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Advice on Youth Baseball startup

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  • Advice on Youth Baseball startup

    It's been discussed here before, but after participating in the Local LL for 4 years and coaching in it for 2 years, I have become disillusioned with the whole thing. We have both Little League & Dixie Youth baseball in my town, but that's it. The Local DY is known for being horrible as far as the politics and "it's who you know" stuff. And now the Little League, which many people left DY for because of this problem, has succumb to the same illness. It's sad really because I really thought they had something going here when I joined up.

    I am considering creating a new league for my local area to start next spring. I want there to be a true "kids first" mentality. The other leagues claim it, but fail to show it in the rules they use. I would like to be part of a league where every kid gets ample time to play regardless of skill level...where coaches actually teach kids the fundamentals of baseball and encourage a love of the game...where kids get to play lots of different positions...and where "win at all costs" is not what we're about.

    I've begun to look into league affiliations. Part of the problem is location though. I'm not moving and I'm pretty sure that we can't join LL or DY because we would cross regions. I've looked into Pony league and Babe Ruth a little and have a couple questions for those who may be knowledgeable about this kind of thing.

    1. Is a league affiliation a must? What are the downsides to creating an independent league? I realize the challenges of insurance costs, finding teams to play, and no potential all-stars or league tournaments. But are there other things I haven't considered?

    There are numerous rules that I and a number of parents would like to include such as forcing coaches to allow kids to play different positions, limiting pitchers to less work per game, larger minimum requirements for playing time per kid, etc. Would a league affiliation keep me from setting these types of "house" rules?

    2. I believe I have financing to get things started to cover team equipment (catcher's gear/helmets/bats/balls), field usage, field maintenance/equipment, umpires (training, equipment, & pay), insurance costs, & some marketing including a website. Are there any other unforeseen costs I may be missing?

    3. Any thing else that you can think of that many people may overlook?

    Thanks for any advice!
    Last edited by Rhetoric; 06-04-2012, 11:54 AM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Rhetoric View Post
    It's been discussed here before, but after participating in the Local LL for 4 years and coaching in it for 2 years, I have become disillusioned with the whole thing. We have both Little League & Dixie Youth baseball in my town, but that's it. The Local DY is known for being horrible as far as the politics and "it's who you know" stuff. And now the Little League, which many people left DY for because of this problem, has succumb to the same illness. It's sad really because I really thought they had something going here when I joined up.
    It's like this everywhere you go.

    I am considering creating a new league for my local area to start next spring. I want there to be a true "kids first" mentality. The other leagues claim it, but fail to show it in the rules they use. I would like to be part of a league where every kid gets ample time to play regardless of skill level...where coaches actually teach kids the fundamentals of baseball and encourage a love of the game...where kids get to play lots of different positions...and where "win at all costs" is not what we're about.
    There are numerous rules that I and a number of parents would like to include such as forcing coaches to allow kids to play different positions, limiting pitchers to less work per game, larger minimum requirements for playing time per kid, etc. Would a league affiliation keep me from setting these types of "house" rules?
    This may come off as mean but it sounds like you want every other team to run a team how you do. If I were you, I would run my team (and I have) with the ideas that you've listed above. I can tell you that when I coached an LL team last, every kid played in the infield in every game. Every kid pitched in a game at some point during the season. Every kid learned the mechanics of every position, even if he didn't play them all. They didn't play them all only because some kids just can't play certain positions in my opinion (like catcher for instance). Did this cost our team "wins"? Perhaps, but who was I to think I knew how this kid would grow and progress in the years to come. It felt great to know that my players really knew the game.

    I think you'd make a great Coaching Coordinator, which is a LL local board position. You can have a lot of influence on how the teams are coached. I think you could introduce some of your ideas. Btw, those rule changes you mention can be put into your "ground rules" which can be approved by LL. You can pretty much do what you want unless it really contradicts what LL lays out in its rule books.

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