For the first time in 14 years, new boundaries have been drawn for Johnson City’s Little Leaguers, and the changes have led to the formation of the National-Major League.
Johnson City previously had three leagues, the American, Major and National. While the American League plans to play on, the National and Major are joining forces to form a district that will include Carter County and Elizabethton city schools in its boundary lines.
Both the National and Major leagues struggled to stay afloat as travel baseball teams took players from their ranks. Hopes are high that the new district, which contains 16 schools – Central, Happy Valley, West Side, McCormick, Keenburg, Woodland, Towne Acres, Cherokee, Mountain View and South Side elementary schools, Happy Valley, TA Dugger and Liberty Bell middle schools and Providence Academy, Ashley Academy and University School – will lead to a healthy future for the league.
For the schools located in Carter County, Little League baseball has not existed for some time, so league officials are hopeful an influx of players will join the new league. Grants are in place for parents who cannot pay the registration fee, and any student who qualifies for free or reduced lunch or lives in public housing will be able to play without paying the fee.
Tryouts are scheduled for Feb. 20, and practice is expected to start around the time of spring break. The opening day ceremony is expected to kick off the inaugural season in April. There will be a Major Division for kids ages 9-12, a Minor Coach Pitch Division for ages 5-8 and Tee-Ball for kids ages 4-6.
Volunteers are needed in many areas, including coaches, assistants, managers, umpires. Sponsors are also being sought.
For more information or to register a player, visit www.jcnmll.org.