In Howard, finding a league of your own

Athletes: The sports-minded in Howard County can use this guide to the golf course, swimming pool, tennis court or bowling lanes.

March 23, 2003

For young or old, male or female, beginner, expert or experimenter, Howard County offers numerous opportunities to play team and individual sports. This is a list of county facilities and groups catering to amateur athletes. We apply a liberal definition to amateur sports -- broadening that term into just about anything that's competitive and has a score to be kept.

Many groups maintain Web sites, but be careful. Run mainly by volunteers, some sites are more functional and up-to-date than others. If you're shopping for a sport or a group, try the Web site first -- but always call for more information. That's true whether you want to play or volunteer -- and all groups are eager for more volunteers. A few organizations are so well-computerized that registration can be done online.

Setting out

Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks. Has easily the best overview of the county's competitive scene -- but not necessarily detailed information on everything. Headquarters at 7120 Oakland Mills Road, Guilford. The department produces widely read, seasonal listings of all its activities, ranging from sports to trips to classes. If you can't get specific information you need here, you can get referrals to other resources.

FOR THE RECORD - Western Howard County Soccer, a recreation-level youth group, was misnamed in last Sunday's Hometown Guide-Howard special section. Web site:www.whcsoccer.org. Phone: 410-489-9277.
The Sun regrets the error.

Phone: 410-313-4700.

Two Web sites:

For general information and course offerings: www.co.ho.md.us/recparks.

For sport-specific information: www.hcrpsports.com.

The Columbia Park and Recreation Association. 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia. Private, large organization in Columbia that, for fees, operates indoor and outdoor swimming pools, two tennis clubs (one open year-round), an ice-skating rink, three athletic clubs, two 18-hole golf courses, a miniature golf course, a skateboard park and a horse center.

All landowners within the "new town" are required to pay an annual assessment based on property value to support CA, as it is popularly called. In addition, Columbia residents or those who work in the county get reduced memberships or fees at all facilities. Nonresidents also can use the facilities for higher fees. Fees vary by facility.

Phone: 410-715-3000. Web site: www.columbiaassociation.com.

Community groups

Three community-oriented groups offer multiple sports for children. All are operated by volunteers, and all center on the communities listed. Because of blurred boundaries and other considerations, all also have participants from outside their primary communities. Alphabetically:

Elkridge Youth Organization: Offers soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, and for the first time this fall, youth football. Serves, essentially, the northeastern portion of the county.

Phone: 410-922-0511. Web site: www.eyosports.org.

Howard County Youth Program: Offers baseball, fast-pitch softball, volleyball, and basketball. Group holds long-term lease on Kiwanis-Wallas Park, a multi-field facility for baseball and softball, at U.S. 40 and Route 144 on the western edge of Ellicott City. Draws primarily from greater Ellicott City.

Web site: www.hcyp.org.

Savage Boys and Girls Club: Offers soccer, flag football, basketball, baseball and softball, serves communities in the southern and southeastern portion of the county.

Phone: 301-604-8308. Web site: www.savagebgc.org.

Sport-specific groups

This is where a lot of the action is. Alphabetical listing by sport and then, if warranted, by group:

Badminton

Columbia Badminton Club, 410-730-5298.

Baseball

Atholton Youth Recreation Association (AYRA), 301-498-2760. Offers recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves south-central parts of Columbia, southern part of county

Columbia Youth Baseball Association (CYBA): Recreation and travel levels. 410-465-1857 (tape). Web site: www.leaguelineup.cyba.com.

Elkridge Youth Organization (EYO), Web site: www.eyosports.org. Recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves northeast portion of county.

Howard County Youth Program (HCYP), Web site: www.hcyp.org. Recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves greater Ellicott City.

Savage Boys and Girls Club, 301-604-8308. Web site: www.savagebgc.org. Recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves southeastern part of county.

Western Howard County Youth Baseball and Softball. Primarily serves western end of county.

Basketball (youth)

Catholic Youth Organization. Boys and girls leagues through middle school. Organized by Catholic parish. Contact Church of the Resurrection, Ellicott City; Trinity Preparatory School, Ilchester; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Ilchester; St. Louis Catholic Church, Clarksville.

Columbia Basketball Association. Recreation and travel levels, boys and girls.

Elkridge Youth Organization (EYO), Web site: www.eyosports.org. Recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves northeast portion of county.

First Baptist Church Crusaders, Guilford. 410-740-9498. Web site: http://youthsports.com/members/firstbap. Travel level boys club for players through high school.

Howard County Jaguars, Columbia. 410-730-2609. Travel-level club for boys.

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