Batavia Community Recreational League
Serving the Children of Batavia for over 50 years
The Batavia Community Recreational League ("BCRL") a private non-profit organization was founded in 1960 to provide recreational activities to the children of families living in the Batavia Local School District. Initially, it provided Knothole baseball to boys living in the community. Games were played on a single field, on privately owned land. Softball for girls was added in 1963 and the league moved to other privately owned fields to allow for additional teams.
Basketball and Cheerleading began in 1973. These games were first played in the National Guard Armory in Batavia, and then moved to the Batavia Elementary School gym when the Armory was closed. Soccer was added to the list of sports in 1984.
In 1982, by agreement with the Batavia Local School District, the Baseball and Softball teams moved to the School's sports complex. In exchange for assisting with the maintenance and care of the fields, the BCRL was permitted to use the ball diamonds and soccer fields. A concession stand was erected in 1987, and the funds raised through volunteers running the concession stand were used to pay umpire and referee fees.
For over 15 years, the BCRL used fields owned by the Batavia Local School District off of Old State Route 74, to play baseball, softball, and soccer. When plans began for the building of the new Batavia High School, the BCRL was informed that the land they were using was to be sold by the School District. In 1993, in anticipation of the sale of the fields, the BCRL purchased approximately 31 acres on Bauer Road in Batavia for future development of athletic fields. The development plan provided for 8 baseball/softball fields, 6 soccer fields, storage facilities, as well as a parking area.
In 1997, the fields were sold and the BCRL would no longer have access to the existing location. Later that year, after major fund raising efforts, enough funds were raised to begin excavation work at the new site on Bauer Road. Countless hours of volunteer time and work went into the development phase and by the spring of 1999, the athletic complex was completed enough to open for use.
At the present time, approximately 700 boys and girls between the ages of 5-17 participate each year in baseball, softball, fall and spring soccer, basketball, and cheerleading. All sports are played under the rules and regulations of the leagues to which the teams belong: Clermont County Knothole, Southern Ohio Softball League, Clermont Central Soccer Association, and the Clermont Youth Basketball Association.
BCRL is a totally volunteer organization with over 200 active members who give their time and energy on a regular basis without monetary compensation. These volunteers serve as Head Coaches, Assistant Coaches, and Sports Representatives for the representatives for the respective league organizations, Equipment coordinators, Referee and Umpire Coordinators, Field/Gym coordinators, Concessions Stand Managers, Maintenance and Cleanup, Officers, and Field Development.
To fund the program on an ongoing basis, each child is assessed a $70.00 fee per sport to play in the BCRL (reduced rates if more than one one child per family). Special financial arrangements can also be arranged in the event of financial hardship. Kid Glove tickets are sold and various fundraisers are held as a means to raise operating dollars. A concession stand is run at all home games as an additional means of revenue generation. The organization also relies on a variety of in-kind donations for supplies and services.
As the development of the park enters a new phase of upkeep and maintenance, the organization hopes to upgrade the current park facilities, continually improve the playing field conditions, as well as look for new uses of the facility for revenue generation. With that being said, the fees and other monies barely cover the equipment, operating and maintenance expenses of the fields, referee and umpire fees, league and tournament fees, and other operating costs. To ensure that the children of the Batavia area continue to have the opportunity to participate in organized recreational sport activities, the BCRL continues to encourage volunteer participate and financial support from the community, through donations, participation fees and in-kind services. With the anticipated growth in the Township and surrounding area, the BCRL hopes to be the recreational organization and facility of choice for Baseball, Softball, Basketball, Soccer, and Cheerleading.
History of the B.C.R.L. written by The Community Journal