ROCKLAND — After years of providing a cohesive, organized program for area youth to play spring and summer baseball and softball, the Oceanside Little League looks to officially dissolve.

Thus, the future of youth baseball and softball in the greater Rockland-Thomaston area may rest with town recreation departments, according to a statement released by the Oceanside Little League Board of Directors and Chris Barstow, league president.

Oceanside Little League has, for years, served youngsters up to ages 12/13 from Rockland, Thomaston, South Thomaston, Cushing, St. George and Vinalhaven.

Image courtesy of Oceanside Little League; graphic work by Holly Vanorse Spicer

Prior to the formation of Oceanside Little League, which played games on E. Allen Gordon and George C. Hall fields on upper Pleasant Street in Rockland, as well as in Thomaston and on Vinalhaven, the Rockland Area Little League served its area for decades (as far back as the early 1960s), while Thomaston and St. George had teams in the defunct Knox Suburban Little League, which also included teams from Lincolnville, Union, Appleton, Washington, Hope and Warren, before players from those towns were absorbed into the Five Town and Medomak Valley Little Leagues.

Barstow said, in short, Oceanside looks to end its Little League charter and move youth baseball and softball to recreation department-based programming.

Barstow said if the Oceanside Little League dissolves, he looks forward to a transition to “this new and exciting opportunity” to provide area youth baseball and softball through the successful municipally-based recreation programs.

The statement from the Oceanside Little League board of directors said the group met in recent months to discuss and plan for the 2022 season and beyond.

“Following these meetings, and after deliberation with area municipal recreation programs, it has been determined that the best course of action for the future is to dissolve Oceanside Little League and delegate the responsibility of facilitating youth baseball and softball to existing municipal recreation programs. The board of directors reached this decision due to the following factors:

“The league, as it is constituted, will not have adequate volunteers, and specifically volunteers for board member and officer positions necessary to maintain our league’s responsibilities.

“The league will not have adequate volunteers to maintain the operational responsibilities that go along with the actual administration of the league, and our administrative requirements outlined by Little League International.”

The statement explained a “majority of local municipalities have an existing framework for seamlessly hosting youth sports operations (soccer, basketball, for example). The recreation directors the league reached out to in Rockland, Thomaston, St. George and Cushing have voiced a willingness for providing similar programming for youth baseball and softball.

“Changing to a municipally-based program would also better facilitate the desire of many to convert to a ‘town team’ format,” the statement explained.

The league will host its annual meeting on Monday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Hampton Inn and Suites Rockland/Thomaston.

At this meeting, residents of the league’s territory would have the opportunity to discuss and vote on a motion to formally dissolve the league. At the meeting, specifics regarding dissolution would be provided, including the distribution of existing funds and assets.

Questions and feedback in advance of the meeting may be provided via email at oceansidelittleleague@gmail.com and one also can go to the league’s website at oceansidelittleleague.org.