St. Charles recreation department rolls out new baseball leagues for 2008

From staff and wire reports
March 26, 2008 at 3:54 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

EVALUATIONS. A St. Charles Parish baseball player has his batting skills evaluated at the West Bank Bridge Park on March 6.
EVALUATIONS. A St. Charles Parish baseball player has his batting skills evaluated at the West Bank Bridge Park on March 6.
Kids returning for the 2008 recreational baseball season in St. Charles Parish will be ready to play competitively thanks to a new reorganization effort.

The Department of Recreation is splitting baseball players from 9 to 14 years of age into two skill-based leagues in advance of the spring season, which starts April 1.

Outside volunteer evaluators - including former college coaches and players - reviewed the skills of each player earlier this month. Each was scored in fielding ground balls, catching fly balls, arm strength, hitting and pitching.

"We're trying to keep the kids playing at the same talent level," said Randy Roth, recreation assistant director.

More highly skilled players were placed in the "American League." The league will be made up of six teams that will represent the entire parish, Roth said. All of its games will be stationed at either the West Bank or East Bank Bridge Parks in Luling and Destrehan. The even number of teams means tournament play will never be off-balance.

Players with room for improvement were placed in the "National League." The league will be made up of teams that will represent individual booster clubs in towns all across the parish. Towns will play against each other for an annual title. Teams will hail from Destrehan, Mimosa, St. Rose, Des Allemands and Luling.

"It's really all about making average players good and good players great," Recreation Department Director Duane Foret said.

The move addresses some parents' concerns that competition in the program was unevenly matched. The last time players were split into leagues was 2005, when they were called "Franchise" and "Recreation."

"We just want to be able to provide good quality programs where people can watch some competition," Foret said.

Cox Cable Channel 6 in St. Charles Parish is currently airing a segment about the reorganization, which includes reaction from coaches, players and parents affected by the change.

For more information about the St. Charles Parish Parks and Recreation Department or its programs, call 985-783-5090, e-mail dforet@stcharlesgov.net or visit www.stcharlesgov.net/departments/parks.htm.

The mission of St. Charles Parish Government is to provide high quality, efficient services to sustain and enhance the quality of life for all residents of St. Charles Parish.




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