Spring weather in Calgary is historically unpredictable. Cool days mixed with warm days mixed with freak snowstorms has been a recipe for disaster on many occasions. Our crazy weather was enough to chase away pro baseball teams that have tried to make Calgary home. But not enough to deter little league teams and softball or slow pitch teams who just want to have fun.
The Best Softball Fields in Calgary
Team tryouts start indoors because of this but once the season is underway there's no denying that we're got some great facilities in our city. Here are just a few of them with more outlined on the City of Calgary website.
Pop Davies Athletic Park: This park in the heart of the community of Ogden was dedicated in 1983 to Jack "Pop" Davies who was a coach and Boy Scout leader in the community in the 1930s and 40s. This area has five softball fields as well as soccer facilities. During the season the City of Calgary brings in portable toilets. There is plenty of parking available. This field is located at 6145 Ogden Road SE, north of Glenmore Trail. Ogden is an older community with small cottage homes, mid-century homes and new infill homes. It's the perfect neighbourhood for first-time buyers and is convenient to Deerfoot Trail.
Optimist Athletic Park: This facility in southwest Calgary is fastidiously kept by parks staff and is very busy during the softball season. There are six softball diamonds, a baseball diamond and a diamond for little league play. There are soccer fields and two arenas in the park as well; Optimist and George Blunden. There's lots of parking and indoor washrooms in the rink facilities. Because it's so busy, you need to book this well in advance with the City of Calgary. It's located at 5020—26 Ave SW in the Glenbrook/Glendale area. The Glenbrook has modestly priced single-family, townhome and apartment homes while Glendale is comprised of homes built in the 1950s and a variety of new luxury home built on mature lots. It's close to the West leg of the LRT which runs along 17 Ave SW and is adjacent to Sarcee Trail, a major north/south connector.
Glenmore Athletic Park: Also located in southwest Calgary, Glenmore is one of the city's biggest sports parks with baseball diamonds, softball diamonds, soccer and football fields plus a 400-metre running track. There's an indoor salt water pool here and Stu Peppard Arena. The fields are light at night. Booking is done through the City of Calgary. This facility is at 5300—19 St SW in the North Glenmore/Altadore area, one of the most sought after neighbourhoods in the outer-ring of Calgary's inner city. It's just a 10-minute drive to downtown and is being redeveloped with single-family and luxury semi-detached infills. The area has become a showcase of infill architecture in the City of Calgary. Easily accessible off Crowchild Trail north of Glenmore Trail.
Bow Bottom Baseball Diamonds: This park on Lake Huron Cres SE in Lake Bonavista Downs is technically full of baseball diamonds however, you'll find softball teams using them during the season. They are well maintained, are equipped with portable toilets during the season and parking is never an issue. The local community was built in the mid-1970s and unlike the larger estate homes up the hill in Lake Bonavista, the “Downs” are adjacent to Bow Bottom Trail has more affordable single-family homes.
Shouldice Athletic Park: This is a huge complex off Home Road NW on the south side of the Bow River west of downtown. During the season, there is always league play and tournaments going on. There are four fields for softball and two ball diamonds with permanent public washroom facilities and a concession. There are also football fields in this park, an arena and indoor pool. There's also a batting cage for rent. The Shouldice area is next door to Parkdale, Montgomery and Bowness just a short distance north west of downtown Calgary.
Renfrew Athletic Park: This park is located in the northeast in the community of Renfrew just south of the Trans Canada Highway. There are two softball fields, one of which is fenced. There's a barbecue area for team celebrations post-game and there are washrooms. IT's next door to Henry Viney and Stu Hendry arenas and an indoor pool at 813—13 Ave NE. The Renfrew/Tuxedo area is an older community with smaller homes and new infills.
Silver Springs: Next door to the Silver Springs Community Association building in the northwest is a park maintained by the City of Calgary with an adult softball field, used frequently during the season by adult rec leagues. Silver Springs is a community of single and multi-family homes along the Bow River escarpment west of Crowchild Trail next to the Silver Springs Golf Course. Homes on the western edge of the community have fantastic views of the valley and mountains beyond.
The Best Softball Leagues in Calgary
There is no denying the popularity of the sport of softball, where families, friends, coworkers and strangers alike hit the fields around Calgary along with the arrival of warmer weather. Whether one wants to get involved or simply root on a local team, here are some of the most popular Calgary softball leagues to consider.
Softball Calgary Leagues
While somewhat of a newcomer to the softball league scene in Calgary, Softball Calgary was originally established as a 'spillover' home for extra teams. However, it has grown to become a favourite of teams, who typically return year after year due to how smoothy the league runs. Currently, they support 17 leagues citywide including slo-pitch, fast pitch and mixed divisions.
Calgary Media Slo-Pitch League
The Calgary MediaSlo-pitch League started in 1977, and single and double-header games are played in the evenings at Optimist Park. It's a 7/3 mixed rotation played on fully fenced diamonds and are refereed by Softball Canada umpires. The season finishes off with a playoff tournament weekend. Teams need not be media affiliated to join the league—just ready for good, clean fun.
Calgary Women's Fast-pitch Association
This organization has been giving females in Calgary age 14 and up the opportunity to participate in fast-pitch softball competitively since 1955. Ladies can play the game at either an 'A' or 'B' level depending on experience and skill level to keep a level playing field. Overall, the Calgary Women's Fast-pitch Association runs a first class league with top competition.
Calgary Men's/Ladies/Coed Slow Pitch League (CMLC)
Founded in 1972 as the Calgary Men's Slo-pitch League by a few friends wanting to organize ball games, this established league is now more versatile. As the Calgary Men's/Ladies/Coed Slow Pitch League (CMLC) since 2011, this organization serves a diverse audience of sportsmen and sportswomen. Any level of skill is welcome amid this recreational softball league who have a love of the game or desire to learn.
There are numerous softball leagues in Calgary that are open to new teams, organizers and even volunteers, so there are numerous ways to get involved in the game—even if choosing not to be a player.