Softball coming back to Ladysmith

After a two-year absence, there will be softball in Ladysmith this spring.

After a two-year absence, softball is finally coming back to Ladysmith.

Ladysmith Baseball Association (LBA) is teaming up with Softball BC to conduct a new season for the town, commencing in the spring of 2014.

“We haven’t had softball for two years, and it was just wrong,” said Rod McLachlan, vice-president of LBA. “It needed to be fixed. We need to get kids onto the ball field and off their cell phones.”

Ladysmith Baseball Association has been around for 52 years, and it was only in the past couple of years that the softball element hasn’t been present. But after a lawful discovery, it is set for a return.

“This past summer, we were doing some background work on the association and discovered we [cover] baseball and softball — who knew? I guess changing boards have a bureaucratic memory, and our bylaws obviously include girls as well,” told McLachlan.

“A few years ago, there was a zone issue where softball was taken under the Nanaimo administration. We had over 100 girls in Ladysmith and only six of them decided they wanted to go and play in Nanaimo. The rest went home and quit.”

The LBA conducted a survey at the end of September involving Ladysmith’s schools, and more than 220 girls expressed an interest in a new softball season to start up again.

He confirmed the spring season start date that will run into next June. After that, there will be a chance to form summer teams, and another schedule will run until the end of August.

The recruitment drive for coaches and umpires is well underway.

“I’ve already had volunteers who’ve expressed an interest to coach, but the demand for volunteers is going to be huge,” said McLachlan. “Each team is probably going to need a coach, two assistant coaches, a team manager and somebody who can keep score. There’s a whole lot more to it than just the kids playing, and we need to put the infrastructure in place.”

An information night is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 25 at the LBA clubhouse on Dogwood Drive, beginning at 7 p.m. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend.

“I think there’s going to be a ton of community support for this, and I’m anticipating 14 or 15 teams. It could be bigger than baseball,” said McLachlan.