Competitive Tournament/Travel Baseball Program
The Somers Little League Competitive Tournament/Travel Baseball Program is intended to allow children of all ages and skill levels from the Somers Little League (“SLL”) to, first and foremost, play more baseball, but also develop their skills and accelerate their growth as a baseball player while introducing them to the more competitive side of high-level travel sports.
This program will run annually, and teams may participate in events before, during and after the regular Little League season in the Spring. In order to participate, all your child has to do is show up and try their best (and be an active participant in the SLL). Unfortunately, because most tournaments have roster restrictions, not every child who is part of the program will play in every, or in some cases, any tournament or events in a given season. Every child is welcome and can attend all practices and workouts that are appropriate for their age group. The respective SLL tournament teams will be formed based on the results of these practices with the goal of rostering the most competitive team. This is where the competitive nature of the program comes into play. Each event the SLL Competitive Tournament/Travel Baseball Program enters may have a unique roster from the last event. Teams will be formed by assessing the availability and skill level of players. This means there will be kids who do not partake in any or multiple events and some kids may partake in all. This also means that children who do join the team are not guaranteed playing time. Unlike the Spring, Summer, and Fall Little League season, some tournament rules require as little as just one (1) at bat per player per game for children on the roster. As such, there will be times when a child only receives the minimal playing time required by a tournament.
No one wants to turn a child away or ever tell them “you aren’t good enough”, but the hard truth of all sports is that skill level does matter and that’s why ALL practices and workouts are open to ALL children. Practice time is crucial and is where the growth and development happen, and no one involved in the SLL Competitive Tournament/Travel Baseball Program will ever turn a child away who is willing to put the effort into getting better. And while the games are fun, no child has fun going up to bat and being overmatched or standing in the field and feeling absolutely lost. One of the worst things a coach can do, and one of the quickest ways to push a child away from a sport, is to put them in a position to fail and be unsuccessful. Being a part of the SLL Competitive Tournament/Travel Baseball Program does not promise your child game time, but it does promise them opportunities to practice and scrimmage, and an honest evaluation of their skill level along with a hardworking and dedicated group of volunteer coaches whose goal is to make them better.
There is both a financial and time commitment associated with being a SLL Competitive Tournament/Travel Baseball Program member no matter what amount of playing time is allotted, again if any. Although practices and workouts are not mandatory, they are incredibly important to both your child’s development and also the likelihood of being selected for individual tournaments/events. A child who is motivated, passionate and willing to put the time in can meaningfully develop quickly. In addition to time, every tournament team includes expenses which include tournament entry fees, potential for hotel or gas expenses, rental fees for indoor workouts, cost for uniforms, etc. Obviously, your child will only be expected to pay a portion of fees for events they partake in.
The SLL Competitive Tournament/Travel Baseball Program might not be something you or your child have an interest in, and that’s ok, but for those families, and it is a family commitment, who decide to partake, we hope to not only grow your child as a baseball player, but help them develop and flourish as a person. The program rewards and acknowledges the hard work and effort while also helping to cope with failure by teaching persistence and preaching to continue to work harder and harder until your goal is met.
Somers Little League will have the chance for multiple Tournament Baseball Teams each year ranging from 13U, 12U, 10U, 9U & 8U team based on available participants. This is open to all 7-13-year old’s (age as of August 31st). Registration to be part of the program will be $50 per player. This cost will include home & away jerseys, home & away hats, socks, 2 practice tees, and a custom hitting jacket (*exact items subject to change). As stated, there will be additional tournament fees which will be divided only among the players rostered for that event. Practices will commence near the beginning of the regular Spring baseball season. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions located below for more information.
In the past, we’ve played in the following tournaments and are hopeful to add even more to our schedule:
Green Monster Tournament Belchertown, MA (Mid-July)
Mighty Mite Tournament Easthampton, MA (Late July)
Jimmy Fund Tournament Agawam, MA (End of July)
Nutmeg Games New Britain, CT (End of July)
Somers Wood Bat Tournament Somers, CT (August)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
In addition to our Recreational Baseball program, Somers Little League offers players the opportunity to participate in Tournament Baseball, at nearly every age group. Tournament baseball provides our players opportunities to compete in multiple tournaments, while representing Somers Little League Baseball.
There is generally a lot of confusion and misinformation surrounding Tournament/Travel Baseball, so we have setup this page to provide as much information as possible and address as many frequently asked questions as we can. If you still have questions regarding tournament ball, you are always welcome to submit questions via email@example.com or reach out to one of the SLL Board members.
What is Tournament/Travel Baseball? SLL Tournament/Travel baseball teams play in tournaments and sometimes leagues, generally in the surrounding townships, but potentially out of the area and out of state as well - depending on the team and the managers and families involved. Teams are assembled by age and skill. Their age group is commonly dictated by their age on August 31st of that year. Tournament/Travel baseball provides a more competitive brand of baseball than you will generally see in our spring leagues but is also still focused on player development.
Who can play? SLL is committed to allowing as many kids the opportunity to play as possible and will often field multiple travel teams per age group (7yrs - 13yrs), if the interest exists amongst players and available coaches. In order to be eligible for consideration, players MUST play on a Spring team, and make 60% of their games in the Spring Season. A player who does not achieve 60% Spring participation will not be eligible for travel baseball, unless there was a medical, or other acceptable reason that they could not achieve 60% participation. In a case where we cannot field a team because of low interest, the SLL Board may waive the participation requirement in order to field a team, but this is entirely at the discretion of the SLL Board.
At what age does Tournament/Travel baseball start and what levels of play are offered? SLL offers travel baseball starting at age 7 and continuing to every age group where interest-level and participation exists. At 7-9 years old, there is typically enough interest for 1 team. At 10 years old and above, we generally have 1 team, and sometimes 2, though that is less common. Level of play (skill level) and coaching availability will all factor into having multiple teams at one age level.
Does every player make a team? Yes and No. Every player is eligible to practice with the team but not every player is guaranteed on a tournament roster. While there will never be “cuts” there will be years when a child may not receive any game time. However, all children are eligible to participate in all practices and internal events to develop and improve with the goal of getting in the lineup.
How much does Tournament/Travel Baseball cost? Travel/Tournament Baseball will vary in cost by team. The SLL Stinger program has a fixed and variable cost component. All participants will pay a base fixed fee of $50 to cover basic equipment and practice time. Each player will also be responsible for buying their own uniform package as needed – meaning if you’ve played in the past and your uniform still fits you will not need to buy a new one. Players will also be responsible for their portion of any tournament fees that they are selected to play in. The typical cost for Summer Travel falls somewhere between $300 and $600 per player (estimated). Each team has a set amount of expenses for tournament fees and uniforms. The expenses are divided equally among the members of the team. A typical team for Travel Baseball will play in 3 to 5 tournaments in the summer season. Each tournament costs about $300-$600. Each player will be provided a traveling baseball quality uniform that includes a jersey and hat. Players will only be responsible to pay the tournament fees for which they are selected to play.
What is the commitment level for Tournament/Travel Baseball? While we expect full participation, we do understand that family commitments can sometimes overlap with baseball. We have left the discretion in the hands of each manager & coach and expect that communication will occur between families and coaching staff to ensure that we have no cases where teams are short-handed & have to withdraw from tournaments. This is above and beyond the commitment level of your typical recreation baseball team.
Is there equal playing time in Tournament/Travel Baseball? NO. In Spring, Summer & Fall baseball, we have rules that encourage and sometimes dictate how many innings players can and can't play in the infield/outfield, etc. These rules generally do not exist in Tournament/Travel baseball. While the overall goal is still to be focused on player development, coaches have the option to play kids where they will have the best chance to help the team and be successful.
Who can coach? Anyone who manages a team in our organization could be a candidate for coaching travel ball. After the teams are selected, the SLL Board will select travel managers from the list of interested parties. In most cases, our coaches are already selected for the first team’s we are looking to fill during the start of the Spring Season.
Why do I need to volunteer at our tournament? Our parents are the reason our program is successful. When we run a tournament(s), any proceeds generated flow to SLL which will be used to help fund field improvements, equipment needs, off-season training opportunities and general SLL expenditures. Parents are required to volunteer at their child's tournaments. In addition to volunteering your time, you will also be asked to volunteer your talents! Each tournament will need parents to volunteer to sell food/merchandise at the Snack Shack, game announcers, field setup and tear-down, official scorekeepers, etc. Please be prepared to jump in and help make your child's tournament experience a great one for all!
SHOULD YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SLL TOURNAMENT/TRAVEL BASEBALL SELECTION PROCESS, OR TRAVEL BASEBALL IN GENERAL, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK YOUR CHILD'S COACH, OR SEND AN EMAIL TO ONE OF THE MEMBERS OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS OR SEND AN EMAIL TO firstname.lastname@example.org AND WE WILL GET BACK TO YOU AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.