In August of 2013, South Central Pennsylvania Softball was born. Our organization was formally known as the York County Junior Girls Softball League but over the years we have grown far beyond the borders of York County, PA.
In 1975, a Hellam resident named Aletha Groff, who later became the first president of what was to become known as the York County Junior Girls Softball League, organized a group of 10 to 12 year old girls and their moms, who had one thing in common - they wanted to play softball. These kids were from the Yorkana, East Prospect and Hellam area and all went to school together. They played slow pitch softball games on whatever grassy lots that they could find. At that time, only women and their daughters were allowed to participate. No men were allowed. Within a few years, dads were requesting to help out with coaching. As interest in the league picked up, the league quickly began to grow.
In four short years, the League expanded to eight areas in Eastern York County, fielding 23 teams in the 8-10, 11-12, and 13-15 age groups. In 1980, Manchester and Zion View areas joined the League. There were now 24 teams coached by 16 women and 8 men. Ann Scheetz was elected as the league's second president.
In 1981 and 1982, more areas joined the League, which was now serving 669 girls. Dennis Weibley was elected as the third president of the league.
Bill Krouse was elected as the League's fourth president in 1983, managing 695 girls registered on 32 teams. In 1984, the name of the league was changed to the York County Junior Girls Slowpitch Softball League and York Township was accepted into the league.
After these initial 10 years, the League had grown to include a total of 13 areas representing over 800 girls registered on 41 teams. On July 31, 1985, the League's Board of Directors, petitioned the Y.C.I.A.A. high schools to provide slow pitch competition for girls at the high school level. The York County High Schools never did offer girls slow pitch softball as a high school sport. However, girls fast pitch was about to grow tremendously in York County within the next few years.
In 1986 and 1987 4 more communities played in the league, and Jerry Anderson was elected as the league's fifth president.
In 1988 and 1989, the League began feeling the pressure of its rapid expansion. Jerry Anderson resigned as president and the league was run by the executive committee, since no one volunteered to take over as president. In 1989, the League began to change its direction from concentrating on slow pitch to focusing on fast pitch. The first attempt however failed on January 25, 1989 by a vote count of 11-3 with two members absent. The 10U age group only was split into Major and Minor Divisions for the first time. The 12U and 15U age groups remained as one division with all teams playing "A" and "B" games. Late in 1989, NEMAA changed the name of their organization to NEYSA. Rick Ostrowski was elected sixth president of the league. At the November 1989 meeting, the league approved modified pitch with several "house rules" exceptions, for the 15U division only, by a 9-3 vote with four members absent. This was the first successful attempt by the league to break away from slowpitch.
The 1990’s brought more expansion as Foustown and Windsor Boro joined the league as the 17th and 18th members. With Windsor Boro joining the league, the existing Windsor organization was then identified as Windsor Township. With the 15U division playing modified pitch in 1990, the name of the league was changed back to the York County Junior Girls Softball League. At the end of the 1990 season, the league approved expanding its former three division setup (10U, 12U, 15U) to four divisions by using the ASA 10U, 12U, 14U, and 16U divisions.
In 1991, the YCJGSL had grown to 70 teams. Much of the discussion that year was centered on eliminating slowpitch in favor of the fastpitch game. On March 20, 1991, the league approved ASA fastpitch rules for the 16U division only for the first time. All of the other divisions continued to play slow pitch. At the end of the 1991 season, Phil Smith was elected as the league's seventh president. In November 1991, the league approved following high school fastpitch rules for the 16U and 14U divisions. The league approved modified pitch for the 12U division.
In 1992, only the 10U division remained slowpitch. With the increasing popularity of fastpitch now in York County, the league had expanded to 80 teams. On September 16, 1992 by a 12-4 vote, the league approved fastpitch in all age groups for the first time in league history beginning with the 1993 season. The Bill Goodling House of Representatives "Achievement Award", a 10-year perpetual plaque, was first recognized by the league.
The 16U age group was expanded to include 17 and 18 year old players in 1993. The League's four age groups were now 10U, 12U, 14U, and 18U. Another two organizations joined the League and Tim Zortman was elected as the 8th president of the league.
In 1994, further expansion occurred by the inclusion of Hanover and York Haven. The league began using Major and Minor Divisions in all age groups this year. The 12U, 14U, and 18U age groups no longer were to play the "A" and "B" game format as they were realigned to consist of Major and Minor Divisions for the first time. The 10U age group had been split into Major and Minor Division since 1989. Rod Hinkle was elected as the 9th president of the league.
St. Joseph's joined the league in 1995, bringing the total area membership up to 23.
In 1997, Fawn Grove and Wilshire joined the league. By now, the league had grown to become one of the largest youth sports leagues in the nation with 24 member areas registering 126 teams with ASA.
With the rising popularity of girls' fastpitch in York County, in 1998, the league began sponsoring a fastpitch pitching clinic with the first annual clinic held in January and February of 1998 at the Winfield Club (York Township Community building). Wilshire merged with Yorklyn and became known as the Springetts Youth Association. Soon after that merger, Springetts dropped out of the league. Lewisberry was accepted in the league in March. ASA umpires were contracted to officiate the league's 12U Major division for the first time. Prior to this year, only the 18U and 14U Major divisions used ASA umpires.
Delta and East York joined the league in 1999. Weiglestown became known as Dover. Jacobus became known as JLS (Jacobus-Loganville-Springfield). John Cribben was elected as the league's 10th president.
In the beginning years of the new decade, more organizations joined the league. The entered the digital age and began using a web site to post Major division schedules, scores, and standings. One of the greatest events in our league's history occurred on June 10, 2000. The USA Women's Olympic softball team visited York, PA and played two exhibition games at the Bob Hoffman Complex Stadium. In the first game, a team of York County Junior Girls Softball League All-Stars lost to the USA Women's Olympic Softball team by the score of 8-0 and in the second game of the doubleheader, the USA Women's team beat the Topton V.I.P.'s by the score of 10-0.
More teams joined the League in 2002 and other teams joined forces to create more competitive teams. Dave Trump was elected as the 11th president of the league. In the fall of 2002, MyTeam.com closed their web site and the league found a new web home at LeagueLineup.com. A new 10-year perpetual plaque was recognized by the league. The name of the plaque was changed to the York County Junior Girls Softball League "Recognition of Merit" Award.
In 2003,there were 26 member organizations represented in the league. There were 106 teams registered in the league with 1,474 girls participating. ASA umpires were used for the league's 10U Major division games for the first time. In September, the name of the league's annual "Merit" award was changed to the YCJGSL Aletha Groff "Recognition of Merit" Award in honor of the league's founder and first president. A special plaque was presented to Aletha Groff in September in her honor of the league reaching its 30th anniversary milestone.
The 2004 season was our league's 30th year! There were 110 teams registered in the 2004 summer league. The Greek National Women's Olympic softball team visited York, PA on the night of July 16, 2004 to play a doubleheader against a York County 23U All-Star team and a Susquehanna Valley 23U All-Star team. The league offered a York County wide Fall Ball softball program for the first time in the Fall of 2004. A total of 26 teams participated in the inaugural YCJGSL fall ball program. In September, Flash Attack reorganized and become known as PA Blaze. Throughout the year, the league collected used softball equipment for the International Softball Federation. On October 18, 2004, nearly 3,000 donated softball equipment and uniform items were shipped to the ISF in Plant City, Florida for distribution to underdeveloped countries around the world. This project became the most significant publicity activity in the league's history.
There were a total of 117 teams registered in the 2005 summer league. There were 34 teams participating in the second annual YCJGSL fall ball program in 2005. A new York County Junior Girls Softball League banner was on display for the first time at the 2005 YCJGSL Playoffs. A second "Recognition of Merit" award was introduced in August. The league now will present two "Merit" awards annually, one to a player and one to an adult following each summer ball season. The league continued to collect used softball equipment for the ISF in 2005.
PA Vipers and West Manheim joined the league for the first time in 2006. There were a total of 119 teams registered in the 2006 summer league. The league sponsored pre-season tournaments for the Minor Divisions for the first time in May. There were 42 teams participating in the third annual YCJGSL fall ball program in 2006.
2007 - A third, higher level of competition for tournament travel teams known as the Elite Divisions were offered in each age group. However, there was very little interest from teams to play in a higher competition level. There were a total of 119 teams registered in the 2007spring/summer league. There were approximately 165 league players in attendance at the inaugeral "YCJGSL Night at the York Revolution" Minor League baseball game on August 1, 2007. There were 38 teams that participated in the fourth annual YCJGSL fall ball program in 2007.
Gettysburg and PA Ball Hawks joined the league for the first time in 2008. The league now has 26 softball clubs/organizations providing teams for the league. There were 126 teams participating in our spring/summer season, which tied our all-time record for most teams participating in the league at the same time. We also had 53 teams playing in the fall league, which is also an all-time high. The league used USSSA umpires for the fall ball league.
This is our league's 35th year!!! Littlestown, Hereford (MD), and PA ACES joined the league this year. There are now 29 softball clubs/organizations that are members of the YCJGSL... the most member clubs in the league at one time in the league's history. ASA and USSSA Certified umpires were used for all of the league's Major and Minor Division games during the spring/summer season this year. There were 136 teams playing in the spring/summer season which was the most teams ever playing in the league at one time. David Eckman was elected as the league's 12th president.
The League has grown into the premiere fast pitch organization in the region. Even though the League still devotes much of its time and resources to providing opportunities to play recreational fastpitch softball, it is widely accepted that we are the primary feeder system for JV and Varsity High School Softball Teams. Currently we offer opportunities to play through our member organizations in age brackets from 7U to 18U, in a 14 game season that runs from mid May until August.
2013 was another record year for the League, expanding to 165 teams playing in the summer League, serving over 2000 players. The Leagues Board of Directors approved a name change to better reflect our service area. And we formalized a strategic partnership with the York Young Revolution to create the "Lady Rev's" tournament teams.