Overview -- Here is a list of some county agencies, facilities and groups involved in athletics and recreation. Many groups maintain Web sites, and some use them exclusively to field inquiries.
Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks -- The agency has the best overview of the county's competitive sports scene. It produces seasonal listings of activities, sports, trips, classes and youth camps. Headquarters: 7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia. 410-313-4700. www.howardcoun tymd.gov/RAP. Most adult team sports in the county are organized through the department. Some youth teams use the department for registration. For sports information: www.hcrpsports.com.
Columbia Park and Recreation Association (CA) -- CA is supported by mandatory annual charges on Columbia property owners and user fees. It operates, for fees, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a mini-waterpark, three tennis clubs, an ice-skating rink, three athletic clubs, two 18-hole golf courses, a miniature golf course, a skateboard park and a horse center. It also runs camps and maintains playgrounds and miles of pathways. People who live or work full-time on properties assessed an annual charge receive discounted memberships or fees at CA facilities. Others also can join, for higher fees. Fees vary by facility. Headquarters: 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia. 410-715-3000. www.col umbiaassociation.com.
Independent Youth Sports Groups
Overview -- Several community-oriented groups offer multiple sports for children. 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, softball, volleyball and basketball. It uses 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 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. www.savagebgc.org.
County Department of Recreation and Parks youth leagues -- Offers baseball, basketball, hockey, football, lacrosse, rugby, ultimate disc and wrestling. 410-313-4700. www.hcrpsports.com.
Special Olympics, Howard County -- Offers multiple sports from aquatics to volleyball for children and adults with mental retardation or closely related developmental disabilities. 410-740-0500. www.somdhc.org.
Atholton Youth Recreation Association -- Offers recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves south-central parts of Columbia and southern part of the county. 301-776-AYRA, www.ayra.com.
Elkridge Youth Organization -- Recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves northeast portion of the county. www.eyosports.org.
Howard County Youth Program -- Recreation and travel levels. Baseball and softball. Primarily serves Ellicott City. www.hcyp.org.
Savage Boys and Girls Club -- Recreation and travel baseball and softball levels. Primarily serves southeastern part of the county. 301-604-8308. www.savagebgc.org.
Western Howard County and Columbia Youth Baseball/Softball -- Mostly serves western area and Columbia. Recreational and travel teams. www.whcsports.com.
Catholic Youth Organization -- Leagues organized by Catholic parishes. Contact Church of the Resurrection, Ellicott City; Trinity Preparatory School, Ilchester; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Ilchester; St. Louis Roman Catholic Church, Clarksville.
Columbia Basketball Association -- Clinic and recreational levels. www.columbiabasketball.com.
Columbia Jaguars -- Travel-level club for boys, sponsors tournaments. www.columbiajaguars.org. 410-997-1918.
Crusader Nation -- Regional, college-exposure teams for boys ages 13 through high school. Affiliated with the First Baptist Church of Guilford. www.crusadernation.org. 410- 984-4092.
Elkridge Youth Organization -- Recreation and travel levels for boys and girls. Primarily serves northeast portion of the county. www.eyosports.org.
Howard County Youth Program -- Recreation and travel levels for boys and girls. Primarily serves greater Ellicott City. www. hcyp.org.
Savage Boys and Girls Club -- Recreation and travel levels. Primarily serves the Savage, Laurel and Columbia areas. 301-604-8308. www.sav agebgc.org.
Western Howard County Youth Basketball -- Primarily serves the western end of the county. Recreational and travel teams for girls and boys. 410-489-0351. www.whcybasketball.com
Department of Recreation and Parks -- Operates leagues for men and women, including two men's divisions for players age 30 and over. Information: 410-313-4700, or www.hcrpsports.com.
Baltimore Bicycling Club -- For members age 18 and over. www.baltobikeclub.org