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Young: Play ball!

Park district softball leagues provide something for everyone

Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 11:54 a.m. CDT

It’s spring — that time when a young — or even not-so-young — man’s fancy turns to thoughts of … well, baseball. A young woman’s, too, for that matter. From leagues for men aged 30 and over to co-ed and women’s leagues, the St. Charles Park District offers a wide variety of options and opportunities for anyone interested in pursuing our great national past time at two gorgeous local venues.

Arguably the oldest and most popular of the park district’s athletic programs, softball leagues attract hundreds of participants annually at both Pottawatomie Park and the East Side Sports Complex. With more than 100 sanctioned teams of 10 to 20 players, softball leagues combine fun and friendship – along with some healthy competition, of course.

Many teams are comprised of co-workers, while others are made up of friends from the same neighborhood. One team boasts three generations of the same family, from grandfather to grandson, according to Melissa Caine, Athletic Supervisor, while yet another team has been together for more than twenty-five years. And if a player doesn’t have a team affiliation but still would like to be part of a league, Caine can take names and fill in slots when they open up.

The park district offers five different league options. There’s a “Men’s 12-inch Recreational” league for men age 18 and older that adheres to straight United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) rules and guidelines for a 6- to 12-ft. pitching arc. The “Men’s 30+ Softball League” plays at Pottawatomie Park, where a strict no-home-run limit is imposed due to concerns for the safety of other park visitors. The “Men’s Leisure League” is a Sunday afternoon 12-softball league that frequently runs double-header schedules culminating in a post-season tournament. Women aged 18 and above not only have their own league and tournaments, they also can opt to play in the park district’s co-ed league.

“It’s a fun activity that’s open to everyone,” says Caine, “even if you’ve never played before.” While most league slots are already filled for the 2013 season, there are still openings for the “Men’s Leisure League” that plays on Sundays at Pottawatomie Park. Individuals who are interested in joining this, or any other league, are encouraged to contact Melissa Caine at 630-513-4336.

Erika Young is public relations and marketing manager for the St. Charles Park District.

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