Quarry Bend Park is known for its several baseball diamonds. Beautifully manicured and set with sloping hills just past the outfield, the park, located at 9020 South Quarry Bend Parkway, is a great place to play ball come springtime.
But it is still winter. The dirt of the diamond is partially frozen and partially muddy. The pitcher’s mound is a craggy, slick spot where ankles go to get turned. And if a ball gets hit into the underbrush of the hills past the outfield, it is pretty much gone for good.
This is Snowball Softball—played in snow, rain, sleet or the occasional sunshine—and Sandy residents have been playing this game for the past 27 years.
A total of 18 teams took part in the annual Softball Snowball Tournament on Jan. 27 and 28 at Quarry Bend Park as well as at Bicentennial Park, located at 530 East 8680 South.
For Linda Martin, program coordinator for the Sandy Parks and Recreation Department, the tournament is always enjoyable with or without the snow.
“We always have several teams who come out to play, and they always have a great time no matter the weather,” she said. “And there are always fans in the bleachers, more if the weather is warmer, like it was this year.”
It looked like there might have been snow for this year’s tournament, but all of it had melted before the weekend games, leaving the fields somewhat muddy and difficult to navigate. Though the sun was shining, the temperature remained around 40 degrees with a gentle winter wind keeping the game chilly.
“We like doing this event because it is something different, and it gets people outdoors and using our parks,” Martin said.
The Snowball Softball Tournament is the kickoff event of the year for the Parks and Recreation department. Several other baseball and softball events, planned for the warmer weather of spring, are currently open for registration.
T-Ball (open to ages 4-5) and Coach Pitch baseball (open to ages 6-7) begin April 9. Early registration for $38 is open through March 14 and regular registration for $43 is open from March 15-21.
Boys Recreation Baseball will begin on April 4 with the same early and regular registration dates. Different leagues are set up for boys 8 and under, 10 and under and 12 and under.
Girls Fastpitch Softball begins on March 26. Early registration goes through March 7 and regular registration is held March 8-14. For softball, leagues are formed for players ages 9 and under, 12 and under and 15 and under.
Adult softball leagues are also in the process of registering. For returning teams from last season, registration runs through March 7. For any new teams, registration is extended to March 14 or until all leagues are full. Registration cost is $460 per team and games begin the week of April 16.