Get your glove, softball season nears

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 18, 2011

Winter appears to be over and things outside are turning green, which means one season is ending and another will begin.

But spring isn’t the only season beginning.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m talking about softball. Kids are putting away their basketball uniforms and pulling out the old ball and glove.

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As the children begin tossing the ball around the yard, the Natchez-Adams Girls Softball League is tossing around a new idea of its own — a 3- and 4-year-old pony tail league.

This year, the softball league has added a division to help the younger age group prepare for their upcoming years of softball.

Many of the older girls have little sisters who want to play like big girls and this will give them the opportunity to start with the basics.

Along with the new pony tail league, another change was made for the 13- to 18-year-old age division. This group will move up to fast pitch this year. Two years ago the league changed the league from slow pitch to fast pitch, except for the older group of girls. The change for this group was the hardest decision, but, as a whole the league’s board decided that it was time to change the older group to be fast pitch along with the rest of the league. Now all ages from coach-pitch through 18 will be playing fast pitch in Natchez.

Around the community there seems to have been some question as to whether or not Natchez was going to have a softball league this year. Where this incorrect information originated has yet to be determined. As a clarification for all parents and girls of Natchez who may have been misled, the league will be playing softball in Natchez as it has for more than four decades.

Many of you probably wonder how the girls are formed into a team. Around the Miss-Lou there are several different leagues, baseball and softball, and not one of them chooses teams the same way.

Girls in the Natchez-Adams Softball League are placed in a draft and coaches draw numbers to determine the order of selection. Then each coach chooses their team in order of the number consecutively drawn.

This seems to be the least biased way to keep teams from being stacked. This technique has been successful for more than 20 years, and while girls may not always end up on the same team as their best friends, they always leave the season with new friendships.

The league was formed for recreation and the development of the talent of young girls. The league was not formed to serve a league of only all-star quality players. However, the league does support post-season all-star teams. All girls of every ability should have an equal opportunity to play softball. After league season ends the league supports the girls from the league who are selected for all-star play.

This system gives all girls of any ability a season of softball, and once regular season is finished the girls who play at a different skill level can test their talent against other all-star teams. So get out your glove and get registered for a new season of softball. Girls may register at Sports Center through Saturday.

Let’s play ball!

Bridget Wactor is on the Natchez-Adams Girls Softball League board.