Slow Pitch Softball in Carbon County will start later than normal this year because after years of band aids and quick fixes to make a field playable Carbon County decided that the ball fields at the Fairgrounds needed a complete renovation.
This renovation will be worth the wait for softball enthusiasts, complete with a state of the art lighting system, fencing and a completely new playing surface.
The renovation was spearheaded by Carbon County Commissioner Bill Krompel and supported by the other two County Commissioners. Funds totaling over $300,000 were obtained from a grant from the Community Impact Board, and the Carbon County Recreation and Special Service District.
Work began in July 2004 with the removal the old and the installation of a new state of the art lighting system. This new system was designed by a team of lighting experts from Musco and installed by a local company Electrical Contractors Inc. These new lights are attached to 70-foot steel poles.
In addition to the steel poles on each individual light fixture there is a visor directing the light and its direction. This visor will also cut down on the glare that local players have commonly complained about.
Because of the early, harsh, and wet winter some of the work that would have normally been done during that time has been delayed, although work has resumed. Carbon Recreation, Carbon County road department and Carbon County fairgrounds department are working diligently trying to make these fields the best that they have ever been.
Two fields will be ready to play in early July and all four fields will be playable in August complete with new infields, outfield grass, fences and lights.
"We would like to ask the softball players in the community to please be patient and respectful of the new playing surface once it is in place. It will take 45 to 60 days for the new sod to take hold in the outfields before it is practice or game ready," commented Carbon Recreation's Assistant Director Frank Ori. "I know that it is hard. The weather is getting warmer and everybody wants to play softball. I'm as anxious as anyone, to get things started but sometimes it is worth the wait," added Ori.
Even with the delay Carbon County Recreation is gearing up for another exciting season of slow pitch softball. The Ice Breaker Tournament has not been scheduled, but teams who are interested in playing should contact CCR and register their teams so that when the fields are ready teams can begin playing games.
Following the Ice Breaker Tournament teams will be broken into divisions for league play.
The cost for the men's leagues will be $450 per team and women's league will be $380 per team. Each men's team will get 16 regular season games followed by a post-season tournament.
Each women's team will get 12 regular season games and a post-season tournament.
When you add on the two games guaranteed by the icebreaker tournament men's teams are guaranteed 20 games and average around 22. Women's teams are guaranteed 16 and average about 18 games when you include the icebreaker tournament.