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Westport Youth Travel Baseball

Westport Youth Travel Baseball

 

Register for Fall 2022 WYTB Baseball

We hope you are enjoying your summer.  Fall baseball is right around the corner, and it is a shorter season.  Registration is now open for your child to try out for our Westport Youth Travel Baseball (WYTB) team for the Fall season.  Try-outs will be held for the 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U, 13U and 14U/15U WYTB teams on the afternoons of August 31 and September 1.  Players must attend both sessions.

The final deadline for registration is 5:00 p.m. on August 26.  However, we kindly request that you register your child at your earliest convenience so we can plan ahead, including understanding the range of ages of potential players.  Please register by clicking the link below or copying the link immediately thereafter into your browser, and paying the non-refundable $45 try-out fee for each child separately.  Only those who register will be permitted to try out.  Please note that your registration is not considered complete until payment of the try-out fee is made and you have completed and signed the waiver in the registration process.  The WYTB website automatically deletes registrations that are not paid in full within two hours, thereby deregistering your child.  If you have unpaid registration fees in respect of any prior season for a Westport baseball or softball program, your request for registration will be declined, and your child will not be eligible to try out until you have paid such outstanding fees. 

To register, copy this link into your browser http://assn.la/Reg/?r=2:224473 or click HERE

TRY-OUTS

  • Try-outs for the 8U through 14U/15U teams will be administered by IST on August 31 and September 1 on the fields and at the times to be provided via a subsequent email and posted on the WYTB website.  All players must attend both evaluation sessions for the team for which a player meets the age eligibility requirements specified below for each team.  A player may not attend a try-out for an older team without the permission of the WYTB program leader. 
  • These try-outs take place the day after the first day that the Westport public schools open in order to minimize conflicts with vacations and other planned events before school or over Labor Day weekend.  Because the League in which WYTB participates schedules games in early September, we are compelled to schedule try-outs as early as practicable.
  • These tryout dates/times were arranged to maximize program-wide fairness and equal opportunity for all players seeking to play on these teams.  Please do your best to address any conflicts at these times and ensure your child attends both sessions for the team for which a player meets the age eligibility requirements specified below for each team.  A player may not attend a try-out for an older team without the permission of the WYTB program leader. 
  • Please contact Glenn Katz of IST at  by August 24 if your child has an irreconcilable conflict with the dates above, and he will attempt to organize with the applicable head coach a single alternative date to accommodate these conflicts.  Please note that in the event of such conflicts and make-up tryouts, there may be players who are selected for teams who do not attend the official September 1st and 2nd try-outs.  It is WYTB's and IST's strong preference that all players participate in the try-outs on August 31 and September 1 for ease of administering the tryouts and holding the most fair evaluations that facilitate player comparison.
  • Player evaluations will be conducted by a panel of this season's coaches, and in an effort to provide as much continuity as possible and to take into account a broader body of baseball experience with IST coaches, input from prior seasons' coaches will be considered as well.  The coaches will make every effort to operate a consistently applied, multiple evaluator and merit-based review.  In addition, we will implement procedures for roster selection to attempt to address any known potential conflicts between IST coaches and players.

Try-out Requirements and Details

  • Please arrive 15 minutes early and proceed to the registration table where a volunteer will check in your child and assign a number, which must be worn throughout the try-out.
  • Your child should bring a bat, glove and helmet and wear baseball pants, cap and cleats.  Please make sure your child does not wear any prior year travel baseball garment or gear (e.g., jersey or cap), or he or she will be asked by a coach to remove it before participating in the try-out.
  • Once all participants are signed in by WYTB volunteers, IST coaches administering the try-outs will ask parents to leave and return to pick up their children at the end of the designated try-out time.  Please cooperate with this request.
  • Please make sure your child keeps his or her try-out number at the end of the first day's session, as your child will need it for the second day.  We will not hand out numbers on Day 2.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF ROSTERS

WYTB intends to post on its website and email parents the rosters for each of the WYTB teams by September 3. 

After teams are announced, parents may contact Glenn Katz at IST at   who will coordinate with the team head coach to provide you with more detailed feedback on your child's performance at the try-outs and areas for improvement as observed by the evaluators during the try-outs.  Please understand that in selecting rosters for teams, there will inevitably be difficult decisions made by coaches.  This opportunity to discuss your child's performance with a coach is to solicit constructive feedback—it is not a forum for abusive or negative comments by parents.       

AGE ELIGIBILITY; PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS

Set forth below are the age brackets for each team as well as a summary program description.  WYTB will continue to attempt to synchronize the age ranges for its 8U-12U teams with those stipulated by Little League International to maximize alignment and connectivity between WYTB's programs and Little League International which prescribes the age bands for Little League Tournament (Districts) in the Summer.  Please register your child and bring him or her to the try-out at the appropriate time in accordance with the age ranges below.  A player may not participate in a try-out for an older team without the permission of the WYTB program leader.  

WYTB reserves the right to roster children on Travel teams outside of these Little League age bands based on the professional recommendation of the IST coaches, including in circumstances that comply with the East Shore League's age eligibility requirements.

8U Team

Eligibility: Birthdates: September 1, 2014 - August 31, 2015

Head Coach: John Bell

Team Focus: This program is developmental in nature and intended for those who want more advanced baseball for their children than Little League game play.  Practices will focus on teaching the fundamentals of baseball. 

League: CT Youth Baseball League

Games:  Westport is one of the few towns that historically fields a true 8U team (as opposed to a 9U team that includes 8 year olds) so scheduling games against appropriate opponents has been challenging.  We currently anticipate that the 8U team will play at least 5 games against teams from other towns, subject to scheduling conflicts and the coaches' determination regarding the appropriate balance between the number of games and practices based on the team's needs.  Game formats and rules may vary (e.g., player pitch, stealing bases, continuous batting, pauses for teaching moments, etc.) from game to game as agreed upon with the coaches of the opposing teams.  The program will include practices featuring drills to demonstrate game situations and potential intra-squad scrimmages.  The team plays on the Little League 46/60 diamond.  Coaches will teach the fundamentals of the game and learning to play team baseball.

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9U Team

Eligibility: Birthdates: September 1, 2013 - August 31, 2014

Head Coach: Mike Hughes

Team Focus: This program focuses on reiterating baseball fundamentals and instructing players how to elevate their game to a more competitive level.  There are two weekly practices and a full game schedule.  The team plays on the Little League 46/60 diamond with no leading, but stealing is permitted.  Coaches will teach the fundamentals of the game; instructing pitchers and catchers; and continuing to learn to play team baseball in live game situations.  Playing winning team baseball will be a focus. 

League: East Shore Travel League.  The coaching staff will explore supplementing the game schedule with games against teams from local towns and a tournament.

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10U Team

Eligibility: Birthdates: September 1, 2012 - August 31, 2013

Head Coach: Casey O’Brien

Team Focus: Solidifying and enhancing players' core skills to play at a higher, more competitive level, as children move to the bigger 46/70 diamond with leading and stealing.  Players will also be taught the nuances of the positions that they will most likely play in games; pitchers and catchers will be developed; as well as situational play.  Playing winning team baseball will be a focus.

League: East Shore Travel League.  The coaching staff will explore supplementing the game schedule with a tournament.

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11U Team

Eligibility: Birthdates: September 1, 2011 - August 31, 2012

Head Coaches: Mike Hughes

Roving Coach: Wayne Randazzo

Team Focus:  Enhancing players' skill sets to play at a higher, more competitive level, as children play on the 50/70 diamond.  Players will learn signals and be taught the nuances and best practices of the positions that they will most likely play in games as well as situational play.  Playing winning team baseball will be a focus.

League: East Shore Travel League.  The coaching staff will explore supplementing the game schedule with a tournament (which may be a Perfect Game Tournament).

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12U Team

Eligibility: Birthdates: September 1, 2010 – August 31, 2011

Head Coach: Scott Carew

Roving Coach: Glenn Katz

Team Focus:  Enhancing players' skill sets to play at a higher, more competitive level, as children play their final season on the 50/70 diamond.  Playing winning team baseball and beginning preparation for next Fall's move to the 60/90 diamond will be a focus.

League: East Shore Travel League.  The coaching staff will explore supplementing the game schedule with at least one tournament (which may be a Perfect Game Tournament).

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13U Team

Eligibility: Birthdates: September 1, 2009 – August 31, 2010

Head Coach: Kenny Patrick (Westport Legion Coach)

Assistant Coach: Todd Lyons

Roving Coach:  Wayne Randazzo

Team Focus:  Further developing players' skills at a higher, more competitive level, and introducing them to the larger, 60/90 diamond on which players will continue to play thereafter.  Playing winning team baseball and trying to create a cohesive core of talented players to progress to play together and developing teamwork and camaraderie among players.

League: East Shore Travel League.  The coaching staff will explore supplementing the game schedule with at least one tournament (which may be a Perfect Game Tournament).

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14U/15U Team

Eligibility: Players cannot be born before May 1, 2007

Head Coach: Scott Carew

Team Focus:  Further developing players' skills at a higher, more competitive level, on the 60/90 diamond.  Playing winning team baseball at a high school level and developing teamwork and camaraderie among players before eligibility to play high school baseball.

League: East Shore Travel League.  The coaching staff will explore supplementing the game schedule with at least one tournament (which may be a Perfect Game Tournament).

  ----------------------------

ROVING COACHES

In addition to the team head coaches identified above, highly experienced professional coaches with specific expertise in hitting, pitching and catching, including Glenn Katz, Kevin Morton and Wayne Randazzo, will supplement the coaching staffs and work with the players at practices to focus on training in these areas.

MORE INFORMATION; TOURNAMENTS

We currently expect to field one team, consisting of up to 14 players, at each of the 8U through 14U/15U age levels.  Final decisions regarding teams and roster size will be made after the try-outs.

Teams (other than 8U) will participate in the East Shore League.  For age groups within East Shore with multiple divisions (e.g., typically 11U through 15U), the head coaches will determine in which division (e.g., Majors and Elite) WYTB teams will participate based on the talent on the roster and expectations for the rest of the division.  

Coaches will evaluate supplementing the schedule with games against teams in local towns of comparable ability and tournaments in which WYTB would register teams, and parents would pay the registration fees and out-of-pocket expenses of coaches.  As in the pre-COVID era, we will seek to have all of the 9U through 14U/15U WYTB teams participate in at least one out-of-town tournament, with the coaches and WYTB staff exploring Perfect Game Tournaments for the 11U through 14U/15U teams.  We have found that these tournaments are an excellent way to maximize playing multiple games in a short amount of time (typically a long weekend), introduce tournament style baseball, break up the East Shore schedule and provide a unique team bonding experience for players and parents which in recent years, players and parents have enjoyed.    

The coaching staff of each of the 8U-14U/15U teams may be supplemented by an IST assistant coach and a parent assistant coach.  WYTB has added this third coach to address feedback that additional coaching would help improve the finished product and experience for the players and increase player safety.  This also enables WYTB to keep our pricing lower relative to other local club baseball programs.  This third coach will be a qualified volunteer parent identified by WYTB and the applicable head coach, taking into account a number of criteria, after the team's roster has been announced.  We also believe that this third coach will be well positioned to provide real-time feedback to WYTB and, in turn, to IST.  The parent assistant coach will not be responsible for determining playing time, batting order or defensive assignments, but rather will keep the book/operate Game Changer in the dugout and be available to the IST coaches on an advisory basis during games. 

In addition, these teams may have a parent "Team Manager," who could be the parent assistant coach or another parent designated by the coach, to take the lead on communications with parents over the course of the season, including regarding practice and game schedules and managing scheduling conflicts for games and tournaments.   

Further details regarding the Fall season and schedules will be communicated after formation of teams.

LITTLE LEAGUE; SCHEDULING

As in prior Fall seasons, by contrast to the Spring season, children will not be required to play Westport Little League in the Fall, in addition to WYTB, as we recognize that many players also participate in other Fall sports.  To that end, WYTB will attempt to accommodate game schedules of other Fall sports to the extent feasible, but cannot assure parents that there will not be any scheduling conflicts.  Times for WYTB games should not conflict with Fall Westport Little League games. 

We still encourage players to play both Westport Little League baseball and WYTB should their schedules permit.  For parents of 8U players, we strongly encourage you to register your children in Fall Little League as well because the Travel program is developmental.

GAME AND PRACTICE SCHEDULE

The Fall season for the 9U-14U/5U teams is expected to start the week of September 5 and run for approximately 8 weeks, with a schedule of up to 16 games (starting on September 9) plus playoffs, with playoffs ending by November 6 subject to weather (players will need to dress warmly!), as may be supplemented with other games and tournaments as discussed above.  Please see above re: the 8U Fall program. 

This is the link for East Shore's website, which will ultimately include game schedules for the various teams accessible by clicking on the Schedules tab at the top: http://www.leaguelineup.com/welcome.asp?url=eastshoretravelleague.  Please disregard earlier iterations of the posted schedules at the beginning of the season; the scheduled games serve as placeholders.  WYTB's game scheduler will work with the coaches to refine the schedules.

Coaches will schedule regular team practices, attempting to take into account players' scheduling conflicts, and will communicate practice schedules at the beginning of the season at or before parents' meetings once teams have been selected.  These meetings will also be an opportunity to learn about coach/team expectations and discussion of other logistical information.

COMMITMENT LETTER/CODE OF CONDUCT

All players invited to join a WYTB team, and their parents, must sign a Commitment Letter, which sets forth the player's commitment to the team and to, along with the player's parents, abide by certain requirements and a code of conduct.  Failure to comply with the commitment letter/code of conduct may result in a player being removed from the team or a parent being prohibited from attending the team’s organized baseball activities.

DEPOSITS; PRICING

Parents of players selected for Fall WYTB teams can secure roster spots for their children by making a 50% deposit payment that will be credited against registration fees for the season.  Pricing information for the various WYTB teams, which will not include any uniform, equipment or gear costs, will follow after the season starts, as there remains open variables for each program that inform final pricing such as total number of games, tournament fees and final number of players per team.  For parents of players who are new to our programs, WYTB is a non-profit organization.  Registration fees for our Travel teams in the Fall season are expected to be approximately $675 for the 8U team and $1,350-1,750 for the 9U-14U/15U teams.

REFUNDS

After team rosters are announced, no refunds of the deposits will be issued.  WYTB has up-front non-recoverable costs such that we will not be able to refund such deposits.  Once organized baseball practices begin in the Fall, WYTB intends to pay our coaches such that if the Fall game schedule is shortened prematurely due to COVID-19 or otherwise, we will not be able to refund registration fees.  WYTB and the coaches will strive to modify the practice curriculum to comply with the then applicable CDC, State and Town requirements, protocols and guidance.

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Please register your child by clicking on the link at the top of this email, which will enable WYTB to progress planning for the Fall season.  We look forward to a fun Fall baseball season and hope you enjoy the rest of the baseball offseason.  Please do not hesitate to contact Jeff Brill at  with any questions.

Westport Youth Travel Baseball


by posted 08/05/2022
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