Don't let the snow fool you. Baseball is coming to Prince George faster than a Marcus Stroman fastball.
Prince George Youth Baseball Association (PGYBA) has upgraded its registration system this year so that families can register their kids into the great summer pastime online without having to leave the comfort of their house.
Baseball starts in May, on a
date dependent on the spring grass, so deadline for registration is March 31.
The deadline is set so teams can be assembled, fields prepared and equipment sorted accordingly.
The registration tab on the PGYBA home page leads parents through the process.
Those interested in coaching (even for part-time or assistant commitments) can also toss their name into that hat via the registration tab.
"It isn't always at the front of people's minds, with all of the snow on the ground, that now is the time to think baseball, but that deadline for registration is coming up right away and we do not want families to miss out," said PGYBA president Carmen Martin.
"We urge people to go to the website as soon as possible."
For the past few seasons in a row, the league has enjoyed full ranks of about 550 boys and girls, with wait-lists of kids who did not register by deadline and couldn't get slotted onto a team.
The level of play at the house level is enjoyable recreation and has led to the emergence of strong rep teams (all play under the black, red and white colours of the Prince George Knights) including, this past summer, the Western Canadian Midget AA champion squad and the Bantam AA team that won silver at both the B.C. Minor Baseball and the Baseball B.C. provincial tournaments.
"Prince George has a good baseball system. It's fun at the recreational level and it's highly competitive at the all-star level," said Martin.
The baseball season is also designed to be family-friendly. It starts when the melt allows but the end date is firm.
The last week for school at the end of June is also the close of baseball, allowing families to have their summer holidays without scheduling conflicts.
It only continues into the summer for the players who emerge as all-stars for the various rep teams travelling to represent the northern region at various tournaments.
PGYBA encourages both boys and girls to take part.
There is plenty of opportunity for families to get involved as volunteers, there is umpire training for youth and adults to develop their officiating skills and take part in that way as well, and it's the kind of activity families and neighbours can enjoy together in parks and backyards.
Kids aged four and five can take part in the blastball introductory level, with two-year age brackets all the way up to the 15-17 midget level.
Prices range from $90 Blastball to $200 for bantam and midget.