Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority
****WE'VE EXTENDED REGISTRATION! SEE DETAILS ABOUT THE LEAGUE BELOW.
The time is here: register NOW for fall youth football & cheerleading. Teams are decided by school district in our community-wide league, so bring yo...read more
VLPRA has brought nearly $4 MILLION of economic impact to Valdosta and Lowndes County in the last six months alone. Check out the Valdosta Daily Times article below to see how we have quietly become a huge force in local tourism! You can see th...read more
It's Elite 8 Day! The VLPRA Heat will play the AYBA Eagles at 5:30 Eastern this afternoon in the Dizzy Dean World Series. Our 8-year-old All Stars are tough as nails, going 6-1 so far in Southaven and scoring 102 runs while only allowing 57 runs....read more
We're excited to introduce girls volleyball this fall! Register your 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grader now.
VLPRA is also registering for our fall co-ed youth soccer league. Sign up today!
The VLPRA Heat fought hard but unfortunately will not be moving past the Elite 8. They were defeated 12-4 this afternoon. This team showed a lot of heart and an incredible amount of perseverance and ...
Our game is next! The VLPRA Heat will the AYBA Eagles in the Dizzy Dean World Series at 5:30 Eastern. Our 8-year-old All Stars are tough as nails, going 6-1 so far in Southaven and making it all the...
****WE'VE EXTENDED REGISTRATION! SEE DETAILS ABOUT THE LEAGUE BELOW.
The time is here: register NOW for fall youth football & cheerleading. Teams are decided by school district in our community-wide league, so bring your school pride and get ready to play hard! We'll even be playing at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium, Martin Stadium, and Valwood- giving your athlete the chance to feel like a high-school superstar.
All equipment is provided in the VLPRA Youth Football League. Helmets, pads, jerseys, pants, and even socks are provided- the only thing you bring is cleats. Cheerleading uniforms are provided, too! The program runs through the fall with about 10 games and a post season tournament. We also have Athletic AND Academic All Star Teams!
Register now online or come to our office to sign up!
Teams are based on school district, so whichever middle school your child is districted for will be the district your child plays in. For instance, if your first-grader at Westside Elementary will eventually go to Hahira Middle, then he/she will be in the Hahira Middle District. The same goes for any child who attends a city school. There are also Valwood teams. Is your child enrolled in a different private school or home-schooled? Call us and we will be happy to talk to you about your options!
If there are enough kids to form two teams in a district, the coaches will do a draft. Coaches will then contact players and begin scheduling practices starting in mid to late July. Practices will be held at North Lowndes Park in Hahira, South Lowndes in Lake Park, Freedom Park, and Scott Park. Games run August to November, with play finishing up before Thanksgiving. Our All-Star program runs through December. Games will be held at the parks mentioned above and of course at Bazemore-Hyder and Martin Stadiums!
**We willl need a copy of your child's birth certificate before he/she receives equipment and uniforms. If you have played youth sports with us before, we should already have that certificate on file. Please check with us.
VLPRA has brought nearly $4 MILLION of economic impact to Valdosta and Lowndes County in the last six months alone. Check out the Valdosta Daily Times article below to see how we have quietly become a huge force in local tourism! You can see the article on the VDT's website by clicking here.
The Business of Sport
Sports tournaments pump millions into local economy
By Stuart Taylor
The Valdosta Daily Times
VALDOSTA — You’re probably familiar with the sights and sounds of a summertime ball game: the crack of a bat, the thwack of a ball hitting a glove, the dust kicked up by a runner’s slide suspended in the setting sun.
What you might be less familiar with is the financial impact a game of baseball or softball can have on a community.
Two years ago, the Valdosta Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority started focusing more on baseball and softball tournaments, particularly adult tournaments.
“We have great facilities and we have a great location,” said VLPRA Executive Director George Page. “We’re three hours south of Atlanta. We’re three hours north of Tampa, Orlando area, central Florida. We’re right on I-75; I-10 is close; I-95 is a few hours away. We’re really in a great location.”
Page started attending conventions for the traveling sports tourism industry, exhibiting the ball fields, amenities and conveniences that Valdosta and Lowndes County have to offer.
Between those trips, word of mouth and the work of the rest of the VLPRA staff, Lowndes County’s reputation as a go-to venue for hosting tournaments solidified during the last couple of years.
VLPRA takes this reputation seriously; to keep it, the authority works to provide the best facilities possible for visiting teams.
Ball fields are laser graded and crowned each year; clay is added as well as in-field conditioner.
“We’re trying to take care of our fields and present the best possible product.”
A turf-management program is in place for all outfields and infields. They’re irrigated and fertilized and the outfield is dressed with sand.
It’s done to keep the fields looking good both for visiting tournaments and local teams, but it also helps manage the inevitable South Georgia rainfall.
“When you host tournaments, one of the things you want to make sure you do is finish the tournament. Sometimes you’ll get rain or inclement weather. It can rain an inch, inch and a half, and we’re playing baseball or softball tonight, whereas most places you go to you’re done for the day or the evening.”
The VLPRA also works to take care of the little things: emptying trash cans routinely, cleaning restrooms on the hour, picking up trash in the bleachers throughout the day.
“We want them to remember Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority as being the best.”
Utilizing Freedom Park, South Lowndes Recreation Complex and Vallotton ball fields, VLPRA has hosted 19 softball and baseball tournaments and six tennis tournaments so far this year.
These 25 combined tournaments have directly impacted the local economy to the tune of $2,522,276.
Direct impacts, as calculated by the Georgia Department of Tourism, consider things such as hotel rooms for out-of-town teams, gas purchased, meals bought and various supplies a traveling baseball team might need.
One tournament, the biggest, accounted for 1,298 hotel nights; in total, the last six months have accounted for more than 4,600 room nights.
The GDT also measures indirect impacts: restaurants hiring more servers for tournament weekends, a local clothing store having to order more shirts to replace stock purchased by visitors, the VLPRA hiring maintenance or ground crews to handle the weekend inflow of sports fans.
The indirect impact of the hosted tournaments this year is $1,356,082, for a total impact of $3,878,358.
By year’s end, Page hopes the VLPRA can break $6 million in total economic impact for 2014.
In the next few years, the VLPRA looks to diversify its facilities to go after a larger piece of the sports tourism industry.
“We really haven’t even scratched the surface on the sports tourism industry here in Valdosta-Lowndes County. We just started with baseball, tennis and softball. There’s many other areas we have not really gone after … soccer, basketball, volleyball, they are untapped right now. But trust me, we’ll be tapping into those markets in the very near future.”
It's Elite 8 Day! The VLPRA Heat will play the AYBA Eagles at 5:30 Eastern this afternoon in the Dizzy Dean World Series. Our 8-year-old All Stars are tough as nails, going 6-1 so far in Southaven and scoring 102 runs while only allowing 57 runs. A win today puts them in the World Series Semi-finals. You can watch them play LIVE today via web webstream by clicking here.