The West End Slo-pitch Association (WESA) respectfully acknowledges that we operate, practice, and play on traditional ancestral unceded Coast Salish Territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (
WESA was started in 1978 when gay and lesbian sports minded, fun-loving people gathered on Sunday afternoons at Lord Roberts School playground. 2024 will be our 46th Season!
A volunteer run league, WESA organizes not only softball games but many social events for the membership and LGBT+ community.
Players register as individual or with a friend in early February each year. Teams are formed by a universal player draft held in March. Everyone who joins WESA is drafted by a team and is guaranteed to play. This makes WESA fresh and fun every year. Most games are played at Strathcona Park, with the occasional game held in Stanley Park. The playing season runs from the middle of April to the end of July each summer.
We offer two divisions of competition. Go to Joining the League to learn more.
OUR SOFTBALL SCHEDULE
The softball schedule consists of three parts: the WESA Pre-season, the WESA Pennant Season, and the WESA Cup Weekend. In the WESA Pre-season, the draft process happens to form brand new teams, new & novice players can attend special clinics designed to introduce them to the game, and the new teams practice in preparation to compete for the WESA Pennant (see image). The WESA Pre-season comes to a close with Ice Breaker Sunday.
The bulk of the season consists of a 20-Game WESA Pennant Season finishing mid-July when the League Division Champions are determined. Throughout the season, WESA hosts a series of social events including a Jersey Pick-up Party, Poker Tourney Fundraiser, the Slam! World Series BBQ Fundraiser, Picnic In The Park Sunday, and the Annual WESA Pageant.
Regular competition schedule finishes with the WESA CUP Weekend where all WESA teams meet to playoff at our season ending tournament. The WESA Cup (see image) is played on the final weekend of the playing schedule late in July each year
Our second tournament is open to everyone. Each year WESA organizes the Pacific Cup International Softball Tournament. We host teams from Canada and the USA. This tournament is separate from the league play but many members form teams to play in the Pacific Cup and some of those teams travel to tournaments hosted by our sister leagues throughout North America.
For more about the Pacific Cup please click here.
Since 2008, WESA has been part of the International Pride Softball (formerly NAGAAA). With over 17,000 members, iPride Softball organizes the Gay Softball World Series (GSWS) each year and brings together 54 participating cities and over 5,000 participants and fans.
Playing softball is a great way to get out and enjoy the summer in a fun filled way. You will meet some new friends and play softball.
If you have any questions about WESA, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Commission.
The West-End Slo-pitch Association (WESA), formerly called the West-End Softball Association, was started when gay and lesbian sports-minded, fun-loving people, gathered on Sunday afternoons at Lord Roberts School playground to engage in some recreational softball.
Many folks who came out in those days were members of the Dogwood Monarchist Society. As more interested people joined in, a loosely structured organization of teams took shape.
An executive (Commission) was formed and six gay-business sponsored teams took to the field. WESA's "original six" teams were: The Castle Pub, Neighbours, The Gandydancer, The Playpen Central, The Luv Affair, and The Shaggy Horse.
WESA created two divisions: C and D Divisions, to separate those who respectively strove for a faster more consistently skilled game, and those who desired a more recreational level of play, with each division having 4 teams each.
The league returned to one amalgamated league with no separate divisions.
WESA celebrated it's 20th anniversary season making it the oldest gay and lesbian sports organization in Vancouver. WESA has always welcomed friends of lesbians and gays to join with us in playing slo-pitch softball or joining in our many social activities throughout the season.
As well, WESA expand from 10 to 12 teams with a membership in excess of 155, with a wide cross-section of team sponsors.
WESA returned to two divisions again with the C Division designed for players with a more competitive style of game play and the D Division for players looking for a more recreational feel to the game. Each division had 5 teams in 2004.
WESA celebrated its 30th Anniversary and joins The North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance. NAGAAA organizes the Gay Softball World Series each year and brings together over 40 participating cities.
WESA grows to a record 15 teams! D Division has 10 teams, C Division has 5 teams.
WESA celebrates its 35th year, and grows to a record 16 teams! D Division has 11 teams, C Division has 5 teams.
WESA expands to 18 teams! C Division has 5 teams and D Division has 13 teams with the largest membership of 260 to date.
WESA celebrates its 40th year.
For the first time in our history, the Regular Play Season is cancelled. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we were only able to squeeze in a 3-weekend Summer stint of ball play.
WESA expands to 19 teams! C Division grows to 6 teams with D Division staying strong at 13 teams.
WESA celebrates our 45th Season with some major enhancements! We updated and evolved our structure by pivoting away from the iPride Softball/NAGAAA division structure to tiered divisions, focusing more on the player experience. As well, in preparation for the 2023 Season, the league coordinated the first ever WESA Autumn Coaches' Retreat, bringing the league coaches together in the off-season to discuss the values and goals of the league and how they are reflected in their experiences and those of the members. That spring the Softball Essentials program began, offering all rookies and novice players a structured introduction and review of all the basics of the game.