MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. - March Madness might have ended but Youth Sports are still in the swing of things as they started practicing for baseball and T-Ball April 15.
“There are many changes in the works for youth sports this year,” said Lindsay Payne, assistant director, Youth Sports. “We hope the children and their parents will find them exciting and have more fun this year than in the previous years.”
For fair and equal play for all youth athletes, there are four different divisions in the Youth Sports baseball leagues: T-Ball, Minors, Majors and Coaches Pitch.
T-Ball, for ages five through six, is an introduction for children to develop baseball skills and have fun. There are also Minors and Majors are for nine- through 12-year-olds.
The last division is Coaches Pitch for ages seven and eight. Coaches Pitch takes the ball off the tee and puts it in either the hands of the coach or a machine that pitches to the child. In the Youth Sports’ version, if the batter gets three strikes from the machine, the child has the option to have their coach pitch to them two additional times.
As in previous seasons all players receive equal time on the field regardless of skill level. All coaches are volunteers and usually parents of a player. During a game, the coaches will focus on teaching teamwork as well as building and improving their athlete’s skills.
“The team had a great first practice,” said Capt. Jason Pollard, head coach, Diamondbacks, T-Ball. “I thought it would be a little more disorganized but it was excellent. We have some engaged parents, so I think it will be a great year and everyone is going to have a lot of fun.”
Throughout the season, coaches will not place any stress on winning, but will focus on team work and participation. The Youth Sports’ staff is urging parents to not put pressure on the children to win, but to teach them to play to the best of their ability as long as they enjoy it.
The first games are April 20, 2013. For information about the Youth Sports program, call 703-784-5637 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org