YORKTON - The Yorkton Crush are already under way in terms of preparing for the 2022 softball season.
“Last year we kind of had record numbers with 100 registered,” said Crush treasurer Robyn Pflanzer, then added that number has been eclipsed with 153 registered as of April 20. “We grew lots which is awesome.”
So, why the increased numbers?
Pflanzer said she believes the Crush program is simply becoming better known and attracting more interest as people learn about it.
“There’s been a lot of word-of-mouth … We’re more out in the community,” she said, adding being a program specifically for girls is a draw too. “. . . It’s just that community of girls.”
As a girl’s only project Pflanzer said they stay rather focused on helping girl’s be better people, while learning about sport and teamwork.
With numbers up by more than 50, the Crush program will have a dozen teams this year, ranging from U5, designed to get the youngest players just out on the diamond with parents, up to a combined U17/U19 teams.
With the added teams, there has been a need for added support people too.
Pflanzer said they have managed to recruit enough coaches to make it work, but added “it’s always a challenge.”
“A bigger challenge is umpires,” she continued.
The situation is such that the Crush are offering incentives for anyone taking a clinic to train new umpires upcoming later this month. The registration deadline, through Softball Saskatchewan in April 26.
Anyone completing the course, and umpiring at least four games for the Crush, they will reimburse the $70 course fee, said Pflanzer.
As it stands, Pflanzer said they hope teams are on the diamonds at York Lake Regional Park by the beginning of May, if the weather co-operates, adding they have had some indoor sessions already knowing they wouldn’t be out as early as they wanted to be.
Once they are in action the Crush teams will have plenty of regional competitions with programs now operating in Indian Head, Ituna, Melville, Esterhazy, Churchbridge, Langenburg and a new effort in Canora.
Pflanzer said the growth of girl’s softball is reflected in the number of communities with teams.
The Crush are also planning a skills camp for May 28, with the University of Regina team involved, said Pflanzer adding details of the camp are still being worked out.