Bristol Press - January 7, 2008 By DAVE GREENLEAF Little League softball in Bristol will take on a new look this summer. The three local Little League organizations voted recently to move their softball organizations into a new Bristol Girls Softball League, which will operate independently of the three local Little League baseball groups. The new organization will continue to be affiliated with the Little League parent organization and players in the new league will have the same opportunities to compete in District Five tournaments, but the focus of the new group will be strictly girls softball. According to District Five Assistant Administrator Maryellen Holden, the move was made in an effort to strengthen the softball program city-wide and to provide an opportunity for more girls to participate in softball at all levels. According to local little league officials, softball registrations in some parts of the city have seen a dramatic drop in recent years making it difficult to maintain three separate softball programs. It is hope that the new organization will provide a more competitive field for field for the girls as well as a more balanced playing field that will provide the best playing opportunities for all girls regardless of where they live in the city. The expanded league will allow most of the games to be played within the city and reduce the need for teams to travel out of town to find competitive opponents. The new league anticipates offering softball competition at all levels, from T-Ball through instructional, minor and major league softball, as well as junior league and senior league opportunities for the older girls. Softball games will continue to be played at the three local little league sites and girls who were members of a major league team in 2007 will remain on the same team for the 2008 season. However, openings on those teams will be filled by players based on an open tryout and draft procedures not restricted by geographical boundaries. The new league will continue to assign its minor league, instructional and T-Ball teams based neighborhoods. Players will also be able to register for the new softball organization at any of the three local Little League registrations, which will be held at various sites over the next five weeks. The new softball league is currently in the process of organizing a board of directors, establishing by laws and setting a fee structure for registration. A meeting will be held next week to elect the officers of the new league. Holden expects to set up a procedure for finding volunteers willing to serve on the board and to set a date for the election within the next few days.