To the editor:
We have a great thing going on Fort Myers Beach. It is the over age 55 pick-up, slow pitch softball program at Bay Oaks. We gather each Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. and play softball for 90-minutes to two hours. We choose up teams with the men and women who are there and have a great time. Bay Oaks provides the balls, some bats, the ball field (it is really first class), a few bats and we do the rest. There is no umpire and everyone hits and plays the field. And the best part is that it is free.
I had not played for more than 30 years when I first joined the group last year and found that most of my skills, though not the speed and reactions, have returned. We take turns playing different positions, and there is no pressure on anyone. It is just great fun.
We invite anyone age 55 or over to join us even if you are just visiting Fort Myers Beach for a week or two or a permanent resident. If you don't have a glove, come anyway we will share.
We simply put teams together when we get there each day. If we have 15 or less players, we break into three teams of four or five so we always have at least eight or nine people (two teams) in the field with one team of four or five hitting until they get three outs. This works well since everyone gets to bat a few more times and play different positions in the field. The team batting also catches.
As the season gets along, we usually get more folks showing up and once we get to 17 to 20 people we can play with just two teams of 8, 9 or 10 each. If we get a few more players we still put them in the field and let them bat.
The idea is to have some fun and get everyone an opportunity to get the rust off and play some fun softball again.
Sometimes we get fewer folks on Tuesdays so when that happens we just do a couple rounds of batting and fielding practice for 90 minutes.
We don't use any umpires and often we give more than three strikes so everyone gets to hit the ball. There are no walks.
We have folks from all over the U.S. and with pretty wide range of skills.
A few of the guys play in summer age 55 and over leagues back home and a few even play in the competitive age 55 and over leagues in Naples and Fort Myers (I think Fort Myers has four or five teams).
My wife and I have owned a unit here in Fort Myers Beach for several years and make great use of the facilities at Bay Oaks. It is a great facility and well programmed.
Fort Myers Beach