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’s for playing with HVBSA will be split into three categories: Session Fees, Competition Fees, and Uniforms.
Session Plans and Competition Schedule
- 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.
– 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.