Summer ball leads into fall

web cityThe Houston City League summer baseball and softball season kept the fields full of children, youth, parents and supporters this spring and closed out with a recognition and trophy ceremony June 14.

Park and Recreation Director John Gravat said this year’s league hosted 37 teams and 424 players, requiring the support of a lot of volunteers who came through like true champions.
“Our coaches, most definitely,” said Gravat about people on his list of thanks and added local businesses and civic clubs were due a big nod of gratitude. “We had very good support. We had several new sponsors and we even did a Park and Rec team this year.”
The revenue produced by the summer league is designated to return to the program to cover operating costs and expand more programs for youth. Gravat said there are two new projects on the table that will be launched this fall.
“We’re going to play fall ball this year,” Gravat said, explaining the program is basically an extension of the summer program and has been requested by players and parents as an additional recreation program.
Following registration in July, teams will be divided by age groups and will play baseball and softball beginning in August and running through mid-September.
“We’ll put three-, four- and five-years-olds together and six, seven and eight,” Gravat said. “We’ll have to see about nine and above, depending on how many we have at registration.”
The fall ball league will be more casual than the summer league.
“It’s what (Mayor) Stacey Parker calls backyard ball,” Gravat smiled. “We’re not going to do uniforms, we’ll just choose up teams and play. We’re trying to make it as cheap as possible to keep the kids playing.”
The season is projected to begin around Aug. 5 and run through mid-September.
“About six weeks, 8-12 games per team,” Gravat said.
Registration for fall ball will be held July 22-27 at Houston City Hall with a $20 activity fee.

And on into fall
Another project slated for fall is a youth flag football league. Gravat said the program is still in the organizational stage but will begin in the fall of 2013.
The plan is to get the program started around the first of September with registration, team selection and practices and to play the month of October. Flag football will overlap fall ball and Gravat is working out the details now.
“This will run togther, same time, and it’s new to me, too,” Gravat smiled. “Hopefully we can get the teams picked and start practice around the 16th of September and play the games in October.”
For more information about Park and Rec programs, contact Gravat at 456-2328 or 542-9139.