Get Your Game On!

A better way to play travel ball!

Every Kid Plays


The Huron Valley Baseball and Softball Academy provides high quality skills training and playing opportunities for any youth player age 8-18 that lives 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 foot work, body posture, and form.

HVBSA travel teams allow our players to take the skills they have learned and master them during game-play with teammates of the same age and similar playing ability. Game and tournament frequency, as well as travel destinations, vary for each team based upon the competitive level of the team and the collective desires of the players and their families. The Academy may offer additional playing opportunities through guest-playing on other Academy teams. Our goal is to place every Academy player on an age and skill-appropriate travel team. Our advertising-based recruiting efforts and our player database make it easy for us to find players in search of teams and to form additional teams when needed.

Not ready to join HVBSA? Be sure to join our mailing list and register your player in our player database. It’s free. We won’t share your information. We will use it to contact you if appropriate teams need more players.

For Players


For Players
Kids just want to have fun! Yes, they love baseball or softball and they love to win. Many kids still dream of being a Major League Baseball player and playing for their favorite team. Whether your goal is to see your player develop into a highly competitive athlete or to see your player loving to play the game, all will be lost the moment they stop having fun. Baseball and Softball can be hard work. It can be emotionally challenging at times. The key to successful development is continuing to have fun.

At HVBSA, we believe players and teams can be highly competitive and still have a primary focus on player development instead of winning. For most players, the main goal should not be winning the trophy. The focus should be on getting the practice and playing time necessary to develop their game which will help them in playing opportunities that are still in the future. Putting the proper focus on development instead of winning will lead to success later in life.

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 that does not have the instability of most travel teams and clubs.

We believe that change in a team is good and necessary for player development. It’s important for kids to play with teammates that are at a similar skill level. We can take away a lot of the stress associated with that process by using our network of Academy players and our player database to quickly restructure teams when changes are needed.

For Parents


For Parents
Finding the right travel team for your player is not an easy task. In many cases, it’s an exercise about social networking more than playing ball. Do you happen to know someone coaching a team? Does that team have any open spots on their roster? Is the team a good competitive level for your player? Just finding teams that exist can be difficult and finding the team that fits your player and has an opening might be the proverbial needle in a haystack.

The goal of HVBSA 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 extra help or to create entirely new teams when needed.

While we are building teams, your player can play today by joining one of our year-round Academy training sessions which provide high quality skills training for any youth player age 8-18. As spots open up on existing teams or when enough new players are found for a new team, your player will be invited to a team event so you can determine if the team is a good fit.

If joining an Academy training session is not right for you at this time, please make sure to join our mailing list and register your player with our player database. We will invite players enrolled in an Academy session to join open teams first but if we do not have enough players to fill a roster we will contact players in our player database to see if the remaining spots can be filled.

For Coaches


For Coaches
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 become one of our Academy coaches and 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 your baseball or softball team hosted by HVBSA can make any coach’s life easier. HVBSA will help affiliated teams arrange for uniforms, field usage, umpires, and team insurance policies. Teams 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, get 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. Help is available from the Academy.

You remain in control of your team. You will need to be approved by the Academy as a HVBSA Team Coach but this is easily done by agreeing to operate with core values, ethics, and philosophy that aligns with the HVBSA brand and core values. If you have a team willing to follow you to HVBSA then it’s likely you are already operating with these principles in mind.

Academy Sessions


Player Database


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

When teams are forming and players are needed, your player will be invited to a team event such as a practice or an information meeting so you can see if the team is a good fit for your player. You may be contacted by a HVBSA player agent to see if your player would be interested in a particular playing opportunity. You do not have to be registered in an Academy session to be matched with a playing team. However, players actively enrolled in an Academy session will receive placement priority.

You are not obligated in any way to participate with any HVBSA team or HVBSA event 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 database does not obligate HVBSA to provide any service or make any team placement for your player.


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Who Are We?


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 Brandt – Rick has a Masters in Sports Administration from the University of Illinois and 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 Edgcombe – An Information Technology Strategist who also has been running various youth organizations since 2004. He has been 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 both boys and girls ranging from age 6-18. He has a USA Baseball "C" Coaching Certificate. He has a coaching license from the United States Soccer Federation which was required while he was a paid coach for the largest travel soccer organization in the State of Michigan.

F.A.Q


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

No. You may play for any team or not play for a team at all and still join an Academy session.

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 coordinate and/or approve the placement of all players on teams. The Academy will strive to create teams of players with similar playing ability and will assist coaches in finding competition appropriate for the competitive level of the team. When your player is invited to a team you do have a right of refusal. The Academy will continue to try to place your player if you refuse a team but it may take time for another opportunity to arise.

Who will coach my HVBSA team?

Each HVBSA team will have a team coach and a team manager that is selected or approved by the Academy. The coach and manager will be volunteer parents of children on the team. Their Academy fees for any session in which they coach or manage a team will be waived in 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 a HVBSA coach and our mission is to get kids playing on teams they like. Check out the “For Coaches” page 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 effectively run a team. Academy practices and coaches will be available to all teams to develop skills. Team coaches may choose to only coordinate and manage at games and utilize Academy practices for their team practices or they may choose to schedule individual team practices which they run themselves.

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 player agree that they want to be matched this will be done.  Additions to a team made during a session will not be allowed if it will displace or disrupt playing opportunity for a player already on the team. Moving from one Academy team to another in the middle of a session will not be permitted. Guest-playing between teams will be permitted but both coaches and players should respect the player’s primary team for the current session and the player’s current commitments should be honored. The time to make roster changes is at the beginning of each session.

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. Academy fees are only for Academy practices and insurance purposes and are not related to team fees. Academy session fees will not be refunded as the player is still welcome to Academy practices for the remainder of the session. If you have accepted an invitation to a HVBSA team we strongly encourage you to honor that commitment for the current Academy session. Any team fees collected for the current session will not be refunded.

How are fees structured?

There are two types of fees – Academy fees and team fees. Academy fees are paid at the beginning of each session and are based upon the number of Academy practices available, the cost of the required facilities, included uniforms when necessary, and insurance. Team fees are paid as you participate in individual game, league, and/or tournament play. Team fees can vary from team-to-team based upon the frequency of game play and selected tournaments and destinations. As with any team, games and destinations will be chosen based upon the coach’s direction, the team’s competitive level and the collective interest and desires of the players and their families. 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 Academy session.

When are the Academy Sessions?

There are three Academy sessions. Fall session runs from August 1 through December 31. Winter session is from January 1 through March 31. Spring/Summer session runs from April 1 through July 31. Spring and Summer are a combined session to allow teams to work within the typical travel baseball season in Michigan. This does not imply that Academy practices are being conducted all session long. Academy practices for that session will be scheduled on appropriate dates within the session.

When can teams form and play games?

Any HVBSA team coach may form a team and play games in any of the sessions. The primary playing session will be Spring / Summer. Fall or Winter teams may form and play games and may be comprised of any Academy players. You may continue with an entire team and play fall or winter indoor games if the team wishes. Alternatively, you may form a new team from available players that are interested in playing games in the fall and winter seasons. The Academy will help interested coaches and players connect for these seasons.

What happens if many players leave our team or if a team does not invite my player for the next session?

Players and coaches deciding to change teams and rosters is a very common occurrence in travel baseball. We feel it is necessary and unavoidable to allow players to develop at their own pace. It’s very likely that you or someone you know has already experienced a situation like this and it can be very difficult to handle. The strength of the Academy and the cooperation of players and coaches that we create is our ability to reconstruct teams quickly, to find new places for displaced players to play, or form completely new teams using our player database and advertising-based recruiting. If your team dissolves unexpectedly or your player is displaced for any reason, the Academy will be working hard to find new players to fill open spots or different teams for new playing opportunities. You will not be alone. You have help.  While the Academy works to resolve your situation, your player will still be able to participate in Academy practices and continue their development.

What are Academy practices?

Academy practices are regularly scheduled practices that focus on certain areas of the game. They combine players from many different teams or players who do not currently have a team and are grouped by  a 2-3 year age range. The 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


USA Baseball Development
The Huron Valley Baseball & Softball Academy supports USA Baseball Development standards and will strive to structure all of 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

Contact


  • Whitmore Lake, Michigan, United States