Saratoga-Wilton: Travel Baseball

Competitive baseball focused on development & growth of youth baseball players

In anticipation of the formal merger between Saratoga American Little Leauge and Wilton Youth Baseball
the Wilton Rebels travel baseball program is being re-branded as Saratoga-Wilton Travel Baseball.

Overview

Philosophy

  • Travel baseball is by definition more competitive and has a greater emphasis on winning than recreational baseball. This will manifest in several ways:
  • The expectations on the players in terms of effort and commitment are higher for travel baseball than for recreational baseball. Coaches will expect a greater level of concentration and commitment from their travel players.
  • Players will play fewer positions in travel baseball than recreational baseball. The coaches will be teaching more position specific techniques and putting the players is positions best suited for the success of the overall team
  • Players will take on different roles within the framework of the team. The players will learn that every role is essential for the success of the team. This drives good sportsmanship and teamwork behavior with the players learning to support each other regardless of their role on the team. Everybody has to contribute to the team’s success. This can include positions played in the field, place in the batting order, and what is asked of each player during the game itself.
  • There is no minimum playing time requirement in travel baseball. As mentioned earlier qualities like commitments, work ethic, teamwork, focus and sportsmanship go along way to defining everybody’s role within the team. The coaching staff is responsible for making playing decisions to both

Mission
To provide an opportunity for players, who have demonstrated the requisite skill and desire, to participate in travel baseball and compete against players of similar skill levels from other communities.

Goals
Teach advanced fundamentals, strengthen playing capability and enhance the likelihood of success at higher levels including Middle/High School to those willing to commit more time and energy to the improvement of their skills in a focused environment

Seasons/Schedule

Spring

The Spring travel season runs from late April through the end of June. Games are typically reserved for Sunday’s only, however some teams may opt to play the occasional Friday evening games. Travel game schedules are designed avoid conflicts with Rec League games, which are typically scheduled for Mon-Thurs and Saturdays.  Travel Teams have the option to participate in Memorial Day Weekend tournaments, both local (e.g. Clifton Park) and regionally (e.g. Niagara/Buffalo, Hershey, PA.)  Team practices will be set at the discretion of Travel Manager.

Fall

Travel teams will initial be formed in August. If necessary, tryouts will be held in August. The need for tryouts will be determined on a per-team basis depending on how many players have expressed interest in playing. During September and October teams will have the option to conduct outdoor practices and participate in a Fall Travel league.

Winter

Teams have the option to begin their winter workouts as early as November. However we feel it’s important to give players time off and therefore recommend these workouts start in January. From January through early April players will participate in a variety of indoor workouts and clinics.

Important Note: We understand many of our travel players will have conflicts with other sports or activities during these months and our practice schedules will be flexible to accommodate these conflicts. We do not expect ever player to make every practice but do expect all committed players to take advantage of the opportunity to develop both their skills and the overall closeness of the team during the fall/winter months.

Player Eligibility / Travel Team Tryouts

Open to all age appropriate players. Travel players are expected to fully participate in Saratoga-Wilton’s Spring and Fall Rec Leagues. Players can submit a waiver for exemption from the Rec League eligibility requirements. Exemption waivers must be approved by the Executive Board of Directors upon recommendation from the Travel Coordinator.

Travel Team Tryouts

For each season we will conduct tryouts across all age groups.  The tryout schedule would be as follows:

  • Fall Season – tryouts held in August (if neccessary)
  • Spring Season – tryouts held in October

Players will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Specific technique demonstrated and overall results for each area of evaluation. This means that a player will receive a more positive evaluation for using the proper fielding technique than a different player who does not demonstrate the proper technique regardless of the end result achieved by both players.
  2. Effort, Attitude and Sportsmanship
  3. Ability to focus, listen and follow directions

Details regarding the types of drills and evaluation criteria will be made available prior to tryouts.

Player selection

Travel team managers and coaches will be responsible for player evaluation and selection, which will be based on the following criteria (where applicable):

  • Tryout performance
  • Past travel team performance
  • Current travel team practice performance
  • Rec league performance

A Board member who is not affiliated with the team will be on-hand for each tryout and will certify the player selections.

Fees

Player registration fees will be set on a team-by-team basis factoring in base fees and the cost of any additional activities the player is participating in.

Our goal is to make travel baseball affordable. On average the all-in fee for Spring Travel runs anywhere from $100-$200 depending on what activities the team participates in. Players share the cost of team’s travel league registration fee, umpire fees, field rentals, insurance and uniform costs. If teams choose to participate in tournament or conduct indoor workouts those fees get factored in.

Fall Travel fees are generally run $50-$100 depending on how many games the team plays.

Team Fundraising

To help offset costs, Team fundraising will be permitted but subject to fundraising guidelines.

Fall Season:

  • Fall Travel League (League fees, umpire fees, baseballs, field rentals, insurance)
  • Tournament fees

Winter Season:

  • Clinics
  • Gym Rentals

Spring Season:

  • Spring Travel League Fees (League fees, umpire fees, baseballs, field rentals, insurance)
  • Clinics / Gym Rentals
  • Tournaments (e.g. Memorial Day)

Players are also responsible for purchasing their jersey (Approximately $40). Jersey’s often can be re-used across multiple seasons.

Coaching

Travel Team Manager
All interested people may complete an application to become a Travel Team Manager. They will then be interviewed by a committee appointed by the Board of Directors which will include the Travel Coordinator. The committee will make recommendations and the final decision will be made by the Board of Directors.

Travel Team Assistant Coaches
The Travel Team Manager will choose his/her Assistant Coaches. Should the Travel Team Manager need to step down or be replaced, he/she (in conjunction with the Travel Coordinator) will appoint one of the Assistant Coaches to become Manager.

Travel team coaches will be selected after the conclusion of the Spring Season. The selected coaches will remain in their positions until the completion of the following Spring season.