Mars Baseball is pleased to announce the seventh year of Mars Community Based Travel Teams ("AAU Style" Teams) at the 9U through 14U Levels in 2022.
Our proposed Travel Teams are designed to be a Community Based Alternative to AAU baseball and will have the following characteristics:
Team Winter Training/Player Development- 1-2 days per week Team Practices during the winter. The coach will consult with the parents to determine what is best for the age group. We expect that most age groups will see the value in utilizing paid coaches for their winter training. During winter training, the focus is player development/improving fundamentals/repetition.
Competitive Baseball from April 1 through July 31-Coaches are encouraged to develop all players on the team by offering a variety of game situations – league and tournament play. Some teams will play early season tournaments while other age groups will play in the Northern 6 or Atlantic Coast League.
In-house Baseball will continue to be required for all players from 9U through 12U because it is the bedrock of our organization. Further, travel team players benefit from playing in-house baseball because that will provide them an opportunity to play positions other than the limited number of positions that they will play on their travel team.
Monthly Payments-The cost of the Travel Team and In-House Baseball will be broken up into monthly payments in order to make it budget friendly to families.
Fall Team Formation-We are soliciting interest RIGHT NOW. Based on the level of interest, we will have tryouts if necessary.
Today’s Action Item-If you are interested in having your son participate on a 2021 Mars Travel Team, click Register Now. By registering, you are indicating that you are interested but you are NOT committing at this time. Please REGISTER ASAP. There is a $75 fee for participating on a Travel Team payable prior to the tryout. This fee will be refunded if your child is not selected for a team. However, this fee will NOT be refunded if your child is selected but opts not to participate on a team.
If you need more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
See below for some additional information.
1. Why We Support Mars Community Travel Teams (See Mars Baseball Mission Statement and What is a Travel Team Below)
a. Community based baseball is a special experience for the kids and the families that few AAU programs can replicate.
b. Local baseball associations are increasingly losing their top 1 to 7 players to AAU baseball which is making the formation of A teams difficult or impossible in some associations.
c. So long as players commit to improving their baseball skills, we think we have enough talent in Mars to create teams capable of competing on the travel baseball circuit of tournaments.
d. Players will be able to train close to home in the winter (Lakevue) and practice and play games on Mars Baseball Association fields.
e. Because of No Offseason Baseball, we have access to quality coaches who can replicate AAU winter training programs.
f. Coaches and parents will have control over their winter training schedule as well as their spring and summer tournament baseball schedule.
g. AAU baseball is expensive ($2500 to $3000 plus travel expenses). A Mars community based program will be significantly less expensive because dads (not paid coaches) will be managing teams.
h. See the attached article about travel baseball that reinforces everything above.
2. What We Expect Summer 2021 Mars Baseball Competitive Baseball to Look Like
A and B Travel Teams at the 9U through 14U level will be formed in the fall and run from January 1 through July 31. It is likely that the commitment for a B Travel Team will be less than the commitment for an A Travel Team.
3. What is Mars Baseball? Mars Baseball Association is a recreational baseball league. Because of that mission, we are committed to providing in-house baseball opportunities to players regardless of ability and/or commitment to baseball.
However, we recognize that some players are so passionate about baseball that they want to work hard to develop their baseball skills and play highly competitive baseball all year round. We also recognize that cost of traditional AAU programs are skyrocketing and many families are unwilling or unable to write a check for $2000 to $3000 for baseball (especially if they have multiple kids). We are also committed to helping those baseball players achieve their goals.
Note that because our mission is to be a recreational baseball league, all baseball players are required to play in-house baseball during the spring season in order to be eligible for competitive baseball opportunities. Additionally, at the younger age groups, players are not permitted to miss in-house baseball games in order to play on a tournament/travel baseball team.
4. What is a travel team? Travel teams (Teams) are an opportunity for the most talented and dedicated players in Mars Baseball Association (MBA) to participate in tournaments and competitive league play against highly talented and dedicated players in the Western PA area. Most travel teams are formed with players from a larger area than one community. The goal for Teams is to play to win while exhibiting good sportsmanship and striving to improve the skills and future development of all players in a competitive environment. Playing to win is the goal of MBA Teams and it is the goal of teams playing against MBA Teams. Managers, players, coaches and parents are expected to strive for that goal while representing our community and the MBA in a manner in which we can all be proud. The tournament season is unlike the in-house season because, in the tournament season, there is limited guaranteed playing time and players usually play only a limited number of positions. We want parents to understand the MBA’s philosophy in order to avoid any conflicts or confrontations during the tournament season due to a lack of playing time or a player’s assignment to a specific position for the entire season. It is the Manager’s duty to provide the team with its best opportunity to win. This will include making discretionary player selections, development of players through practice and instruction, strategy and game decisions and determining lineup and substitutions. Additionally, only minimum playing time is guaranteed. Managers have a duty to assign defensive positions and batting order based on what is best for the TEAM.