If you're reading this post you've likely been asking yourself just what is travel baseball?
There are around 15.9 million Americans of all ages who currently play baseball. America's national sport is as popular as ever.
While most of these players only take part recreationally, the most talented players can make a living from baseball, and the very best can go on to be stars. For talented young baseball players, travel baseball is the best possible platform for a career in the sport.
So, what is travel baseball? Read on as we tell you all about it.
Travel baseball is a form of baseball organization for younger players. There are travel baseball leagues for all ages and levels of ability. It is therefore a broad term.
What sets travel baseball apart from Little League baseball is the fact that it is organized by different institutions. There are a number of these across the country.
Some examples are USSSA, Exposure Baseball Events, Perfect Game USA, and Prep Baseball Report. We work with each of these organizers to find suitable tournaments for clients.
Anyone can set up a travel baseball team by subscribing to a given travel baseball league. If you've recently set up a team and you need players, our services can help you.
The word "travel" can be misleading. Travel baseball leagues are often organized on a community basis, and players and teams may have to travel no further than they would to play in a recreational league.
However, some teams do travel across the country to play games.
Another misconception is that all travel baseball is highly competitive. While some teams do indeed play at the highest level of junior baseball, there are many others that take a more relaxed approach.
Depending on the area and league in which you play, travel baseball might not be vastly different to a recreational league in terms of the standard of baseball.
As we mentioned above, there are many levels within travel baseball.
The first thing to consider is age group. We cater to travel baseball teams for children from five to eighteen.
The other major factor to take into account is the level of competition in leagues and teams.
Some teams seek out the best players. Their goal is to assemble the best possible team and be dominant in the leagues they enter. These kinds of teams will likely have games in different parts of the country regularly, and will therefore spend many weekends traveling.
These kinds of teams can be a platform for talented young players. For those whose talents aren't allowed to shine in recreational leagues, travel baseball can provide a path to competitive baseball at high school or college level.
However, many other leagues have a less competitive atmosphere. These may have a similar standard to your local recreational league.
If your child shows the potential to be a top-quality baseball player, you would be well advised to consider travel baseball.
While recreational leagues have a lot to offer, many simply don't cater to the needs of exceptionally skilled young players. In order to give your youngster the exposure and big-game experience they'll need to play competitive baseball later in life, travel ball might be your best option.
Even if your child isn't the next Mike Trout, however, there are still many advantages to travel baseball.
In many areas of America, recreational ball isn't that well organized. Poorly run leagues and tournaments can be a headache for parents. As well as this, they can be a hugely alienating experience for young players
There are a number of factors to take into consideration in terms of the cost of travel baseball.
The first is the age of your child. The further they get through the various age categories in travel baseball, the more they're going to cost you.
There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, baseball gear will start to cost more as your child gets older. Also, older teams tend to go on more long-distance trips, which add significant costs in terms of transport and accommodation.
Another major factor is the location of the games. If your child's team only plays within 50 miles of your home, the cost of the sport for you will be far less than if they regularly journey to other states.
All told, a season's travel baseball will probably cost you somewhere between $2,000 - $8,000
If you've decided that travel baseball is the way to go for your child, you may be wondering how to know what team to sign them up for.
One of the most important considerations here is the team coach.
You want an individual who is passionate and knowledgeable about baseball. However, you also want someone who has the best interest of the children at heart. A coach should use encouragement and support with his charges, especially younger ones.
For younger teams, you should make sure that the focus is on player development rather than simply winning. Players should get the opportunity to try different positions, and shouldn't be admonished for swinging at risky pitches.
What is travel baseball? If you've got a talented child on your hands, it could be the first step in a glittering sports career for them.
Travel baseball is competitive, but also rewarding and hugely enjoyable. Not only will your child take their baseball game to the next level, they'll have an experience they'll remember forever.
If you have a child that you want to enlist in a travel baseball league, create a parent or coach account with us today.