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Spring season warms up in Bremerton, Central Kitsap
After a long, frigid winter, the spring recreational sports season is finally on the horizon.
Leagues in Bremerton and Central Kitsap begin preparations for outdoor basketball, softball, soccer and Pee Wee teams as early as Friday.
Bremerton Parks and Recreation will offer athletic programs for residents looking to enjoy their favorite activities under the sun once the winter thaws out. Sports coordinator Scott Evans, who has been at his post since 2001, said this week that the department will host a spring basketball adult league for the first time to complement its fall and winter teams.
He cited good turnout rates in the winter months for adding more hoops action. Evans said he thinks participants from the fall and winter slate will return for more basketball next month. There are currently 21 teams competing for the league.
“Basketball is a great year-round sport around here,” he added. “With such a good turnout rate, we’re hoping a few of these teams will want to keep going.”
The spring team is for ages 16 and older, and the registration deadline is March 10. The season will run from March 28 to May 19 at the Sheridan Park Community Center.
Teams play six division games and compete in the season-ending tournament.
Spring softball is the most popular recreational sport offered by the department, Evans said. The teams are split into mens, womens and church divisions, and the 15-game season takes place from Apr. 18 to July 28.
In addition, Bremerton hosts a Sunday co-ed intramural series from May 8 to July 31 with games on Sunday evenings. Both leagues are limited to adults ages 18 and older. Games are played at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds and Pendergast Regional Park in Bremerton. The current registration deadline is Feb. 16.
Last year, the department was home to 66 mens, 26 church and 12 womens squads. The Sunday co-ed league included 34 teams.
Players from Poulsbo, Port Orchard, Silverdale and Gig Harbor have traveled to Bremerton in the past to play ball, a testament to the sport’s popularity, Evans said.
“Softball is a big deal here,” he added. “I think it has a lot to do with competition. We have great fields and umpires, which play a big part of it as well.”
The leagues play under the United States Sports Specialty Association rules, where teams face two strikes and three balls at bat, rather than the traditional three strikes and four balls. Evans, who played last year but decided to take this season off to focus on basketball officiating, said it’s better for everyone involved.
“It’s a fast-moving game out there,” he added. “I like it that way, and it’s slow-pitch style, so it ends up speeding up the game. Around here, it’s become very popular.”
The senior softball program for ages 50 and up will meet on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 to 11 a.m. at Pendergast. The season starts April 5. Registration takes place at the Bremerton Senior Center.
The department will also start a volleyball open gym Friday. Those 16 and older can attend Friday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 11 to Apr. 15. Two courts will be set up at the Sheridan Park Community Center and the cost is $3 per person.
Meanwhile, the Bremerton Family YMCA has scheduled a wide range of programs for the upcoming spring season. The center will continue with its youth sports, which include basketball, T-ball, soccer and volleyball.
Butokukan karate is currently offered for ages 7 and older along with the Fit Kids class, a 45-minute session of games and workouts from 4:15 to 5 p.m. in the gymnasium. Goju-Ryu karate is also an option for ages 6 and up. Class times are divided between beginners, novice and intermediate students of the Japanese martial art.
The YMCA also has an extensive baseball season with nine-week periods of T-ball and coach-pitch from April to June for grades kindergarten to 2. Parent volunteers lead the youth co-ed league, and no experience is required for coaching as the YMCA provides assistance and training.
For adults, the gymnasium is home to weekly rounds of Zumba, cycling, tai chi, step dance classes and yoga. Swimming lessons are also available at the Glenn Jarstad Aquatic Center.
East Bremerton and Warren Avenue each play host to their own Pee Wee organizations. Both youth clubs will return this spring, but baseball registration starts Saturday.
East Bremerton Pee Wee organizer Theresa Frame said there were about 75 kids who played baseball last year, and she’s hoping for a bigger turnout in 2011. Frame added that they’ve recruited kids from football to play basketball, and hopes the same transfer will remain consistent for the spring season.
The club is currently searching for volunteers to coach. For more information, contact Keri Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org.