Travel tryouts typically take place in the months of February and/or March each year. Tryout dates are determined considering: the availability of facilities, outside evaluators, High School, Legion and other coaching staff; to minimize conflicts with other sporting events to the best of our ability; and the goal of completing all Travel tryouts prior to Spring Break. The EBA Board reevaluates the timing of tryouts every year as there are pros and cons to both fall and winter tryout schedules.
The EBA may need to cut players to obtain the proper roster size and competitive balance. Players who try out for Travel Baseball and are cut will have the opportunity to play in the EBA’s Recreation Baseball Program.
Tryout Schedule Notes
- Hitting tryout: Each player will participate in one Hitting tryout session that will be approximately 30-minutes. Players will be assigned a time to arrive for their hitting tryout that will be emailed and posted on the EBA website closer to the tryout date; until the the player should reserver the entire window.
- Skills tryout: Throwing, catching, infield and outfield fielding; pitching and catching will also be assessed at the Skills tryout. Each age group will be assigned an approximately 1-hour 30-minute session that will be email and posted on the EBA website closer to the tryout date; until then the players should reserve the entire window.
- Final tryout: Players in each age group will be divided into groups for the final tryout and go through similar activities to the Skills tryout. Each age group will be assigned an approximately 1-hour 30-minute session that will be email and posted on the EBA website closer to the tryout date; until then the players should reserve the entire window.
All players are required to attend all tryout sessions unless an excuse is approved in advance through the Commissioner and the Director. If a player has a conflict and will miss a tryout, parents or players must notify the Commissioner and Director of that age group. Players should attend the tryout session assigned to their current grade. If a player is age-eligible to play in the grade below (e.g., a 5th grader born with a cutoff date that allows the player to play with 4th graders), parents or players must notify the commissioner of the player's intent to try out for the lower grade.
If your player requires any special accommodations for tryouts please alert the VP of travel in advance of the first tryout session at travelVP@edinabaseball.com.
Team placement for players who are ill, injured or otherwise unavailable for grading will be handled by the Tryout and Team Selection Committee as described below. Note that players that do not participate in tryouts, regardless of reason, are not allowed to move up in level from their placement the prior year and may move down in level from their placement the prior year.
- Injured Player: If a player is injured and is unable to take part in any of the tryout sessions (skills, hitting and final), a doctor’s note will be required. The team placement for a player that was injured for a portion of the tryouts, but then participates in any of remaining the tryout program, will be based upon the completed tryout results and a review of prior year coach reviews. In the situation of an injury that partially limits the player’s ability to perform certain tryout skills (e.g., a sore arm and can’t throw) that player is expected to participate in tryouts to the fullest extent possible and will be evaluated based upon skills they are able to demonstrate in tryouts and based on feedback from the player’s coach in the prior year. In all cases, an injury that is evidenced by a doctor’s note must be followed by a clearance note from the doctor prior to a player being allowed to participate in any EBA activities.
- Ill Player: If a player is ill on the scheduled day of the tryout, every effort should be made to notify the EBA and schedule an alternative date, it available. If a player is ill and is unable to take part in any of the tryout sessions, a doctor’s note will be required. A player that was ill for a portion of the tryouts, but then participates in any of the other tryout sessions, will have team placement based on the completed tryout results and the coach review from last season. In all cases, an illness that is evidenced by a doctor’s note must be followed by a clearance note from the doctor prior to a player being allowed to participate in any EBA activities.
- If Player Is Not Able to Make Tryouts: If a player is unable to make a scheduled tryout due to circumstances not related to injury or sickness, every effort should be made to notify the EBA and schedule an alternative date, if available. If the player is still unable to attend an alternate date tryout for the missed evaluation, the skills that are not evaluated will be evaluated by the tryout committee based on prior year coach reviews. Every effort must be made by the player and his family to schedule around a conflict and find an alternate date. If a player misses all of the tryouts for reasons not related to an injury or illness, it will be the discretion of the EBA (after review of prior year coach evaluation and available statistics) to assign the player to the appropriate level of Travel Baseball, or Recreation Baseball.
Depending on the age group, evaluations are completed by an experienced, outside third-party, or the Edina High School coaches. Every effort is made to ensure that the same evaluator grades all sessions for the same program and skill throughout the process. Grading sessions are coordinated by EBA board members, and player drills may be supported by high school players. EBA board members with EBA players are not permitted to be present during their respective players tryout sessions due to conflict of interest; Board Member attendance exceptions may be considered in the event the Board Member is vetted as a prospective head coach of the age group (see below).
The EBA invites prospective head coaches to attend all the tryout sessions and prospective assistant coaches to attend the final tryout. It is important to note that these coaches are not grading any of the players and will not provide any input about any player during the tryout process. Coaches are there to observe and make notes about what they may see in a specific player. This allows prospective head coaches to watch the players as they prepare to draft a team based upon the team selection guidelines set forth by the EBA. Prospective coaches are not allowed to interact or communicate with any player or evaluator during tryout sessions. Coaches will be allowed to ask questions of evaluators at Final tryouts after players have been released. An EBA board member will be present to ensure fulfillment of all above guidelines.
Players check in to each tryout session and receive an assigned a numbered pinnie; player names are not disclosed to the outside third-party, or the Edina High School and Edina Legion coach evaluators.
Grades are based on player baseball mechanics, performance and athleticism in a series of drills that include infield, outfield and hitting drills. Additionally, evaluators will review a player’s communication, attitude, preparedness and positioning within the situational session.
Players may be evaluated on their situational play. In situational play drills, players will be allowed to choose their position, but may be asked to play other positions as well. Baseball instinct is not position specific and a player may be asked to play a different position or multiple positions to get the best possible sense of capability. It is also extremely important to note that a player does not have to have a ball hit to them to judge their situational ability. How a player moves and what a player does without the ball in terms of communication and on field positioning will be assessed.
Grading results are compiled for each player for all tryout sessions. Players are assigned a specific score and the averages of each skill group (e.g., hitting, infield and outfield) are added together; this is referred to the General Skills score. Since not all players are pitchers or catchers, pitching and catching scores are reviewed separately and these scores are viewed as supplemental information in team selection, but do not change player ranking from tryouts. Given that youth baseball players grow and develop at different rates over time, the prior season’s playing level or team does not influence the current season placement. Prior year coach feedback and playing statistics will be reviewed as appropriate to determine final player placement.
Parents of siblings at the same age (e.g., twins, etc.) will need to decide between two options before the travel tryouts: Option A: Treat each sibling independently; siblings could be placed on different teams. Option B: Place siblings on the same team; players will be placed on the same team at the appropriate level for the lowest ranked sibling.
Grading players during try-outs is not a perfect science. Tryout grades are only a reflection of a player’s abilities on a that day. Players will be selected for Travel teams based upon tryout grades, team composition considerations, previously displayed commitment levels and prior season evaluations. Please keep in mind that the evaluators are doing their best to evaluate players on their current skills. As parents we may tend to evaluate our own son’s skills at a higher level than may be appropriate. Playing at the wrong level, particularly playing too high a level, is detrimental to your son’s baseball skill development and the longevity of his baseball interest. The EBA goal is to have every player have fun and be successful at playing the game of baseball.
The Board continuously evaluates our tryout system with several other communities and uses best practices where practical. Please accept and support your player’s skills for what they are today and work hard with them to improve their skills.
Team Selection Process
Age groups 10U-15U typically have four teams consisting of 12 players; 1 AAA, 1 AA and 2 A. The EBA reserves the right to limit or expand the number of travel teams per age based on the number of players trying out, player talent and coaching resources.
After the completion of the tryouts, the rankings are compiled, and the Commissioner and the Directors meet with the coaches to draft the teams. Parent Coaches for each level are determined based the players ranking. Teams are drafted in the following order: AAA, AA, A. Based on the age group, players may be “locked” at AAA or AA based on the following guidelines:
- 9U-10U 8 highest ranked players with the balance of the team selected from the next 12 highest ranked players, based on factors such as position needs.
- 11U-12U 6 highest ranked playerswith the balance of the team selected from the next 14 highest ranked players, based on factors such as position needs.
- 13U-14U 4 highest ranked players with the balance of the team selected from the next 16 highest ranked players, based on factors such as position needs.
- 15U 4 highest ranked players with balance of team selected based on factors such as position needs (e.g., pitching, catching, etc.).
Players are assigned to a team based on the performance level as graded by tryout evaluators and the coach draft. All teams are reviewed by the Try-out and Team Selection Committee to ensure guidelines were followed. All decisions by the committee are final, and all team rosters are final once they are posted. Players trying out for a travel team who aren’t placed on a travel team will be moved to a Recreation team and a $250 refund will be issued. Player uniform orders will remain valid and transferred to a Recreation team. The player does not have to attend the Recreation league evaluation session.