With numbers dwindling in both Old Lycoming Little League and Brandon Little League, the leagues have submitted a proposal to Little League to merge the two organizations.
The leagues have been given approval by Scott Leinbach, the District Administrator for District 12, and have been working collectively in order to move forward.
"We are in the process of merging and have submitted a proposal to Little League and we are waiting to hear back," said Todd Fausnaught, President of Old Lycoming Little League. "We have been working as two boards in order to move forward."
If the proposal is approved, Old Lycoming and Brandon would merge into one league, increasing the number of kids available to draw from while allowing the new league to use both facilities.
Currently, Old Lycoming allows the local Cal Ripken league to use its facilities on the weekends by scheduling around the weekend and assisting with the concession stand and other aspects of the league. Normally, the two leagues would compete against one another. This is a unique situation, however, as the two leagues work together.
Instead of competing with one another, the Cal Ripken league is simply a way for members of leagues all over the area to play another game on the weekend. If Brandon and Old Lycoming were to merge, it would benefit both leagues while having no affect on the Cal Ripken League, as it would only free up more fields for Old Lycoming to use during the season.
"The Cal Ripken league has been there as a weekend league and alternative on weekends for kids to participate and play more baseball," Fausnaught said. "It attracts kids from all over the city and primarily kids that use Little League use it as a way to get an extra game or two on the weekend to further their experience."
The Williamsport Area Little League - if it's approved - will be led by Steve Parlante, the current president of Brandon Little League. And despite what some have brought up recently, the merger will do nothing but help two struggling leagues get stronger.
Currently, both leagues are struggling to field enough teams, as Old Lycoming may only have two Major teams if the merger is nullified. With a merger the league could field about five or six teams, making the league as a whole stronger and making the scheduling process easier.
"It gives us more fields and a stable schedule. We are always looking to interleague with other leagues and being in two smaller leagues we are at the will of bigger leagues," Parlante said. "It will give us enough teams to rely on ourselves to schedule and it gives us more volunteers to run the parks."
Along with adding more fields and volunteers, the proposed league will look to have competitive balance by redrafting the teams to avoid any one or two teams being "stacked" while avoiding teams being filled with mostly Old Lycoming or Brandon players.
"Our idea behind that was to break down barriers as quick as possible so it's not Brandon vs. Old Lycoming," Parlante said. "We thought it was the quickest way to break it down and to help prevent teams from being stacked with older kids. This will help match the kids up in age groups where they should be."