Hall County is reaching out to adults with its new softball league launching this month.
Team registration is open until July 14 for co-ed teams, men's open and church leagues. Games will be played once a week at Laurel Park in North Hall with options to play on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday evenings.
“Adult softball is big in surrounding counties. We have a lot of interest of people calling and wanting to come play, but we’ve never had an organized league through us," Wayne Briscoe, athletics supervisor for Hall County Parks and Leisure, said in a statement. “I just figured we’d try to set something up for the organized leagues. … Hopefully, it will grow in the years ahead.”
The league is open to players of all skill levels.
"Whether you're regularly bashing home runs into Lake Lanier, or it's the first time you've ever picked up a bat, we have spots for anyone who wants to play,” Briscoe said.
The county also offers a basketball league for adults that usually plays in the fall, although dates for this year have not been finalized yet. That league had six teams last year, with about eight to ten players per team.
“We’re just trying to branch out and get the community active,” he said. “... We’re just trying to get them involved in the community and give them some activities to do in the evenings after they get off work.”
Andrew Hartfield and John Schmid are working on getting a team together with some friends from Lakewood Baptist Church. Hartfield said he’s glad to see more recreational opportunities for adults coming to the area.
“I feel like there’s definitely enough adults in the area that would be willing to do it, and I’m sure there will be plenty of teams signed up for it,” he said.
Schmid, who works in recreation ministries at Lakewood, also said it seemed like a great way to meet people and stay active.
“Doing competitive team games is something that I really enjoy, and there’s not a very strong presence for adult athletics in this area,” Schmid said. “When the opportunity arose, it was definitely something I was interested in. An opportunity to get active and competitive with other adults seems like a good experience and a lot of fun.”
To sign up a team, contact Briscoe at contact Briscoe via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 770-503-3148.
The softball season will start on Aug. 12. Laurel Park is at 3100 Old Cleveland Highway in Gainesville.
This report has been updated from its original version.