League looking for home run

January 27, 2022 BY

Strike zone: The Bendigo Baseball Association is looking to increase participation in its junior division. Photo: FILE

IT’S batter up because the Bendigo Baseball Association is getting ready to launch its 2022 season.

The league, consisting of five teams, is looking to introduce more juniors to the sport, with an under-8 division through to under 16s.

Junior coordinator Seb Smith said in 2021 the league was able to keep play alive and has seen a gradual increase in participation.

“Last year, starting in April, we gave a 12-round season to kids in Bendigo, and there were roughly around 140 kids that played across that season,” he said.

“It’s been a very slow grind, except last year it really did explode, which was not to be expected with all the restrictions that came along.”

In 2022, five age divisions will again compete in a 12-round fixture.

The Bendigo league has six teams with the Bendigo East, Falcons, Scots, Strathfieldsaye Dodgers, and Epsom Dodgers baseball clubs being joined last season by the Malmsbury Cricket Club who also submitted a team.

“If we can get these five divisions running smoothly, we would achieve that goal of creating a pathway to recruit kids as young as possible, all the way through to their development as a senior player,” Mr Smith said.

While fostering elite talent in Bendigo is a goal, the main priority of the BBA is providing an inclusive and encouraging space for participation.

“As with all competitive sports things will become a bit more competitive as players get older, but essentially we’re trying to keep it not a win-at-all-costs environment, we want to make sure kids aspire to be better players each and every game,” Smith said.

Modifications to the sport are made at a junior level, for example in the under-12 division if a batter is walked, the coach will then pitch to enable the player to get a hit, as pitchers can struggle to throw strikes.

To keep up to date with the 2022 season information, head to bendigobaseball.com.au.