As my first anniversary approaches as Columbia County’s Recreation and Events manager, I thought it might be helpful to give a quick update and address some of the frequently asked questions regarding our recreational programs.
What sports are available to the public?
The traditional youth sports offered are baseball, basketball, football, softball and soccer. The gymnasium also offers karate and baton twirling. We are planning a lacrosse league, offering two tennis clinics and expanding the age groups in the basketball league this summer. Adults can enjoy spring and fall softball and soccer, and we just finished a flag football league. Classes offered in the gymnasium are Zumba and Taekwondo.
Can I request a particular coach or team, or switch teams?
“No” to all of the above. With thousands of children enrolled, it not only is logistically impossible to place children on the team of their choice, it also is unfair. Each season, the appropriate staff overseeing a league will organize a meeting for each coach in that league to draft his/her team, one child at a time.
How do I become a coach?
All of our coaches are volunteers. We try to offer those coaches who have previously volunteered the first opportunity for the next season, and then ask parents or other interested volunteers if additional coaches are needed.
Can my child move up or down to another league?
Each sport is divided into age groups, regardless of the talent or maturity of a child. All children play within their own age group, whether he/she athletically blossoms at a young age or not.
What are the days and times of games, age control dates and field locations?
A Recreation Guide is available on our Web page. The address, www.columbiacountyga.gov, lists all facilities we use. Age-control dates are established by the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association. Generally speaking, we schedule the youngest participants at the earliest times of the evening. Once it is determined how many teams are in each league, we are able to determine the number of games to be played.
How often are practices?
Coaches are allowed to schedule their own practices at their discretion. Each coach can reserve a field/court through our department for one weekday and Saturday.
How does online registration work?
This service is available only to previous participants. Once a child is registered in our program, we have all the contact information to enable this more expedient service. There is a $2.50 convenience charge. Your ID is a five-digit number generated when your child is entered into our system, and your password is your 10-digit home phone number. As reminders, before each registration period, we send emails to all participants with this information.
What if I miss registration for a sport?
After each registration period ends, we start a waiting list. Your child can be added and the appropriate staff will contact you if a spot becomes available in his/her league. The majority of the time the children will be able to play from the list. There is no guarantee, and I highly encourage you to register on time. There also is a $10 late fee.
What are Reed Creek Park and Wildwood Park?
These parks are hidden jewels for the county. Wildwood Park is just past Pollards Corner on Clarks Hill Lake. The park is best known for the mega boat ramps used for large fishing tournaments and is home to the International Disc Golf Headquarters. This 971-acre park has 61 campsites, horse and bike trails, disc golf courses, and a beach area.
Reed Creek Nature Park is off Furys Ferry Road, 3820 Park Lane. Our staff offers programs to help you learn about everything you might see at the park.
These are just a few of the many questions our staff is asked on a regular basis. If you would like to receive text messages regarding our programs, rainouts, etc., text “ccrec” to 82672. To receive a text of upcoming events, text “ccevents” to 82672. All staff members, contact information and primary responsibilities are listed on the Web page. Please feel free to contact someone if you need our assistance.
(Stacie Adkins is the Columbia County Recreation and Events manager.)