Little League tourney requires extra help

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2007

As Ringo Starr once sang, “I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends.”

Running a little league baseball tournament requires cooperation and help from volunteers.

District 11, which includes Lawrence and Scioto counties, alternates the various boys and girls district tournaments each year.

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The Ironton Little League was awarded the 9-10-year-old tournament and league president Jimmy Mahlmeister said it is a privilege and big responsibility to conduct a tournament.

“You can turn it down if you want, but it’s an opportunity to make money for your league,” said Mahlmeister.

“Another upside is if you take the tournament then you don’t have to travel, but you have to be able to staff it.”

Mahlmeister said the league has been fortunate to get plenty of volunteers, but there are outside factors that cause problems with staffing.

“It’s tough when we have our other teams playing. Our 11 and 12-year-olds are still playing and our junior league just got eliminated. Whey they play, you don’t get those volunteers,” said Mahlmeister.

“So far our 9-and-10 year old parents have been a huge help. They’ve helped man something when they aren’t playing. It takes a lot of help from the board members and a lot of help from other people.”

A tournament needs a minimum of 15 to 20 people, according to Mahlmeister. A new rule this season has forced the league to supply two more volunteers.

A pitch count rule is used to determine how long and how often a pitcher is allowed to pitch. With two games being played at the same time, each game requires someone to count pitches.

Also needed for each game are two umpires, a scorekeeper, and an announcer.

Other workers are needed in the concession stand, and outside at the grill there is a need from cooks, people selling T-shirts and collecting money.

“The 15 to 20 workers is the bare minimum. District 11 has helped us with umpires, so we haven’t had to call on our people too much to umpire,” said Mahlmeister.

Ironton beat Portsmouth West 16-14 and Wheelersburg won the late game 16-2 over Chillicothe in Tuesday’s results.

The tournament continues Thursday and will conclude July 21 or 22. Games will be played each day except Wednesdays and Sundays.