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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions - 2019

When are tryouts?
How long are tryouts?
Where are tryouts?
What skills are evaluated?
How often do you travel?
How are teams formed?
Is my child ready for Traveling Baseball?
Are Board members paid?
Are coaches paid?
When does baseball begin and end?
How many games do we play?
How Many Weekends?
Where do we play home games and practice?
What equipment is provided?
What equipment do I need?
What size bat should I buy?
When can I start Traveling Baseball?
9U Traveling Baseball


When are tryouts?
Tryouts are held during the end of March.


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How long are tryouts?
Tryouts last up to 2 days for 10U – 13u. Most players are finished in one tryout session but some players are called back for a second day for further evaluation. Tryouts for 14U, 15U, 16U, and 19U are typically a one day tryout.


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Where are tryouts?
Tryouts for 10U – 14U are held indoors at either the Senior High or at Forest Lake Area Middle School. Players 15 years old and above have a later tryout date outdoors.


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What skills are evaluated?
Hitting, Infield, Outfield, and Pitching are all skills that are evaluated during a tryout. Tryout evaluation forms can be viewed on the
Forest Lake Traveling Baseball Website.

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How often do you travel?
Traveling baseball means you will have to travel to surrounding communities for most games. Approximately half of your league games will be played in Forest Lake. The other league games are typically located in the North and Eastern suburbs. Some examples might be Mahtomedi, White Bear Lake, Blaine, North Branch, Andover, and Brooklyn Park. Tournaments could be located anywhere around the metro area. In addition, most teams take one “Away” tournament with an overnight stay. Some examples for those tournaments might be Rochester, Brainerd, or Albert Lea. Teams are encouraged to only play in one of these types of overnight tournaments.


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How are teams formed?
Teams are usually formed of 12 players. Teams are divided into “AAA”, “AA”, and “A”. “AAA” is the most advanced level followed by “AA” and “A”. During tryouts (for ages 10u – 13U) the top 8 players are placed on the AAA team. Then the coach gets to choose 4 additional players. The top 8 remaining players are placed on the AA team(s). Each AA Coach then picks 4 additional players from any of the remaining players for each AA team. Basically, each team has 8 “locks” determined in tryouts and 4 “picks” that are chosen by the coach. If there is an “A” team it is determined in the same manner after the AA team has been formed. 14U is handled in a similar manner but there are only 7 “locks” from tryouts and 5 players chosen by the coach. Teams 15U and above are chosen entirely by the coach who is typically closely connected to the Forest Lake High School program.


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Is my child ready for Traveling Baseball?
Traveling baseball has multiple skill levels. The teams are divided into AAA, AA, and A. “AAA” is the highest level of play with the most skilled players. “AA” is the next level followed by “A”. There is no easy way to determine whether or not a young player is ready for Traveling Baseball. If your child can comfortably and confidently catch, throw, and hit the ball it is reasonable to tryout. Perhaps the biggest measurement is a boy’s desire to play competitive baseball. Love of the game and a desire to improve may be one of the best ways to decide if traveling baseball is a good choice. Most boys who love baseball and really want to improve can find a place in traveling baseball. Tryouts are reasonably priced and they will identify whether or not a boy is ready for traveling baseball.

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Are Board members paid?

Board members receive $50 off their child’s baseball fees. They are compensated in no other way. Board members without a child in the program receive no compensation.


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Are coaches paid?
Parent coaches are given a $100 reduction off their child’s fees. This is considered a minor contribution towards covering their added expenses as a coach. Assistant coaches receive no compensation. Non parent coaches do receive payment in most cases. Non parent coaches are typically only used for older age groups. These coaches can receive a maximum of $1350 as of the 2019 season.


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When does baseball begin and end?
Indoor Practices begin after tryouts and outdoor practices in early April as soon as the fields are dry. Games typically start about May 1 and end by July 21. The older age groups may go until the end of July.


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How many games do we play?
There are typically about 30-40 games between May 1 and July 21. Coaches will usually have 2 or 3 scrimmages before the season. There are 16 league games on weekday evenings. Teams also have between 1 and 4 playoff games. There are typically 3-5 tournaments depending on age and state qualification. Tournaments usually have 3 games or more if the team advances into higher brackets.


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How Many Weekends?
Tournaments are the only weekend games. The youngest age groups have 3 regular tournaments and a State tournament if they qualify. The older age groups have 4 tournaments and a State tournament if they qualify. Therefore, Traveling Baseball usually occupies between 3 to 5 weekends between May, June, and early July. Occasionally there may be a weekend league game or practice. These are not typical and are not encouraged.


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Where do we play home games and practice?
Kulenkamp Memorial Park, Forest Lake Area Middle School, Forest Lake Sr. High, Schumacher Field, Fenway Fields
Age  Practice  Games
9U  Kulenkamp Park  Kulenkamp Park
10U  Kulenkamp Park  Fenway/Kulenkamp Park
11U  Kulenkamp Park  Fenway
12U  Kulenkamp Park  Fenway
13U  Kulenkamp Park  Kulenkamp Park
14U  Fenway   Fenway
15U  Sr. High/Fenway   Sr. High/Fenway
16U  Sr. High/Fenway  Schumacher
19U  Sr. High/Fenway  Sr. High/Fenway
Fields are a constant concern for players, parents, coaches, and Board members. Field costs are a significant portion of the cost of the baseball program and continue to rise. Every attempt is made to manage the availability and quality of the fields while maintaining reasonable costs. Fenway fields have been a great addition to the program and they are among the nicest youth fields available in the surrounding communities.


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What equipment is provided?
The baseball association provides balls, helmets, catcher’s gear, and a few bats.


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What equipment do I need?
The only equipment you need to purchase separately is a glove, cleats, and a protective cup. However, most kids also buy their own bat and batting gloves. Some kids also purchase their own helmet.


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What size bat should I buy?
This is one of the most common questions asked by parents of new players. Usually parents buy a bat that is too big for young players. There is no easy answer to this question but many web sites have size guides based on the age and size of the player. Be sure to ask coaches and parents who have children that have played before. You can also contact the Travel Director or other board members who can direct you to someone who can get you the information you need. Be sure to ask someone with experience and try to get more than just one opinion.


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When can I start Traveling Baseball?
Players are eligible to start traveling baseball in the 3rd grade. The 9 and under (9U) team is comprised of boys aged 8 and 9 years old if they are in the 3rd grade. A player can be under 9 to play 9U but they cannot turn 10 prior to May 1. Forest Lake baseball promotes kids playing with their own grade regardless of age as long as they meet the league rules. For example, 10U is comprised of 4th graders. 11U is for 5th grade, 12U is for 6th grade, and so on. If a player is “old” for his grade he would need to play in an age division that meets the rules set out by the League. Teams are divided into age groups as follows,
9U  2nd and 3rd Grade
10U  4th Grade
11U  5th Grade
12U  6th Grade
13U  7th Grade
14U  8th Grade
15U  9th Grade
16U  10th Grade

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9U Traveling Baseball FAQ's

 

What is the schedule like for 9U?

The 9U season will consist of 12 league games (compared to 16 at 10-14U).   FLBA will enter the 9U team into one local tournament. Additional tournaments would be decided as a team and covered by the team.

What is the cost of 9U and what does that cost cover?

FLBA will be offering 9U baseball at a great price of 150.00 per player.  This entry feel covers a full uniform just like all age levels in FLBA, it also covers the league entry fee and entrance into 1 tournament.

How far will we have to travel for league games?

Each year can be a little different depending on the other communities that register with Gopher State baseball, however 9U seems to be growing every year.   The league makes every effort to put teams in divisions based off geographical locations. You can be expected to travel mainly in the northern suburbs (Blaine, Mahtomedi, Roseville) but again depending on the registration may have games in St. Michael, Rogers or Elk River.  

What levels will be offered at 9U?

Currently the Gopher State Baseball league does not specify a level for 9U, rather it is open class.  This means there is no AAA, AA or A at this level.

My child is 8 years old can he try out for 9U?

Yes we will allow 8 year olds to try out.  When forming teams if an 8 year old and 9 year old have the same score we would give the spot to the 9 year old.  

How do I know if my child is ready for traveling baseball at 9U?

This is a tough question but we would expect that each child playing has the basic skills of baseball such as catching and throwing a baseball.   For safety reasons if your child can not consistently catch we would recommend they practice and master this skill prior to trying out.

Will there be tryouts and how will teams be formed?

We will have a 9U tryout the weekend of March 16th and March 17th,2019 with the times TBD.  With 9U being open class we will form even teams if we have enough registrations and kids ready to play traveling.   The number of teams will be dependent on registrations and tryout scores, however due to the size of the league we most likely will a have 2 team max in 9U. 

How many kids will be on each roster and will there be kids who don’t make a team?

This decision will not be able to be made until tryout weekend.  Typically we strive for 12 kids on a team but at this age we may go up or down based on skills and registration numbers.    In regards to kids not making a team this will be based on numbers, the number of teams we form and individual skill level.