Travel Baseball Major League Progams
Programs for players who are completing grades 7-9
(or are 13-15 years old by May 1)
Travel baseball requires a greater commitment in that each participant is expected to attend all practices, games, weekend tournaments and other team activities. Teams will typically have games or practices 4-5 times per week. The season will include over 30 league and weekend tournament games.
Player Eligibility and League Structure
◦ The 13 year old travel league is comprised of players 13 years old. Players in this age group must be 13 years or younger through May 1, 2017.
◦ The 14 year old travel league is comprised of players 14 years old. Players in this age group must be 14 years or younger by May 1, 2017.
◦ The 15 year old travel league is comprised of players 15 years old. Players in this age group must be 15 years or younger by May 1, 2017.
◦ Players are eligible to participate on teams from the community in which they live with their parent(s) or legal guardian, or their school attendance area.
▪ League structure- The travel programs provide a higher level of competition for the players. All players will be required to attend a grading session to facilitate drafting teams.
▪ Teams – Up to five teams of 12 to 13 players will be selected, with the majority of games played against community associations in the Metro Baseball League or tournaments.
▪ Tryouts and grading – All players are required to attend all tryout sessions. In the tryouts, players will be evaluated on a series of drills to allow evaluators to assess current skills for appropriate team placement.
▪ Team assignments - Players will be assigned to one of the four or five teams based on player evaluations or try-outs.
▪ Practices and games -Travel baseball is for the more serious baseball player; games and practices will be scheduled any day, Monday through Sunday. Weekday games and practices are in the evening through the Spring and Summer.
▪ Tournaments – Each Travel team will compete in at least three weekend tournaments at the AAA, AA or A level in May and June. One tournament will take place in Edina, one in the metro area, and one outside of the metro area. Depending on tournament results, the respective team may also qualify for one or more state tournaments to be held in July.
▪ EBA-paid Tournament Entry Fees - The EBA will pay for entry into three regular season tournaments, inclusive of the Edina tournament. The EBA may also pay for one state tournament entry fee and gate fee if the respective team qualifies for such state tournament based on placing first or second (or third or fourth if one or both of the top two teams has already qualified for such state tournament) in a qualifying tournament.
▪ Other Tournament Entry Fees - The EBA does not pay for additional regular season tournaments or for at large bids for the state tournament. Entries into these additional tournaments are the responsibility of coaches and parents. Coaches should refer to Tournament FAQs for additional information on tournaments.
Philosophy and Player Commitment
The EBA supports an equal play system where players play approximately the same number of innings over the course of each game and more importantly over the course of the season. Emphasis will be placed on playing kids at multiple positions. This means each player participating at two of the three identified position zones of infield, outfield or pitcher/catcher in each game. It is the view of the EBA that each player who expresses an interest in pitching be afforded that opportunity.
▪ Player commitment
◦ Attendance – Players are expected to attend all games and practices.
◦ Absences will occur for any number of reasons but should be preceded by coach notifications in advance to allow for practice and game planning.
◦ Please see the Commitment Policy web page for more information.
◦ Travel baseball fee – $530 fee includes team participation, tournament fees, in-season player development, hat and two jerseys.
◦ Tryout fee - $50 tryout fee is required for all players trying out for Travel baseball. The non-refundable fee partially offsets the costs of running tryouts including facilities expenses.
◦ Cancelation policy - A player withdrawing from Edina baseball after being placed on a Travel baseball team will forfeit 50% of fees for the program. There will be no refunds for withdrawals or cancelations received after season begins. The Tryout fee is otherwise non-refundable.
◦ Other costs - Teams and players may elect to incur other costs associated with optional apparel, additional in-season tournaments, at-large state tournament entries, additional practice sessions, etc. These costs are not required by the EBA and should be considered discretionary expenses at the option of the team and players.
A summary of key dates is outlined below. Registration will open on December 1.
December 10:Blizzard Ball starts
March 18: Travel tryouts (4-9 grades)
April 6:House Registration Closes
April 13: Travel and House season opens
April 25: Metro Baseball League play begins
Our tryout dates are determined taking into account the following considerations:
▪ Available times of Edina's domed facility at Braemar Park.
▪ Year-end travel and state tournament dates for other sports.
▪ A goal of completing all Travel tryouts prior to Spring Break.
All tryouts - except hitting - will occur at Edina's domed facility at Braemar Park. All hitting tryouts will occur mid-week at MN Batting Cages in Edina.
2017 Season Tryout Dates
Tryout dates for players in 7th through 9th grades are noted on the 2017 Tryouts Webpage for each of the respective grades. A player will be required to attend the entire hitting, pitching or catching tryout. As the date nears, an e-mail will be sent out indicating your player’s specific time for hitting. Details will also be posted on the 2016 Tryouts webpage.
▪ Travel baseball registration will open in December. If a player is not registered prior to the first tryout, the player WILL NOT be permitted to tryout.
▪ Tryouts will be for TRAVEL BASEBALL ONLY. If your player intends to play in the White league, they will have a separate evaluation after Spring Break in April. They ARE NOT to attend any of these tryouts. Players who try out for Travel and do not make a travel team will have the option to attend the White League evaluation as well.
▪ Players should attend the tryout session assigned to their current grade. If a player is age-eligible to play in the grade below (i.e. player is an 8th grader born with a cutoff date that allows the player to play with 7th graders), parents or players must notify the commissioner of the player's intent to try out for the lower grade.
▪ Players must make every effort to attend ALL tryouts. If a player has a conflict and will miss a tryout, parents or players must notify the commissioner of that grade/age group. If your player misses all tryouts, the Try-out Committee will determine the placement of that player based on previous year's coach feedback and any associated statistics made available. However, if that player misses tryouts for reasons other than injury or sickness, this will affect the placement of that player. Players that do not participate in tryouts, regardless of reason, will not be allowed to move up a level from their placement of the prior year.
Equitable Play Policy
Our guiding principal regarding playing time starts and ends with developing all of our baseball players at every level. If players do not play, they do not develop. Given the structure of our leagues, the talent level from the top of a roster to the bottom should not vary dramatically; therefore playing time should also not vary dramatically. We have developed guidelines for all of our coaches to follow in the pursuit of developing a large and extremely talented group of baseball players.
Playing time should be as equal as possible throughout the season
- Playing time should be managed effectively from game-to-game and within a game
- All players should have the opportunity to play different positions
- Playing time has a direct correlation to player development
13 year-olds specific
―Within the season, no player should play more than 10% more than any other player (measured in innings & at-bats)
―No player shall play more than one inning more than any other player in league play and no more than two innings more than any other player in tournament games
―All players should have the opportunity to play in different positions
14-15 year-olds specific
―Within the season, no player should play more than 25% more than any other player (measured in innings & at-bats)
―Players should have the opportunity to play in different positions (based on their interests along with the best interest of the team)
- Player's roles become more defined as they get older and while the players will have the opportunity to play different positions, some players will be in specialized roles (like Pitcher). This may impact their playing time and positions played
Our player development program is designed to develop the fundamentals of baseball. Through professional development of mechanics and baseball knowledge, Edina baseball players will increase their skills and likelihood of playing success. Edina Baseball players will have the opportunity to learn from instructors that have played at the highest levels of competitive baseball.
The EBA partners with Nevers Larkin Baseball, which is owned and operated by Tom Nevers and Gene Larkin, to provide baseball instruction and development opportunities for Edina youth baseball players. Tom and Gene combine their 20 years of professional baseball experience to provide an opportunity for young men and women to develop their fundamental skills and learn how to play the game the "right way." They lead a team of instructors all of which have tremendous playing and coaching backgrounds to provide you with the very best coaching staff in Minnesota.
Included in the standard cost of your association fee are hitting and fielding sessions. The EBA seeks to expand and enhance player development opportunities each season within cost constraints.
Volunteer coaches are the key to a successful youth baseball program. In 2017, the EBA will again be providing league coaches with age-specific training designed around concepts and materials to aid practice planning and skill development.
Coach’s clinics are being organized and league meetings will be held in April. For those interested in coaching Travel teams a certification process will be required. More information will be made available soon. Click here to sign up to coach!
▪ Coaching philosophy
◦ Player development – One of the most important priorities is to teach the athletes to play the game of baseball and to help them reach their full potential. Youth baseball provides an additional opportunity to learn fundamental skills, and all coaches are committed to developing each player within a team environment.
◦ Game management – The EBA believes that it is important to place the players in situations that will lead to their success. During games and throughout the season, coaches will be working toward equal playing time for all players. Emphasis will be placed on the coaches to play kids at multiple positions including both infield and outfield positions in each game. Pitching and catching rotations will be based on the comfort level of the athlete.
◦ Sportsmanship – All coaches are committed to treating all players, parents, and coaches with respect. Coaches are instructed on and formally sign a sportsmanship code of conduct pledge.
◦ Fun - Youth baseball is most importantly about having fun, and this will be a natural outcome of team practices and games.
▪ Coaching training and certification
◦ Coach’s clinics are being organized and league meetings will be held in March.
▪ Mandatory league meeting – TBD
Rules and bat restrictions
▪ Playing rules
◦ League play – Playing rules will follow Metro Baseball League (MBL) rules, and these rules can be found at MBL rules at www.mbl.bz
◦ Tournaments - Edina Baseball and most metro baseball associations follow Minnesota Baseball Tournament (MBT) rules that can be found at www.mbt.bz.
◦ EBA provided – The EBA will provide players with a hat and two jerseys.
◦ Player provided – Players are required to supply non-metal spikes, a baseball glove, baseball pants, and a cup. Batting gloves, a player’s batting helmet, and a player’s bat are considered optional.
▪ Bat restrictions
◦ League play – MBL and MBT establish prevailing rules on bat specifications in conjunction with USSSA. Bat rules for 2016 remain the same for all age groups except 10 year olds. Details can be found at www.mbl.bz
Tournaments - Tournaments occasionally follow different bat rules. Please reference the respective tournament rules for additional details.