The 2022 Palmer Ball Program, which began June 6th and ended Monday, July 18th, saw tons of youngsters head to Palmer Park to learn T-ball, baseball and softball under sunny skies in Central Minnesota.
The program is separated into three different co-ed divisions, including tee ball for ages 5-7, pitch ball for ages 8-9 and softball for ages 10-14 years.
The Palmer Summer Softball program began in the summer of 1983 and has continued to grow in the past 39 years. However, the program doesn’t just have softball anymore as they’ve added coach pitch ball and tee ball. The program is still going strong and has over 200 youth every Monday night throughout the summer.
The end of the season goals for tee ball is learning to run bases, know how to hit off a tee, know correct batting stance, using footprints, know what is infield and outfield and to know how to throw to first base.
For pitchball, adult coaches pitch and have a fielder stand next to them to make plays. Coaches tell the kids what the next play is and help kids learn to bat and improve batting skills. The kids practice throwing and catching prior to the game and coaches match up kids with equal skill levels.
For softball, coaches help improve players’ batting skills. The older, more advanced players are asked to bat “lefthanded” at umpire’s discretion to protect younger players. Pitchers pitch from the rubber and players practice throwing and catching prior to the game.
Palmer softball has been around for generations and they have some families that the grandparents played or coached, their sons or daughters have played and coached and now their sons and daughters play too.
The teams are coached by program volunteers and parents. The softball program is run by volunteer committee members with help from the Palmer Park Rec and Maintenance to maintain the grounds and fields.
The youth co-ed softball program is played at Palmer Township Park. The park is a 22-acre park which has playground equipment for the kids, horseshoe pits, a tennis court, a sand volleyball court, a half basketball court, onsite bathrooms and a concession stand. The teams stay in the park each Monday and no traveling to other towns or playing on weekends.