More local youth will now have the opportunity to enjoy organized ball this summer.

Cochrane Minor Ball (CMB) has opened play for its three oldest age groups.

Association president Corey O'How says practices officially this week for intermediate, junior and senior age groups.

With time restraints, there has only been a small window for registration. It wraps up Tuesday. It also means there won't be any new player evaluations this year.

"We're pretty excited. We opened up registration for the intermediate, junior, senior kids the other day, and, hopefully, we can get enough kids for a couple of teams to give them a chance to play ball this summer," says O'How.

COVID-19 protocols are being closely followed. They are allowed to practice, hold camps, and participate in mini-leagues.

O'How says the mini-leagues would amount to three or fou teams, depending upon the number of players and coaches involved.

The Cochrane Crush AAA major team will see its first action of the season next Sunday when they host a Foothills team for a doubleheader.

Registration for minor and major division age groups opened a few weeks ago. A total of seven teams were formed.

With COVID-19 restrictions slowly being eased, Little League District 3 officials will decide sometime in July if there will be further league play in August.

Traditionally, the spring leagues are the largest, but there's also a growing number of teams joining summer leagues.

Last week, Softball Alberta also released its return-to-play plan.

"Right now, we're reaching out to our softball members and seeing how much interest we have in holding a summer season for girls' fastball," says O'How.

Younger players in blastball, tee-ball, and coach pitch won't be playing this season.

For further information on the modified CMB season visit here.