Drumheller's ball diamonds are in need of some work if the sports of baseball, fastball and slo-pitch are going to continue to grow locally.
That was the message delivered to Monday's town council meeting by the presidents of the Drumheller Minor Baseball Association and Drumheller Girls Softball Association.
"It's been growing quite a bit over the last few years and we expect it to continue to grow," said baseball boss Lyle Caweizel, who has seen the number of kids playing minor ball more than triple to 150 in the past five years. "It's a busy couple months, but we manage to make it work, pray for good weather and (hope) everything goes smoothly."
Caweizel and fastball president Kent Jensen argued the Rosedale ball field is often unplayable because of drainage issues, while the Midland, Little League and Newcastle diamonds are all overly busy. Jensen said it's a good thing that the three ball organizations are able to juggle diamonds as they need to.
"We have to. With the amount of diamonds we've got, if we start fighting against one another, then we're in for a world of trouble."
Girls fastball currently plays at the Newcastle Number One diamond, but Jensen said they'll need new chain link on the backstop, as several players have hurt themselves on protruding wire. He added they're hoping to host at least one provincial tournament next year.
Caweizel asked the town for improvements to Newcastle Number Three, which is currently a slo-pitch diamond, so it would be big enough to accomodate older baseball players.
"Just some renovations to the diamonds, the existing ones that we have, just to make them useable for our kids as they get into the Bantam and Midget age and we have a place to continue to play ball."
The work would have to be done by the end of April, 2018 to be ready for the new season. They also asked the town to consider converting the old tennis courts beside the Aquaplex to batting cages.
Town councillors appeared warm to the idea, although a decision won't be made before the next council meeting on September 18.