Little League Makes Push For Sign-Ups

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Don't wait until the last minute to sign your child up for Little League.

There are five registration sessions next month, beginning Jan. 12. Parents are urged to register their children during these sessions to avoid problems caused by late registrations.

"(Late registration) causes huge, huge problems," president Chuck Barton said. "Simple things are affected, like we don't know how many uniforms to order, how many teams we can have."

Little League equipment manager and coach Eddie Duran echoed Barton's concerns.

"There has always been a problem with late registrations and it makes it tough on everyone," he said.

Little League officials have scheduled a series of early registrations that they are urging all parents to take advantage of.

All will be held at the Payson Bashas' store.

The dates are:

Jan. 12, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Jan. 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jan. 19, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Jan. 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Jan. 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The registration fee is $60 per player. Families with more than one child participating will receive a discount of $5. When registering, parents should bring their child's birth certificate.

Little League officials also are in need of more volunteers especially those to manage the snack bar.

If volunteers cannot be found to take over the snack bar, it could shut down or be open only on weekends, Barton said.

In past seasons, profits from the snack bar have helped offset the expenses of running the league.

"If we lose the snack bar, it will affect us (financially)," Barton said. "It is a revenue producer"

For those who register on time, player tryouts and the annual draft is Feb. 19 at the Rumsey I.

League play begins April 16 at Rumsey Park with the traditional opening ceremonies and a first round of games. Action continues weekdays until the regular season wraps up June 11.

This year, Payson will host the Area I 11-12-year-old all-star tournament beginning June 27. Entered will be eight Little League organizations from around Northern Arizona.
In 2003

Last season, about 230 Rim country youngsters participated in Little League. Payson was able to field six major league (11-12-years) teams, seven in the minors (9-11 years) and four AAA or farm league (7-8-years) squads.

The senior division (13-16-years) had four teams.

Barton hopes that this season the number of players will be higher.

"We'd like to get more (players) out and have more teams," he said. "Little League is a great organization."

In putting together league schedules, Barton said his biggest concern centers on the senior division because it historically has had trouble finding the players for the minimum of four teams.

One reason, Barton said, is that some teenagers have opted to turn away from Little League and participate on the Rim Country Middle School team.

"They don't need to do that," Barton said. "They can play in both leagues."

For more information about registration or Little League play, call Barton at (928) 468-1711.

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