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 2017 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 typically held at Braemar Park's dome or another indoor facility. Players who are more highly graded will also attend a second grading session, which is typically held at Braemar Park's dome or 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?
Players who are ill, injured or otherwise unavailable for grading will generally be placed in less competitive divisions or teams regardless of which level they played in previous years. Player evaluations completed by coaches in the prior season may also be considered for final player placement.
Injured Player: If a player is injured and is unable to tryout, it is the position of the EBA that the player not be penalized. Therefore, whatever skill level the player was at the year before, he/she will be put in for that baseball season. This will be confirmed through a discussion with that players coach from the previous season. This will apply to travel vs. white placement. An injured player who played AA one year is not guaranteed to be slotted into a AA position the following year. That slotting will depend on a review of the player’s performance and coach evaluation from the previous season.
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.
Player unable to make tryout: If a player is unable to make a scheduled tryout due to circumstances not related to injury or sickness, he/she is to 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 any tryout, it will be the discretion of the EBA (after conversations with coaches who are knowledgeable on the player) to assign the player to the appropriate league.
What are the upcoming tryout dates?
Please see the tryout information by grade and age at 2017 Tryout Schedule