Four teams from Columbia County's recreation department are traveling this week to play in the World Series in their respective divisions. County officials are trying to make sure at least two teams stay put in 2010.
County recreation manager Charlie Beale and athletic supervisor Ken Warner will head to Louisiana this week to place a bid to play host to the 2010 Dixie Belles and Dixie Ponytails World Series.
The county has held numerous Dixie state tournaments in the past. This would be its first World Series since 1999 and the first time the county has held two at the same time.
"We decided, 'Let's go for two, let's do it big,' " Beale said.
The bid will consist of a presentation of photos of the facilities, including the playing field at Patriots Park, and information on local hotels, restaurants and entertainment options for players and their families.
Officials will look at the maintenance of the playing fields and how many are available. Beale said officials need to see that games can be moved to another location if needed. The host also provides a banquet for players and parents.
Beale and Warner will leave for Louisiana on Friday and return Sunday, with their trip coinciding with the start of the Dixie Belles World Series in Alexandria, La. The Columbia County Belles and Ponytails won the Georgia state tournament to advance to the World Series.
The Dixie Boys and O-Zone teams from Columbia County also will compete in the World Series.
Beale said the success of the area's teams in the past should be a strong selling point for Dixie officials.
"Columbia County has been strong in fast-pitch softball," Beale said. "The baseball teams have always been strong. We hope we've had a little bit to do with it by our program and the building and development of kids in our program."
Beale's trip to this year's World Series, and one he's planning for the 2009 Series in Sumter, S.C., will serve somewhat as reconnaissance missions for 2010.
Beale wants to take notes on the opening ceremonies of the other cities' events and trump them if the event comes to Columbia County.
The county has played host to five World Series -- both boys and girls -- in the past.
"We've got a proven record of hosting and doing a pretty good job with it," Beale said. "We feel pretty comfortable."
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