BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Citing a lack of support, Birmingham Parks and Recreation has canceled the 2023 youth baseball season.

The news has been met with outrage from parents who have already paid dues and bought uniforms. Erica Young has a son in the league and is at a loss at what’s happened.

”I’m confused, I’m just like the rest of the parents,” Young said. “What’s the problem? Why are these babies not able to play? I mean you want the kids to get off the streets to do something positive and y’all snatch it away from them.”

In an email BPR sent to parents last week, the department says they decided to cancel the season because of unpaid registration fees by a deadline that had already been extended. The department also cited “a lack of commitment” or dedication to youth baseball by the participating organizations.

Adreanna Walker has two children who play for Birmingham youth league teams and even has fond memories of playing as a youngster herself. She says youth sports serve an important purpose.

”Kids need sports because it keeps them out of trouble,” Walker said. “It keeps them doing something positive. They get extracurricular and they get to meet new people and have fun and be kids.”

As these parents hold out hope for a resolution, they are forced to answer questions from their children that they don’t have answers for.  

”Last night he just asked, ‘Mommy, do I have a game today? Do I have practice?’ I said ‘Mason I can’t tell you that at this moment, but hopefully today we will know something and you will be able to go to baseball practice’,” Young said.

Late Monday, the Birmingham Parks and Recreation Board released a statement announcing a season-ending round-robin tournament on May 13 and May 20 at Cooper Green Park. The tournament will take place as long as the five league commissioners who represent the fourteen teams that participate in the league turn in the necessary paperwork and fees.

Read the official press release from the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board below: