Orange Beach expands youth sports to include sand volleyball
By Marc Anderson
The Orange Beach Sports Association voted to shift the management of youth baseball and softball to the city. City Administrator Ken Grimes said the decision is a big step in providing a consistent and continual development of youth sports in Orange Beach.
“The City Parks and Recreation Department staff have always provided the best quality fields and facilities for baseball and softball and now they can focus on continuing to build skill and recreational enjoyment while developing a grassroots feeder pattern for more competitive sports at the middle and high school level,” Grimes said. “We commend the many parents and citizens who have led the OBSA for decades while playing various roles with these youth sports.”
Orange Beach Sports Association President Alex Kellner said the baseball, softball and T-ball programs grew to a point where they needed the expertise and staff the city could provide.
“We look forward to the city running the programs with the professionalism our athletes and parents have come to enjoy,” Kellner said. “Not having three leagues to run will free the OBSA up to focus on its new mission, which is to create and support athletic development opportunities for the youth of Orange Beach. Over the next few months we will introduce travel-level sports, a speed/agility program, and sport-specific clinics with the end goal of providing our high school with a large pool of athletes to fill their teams.”
Orange Beach Athletics Director Laura Davis said the numbers of children competing in the city-run soccer league in the fall and basketball in the winter has grown tremendously. This winter saw 185 children sign up for basketball.
Davis said she now looks forward to the city leading baseball and softball as they continue to expand. A new sport will be introduced in 2018 as well.
“In addition to soccer, basketball and baseball/softball, the city is excited to offer sand volleyball for our older youth in the area,” Davis said. “This past spring, two sand volleyball courts were built at the sportsplex, and we are looking forward to forming a league here in the late spring of 2018.”
“Our crew is looking forward to new adventures with our local families,” she said.
For more information on Orange Beach youth sports, visit the city website at www.orangebeachal.gov/departments/parks-recreation/youth-sports or visit the City of Orange Beach Athletics page on Facebook. To keep up-to-date on the latest happenings with the Orange Beach Sports Association, visit facebook.com/obasports/.
Pictured: The new sand volleyball courts at the Orange Beach Sportsplex