Hello Northborough Baseball Community,
We hope this note finds you well. For the last four decades, Little League has been a part of the lives of the many boys and girls that have grown up here. While that continues to be true to this day, the unfortunate reality is that, due to a variety of circumstances – none more central than the rise of other sports that now either simply exist, or play year-round rather than seasonally – Little League is part of fewer young lives than it was even ten years ago. As a result, baseball in our town has been facing an increasingly difficult landscape with regards to ensuring the kids that are playing are in the right placement each spring and summer.
Therefore, after thoughtful and careful consideration, the Boards of Directors for both Northborough Youth Baseball and Softball Association and Southborough Little League have officially requested a boundary change to merge our two programs into one cooperative league. This will help us ensure sustainable and vibrant youth baseball in both towns by increasing the pool of available players for each division (Majors, AAA, etc.), having the net effect of better aligning kids with both talent levels and ages.
Some key facts to know about this merger:
- When will this merger take place? It is in progress as we speak. We anticipate having a single organization with a common board and player pool for the upcoming Spring 2022 season.
- Why Northborough/Southborough and why not other towns? Northborough and Southborough are a single school district with one regional high school – Algonquin. Our league players will therefore be on the same teams just two years after graduating from Little League play. Additionally, other high-profile youth sports in our two towns, including lacrosse, hockey, and football, have already completed mergers for their youth programs. Our two towns are about as natural a fit as can be found, and our organizations have been working together already for a number of years, so combining these two programs makes the most sense.
- Is this merger actually required if both programs already cooperate with one another? Yes, for a variety of reasons. Little League has rules about how to construct summer teams based on each program having a separate charter; to have a combined all-star team for the Williamsport Tournament (Little League World Series), we needed to consolidate down to one charter. Additionally, with both programs working so closely together, this enables us to reduce much in the way of redundant volunteer hours required for very similar efforts. This helps not only the communities helping run our programs, but also our Boards of Directors – remember, we are all volunteers!
- Will teams at all ages be composed of both Northborough and Southborough players in the Spring? No. We will definitely be blending teams at the Majors level for 2022, but the only other division up for consideration is AAA. AA teams and below will remain town-specific to limit the amount of travel required. Note that teams in Majors and AAA already play teams from the other town, so this shouldn’t be too much of a change.
- What does this mean for summer all-star teams? The make-up of these teams is still to be determined, but the rosters will encompass player groups from both towns, and the goal is to assemble teams that are appropriately competitive for the tournaments in which we are registering. We also want to have the ability to have multiple teams in the summer to get as many kids an opportunity to play as possible.
- Will this result in schedule changes for any players? Fields at the Finn Complex and Casey/Memorial Complex will all be considered “home” fields. Again, for AA and below, there should be no changes, but there may be a small amount of additional travel required for AAA and Majors teams to the other fields.
- Does this impact softball at all? Yes … but in a positive way! While softball has been a part of the Northborough organization for a number of years (and Southborough has directed potential players to Northborough), this will bring softball back to an organization that has roots in both towns. We will be putting more resources into growing our softball program. It has been on the rise of late thanks to the many efforts of a few key people in both towns, and we very much want to keep the momentum going.
- Will this merger delay registration timelines for the spring? Actually, no! Registration will be opening very shortly; please keep an eye out for those emails. This fall, we will use our existing registration systems at http://northborobaseball.org and http://southboroughlittleleague.org while we work on a new, combined system. Stay tuned as the changes to our website and social media presences will be rolling along through the fall and winter!
It is our sincere belief that by merging programs, we will help gear excitement for the summer by virtue of a better distribution of talent in the spring – making kids feel like they truly belong and are playing games at the appropriate level. Our intention is to take the strong baseball roots that still exist and use the combined resources of our programs to help regrow baseball and softball even stronger, bringing kids back to the field in June, July, and August for all-star play.
We’re sure there are more questions still to be answered. As such, we will be holding an informational night in each town on Friday, October 1, 2021:
- Southborough – 6 PM @ Brian G. Shifrin Memorial Field
- Northborough – 6:30 PM @ Casey Field
We will also do our best to post recaps of some of the more important topics discussed at these information sessions on our websites in case you cannot attend.
On behalf of all of us, thank you for being a part of the baseball and softball communities within our towns.
Southborough & Northborough Little League Boards of Directors