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Little League bouncing back after COVID-19

Sign-ups underway for fall ball

Middlesboro Little League is currently in the processing of signing up participants for the league’s fall ball activities.

Fall Ball sign-ups will be Thursday from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Little League concession stand at Walt Overbay Field.

Lauri Sturm works with Middlesboro Little League and discussed this year’s Fall Ball sign-up process.

“We’re very flexible with the sign-ups because we want all the kids to be able to play and have some fall activities,” Sturm said.

Sturm said anybody who cannot make it to the sign-ups can call 606-269-9282 or email MiddlesboroLittleLeague@gmail.com and request to sign up their child.

“If we find it necessary to do an extended sign up we will,” Sturm said.

According to Sturm, the largest difference in fall ball and regular season play is the fall edition centers on working on fundamentals and getting ready for next season.

Although it has been a few years, the league has offered fall ball in the past.

“We haven’t done it the past two years,” Sturm said. “Last year for obvious reasons we didn’t do it, and the year before we didn’t have as much interest as it seems like we have this year. But we have done it in the past, just not for the past couple of years.”

Middlesboro Little League President Russ Britton talked about what to expect for this year’s fall ball program. He explained the fall ball activity is basically a training period.

“We use it more like a training to get ready for next spring,” Britton said. “Fall is really more instructional than it is competitive.”

Britton explained some of the hurdles the league has faced this year after not having a season at all in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“It was different,” Britton said. “We got off to what felt like a late start, and a fast start. We weren’t even sure were going to be able to have it again.”

Britton said before starting the spring season, they had to contact the Bell County Health Department to make sure what COVID-19 regulations were in place at the time.

“It was challenging and hectic, but for the most part it went pretty good,” Britton said. “After missing a full year and having the hectic start that we did, it went about as well as could be expected.”

“We are very thankful for the sponsors and volunteers that we have…and everything that the city of Middlesboro and Bell County help us with,” Britton said. “We’re pretty blessed in this area to have the help that we have.”

Participants must be ages 8-12 as of Aug. 31, 2021.

For more information, call 606-269-9282 or email MiddlesboroLittleLeague@gmail.com.