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Trouble filling HS team projected

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  • Trouble filling HS team projected

    I was talking to my son's former HS coach this morning. He just got back from the High School State Championships to which he placed 5th. He will be losing 7 seniors and has 8 returning next year. (He started with 19 but lost some players due to parents attitude demanding that their children should be on the field instead of in the dugout.) Youth baseball in this area is basically dead. Once full of players (300+ in rec leagues) 6 years ago, it dwindled to 2 select clubs as of current. Youth baseball here dwindled because of the parents. The ones that ran the youth leagues basically built around their children and didnt hustle to keep going the other age brackets and ended up closing rec leagues. This past year, was the last of those league players that turned freshman. Next year, there are no kids because rec leagues closed down a several years ago and these are the kids that didnt have a youth baseball program.

    The coach is thinking of holding a summer league (weight training and baseball clinics and practice) for 12-14 year olds. He wants to attract new players.

    I couldnt think of anything to tell him because I was stumped. For the life of me, I cannot think of a way to attract kids that age to get interested in baseball. I mean, it is this age of the great exodus from baseball to other sports. I remember fielding 6 majors teams and then next year after, only 1 junior team.

    Does anyone have experience with what this coach is going through and any solutions?

    thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I was about to layout an idea that a neighboring community uses - but then I realized, I don't know much about small town baseball.

    Are there leagues/tournaments nearby that teams from your community can go play in? I'm in a big city, and we don't have any kinds of issues like this. Our choices for tournament and league play are very numerous.

    I'm thinking - because of my experience in a big city - that this must be a small town issue? I'm also wondering though if I'm wrong and some other big cities are in a baseball drought.

    Comment


    • #3
      That's interesting. I know in your area, one of the "select" programs was pretty strong in years past (L.S.'s), but they're now partnering with teams here on Maui to compete up in the mainland, 12u and younger. I guess this is why.

      We were there for the Memorial Day tournament in 2016 and participation appeared to be strong, but I don't know how many of those teams were local to your town. Sad to see that the interests of a few ruined the experience for the majority, possibly irreparably.

      Comment


      • #4
        There are a few high schools in our area that didn't carry a freshman team this year. They just didn't have enough kids. I have stated in other threads that our town only had 3 Freshmen this year with travel ball experience and it is only going to get worse after this. Our travel program shut down when my son was 8. When it came time to move to travel, most of the families just stayed in rec. We went outside of our town to find a higher level of competition but it took 2 years to find a good team.

        I rode the train in to Chicago for Mother's day and I passed a sporting complex with 2 soccer fields. One field had about 20 kids playing soccer and the other had about 200 kids with families playing lacrosse.

        As for how to attract new young players. I have no idea.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dragoncoach View Post
          I was about to layout an idea that a neighboring community uses - but then I realized, I don't know much about small town baseball.

          Are there leagues/tournaments nearby that teams from your community can go play in? I'm in a big city, and we don't have any kinds of issues like this. Our choices for tournament and league play are very numerous.

          I'm thinking - because of my experience in a big city - that this must be a small town issue? I'm also wondering though if I'm wrong and some other big cities are in a baseball drought.
          Because of the state of affairs here (past coaches and parents burning bridges) even the "select" teams here have to beg to enter tournaments. Usually, it is a 240 mile round trip drive. Other than that, they need to catch a flight.
          Landwise it is a huge town. People wise, not so much. The district of the school extends 56 miles with a graduating class of around 150.

          Originally posted by WailukuHeights View Post
          That's interesting. I know in your area, one of the "select" programs was pretty strong in years past (L.S.'s), but they're now partnering with teams here on Maui to compete up in the mainland, 12u and younger. I guess this is why.

          We were there for the Memorial Day tournament in 2016 and participation appeared to be strong, but I don't know how many of those teams were local to your town. Sad to see that the interests of a few ruined the experience for the majority, possibly irreparably.
          LOL! Yes! The memorial day tournament. There were asking if a friend of mine knew of anyone who wants to hold it since no one wanted to. My friend called me. I love Claudia and what the tournament stood for, but I had no time to do such a massive tournament. I believe no teams from the school district but had the 2 select clubs in there!.
          The problem here with the "select" team is that the majority live outside the school district and in the other school district. It splits the town in two. The 2 that came over for the select team lacked the basic fundamentals. It was more flashy and what I would describe as fielding on the side of the body all the time. If they miss it, it goes to the outfield.
          Look at your team! Division 1 State Champions! They played solid! It was a joy to watch! They sure can bat!!!!!!!

          Originally posted by queue View Post
          There are a few high schools in our area that didn't carry a freshman team this year. They just didn't have enough kids. I have stated in other threads that our town only had 3 Freshmen this year with travel ball experience and it is only going to get worse after this. Our travel program shut down when my son was 8. When it came time to move to travel, most of the families just stayed in rec. We went outside of our town to find a higher level of competition but it took 2 years to find a good team.

          I rode the train in to Chicago for Mother's day and I passed a sporting complex with 2 soccer fields. One field had about 20 kids playing soccer and the other had about 200 kids with families playing lacrosse.

          As for how to attract new young players. I have no idea.
          Thanks! I know the feeling! I drive by the parks and see over one hundred kids playing soccer, on the abandoned baseball fields. The Parks director said that he hasnt had any baseball teams since last year ask for the field.

          Comment


          • #6
            When I was playing LL Portland Maine had eleven leagues with four to six teams in each. Now there is one league with ten teams. The kids still play LL even if they play travel. This means there are only ten LL teams feeding three high schools in a city of 67,000.

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