A Whalley Little League player in action. (File photo)

‘Our numbers are down’: Whalley Little League looks to grow as boundary swings eastward

With the Williamsport-approved change, demographics come into play

Whalley Little League executives hope a boundary change will give the organization a boost in number of registered players.

With spring sign-up in full swing, the eastern boundary of the association’s catchment area has been extended from 176th Street to 196th.

“Now we’re split by the city boundary of Surrey and Langley, so now it’s a case of Surrey players playing in Surrey and Langley players in Langley,” Whalley VP Mark Deshane told the Now-Leader.

With the Williamsport-approved change, demographics come into play, he said.

“Langley’s numbers are rapidly expanding with the population growth there,” Deshane explained, “and Whalley’s numbers are dropping because of demographics in the western part of our catchment – in Newton, Delta, that part, which is more into playing soccer and cricket, with those sorts of sports taking off. So our numbers are down and (Langley’s) numbers are up, and we thought one of the solutions would be to adjust the boundaries.”

• RELATED STORY: Langley Little League baseball extends boundaries to include all of Langley, North Langley, and Aldergrove.

For Whalley, the catchment’s southern boundary is Colebrook Road to Highway 15, where the line extends south to 32nd Avenue and east from there to 196th Street. A boundary map is posted at whalleylittleleague.com, along with registration information. Baseball players who live south of the boundary are in the White Rock/South Surrey Baseball Association catchment.

As an organization, Whalley Little League shares its catchment with four minor baseball associations, including Cloverdale, Newton Canadian, Surrey Canadian and North Delta. A map of those association boundaries is posted at bcminorbaseball.org.

“We overlap with them and basically cover the same territory,” Deshane noted. “Our hope is players want to play Little League with us and have a chance of getting to the Little League World Series.”

Last August, Whalley’s Major Allstars did exactly that, and the team of preteens won two games at the fabled tournament in Pennsylvania during a summer to remember, both on and off the ball diamond.

• RELATED STORY: PHOTOS: Whalley’s Little League World Series run is over after loss to Puerto Rico.

Each year, there are four Little League World Series tournaments – for Majors (age 10-12) in Williamsport, Intermediate (11-13) in Livermore, California, Junior (13-14) in Taylor, Michigan, and Senior (13- 16) in Easley, South Carolina.

With Whalley’s new eastern boundary, Deshane said the organization hopes to attract baseball players who live in the populated Clayton and Cloverdale areas.

“Now we have some of that area,” he said, “and we are as close to them as Langley is, and they have the option now to play in Whalley. It’s an increase in players for us and it allows players in Surrey to play in Surrey.

“It also allows for us to work with the city on some new areas of play in that area, over towards Fraser Highway and 176th Street…. We hope to play some satellite games in that area.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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