To meet the demand for slo-pitch softball in this province, a new national slo-pitch organization has arrived — the National Slo-Pitch Athletics of Canada, or NSA.
But the group emphasizes it’s aim is to support slo-pitch growth in the province, and as a result is not “competing” with the long-established Slo-Pitch National (SPN) program.
“We don’t see ourselves as competition for SPN,” said Rian Mugford, the person on the ground in Newfoundland for the NSA program. “I actually play in a lot of SPN tournaments. Our aim is to actually create more ball. Our purpose is to co-exist, to encourage the growth of slo-pitch.”
Some 60 teams are registered members of the NSA program in Newfoundland, and 43 of them are in the Molson Caribou league which operates out of the two ball fields in the Pleasantville section of the city.
That leagues operate five nights per week.
“Slo-pitch continues to be huge ... it’s growing and growing,” Mugford said. “There’s a big emphasis on co-ed play.”
NSA Canada was formed in the spring of 1997, an offshoot of the National Softball Association in the United States.
“It was at this first meeting where we learned of an organization in the United States called National Softball Association,” Mugford said “So we chose to offer our members dual registration with NSA Canada and the National Softball Association of the USA.
“This dual registration allows our members the ability to compete at an international basis at the NSA-USA events.”
In addition to purchasing insurance through the association, the NSA program provides customized apparel and cash prizes to winning teams. The men’s B/C provincials are this weekend at the Caribou Complex, and the winning teams receive customized jackets, an $800 first-place prize and an invite to the 2015 NSA World Series Championship in Hamilton, Ont.
Later this year, NSA will play host to the first-ever indoor softball tournament at the Technip Plex in Pleasantville.