With the outdoor season now less than a month away, we decided to check in with our friends in Brantford to get some information on their annual Early Bird Tournament, that has for many become the first event on the schedule each and every year.
"We have 50 teams this year across 5-divisons" said Tom Cox, one of the primary organizers of the event. This season marks the 14th time that the Bobcat organization has run this event. "Because of our timing, we often get a lot of the top teams attending, and quite often the eventual provincial champion started their season here in Brantford at the Early Bird", said Cox.
Weather is always hit or miss, some years the event has played in some tough conditions but there have been equally as many where the weather has been beautiful for the first week of May. The 2017 edition of this event features 5 Brantford Bobcat teams competing across the Squirt to Midget divisions. Notably the event will be the first tournament for the newly formed U18 Tier 1 team led by coach Maria Greco. It will also mark the start of what is hoped to be a very promising campaign for the other Bobcat teams, including Cox's Bantam group.
Most of the pre-planning of this event is done by Cox, Todd Bannister and Erin Forman. The actual game dayorganization at the various diamonds is managed by the applicable Bobcat team(s). The organizers all agree that hosting this event helps raise the profile and awareness of the Brantford organization. Like most events there is a small amount of profit in hosting, and that helps fund the various representative team programs.
How many volunteers? What does the event do for your organization? The pre planning is done by myself, Todd Bannister and Erin Forman. The game day organization is handled by the individual teams. The bantam parents maintain the bantam diamonds etc. the tournament is definitely good for raising the profile of Brantford ball and we do generally turn some profit that helps fund our programs.
When asked if the organization likes being the first event on the schedule Cox replied "We have with some persistence managed to pretty much have this weekend to ourselves. our event is the only one running that weekend, which certainly helps with the number of teams. Many other weekends in May and June are covered with 2 sometimes three events, so we're quite happy with our first weekend of May".
The weekend typically has seen some well played ball games over the weekend. This year will likely be no different. The Novice division alone this year has 20-teams participating, and that means 5-diamonds on the go for that division alone most of the weekend.
UTM Fastpitch wishes the Bobcat organization a successful 2017 tournament weekend. Hopefully for the 50 teams that will be attending it will feature good weather, good ball, and lots of fun along the way.
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