PROSPERITY — It might still be winter but youth baseball is garnering attention as parents in the Mid-Carolina area figure out where their children will play youth baseball.
Prosperity recently announced the formation of a Dixie Youth franchise and Mid-Carolina Dixie Youth has transformed into a Little League franchise causing parents to ask where should their child play. The decision to grant the new franchise to Prosperity was made by S.C. Dixie Youth executives.
Mid-Carolina Little League held a meeting Sunday afternoon at Wightman U.M.C. to answer questions and to register interested applicants.
The two leagues just want to offer children — between the ages of 8 and 12 for Dixie Youth or 7 and 13 for Little League — the opportunity to play baseball.
At the Little League meeting, Mid-Carolina Little League board members — who are from the former Mid-Carolina Dixie Youth — answered questions about the new league.
“This will be a huge learning curve,” said Glen Landry, director of the Little League District 3, which includes Mid-Carolina, Irmo, Trenholm Park (Columbia), North Augusta and Newberry.
Two divisions will exist: Little League minors for 7-11 year olds and intermediates for 11-13 year olds. The reason for the overlap is because an 11 year old might feel more comfortable playing with the younger team or older team.
Other divisions the Mid-Carolina board will look at in the future include softball and T-ball, said Chris Cromer, Mid-Carolina vice president.
Cromer recommended that parents visit the official Little League website — www.littleleague.org — for more information.
As for boundaries, Little League will “pretty much cover the Mid-Carolina attendance area,” said Cromer. It goes all the way up to the city limits of Newberry, Cromer pointed out.
“This year is the only year that you may be grandfathered in (from outside the Mid-Carolina area),” Cromer said. “If your child lives in Mid-Carolina’s attendance area, you don’t have to make a decision this year. As long as you are in the attendance area, you are always eligible.”
Little League also has a sibling clause, which allows younger siblings to follow older siblings, Cromer said.
Cromer said the Pomaria ball field and Little Mountain Ruritan building or Lindler field are guaranteed as locations for play. The Stoney Hill and Jollystreet fields are still in the discussion stages.
“A place to play will not be an issue,” he said.
For registration, a birth certificate and three proofs of residency are required. The last date for registration is Feb. 2 at the Pomaria ball field, Little Mountain Ruritan or Wightman U.M.C. Parents can also contact Cromer at 513-6232 or Andy Moore at 924-1459.
Teams include 12 to 14 players. Moore said they were never opposed to the two franchises but “looking at the census numbers, we didn’t feel like we could survive with the cards we were dealt.”
If Mid-Carolina had stayed a Dixie Youth franchise, they would have only been left with Pomaria, Little Mountain and Boundary Street.
Anyone who wants to volunteer for Little League must under go a background check. Interested volunteers can ask Cromer or Moore for more details. Questions about Little League can be directed to Moore or Cromer.
Dixie Youth baseball
The new Prosperity franchise includes Prosperity, Whitmire, Gallman, half of Newberry and all of Reuben Elementary school districts. Prosperity is also in District 3 for Dixie Youth.
Parents can sign their children up at Prosperity Town Hall or the Newberry Y. Dixie Youth also has two leagues, minors for those 8-10 and majors for those 11-12 years old. Registration continues until all teams fill up or until Feb. 15. The total number of registrants (both new and returning) will determine the number of teams and the draft process.
Contact Prosperity Town Hall at 364-2622 for more information.