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Visitation Athletic Club

Baseball Information

Our Lady of the Visitation Baseball Program Update 11/21/17:

Our baseball program is extremely unique in that we offer baseball for every level of skill and commitment, while maintaining a sense of community through volunteerism from our parishioners. Our players have the opportunity to play with and compete with their friends and neighbors while receiving fantastic instruction and enjoying the fun of competition and teamwork. Players learn the value of teamwork & commitment to their school, religious values and parish, while being active and learning the game of baseball. We encourage everyone to sign your boys up to play baseball at Our Lady of the Visitation; as it’s much more than a fun game for kids, it’s a great way to create friends and meet new families and an even better way to help serve our parish and Lord through volunteering and mentor-ship.


The goals of our baseball program are:

INCLUSION: We want to include and retain as many players as we can from year to year. We have a place for every player to have fun, learn & grow.

INSTRUCTION: We want to provide the highest level of coaching & instruction as we possibly can.
COMPETITION: 
We will strive to be the best competition others face and we will always seek opportunities to face better competition



2017-2018 Important Dates
11/25/17 - 1/21/18 General Sign Up Registration Open 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U & 13U
11/25/17 - 2/28/18 General Sign Up Registration Open 5U, 7U, 14U & 15U
1/28/18 9U, 11U and 13U General Sign-Up Teams Posted to vacsports.com
1/29/18 - 2/24/18Winter Training for 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U & 13U Teams
2/25/188U - 15U Outdoor Practices begin (Weather Permitting)
3/04/18 5U, 7U, 14U and 15U General Sign-Up Teams Posted to vacsports.com
3/20/188U - 15U Regular Season Schedules Released (Tentative)
3/24/18 - 3/25/18Viking Thaw Pre-Season Baseball Round Robin (Division TBD)
4/02/18 - 4/06/185U & 7U Outdoor Practices begin (Weather Permitting)
4/07/18 - 6/10/188U - 15U Regular Season (Tentative)
4/02185U & 7U Regular Season Schedules Released (Tentative)
4/13/18 - 6/08/185U & 7U Regular Season (Tentative)
5/16/18Spring Sports Mass (Tentative)
5/25/18Second Annual Visitation Baseball Family Night (Tentative)
6/10/18 - 6/15/187U CWBC Tournament 
6/14/18 - 7/01/188U - 15U League Championship Tournament (Visitation to host some portion)
7/09/18 - 8/31/18 Skill Evaluations for 2019 (8U - 13U Only) Specific Dates TBD




1. What are the levels available and age cut offs? Please Note: Baseball is age based so in many cases grade level is not applicable*

Level |  Age / Grade Level
5U |  Cannot be 6 before May 1, 2018/Must be 4 by 1/1/18 (Typically Pre-K & K)
7U |  Cannot be 8 before May 1, 2018 (Typically K & 1st Graders)
8U |  Cannot be 9 before May 1, 2018 (Typically 2nd graders)
9U |  Cannot be 10 before May 1 , 2018 (Typically 2nd & 3rd graders)
10U |  Cannot be 11 before May 1 , 2018 (Typically 4th graders)
11U |  Cannot be 12 before May 1, 2018 (Typically 4th & 5th graders)
12U |  Cannot be 13 before May 1, 2018 (Typically 6th graders)
13U |  Cannot be 14 before May 1, 2018(Typically 6th & 7th graders)
14U |Cannot be 15 before May 1, 2018 (Typically 8th graders)
15U |  Cannot be 16 before May 1, 2018 (Typically 9th graders)

*By League Rules Players are allowed to play 1 age level up without prior league approval. This includes Try-Out level teams. 

2. What commitment should our family expect to make to play baseball at Visitation?

Fee

  Level/Commitment & Information

$70

  5U Coach Pitch & Tee Ball Combined/  1 Practice per week and 8 games played mostly on Friday nights

$75

  7U Coach Pitch only/  1 Practice per week and 8-12 games played mostly on Friday nights & a Year End Tournament

$135

  8U Try-Out Team/ 2-3 practices per week and 18-26 games mostly on weekends, but some weekday games & Tournament participation (Registration Fees Due After Teams Announced 9/7/17)

$95

  9U General Sign-Up Team/ 1-2 practices per week and 12-18 games played mostly on weekends, but some weekday games & Tournament participation

$135

  9U Try-Out Team/ 2-3 practices per week and 18-26 games played on weekends, but some weekday games and tournament participation (Registration Fees Due After Teams Announced 9/7/17)

$95

  11U General Sign-Up Team/1-2 practices per week and 12-18 games played mostly on weekends, but some weekday games and tournament participation

$135

  10U & 11U Try-Out Team/ 2-3 practices per week and 26-35 games played on weekends, but some weekday games and tournament participation (Registration Fees Due After Teams Announced 9/7/17)

$95

  13U General Sign-Up Team/1-2 practices per week and 12-18 games played mostly on weekends, but some weekday games and tournament participation

$135

  12U & 13U/Try-Out Team/ 2-3 practices per week and 26-35 games played on weekends, but some weekday games and tournament participation (Registration Fees Due After Teams Announced 9/12/17)

 $135

 14U General Sign-Up Team/ 1-2 Practices per week and 16-24 games played mostly on weekends, but some weekday games and tournament participation. Depending on number of participants & number of teams, the estimated number of games may be adjusted (additional fees may apply).

$95

  15U General Sign-Up Team/ 1-2 practices per week and 16-24 games played mostly on weekends, but some weekday games and tournament participation. Depending on number of participants & number of teams, the estimated number of games may be adjusted (additional fees may apply).



3. What is the difference between Try-Out Teams and General Sign-up teams?


2018 Try-Out teams have already been formed. Players assigned to 2018 Try-Out teams attended a Skill Evaluation after the 2017 baseball season concluded. Players who attended, but were not assigned to a team will be placed on a general sign-up team which will be posted by 1/28/18. Players who do not attend Skill Evaluations and register will also be placed on a general sign-up team. 

Try-Out teams will have some organized team activities to work on skills through the winter and will begin practicing as soon as the fields are playable in the spring. Once baseball season officially begins in the spring, players should not miss scheduled practices or games due to conflicts with other sports or activities. Try-Out teams will practice 2-3 times per week and will play approximately 22 – 35 games in a season; including 1 – 3 tournaments (Tournaments are around Greater Cincinnati) . The game season runs from April thru June and because of low numbers per team players are expected to attend all the games. Teams are formalized in late summer/ early fall after Skill-Evaluations are completed. 

Younger players on Try-Out Teams (8U/9U/10U) should expect equal playing time and equal positional opportunity and teams almost always roster bat.  Older players on Try-Out Teams (11U/12U/13U) can expect more merit based playing time and specialized positions and will sometimes only bat 9 with traditional substitution. Players will play a minimum of 2 innings defensively, but the goal will always be equal playing time. 

In comparison, General Sign-Up teams will practice 1-2 times per week and will play 12-16 games including 1 tournament. General Sign-Up teams are more recreational with most players participating in baseball and sharing their time with other activities like volleyball, spring soccer, indoor soccer, lacrosse, scouts, sport camps, track & field and/or swim team. These teams are formed after sign-ups in December and January. Players will not sit out defensively more than 2 innings. Teams are required to roster bat.  

Please do not try-out if you do not intend to commit and play at Visitation. Try-Out level players should be committed to Visitation baseball as your focused sport. Missing games and practices for other sports should not occur for players on Try-Out Level Teams. Once teams are formed it is very difficult to make changes for players who were selected to teams but decide not to play. You take a spot from someone who truly wants to play.

We field try-out teams at 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U & 13U. Players are able to request/try-out to play up one age level. In most cases, similarly skilled players who are trying out at the correct age level will take precedent over a player choosing to "play up." Our goal is to try and keep grades of players together as best as we can. 

4. How do we find out about game cancellations of weather issues related to try-outs, practices or games?

Field updates can be found at www.vacsports.com for Visitation fields & at cincywbc.org for other fields. Coaches are responsible for alerting players and families for cancelled practices. 

5. Why are try-outs so early?

We have try-outs early for several reasons. One, we think it is important that try-outs occur as close to the end of baseball season while players are in baseball “shape.” Two, most area youth programs hold try-outs for their teams in late summer and we try to synchronize with their timeline, to allow our parish players to commit to representing their school/parish baseball program. Three, if we wait too long, fall sports kick into gear, so player and field availability becomes an issue.


6. What is the Try-Out Process?

Admittedly the process of evaluating players is the most difficult portion of the baseball program to manage. We try year over year to improve it, but ultimately it’s a very inexact methodology and process. Our goal is to try and place players where they have the best opportunity to compete, be challenged and at the same time, taste some success.
The process is as follows:

  • 7U – 13U coaches submit a year end player evaluation for their team from the prior year. They are asked to rate players 1-5 vs. the competition they faced. They are also asked to rank the skill level of players on the roster 1-15. This is submitted to the Commissioners and kept confidential. These evaluations are only used as a guideline as teams are formed. 
  • Players participate in one of the skill evaluation sessions.  These sessions will consist of multiple baseball drill stations ranging from fielding, hitting, pitching, base running etc..
  •  To run the stations:
  • Players are divided by age level and stations are set up to age/skill appropriate levels.
  • We seek volunteers to help run the stations. Volunteers can be Virtus trained Mom’s, Dad’s, older siblings, etc – they just need to be able to help with activities like registering  players, hit/field grounders, pitch batting practice, work a stop watch etc. (Please contact Todd Zureick at visivikingbaseball@gmail.com if you can help at any of the sessions.)
  • We try and assign Virtus trained volunteer evaluators to each station who are not related or who do not know the players. In some cases evaluators are from outside the parish, but are connected to the CWBC or other programs. 
  • In cases where we have a coach committed to coach an age level, the coach may shadow the age level he/she is coaching
  •  A culmination of all this information is rolled up and the data is used to assist a combination of evaluators, Commissioners and head coaches to determine the teams.
 

Registration for General Sign-Ups will occur in November & December for players choosing not to try-out or for players not chosen for a Try-Out level team. All General Sign-Up Teams will be posted at vacsports.com by February.


7. How can I get involved in the baseball program?

First & foremost all volunteers must complete the Archdiocese Virtus program; which includes fingerprinting, back-ground check and attending a training class. If you need additional information you can visit the following website: www.virtus.org/virtus. For VIRTUS questions/issues, contact Laura Hampel at Parish office,  513-347-2203 /  lhampel@olvisitation.org. There are many ways to be involved with our baseball program. We need volunteers to help with coaching, assisting with field preparation; helping with equipment collection/inventory and concession stand duty as well as participating in our largest fund raiser by purchasing Kid Glove Game tickets to attend a Reds game. If you are interested in coaching and have already undergone Virtus training, feel free to reach out to Todd Zureick via email: visivikingbaseball@gmail.com to volunteer and secure a team at any age level for 2018. 



8. Can I request my son/daughter be placed on a certain team? 

With almost 300 players in the program it is very difficult to handle special requests for team assignments outside of siblings living in the same home. One way to ensure your son is on the team of choice is to coordinate with the family you'd like to play with to coach a team. I would also encourage families not to fret about "playing with people you know". Joining a baseball team is a great way for the kids to meet new friends and for parents to meet other parents within our parish community. 
 
9. Where can I find information about our leagues? 

Most of our teams play in the CWBC with other area organizations. You can visit cincywbc.org to find out league rules, game schedules, field directions, weather updates; in fact, you can even set up game alerts and share them with family and friends. Some teams also compete in SWOL & Nations Baseball. Please see links for additional information about SWOL www.leaguetime.com/League/Details/3024 & Nations 
Baseball www.nations-baseball.com


10. How do you decide what level of teams are formed? 

Our goal is to field a try-out level team at each age level, but in some cases numbers and interest do not allow for it. In keeping with our goal to be the best competition others face and we will always seek opportunities to face better competition...we strive to put players on teams where they have the correct amount of challenge and success. We try to field a try-out level team at each age level, but in some cases numbers/skill levels do not allow for it. It is not uncommon for teams to consist of players from both age levels. (i.e 12 & 13 year old players assigned 13U Try-Out Team). We also try to form as many teams as possible with kids who attend evaluations, but if your son is not assigned to a team, he will be assigned to a general sign-up team with "like-aged" kids after registrations in January. 

11. Why don't you hold skill evaluations for 14U & 15U?

15U teams are driven strictly by the number of kids sign up. Some years we have one team, others we have two and they typically divided by grade level. In years past we have had a team of all 14U (8th graders) and all 15U (freshmen), but it is difficult to gauge until after registrations are complete. Depending on number of players and interest level, we may increase the committed number of games for this level. Additional fees may apply for those interested. 

12. When are baseball sign-ups? 

Baseball sign-ups are typically opened up at vacsports.com in November/December/January. If your son is chosen for a try-out team he will need to register in September. General sign up teams are formed in January. After Registrations are closed; depending on participant numbers late registrations may be allowed. Additional fees may apply for late registrants. See Important Dates for specific dates for your age levels. 

13. What is the Kid Glove Program? 

The Kid Glove Program is baseball's largest fund-raiser. In conjunction with the Cincinnati Reds, the Kid Glove game offers $12 Reds tickets to our players for Reds games. The Kid Glove Program donates $10 for every ticket sold back to our program to off-set the costs of equipment and uniforms. In 2017, our program combined with girls softball sold a total of 600 tickets, which generated an additional $6000 for equipment and uniforms. Every baseball player automatically receives a voucher for a Reds game with their 2018 registration. Game dates are finalized in January and coaches typically coordinate ticket voucher redemption so teams can enjoy the game all together. Additional Kid Glove Tickets are available for purchase for additional family members and friends. Please contact visivikingskidglove@gmail.com for additional questions regarding the Kid Glove Program. 

2018 Kid Glove Reds Games:
May 1, 2018 Reds v. Pirates (7:10pm)
May 23, 2018 Reds v. Indians (7:10pm)


14. How are teams formed?

1 - Try-Out Level Teams are formed as noted above in the Try-Out Process & posted to vacsports.com in September following the baseball season. We try to form as many try-out teams as numbers, skill level and interest allow.
2 - Upon completion of General Sign-Up Registrations in November & January, we determine how many players are available to be assigned to teams to determine team count.
3 - For 5U, 7U & 9U we try to keep numbers as low as possible per team. Coaching commitments and the number of players registered factor in.
4 - For 11U - 15U we have to try and place a minimum of 12 players per team and try to stay below 15 per team. Coaching commitments and the number of players registered factor in.
5 - For 5U, 7U, & 9U we use average age to group players on a team as best as we can. Coaching commitments and the number of players registered factor in.
        A.The CWBC uses Average per Roster to create divisions (I.e. Of 48 9U Teams, the 12 youngest averaged age teams are 9U North, the next youngest 12 are 9U South etc.)
        B. Each Visi team can name a head coach and two assistant coaches
        C. We take the average age of the coach's children and then assign the proper number of players closest to that average age. For Example take a hypothetical 5U Team
i. The 3 coach's children have an average age of 5.0 . 
                        ii. We are assigning 9 per team 
                        iii. The team roster would be filled out with the 6 players closest to the average age of 5.0 (Most likely players with an avg age around 4.8 - 5.2)
                        iv. This ensures that the team most likely plays against like-aged players. 
                         v. This tries to prevent a player on the young side of the age spectrum from playing against players on the old side of the age spectrum. 

 

For additional information on any Visitation baseball related matter please contact Todd Zureick at visivikingbaseball@gmail.com or Jason Walter at jjasonwalter@gmail.com