start a travel youth baseball team
When starting a travel youth baseball team there are many things to consider. Having the right information and knowledge will enable you to make the correct decisions and develop your team in an easy fashion.
When starting a team you must first find your players. When choosing players you may want to access their talent and behaviors. Take into consideration that this team your developing will hopefully be together for a long time. The players that you will choose should have the right demeanor and passion for the long haul of travel baseball. If the players are young it may be a little difficult for you to determine these aspects and many times when teams start out the coaches are scrambling for 12 players.
Another thing to strongly consider is the parents. Remember that this team also is comprised of the parents as well. Many parents, after the start-up, will not always agree with the difficult decisions that coaches have to make. There are going to be financial responsibilities that all families will incur equally and therefore their thoughts are that playing time should be equal as well.
So, the player selection aspect of your team is vital to the success and longevity of your team.
Once your team has been established and practices are under way, you need to level set your team accurately. There are 3 basic levels of competition in travel baseball leagues.
Town Level Team - is a team that comprises of recreation ball players. A new team with players that are at an average skill level. This level can also be described as single "A".
All Star Team - A team that equals a town all star team that would be entered into a structured league all star competition. Keep in mind that all the players do not have to be All Star Players, but a good representation of your team would be All Star caliber. Another way to look at this is if your team is a Town Team they can play up in an All Star division for challenging competition. Just don't reach to far for the outcome could be discouraging. The All Star division could also be labeled the "AA" Division.
Club Team - is a team comprised of skilled players from different towns and even from other states. They are formed to be highly competitive, receive extensive training and enter high level leagues/tournaments. This league can be represented as "AAA" or Elite.
Determining what league you should place your team in will take some research. Some points to consider:
Distance - Research the leagues, look at there previous seasons to gauge potential distances by the teams that played in the league. There is a good chance that it may change a little but you will get an overall feeling of distance. You always have the option of contacting the league prior to or during the registration period to get an idea of the teams that have sign up or have signed up to play in that league.
Cost- each league charges there determined amount. Research what you will receive with the cost of entering the league. Leagues offer more competition, trophies as opposed to medals, umpires, baseballs and even entry into tournaments. Another criteria to look at is the amount of games per season and how many teams make the playoffs.
As a coach or administrator of a team this is probably going to be a long term venture and uniforms are the identity of your team. There are a few different directions you can take when considering uniforms for your team. The basic full uniform will cost in the area of $50-$60 and can be ordered at your local equipment/uniform store. You can also go out and get great looking uniforms at a cost of about $100. Your decision is important right from the beginning as to what direction you are planning to take concerning uniforms. Some teams reorder basic shirts every year and other teams order high quality shirts and keep them for 2 to 3 years and replace as needed. Another factor that will contribute to your thought is the cost to the parents. One note to mention is that the team you are developing is not an ordinary team, it is a travel team, and the players on your team will be excited and proud to play in a great looking uniform.
Insurance is a must have in youth baseball and has be presented to any league or tournament that you play in prior to the start of the event. Some leagues offer insurance to the teams that join their events, towns offer insurance to teams that reside in it and outside companies offer it as well. It is best to investigate insurance as soon as your team has been selected and before any practices or games have begun. Your basic team insurance should run an average of $10 to $15 dollars per player for the year and can even be higher depending on where you get your insurance from. It is important to do your research and see what coverage you receive for the price you pay.
The basic necessities are needed to start your team. Baseballs, equipment bag, catchers equipment and maybe some training needs.
Baseballs - 1 to 2 dozen practice balls are needed and when playing a league or tournament you will have to furnish a minimum of two little league approved baseballs. To start a season you will need 3 to 4 dozen in total.
Catchers Equipment - Most teams will need catchers equipment. A helmet, chest protector, leg guards, throat protector and glove. All this will cost around $150 dollars. There are sets that you may purchase for around $100 and a glove is not included.
Equipment Bag - A traditional equipment bag costs approximately $50.
Baseball Bucket - A must have that will carry 4 dozen baseballs costing $20.
Misc. - Scorers book and pitch counter.
League - $200
Insurance - $150
Umpires - $300 - 46/60 ($50 per/game - $25 split plus playoffs) $600-50/70 and above.
Baseballs - $150
Book/pitch counter - $15
Uniforms - $960 ($80 per player basic full uniform)
(The cost information will change depending on many variables. This is just a estimate for your reference)