Turf & Rec

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Alberta city’s lack of age-appropriate softball diamonds impedes sport’s local growth

St. Albert mayor says there's no land available to construct new playing facilities

September 13, 2023  By Turf & Rec

St. Albert, Alta’s minor softball association is hoping the city can provide more diamonds suitable for older players, but both the city’s mayor and the director of parks and recreation say it’s unlikely.

Fastball St. Albert doesn’t have its own home facility, and its leagues must rely on diamonds near city schools. The problem, however, is that among the city’s 25 maintained public diamonds, only eight were available last season for softball, and only three of those are considered appropriate for athletes older than 15.

The softball association’s president says those diamonds are close to roads, cars and soccer fields, creating a challenge for older athletes to play. Additionally, the appropriate diamonds lack washroom facilities, spectator seating and proper dugouts. The Fastball St. Albert president said the city is also the only one among other competing municipalities without a home for its players. The lack of proper playing facilities, she says, can’t host major tournaments.

The association has asked the city to build six new softball-specific ball diamonds, but St. Albert’s mayor said the necessary land isn’t available and constructing new facilities would need to be done at the expense of other sports groups.


Fastball St. Albert fears the lack of appropriate playing facilities could negatively impact the number of player registrations. About 300 athletes are normally registered for each season, but growth could be stalled without needed diamonds, the association notes.


This article is part of the Municipalities Week.

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