TPRD begins softball, baseball registration

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 28, 2001

Sports Editor

Jan. 29, 2001 10 PM

Starting on Monday the Troy Parks and Recreation Department will begin registration for youth league softball and baseball, concluding the process on Feb. 3.

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TPRD Youth Sports Director Vaughn Daniels and the staff are looking forward to the new season, which begins on Saturday April 7th.

This year, Daniels said he hopes to make the registration process go as smooth as possible, especially considering that all players who competed last season are stored in the TPRD’s computer database. Birth certificates have been scanned into the database, which should help eliminate the constant need of filling out registration forms.

"We have to have the registration process completed no later then the first week in March, because by then we’ll be needing to order uniforms for the teams," said Daniels. "We have a very shot window to work with as far as getting the players processed, getting them on a team and allowing for practice time."

Over 900 youngsters competed in youth baseball last year, a number which Daniels said was down from previous years.

"We have had the number up to 1,100 kids during years past," he said. "We hope that our numbers will go back up this year."

Daniels said he’s also looking for new coaches or anyone who is willing to volunteer their time.

"Once we get all the applications in we’ll be looking to determine who will be coaching what team," he said. "That will be determined by the number of people we have signing up to coach and how many kids we have on each team. But we’re always in the need of good coaches, especially in the younger age groups such as 5-year-olds through 8-year-olds. We always have a problem recruiting coaches for that age group."

Daniels said, in the past, he’s also had problems getting coaches for the girl’s softball leagues.

"Hopefully this year that won’t be a problem. I have had people express interest in coaching girl’s softball this season," he said.

Eight years of age is a crucial time in the development of a baseball or softball player. Daniels said teams in an eight-year old league have a pitching machine on the mound, which allows the girls to become adjusted to

fastpitch softball while the boys become accustomed to the overhand pitch of the upper age leagues.

So by the time Opening Day arrives, the TPRD should have everything in place.

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate a bit more. Last season, dark clouds and heavy winds made for a dreary morning, while family, players and coaches wondered if there would be any ball played that day at all. Thunderstorms seemed imminent.

Eventually the sun arrived and the day went on as planned.

However, Daniels considers last season a success.

"There have been plenty of times before when we’ve had to cancel Opening Day and then reschedule," he said. "The rescheduling thing usually doesn’t work because not as many people come out."