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  • Powerball Tournaments

    Received this email recently about a new type of tournament setting up in SoCal. Not sure if this is done anywhere else, but I'm definitely conflicted on the intent. What's your take?
    What is Powerball Tournaments?
    Powerball Tournaments is a new approach to the reward aspect of the tournament baseball experience. Our Tournament Champion and Runner Up awards program goes beyond what you would typically expect to receive from USSSA, AAU, Xtreme Diamond Sports, and Triple Crown. No more cheesy $2.50 medals for 'tween and teen athletes!
    Powerball Tournaments will be providing the highest quality team recognition, along with individual rewards for the athletes like Tournament Champion ball caps, t-shirts, hoodies, wrist bands, gift cards and on select tournaments all championship team players will receive custom engraved wood bats courtesy of Powerball Tournaments and our partner Game1Sports! Not one bat for the team, but every player will receive a custom wood bat, laser-engraved with their name!

    Huge Cash Prizes, Really.
    We take the reward aspect of our business seriously, because we think you deserve it. Your teams' parents and sponsors make a significant investment to allow your young athletes to play in tournaments in Southern California and Las Vegas.
    With the average team playing 9 tournaments a year, teams can expect to spend
    $5,000 a year on entry fees alone. Wouldn't it be nice to have a chance to get some of that money back? With Powerball Tournaments you get just that.
    Teams can win anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 per tournament in their age "tier"
    depending on how many teams are registered in the tier. Some tournaments will be focused on strictly 9U-12U age division teams, others 13U-16U, in order to get the most teams in those tiers entered to drive the amount the cash prize is going to be to the maximum possible. That's the Powerball difference, we want to put the money back into your pockets to help teams be able to afford more tournaments, regardless of who it's spent with. Need new equipment? Just want to split it among the parents? Planning a big team trip to Vegas, Phoenix, Cooperstown, or Orlando for a big-time tournament? This money certainly would help! Best of all, if you win it, you leave the tournament with the check.
    Our insurance company thought cash would be a bit risky.
    Click the button below to see full details.



    Our Philosophy

    Our goal is not to host the most tournaments, but to host the best managed, most anticipated, most rewarding tournaments in Southern California and Las Vegas.
    http://www.powerballtournaments.com/

  • #2
    My first thought is how much more will registration cost per team? Its already around $350-$550 per tournament. And I think travel teams play closer to 12-15 tournaments a year than 9.
    Would I have my team play in these tournaments? Maybe once in a while, depending on the types of teams that are playing. To me, I am more turned off by the bells and whistles if that's their selling point. Show me quality teams are attending and good fields, good umpires, etc... then I might play more often.

    Comment


    • #3
      Possible eligibility issues for accepting prizes?

      Trophies - no problem. Gift cards (cash), other prizes... I'm sure there's a rule somewhere about that.

      Really though - does anyone actually play tournaments just for the trophies? (physically - not symbolically I mean)

      Comment


      • #4
        I am the owner of Powerball Tournaments and I can assure you that the cost of our tournaments is comparable to USSSA, Triple Crown, Xtreme Diamond, and AAU for our 3-game guarantee (3GG), 4-game guarantee (4GG), and special 5-game guarantee (5GG) events.

        3GG event fees are: 7U & 8U - $350, 9U & 10U - $525; 11U & 12U - $550, 13U & 14U - $575, 15U & 16U - $595
        4GG event fees are: 7U & 8U - $450, 9U & 10U - $625; 11U & 12U - $650, 13U & 14U - $675, 15U & 16U - $695
        5GG event fees are: 7U & 8U - $750, 9U & 10U - $925; 11U & 12U - $950, 13U & 14U - $975, 15U & 16U - $995

        Our venues are top of the line because we know that is important to teams, and we are playing in venues that we know teams love to play at: Patricia Birdsall Park in Temecula, complimented by Great Oak High School right across the street; Steed Park in San Clemente; Fountain Valley Sports Park; and Las Vegas venues that will be announced soon.

        In our recent research of teams from across the nation, teams wanted: 1) Good competition 2) Great fields 3) Quality officiating 4) Appropriate award programs. Since so many respondents to our surveys made comments about the quality of the awards programs, we decided that we would really emphasized this as a product differentiator, however our main goal is to attract quality teams by promoting our tournaments at the best fields available with quality officiating. Honestly, I could offer free tournaments as horrible fields and not attract a single team. I think that by providing great venues, 2 certified officials per game (every game) and coupling that to age-appropriate awards packages for teams, that the rest will take care of itself.

        I decided to offer the cash prize as a way of giving back to the teams who will be supporting me, plain and simple. I am not in this to get rich, but really trying to "right the ship" as it comes to travel baseball tournaments. I know how much tournament promoters are making and they are making huge money off these teams, and really not giving anything other than trinkets to the athletes in return. My son's team recently played in a tournament in Southern California where his 11U team got a medal that simply had a ball glove and the word "baseball" on it and a 5"x7" generic baseball plague that for winning the championship. Is that why they are playing? No, of course not. What it tells me is that the tournament promoter does not care about his product, value his customers, or desire return business. Teams who win their age division championship in Powerball tournaments will receive a gourgeous acrylic team trophy, along with individual awards such as Tournament Champion hats, t-shirts, hoodies, wrist bands, and items of that nature. 7U and 8U athletes will still receive the medals that they love showing grandma and grandpa and can proudly display in their bedroom or hang on the fridge. Select tournaments will be sponsored in part by Game 1 Sports, a small bat manufacturer from rancho Cucamonga who make a fantastic product and graciously have partnered with us to provide custom team bat trophies for age-division champions along with laser-engraved custom wood bats for each player on that team. This is not a small expense, and we appreciate their partnership. The owner of Game 1 Sports is also a current travel baseball Dad who has the same philosophy as me.

        The extra expense of providing a high-quality awards program comes straight from my bottom line. As I said earlier, I am not in this to get rich. I will still make a profit, but I am willing to work with a smaller margin in order to provide a higher quality product to my customers. Will it attract teams to my tournaments based solely on the thought that they think they can win the cash prize? Perhaps. But the real intent of the cash prize is to reward my customers in a way that helps to defray the incredible expense associated with travel baseball. The intent of the high-quality awards is to show my teams (coaches, players and parents who foot the bills) that I value their business. Hopefully, the combination of these things will help be to recruit and retain a following of competitive teams at every tournament.

        How a team chooses to use the cash prize is up to them. I'm not giving it as a credit to play in my tournaments because teams, especially teams that travel to major national events in the summer and winter, go through a lot of effort to raise funds to do those things. This is something that will help those teams out.

        Hope this answers your questions.
        Last edited by Powerball Tournaments; 11-29-2012, 07:29 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Ralanprod,

          Amatuer athletes are not precluded from receiving cash prizes for winning an event, rather they are precluded from receiving compensation based solely on their participation in an event. So if we offered players money just to come and play, regardless if their team wins the event, that would be in conflict with what some organizations would consider amateur standing. There are many amatuer athletes who make handsome livings off of cash prizes from winning events.

          If you wish to play for a sports college in the NJCAA, NAIA, or Division I of the NCAA, you may not compete as a professional or enter into a contract with a professional team. However, each association has its own specific regulations regarding your competition as an amateur either against professionals or with professional teammates. CIF rules about receiving awards and their value apply to CIF sanctioned events only, which of course Powerball Tournaments are not.

          If you wish to play for an institution in Division II or Division III of the NCAA, you may compete professionally prior to full-time enrollment. The one distinction in this rule between the two divisions is that if you plan to play for a Division III team, you cannot accept any salary for your participation as a professional; if you plan to play for a Division II team, you can accept salary.

          Of course teams aren't playing for the trophies or prizes (we all know there are some trophy chasers out there though), but isn't it nice that if you do win in your participation is rewarded at a level where you know the promoters value your business. That's what I'm trying to convey with my programs.

          Comment


          • #6
            Powerball,
            I will let your posts stand for now as they directly answer questions from one of our forumers. BBF has specific rules about promotion and spamming...please read our rules at the top of the board.

            Second,
            I suggest you go through a few threads about TB and Tourney ball here at BBF. Personally, I feel they (TB and Tourney Ball) and many who run those programs are the leading single largest contibutor to removing much of what the game can give the children... It promotes an age inappropriate emphasis on winning and leaves little for the child who has not developed. I also feel those who promote such tourneys, and make a living doing so, are living off the financial backs of delusional parents at the expense of the child and game. JMHO

            Jake
            101 Moderator
            "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


            • #7
              When teams play tournament after tournament the trinkets become irrelevant. My kids could have cared less if they got a medal on a ribbon or a foot high trophy. All that matted to them was when they showed up to play most teams got intimidated and they won. I coached teams in ECTB which is the regional branch of USSSA. We received credits for each tournament played. I believe one year it was pay for four get the fifth for half off. This is a better deal than better trinkets.
              Last edited by tg643; 11-29-2012, 12:58 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks, Jake. I appreciate your opinion, and agree in part. Obviously there is a profit motive with all who run tournaments, either for the benefit of an organization as a fundraiser or as a private business as is the case with the major tournament promoters across the US. If it were a perfect world, I would have a 15 field ballpark and unlimited funds and do this for free, because I genuinely love the game. I love to watch kids play it, especially my son, and get the enjoyment out of it. To share a short story with you, the best baseball experiences of my 11U son's life are topped by a trip we took this past summer with NCTB to Nettuno Italy playing for the 12U Team USSSA against international opponents from China, Slovakia, France, Czech Republic, and Italy. What he enjoyed most was meeting the boys and the dorm experience they all had. He returned with absolutely new enthusiasm for the game and confidence in his skills, while my daughter returned home with a 15 year old Italian boyfriend. The experience of meeting new boys and competing against international teams was without question the best thing he's ever done. The US boys all made friends with all the other players from different nations.

                After returning to the US, a friend we made on the team referred us to Stars and Stripes baseball, and organization based out of South Carolina, who does a tournament in December in Orlando where kids are assigned to teams. My son will know none of his teammates upon arrival but will leave with 9-10 brand new "best friends" and even more incredible experiences involving baseball.

                All that to say that not all baseball promoters are trying to make a quick buck off delusional parents. Am I naive enough to think the promoters of these two events didn't make a profit? Not a chance. Once we become adults and engage in a business, profit becomes the primary motive. But I do believe that it can be tempered with community. I haven't seen a single tournament promoter in my time involved in the arena who gave back directly to the teams who supported them. Not a single one. Sure, they may make events tied to Breast Cancer or something and make a nominal donation to the cause, but they are also getting a tax deduction for doing so. How about making that donation in the name of a winning team in the tournament? Never seen it done.

                Comment


                • #9
                  TG643,

                  I think that the "trinkets" are a symbol of attaining a status, like runner up or something. Do coaches make decisions on where to play based on trinkets? I hope not. As we stated earlier, it's primarily based on the competition and the fields and officials. But the coaches, many of whom are life-long coaches and start over again with a new group of boys after their current team hits HS or passes them along to the next age division coach, need to keep the perspective of the players and families who are allowing them the opportunity to coach their children in mind when it comes to some things. For instance, my son's 9U team went to Steamboat a couple years ago to play in their World Series. The coach did not have them participate in the team parade and introductions because he was lazy and didn't want to do it because he'd done it so many times he had become bored with it. At that point, it was all about him. The boys were a secondary consideration. He never considered the feeling of the boys or the parents. So, when discounting the value of things like trinkets, parade of teams, etc I feel it is important to put the perspective of the players and parents first. My son could really care less about the medals, etc. But if he goes to a big tourney and wins it and gets a championship t-shirt, you bet your rear end he wears it to school the first chance he has in order to show his friends. It's ok to be proud of an accomplishment. If it weren't, well then I guess the military would have stopped handing their "trinkets" out long ago.

                  Finally, and this is something I feel STRONGLY about, I think coaches need to put much more emphasis and communicate more with their teams' parents. They are paying the bill for crying out loud, yet their desires often go without being heard. For coaches, this means listening to them regarding where they want to play. Often times the coach's ego gets in the way of what the team really wants, or perhaps they have a sweet deal set up from that tournament promoter and are putting extra $$$ in their pocket. We'd be naive to think that doesn't happen. For tournament promoters, it means that those trinkets do mean something to the boys when they win them. You can cement a positive experience by giving them something that is in keeping with the level of their accomplishment, or you can give them junk. I prefer the former.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    First, to compare military people putting their lives on the line to pre high school baseball, or any baseball for that matter is absurd. The only issue I would have with the coach at the Steamboat tournament was he denied the kids an event that was part of the program.

                    I disagree with your perspective on they way you perceive coaches should communicate with parents. Coaches should not communicate with parents in a manner where they feel they have some control over the team. The parents may be footing the bill. But the coach is supplying the product. The parents have the option not to purchase. When I had travel teams I never pitched locales, trinkets and parades. I pitched the quality of the coaching staff providing the players the ability to learn the game and develop to play at the next level (whatever that was at the time) for what I believed to be a reasonable fee. Any other communication with the parents relating to the team was a first practice conversation on expected behavior.

                    As for the trinkets my kids never tallked about the trinkets. Their memories weren't even about winning and losing. The memories were about the teammates, the coaches and the funny stories relating to the personalities.
                    Last edited by tg643; 11-29-2012, 03:43 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Powerball,
                      Before you go posting such things around here, you'd better make sure you're enrolled in the 12-step program: "I'm a Pre-teen Travel Ball Coach/Parent, and I Want My Team To Win!"

                      demotivational-poster-10085.jpg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have no idea what you are talking about Raptor.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tg643 View Post
                          First, to compare military people putting their lives on the line to pre high school baseball, or any baseball for that matter is absurd. The only issue I would have with the coach at the Steamboat tournament was he denied the kids an agent that was part of the program.

                          I disagree with your perspective on they way you perceive coaches should communicate with parents. Coaches should not communicate with parents in a manner where they feel they have some control over the team. The parents may be footing the bill. But the coach is supplying the product. The parents have the option not to purchase. When I had travel teams I never pitched locales, trinkets and parades. I pitched the quality of the coaching staff providing the players the ability to learn the game and develop to play at the next level (whatever that was at the time) for what I believed to be a reasonable fee. Any other communication with the parents relating to the team was a first practice conversation on expected behavior.

                          As for the trinkets my kids never tallked about the trinkets. Their memories weren't even about winning and losing. The memories were about the teammates, the coaches and the funny stories relating to the personalities.
                          I think the analogy to military decorations is entirely appropriate and not at all absurd. As a 24-year veteran of the USAF, I know that appreciation for a job well done is very, very important. Not every person "puts their life on the line" in the military, although ultimately they have taken an oath to. The military decoration is most often given for meritorious service in an assignment, which 99% of the time requires no abnormal risk to life or limb. So, in making the comparison to baseball "trinkets" as you say, do you not think that a young athletes' "meritorious service" during a tournament deserves something more than a pat on the back? Again, I agree with you that it is not why a player plays, or why a coach coaches, but I say that all things being equal, it may play a factor. Am I banking on it? No. It's just a strategy.

                          To address your analogy to the coaches providing the product, I would say I disagree with you there. Coaches provide a service to the parents. The team is the product, and the individual players and the parents are the resources that manufacture that product. I am not sure when the last time you coached a travel team was, or where in the country it was, but I can tell you the dynamics in Southern California are hugely different. Coaches are getting more and more hesitant to say "My way or the highway" because entire teams will leave an organization. Just happened this summer to a very historied organization in San Diego with a legendary head coach. Better deal came along from a sponsored organization and the parents decided it was it the best interest of the team to change organizations. Another organization in San Diego lost 1/2 of it's team at one time when the parents decided the coach was not providing the services they desired. Times are changing.

                          What I am most chagrinned at is your desire to have a lack of communication with the parents, especially in these economic times. I know for me at least, I need to plan things like the amount of time available at the office, when I will be taking vacation (which aren't vacations anymore, they are baseball tournaments) and things like that. All of us do. To not be able to have a season planned out is frustrating and really inexcusable for a program. That kind of stuff only happens with communication. I will deal with "high school style" coaching when my kid is in high school, but until then, if I am paying for a service, I expect customer service as well. We can disagree, and that's fine...not the end of the world.

                          I 100% agree that the memories are not about the trinkets, so we can dispense with that discussion.
                          Last edited by Powerball Tournaments; 11-29-2012, 03:48 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Powerball Tournaments View Post
                            I think the analogy to military decorations is entirely appropriate and not at all absurd. As a 24-year veteran of the USAF, I know that appreciation for a job well done is very, very important.
                            ... I never considered the medals I earned while serving trinkets.
                            "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


                            • #15
                              PT,
                              "Paying for a service," "customer service," "times are changing," are all things we have discussed for more than a decade with HS coaches, college coaches, sports psychologists, child development specialists, etc., etc.,

                              Putting ANYTHING 7-12 year old baseball in this context is, IMHO, a travesty....
                              "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

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