Encouraging a fall ball revival

Published 10:56 am Wednesday, September 6, 2017

For the second consecutive year, Lunenburg Girls’ Softball (LGS) will have a reduced presence this fall due to lack of participation in fall ball.

Last year, LGS did not have enough girls signing up to form teams at any age level. This year, the organization had enough girls in two out of four age levels to combine them and field a team in one age level — Belles, which is intended for ages 13 to 15.

LGS Commissioner Tony Matthews said he thinks the lack of participation is “a culmination of a lot of different things. Of course one thing is there are a lot of opportunities for kids to do a lot of different sports. So not taking anything away from any other sport, it’s just a lot of options out there for kids in today’s world.”

Other sports opportunities in the fall for girls include soccer and cheerleading.

“A lot of kids try to do two (sports), but the overlap in scheduling is usually the culprit in not allowing (them) to do both successfully,” Matthews said.

He noted that the decline in fall recreational sports participation is unique neither to Lunenburg nor softball but rather true across all of District 1 and in every sport.

“It’s been a growing trend,” Matthews said. “Less kids are participating in recreational sports, and I don’t know where they’re going, but they’re not in recreational sports.”

I’d like to encourage girls in the area to come back out for fall ball if they are simply opting to hold off until the spring. LGS still has good spring participation numbers, but the fall is an important training ground since each age group has a different set of rules.

Matthews said fall ball give girls “a chance to acclimate themselves to the rule changes before they have to go cold turkey in the spring.”

It also strengthens bonds among players and improves the quality of spring play, making a trip to the World Series all the more attainable.

Titus Mohler is sports editor for The K-V Dispatch. His email address is Titus.Mohler@KVDispatch.com.