Sequim Little League preps for 2024 Opening Day

With Opening Day just around the corner, young players, their coaches and parents are gearing up for another season of Sequim Little League games.

But the league — like many volunteer organizations — is in significant need of some help, president Nick Simpson said, particularly behind the-plate and behind the scenes.

This year’s turnout is 311 boys and girls — a little down from 2023 — on 28 teams, Simpson said. They’ll kick off the 2024 season with pageantry starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 13, at the James Standard Park fields at 124 W. Silberhorn Road, followed by several games of varying age levels at 12:30 p.m.

As in previous years, the youngsters will don uniforms and do a player parade as part of Opening Day, Simpson’s favorite part of the early season

“Those kids are super stoked — it’s always a good day when those kids are at the field,” he said.

However, a decline in available umpires for games and the need for more volunteers to help with field upkeep and concession stand crews has the league president and others concerned.

“The real problem is the list of umpires we have available is extremely short,” Simpson said. “We’re doing the best that we can.”

At the point, he said, the league is hoping for away games where other leagues would provide umpire coverage.

Games this year are scheduled for Wednesdays and Saturdays only, he said, and should be quite busy with as many as six to eight games on a given Saturday.

Having a legitimate, long-term (at least two-year) umpire in chief could take “a big weight off” the league, he said, but as of now it’s on the coaches and teams to provide umpires. And that may mean having parents calling balls and strikes.

James Castell, who coaches one team and is an assistant on another, said that, despite the obvious conflict of interest, he had to help umpire one of his own team’s games.

He and Simpson said the league could use some extra hands from community members, in particular with field maintenance during the week.

“That’s one huge thing we do worry about,” Simpson said.

“I feel like the fields have been depending on parents [who don’t have time],” Castell said, but residents who are retired or semi-retired might want to help out.

‘They just don’t know how to get started,” he said.

Simpson said the league could also use some help at the popular concession stand.

“We want to provide food, but it’s a fundraiser for us as well,” he said.

The league is also looking into tweaking the board of directors, shifting some positions to non-voting members to make it more functional and appealing to directors.

The league is seeing some good signs in numbers and assistance, Simpson noted, with a number of local businesses and parents coming out to lend a hand after one of the league’s fields become in playable at the City of Sequim works on an on-site well. Though overall player numbers are down a bit, particularly at the T-ball level, the real pitch team numbers are strong, Simpson noted: “These kids are staying with the program and moving up.”

He said he’s hoping to grown the league back to a point where Sequim would have enough teams to primarily play each other rather than having to travel.

Parents, friends and the community can celebrate Opening Day at the James Standard Park fields on April 13. Festivities include the National Anthem, opening pitches, a Clallam County Fire District 3 engine and flag display, a coffee card fundraiser and lunch provided by a local firefighters union.

For more about the Sequim Little League, see