Overview: Chatham Travel Spring & Summer Baseball
"SUMMER" TRAVEL BASEBALL: The Chatham Summer Travel Baseball Program is offered to serious players who want a higher level of baseball competition during the summer. In order to be eligible, players must participate in the regular Spring Recreation baseball season. The summer teams play in leagues that are based on age (U7-U14).
"SUMMER" COMMITMENT: If a player decides to try out for a summer team, that player must be available for all practices/games starting in early May prior to school closing. The player also must be able to fulfill his recreation team commitment and, once school has ended, be available to potentially play or practice every day through July 31. Each year, an “White Team” will be formed for each age group. Depending on numbers, talent level, commitment, and coaches’ availability, Chatham usually forms a second "Blue Team",and occasionally creates a third "Red Team".
If a player cannot fully commit to the summer program, he or she should not try out for a team. Teams will play anywhere from 15 to 30 games in a season depending on the team, age group, and league. Therefore, beginning in mid-June, players will practice or play games 4-7 times per week (usually weeknights and sometimes weekends). The commitment extends to the family of a player as well: Vacations are expected to be put on hold until August 1st; Families are asked to volunteer for tournament hosting (if applicable), snack shack duty at Nash (if applicable) and fundraising and field preparation work as needed. This family team commitment should also enter into the decision as to whether or not a player intends to try-out. Players not fulfilling their commitment will be dropped from the team and ineligible for the team the following year.
"SPRING" TRAVEL BASEBALL: The Chatham Recreation Spring Travel Baseball Program is offered to serious players who want a higher level of baseball competition during the spring season. In order to be eligible, players must participate in the regular Spring Recreation baseball season, and NOT play more than 1 other spring sport. That being said, it is very challenging for any player to play REC baseball, spring travel baseball, and another spring sport. The Spring Travel Program generally requires a once a week practice commitment and usually plays travel games in April and May on Sundays (players with "other Sunday commitments” should consider this ahead of time). Historically, spring travel games have been played at the Spring Travel League in Basking Ridge, Scotch Plains or USABL. Double Headers are to be expected on some Sundays.
AGE DETERMINATION: Travel Leagues are defined by age (U7-U14), as opposed to grade. In 2019, Chatham’s U8, U9 & U10 teams will be determined strictly by age. U11 – U14 will be determined by grade for returning players only. (5th grade =U11, 6th grade =U12, etc). A player’s ‘baseball age’ is his age as of April 30th .
PLEASE NOTE: U7's is made up of 1st (and some 3rd) graders that do not turn 8 years old prior to 5/1. If they turn 8 prior to this date they must play U8.
TEAMS: There will be a U7, U8, U9, U10, U11, U12, U13, & U14 teams during the Summer season. A summer U7 development team may also be formed if enough player and parent participation is available. In the spring, we will only create teams in the U8-U14 age groups. (There will usually be second teams (Blue Teams) in some age groups based on the number of players who try out.) The goal is always to place a player on a team where they can have the best chance for success, and have a good baseball experience.
TRYOUTS: Tryouts for U8-U14 usually take place in the Fall (outdoors), while the U7 generally tryout in late April. The players will be assigned a random number to wear for the try-out. The player will be called by that number, not his name, and none of the evaluators at the try-out will have the name of the players on the field. The try-out evaluators are independent, knowledgeable people with good baseball backgrounds. We use paid outside evaluators for the tryouts. All participants will be put through the same skills test and scores are given for their performance.
SELECTION OF THE TEAMS AND COACHES: Tryout Results & Team Formation - Players will be ranked by skill level based on tryout scores, past performance on summer/spring travel teams (if applicable), and attendance. There will be a "Spring" Travel Team Ranking List and a "Summer" Travel Team Ranking List, as some players may choose to play in only one travel season (each team list will likely end up being different). Team size is typically 12 players during the Spring and Summer.