Tag Archives: South Kitsap Babe Ruth

Youth Sports: Dying for Volunteers?

Yesterday, I wrote on this blog about the possibility that South Kitsap Soccer Club may not host a long-standing tournament, the Kitsap Kick-off. The tournament last year drew 72 teams, many from out of town. You can bet that those families ate at local restaurants, got gas at local stations and likely stayed at local motels if they came from a distance. Aside from the good of the game, there is a clear economic benefit to local sports tournaments. The problem, said SKSC president Mike Kerr, is they can’t get volunteers to run the tournament.

Lack of volunteers is also a factor in the demise of South Kitsap Babe Ruth, which has folded after more than 50 years as a South Kitsap institution. Primarily, the The South Kitsap Babe Ruth Association was disbanded due to lack of players and the economy, said SKBRA president Jerry Holaway Monday.

From Annette Griffus’ story:

SKBR began in 1956 as a Pony Colt League for 13 to 15-year-olds.

SKBRA isn’t the only Babe Ruth association to fold in Kitsap. Bremerton folded last year, said District 8 commissioner Bob Fojtik. The district encompasses the school districts of South Kitsap, Bremerton, Central Kitsap and Bainbridge Island.

Fojtik said a combination of reasons led to the Babe Ruth leagues folding including: a lack of parent volunteers, families unable to commit to the time involved for games and practices and players dropping out or choosing to play select baseball.

“It can’t be a one-or-two-person show running the season,” he said.

End of clip.

My thoughts: Lack of parent volunteers and families unable to commit to the time involved for games and practices are a function of longer work hours, longer commutes and the economic need for two parents to work.

At the same time, select sports seem to be thriving. Parents are plenty willing to spend the time traveling, often farther afield than they would have to in a recreational league, and they’re willing to spend the substantially higher fees select sports require, meaning they need to work longer and harder to pay the bills. I’m not knocking select sports. I’m just saying …

Some organizations require some degree of parent volunteer participation. You work so your kids can play. Should all recreational sports organizations adopt this model? Take the poll on the home page of this blog.