Little League hosts Fall Ball, seeks parent volunteers
Summer may end in September, but that’s no reason to stop playing ball. The Lower Sussex Little League (LSLL) is already planning Fall Ball for Sundays this autumn, Sept. 9 to Oct. 22.
Youth ages 6 to 16 will be able to participate in baseball and softball sessions, but the game needs parental support.
“The primary goal is just for the kids to have fun,” said Tracy Littleton, LSLL board president. “It’s just something I think the kids will get a lot more out of.”
Instead of joining permanent teams, players would attend alternate two-hour sessions (11 a.m. or 1 p.m.) and be on a different team each week. Plus, they’d learn the field positions because they’d rotate positions each week, perhaps playing where they couldn’t during the regular season.
Instructional coaches would even remain in the outfield or at bat, not switching to offense or defense with the players. Teams might do some drills, but they’d basically play for the entire two hours. Coaches might even pause the game to discuss instruction or give tips.
“We’re going to take the competitiveness of it out of it,” Littleton said. “The main focus is on having fun!”
Littleton tested Fall Ball with a few coaches last year, and he said the players enjoyed it. This spring, almost 70 percent of Little League players expressed an interest in a fall league.
“It’s going give the kids an opportunity to get an idea of what it’s like in the next level,” said Littleton. “They’ll meet new friends in an environment that’s a lot more fun. I’m starting compare it to a sandlot.”
However, parent volunteers are needed before Fall Ball is offered to anyone.
“Most of our board members coach soccer or football in the fall, so without more parents stepping up to help, we will not be able to offer Fall Ball,” Littleton explained on the LSLL Facebook page.
Parents are needed to help coach, organize teams and run the concession stand. Littleton said they will put their individual talents to the best use. Some knowledge of baseball and softball is preferred for instructional coaches.
An estimated 25 parents had volunteered to help as of July 30, but Littleton said 10 to 12 people are needed for each session.
If enough volunteers sign up to support Fall Ball, registration forms will be posted online at the www.eteamz.com/lowersussex. The fee for each child would be $25.
Parents interested volunteering can contact Tracy Littleton at firstname.lastname@example.org.