Crookston Parks & Recreation Supervisor Scott Butt reported to the Park Board this week that changes are in the works to modify Crookston's youth baseball program. Currently, it's offered to kids ages 7 to 12 and all of the games are in-house. While the in-house component will remain, Butt said the goal is to form traveling teams for kids ages 9-12.
"It's a way to expose the kids to more competition and get them ready for district and state tournaments," he said. "This is about advancing the program."
The traveling teams wouldn't be mandatory; kids would try out for the teams while still playing the in-house games, he said.
Currently, Crookston baseball players don't play teams from other towns until age 13, which Butt said has put the local program behind when it comes to competing in district and state tournaments. "Our kids haven't played together and gotten that extra time," he said. "It's just another opportunity for them to compete and become better baseball players."
No additional equipment would need to be purchased, Butt said, adding that there would be an increased participation fee for players on the traveling teams.
He said the changes are being spurred by the Crookston Youth Baseball Association, Pirate varsity baseball coach Ted Hasz and numerous parents.
"We just want to make this the best program it can be," Butt said.