Pride Softball League celebrates 17 years

Preparing for its 17th season, the Pride Softball League, Salt Lake City’s gay and lesbian softball league, is now forming teams and taking player registration for the 2011 summer season. Team registration closes March 21, and individual player registration continues March 17, at Club Try-Angles, and March 20, at Bonwood Bowl. Potential players that miss these dates may register for a team up to the middle of the season.

“Every year we have people contact us too late in the season to get on a team,” said Jarrod Ames, one of three league commissioners this year. “The cost to register a team is $465. Additionally, there is a $10 ‘player fee’ to make the team eligible for anything sponsored by Pride Softball League.”

Most teams will be returning including some of the new teams that were formed by players last year. Again this year, plans include three divisions; the Olympus, or ‘A’ division, the Wasatch, or ‘B’ division, and the recreational ‘C’ division, or Oquirrh. Depending on how many players participate this year, each division will consist of four to five teams that will play each other and other teams in the league. Ames says that there are 15 teams signed up right now.

“Individual players seeking a team to play with need to e-mail us at [email protected] with the following information: name, sex, contact information and positions they can play,” Ames said. “This information is placed on the Individual Player list and given to coaches who need to fill positions.  There are generally enough individuals interested to form at least one [new] team to participate in the league.”

Players are responsible for their own equipment, and attending practices leading up to their team’s games. Each team may also have team dues but each team is responsible for team uniform and hats. Opening day is tentatively April 10th, depending on weather.

“The league has become so popular we no longer fit on Jordan Park’s single field,” Ames said. “This season we will be playing on the three fields at Sunnyside Park.”

Sunnyside Park is located at 1600 E. 840 South, in Salt Lake City and games will be played on Sundays, as in the past.

Everyone is welcome to play, regardless of ability and experience, gender and age. Teams will hold practices, and encourage and teach players the sport, if a potential player is new or hasn’t played softball in years.  Team camaraderie and making new friends in a competitive or semi-competitive atmosphere are the benefits of joining the league and participating in summer league play, Ames said.

This year, Pride Softball League will participate in the Utah Pride parade and a surprise celebrity guest is scheduled to make an appearance with their entry. A new event is in the works tentatively called ‘Gay Day with The Salt Lake Bees.’ Sponsors of teams or the league are still needed.

“Pride Softball League is selling vouchers good for the best seat available at any Salt Lake Bees home games, other than fireworks nights,” Ames said. “These are $10 each and can be purchased by contacting [email protected].”

For more information, go to The Pride League is a part of Salt Lake City Gay Athletic Association (SLCGAA) and checks need to be made out to this entity for team and player registration.

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