Two years after watching nearly 300 Greencastle youngsters participate in recreational youth basketball, the Parks and Recreation Department has reluctantly canceled the program for this season.
With only 68 basketball league registrations received, despite twice extending the enrollment deadline, the park program has been canceled for 2012-13, it was announced during the regular monthly meeting of the Greencastle Park Board Thursday evening.
"After a review of the number of registrations received for this year's youth basketball program," Park Director Rod Weinschenk explained, "both the Greencastle Youth Basketball Board of Directors and the Greencastle Board of Park Commissioners have agreed that we cannot offer a quality youth basketball program based on the number of registrations received."
After approximately 20 years of continuous recreational youth basketball competition, first as a YMCA-sponsored program and then under the auspices of the City Park Department, the program will be put on hold for the 2012-13 season.
With the 68 registrations scattered across the kindergarten through sixth-grade playing levels, and covering both boys and girls, creating functioning teams and a competitive schedule would have been virtually impossible.
"We felt we could not meet our advertised goals of the program without disappointment to our participants," Weinschenk said. "So we decided not to hold the program."
Just two years ago, the park director noted, the city-run program had involved 273 participants.
Those who did register this year will be receiving refunds in the mail. Refund checks have been issued and mailed by the city clerk-treasurer's office, Weinschenk said.
The park director made certain those refunds were accelerated for the public's benefit.
"Because we have never had to issue refunds for this size of a group before, and due to the entrance into the holiday season, we solicited and received permission through the city clerk-treasurer's office to have a special cutting of refund checks, instead on having to wait until the Dec. 11 City Council meeting (for approval)," Weinschenk said.