It's time to play ball -- or swim, or run, or ...

Recreation: Howard County has a league for almost every kind of sport - from football to lacrosse to wrestling.

March 21, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Regardless of how old you are, chances are good that you can find opportunities to play team and individual sports in Howard County.

The following is a list of county facilities and groups involved in amateur athletics. Note that many groups maintain Web sites, and some use them exclusively to field inquiries from newcomers.

County Department of Recreation and Parks

The agency has the best overview of the county's competitive scene. The department produces widely read, seasonal listings of all its activities, from sports to trips to classes.

Headquarters: 7120 Oakland Mills Road, Guilford. 410-313- 4700.

For general information and team and course offerings: www.co.ho.md.us/RAP/RAP _Homepage.htm.

Most adult team sports in the county are organized through the department. For sport-specific information: www.hcrp sports.com.

Columbia Park and Recreation Association

The organization is supported by all Columbia property owners and operates, for fees, 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 the Columbia Association. Columbia residents and 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.

Headquarters: 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia. 410-715-3000 or www.columbiaassociation.com.

Community groups

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

Elkridge Youth Organization offers soccer, basketball, baseball and softball. Serves the northeastern portion of the county. www.eyosports.org.

Howard County Youth Program offers baseball, fast-pitch softball, volleyball and basketball. The group holds a long-term lease on Kiwanis-Wallas Park, a multiple-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. www.hcyp.org.

Savage Boys and Girls Club offers soccer, flag football, basketball, baseball and softball and serves communities in the southern and southeastern portion of the county. 301-604-8308 or www.savagebgc.org.

Sport-specific groups

Badminton:

Call Department of Recreation and Parks, 410-313-4700.

Baseball:

Atholton Youth Recreation Association. Offers recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves south-central parts of Columbia, southern part of county. 301-776-2972 or www.ayra.com.

Columbia Youth Baseball Association: Recreation and travel levels. www.columbiabaseball. com.

Elkridge Youth Organization. Recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves northeast portion of county. www.eyosports.org.

Howard County Youth Program. Recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves greater Ellicott City. www.hcyp.org.

Savage Boys and Girls Club. Recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves southeastern part of county. 301-604-8308. www.sav agebgc.org.

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

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. Circulates information via the school system.

Elkridge Youth Organization. Recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves northeast portion of county. www.eyosports.org.

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

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

Howard County Youth Program. Recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves greater Ellicott City. www.hcyp.org.

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

Western Howard County Youth Basketball. Primarily serves western end of county. 410-489-0351.

Basketball (adult):

The Department of Recreation and Parks operates leagues for men and women. Men's organization includes two leagues for over-30 players. 410-313-4700 or www.hcrpsports. com.

Baton twirling:

Dynamics. Club mainly for girls to college-age. Competes out of and practices at Volleyball House, Elkridge. Holds several national championships. 301- 776-1222.

Bicycling:

Baltimore Bicycling Club, 410-792-8308.

Chesapeake Wheelmen. www.chesapeakewheelmen.org. (Not based in Howard County but has significant membership in county.)

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