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Help me understand the "levels" of youth baseball

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  • Help me understand the "levels" of youth baseball

    Hey guys, I always preface my posts by pointing out that I don't know much about baseball so this is my disclaimer. :blush: I have a 12 year old son who plays baseball. He has always just played for our Church in what is a relatively uncompetetive league. Practices are pretty uninformative and once the games started, we've stopped practicing altogether as a team. My son, despite us neglecting his talent thru the years, seems to be a natural at baseball and we're thinking we want more for him than just being the best player on a Bad News Bears type team. Where do I go from here? I hear all the terms like travel ball, etc. but I don't really know what it all means or how to find such a team or league. His season is almost over and I want him to continue playing somewhere else either over the summer or definitely in the fall. So what is the next step up for him after "Church league" and how do I find him a home?

    On a somewhat related note, where does middle school baseball fall into the hierarchy? Is it prestigious or is travel ball and other avenues more coveted than playing for your school?

  • #2
    Originally posted by R00STER View Post
    On a somewhat related note, where does middle school baseball fall into the hierarchy? Is it prestigious or is travel ball and other avenues more coveted than playing for your school?
    MS here is pretty big and those expecting to play HS should be playing MS. I feel both have their places. I am not an advocate of 12U travel ball and feel much of it is more for parents than they are players. Up to this age the players s/b playing to primarlily have fun.
    "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
    - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
    Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
      MS here is pretty big and those expecting to play HS should be playing MS. I feel both have their places. I am not an advocate of 12U travel ball and feel much of it is more for parents than they are players. Up to this age the players s/b playing to primarlily have fun.
      Good lord.
      efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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      • #4
        First step.

        Where are you located?

        Depending on your location there are several leagues.

        Little League, Cal Ripken, Dixie Youth, Pony League etc etc.

        Then there is "travel" or "select" ball which can be governed by USSSA, AAU, Nations Baseball etc etc.

        Again, alot depends on where you live.

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        • #5
          I live in Gastonia, NC....a small town outside Charlotte.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
            MS here is pretty big and those expecting to play HS should be playing MS. I feel both have their places. I am not an advocate of 12U travel ball and feel much of it is more for parents than they are players. Up to this age the players s/b playing to primarlily have fun.
            Depends AGAIN, on where you are located. Here we don't have MS Ball. At all. Doesn't exist. And "travel" ball doesn't mean that you are actually traveling anywhere.

            And kids here can go out for JV in 8th grade. At the two local high schools, guess how many of the 8th graders who made JV played "travel" ball? Yes that would be all of them.

            In fact every kid on the JV team of both High Schools plays or played travel ball.

            Again, each location is different. Here in VA, it's getting to the point that Legion is totally watered down, as more and more Showcase teams from 15U and up and gaining strength.

            And just because it's "travel" why can't the primary reason to play, still be because the kids want to play and have fun?

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            • #7
              Your next step is probably the county or city rec baseball program.
              efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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              • #8
                Originally posted by R00STER View Post
                I live in Gastonia, NC....a small town outside Charlotte.
                I know exactly where Gastonia is.

                Here ya go

                http://www.ncusssabaseball.net/TTInt...px?tid=USSSANC

                and here

                http://carolinasports.websitetoolbox.com/?forum=131657

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                • #9
                  City Parks and Rec Baseball
                  efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                    I am not an advocate of 12U travel ball and feel much of it is more for parents than they are players. Up to this age the players s/b playing to primarlily have fun.
                    What about this?

                    http://www.littleleague.org/worldseries/index.html

                    Would this not be considered "travel ball"...?

                    I know when a friend coached in the 2005 version, that they "traveled" their butts off...

                    I think all the kids involved had "fun" as well...

                    :twocents:
                    I don't like my balls to smell like pickles.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bolts-Baseball View Post
                      What about this?

                      http://www.littleleague.org/worldseries/index.html

                      Would this not be considered "travel ball"...?

                      I know when a friend coached in the 2005 version, that they "traveled" their butts off...

                      I think all the kids involved had "fun" as well...

                      :twocents:
                      LOL

                      Our goal is to make regionals this year with my 12's...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bolts-Baseball View Post
                        What about this?
                        http://www.littleleague.org/worldseries/index.html
                        Would this not be considered "travel ball"...?
                        I know when a friend coached in the 2005 version, that they "traveled" their butts off...
                        I think all the kids involved had "fun" as well...
                        :twocents:
                        We can re-open this topic if you want, but there has been a great deal of discussion on this topic that you can search.

                        Bottom line for me (roughly speaking)...
                        11U have fun! LL, ML, that's it... 4 months of ball
                        12-14 MS (where available), Little League, playoffs then go swimming for the summer -5 months of ball
                        14+ HS, Legion (or comparable travel ball) - 7-8 months of ball.
                        "He who dares to teach, must never cease to learn."
                        - John Cotton Dana (1856–1929) - Offered to many by L. Olson - Iowa (Teacher)
                        Please read Baseball Fever Policy and Forum FAQ before posting.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jake Patterson View Post
                          We can re-open this topic if you want, but there has been a great deal of discussion on this topic that you can search.

                          Bottom line for me (roughly speaking)...
                          11U have fun! LL, ML, that's it... 4 months of ball
                          12-14 MS (where available), Little League, playoffs then go swimming for the summer -5 months of ball
                          14+ HS, Legion (or comparable travel ball) - 7-8 months of ball.
                          Let's not and say we did.h

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by R00STER View Post
                            On a somewhat related note, where does middle school baseball fall into the hierarchy? Is it prestigious or is travel ball and other avenues more coveted than playing for your school?
                            MS ball can be fairly competitive. But there wasn't a single kid on my son's MS team that didn't also play travel.

                            The MS season is insanely short for us, so it's more of an "in addition to" kind of option. I think it's important to play MS ball if you want to play in HS.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Wow. It's crazy to hear about how long most ball seasons are in the states and its like 3/4 months MAX here in Canada unless you live in city or close enough to one that you get access to the baseball academies or programs like that. Kinda depressing

                              Comment

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