NORTH LIBERTY– The North Liberty Youth Baseball and Softball league (NLYBS) recently completed its 21st year of providing recreational level baseball and softball opportunities for nearly 900 boys and girls, ages four to 13. While the majority of kids playing in NLYBS are from North Liberty, the league also has participants from Coralville, Solon, Tiffin and other area communities. In the 2013 summer season, NLYBS had 72 teams playing from May through June, with junior and senior softball and baseball teams involved in tournament play to complete the season.
NLYBS teams include T-ball for 4-to-6-year-olds, rookie teams for both boys and girls ages 7-8 years, junior league teams for boys and girls ages 9-10 years, and senior league teams for 11-13 year-olds. As North Liberty continues to grow, so does enrollment in NLYBS. Participation increased from 673 in 2008 to almost 900 kids playing this year.
“We expect these numbers to trend upward as North Liberty and the Corridor continue to expand in population,” said Scott Rundle, NLYBS President. “We keep the cost low so that kids who cannot afford club teams still have a chance to play.”
NLYBS is run completely by volunteers and is not affiliated with the City of North Liberty. NLYBS is funded solely by the participants in its programs and by the generous donations made by businesses and other organizations interested in the youth of the community. “This allows us reinvest our profits into capital improvements like the two new fields that we built at Van Allen and Garner Elementary Schools,” noted Rundle. The NLYBS board consists of 10 volunteers and numerous umpires, concession stand workers, city employees, sponsors and others who are vital to supporting the league.
“With continued growth anticipated, the need for more volunteers to help NLYBS operate efficiently becomes increasingly important,” Rundle said. “We give a hearty thanks to the parents who have stepped forward to help coach the kids. Most of the 72 teams had three coaches each, for a total of 216 coaches.”
NLYBS also offers Fall Fun Ball for girls and boys ages six through 10 years. Fall Fun Ball games will be held on Monday nights for six weeks starting the first Monday after Labor Day. The purpose is to provide a fun, relaxed fall baseball/softball experience for kids who want to play for the first time, want to continue playing for a few more weeks or are considering playing in a more advanced league next spring. The primary focus of Fall Fun Ball is to help kids transition into rookie and junior leagues, and to provide fall recreation to those age groups that may not have other activities. Registration will open in August on the NLYBS website: www.eteamz.com/NLYBS .