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.
MARA would like to welcome you all to the upcoming Fall 2014 Baseball season. The 2014/2015 league commissioners contact information has been updated and is available on the MARA website under the Key Sports Contact Tab on the Mara Home Page.
Important upcoming dates:
July 21 – On line registration opens ( Marasports.org)
August 10 – Open Registration at MARA (1-4 PM)
August 17 – Open Registration and Try It day for T Ball and Machine Pitch at MARA (1-4 PM)
August 20 – On line registration closes at midnight. Anyone signing up after this date will be placed on a waiting list based on team roster availability.
August 23 – Skills assessments held at MARA. Schedule to come.
Practices will begin the week of August 25th
Games will begin the weekend of September 12th
Season will be completed by October 30th
If you have any questions, please contact your child’s league commissioner. League is determined by your child’s age as of April 30, 2015.
2015/2015 Bat and Ball Committee
Babe Ruth Commissioner – Drew Roth
Majors Commissioner – Jim Warfield
Minors Commissioner – Andy Hunt
Rookie League (Machine Pitch) Commissioner – Dave Lavender
Please congratulate the Mara 8U All Stars for winning the WNC Cal Ripken State Championship coached by Brandon Witherspoon. They will be going to the Regional Tournament in Alabama on July 22nd. Good luck guys.
HQ4Baseball & Softball has partnered with the MARA to offer a great summer camp program for baseball and softball players. Top area coaches provide the best training available in a Fun and Safe format.
Location: Arthur Goodman Park
1200 S. Trade Street
Matthews, NC 28105
Dates: July 28th thru 31st (Monday - Thursday)
Time: 8:00 AM - Noon
Ages: 7 - 15 years old (boys and girls)
Camp Director: Hal Bagwell, Head Coach at Ardrey Kell High School
● Chet Greeson, Head Coach at Hopewell HS, HQ4 Instructor, former college baseball player
● Spencer Stecher, HQ4 Instructor, high school baseball coach, Travel Ball Director at HQ4
● Shelton Grant, HQ4 instructor and former college baseball player at WCU
● Jimmy Cochran, Head Coach at Hough High School, former college baseball player at WCU
● Webster Beal, HQ4 Instructor and former college baseball player at Gardner-Webb
● Jasmine Young, HQ4 Instructor and former college softball player at SCSU
● Lindsay Greeson, college softball player at USC Upstate
● Camps are managed by Al Dahlgren, owner of HQ4Baseball & Softball
All Skills Camp:
● Teaches fundamentals of throwing, fielding and hitting
● Focuses on the specifics of infield and outfield play
● Teaches proper baserunning techniques
● Teaches situational defense
● Offers pitcher and catcher specific instruction
● Players should dress to play baseball or softball, and bring their bat, glove, helmet, etc.
● Water is provided, but players are welcome to bring their own water bottle, Gatorade, etc.
● Players are divided into baseball and softball groups, then by age and skill level.
Fresh air, family fun ... and baseball or softball. What could be better? Plan a trip to one of our host cities and take in some incredible baseball or softball games ... and see some of the stars of tomorrow! There are plenty of hotels and accommodations ... just take a look!
In 2001 Babe Ruth League, Inc. established a College Scholarship Program for players who participated in the Babe Ruth Baseball and Softball divisions. Each year the scholarship fund supports roughly 12 students that wish to further their education. This year we will once again be offering this opportunity and extending the deadline to September 1st. Learn more >
NCSA: A Proven Resource for High School Athletes Looking to Play at College Level
Babe Ruth League, Inc. has named NCSA as its official college recruiting service. NCSA is the nation’s leading collegiate recruiting source for more than 500,000 student-athletes and 42,000 college coaches; hosting more than 2,000 recruiting seminars at camps, combines and high schools every year. NCSA is dedicated to educating student- athletes about the recruiting process. Find out more >
Annual Babe Ruth League Golf Tournament: Thank You to Our Sponsors!
Babe Ruth League would like to thank everyone involved with the annual Babe Ruth League Golf Tournament on Friday, June 6th. A great time was had by everyone involved, on a beautiful day at Gambler Ridge Golf Course in Cream Ridge, New Jersey. All together, we raised over $16,000 for the Babe Ruth League Scholarship fund. That was only possible because of the generosity of everyone involved. Read more >
Enter the Rawlings "Try It & Buy It"
Try on or purchase a Rawlings helmet to be entered for a chance to meet a Rawlings Major League Advisory Staff Member at a Major Leaue Ballpark! Read more >
Pic Stories: Customized PhotoBooks, Calendars and More!
Babe Ruth League, Inc. has named PicStories as an official licensee specializing in personalized photo books, calendars, and multiple other products that commemorate your season. Each product is exclusively designed for your Babe Ruth program. For more information on options and pricing, contact Rob Kambies at 267-460-8624 or email
. Read more >
Available now! The latest edition of
The BullPen is the official online magazine of the Babe Ruth Leagues, packed with articles and information to help make your program the best it can be! Read more >
Check Out These Special Deals at the Babe Ruth Store:
Official Baseball Shoulder Emblem: 3” from $1.40
Official Cal Ripken Shoulder Emblem: 3” from $1.40
Official Softball Shoulder Emblem: 3” from $1.40
Xtreme Fastpitch Emblem from $1.40 Read more >
Adidas Warm-Up Jacket $20
Babe Ruth Baseball Hooded Sweatshirt - Grey from $20
Babe Ruth Softball Polo Shirt - Navy $15
Babe Ruth Baseball Polo Shirt - Navy $15 Read more >
An instructional baseball day camp offered for players of all skill levels ages 5-12. Players are grouped by age and work on every aspect of the game form 9AM-2PM each day. Morning sessions consist of individual instruction and drills designed to develop personal skills. Afternoon session is devoted to instructional scrimmages to develop team oriented skills. Parents may drop off campers as early as 8:30AM & should arrange prompt pick-up at 2PM. Professional/MLB Group Leaders, High School Coaches & Collegiate players are combined to provide your child with the most enjoyable experience.
Total cost for the summer day camp is $190.00. Cost includes: instruction, camp t-shirt and camper evaluation. All camps held @ Matthews Athletic Recreation Association (MARA) located in Matthews, NC. Registration forms are available starting March 31th online @ www.grandslamusa.org Sibling & multiple camp discounts available!
MARA will be fielding All Star teams for the 6U, 7U, 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, and 12U age groups this year.
If you are interested in putting your name in for Coaching an All Star team, please submit your name to your respective commissioner or Angie Blankenship (
) by May 13th.
If you are interested in putting your child’s name in for All Star consideration, please complete the All Star commitment form and submit to your head coach, respective commissioner, or Angie Blankenship (
) by May 13th.
See below timeline and key dates:
May 6th – Communication of the All Star process to the membership
May 13th – Deadline for Coaching candidates and the All Star commitment form to be submitted
May 17th – Deadline for All Star Coaching candidates vote
May 19th – Announcement of All Star Coaches
May 19th thru May 24th – All Star Player Ballot voting
May 27th – Announcement of All Star teams
May 27 thru June 6th – End of Regular Season tournament
June 7th – Beginning of All Star Practices
All Star Tournament dates can be found at the following link:
2014 All-Star Information and Commitment
To All MARA Parents:
Matthews Athletic and Recreation Association will be fielding multiple All-Star teams for the 2014 Season. All teams will participate in the Cal Ripken Tournament trail. We will be supporting teams in the 6U through 12U age divisions. Each team will have its own tournament trail, with the 10U and 12U teams having the opportunity to play all the way to the World Series. Included at the end of this document are the regional tournament dates for each age group. Please note that 6U and 7U age divisions do not have regional tournaments. Regional tournaments end in late July and if they were to qualify, teams headed to the World Series would not be done until mid-August. There will be multiple team practices each week, as well as possible scrimmages.
There has never been a more exciting time for your child to play All-Stars, but we need a commitment from you.
You commit to having your child at all tournament games and practices unless there is an illness, injury or family emergency.
A player is allowed to miss one (1) week of practice only, not tournament games, for a family vacation. Please notify the Head Coach at the beginning of All-Star practice regarding the days you will be absent. MARA recognizes that family summer vacation is important, but commitment to an All-Star team is vital.
Some tournament games may require an overnight stay, and you will assist the coach in arranging hotel and travel accommodations. Parents are responsible for ALL travel expenses related to each tournament. You understand and are committed to attending regional and/or World Series tournaments if your child’s team qualifies. This year’s tournament locations are;
8U Regional – Florence, AL
9U Regional – Palm Beach Gardens, FL
10U Regional – Matthews, NC
10U World Series – Winchester, Va
11U Regional – Altamonte Springs, FL
12U Regional – Lewisburg, TN 12U World Series – Aberdeen, Maryland
There is NO “must play” rule in All-Stars. Tournament rules are consistent with real baseball rules, including substitution rules. For example, in the 7U and 8U divisions, only 10 players are allowed to be in the batting lineup, and coaches must substitute additional players into the game. Similar rules exist for 9U through 12U, except only 9 players are in the lineup. While the coach will make every effort to play as many players as possible, playing time will be at the sole discretion of the head coach.
MARA will be paying a significant portion of the All-Star fees and uniforms. You commit to paying the fee established by MARA. This fee could be up to $165.
MARA strives to offer every opportunity for a player to develop their skills, and play towards selection to the All-Star Team. This should be considered an honor. You understand that MARA has posted its selection process on the website, and you understand the process.
You have 4 days from the all-star teams being posted on the MARA web site to remove your child from the team with no penalty. If you remove your child from the team after this time, for any reason other than injury, illness or family emergency, they will no longer be eligible for All-Stars in the future.
You understand that the All-Star Coaches are selected by a vote of the League Coaches and are approved by the MARA Board of Directors, and that no member has any ability to influence the outcome.
You understand that only players that sign this commitment form are eligible for all-stars, either as a player voted onto the all-star team or a coach’s pick.
This 2014 All-Star Information and Commitment form must be signed and returned to your head coach by May 13, 2014 to be placed on the ballot and eligible for all-star selection.
By signing below, you as a parent/guardian and player, commit to adhering to all of the MARA All-Star guidelines (1-10) for the year 2014. If you CAN NOT adhere to ALL of these guidelines, then do not submit your name for MARA 2014 All-Star consideration.
I/We agree and will commit to the MARA 2014 All-Star Guidelines:
_______________________________ Parent/Guardian Signature
____________________________ Player Name
____________________________ Regular Season Team
____________________________ Birth Date / Age
2014 MARA All-Star Information and Commitment Form
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.