HOW LONG IS THE BASEBALL SEASON?
Each season lasts approximately 10-12 weeks—this could change from season to season depending on holidays, school calendars, and other events. The spring season begins in February and ends with the last Saturday game played will be the first Saturday in May. The fall season begins in September and ends with the last game played the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
All-Star Season – All Star tryouts and selection is handled immediately after the Spring Season ends and practices before the end of May. Tournament dates last through July.
Specific dates for programs will be published on our website each season along with the registration dates and times.
WHAT DAYS/ TIMES ARE PRACTICES AND HOW LONG WILL THEY BE?
Attendance on time and as schedule is critical to the team and player development.
Standard Practices typically follow this type of schedule:
4U Foal - (1) 30 mins practice each week
6U Shetland - (2) 1.5 hour practices each week consisting of one field practice and one practice in the batting cages
8U Pinto - (2) 1.5-hour practices each week consisting of one field practice and one practice in the batting cages
10U Mustang - (2) 1.5-hour practices each week consisting of one field practice and one practice in the batting cages
12U Bronco - (2) 1.5-hour practices each week consisting of one field practice and one practice in the batting cages
14U Pony - (2) 1.5-hour practices each week consisting of one field practice and one practice in the batting cages
16U Colt - (2) 1.5-hour practices each week consisting of one field practice and one practice in the batting cages
IMPORTANT: Practice schedules (including days/times) will be determined by the individual coaches once your child is assigned to a team. We will not know this prior to registration and we cannot make team changes due to practice/game scheduling conflicts.
Once assigned to a team, your child’s full participation is needed and vital to the team. However, we understand that sometimes there will be conflicts. Be sure to communicate any conflicts, such as a planned vacation, with your coach as soon as possible. We just ask that your child is on time and ready to practice.
WHEN ARE GAMES HELD?
Most teams play on Saturday, depending on the number of teams per age group and the field space availability. Teams may play on a week night, in lieu of a practice night to fulfill the full game schedule and/or make up rained out games.
HOW LONG ARE GAMES?
4U - 45 mins game-time 1x week
6U – 1 hour 15 mins game-time 1-2x week (no double headers except during tournaments)
8U - 1 hour 15 mins game-time 1-2x week (no double headers except during tournaments)
10U - 1 hour 30 mins game-time 2-3x week (no double headers on Saturdays)
12U - 1 hour 45 mins game-time 2-3x week (may have double headers on Saturdays)
14U - 2 hours game-time 2-3x week (may have double headers on Saturdays)
16U - 2 hours game-time 2-3x week (may have double headers on Saturdays)
**End of Season Tournaments, Select Baseball, and All Star Tournament may require a teams 6U-16U to play more than one game per day
WHERE ARE THE GAMES PLAYED?
Most of our recreational program games are played at Town 'N Country Baseball (Home) - 7301 Baseball Avenue, Tampa, FL 33634
We do also interlock with neighboring parks located within Hillsborough County.
Tournaments, Select Baseball, and All Star games may be played at TNC and surrounding parks.
HOW MUCH PLAY TIME WILL MY CHILD GET?
Our goal is to provide a safe, structured and fair environment in which young players can have fun and enjoy playing and learning the game of baseball. Coaches are required to play all players 50% of each game during the season.
Select baseball and All Stars do not have a "must play" policy as playing time is earned through player performance and players will be utilized as needed to secure the best team performance during games.
Adapted for Spring 2021 and beyond
1. If you cannot play on a scheduled* date, you will forfeit.
a. The score will be 0-6 to reflect in Runs Scored/Allowed/Differentials
b. Games will count as forfeit even if games are re-scheduled (special date considerations should take place prior to publishing of schedule and approved by VP of Baseball Ops.)
2. It is a forfeit (loss in the standings) even if you tell us you can’t play before the schedule is published.
3. Failure to play for lack of players will result in a forfeit of the game, as well as being a punitive penalty to the coach and to encourage communication and participations. Your failure to play does not just impact you and your families but the other teams are also looking forward to a great experience.
a. Any immediate costs such as umpire fees will be repaid by the forfeiting Manager/Coach.
b. Failing to repay the umpire fees will result in expulsion from the league.
4. The exception to a forfeit is viable in tournament play. If a team does not have enough players due to circumstances beyond their control (i.e. Pandemic, Special Family Emergency) and they have made it to the finals, that game will be postponed and played at a time that is agreed by the VP of Baseball Ops and both Managing parties. The time will not exceed 15 days from the original scheduled date/time. If the game is not played within that time due to the afflicted team still not having players or other new issues, the game will be forfeited and the other team declared the winner with 6-0 margin of victory
GAMES ENDING IN A TIE
Regular season games can end in a tie. Tournament games will be played in extra innings with a “Texas Tie Breaker “. In the event of a tie in Bracket play or the Championship game and regular time has expired, a Texas tie breaker will be used. The inning will begin with no outs and the last batted out on 2nd base. This will be used until a winner is determined.
CAN I REQUEST THAT MY CHILD PLAY A SPECIFIC POSITION?
Every child will have an opportunity to play different positions during the season to improve their baseball awareness and for well-rounded development. We do not assign positions in recreational baseball. Our primary goal in our recreational program is not to win--it is to develop. Success is not measured in wins and losses. Your child will play infield and outfield positions. If we see that there is a safety concern because of the player’s current baseball awareness, the coach will place the child in another position until the players feels comfortable to rotate back into that position.
Select Baseball and All Star teams may have assigned positions. Players will be selected to fill necessary position vacancies.
WHAT EQUIPMENT WILL MY CHILD NEED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAM?
The Player Agent will be providing a guide to purchasing equipment that is passed down to Team Managers and Team Parents. If you have never purchased baseball gear before, please wait to receive this useful information.
Bat – Purchase the right size and fit that feels good for your child. You want your child to swing the bat without it being too heavy or too light. There may also be bat regulations depending on our league’s current Charter so please do not purchase a bat until you read the requirements.
PONY Baseball does require a USA stamped bat.
Glove – Purchase the right fit for your child and know that all gloves are not made the same. Your child’s hand should fit comfortably in the glove and not have any of his/her hand sticking out.
**Batting gloves are optional
Cleats – Sometimes it is difficult to find baseball cleats for the 4U and 6U younger players. Soccer cleats work just fine and are usually easier to find in sizes like 10T and 11T – please no metal cleats for safety purposes. Cleats are not allowed in the batting cages so players may wear regular athletic or turf shoes.
Helmet – Helmets are sized like a baseball cap. Have your child try on the helmet to get the right fit. You don’t want the helmet to be too loose otherwise it will fall off when they hit and run to the bases. Black, dark blue, or white helmets are great because you can use for several seasons.
Baseball Bag – this is a great idea to keep all their equipment together so nothing gets lost, and helps them with responsibly when old enough to be in charge of their own equipment. It is not required but may be helpful to carry gear!
Cups - Protective cups are recommended for the 8U Division but are required for the 10U and older divisions. There will be random cup checks for safety reasons. The sooner your baseball player is used to wearing a protective cup, the better!
Practice Pants – If you do not want to purchase pants used in practice, your child will be required to wear sweat pants. Players should never come to practice in shorts, leggings, or jeans.
Water Bottle – Parents are not allowed in the dugout. Please make sure your child has a water that can hold up to 40oz water to sustain your child during practice or a game.
WHEN WILL I HEAR FROM MY COACH?
Teams will be built following the last Skills Assessment. You should hear from your child’s coach no later than the Friday following the completion of all Skills Assessments. Practices will begin the following week, some as early as Monday so be ready to start practicing the week after Skills Assessment. Teams will be built in our website, and you will be notified via an email notification once your child has been assigned to a team. If you do not hear from a coach by Sunday night, you may find out your child’s team assignment and the coach’s contact information by visiting our website. Please do not email us for coaching information, team assignments or schedules—please check your spam folder(s) and the website for this information. We encourage parents to ensure our domain tncbseball.com is added to your “Safe Senders” list so you do not miss important information.
WHAT IF MY CHILD CANNOT MAKE PRACTICES?
Participants may play and practice ONLY with their assigned team—this is an insurance requirement. Requests to switch players to another team will not be honored and coaches do not have the authority to trade/switch players, so please do not ask them.
TNC and its coaches recognize the fact that players have other interests, talents, and commitments. Coaches are committed to making practice sessions as consistent and pre-scheduled as possible. This should allow enough flexibility to afford players the opportunity to pursue other interests. However, if your child is already enrolled in other activities that may conflict with baseball practices, we recommend that you do not register your child in our league as practice schedules will be determined by the volunteer coaches based on their own personal schedules. Requests to switch to another team, or refunds, due to conflicts or transportation issues, will not be honored.
Excessive absences in practices on Select Baseball or All Star teams may result in the player being replaced with an alternate or receiving no play time during games.
WHAT IF MY CHILD CANNOT MAKE GAMES?
Commitment is required in any sport. Your child's presence at gametime is critical for the team's success. If the team has less players than required, they may be forced to forfeit which is unfair to other players and TNC families. Please make sure missing games is not a frequent occurrence.
Excessive absences for games on Select Baseball or All Star teams may result in the player being replaced with an alternate.
CAN I REQUEST TO SWITCH TO ANOTHER TEAM DUE TO PERSONAL SCHEDULING CONFLICTS, TRANSPORTATION OR OTHER PERSONAL ISSUES?
There will no change requests permitted once the teams are drafted. The game interlock schedules are created with several other parks included. It would make it difficult to create a fair interlock schedule if every park came to the interlock meeting with special scheduling requests.
Unfortunately, there is always the possibility that siblings may have games at the same time and they may be held at two different locations–we are unable to accommodate requests to adjust the schedule or for children to switch teams to resolve scheduling conflicts. If you are a single parent or a family where one parent may not be available on game days, we recommend you do not register multiple children (who are in different age groups) in our programs to avoid disappointment due to scheduling conflicts. Refunds will not be issued because families cannot, or will not, adjust their schedules for practice or game times or because the league will not accommodate a specific coach/team request or car pool request.
Due to the up-front costs related to facilities, fields, equipment, uniforms, administration and insurance, etc., once a player is registered, no refunds, for any reason, will be issued after the refund deadline which will be published on the website and payment made for one season cannot be credited/transferred/applied to another.
WHAT DOES MY CHILD NEED TO BRING/WEAR TO PRACTICE?
Bring the appropriate gear such as a hat, glove, bat, and batting helmet.
Pants and Cleats are mandatory (4U may wear good traction tennis shoes). Participants will not be allowed to practice or play in gym shoes or shorts. Kids will be running and sliding on clay so this is for the safety of the participants.
If you do not have practice baseball pants, athletic/sweat pants are recommended. No jeans or windbreaker-type pants. Your child can wear any jersey, but it recommended that it is a dry fit material for their comfort.
Necklaces, sunglasses may be worn, but no watches, earrings or other jewelry, including fitness trackers, should be worn during practice or games.
Bring water or Gatorade to every practice and game.
ARE THERE REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPANTS AND PARENTS/SPECTATORS ON GAME DAY?
There are requirements for coaches, participants and spectators on game days. Please refer to our CODE OF CONDUCT for an outline of all conduct expectations during games.
Participants’ requirements for games:
Wear the FULL UNIFORM (Hat, Jersey, Baseball Pants, Cleats, Socks, and Belt). If a child is missing a uniform item, they may remain on the bench with the team until the parent returns with the correct uniform.
Arrive ON TIME at the designated time provided by your coach but never less than 15 minutes prior to game time to warm up.
No food or electronics allowed in the dugout
No parents, Team Parents, Scorekeepers, spectators or player siblings allowed on the field or in the dugout. There are no exceptions.
No coaching or instructions to players from parents/spectators during games. Parents/spectators may encourage players but no coaching.
Parents should refrain from approaching a coach during a game. If a parent has a question, it should be addressed by requesting to speak to the coach at the next practice.
WHAT DOES A TEAM PARENT DO?
Team parents are the communication link between the coaches and the team. They hold an administrative role with several other important duties. They pick up the team’s uniforms for the coach, hand out the newsletters and photo packets and organize the snack schedule, end of season party and coaches’ appreciation. Let your child’s coach know if you are interested in being a Team Parent and you will be contacted by our Team Parent Director.
IS THERE A VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENT?
Yes. A representative of each player will be required to volunteer a minimum of 2 hours during the season. This may include working the concession stand, participating in league fundraising events, or general park cleanup/maintenance. You may opt out of volunteering and there may be a fee required.
The Volunteer Requirement can be found at this link:
DOES MY CHILD HAVE TO PARTICIPATE ON PHOTO DAY?
Players are required to be present for the team pictures. These team pictures are given to our sponsors so full participation is required. You are not required to purchase the team picture.
Players are encouraged but not required to participate/purchase in the individual player photos.
In order to keep the registration fees affordable, the league depends on team sponsorships for our recreational teams. 4U teams are required to obtain a sponsorship equal to $150 and 6U-16U teams are required to obtain sponsorships equal to $300. If the team does not obtain the sponsorship by the deadline provided, the sponsorship amount owed will be divided by the number of players on the team and bill to the account.
Unpaid balances will carry over to the next season.
UNPAID BALANCES AND PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS
I understand that players will not receive a uniform until the balances on the account for this season AND past seasons are paid in full.
If I am not able to pay the balance in full, I will need to reach out to the league to request a payment arrangement. Approved payment arrangements will require 50% of the account's balance is paid before player may participate in skills assessment. The remaining balance must be paid by the first game of the season and before uniforms are distributed.
**** Players will not receive a uniform until balance is paid in full ****