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The youth ball season is under way around the county.
As an annual rite of spring, many area youngsters, girls and boys from a variety of ages, will be involved with baseball and softball games from the county Panhandle to southern Lancaster County and all points in between.
It’s a new season and the optimism is high.
There will be plenty of games on the diamonds for these youngsters from now to mid-summer to be a part of this season.
To make it an enjoyable season, fans – parents and adults – must keep this top of mind: It’s a child’s game played by children.
We all get caught up in the emotion of the game, but again, always remember it is a game.
When you attend games to watch your children, grandchildren or young friends, be sure to make the experience a positive one.
Be upbeat in your cheers. Somebody has to make an out and some team is going to fall in defeat, but be a true fan, who creates good vibes during the ballpark experience, win or lose.
Be careful in your comments to the coach. They, like the players, are giving it their best shot, some for the first time. Remember they are volunteering their time to help these youngsters learn not only a game and how to play, but also learn about teamwork and sportsmanship. Help them learn how to be a good winner and loser, too.
Same goes for the umpires. They are part of the game, too, but they might miss one here and there, but don’t harp on it. They’re out there because they want to stay close to the game and help these young players learn the game and the rules.
When you’re at the games, remember safety.
Drive a little slower and be careful when parking or backing up your vehicle. Most of those attending are youngsters who might have younger brothers and sisters.
Be sure to keep your eye on the ball and the surroundings. Sometimes those young players, in the excitement of playing a game or experiencing that first win or big hit, aren’t as concerned as they need to be with traffic.
Even if you’re not going to a youth softball or baseball game, but are driving in the area of a ballfield, be careful.
Above all, use common sense and no matter how your team fares, it will likely be a good season.
Good luck to all – players, coaches, umpires, league officials and fans.