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Softball league opens registration in advance

With the hockey season winding down and what little snow we had now a distant memory, the Elmira Minor Softball Association is looking to put baseball on the minds of Elmira’s young athletes and their parents.
The group hopes to boost enrolment for its house league teams, and is searching for a few more sponsors, coaches, and a convener for the league.

“After we got all the warm weather earlier this year we did start to get a lot of calls, but now since it’s gotten colder things have quieted down,” said Cathy Mendler, one of the EMSA’s organizers.

House league softball is co-ed and has four separate divisions: t-ball, which is for players born in 2007 and 2008, rookie ball (2005-2006), junior ball (2002-2004), and senior ball (1999-2001). Teams play twice a week, except for t-ball, which is only on Tuesdays.

The EMSA also has a boys’ travelling rep team that plays in the North Waterloo Rural Minor Softball League comprised of peewee (1998-1999) and bantam (1996-1997) aged players.

The house league teams had about 85 players in all last season, but so far only about 45 have signed up for the 2012 season. The EMSA did have two signup days last month, Mar. 8 and 10, but Mendler said because the township spring information booklets didn’t hit the streets until after their signup days had passed, that may be why enrolment is down.

The league is also looking for a convener after long-time volunteer Greg Brubacher chose to step down this year because of family reasons, Mendler said.

“We want to thank Greg, who got things going again in house league three years ago, for all the hard work he’s done.”

The responsibilities of the convener range from dividing players into the different teams, to arranging the diamond times with township staff. Mendler said that she and her husband, Brian Blaxall, would help the new convener until they learned the ropes of the position, as he is the convener for the rep league.

“Some of the stuff is already basically in place it’s just a matter of making a few phone calls or emails,” Mendler said.

After a decade-long hiatus in Elmira due to low registration numbers, softball returned in 2009 thanks to the efforts of Brubacher in the form of the EMSA.

As Elmira began to grow, Brubacher noted an increasing interest in the renewal of a softball league for young players, and Mendler said this interest continues to this day and they’ve had some great success along the way, noting the midget rep team qualified for the Eastern Canadian Championships last year.

“Kids will gravitate back to a sport if that’s what they like. We’ve had kids play ball, go to soccer, and then they came back. It really depends on the kid.”

Anyone interested in enrolling their children in the Elmira Minor Softball Association, in becoming the league convener, or in sponsoring a team, contact Mendler at (519) 669-1377. The cost to register for a team is $70, or $80 after Apr. 18, and the season runs from the beginning of May to the middle of July.

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