The new season is underway for Flin Flon Creighton Minor Ball divisions and some interesting changes are in store for players and families if Mother Nature avoids dumping more snow on the diamond.
All age groups with the minor ball association have begun their season, although inclement weather moved some groups from the Creighton ball diamond into the Creighton Sportex for training and practice.
“On May 8, they braved going outside. It was pretty soggy for them,” said Laura-Lee Brown, Flin Flon Creighton Minor Ball president.
“Hopefully, this week we’ll be running outside as per usual. That’s the plan.”
Lower registration numbers have meant some changes for minor ball age categories this summer. Blast ball and tee-ball groups, covering ages three to six, have been combined, along with the rookie and mosquito divisions. The new combined division consists of kids aged seven to 10.
Along with those two changes, the minor ball association’s two oldest age groups, bantam and peewee, have also been combined.
“That’s probably our heaviest, our biggest registration was in that division. Right now, we’re looking at possibly making three teams. Now, we have bantam all together and peewee together and they play each other,” said Brown.
Participants will be playing exclusively on the Creighton ball diamond this summer. Due to a lack of coaches, no travel teams will be fielded by minor ball in 2019.
The season will continue until the year-end windup on June 21, which may be one of minor ball’s biggest bashes yet.
“The plan is to have a kind of mini-tournament under the lights for the kids. We want to make that pretty exciting for them,” Brown said.
“We’re even looking at a couple of nights this season for the older crew to have a Friday night game under the lights. Maybe get some announcers and make it feel authentic for them. I think the kids would love that.”
Despite lower numbers and combining age groups, Brown said enthusiasm for the game among young players is just as high as ever.
“There’s enough kids that love the sport here,” she said. “I know we grew up playing ball and we love it. We just want to keep it rolling and make it fun for the kids.”