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RSF Little League’s clinics get players prepped for the season

Rancho Santa Fe Little League is giving the gift of winter baseball this December with free recreational youth baseball clinics for boys and girls ages 4 to 13.

The December clinics started last year as a way to increase awareness about the coming season following a year in which youth sports were greatly impacted by the pandemic, said first-year RSF Little League President Bob Willingham. After a very successful yet abbreviated 2021 season, the league was motivated to bring the clinics back.

“The clinics are a community-building event that gets everybody excited about the upcoming baseball season,” Willingham said. “They give kids a chance to dust off their gloves and bats and get out there and have some fun.”

Players are not required to be registered for the season to participate in the free clinics—it can be a chance for youngsters to give the sport a try and decide if they want to play some baseball next year.

Willingham said RSF Little League is heading into 2022 on a positive swing.

“Registration numbers so far are higher than last year and higher than 2019,” Willingham said. “We think we’re on track to end up with over 200 players. I don’t recall a time that our numbers were that high… Everybody’s really excited about this season.”

The 2022 season will be the first year the league offers an expanded intermediate division for 13-year-old players. The intermediate division is an opportunity for kids to continue playing recreational ball for another year before they have the opportunity to play for their high school teams. RSF plans to field one team that will compete against teams such as Del Mar, Solana Beach and 4S Ranch Little League squads.

Rancho Santa Fe Little League has been around since 1964, entirely run by volunteers like Willingham, who has been a coach for the last six years and on the board for four.

“I think all little leagues are special because they are neighborhood-based,” he said, noting Rancho Santa Fe Little League is a small and tight-knit community, bringing together kids that go to the same schools, involved coaches and parents, and dedicated sponsors and donors who take care of the fields.

Upcoming Saturday clinics will be held on Dec. 11 and 18. For times and sign-ups, visit rsfll.com. Registration for the 2022 season is now open and the deadline to register is Jan. 18. Player evaluations will be held on Jan. 22 and all players will get a spot on a team. Games begin the week of Feb. 28.


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