February is a time for baseball fans and players alike to start coming out of their winter hibernation. Further upstate, Major League Baseball’s pitchers and batters are reporting for early Spring Training. As for Broward County, the South Florida Amateur Athletic Association (SFAAA) starts their 2011 season tryouts at Wilton Manor’s Mills Pond Park on Sunday, February 6 at 10:00 a.m.

“I’m feeling hopeful,” admits SFAAA Secretary and Recruiting/Draft Chairman Dominick Concepcion. “Spring is really the important season because all the top-seeded teams go to the 2011 Gay World Series. This year it will be held in Chicago. Last year it was in Columbus, Ohio. That went well for us. We placed in the Top Ten for all divisions except for the A Division.”

For those who aren’t familiar with the SFAAA, it’s the longest-running gay softball league in the tri-county area. Over the last two decades it has expanded into four divisions; A, C, D and Open. Currently this league houses slightly over 20 teams. It is also part of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association and the Amateur Sports Alliance of North America, thus making it possible for the top teams in each division to have national play.

This year there will be 16 weeks of regular play, starting February 27 and it will go on through May. From there, the top teams from each division will go on to Chicago for national bragging rights.

For the record, there is also a Women’s Conference, the SFSF Softball League. For lack of a better term, it is a “sister” conference to the SFAAA.

“We’ve got a lot of flyers out and have been handing out a lot of cards last January,” says Concepcion. “We’ve gone to a lot of local bars, but have also reached out anywhere between Miami and West Palm Beach. One way or another, everyone who shows up will end up on a team. So definitely come out. This is always a big event for us. It helps build camaraderie and connections. That’s really what the SFAAA is about. Not to forget playing in a sport that we all love to play and are very passionate about. It also really helps support the sense of community.”

To find out more about the SFAAA, you can go on the Web and learn more through their website www.sfaaa.net. They have also created a recruiting video, which you can see on YouTube. Just go to the site and search out “Spring 2011 SFAAA—Come Out and Play.”

Otherwise, for those who feels playing the game is more than something you do at your local bar, you should come on down to Mills Pond Park for the tryouts. It’s another way to work up a good sweat.