(File photo)

(File photo)

Ponoka Minor Ball hosts 18-team tourney

Ponoka Minor Ball (PMB) hosted a successful, COVID-19 protocol-friendly tournament at home on June 19 and 20.

There was a total of 18 teams, including three from Ponoka with U12, U14 and U16 divisions, playing on all three ball diamonds.

Although they would usually have a few more teams, with only a week to organize, a lot of U10 teams weren’t able to participate, says PMB president Terry Podmoroff.

This was the first tournament PMB was able to host this season.

Due to COVID, there is a shortage of umpires, which limits how many tournaments they were able to hold in their zone.

COVID-19 protocols were followed, with small groups spacing out.

There were bat draws and 50/50 draws each night.

Boston Pizza Ponoka sponsored Heart and Hustle awards for each game.

Mainstreet Hardware, Tim Hortons and Co-op Oils also sponsored prizes.

The Reds Ball bag was won by Holden Fox and bat draw winners were Cody Mcateer (U12), Janice Mackie (U14), and Brooklyn Tucker (U16).

Visiting teams camped out at Moose Hall.

“It went really well,” said Podmoroff. “Next year will be even better and bigger.”

In the U12 division, Camrose took the gold, Sylvan Lake went home with the silver and Lacombe won bronze.

For the U14, Rimbey won gold, Stettler, silver and Lacombe, bronze.

Sherwood Park came out on top in the U16 and Stettler’s A team took silver and their B team took bronze.

Due to the nice weather in the early spring, PMB was able to start their season earlier than usual, on April 12.

“We were lucky,” he said.

Most of the teams are done their regular season now, but some of the boys teams will play until mid-July because of scheduling.

Provincials will be held towards the end of July. Provincials for softball will be in August.