Sports

Region gets baseball

Little League/Cal Ripken Canada Baseball is coming to Okanagan Falls, Oliver and Osoyoos.

It’s the first time in several years organized little league will be in the South Okanagan. Tony Orioli, who will coach the 11 and 12-year-olds, said baseball is in demand as families living in those areas made several inquiries about the league.

“By creating Little League/Cal Ripken in Okanagan Falls, it will make travel easier for practices and home games,” said Orioli. “The team will be based out of Okanagan Falls, but we will try to combine practices using both Okanagan Falls and Oliver ball fields.”

The league will help develop players ages nine to 13 from April to June.  For players who would like to challenge their skills at the next level, Orioli said they have the option of playing on a summer all-star team from mid-June to the end of August. This team travels more.

The hope is to have two teams, one at the major level for ages 11 to 12, and one for kids ages eight to 10.

“Both the coaches and Parks and Recreation staff in Okanagan Falls and Oliver are excited to be bringing organized baseball back to these areas,” said Orioli. “They have great baseball diamonds that were not being used in the spring.”

Orioli added that Little League and Cal Ripken baseball are both very large worldwide organizations.  According to the Little League Canada website, more than three million youth play worldwide in over 75 countries. Canada has more than 35,000 youth playing.

“They both host World Series that are played every August in either Williamsport, Pa. (Little League) and Maryland (Cal Ripken) involving the top teams from Canada, U.S., Asia, South America and many other parts of the world,” said Orioli.

The Thompson-Okanagan for B.C. 12 and under Cal Ripken Districts is comprised of Kamloops, Penticton, Vernon, Kelowna, Keremeos, West Kelowna, Rutland, Oliver-Osoyoos, Summerland, Naramata, Princeton, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm, Chase and Sicamous.

For more information on Little League Baseball contact Janet Black at 250 497-8188 or info@okfalls.net.

 

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