League Play Overview
Season dates – The MBA Prep season typically runs from late March through early June. You should start hearing from coaches in mid to late February and practice should begin in late February or early March.
Objective – The MBA Prep League is for children 5 and 6 years of age on or before April 30th, 2017. This is the 2nd league in our development program. Players in this league continue to learn the game of baseball while advancing into a more competitive environment. Players will be introduced to coach pitch at this level. Players will receive 3 coach pitched balls and if they fail to hit one will then get 2 chances to hit the ball off the tee. Players will also be learning more advanced baserunning, fielding, and throwing skills. Score is kept in this league, but there are no league standings. The goal is to continue to teach the kids the fundamentals of the game while also introducing the competitive aspects that will continue when they advance to Rookie. We will use one umpire in this league and innings are limited to 6 runs or 3 outs, whichever comes first. Games will be a maximum of 4 innings or 1 hour.
Your team coaches and all of the league management are 100% volunteers. We do not have anyone coaching or managing this league that gets paid with your registration fees. We do have paid umpires beginning in the Prep league and above. These officials are paid by the registration fees for those leagues and that is why these leagues cost more per player. All of your head coaches and 1st assistants are required by the league to attend a coach’s certification class. In this class, they learn how to instruct players on baseball basics. They also learn how to manage teams, injuries, parents and many other league-related issues during this certification process. Please get involved with your team and your players. The coaches only get these players for a limited time each week and, if you truly want to see improvement in your child’s skills, you will have to put in some time at home reinforcing the techniques that they learn at practice. The coaches will look first to you when confronted with medical issues regarding your child so please advise your coach of any medical issues with your player prior to the season. As a general rule, please do not leave your child alone at the park. These teams can not become baby sitting services and our coaches are instructed to avoid any situation that puts them alone with someone else’s child.
It is a difficult task to order, sort, and distribute uniforms to 900+ players each year. Your coach will order your uniforms based on the sizes that you recorded on your registration form. The uniforms will be ordered and delivered as fast and as accurately as possible. This year registration fees will cover getting names on jerseys and numbers on hats for each player. For safety reasons, the coaches in the league will be discouraged from putting the player’s first name on their unifoms.
The MBA expects teams playing games to wear their uniform correctly. This means that shirts should be tucked in and hats should be worn correctly. The coaches will be in charge of handling these issues on their teams.
You do not have to buy your player a batting helmet to play in this league. The MBA has some used helmets that we can make available to the team coaches if they have players that do not have their own helmet. In most cases, the players in these leagues have their own batting helmets that they do not share with teammates. Most people find that owning your own helmet is safer – head lice and overall fit issues. Please let your coach know if you want to use one of the league helmets so that he can alert the league equipment manager of the need. All helmets must have a chin strap and a face guard to be used in league play.
There will be a team mom meeting prior to the season starting. The date of this meeting will be posted as soon as it is determined.
This is youth baseball and not the World Series. Have Fun! Don’t stress over the small things. At this age, our #1 goal is that these players want to play again next year. There is plenty of time to be serious in later leagues.
This information is not official MBA information. It is, however, information that might be useful based on our experience in the league. Please use this information as you see fit, but know that its only our opinion.
Bats – Most of the players will have a bat of their own, but you do not have to go out and buy a bat for this league. Many times the bat that a player selects becomes a liability rather than an asset because they go out and select a bat that is too big for them. Often these situations negatively affect a player’s development because the child is stuck trying to swing a heavy bat and this creates swing flaws. The mass of the bat is important but swing speed is what we need to look for at this age. In general, if the player can not grip the bat with one hand and hold their arm straight out in front of them for more than 10 seconds, the bat is too heavy. The ultimate way to determine the correct bat weight is to have them swing it and try to stop half way through the swing. If they can stop the bat without falling out of balance (or letting the bat control them), then the bat is ok. The perfect situation would be to get the heaviest bat that they can control without falling out of balance. If you have not bought a bat, I’d suggest letting your child try some of the bats at practice before buying a new one. Avoid the high tech, big dollar sell at this age. Bat technology is wonderful at older levels, but not in TBall or Prep. We just want to hit it at this age. Per MBA rules, all bats in TBall, Prep, Rookie, and Minor leagues must be a 2 1/4 diameter or less. Big Barrel bats are not permitted in these leagues.
Gloves – Again, avoid the high tech, high dollar sell here since most of these guys will be moving to bigger gloves within the next year of two. With that said, let me say that , if you can afford it, buying a leather glove is a must in our book, especially at the next level. These leather gloves will just last longer than the plastic designs. If you need help breaking in a new glove, talk to a coach or see below.
Batting Gloves – The time that we take to get in and out of the dugout will impact the number of times each team gets to bat, so we will need to hustle in and out of the dugout and try to play 4 innings. At this age, the management of batting gloves often takes up more time in the dugout than the management of any other equipment. As always, the coaches will do their best to help our players with these gloves but we’d like to work toward your player learning to manage these gloves for themselves.
Shoes – You do not have to have baseball cleats to TBall or Prep baseball. If you do buy cleats, buy them so they fit now (athletic shoes are not something that you grow into). Nike offers some models with inserts that will allow some expansion as their foot grows. Please let them wear the cleats around the back yard a few times prior to running for a full practice.