Archive for Wednesday, June 20, 2007

TRC brings kickball to city

June 20, 2007

For the past three summers, the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission has tried to offer kickball to adults. It just hadn't drawn interest from enough teams.

This summer, the rec commission had four interested teams. As a result, the first Tonganoxie recreational co-ed kickball league started June 10.

"I imagine it will grow once word of mouth gets around that everyone has a good time playing it," Tonganoxie Recreation Commission director Gayle Parker said. "We don't do anything for the adults in the summer because we turn the diamonds over to the kids."

The four teams play on Sundays at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.

Other sports offered from the rec commission have seen increases in numbers as well. Parker estimated the number of summer participants has grown 5 to 10 percent annually.

For the city's youths, TRC is offering baseball and softball leagues this summer. There are 19 boys teams and 13 girls teams. That figure doesn't include the 6-and-under tee-ball league, which has 12 teams.

Baseball and softball teams are scheduled to play 12 games this summer. Teams average about two games per week. They will play their final games near the beginning of July, depending on the weather.

This summer will represent the second consecutive year the TRC won't keep team standings. Playoffs don't exist.

"When we put our teams together, we try to make them as equal as possible, as far as talent level," Parker said. "The key thing with recreational ball is that everybody plays, as opposed to competitive ball, where the win is more important. We're not saying you shouldn't teach winning in rec ball, but we want everyone to have a good time."

Parker said the largest recent increase of any sport has been soccer, which is offered in the fall and the spring. In fact, recreational co-ed soccer is getting so popular in Tonganoxie that sign-ups for the fall will become available at the end of July. The deadline for fall soccer signups is Aug. 10.

"Soccer's just such a good sport for kids," Parker said. "It's aerobic and doesn't require a lot of equipment. In baseball and softball, you have to have catchers' gear and you have to have a glove. With soccer, if you have a ball, you really don't even need a net. You can put two sticks up equal width apart and call that your goal."

Last spring, the TRC had 42 teams signed up for the co-ed soccer league. They're broken down by U-6, U-8, U-10, U-12 and U-14 teams.

Refereeing and umpiring opportunities are also available for people above the age of 14. Parker hires about 15 umpires for the summer and 15 referees for spring/fall soccer.

For additional information on early fall sign-ups, visit TRC's Web site at tongierec.org.

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