MARICOPA — When Tom Davis looked at changes he could make to Maricopa Little League, the first thing on his mind was getting more kids involved.
Last year, Maricopa Little League was open to anyone ages 6 to 12. Under the new rules, the league will accept all boys and girls from age 4 to 16 for the 2021 season.
Davis, the new president of the Maricopa Little League, also held the same position in Mill Creek, Washington, where he lived before moving to Maricopa three years ago.
“We are incorporating more kids with greater age possibilities,” Davis told PinalCentral.
The league may expand even further in the future, but having competition open from 4 to 16 will increase the eligible pool of players significantly.
League boundaries mandate that players can come from Maricopa, Stanfield, Mobile and “all areas in between.” Several different divisions will be played based on age group. The divisions, and their registration fees, are as follows.
Pee Wee Ball is for 4-year-old kids ($75); T-Ball is for kids ages 4 to 5 ($95); Coach Pitch is for ages 6 to 8 ($95). Boys play baseball and girls have the option of playing baseball or softball in Coach Pitch.
Minors baseball and softball is typically for ages 9 to 10 and includes players pitching ($140); Majors baseball and softball is typically for ages 10 to 12 ($140); and Junior baseball and softball is for ages 13 to 14 ($140). The league is developing age groups for kids older than 14.
As an all-volunteer league, Maricopa Little League is seeking managers, coaches and umpires for all divisions.
Tryouts for players ages 9 to 12 are Jan. 13 and Jan. 16. Opening Day festivities are scheduled for March 6, with games being played through May 31.
When the regular season concludes, All-Stars will be picked from the 9 to 10 age group, with those players possibly going to the state tournament.
For Davis, becoming president of a local Little League for the second time was an easy choice.
“I love working with the kids,” he said. “It was a great deal up there (Washington), and I suspect it will be here as well.”
Maricopa Little League abides by Little League international rules, including for COVID-19. Face masks are mandatory for anyone in the dugout at all times. Parents and fans are required to adhere to social distancing, but they are not required to wear masks unless they are in close proximity to the kids or anyone on the playing field.
Games will mostly be played at two Maricopa facilities, Copper Sky Regional Park and Pacana Park.
A 50/50 payment plan for league registration is also available, where 50% of the cost is paid up front and the remainder is due before tryouts begin Jan. 13.
Online registration can be completed here, and the registration deadline is Jan. 9.