Ten teams will be taking part in the 16th annual Sheila Bishop Memorial Wood Bat Slo-Pitch Tournament Saturday and Sunday at Lion’s Community Park.
The fun-oriented co-ed event is held in honour of Sheila Bishop, an avid slo-pitch and volleyball player who lost her courageous battle with ovarian cancer on June 6, 2003.
“We got up to 12 teams but unfortunately a couple had to drop out late,” said tournament co-organizer Paul Borba.
The wood bat tourney, one of very few held in B.C., has raised more than $70,000 for local families and charities over the first 15 years. Proceeds from this year’s tourney will be allocated to the OSNS Child Development Centre.
Borba said since there is no beverage garden at this year’s event, he’d be pleased if it generates $2,500 to $3,500 for the OSNS.
Games start at 9:30 a.m. on both days at Lion’s and the neighbouring Scott Mullins Field, with the last game Saturday at 5:30 p.m., and the A and B finals set for Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
Nine of the teams competing this year are from Penticton and Summerland, while a team from Port Coquitlam that had been hoping to get in the last few years will make its debut this weekend.
All players use wooden bats during tournament games and Sunday’s home run derby. The balls do not travel nearly as far when hit with wooden bats compared to aluminum, which results in lower scores and closer games.
The home run hitting contest will be held Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Lion’s. The entry fee is $5 with half the proceeds going to the male and female winners and the other half to the tournament charity.
Borba said the event is part of the Penticton Peach Festival slate of activities for the ninth straight year.
“We really appreciate it as they cover our insurance and field costs,” said Borba.
He also wished to thanks the local umpires’ association which is once again umpiring the games free of charge.