Youth baseball, softball registration begins Jan. 4

Published 10:53 am Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Registration for youth softball and baseball opens Jan. 4 for the 2016 season. (Contributed)

Registration for youth softball and baseball opens Jan. 4 for the 2016 season. (Contributed)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— Children interested in playing youth baseball or softball through Pelham Parks and Recreation can register during the month of January in the park office.

Families can register Jan. 9 or Jan. 23 at the Parks and Recreation office from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., or they can set up a time with the park for registration between Jan. 4 and Jan. 29. The last day to register is Jan. 29 at 11 a.m.

“I think it’s going to be a fun adventure,” Parks and Recreation director Billy Crandall said of the 2016 season. “We’ve got two teams (for sure) that will be coming back that will be playing in the park.”

Crandall said they have softball and baseball teams every year, but this year they are doing things a little differently. He said interest in baseball has declined over the last 15 years, and it is happening in every community.

To integrate travel and recreational baseball in Pelham, they are interlocking play with Alabaster, Helena, Calera and Montevallo. Crandall said this would allow athletes to play in both travel games and rec games.

“Its sort of a new thing and a way to partner with the surrounding cities to see if we can make this happen,” Crandall said. “Hopefully it’ll work out well.”

The idea came from the way Pelham Parks and Recreation does basketball, according to Crandall. This will allow the interlocked cities to host tournaments within themselves and have enough fields for rec and travel play.

“It’s going to be an interesting thing,” Crandall said. “I think it’ll be fun.”

He said it will likely be a slow process to get started, but he is happy to be able to offer players the opportunity for both rec and travel ball.

Also new this year is the affiliation with the Dizzy Dean Youth Baseball organization. This means the teams can attend the World Series if they win.

The changes and additions to the baseball teams will be the same for the softball teams. If the softball teams win, they will also have the opportunity to attend the World Series.

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