Instructional softball now on offer

The Cayman Islands Little League Association’s adult co-ed softball programme is looking for teams to join an instructional league.

Programme co-ordinator Alan Markoff said the instructional league was formed last year as a way of introducing new players to the game.

‘The C league, as we call it, is mainly for people who are interested in learning how to play the game,’ he said. ‘But it’s also for experienced players who are looking for some recreation without the kind of competition in the rest of our programme.’

There are three leagues within adult co-ed softball. The top group is called the A league and consists of intense games from players with a high skill set. The second category is the B league which sees spirited games with a fun edge that features players with a good skill set.

One of the biggest differences between those two leagues and the C group is that the C league games are played on a smaller field using a restricted flight ball.

Markoff explained the reasoning behind that.

‘The restricted flight ball is the same size as a regulation softball, but it is softer and can’t be hit as hard,’ he said. ‘It makes playing less dangerous for inexperienced players.’

Markoff went on to say winning isn’t the main thrust of the C league.

‘Most of the teams that play in the C league are just looking to get some exercise in a fun setting,’ he said. ‘That’s not to say teams don’t play to win, but winning is secondary.’

This year, the programme is offering C league teams with the possibility of adding a player-coach from one of the A or B League teams.

‘Slow-pitch softball is a very easy game to play,’ Markoff said. ‘Basically anyone with some hand-to-eye coordination can hit a softball. But it is helpful to have some instruction on techniques and such things as defensive positioning. So we came up with the idea of supplying player-coaches.’

Markoff said the teams that play in the C league often move up to the B league after when they feel they sufficiently learned the basics of the game.

‘That’s where the real competition begins,’ he said.

The latest C league success story is Julius Baer. In their first season in adult co-ed softball the team blazed their way to the top. After winning the winter league title the squad opted to move up and is now competing with 10 other teams in the B league.

As Markoff states Julius Baer is one of many Cayman businesses that have put employee-based teams in the co-ed programme.

‘It’s a good activity for team-building at the workplace because the individuals have to interact as a team on the field,’ said Markoff. ‘It’s also a healthy recreation that gets people a little exercise outdoors.’

The Cayman Islands Little League holds two adult co-ed seasons per year, including the fall season that starts in August and runs through mid-November.

The winter season starts in January and runs through early May.

Teams play 12 games per season, plus at least one play-off game. Team fees, which include field usage under the lights, softballs and scorebooks, are $1,250 per season.

The C league will start Monday 24 August. Anyone interested in more information can contact Alan Markoff at [email protected].