again...this is not about the value of having a B team,Wow...I've been lurking on this forum for a while without ever really posting. I'm kind of surprised with the reactions here.
I coach my son's 11U travel team. He's been playing travel ball since 9U and I've been coaching since 10U. We are the B team for our organization. There is a vast difference between rec ball and travel ball. I live in Orange County NY, not far from this area of NJ. Rec/little league usually plays 12 games a year. That's it. If my son didn't play travel ball for the last 2 years he would have been left WAY behind. He's at a point now where he is as good as a few of the kids on the A team, but if he was on it he probably wouldn't play as much. For the time being I am content for him to be on the B team where he is one of the better players on the team.
Playing travel ball, even on a B team, has been a tremendous benefit for him. It has given him a chance to play extra games in the spring, and play through the summer and fall. It has given him exposure to playing at a higher level and allowed him to face better pitching. I don't see anything negative about this. Within travel baseball there are many different levels. We play some teams that we beat easily and sometimes we get our butts kicked. Even our A team, which is very good, gets crushed at some of the tournaments they play in. I still don't see anything wrong with it...the kids are playing baseball, learning the game, getting better, and...most importantly...having fun! What is wrong with that?
In the two years I've been doing this I've watched some of the kids who were "stars" at 9U start to slip, and some who struggled at 9U coming into their own now...and they are only 11. Who knows what these kids will be capable of in a few years when they've hit puberty. But if they just stopped playing from mid June until the following April there is no way they would have progressed this far. I know...I know...their dads can have catch with them everyday...that's not the same to a 9, 10, or 11 year old as actually playing. Kids that age need to actually PLAY in order to stay motivated and see their hard work pay off!
In our area most of the travel leagues have at least 2 levels...some have 3 or 4. You can pick a level that is appropriate for your team. Some of the best teams skip the league play and just do tournaments. I don't see anything wrong with any of it. Find a level that works for your team...challenging them without getting them in over their head... and play ball!
Do any of you REALLY believe that their should be no level of baseball in between rec/little league and elite travel?
and fwiw, most little league/rec leagues have summer and fall leagues...at least they do in NY/NJ/Conn area.