If you’re tired of the dink of aluminum and would prefer the sound of a baseball smacking on ash, maple and birch wood, be at the Havelock Recreation Complex July 25 to 27.
That’s when more than 80 teams will participate in the Crystal Coast Wood Bat World Series. Nations Baseball and the Havelock Parks and Recreation Department have been partial hosts for the tournament for 8- to 14-year-olds for the last three years.
“It’s some good baseball. I think people will enjoy it if they come out,” said Dave Smith, director of Havelock Parks and Recreation.
Teams from North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina are already registered. Actual times for the games have not been set since registration for the tournament is still open.
“I would say that given that they have more than 80 teams involved I would say that any time you come out here to the complex you are going to be able to see some baseball,” Smith said.
Admission to the games is $6.
Stephanie Duncan, executive director of the Havelock Chamber of Commerce, said her organization would set up a hospitality tent at the event.
“We’d like to show them a good old Havelock welcome,” Duncan said. “This is most definitely going to be a huge event for Havelock and the entire region. This is going to benefit us all over, and kudos to the Havelock Parks and Recreation for putting this together.”
Beyond the baseball, the tournament is expected to be a home run for area businesses.
“With this many teams coming, obviously it’s going to have a tremendous impact on the hotels,” Smith said. “Each team is going to have at least 12 families coming in. Being that it’s a three-day tournament, it will have an impact on the restaurants and on the fueling stations. I’m sure it’s going to be felt. ”
The event will open on June 25 with pool play in which teams compete for a spot in the bracket qualifier. Bracket games are scheduled for June 26 and elimination games are set for June 27.
The majority of games will be played at the Havelock Recreation complex, but some games will be played in Newport and Morehead City.
The tournament has grown from 52 teams in 2012, to 65 teams in 2013 to this year’s 80-plus teams.
Volunteers will assist employees of the Havelock Parks and Recreation Department in putting on the event.
“That’s our job, and sort of going in our direction in that we would like to bring in more of these tournaments,” Smith said. “Both Little League and Babe Ruth have the first shot at concession stands. So, it’s an opportunity for them to raise revenue within the recreation complex.”
Nations Baseball will be renting the seven Havelock ball fields for $25 per hour without lights and $50 with lights, plus $10 for any extra field preparations including dragging the field, raking around the bases and replacing chalk lines around the infield and batters boxes.
“Our biggest impact during summer baseball tournaments is rain,” Smith said. “When it rains, it’s 75 percent more work. It’s a tremendous increase in work level.”
For more information on the Wood Bat World Series, go online to the tournament website at www.crystalcoastwoodbatworldseries.com.