Youngsville is starting a new recreational sports association for youths and adults who want to compete on the diamonds and fields of the city’s Sports Complex and in the $4 million Community Center scheduled to open this spring with basketball and volleyball courts.
Called the Youngsville Recreational Sports Program, the first signup for players will begin Monday and end March 4 for T-ball, softball and baseball competition this spring. Registration is open to Youngsville residents from Feb. 1 to March 4, and is open to all kids in Broussard and other nearby communities from Feb. 8 until March 4. The games will begin April 25.
Tim Robichaux, director of Youngsville Parks and Recreation Department, said the new association will pull members who in past years were part of the Broussard Youngsville Youth Association. He said Youngsville ball players make up 60 percent of the BYYA.
The formation of the new association came after a University of Louisiana at Lafayette study, which looked at Youngsville’s growth. The study, researched and written by university executive MBA students, showed Youngsville residents by a 3-1 ratio wanted a sports association that was independent of others in Lafayette Parish, including the BYYA, and they wanted their own organized sports played at the new Sports Complex, Mayor Ken Ritter said.
“If we get the enrollment numbers we’re expecting, we’ll be fine,” Ritter said.
Youngsville’s Sports Complex opened in spring 2014 at a cost of $17.7 million, supported financially by revenue from a 1-cent sales tax. A $4 million Community Center, located near the complex’s tennis courts, houses volleyball and basketball courts and is to open this spring.
“It’s not doing away with the BYYA,” Robichaux said. “We’re just going to be independent of BYYA. … It wasn’t to spite anybody. We have the facilities we have right now and our citizens want their own sports programs.”
Jack Hains, who is director of the Broussard Park and Recreation Department, said he and Robichaux discussed Youngsville separating its youth sports from Broussard’s.
“We will certainly entertain doing the same thing as soon as we get open,” Hains said. “That way our facilities will be able to be used for what they were built for, for our citizens.”
Hains is overseeing construction of a sports complex in Broussard — St. Julien Park — that is slated to open in spring 2017. St. Julien, too, will offer baseball and softball diamonds along with basketball and volleyball courts.
The Youngsville Recreation Sports Program will offer membership and competition for all ages, including volleyball and basketball. Later this year, Youngsville’s older residents could compete in pickleball games.
But first comes baseball, softball and T-ball for the kids. Parents can sign their kids up online at youngsvillesportscomplex.com or by dropping by the concessionary at the Sports Complex’s baseball fields.