The Mahtomedi Youth Baseball program offers traveling baseball to age groups 9 through 15 who want to play more competitive baseball. We participate in the Gopher State Baseball League of Minnesota Youth Athletic Services, Inc. and the Minnesota Baseball League. The board places the travel teams in one of the two leagues depending on the competitive fit of each team.
If registration numbers indicate enough interest and commitment to playing traveling baseball, we will attempt to field two teams at each age group.
Mahtomedi Youth Baseball’s slogan says it all: “Have fun. Get better.”
The MYBI Traveling Baseball Program works to help our athletes develop advanced baseball skills and provide them the opportunity to have fun competing with players of similar abilities. We strive to provide an environment of healthy competition, in which players learn to become part of a team and develop their fundamental baseball skills, overall athletic abilities, self-confidence and self-esteem. The Traveling Baseball Program strives to promote good sportsmanship, strong character, proper behavior, respect for others, teamwork, pride in team and community, and enjoyment of the game. We hope and expect that our coaches, players, parents, fans, and volunteers will enjoy the experience of participating in the Mahtomedi Baseball Program and will help us to be recognized as a standard of excellence by other communities.
Coaches play a number of key roles in meeting the goals of our Traveling Baseball Program. In particular, we expect coaches to demonstrate all of the above traits, while also continually evaluating players’ skill sets, providing ongoing training to allow player development, using good judgment in positioning players and providing playing time consistent with our program’s overall philosophy.
Player and Parent Commitment
Traveling baseball requires a significant time commitment from players, coaches, and parents from April thru July. School, religious and key family events come first, and excused absences will be granted for such events with prior notice to the coach. However, traveling baseball is a commitment by everyone involved to all of the other members of the team, coaches and families.
Creating a true “team” requires the fullest possible attendance at practices and games. Players learn fundamentals, improve their skills, develop consistency, and learn to function as part of the team by attending practices on time, ready and willing to learn and contribute. The team simply cannot take advantage of all of its talent and strengths if players routinely miss practices and games. Therefore, vacations and other activities should be scheduled before and after the season.
Unexcused absences from practices and games will result in a loss of playing time at the coach’s discretion. Players may be expected to sign a contract to acknowledge the responsibility and commitment involved in playing traveling baseball.
Team Selection Process
Professional Baseball Trainers from independent organizations will evaluate players based on pitching, hitting, running and fielding skills.
Tryouts will be closed to parents from their own age group. Parents from one age group may be asked to help with another group though.
Once the team is selected by the evaluator scores, the head coach will be allowed one challenge. The new coach will not be told the ranking of his team. The new head coach can select one player to move down and one player from the 2nd team to move up for baseball reasons and must be based on past knowledge of both players. If the player selected to move down is not in the bottom six of the ratings of team and the player selected to move up is not in the top three of the second team, the challenge will not be allowed.
After the first team is selected, the remaining players will be ranked for the second team based on professional evaluator’s scores. The new coach will not be told the ranking of his team. The new head coach of the second team will be allowed one challenge. The new head can select one player to move down and one to move up. If the player selected to move down is not in the bottom six and the player selected to move up is not in the top three that did not make the second team, the challenge will not be allowed.
Any remaining tie breakers or special cases (including absences or injury) will be decided by the Travel Director.
Absences from Tryouts
Our goal is to get 100% participation in tryouts or all sessions.
Excused Absences must be approved by Travel Director before tryouts.
If a player misses part or all of the tryouts due to an excused absence, MYBI board members will decide what team the player will be assigned to. The board members involved will include the Travel Director, and President at a minimum. Other board members will be involved in the decision if they know the player or if the decision can wait until the next regularly scheduled board meeting.
The board will consider the data we do have (past performance from coaches, partial tryout data, information from other baseball organizations) to make a decision.
Board will make the decision with the goal of doing what is right for all kids at that age level.
When it is a borderline case, we will default to placing the player who was absent on the lower level team.
No team selection process is perfect. MYBI’s team selection process seeks to rely as much as possible on an independent, highly knowledgeable source of information on our players. At the same time, MYBI’s team selection process recognizes the limitations of a one weekend or one day tryout, by allowing the possibility of limited coaches’ challenges in an effort to field the most complete and competitive teams possible.
Coaches are appointed by the Travel Director and approved by the President. Head Coaches will be announced at the same time that team rosters are announced. Head coaches select assistant coaches. However, the Travel Director has final approval of all assistant coaches. Past experience has shown that teams with several knowledgeable assistant coaches, working as a team, have more success in developing well rounded players and getting the best effort and execution out of the team. All knowledgeable parents are welcome to contribute but must have approval from the head coach.
Ages 9 through 13 have continuous batting and free substitution. Throughout the season (league and tournament games) every player in this age group is to be given a place in the batting order and equitable playing time defensively in the field. This does not mean that every player will play every position. Coaches at this level need to focus on development of sound skills and provide opportunities for players to adapt to a position or positions where they will have the best opportunity to succeed in the field. However, every player can expect at least 4-5 innings per game in a fielding position, depending on game length and roster size.
Ages 14 and 15 do not have continuous batting and free substitution. At this level, the teams are participating in a more competitive program. Coaches should use good judgment and may decide to slot players in a regular position. At these levels, players will not necessarily see the “equal” level of playing time seen at the younger age groups. However, players can expect to be given opportunities to play at least 3-4 innings in all league games.
After teams are selected, practices will continue 2-3 times a week or more, until the season starts in May. Typically teams will play 16 league games and 3 or more weekend tournaments, plus league playoffs. Tournament performance will determine whether teams also qualify for one or more season ending “State Tournaments,” generally held in mid-July. Teams participate in the Gopher State or Minnesota Baseball Leagues play both home and away games (which are played in surrounding communities). Depending on alignment of divisions some away games may also be scheduled in further outlaying communities and, given field availability, teams may play an unbalanced schedule with more away games than home games. The schedule for teams will usually be two games a week and 1 to 2 weekly practices depending on availability of facilities.
The registration fee includes a non-refundable evaluation fee. The registration fee is collected to cover the cost of league fees, tournament fees, community fees, field preparation, uniforms, umpires, baseballs and equipment. If a player is not selected to a traveling team he will automatically be enrolled into the In-House program. Payment with the initial registration is the price of an in-house team, if he is selected for traveling, the difference will be automatically charged to the credit card on file.
Traveling teams are pre-registered into 3 tournaments before the season starts to ensure tournament berths for all teams. The costs for these tournaments (approximately $25.00 per player per tournament) is added to registration and tryout fee as indicated above. If a team earns a berth and registers into a state or national tournament, there will be additional costs for those tournaments.
There may be additional costs depending on the team. If a team decides to have names printed on jerseys and hats, this will be an added expense to each player.
MYBI welcomes input and ideas from our coaches, players, families, and others. We are open to hearing concerns, ideas, and comments from anyone who can help improve the organization. Volunteers are needed to assist with evaluations, the MYBI tournaments, and special events. If you have comments, suggestions or would like to volunteer, please contact one of the board members listed at the beginning of this handbook.
Pre-Tryout Parent Meeting
MYBI will host a pre-tryout parent meeting. Topics covered will include a discussion of the traveling baseball program philosophy, the evaluation and team selection process, tournaments, player, parent and coach expectations and a question and answer session. All parents are welcome and prospective coaches are strongly encouraged to attend.
Bat restrictions for travel teams playing in the Gopher State Baseball League can be found by clicking here.