularity.
"I don't know if people don't want to make the commitment or if they've switched over to golf. The commitment is the big thing."
He also said that sports can run in cycles and that slo-pitch may be at low ebb right now.
Whatever the reason, those who decide to play will definitely have a great time.
"It's a very competitive league," Martin said. "The Cumberland Honda Young Guns won the championship last year in tier one and the Elm Tree Tavern won tier two."
This year they will follow the same two-tier format.
"If we have eight teams it will be top four, bottom four so you don't get the weaker teams getting into it with the stronger teams come playoff time.
"But they will play against each other during the regular season," Martin added.
The 30 game season begins either the last week of May or the first week of June and runs until early September.
Slo-pitch players are also covered by insurance.
"The league is covered by a secondary insurance policy through SPN (slow pitch national)," Martin said. "If you're already covered by insurance then it doesn't help but if you don't have insurance it does help."
Anybody interested in joining a team or entering a new team into the league can call George at 667-1281.
"Anybody who wants to get on a team, I normally give them the team representatives names and they'll call those guys to see if they need players," Martin said.

Organizations: Cumberland Honda Young Guns

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