Get Your Game On!

A better way to play travel ball!

Every Kid Plays image
The Huron Valley Baseball & Softball Academy provides high quality skills training and playing opportunities for any youth player aged 8-18 living in or near the Ann Arbor / Brighton / Chelsea triangle. Our curriculum-based, development-oriented training program provides more than just drills and repetitions on the ball. Academy coaches teach players the core fundamentals for fielding, throwing, and hitting by breaking down the basics of footwork, body posture, and form. We offer training and playing sessions throughout the year.

A Team For Every Player.

HVBSA will place every player who wants a team on an age- and skill-appropriate travel team. This allows players to take the skills they have learned and master them during game play.

Let HVBSA Bring the Teams To You!

We take away the pressure of matching you player with teams and coaches. Baseball and softball should be fun! We make it easy to find a place to play.

Your player can start today by registering with us and joining one of our year-round Academy Training Sessions!

Please register your player in our contact list! We will only use this information to contact you with playing and training opportunities for your player. We will not sell or share this information with any other organization. We will not contact any other organizations asking about you or your player.

An HVBSA player's agent will contact you to see if your player would be interested in joining a team or participating in a particular training opportunity.

You are not obligated to join HVBSA when you submit this form. While it is the intention of HVBSA to find every player a place to play, submitting this form and adding your player to our contact list does not obligate HVBSA to provide any service or make any team placement for your player.

Why do we ask for your player's name and date of birth? We want to identify what playing and training opportunities are appropriate for your player and notify you of those activities. Date of birth is the determining factor for a player's "playing age" which does not align with a calendar year or your child's specific birth date.

Player DOB
For Players image
You just want to have fun! Yes, you love baseball or softball and you love to win. You may dream of being a Major League Baseball player and playing for your favorite MLB team. Whether your goal is to develop into a highly competitive athlete or you just love to play the game, baseball and softball can be hard work. It can be emotionally challenging at times. The key to successful development is continuing to have fun while you play.

For youth players, the main goal should not be winning the trophy. Your focus should be on getting the practice and playing time necessary to develop your game. Putting the proper focus on development instead of winning will lead to success later in life, both on and off of the field.

Navigating the travel baseball and softball waters as a player can be daunting and discouraging. Being rejected by a team during tryouts or having your team disband because other players decide to move to another team can cause significant stress for a young person and can create the feeling of being left behind. Our goal is to offer a playing environment without the instability of most other travel teams and clubs.

For Parents image
Finding the right travel team for your player is not an easy task. Often, it’s an exercise about social networking more than playing ball. Do you know someone coaching a team? Do they have any open spots on their roster? Is the team a good match for your player? Just finding existing teams can be difficult and finding a team that fits your player feels like searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

HVBSA's goal is to help you stop looking for teams and to bring the teams to you. Our network of Academy players and our player database, combined with our advertising-based recruiting efforts, help us restructure existing teams needing a little help and to create entirely new teams when needed.

If joining an Academy training session is not right for you at this time, please make sure to register your player in our contact list. You will not be obligated to HVBSA in any way, but we will be sure to let you know about playing and training opportunities for your player.
For Coaches image
Are you a coach with an existing team? Would you like to coach but you don’t have a team to coach? Are you an energetic, positive, and knowledgeable coach that would like to use your skills to teach young players? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then HVBSA would like to speak with you.

Having HVBSA host your baseball or softball team can make any coach’s life easier.

HVBSA will help affiliated teams arrange for uniforms, field usage, umpires, and team insurance policies. Coaches can utilize the Academy coaching staff for skills practices which minimizes their workload, or they can practice independently from the Academy.

New coaches can get assistance with developing practice plans, ideas for practice activities, and even attend coaching shadow sessions to get new ideas for their team.

There is no reason to tackle the season alone and put all the responsibility on your own shoulders. 

You remain in control of your team, but help is available from the Academy! We only ask that you operate with core values, ethics, and philosophy that aligns with HVBSA. If you have a team willing to follow you to HVBSA, you are likely already operating with these principles in mind.

We are parents of youth athletes, just like you.

We have experienced the challenges and frustrations of finding opportunities for our kids to play the game. We want a better way to play travel ball that takes the pressure and problems of matching players with teams away from the players, parents, and coaches. It’s baseball and softball. It should be fun. It should be easy to find a place to play.

Rick Brandt

Rick has a Masters in Sports Administration from the University of Illinois. He has worked for the University of Michigan Athletic Department since 1997 and was part of two National Championship teams: ‘97 football and ‘05 softball. He brings a passion for softball and baseball to coaching kids of all skill levels. He has coached Little League softball and baseball since 2017 and coached four LL All-Star teams to District Titles. He has made three visits to the State LL tournament, once in softball and twice in baseball. Rick holds a USA Baseball "C" Coaching Certificate.

Rob Edgcombe

Rob is an Information Technology Strategist who has been running various youth organizations since 2004. He was a Cub Master for a 200-boy Pack and served as an Outdoor Activities Coordinator for the Boy Scouts. He has coached dozens of baseball, basketball, and soccer teams since 2007 for boys and girls ages 6-18. He has a USA Baseball "C" Coaching Certificate and a Double-Goal Coaching Certificate from the Positive Coaching Alliance. He has a coaching license from the United States Soccer Federation and was a paid coach for the largest travel soccer organization in the State of Michigan.

Do I have to play for an HVBSA team to come to Academy practices?

No. You may play for any team or not play for a team and still join Academy sessions.

Do I have to participate in all Academy sessions?

No. You can choose to participate in only the sessions that work for you.

Who chooses what team my player will be on?

The Academy will handle placing all players on teams. We will strive to create teams of players with similar playing abilities and will assist coaches with finding competition appropriate for the competitive level of the team. Entire teams joining HVBSA will keep their current roster but will benefit from access to other HVBSA players after joining. 

Who will coach my HVBSA team?

Each Academy team will have a team coach and a team manager selected or approved by the Academy. They will be volunteer parents of children on the team. Their fees for any session in which they coach or manage a team will be waived as appreciation for their contributions to the team.

Can I bring the team I already coach to HVBSA and continue coaching?

Yes. It is not difficult to be approved as an HVBSA coach. Check out “For Coaches” to learn more about the advantages of coaching with HVBSA.

Do I need experience to be a coach or manager for a team?

It helps to have some experience and an understanding of the game but the Academy will assist any coach or manager to run a team effectively. Academy practices and coaches will be available to all teams to develop skills. The coach may utilize as much or as little of that assistance as they wish.

Can coaches pick players or can players request specific teams?

Yes, to an extent. Our goal is to place players with teams they like and to help coaches find players they need. If a coach and a new player agree that they want to be matched then they will be matched. Over time, players should be assigned to a team based upon skill-level and coaches will draw appropriately skilled players from a larger pool of players.

Am I allowed to accept an offer to play on another team and leave the Academy?

Yes. Players may accept offers from any team at any time. Our goal is for players to find their best place to play. Refunds will not be provided. The best time to accept an offer from another team would be at the end of any Academy session.

How are fees structured?

There are two types of fees – Academy fees and competition fees. Academy fees are paid at the beginning of each session and are determined by the number of Academy practices offered, the cost of the required facilities, insurance, and other administrative costs. Competition fees are paid as you participate in individual game, league, and/or tournament play. Competition fees can vary from team-to-team depending upon the frequency of game play, selected tournaments, and destinations. You should ask your coach about expected time and financial commitments before accepting an invitation to play on the team.

How long is my commitment to a team?

If you accept an invitation to play on a team (not including as a guest-player) you are committing to that team for the current session.

When are the Academy Sessions?

Academy sessions are roughly based on calendar quarters - January 1 to March 31, April 1 to June 30, July 1 to September 30, and October 1 to December 31. Commitments to teams and a team's playing schedule may not match an exact quarter and there may be some activity before or after the designated dates of the session. Your coach will inform you about the team's competition plan and required dates for the session before you agree to join the team. Your session fees will cover the entire competition period regardless of actual competition dates.

Will my player's coach or teammates change a lot from session-to-session?

Players and coaches deciding to change teams and rosters is very common in travel baseball. We feel it is necessary and unavoidable to allow players to develop at their own pace.  You or someone you know has likely already experienced this and it can be very difficult to handle.

You can expect that your coach and most of your teammates will remain the same for several sessions. However, it is inevitable that something about your team is going to change at some point in the future. We are prepared for that.

One strength of the Academy is our ability to reshape teams quickly, to fill open roster spots, to find new places for displaced players, and form completely new teams if necessary. HVBSA is constantly working to identify new players to fill open spots.  If your team roster experiences some unexpected changes, you and your coach will not be alone. You have help.  

What are Academy practices?

Academy practices are regularly scheduled practices focused on certain areas of the game. They combine players from different teams or players who do not currently have a team and are grouped in a 2 - to - 3-year age range. Academy coaches are passionate about teaching the fundamentals of baseball and softball and have demonstrated an ability to provide exceptional coaching to players of all ages. The practices are well-planned, very active for the players, and always fun!
USA Baseball Development image
The Huron Valley Baseball & Softball Academy supports USA Baseball Development standards and will strive to structure all our programs around their guidance. Below are useful links from USA Baseball.

Player Development Resources

- Long Term Athletic Development Plan
- Youth Baseball Manual

Player Safety Resources
- Pitch Smart
  • Whitmore Lake, Michigan, United States
Who are we?
We are an athletic club that hosts travel baseball and softball teams for players aged 8-17. We conduct year-round skills camps and clinics as well as provide coaching and programming support for other groups like community education and Little League. We serve communities that are in or near the Huron River valley from Brighton to Ann Arbor.

What is our goal?
According to the Aspen Research Institute, the average length of a youth players career in baseball or softball is 3 years with the average retirement age being 11 years of age. Our goal is to have more kids playing the game and for a longer period of time. We want to give players a life-long passion for playing the game. We intend to accomplish these goals by connecting kids with age- and skill-level appropriate playing opportunities in both travel and recreational leagues.

What are our values and guiding principles?
We believe that every youth has a right to play baseball or softball on an appropriate team for their age and ability. We believe that baseball and softball should be fun for both the player and their parents. It should not be hard to find a place to play. We believe that every player can develop with positive coaching and their playing future should not be prescribed for them at a young age. We believe that having an opportunity to compete and develop at a challenging level as well as to have access to positive coaching are essential elements of keeping kids in the game. We believe that a focus on winning and teaching life lessons through sport will make better athletes and better people.

Who can join HVBSA? Any player who expresses an interest in playing travel baseball or softball can join HVBSA. We do not “cut” any players. HVBSA is uniquely structured to create age and skill-level appropriate playing opportunities for every player who joins.

How is this different than Little League? Little League and HVBSA are similar in many ways. We share common values of inclusion for all players and positive coaching. We are different in the way we organize teams. Teams in Little League are skillaveraged during a draft to ensure fair and balanced teams that play against one another. HVBSA teams are skill-tiered to provide playing opportunities with other players of similar skill level. These teams do NOT play each other. They play in different leagues and tournaments that are appropriate for each team’s skill level. HVBSA does not compete with Little League. HVBSA leverages Little League for playing opportunities and promotes dual membership with Little League to provide even more playing opportunities.

Our Mission – HVBSA’s core mission is to win games and develop the most competitive baseball and softball teams located in or near the Huron Valley. We will provide premier training and practice programs for Academy members, guests, and partner organizations. We will provide the best travel baseball and softball experience, for both players and parents, that can be found anywhere in the area. We will make it affordable for anyone who wishes to play. We intend to accomplish this mission by following these key strategies:
  •  Dual-Goal Coaching & Coaching Development – HVBSA coaches will have two equally important primary objectives: winning games and teaching life lessons. We will provide training in baseball coaching technique and positive-attitude coaching technique to all coaches. 
  • Develop Every Player – We believe that every player has the ability to develop with practice and positive coaching. We will practice a “no-cut” policy and find a way to accommodate every player who wishes to play. Coaches do not win games. Players win games and our strength will be in the base of players we are developing at every age level. 
  • Create Innovative Practice and Playing Opportunities – Players must be challenged and given opportunities to grow to keep them engaged. HVBSA will offer highly flexible programming that players and parents can use to create new opportunities to meet the player’s growth. 
  • Leverage Our Communities – We will strengthen our player pool through partnerships with Little League and Community Education, participation in community events, and through active marketing in our communities. 
Fee Structure – Fee’s for playing with HVBSA will be split into three categories: Session Fees, Competition Fees, and Uniforms.

  • Session Fees - Session fees are billed quarterly and are scheduled based upon calendar quarters. The fees will pay for practice facilities, insurance, and other club overhead. Estimated hours of practice in each session are: Session I – 18 hours of practice,  Session II - 18 hours of practice, Session III - 36 hours of practice, Session IV – No scheduled practices and No Fees  
  • Competition Fees – A competition plan will be constructed for each team which will roughly align with the current calendar session. The costs associated with that competition plan will be divided among the team members. For example, if a team has 10 players and the team competes in three tournaments with associated costs of $500 each that session, then the team’s total competition costs will be $1,500. Each of the 10 players will be assessed a $150 competition fee for that session. In some cases, competition fees will be broken down and paid on an event-by-event basis instead of an upfront, lumped sum.
  • Uniform Fees – Each player will be required to purchase a basic uniform kit from the club website. It will include a hat, game jersey, practice jersey, game pant, game belt, and game socks. Pricing for uniforms is yet to be determined but will be priced appropriately for quality, but not top-of-the-line, uniform components. Only the basic kit will be required for purchase and the player may wear that uniform as long as they are able to wear it. Replacement or extra uniform items as well as SWAG such as gear bags, jackets, or gear for the family will be optional and offered on the club website.
Session Plans and Competition Schedule – The plan for each session will vary based upon expected competition activity for that time period. For the younger age brackets, HVBSA encourages each player to participate in their local Little League program. Little League competition typically aligns with Session II.

  • Session I – January through March will typically be practices only with one 90-minute practice per week. This session will be used to skill-build and prepare for spring competition. 
  • Session II – April through June will also include one 90-minute practice per week but players who are enrolled in Little League will have games and the occasional practice as well which is why we will limit practices this session to one per week. 2-3 nearby tournaments will be scheduled for each team to begin introducing players to travel ball experiences.  
  • Session III – July through September will be our busiest practice season with two 90-minute practices typically being offered per week. Competition plans may include league play and/or additional tournaments based upon the progress, feedback, and desires of each team. 
  • Session IV – October through December will typically be our rest season. Player development and health requires youth players to take time off from a year-round sport to fully recover form repetitive motion fatigue. Programming may still be offered during this session, but team practices will not typically be held. 
These session plans are only guidelines and explain what might be typical for each session.
A strength of HVBSA is our ability to customize activity based upon team and player needs and requests. If there is interest in a specific activity, such as indoor competition during Sessions I & IV, then HVBSA will be able to create those offerings when they are desired. Older teams who may have aged out of Little League participation may have a significantly different schedule for Session II.

You Can Help – HVBSA is a baseball and softball cooperative organization. We are not individual teams. We are a group teams working together for a common goal. We are working together to create the best training, development, and playing opportunities for our members at an affordable price. To be successful, HVBSA requires the help of all our member’s parents by embracing the culture we are trying to establish. However, we will also require the help of some parents in official capacities. Each team will need a parent as Team Coach and a parent as Team Manager. Parents can also volunteer to be assistant coaches. The role of the Team Coach will be to help with club practices when able and to set lineups and manage substitutions at games. The Team Manager will serve as an administrator for team playing activities and may be called upon to assist with the registration and sign-in processes for tournaments and other playing events. Another role of the Team Manager will be to serve as “culture keeper” for the team. Team coaches will be asked to complete a couple hours of online training from USA Baseball and both the Team Coach and Team Manager will be asked to complete one hour of online training from the Positive Coaching Alliance. All expenses associated with this training will be paid for by HVBSA. HVBSA will waive the session fee for their player for the same session in which they are serving as a team official. 
HVBSA Information Handout image