There's a new rule for Little League baseball in 2014 when it comes to player eligibility.
Lakewood Ranch Little League is adopting the international rule, which is an amended stance on residency requirements for players.
Now players can play in a local league if they attend a school within the league's boundaries. For instance, Little Leaguers who reside outside Lakewood Ranch Little League's boundaries, but attend Braden River and Freedom Elementary or Braden River and Haile Middle, can play at Lakewood Ranch Little League if they choose.
Lakewood Ranch Little League's registration dates for the spring season are upcoming.
The times and dates are 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 10 and 17 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 11 and 18 at Lakewood Ranch Park.
Registration handouts are available online at www.lwrlittleleague.com, and a player's birth certificate, proof of residency as well as a Little League school enrollment form (if applicable for those taking advantage of the new rule) are needed to complete registration.
The fees are $75 for T-Ball and Coach Pitch, $150 for AA Machine Pitch and $190 for all other divisions. There are discounts for siblings.
Opening Day is slated for Feb. 15, and tryouts for minors/majors/intermediate divisions are from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 18.
For more information, contact Lakewood Ranch Little League.
All the Rage at Disney
The Braden River Rage's 16-and-younger girls team finished in fourth place of the Premier Elite division of the Disney Soccer Showcase last week.
The Rage, made up of players from Manatee and Lakewood Ranch high schools, finished runner-up in Group A to advance to the third-place match, which was held Friday.
Braden River went 2-1-0 in three group matches against clubs from Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The tournament, which began New Year's Eve, concluded for the Rage on Friday when they fell 4-2 to the Kansas United Rangers in the third-place match.
Free soccer program
Braden River Soccer Club is holding a free soccer program, called TOPSoccer, for physically and developmentally disabled athletes beginning at the age of 4. Disabilities include: Down syndrome, autism, Asperger syndrome as well as physical limitations and handicaps.
Registration is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Manatee County Parks soccer fields behind Lakewood Ranch High for new athletes who did not play the fall 2013 season.
Parents are required to provide a release or letter from their family doctor allowing their athletes to play soccer as well as a photo ID proving their identity as a parent or guardian. Athletes will be sized for a uniform at Saturday's registration.
The season is six sessions, held Saturdays between 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. Jan. 25 to March 1.
For more information, including volunteer opportunities, contact program coordinator Dave Robinson at 941-358-0497 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Dill, Herald sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017. Follow him on Twitter@Jason__Dill.