PROSPERITY — Dixie Youth baseball is now split in Newberry County with the formation of a new franchise in Prosperity.
The Town of Prosperity, Mid-Carolina Dixie Youth and the S.C. Dixie Youth organization have decided to establish a new boundary — Prosperity — for Dixie Youth minors and majors.
The Mid-Carolina Dixie Youth executive board, the Town of Prosperity and S.C. Dixie Youth members met Jan. 3 to discuss redrawing the current Mid-Carolina franchise boundaries for the minors and majors in Dixie Youth baseball.
“With the two franchises now all of Newberry County kids can play Dixie Youth Baseball,” said Rickey Polson, director of the S.C. Dixie Youth’s District 3. “When they sign up to play all kids that were registered last season have a choice to play for the current Mid-Carolina franchise or the new franchise, Prosperity.
“Any new players signing up must play according to which boundaries they live in,” he added. “This is very important and all parents need to know this when they register their kids. I have asked both leagues to have a map and ask the parents to show where they live to verify this so the kids sign up in the correct league. They cannot live in the Prosperity boundaries and play in the Mid-Carolina league.”
The new franchise will include Prosperity, Whitmire, Gallman, half of Newberry and all of Reuben Elementary school districts. The current Mid-Carolina franchise includes Little Mountain, Pomaria, Boundary Street and half of Newberry Elementary school districts.
The boundaries will be revisited at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
For this year only, parents can choose either Mid-Carolina or Prosperity and upon that selection, the child competes in that franchise until 13 years old.
After the first year, each participant must register to play with their respective franchise as determined by the participant’s residence. If a participant is cut during try-outs from either franchise, they can request the other franchise allow them to play in their league.
“The Town of Prosperity will make every effort to comply with the wishes of S.C. Dixie Youth baseball and is looking forward to providing this opportunity to all who wish to participate,” said Prosperity Councilman Chad Hawkins.
According to Dixie Youth rules, a franchised league limits its defined boundary to a maximum population of 20,000. League are not allowed to draw players from an area with more than a 20,000 population limit.
Andy Moore, president of the Mid-Carolina Dixie Youth, said the Prosperity franchise is at its 20,000 population limit while Mid-Carolina’s franchise is under the 20,000 population limit.
Moore said they have to abide by the S.C. Dixie Youth rules. Mid-Carolina will now have to find a new venue in which to play ball.
“We do have choices,” he said, with Little Mountain’s Lindler field being one of them. Prosperity will play on Prosperity’s field in town.
The 2010 census indicated the population within the currently franchised boundary has exceeded this limit, meaning a new boundary had to be established, Polson said.
The decision to grant a new franchise was up to the S.C. Dixie Youth executives, although there were many ideas thrown around about redrawing boundaries.
Dixie Youth Baseball is a developmental and competitive baseball league that aims to grant every child the opportunity to participate in a youth activity that will promote the right attitude, good sportsmanship, a sense of responsibility as well as community involvement and to allow all participants that play during the regular season to be eligible for post season play.