Maxwell Kemnitz

Maxwell Kemnitz fields a ball and makes a throw to first base in the sixth inning of an 8U Rookie Verona Little League game in 2019. Registration for Verona Little League is now open.

Registration for Verona Little League is now open on the league’s website. Players can register by filling out a registration form on the VLL website at veronalittleleague.org.

With Madison Public Health and Dane County allowing competitions and games in the county in the new COVID-19 order No. 13, Verona Little League officials are making plans for the pitch of the season where they will celebrate the league’s 25th anniversary all summer.

“It was a surprise for sure,” said Charlie Huckelberry, president of Verona Little League of the new county order allowing sports games with smaller gatherings.

Registration for VLL will run one month and the deadline to sign up is March 19. Registration is $200 and players will receive a uniforms, hats, practice schedule and game schedule.

Opening Day for VLL will be Monday, May 17.

Last year, VLL 468 players registered to play. The season was wiped out by the COVID-19 pandemic, but teams still hosted small group practices. Huckelberry said VLL is hoping to have at least 460 players aged 6 to 14 register.

The VLL boundaries include the city of Verona, town of Verona and some sections of Fitchburg and west Madison, Huckelberry said. The Hometown Days Tournament is on for U8, U9 and U11 teams June 5-6.

“It’s the start of the summer and this year it’s hopefu;lly the start of things to come,” he said. “The camaraderie at the complex is really why I like being involved.”

In a typical league year, registration opens Feb. 1. Huckelberry said registration was pushed back a month hoping that some COVID-19 restrictions would be lifted.

Huckelberry said the 25th anniversary of VLL will be celebrated on a smaller scale than usual.

“For the safety of the families and players, we will keep the gatherings small,” he said. “Hopefully, as things open up more we can have a bigger get together.”

Player assessments are scheduled for early April, where coaches can see players and assess them on their baseball skills. Coaches then have a player draft where each team has two weeks of practice before the first game.

“We want the draft to be equal and even among the teams,” he said. “We want them to be competitive throughout the season.”

Players who are 12 years old and older can volunteer to serve as umpires. They have to complete one umpire training session.