Tryouts and Grading Questions
Which players are required to attend grading sessions?
All EBA players are required to participate in at least one grading session beginning in 4th grade. The grading process is used to evaluate players for purposes of placing them in divisions, such as Green or White, or teams that are best matched for their current skills and ongoing development. Grading is also used to balance teams within a division to ensure competitive play. Please see the tryout information by grade and age at 2018 Tryout Schedule page.
Who performs the player grading for the EBA leagues?
Depending on the age of the player evaluations are completed by experienced EBA coaches who do not have a child participating in the program or level for which they are grading OR the Edina High School and Edina Legion coaches. Every effort is made to ensure that the same evaluator grades all sessions for the same program and skill throughout the process. Grading sessions are coordinated by EBA board members, and player drills may be supported by high school players.
Are coaches able to attend tryouts session?
The EBA will invite coaches to the final tryout. It is very important to note that these coaches are not grading any of the players and will not provide any input about any player during the tryout process.
Coaches are there to observe and make notes about what they may see in a specific player. This allows coaches to watch the players as they prepare to draft a team based upon the team selection guidelines set forth by the EBA. Only coaches invited to the final evaluation session will be able to attend.
How does the overall grading process work?
Generally speaking, players will be required to attend at least one grading session for their level of play. This initial session is held at Braemar Park's dome. Players who are more highly graded will also attend a second grading session, which is typically held at Braemar Park's dome for further evaluations.
Players are assigned a numbered penny, and player names are not disclosed to the evaluators. Grading is based on player mechanics and performance in a series of drills that include infield, outfield and hitting drills. Grading results are compiled for each player and for all grading sessions. Players are assigned a specific score and the averages of each skill group (Hitting, Infield, and Outfield) are added together. This is referred to the General Skills score. Since not all players are pitchers or catchers, pitching and catching scores are reviewed separately and these scores are viewed as supplemental information in team selection, but do not change a players ranking from tryouts.
Players will also be evaluated on their situational play. Players will be allowed to choose their position, but may be asked to play other positions as well. Baseball instinct is not position specific and a player may be asked to play a different position or multiple positions to get the best possible sense of capability. It is also extremely important to note that a player does not have to have a ball hit to them to judge their situational ability. How a player moves and what a player does without the ball in terms of communication and on field positioning will be graded.
Players who grade out for more competitive play are placed in the Travel baseball program based on their respective ages. All other players are placed in the White or house program based on grading results or upon player or parent request.
Parents of twins (triplets, etc.) will need to decide between two options before the travel (Green level) tryouts: Option A: Treat each sibling independently. Players will be placed on the appropriate level for their skill. With this option the siblings could be placed on different teams.
Option B: Place siblings on the same team. Players will be placed on the same team at the appropriate level for the lowest ranked sibling.
What are the evaluators looking for when grading players?
Players are graded based on baseball mechanics, performance and athleticism. Evaluators grade players on drill-specific baseball skills including hitting, fielding, throwing, and footwork. Additionally, evaluators will review a player’s communication, attitude, preparedness, and positioning within the situational session.
Are players who played in a more competitive program the previous year grandfathered in to a more competitive division in the current year?
No, players are placed in Travel or White program based on current season grading results. Given that youth baseball players grow and develop at different rates over time, the prior season’s playing division or team does not influence the current season’s division or team placement. Prior year coach feedback and playing statistics will be reviewed as appropriate to determine final player placement.
What about doing player grading in late-summer or early-fall following that season rather than in the spring before the current season?
The EBA board has carefully considered this question, and there are pros and cons to either approach. The primary reason for conducting player evaluations in the spring is that youth baseball players can grow and develop significantly within a short period of time. Spring grading provides an opportunity to evaluate players as close to the current season as possible.
Is there any reason that a player might be asked to attend one grading session over another?
The initial grading session is divided into groups of players that are assigned separate nights based on last names. Players invited to attend a second tryout session for additional grading will typically be assigned one of two sessions based on factors such as last name, penny number, availability, and/or playing ability.
Whenever possible it is the policy of the EBA tryout committee to allow all players to have as many opportunities to be watched by evaluators. This often times may necessitate a separate group of players of comparable skills to be group together either during a tryout or at the end of a tryout for the purpose of the evaluators to make appropriate comparisons.
What happens when a player is injured or otherwise cannot attend grading sessions?
Team placement for players who are ill, injured or otherwise unavailable for grading will be handled as described below. Note that players that do not participate in tryouts, regardless of reason, are not allowed to move up in level from their placement of the prior year.
Injured Player: If a player is injured and is unable to take part in any of the tryout sessions (skills, hitting, and final), it is the position of the EBA that the player not be penalized. Therefore, whatever level the player was at the year before, he/she will be placed at that same level for the upcoming baseball season. A doctor’s note will be required in this situation. The team placement for a player that was injured for a portion of the tryouts, but then participates in any of remaining the tryout program, will be based upon the completed tryout results and a review of prior year coach reviews. This will also apply to travel vs. white league placement in the event of partial participation in tryouts. In the situation of an injury that partially limits the player’s ability to perform certain tryout skills (e.g. a sore arm and can’t throw) that player is expected to participate in tryouts to the fullest extent possible and will be evaluated based upon skills they are able to demonstrate in tryouts and based on feedback from the player’s coach in the prior year. In all cases, an injury that is evidenced by a doctors note must be followed by a clearance note from the doctor prior to a player being allowed to participate in any EBA activities.
Ill Player: The EBA always tries to schedule additional dates for players to tryout. These might entail make up dates or dates where a player may try out with a different age group. If a player is sick on the scheduled day of the tryout, every effort should be made to notify the EBA and schedule an alternative date, if available. If a player is ill and is unable to take part in any of the tryout sessions (skills, hitting, and final), it is the position of the EBA that the player not be penalized. Therefore, whatever level the player was at the year before, he/she will be placed at that same level for the upcoming baseball season. A doctor’s note will be required in this situation. A player that was ill for a portion of the tryouts, but then participates in any of the other tryout sessions, that player will have team placement based on the completed tryout results and the coach review from last season. As with an excused injury, a player with an illness that results in missing all of the tryouts, that player will be required to produce a doctor's note prior to being allowed to participate in any EBA activities.
Player unable to make tryout: If a player is unable to make a particular scheduled tryout due to circumstances not related to injury or sickness, he/she should notify the EBA. Upon notification, the EBA will make every attempt to schedule that player for a tryout with another age group. If the player is still unable to attend an alternate date tryout for the missed evaluation, the skills that are not evaluated (e.g. hitting and/or fielding) will be evaluated by the tryout committee based on prior year coach reviews. Every effort must be made by the player and his family to schedule around a conflict and find an alternate date. If a player misses all of the tryouts for reasons not related to an injury or illness, it will be the discretion of the EBA (after review of prior year coach evaluation and available statistics) to assign the player to the appropriate level of travel baseball, or in the house league. As noted, players cannot move up a level if they don't participate in tryouts and those that miss all tryouts for reasons not due to injury/illness will likely be moved down level(s) in team selection.
What are the upcoming tryout dates?
Please see the tryout information by grade and age at 2018 Tryout Schedule