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We’re throwing a change-up

Our Past

For many years, decades, Cottam Minor Baseball (CMB) has offered both Hard Ball and Softball to youth under 18. These programs were for both boys and girls alike and for the most part we were successful, however we need to look towards the future of baseball in our small hamlet of Cottam.

Histrorically, we have been able to put together anywhere from 8-12 teams each year ranging from T-Ball to U13 to Girls Senior Softball, however the landscape of baseball has changed over the last couple of years and has caused CMB to pause and take stock. This pause is necessary for us to reevaluate what and who are we are and how do we offer the best baseball possible.

We’ve come to the following conclusions.

Girls’ softball needs to change

Many parents are not aware that there has been a shift in girls interlock softball in the county. Over the last couple of years there has been a shift from Slo-Pitch to Fast-Pitch. This shift puts CMB in a bit of a pickle as Fast-Pitch requires pitching coaches with specific skills and we struggle to get parents to assist with coaching now. We also feel that there is a need and desire in the county for young girls who want to play softball and we want to be the place to be.

We will be pivoting from girl’s interlock softball (play games at various centres throughout the county) to girl’s slo-pitch league where all the games and practices are held here in Cottam’s Ridgeview Park. We are planning on having all the games on the same night. This move will accomplish several things. First players and parents will be able to better schedule other extra curricular activities knowing that all games will be Wednesday nights (it may be another night as it hasn’t been decided yet). This will also help coaches, umpires, and other volunteers with their schedule as well. Practices will also be on the same day and time allowing for greater turnouts.

Our initial goal for this season is to get this league firmly off the ground even if it means we only have few teams. We want to make sure the entire county knows that Cottam Minor Baseball is the place for young girls who want to play slo-pitch. Afterall when they are finished with minor slo-pitch the move to adult slo-pitch is natural as there are not any fast-pitch female leagues in the county.

T-Ball is unchanged

T-Ball is a great game to get our youth involved in team sports. It offers fun for both the children and the parents. Our kids could not be any cuter than watching them run the bases backwards. We strongly encourage all the T-Ball players that become too old for T-Ball to sign up for our newly formed co-ed Slo-Pitch.

Co-ed Slo-Pitch it’s new

We realize that when our children are too old for T-Ball we might end up leaving some players on base. We will be offering boys/co-ed slo-pitch, and we hope we get enough to field a couple of teams. From this point we hope to grow this division to an all-boys slo-pitch league or even co-ed slo-pitch for older players. Just like the girl’s slo-pitch after our boys age out of minor ball where do they go if they want to continue to play? The vast majority will be joining either an adult co-ed team or adult men’s team. Having played in CMB will make this transition seamless.

We cannot reliably offer travel baseball

Actually, we have not had a travel team in many years and quite frankly it requires as much of a commitment from parents as from coaches. It takes a huge amount of time and effort to offer such a program and each year we did offer it we had less and less interest. So, for the foreseeable future CMB will not be looking to offer such a program.

Boys Interlock hardball shift

For the last few years, we have offered boys U9, U11, and U13 baseball and each year we struggle more and more to field a team. We also struggle to get parents to step up to help with coaching. We understand that coaching at this level does require more skills and commitment from the parents. However, its more of a commitment of time than in knowledge and skills. This year we will still offer U9, U11 and U13 but we will not collect any registration fees up front. We will allow for registrations and if enough organic interest is there, we will then collect the registration fees and field the team. If we do not get enough registrations, we would likely make plans with Essex to take in your child.

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