The Bexley Recreation and Parks Department will host a youth sports summit in hopes of creating a parent-led organization to run Bexley's youth sports programs.

The Bexley Recreation and Parks Department will host a youth sports summit in hopes of creating a parent-led organization to run Bexley's youth sports programs.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, at Jeffrey Mansion and is open to anyone interested in youth sports, according to recreation director Michael Price. Participants might include league coaches, representatives of the Bexley school district and interested residents.

Price said the goal is to bring together people who have an interest in youth athletics and determine how to improve programs in the community, in addition to creating an organization to run those programs. The organization could help with fundraising, scheduling and running travel teams.

The recreation department currently runs youth baseball, basketball, volleyball and swimming leagues. Recreation board member Rick Shapiro said the board has looked at starting a parent-led sports organization for quite awhile.

"I think it is an idea that we have kicked around," he said. "It is not fully developed."

Participants will decide if there is enough volunteer support to run the organization or add travel leagues, Shapiro said. The biggest concern is making sure there is enough help to carry the organization forward, he said.

One responsibility of the organization could be fundraising, Price said, because some leagues are in need of supplies and equipment. Fundraising would cut down on costs for participants, he said.

The organization also could accept responsibility for scheduling and assigning players for leagues.

At one point travel programs were cut because the leagues weren't open to everyone, but the youth organization could oversee those teams for parents who would like their children to play in more competitive leagues, Price said.

He said the last year for the recreation department's travel basketball league was 2006-07. No travel teams have been offered since then.

Participants also might discuss adding new sports, like lacrosse and tackle football, Price said.

He said summit leaders would determine how the school district fits into the mix.

"My view on a youth organization is there is a bunch of different entities, different resources in our community who could come together to make us as successful as can be," he said.

The school district has numerous facilities that the parks department could use, Price said. Schools have more available gym space while the parks department has fields, he said.

Bexley High School athletics director Molly Feesler said district coaches would have some input on the youth sports organization. Westerville has a youth baseball and softball association and Pickerington has a youth athletics association run by parents, she said.

"I think it is similar to what could happen here," Feesler said.

A youth sports association would offer more opportunities for kids and could increase chances for competitive play against teams from other communities, Feesler said.

"Some of the (district) coaches have assisted finding kids opportunities at a younger level to play more competitively," she said.