A generous donation of $16,875 was announced by the Lewis River Rotary Club for three new electronic scoreboards for the Battle Ground Little League fields.
“It’s a huge donation, and I mean these boards will last. They’ll be up here for 30 years, and of course have the sponsor’s name on there,” said Ryan Smith, a Battle Ground Little League board member.
Currently, the scoreboards at the three main fields are inoperable, which is a challenge for players, coaches and even the fans. Smith added the players don’t have all the information they need to really learn the game when the scoreboards are inoperable. Seeing the score or situation, such as how many outs there are and what the count is, can help young athletes progress in the sport, but that has been missing.
Nevco, a scoreboard manufacturer, stated that having a working scoreboard is a great way to teach children the basics of a sport as it encourages hands on, visual learning.
Smith said having a working scoreboard adds an element of professionalism that has been missing for a few years. While a softball game and minors baseball game was being played on Wednesday, May 10, there was no way to see the score or know the count.
Only a scorekeeper using paper and pencil currently knows the score and situation at all times. With the electronic scoreboards, everyone will have easy access by looking out beyond center field.
Once the new scoreboards are installed, they can also be accessed from any personal electronic device, which will allow for easy and simple use for scorekeepers.
“We have to remember that every scorekeeper is a volunteer as well. So we want to make it as easy as possible for them to sit down and be able to pick up on it quickly,” Smith said.
As far as other facility improvements go, Smith said the league plans on replacing the rotting wood bleachers with metal bleachers. There’s a long list of facility upgrades and replacements to be completed, but he estimates the cost to switch to all metal bleachers will be around the same price as new scoreboards.
For the 2023 season, Battle Ground Little League has around 300 kids in teams from tee ball through the juniors level, Smith said.
“We always need volunteers trying to facilitate 300 kids playing, every day of the week, every weekend (during the season),” Smith said. “We always need umpires. We always need concession stand workers. We always need scorekeepers. We always need coaches.”
Smith added that a few coaches are leading two teams, which is challenging.
Those wanting to sponsor improvements are always welcome to inquire about possibilities. Opportunities range from banners on the fences to logos on the back of teams’ jerseys. Those wanting to volunteer or sponsor are encouraged to contact Battle Ground Little League by emailing email@example.com. Battle Ground Little League can be found on Facebook and online by searching bgll.org.
“We get all the volunteers and all of the sponsors kind of coming out of COVID and coming out of the pandemic. We’re having to kind of find our footing again,” said Stefani Leavitt, public relations officer with the league. “So this is really great to see the support from the community and (we’re) really hoping that as we go forward, we can keep gaining that support and build a good league here and I think it’ll be really great.”