For a number of years, the Thompson-Shuswap Senior Slo-pitch League has promoted recreation for seniors in Kamloops and surrounding areas. For season 32, the league featured, for the first time, a Merritt team consisting of our aged slo-pitch enthusiasts looking to have a great time while getting sweat in.

Prior to the formation of Merritt Game On, the local senior ball club, Merritt seniors were already active in the league, playing for different, pre-existing ball clubs.

“We played there quite a bit before this season we’ve never had a Merritt team,” said Merritt Game On Team Manager, Cliff Colter.

“We all played in Kamloops on different teams for a while but there was enough of us to make a team so they invited us to join the league as a Merritt team, so we did.”

Unlike the common slo-pitch league, the Thompson-Shuswap Senior Slo-pitch, does not have any record of teams’ win-loss columns.

“It’s participation moreso than a competition,” said Spencer Colman, president of the Thompson-Shuswap Senior Slo-Pitch League. “We want seniors to stay active, and in order to stay active there is no required level of skills.”

This season, eight teams from Kamloops, Merritt, and Sorrento were registered. Each team usually consisted anywhere between 14-18 players, with a required minimum of three female members. The minimum age requirement for females is 45 while males were required to be, at least, 55 years old in order to participate.

“Most of these seniors have previous experience of playing slo-pitch before they got into their senior years,” Colman said.
“They continue to play to stay active and most players come back every year to see their friends and maintain relationships they’ve established here.”

Overall, players for Merritt Game On had a very positive experience with the new team. Colter added that the team is always looking for new players, however, as the roster’s availability varied.

“We had 15 registered players, but things come up, things change, people had to miss a few games and whatnot,” he explained.

The seniors played back-to-back games every Tuesday and Thursday morning during the season. Teams alternated between Merritt and Kamloops to play their games. Merritt Game On played a total of nine home games at Central Park and traveled to Kamloops to play their away games at Charles Anderson Park.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, players were asked, as a safety precaution, to bring their own bats and gloves while the league provides the softballs.

Colter asks any local players to consider joining the team for next year. According to him, It doesn’t take too much to play, joking that all you need is “a softball glove and a heartbeat.”

“Just because it was the first year, maybe people were a little hesitant to join,” he explained.

“Now that we’re a little more established, we’re hoping to get more players out. We’ll advertise again in the fall and throughout the winter and hopefully, we’ll get a few more players out.”

The senior slo-pitch season takes place from April to July. For more information on how to register for the next season, please contact, Cliff Colter at (250) 280-1116.