Q: What is “AB” and how does it differ from Rec?
A: Advanced Baseball (AB) is a program that offers players that have a higher skill level the opportunity to play more competitive ball during the regular season. The AB program exists as an extension to our recreational teams and schedules activities to co-exist with the recreational schedule. We offer a spring and fall AB program. There is typically an additional cost associated with participation in order to cover uniform costs and umpire fees. Participation in the AB program is by a selection process during a tryout held at the beginning of each season. Tryouts are usually held on a Sunday within a week or two after recreational team evaluations. All participants in the spring AB program are required to participate with a recreational team during the spring season. Typically we offer two AB teams per division (an A & B team); this usually depends upon the availability of volunteer coaches and the number of participating players.
Q: Is “All-Star” the same as “AB”?
A: No. Our All-Star program is a Summer ball program offered after the Spring AB and Rec seasons ends. Players are evaluated during the season by their coaches and members of the All-Star Committee (typically the division Commissioner and the All-Star team coaching staff). The league’s top players are invited to attend the All-Star tryouts. As with our AB program, there is typically an A and B All-Star team for each division.
For those players that are selected for an All-Star team, there are additional expenses to cover travel, tournament and umpire fees, and uniform costs. However, we offer several fundraising and sponsorship opportunities to help keep the program affordable for our families.
Q: Where do I find information about Travel Baseball opportunities?
PVAA Baseball offers Travel baseball through it’s Thunder branded teams. Thunder is a self-sustaining program within PVAA Baseball supported through its own due structure and fundraising. Thunder has a commissioner that reports to the PVAA Baseball Executive Board.
Q: How do I determine what league age to sign my child up for?
A: The PVAA/Cal Ripken league age cut-off date is April 30. Whatever age your child is on that date determines your child’s official league age and division, which will automatically populate during the registration process. The current age chart can be found here. PLEASE make sure you enter the correct date of birth! Many errors have been made in the past due to incorrect date of birth entry. Errors will only delay our draft process and may result in having your player wait-listed if they are placed in the wrong division due to league age error and no additional spaces are available.
Q: My child has never played before and I’m concerned that the age division may be too advanced. Can I enroll my child in a younger division?
A: Our age divisions are suited for all skill levels and our coaches will help children develop at their own pace. Your child’s skills will be assessed during our evaluation process by our coaches and other experienced members of our Board. If we feel your child may be at risk or would be better suited in a younger division, you will be notified at that time or immediately after the evaluation and before team drafts. If you are still concerned, when registering your child you many note your concerns in the “comments” section or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our aim is to ensure that every player has a safe experience while learning and enjoying the game.
Q: I registered my child for the upcoming season. Now what do I do?
A: Please keep a copy of your registration for your records and keep watching our website and emails for upcoming dates and other important announcements.
Once drafts are conducted after evaluations, you will be contacted via email or phone by the coach who has drafted your child with information such as coach contact details and practice dates. If you do not hear from your coach a week before practices are scheduled to start, you should immediately contact us at email@example.com.
Special request for teams, a specific coach, another child to be on the same team is on a case by case basis and will only be accommodated if possible- no guarantees, no commitments.
Q: Does my child have to tryout?
A: We do not have tryouts for the recreational teams. However, we do have an evaluation which entails a short skills assessment where the coaches will watch your child hit, run, throw and catch. This process is to aid the coaches during the draft process and to help evenly balance the teams.
Q: What happens if my child cannot make it to the player evaluation?
A: Please let us know as soon as possible if your child is unable to attend the evaluations or missed their assigned time by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Players that miss the player evaluation will be put into a hat pick and selected at the end of the drafts.
Q: What does my child need to bring to the evaluations?
A: Please have your child dressed in baseball pants or comfortable athletic pants, wearing cleats or comfortable shoes. You should bring a glove, bat and baseball helmet if possible. Please make sure your child arrives at least 15 minutes early to check in and warm up.
Q: What happens after the evaluations?
A: You will be contacted by email or phone by the coach who has drafted your child with important team information such as coach contact details and practice dates. If you do not hear from your coach by a week before practices are scheduled to start, please email us at email@example.com.
Q: What is the draft? Do my child or I have to attend? What happens after the draft?
A: The draft is the meeting where coaches select their players. ONLY coaches and league officials may attend the draft. A draft typically takes place the week following the completion of all age groups’ evaluations.
Q: How are teams formed during the draft process?
A: We will determine the strength of returning teams plus the numbers returning per team and build the draft based on these variables in an effort to get all teams to a similar competitive level. Remaining players will be drafted in a process mutually agreed upon by the coaches and division Commissioner. It is our goal to make the teams as equally formed as possible to ensure the most competitive and enjoyable season for all players. PVAA works with each division to limit the number of preselected coaches children on any given team to further promote competition between teams in the recreational divisions. Parental preferences, friend preferences, and any other special request shall be at the discretion of the commissioner of the division. There are no guarantees any request will be fulfilled.
Q: When will my child need to wear a batting helmet and/or does the league provide helmets?
A: Any offensive player in the on-deck circle, coaching the bases, batting or running the bases MUST wear a helmet with ear flaps. The helmet must fit snugly and completely cover the player’s ears. It is optional for any defensive player, except for the catcher, to wear a helmet. The league will supply catcher helmets but you must provide your player with a batting helmet.
Q: What other equipment does my child need?
A: In addition to a batting helmet, your child will need to have their own bat, glove, cleats and athletic supporters. Cups are encouraged for all boys and required for any child playing the catcher position. Batting gloves and slider pants are also recommended. All balls and catcher’s equipment will be provided by PVAA. Players will also receive a team uniform consisting of a jersey and a cap. Coaches may determine a preferred color for uniform baseball pants.
Q: What size bats are allowed?
A: Beginning January 1, 2018 all bats used in Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken leagues (i.e. PVAA Recreation Baseball) must be marked with the new USA stamp and comply with the barrel size for the respective division. Barrel size may not exceed 2 ¼ inches for the T-Ball division and 2 5/8 inches for the Rookie division and above. No other bats will be allowed in league or tournament play beginning January 1, 2018. A full run-down of the new bat rules can be found at https://www.baberuthleague.org/bat-rules.aspx.
Q: When do practices start? How many practices are there per week?
A: Practices for the spring season start in early February and for fall start in early September. Typically there will be one practice per week for recreational teams. There are usually not any rec team practices scheduled on Sunday as the fields are reserved for Advanced Ball and All-Star teams. Practices and games are scheduled by the Commissioner and provided by your coach. Games are generally held on Saturday mornings at Davis Park (T-Ball) or Cornerstone Park. Occasionally during the regular season you may have a weeknight game. We take into consideration school schedules and holidays when scheduling practices and games. Team practice schedules are provided by your coach after the team drafts. Team coaches are provided one time slot on a field per week night for practice.
Q: When will games start? How many games will we play?
A: Spring season games being in late February or early March and early September for fall season. We try to schedule 10 to 12 regular season games for each team, but weather may impact the actual number of games played per season. We strive for a season to never be less than 10 regular season games. All divisions will have a post-season playoff tournament. Game count is determined in large part by season start and then desired season end, for instance to be completed no later than the weekend before Thanksgiving in the Fall. Spring season does have irregularities due to Spring Break and The Players Championship- which specifically conflicts with needed parking space at Davis Park to co-exist with Tournament Volunteer Parking.
Q: When will games be played?
A: Games will be played predominantly on Saturdays and then weeknights Monday-Thursday. Expect weeknight games! Commissioners partner with coaches and officials to build a regular season schedule at the onset and communicate this to the coaches. Each coach is responsible for communications to parents. Coaches are provided access to the Sports Engine App as a communication and scheduler. Coaches have the option to use this app or provide alternate means.
Q: What ages determine tee/coach pitch, machine pitch and kid pitch?
A: Our T-Ball division (ages 4-6) primarily uses the tee but may incorporate some coach pitch as players become more experienced. Our Rookie division (ages 7 & 8) uses machine pitch. Kid pitch begins in our Minors division (ages 9 & 10).
Q: What happens if it rains?
A: Our first priority is the safety of everyone at our fields. If the fields are judged unsafe, we will suspend, postpone, reschedule or cancel games or practices as needed. There are a number of factors in deciding when games are allowed to continue and we weigh each of those before making a decision. Practices when inclement weather is forecasted or present are at the team Coach’s discretion. Parents should contact their team Coach if they are unsure about practices. If a game or practice is in progress and lightning is spotted and/or the tower’s weather siren goes off, all play is to be immediately suspended and children are to get to a safe shelter area. Children are not allowed to take the field for a minimum of 20 minutes, and if a game is in progress, the go-ahead of league officials.
Q: Is the PVAA Baseball League a non-profit organization?
A: Ponte Vedra Baseball is a 501c3, tax exempt, non-profit, charitable organization and a proud member of the Ponte Vedra Athletic Association (PVAA).
Q: I want to be a Coach, assistant coach or team parent. How do I volunteer?
A: Visit the “Volunteer to Coach” section of our website or indicate your interest in the comments section of your child’s registration. Note that all volunteers must complete a background check prior to the season’s start. We are ALWAYS in need of more volunteers to help run the league so if you’re interested or have questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How do I address a concern?
A: If the nature of the concern cannot or is desired not to be addressed by your child’s coach, please email email@example.com.
Q: Where do I find league documents like Rules and By-laws?