The Douglas County Parks & Recreation Youth & Teen Basketball League is branching out.After many years of offering coed divisions, the league will attempt to seperate into girls and boys divisions this season.“We’re aiming to have a league just for the girls,” said Douglas County Parks & Recreation specialist Anthony Davis said. “It just came down to no matter what a coach would tell the boys, the girls in my opinion weren’t getting equal opportunities.“We want to create something where the girls can say, ‘this is our game and we can play just as hard.’”Divisions will be seperated into boys and girls for 3rd-4th-grade, 5th-6th-grade and 7th-8th-grade. The 9th-12th-grade league will remain coed.“The goal is to help develop girls with handling the ball all the way down the court, passing to each other, team defense and shooting, just like we did in the coed leagues,” Davis said. “But we recognize that we are the grass-roots level of the sport in this community. The next level is the middle schools and then they move on into the high school program. “Our hope is to develop a strong core of girls basketball players in the Valley. It’s worthwhile for every young lady in this community to be able to play a sport and we want to afford them the extra opportunities to do that.”Davis said he has heard from some parents who wanted their daughters to continue playing with the boys.“Because of Title IX, that’s not something we’re going to be able to do,” he said. “If we offer a boys league and a girls league, players can’t cross over.”In the girls leagues, Davis said the players would get more time in drills and in games because the rosters are expected to be a bit smaller. They would also get more experience playing different positions, especially at the middle school level when height and size begins to become more of a factor, compared with the boys leagues. Davis said the department is aiming for a 3-on-3 format in all three girls divisions, though if the numbers are there, it could bump up to 4-on-4 or even 5-on-5.“This is an opportunity for seventh- and eighth-grade girls that didn’t make their schools teams (which play in the fall) to improve and further learn the game of basketball,” Davis said. “It’s a perfect situation where they get more repetitions and more time with the ball in their hands to be able to get better.“A basic team in the past has had one or two girls on it. The girls were maybe getting the ball once or twice per possession at best. The percentages are better this way.“The goal is just to get this thing going and build on it from there. We have to start somewhere. We’re hoping this gives us a robust basketball league for when we move into the Community and Senior Center in a couple years.”Davis said if they can’t make the girls leagues work this year, the league will be all coed this season and they’ll try again in the future.“I’ve seen this program (a girls league) work at the lake and the population is a lot smaller up there than here,” Davis said. “It works. I think it can work here.”The Douglas County league had 390 participants last year. Davis said he hopes the new division of leagues will boost that number.Registration is open and will remain open until the the leagues are full. Games will be played at Pau-Wa-Lu and Carson Valley Middle School. Leagues cost $75-85 and include practices, games from December through March and a team T-shirt.This year, players registering in the league can participate in a skills clinic directed by Reno Bighorns players and coaches for an additional $20. It will be on Dec. 9 and will only be available to players in the league.For more information, or to sign-up for the league, visit dcprsports.com or call 782-9828.Joey Crandall can be reached at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.