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Vidalia girls softball looking for umpires

VIDALIA — The Vidalia Girls Softball League is in need of more officiating.

Signup is coming up in several weeks for the summer softball league, and league director Greg Young said filling out rosters for the teams isn’t his only concern. With the new Concordia Parish Recreation District 3 Complex comes the chance for more teams. And more teams means more umpires are needed.

“We are needing umpires pretty badly,” Young said. “We have more fields and more games, and we’re going to be needing more umpires than we already have.”

Young said a few umpires want to move to working part-time, and he’s willing to employ high school students that would like to earn some money umpiring youth games.

“We’ll train them ourselves at our cost as far as getting them certified,” Young said. “For high school kids, it makes good money.”

Young also said he’s looking to expand the league’s Challenger’s Division, which allows both male and female players ages 3 to 21 with a disability to play with other disabled athletes. The league adopted the Challenger’s Division last summer, and approximately 18 players participated.

“It’s for any disability whatsoever,” Young said. “Any child with difficulty playing regular ball can play.”

There is no cost to play in the Challenger’s Division, nor is there a limit to the number of players, Young said, and the athletes don’t have to be local.

“I love for there to be 100 (players), and they can live in any town,” Young said. “They could live as far off as Brookhaven and McComb. We just want to see them have fun.”

The old recreation baseball fields behind Vidalia Lower Elementary will still be used for practices, though Young said the league will also make use of practice fields at the new complex. Having a new complex makes a big difference in allowing the league to sign up more children, Young said.

“We’ve been running into trouble with practice fields — we run out of them (at the old complex) because we have a lot more kids playing,” Young said. “It’s a privilege to have this new complex built.”

Signup will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. February 23 and March 2 at the Concordia Parish Recreation District 3 Complex. Registration is $60 per children ages 3 to 18 for regular summer ball. For more information, or to inquire about becoming an umpire, call Young at 601-870-6003.