The weather was again the story at the 9th Annual Peter DeVries Invitational Tournament this weekend. When organizers left for the evening on Saturday with all the round robin games completed, there was optimism that all the remaining games of the tournament would be completed as scheduled on Sunday. The weather forecast Sunday called for scattered showers throughout the day, as was the case on Saturday. However, the rain did not let up overnight, and it was a struggle to get the diamonds at both Goldstick and John Fry Park into playable condition when organizers arrived in the morning.
As the first games wore on and the rains became more unrelenting, it was clear that the conditions would not allow the tournament to continue. The conditions became more difficult for the players and umpires, and the fields deteriorated even further. As a result, The City of Edmonton closed all sports fields for the balance of the day on Sunday, and if the forecast for more showers holds true, it is unlikely that the fields would be playable again until the rains have stopped and he weather allows for the fields to dry.
This is the second time in the tournamentís nine year history that the event had to be cancelled due to weather. In 2011, the entire tournament was cancelled after the first day of play. There have been rain delays and rescheduling as a result of odd rainfall in previous years, but no weather issues have forced the cancellation of the entire competition. This year, however, there were 14 games played out of a total of 17 games scheduled. It was an unfortunate outcome due to the fact that the remaining games had the biggest impact on the competition, and that the tournament could not declare a winner for the second straight year.
Teams and coaches were advised of the change of plans, and the teams from Prince George, Ft. McMurray and Calgary began their journey home. The tournament organizers wish to thank all the teams who entered the tournament, the umpires who arranged their schedules to cover the games, and all the volunteers who spent countless hours organizing the event, particularly tournament director Dave Shedden. This is Daveís fourth year participating in the tourney, and third year as its director. Although Dave is more likely to give all the credit to his army of volunteers, his leadership once again provided the platform for the tournament to continue to improve upon the successes from previous years.
Many thanks to all the volunteers who took all the time and effort to make the 9th Annual Peter DeVries Invitational a success despite the unfortunate decision to cancel the tournament so close to the finish line. The Edmonton Cardinals will soon begin the process of planning the 10th Annual tournament in 2013, and look forward to seeing everyone back next year!