As Sam Steele weekend gets set to kick off, Cranbrook will be buzzing with sports activities running from baseball, soccer, bocce and basketball.
There will be all kinds of opportunities to check out the different events, which will be running from Friday to Sunday.
Sam Steele Ball
One of the premier events of Sam Steele Days is the annual Sam Steele ball tournament, which is a huge event on the map for baseball teams with a draw all around Western Canada. There are three divisions of 60 teams, which consist of mixed competitive, mixed rec and mixed fun.
There are new organizers this year, as a few community groups have banded together to take over from the Junior Chamber International — Kootenay.
Cranbrook Minor Ball Association, Cranbrook Mixed Slopitch, Cranbrook Men’s Baseball and the Rocky Mountain Bandits have all pitched in to organize the tournament, with proceeds going to capital improvements to all ball parks in Cranbrook.
Baseball action will be going on at both the Kinsmen Quad ball park and the Moir Park ball diamonds all day from Friday, June 14 to Sunday, June 16. Spectators are welcome to come check out the action and refreshment gardens will be on site at both locations.
If baseball isn’t your thing, you can head to Moir Park and watch teams hit the soccer pitch as teams from various age divisions in the Kootenay East Youth Soccer Association suit up and go to work. The event is a big draw, attracting over 50 teams from from Alberta, B.C. and the Northwest U.S. The tournament will be running all day on Saturday and Sunday on the Moir Park soccer fields.
Balls of Steele Bocce Tournament
Steel yourselves for the ridiculous as teams hit the bocce pits, which have been moved this year to Baker Park. The tournament is a one-day event, which kicks off on Friday morning and runs late into the evening. Prizes of up to $250 are awarded to the winners for teams that play in a men’s, women’s, and mixed divisions, while the best costumed team also gets recognized.
Arguably one of the highlights of the sporting events during Sam Steele Days is the Strongman Competition, which has done nothing but grow since it began 10 years ago. Spectators can line 10th Avenue alongside Rotary Park and check out the action, which includes the harness truck pull, atlas stones, super yolk, car deadlift, log press and medley. Action kicks off on Saturday from noon to 4:30 p.m.
Sam Steele Slam
If you can’t afford the airfare and ticket prices to the NBA final in San Antonio, don’t worry, Mount Baker Secondary School will be hosting a three-on-three basketball tournament as part of the Sam Steele Days celebration. Teams competing in boys and girls age divisions of U13, U15, U17 and open will be hitting the courts with a guaranteed four games. Champions in each divisions are awarded a prize. The tournament runs all day on Saturday, with a concession on hand. The event is a fundraiser for the high school senior basketball teams.
The Wildhorse Cycling Club is hitting up some local trails in a poker ride, with cards being collected at separate stations along the way. Anyone who wants to participate must be a member, but joining the club only comes with a $20 fee. there is a $2 buy-in at the start location, as riders will hit up the Hobgoblin and Chewbacca Loops, and the best hand will win a cash prize. There will also be a free barbecue afterwards. The event runs for three hours on Saturday afternoon, starting at 3 p.m. at Pat and John’s house at 1820 Mt. Connel Crescent in the Park Royal neighbourhood.
There’s water polo, and traditional polo, but Sam Steele Days is breaking new ground with bike polo, which will be going on in front of the Post Office building on 1st St. Teams consist of three players using their bikes, in the place of horses, using mallets to score on the opposing team. The event kicks off on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The College of the Rockies boasts an impressive and challenging disc golf course, and Sam Steele Days is a perfect excuse to host a tournament. Registration ($10 fee) and a players meeting begins at 5:30 on Saturday evening, with a tee off a half an hour later.