Miracle League adds soccer

Published 1:19 am Saturday, October 3, 2015

This baseball filed will become a soccer field soon.

This baseball filed will become a soccer field soon.

Miracle League of Covington County is trying something new on the baseball field this fall – soccer.

Caitlin Shipman, program director for the Andalusia’s Department of Leisure Services, said Miracle League ball players were interested in playing soccer, so they’re going to give it a whirl.

Miracle League removes the barriers that keep children with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field and lets them experience the joy of America’s favorite pastime. Teams play on a custom-designed, rubberized turf field that accommodates wheelchairs and other assertive devices while helping to prevent injuries.

The same principles used in baseball will be used in soccer, Shipman said.

“We’ll move the goals from the micro field we have,” she said. “They’ll play at the baseball field, with a regular soccer ball.”

Accommodations will be made for players who are wheelchair bound and cannot use their feet, she said.

“The kids really want to do soccer this time of the year,” she said. “Our board met and decided to try it.”

Games will be played on Thursday nights at 6 p.m. starting Nov. 5 through Dec. 3, excluding the week of Thanksgiving. Games will be played on the Miracle League Field at Johnson Park.

Registration will continue through Oct. 9.

The program is open to all ages and free of charge for the 2015 season. Players cannot be disallowed from participating because of degree of disability if approved by a parent or guardian. Anyone interested in participating in league play can register at Johnson Park, or online at www.cityofandalusia.com. Alternately, forms can be downloaded and mailed to Johnson Park, P.O. Box 429, Andalusia.