Cal Ripken Age 4-12
Babe Ruth Age 13-16
Matthews Athletic and Recreation Association was founded in 1956 for the purpose of providing the youth in Matthews/Mecklenburg County area an organized association for sports and recreational activities. Baseball has been the cornerstone of the program and is entering it's 58th year in operation. Located at Arthur Goodman Park MARA provides a balance of strong leadership, an involved community and top instruction. For player's age 4-16 MARA provides training on fundamentals as well as advanced techniques to increase each child's awarness to fitness, strategy and character. MARA Baseball have long traditions of winning at every level of play. Advanced programs are being offered that will provide players an opportunity to play challenge/travel baseball. In addition to the regular recreational season. MARA will offer a separate schedule of games against other associations. Arthur Goodman Park is located at 1200 South Trade Street in Matthews and is accessible to many families in Mecklenburg and Union Counties. Established by the Goodman family, MARA has grown to be one of the premier facilities in the area. With 10 lighted fields and multiple practice areas, teams and individuals have increased access for practice and games. MARA is the place to play.
We are excited to announce that we will be offering Challenge Baseball Program for the Spring 2014 Season. See description of program below.
If you are interested in participating in the Spring 2014 Challenge Baseball Program, please reach out to your coach and let him know by end of day on Wednesday March 5th 2014.
Spring 2014 MARA Challenge Baseball Program
Description- Challenge Baseball is a program offered by MARA to give the recreational baseball player (AAA machine pitch and older) a chance to play additional baseball at an advanced tournament level. Challenge Baseball is not for every player playing recreational baseball, but for many it provides a great opportunity to enhance their skills. If you feel that your child is ready to move up and you are ready to make the commitment to the next level, then Challenge is the place to start. Tournaments will consist of other organizations from around the area that have selected teams through a similar process.
Tryouts– will be held at MARA on Sunday, March 9th beginning at 1pm for every age group. A follow-up communication from your league commissioner will be provided as to what field you should report to. Tryouts are mandatory to be selected to a team.
Team Selection– This depends on the number of players that try out per age group. The challenge coaches for the teams in your age group will conduct the tryouts and select the players for each team. If a player is not selected to a team, he will have the choice to remain eligible in a pool of alternate/substitute players.
Communication of Teams– Selected Players will be notified by their coach by March 13th.
. Fees– $135 - Included in this cost are team registration fees, a player registration fee, jersey and hat. We have a jersey this year that each player will be able to keep. Also included will be the team admission fee for the tournaments listed below. Practices– will be held on Fridays and Sundays or other available time slots.
Tournament Dates– March 30th (Sunday only tournament).
April 12-13, May 3-4 (weekend tournaments). Teams may decide to participate in additional tournaments in the area at an additional cost to each player.
Questions: contact your league commissioner or Angie Blankenship at
(704)293-8837 or via email
Hold tryouts mid March. Will be week of March 17th.
Teams will practice at least 2 times during the week (1 weekday 1 Saturday)
and coaches usually schedule more if field/cages are available. Games will
start May 10th and run through Jun 16th. We will travel some to other rec
organization fields. Play a total of 12 games. so 6 games will be at MARA.
There will be an end of season tournament that usually lasts until end of
June (depending if your team wins).
Babe Ruth is not a must play rule, but coaches are strongly encouraged to
get kids into every game and some at bats.
Happy New Year and welcome to the upcoming Spring 2014 Baseball Season. We have several exciting updates and key dates for you.
The 2013/2014 league commissioners contact information has been updated and is available on the MARA website.
Important upcoming dates:
January 6th – Online registration opens
February 16th – Walk in Registration at Mara
February 22nd - Walk in @ Dick's
February 23rd – Walk in Registration and Try It day for T Ball and Machine Pitch at MARA (1-4 PM)
February 27th – On line registration closes at midnight. Anyone signing up after this date will be placed on a waiting list based on team roster availability.
March 1st – Skills assessments held at MARA. Schedule to be posted shortly.
Practices will begin the week of March 1st
Games will begin the weekend of March 22nd
Season will be completed by June 6th
If you have any questions, please contact your child’s league commissioner. League is determined by you child’s age as of April 30, 2014. See MARA website for Baseball Age Chart.
On Line Registration:
On line registration for the 2014 rec baseball season begins today January 6th. Due to capacity constraints, registration will be limited to the first 288 children in Machine pitch and the first 264 children in Kid pitch. Once these levels have been achieved, registration will be closed and a waiting list will be opened. Assessments will be held on Saturday March 1st. Details to follow.
Walk In Registration:
We will have three walk in registration sessions on Saturday February 22nd from 9AM to 1PM Dick's Sporting goods and Sunday February 16th & 23rd from lpm to 4pm at Mara Boardroom.
Season Schedule Update:
We will be adjusting the season schedule this spring to allow all teams to play one game during each week and one game every other weekend. This will allow for all teams to play 12 regular season games and provide up to seven weekends free for additional practices, academies, clinics (see below) and tournament play.
We are excited to announce that we have Partnered with Baseball for Life (local nonprofit organization comprised of all local middle school, high school and college baseball coaches committed to enhancing youth baseball in our community) to provide the following events for MARA rec players this spring:
Annual Coaches Clinic:
On February 9th, Baseball for Life will be holding the Spring 2014 Coaches Clinic at Weddington High School. This is a truly wonderful event that is conducted by local High School and Middle School coaches as well as many of the local area College coaches. Anyone interested in being a head or assistant coach this season is required to attend this Coaches Clinic. Times will be sent out once they are finalized. If you are interested in being a head coach or assistant coach this season, please contact your commissioner at (T-Ball), (Machine Pitch), (Minors), (Majors), (Babe Ruth) no later than February 17th. Interviews will be conducted the week of February 18th and final Coaches selection will be announced on Sunday February 23rd.
Baseball for Life Donation Drive:
On March 22nd (Opening day), we will be holding our annual gently used equipment drive. Last year, MARA families provided over $1500 in equipment and cash donations to Baseball for Life to help the student athletes in local middle and high schools with limited or no resources .
7th and 8th Grade Youth Showcase powered by Baseball for Life
On Saturday February 15th 2014, we will be hosting our first annual Middle School Baseball Showcase on the Babe Ruth field at MARA. Baseball for Life will be providing coaching and skills assessments by our local middle and high school coaches. Space is limited and will be capped at the first thirty (30) 7th and 8th grade MARA players that sign up. Cost will be $45 and includes 7 hours of middle and high school coaching, lunch, game play and a t-shirt. If you would like to sign up for this exciting event, please contact Tony Franco at
or to register go to: www.marasports.org under Register online Spring Baseball Tab.
All rec coaches (head coaches and assistants) are invited to attend. This will be a great opportunity for rec coaches to meet and learn from the local Middle and High School coaches.
Minors and Majors Skills Advancement Clinics powered by Baseball for Life
We will hold four Academy style skills advancement clinics for MARA players in the kid pitch levels. Dates will be Saturdays March 15th, April 12th, May 3rd, and May 17th from 9AM to 12 PM. Baseball for Life will be providing coaching and skills advancement by our local middle and high school coaches. Space is limited and will be capped at the first thirty (30) Minors MARA players and the first thirty (30) Majors MARA players that sign up. Cost will be $25 per session and includes 3 hours of middle and high school coaching. You may sign up for one or multiple sessions. An additional donation on your first clinic of $20 to Baseball for Life for t-shirt is appreciated. If you would like to sign up for one or more of these exciting clinics, contact Tony Franco:
or you can register at: http://leag1.com/Registration/Default.asp?n=29931&org=marabaseball. All rec coaches (head coaches and assistants) are encouraged to attend and assist. Again, this will be a great opportunity for rec coaches to meet and learn from the local Middle and High School coaches.
We will be continuing to grow our partnership with Travel Baseball. Due to capacity constraints, the number of Travel Teams that we can partner with will be limited to 8 - 12 teams. If you would like more information on this program, please contact Darrell Bagwell at
We are excited to offer these wonderful opportunities and look forward to continue growing these types of programs.
Babe Ruth League, Inc. is lifting the moratorium on composite bats for the Cal Ripken Division effective immediately. This applies onlyto the 2 ¼” barrel bats.
All bats must be stamped “Approved For Play in Babe Ruth Baseball” and meet the requirement of Rule 1.10 in the Babe Ruth League, Inc. 2011 Baseball Rules and Regulations for 2 ¼” baseball bats.
Note: The Babe Ruth 13-15 and 16-18 Baseball age divisions will continue to have the moratorium in force as explained in the memo dated October 26, 2010. As was stated in this memo, all approved composite bat models for the Babe Ruth 13-15 and 16-18 Baseball Divisions are listed at www.nfhs.org.