Searcy and Beebe have decided it is time to start lining up to play youth baseball again.

Searcy Recreational Sports League Director Rigel Page said, “I just kind of decided to start a little bit earlier with the sign-ups because there was a lot of interest in forming teams to play, and we did that in the fall and there was some imbalance. I wanted to get a good picture about what we could expect going into the summer season. We hope to have tryouts the first week of March.”

Games for Searcy are expected to start in early April.

Page said it is hard to say for sure how many children will participate, but the program had about 550 kids participate last year.

“I would expect there to be about the same, hopefully more because hopefully more people will be more comfortable playing because we lost a lot that pulled out due to COVID,” he said.

The Searcy Recreational Sports League will provide the jersey and the hat for the players, Page said and the participants will be responsible for taking care of everything else “and the reason is, we let coaches decide do they want gray pants or white pants or black pants or whatever and socks and belts and all that, let them decide.”

If for some reason baseball is canceled because of COVID or those who sign up decide they want out, “we are going to refund all those people,” Page said.

There are two options for registration, either register as a team or register individually. Page said the goal is to have enough teams for a “team” division and a “draft division.”

Online signups should be ready to open by Jan. 20. The Searcy Recreational Sports League’s Facebook page will have updates. There is also a website, www.searcyrecreational sportsleague.org/

Tournaments also will be back again this year in Searcy, Page said with enthusiasm. “We’ve got a guy out of Heber [Springs], a tournament director who is going to try and get us some future tournaments.”

In Beebe, it was announced Tuesday that the ballpark is now open again.

Registration details for baseball are expected to be announced soon. Beebe Parks and Recreation has also announced that it is hiring umpires and will pay $14-$50 per game depending on experience.

Beebe Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Hatcher is handling calls and has information for those interested. He can be reached at (501) 288-0366 or at beebeballpark@gmail.com. Seasonal part-time workers are also being hired to work at the ballpark. Candidates must be available to works nights and Saturday. Applications may be completed on the the city’s website at www.beebeark.org or at City Hall.

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