2014-02-14 / Sports

Little League Registration Opens

The 2013 season was extraordinary for Rockaway Little League, as it worked to establish normalcy for the area’s children after the devastation of Sandy. This year, with many more families back home on the Rock, RLL looks forward to a normal season in 2014.

Online registration opened last month and is in full swing in February. The links to the registration site and guide can be found on the RLL home page, www.rockawaylittleleagueny.com.

An in-person registration session will be held February 22nd, from 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Little League clubhouse in Fort Tilden. In order to form rosters and order MLB-replica uniforms in time for Opening Day, registration for all divisions except Tee-Ball must be completed this month.

Opening Day is tentatively set for April 5th. The “Opening Day Festival,” which never takes place on opening day, will be renamed the “Rockaway Little League Festival.” It is scheduled for April 26th. The first Tee-Ball games will also be held that day. Other critical dates include May 16th for the Pitch, Hit and Run contest; May 4th and May 18th for Picture Day; June 8th for the end of the regular season in the divisions that hold playoffs; and June 28th, the likely date for Championship Saturday. All dates are subject to change.

As always, Little League will participate in the major Rockaway parades: St. Patrick’s Day on March 1st and Memorial Day on May 26th. Coaches’ Day will be held in March. It is an important meeting that includes safety training for the approximately 100 volunteer coaches. After the regular season, RLL’s traveling All-Star teams will compete in the international Little League tournament in hopes of earning a trip to Williamsport, Pennsylvania for the World Series.

In 2013, Rockaway’s 10U squad won the District 27 championship for the second year in a row.

Last season, Rockaway Little League was miraculously spared major damage from Sandy. Thanks to the support of the National Park Service’s Gateway National Recreation Area unit, RLL was able to open the season a few weeks late even though Fort Tilden was officially closed. The League contributed more than $30,000 back to the community via reduced fees, registration waivers and free services. Still, more than 100 players from scores of families could not participate due to the destruction of their homes.

In 2014, the League hopes to be close to full strength, though many families are still rebuilding. The League has some damage of its own to repair. Salt water from the storm has finally taken its toll on the fences.

Rockaway Little League’s Board of Directors is actively recruiting parents to participle on its committees. The all-volunteer organization has 21 Board members and more than 100 parents who volunteer as commissioners and coaches. The committees execute critical, non-baseball activities such as liaising with politicians, operating social media and organizing special events (Opening Day, Awards Breakfast). RLL’s success on the field is heavily dependent on the effectiveness of these committees. Interested parents should contact League President Marty Andresen at 917-226-9156.

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