Ice, ice, baby1/20/2016
It’s time for “Batter’s Up!” once again for the Sno-Ball Softball Tournament at the Greater Des Moines Softball Complex, 4980 N.E. 46th St. This year’s event will once again be broken up into two weekends with coed teams playing Jan. 23-24, and the mens’ teams playing Jan. 30-31.
This year it looks as though the weather will be miserable. But that doesn’t keep athletes down. Spirits will be high as the teams battle it out, slipping and sliding to victory or defeat in this unique winter tournament.
“Last year, the event was played on Super Bowl weekend in the midst of one of the worst snowstorms of the year,” said Jen Fletcher, marketing supervisor at Des Moines Park and Recreation.“Sno-Ball was started by Bob Savage, a long-time Parks and Recreation department employee who passed away a few years ago. Our office kept getting calls from people right after the holidays asking when softball was going to start, so he decided to put a winter tournament together.”
The tournament has been happening annually for the past 23 years, with no end in sight. Teams continue to clamor to run the snow-covered diamond and slip and slide their way to and from the dugouts. It may come as a surprise, but the Sno-ball Softball Tournament is one of the Des Moines Parks and Rec’s biggest winter events, said Fletcher.
“I would encourage everyone to bundle up, use handwarmers and bring extra clothing,” Fletcher said. “Dress warm in clothes that you don’t mind getting ruined. If the weather is mild, the fields will get very muddy. [And] don’t use composite bats, as the temp is too cold, and they may crack.”
While teams are competing for the coveted champions trophy, it is important to remember not to take things too seriously. It’s all about fun and friends, after all, and what’s more fun than seeing your friend jog across a baseball field like a filly taking her first steps? Or seeing the entire infield hit the snow after a batter accidently lets the bat slide from his or her fingers? It’s like middle school gym class for adults.
Plus, the snow actually puts everyone on a level playing field. Blinded by hats and scarfs, hindered by ill-fitting (but oh so warm) gloves and mittens and trudging through snow or across ice means everyone needs to rethink their strategy.
Registration is closed for this tournament, but friends and “fan”ily are welcome to come out and enjoy the fun and support the teams. There is no fee for spectators.
“This event is unique because it shows how passionate people are about softball,” said Fletcher. “Thousands of people across Iowa play softball during the summer, but we in Des Moines love softball so much, we play in the middle of winter.” CV
Sno-ball Softball Tournament at The Greater Des Moines Softball Complex, 4980 N.E. 46th St.
Co-ed — Jan. 23-24 at 8 a.m.
Men’s — Jan 30-31 at 8 a.m.