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HVBSA to Acquire Assets of Ewing Little League and Merge Operations

10/26/2017, 10:45am EDT
By Mark A. Shreve

Acquisition to Close by end of 2017, Merged League to Begin Play in 2018

Ewing Township Little League (ELL) has decided to cease operations as a Little League at the end of this year, and Hopewell Valley Baseball & Softball Association (HVBSA) will be absorbing their assets and membership into a re-named, combined league, the Ewing/Hopewell Baseball & Softball Association (EHBSA), in a similar fashion that we successfully acquired the assets of the Ewing Babe Ruth League back in 2014 to create the current Ewing/Hopewell Babe Ruth League.

This decision comes at a time when leagues across the state are seeing declining enrollment, and while HVBSA's financial condition is strong and enrollment has been steady, this merger helps to ensure that the game of baseball remains firmly rooted in the Hopewell Valley community. And thanks to our dedicated community of volunteers, we'll continue offering a dynamic, fun and competitive environment to play baseball, while expanding the opportunity to play to as many young players as possible in the local community.

You may be aware that Ewing residents are already eligible to participate in HVBSA's Cal Ripken League (i.e. Ewing is within the territorial boundaries of our existing Cal Ripken League charter) and Ewing players have played in HVBSA for many years. By ELL ceasing operations, this means that our combined league will grow by some 200+ players. Ewing parents and guardians who have players registered in the combined league will be eligible to volunteer as trustees and committee members of the combined organization as well, just as any other parent/guardian of a registered player is eligible to volunteer.

What does this means for current HVBSA players and families?

  • Recreational Play - All players will be registering for the 2018 spring recreational season in a single registration system, and teams will be selected in the same 'draft' process as they have in the past - (i.e. there will not be Ewing Teams and Hopewell teams). The added players should make Division play more dynamic by limiting the need for teams to play each other multiple times to fill out a typical seven-week season, which has been the case with smaller divisions in past years.
  • Travel Baseball Program: The expanded membership may create an increased pool of recreational players trying out for 2018 EHBSA spring travel teams; tryouts will be held as usual and tryout dates will be announced shortly. Importantly, if there is enough player interest at a particular age group (22 or more players trying out), we will be able to select ""A" and "B" teams, provided a B team manager can be identified.
  • District Play: EHBSA will continue to field a single District Tournament team in each eligible age group following the Spring season, with separate tryouts happening at the conclusion of the rec season that are open to all rec players, with the hope that because of the larger pool of recreational players to draw from, that we will be able to field teams at every age group for District Tournament play, and also become more competitive at the State level.
  • Field Usage: To accommodate the growth of the league, Cal Ripken (T-Ball through Majors Divisions) games will be played at three locations: the Municipal Athletic Complex; at Moody Park in Ewing, where the Township was recently awarded a Mercer County At-Play Grant to re-build four Cal Ripken-sized fields in time for play in 2018, and where the EHBRL has played since 2014; and at Fasolino Field in Ewing, a new Cal Ripken-sized field that was built through private donations, and that was dedicated in 2017.

This merger will strengthen the organization for years to come, and it serves our mission of teaching and growing the game of baseball in Hopewell Valley and promoting a positive learning environment for our players. In fact it's that reputation that we've earned since our founding in 1952 that will also help us draw even more new players into the league in the future

We'll be back in touch quickly with announcements related to this endeavor as we near the opening of 2018 registration in mid-December, and thank you for your continued support of HVBSA.

Our best,

The Trustees of HVBSA

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