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Welcome to the Junior House League Program

T-BALL

Age: 4 & 5 year-olds
Season:mid-May to mid-August
Game frequency: 1 session per week (2:1 practice to game ratio)
Game Nights: The 2018 Season will play Monday nights at 6:30 PM

T-Ball is a simplified game of baseball.  Players hit off a rubber ‘tee’ rather than from a pitcher.  Hitting from a tee teaches players the skills of batting, catching, running the bases, and throwing, before having to learn how to hit a moving target.  Teamwork and skill development are encouraged. Games are not scored.

MINOR 4 PITCH

Age: 6 year-olds
Season: mid-May to mid-August
Game frequency: 1 session per week (2:1 practice to game ratio)
Game Nights: The 2018 Season will play Wednesday evenings at 6:30 PM

4-Pitch is a step up from T-Ball.  Players learn to hit a moving target, with coaches or parents tossing the ball to the batter. Batters get up to 4 good pitches to hit the ball per at-bat.  Teamwork, skill development and sportsmanship are encouraged. Games are not scored.

MAJOR 4 PITCH

Age: 7 year-olds
Season: mid-May to mid-August
Game frequency: 1 session per week (2:1 practice to game ratio)
Game Nights: The 2018 Season will play Wednesday evenings at 6:30 PM

Major 4-Pitch is for children 7yrs old.

Players hit balls pitched from a pitching machine. Batters get 4 up to good pitches to hit the ball per at-bat.  Teamwork, skill development, sportsmanship, fielding and learning rules of the game are encouraged. Games are not scored. Scores are kept at subsequent program levels.

 

For the 2018 playing season we have made some changes to the Junior House League Program this year.  Specifically, the schedule has been adjusted so that over the course of the season, a significantly larger proportion of the schedule has been dedicated to practice time. For some, this may seem like a particularly sharp departure from how things have been done in the past, however significant consideration into the development needs of young players has been used to form this decision, with the fundamental goal of helping teach baseball fundamentals, and have fun doing it.

Key advantages of structuring the schedule to include more practice time include:

  1. Practices allow us to build skill and ability deliberately and in a controlled setting. Building capacity and skill as baseball players takes repetitions which are not possible when there’s no or limited practice time.  A schedule with limited practice time is therefore not going to help your child learn the skills needed to play the game at older ages.
  2. In controlled practice settings building confidence is much more likely.  Your child will have more opportunity to succeed when they swing, throw and catch more in controlled practice scenarios.  In a game, they might only swing the bat twice, and may not ever field or throw a ball.
  3. There is a greater opportunity to learn because the coach can create scenarios and situations under control and without pressure of split second decision making.  We can build good habits through routine practice.
  4. In practice settings, there are more opportunities for coaching and immediate constructive feedback. In a game it has to wait until between innings or after the game has ended.
  5. Practices guarantee more activity and engagement of the players as we can break into smaller groups where the ratio of coach to players ratio is more efficient. An attentive player is more likely to absorb the information, and apply it.
  6. Practice is more fun because we can set up little challenges, games, competitions and have lots of movement and social interaction.
  7. Practice will help our children have longer ‘careers’ as baseball players. There will be less attrition (loss of interest, loss of confidence) because they can’t play well later.
  8. Almost no one plays recreationally outside of structured setup of the league, so without practice, any improvement made by the player will be based primarily upon natural development of strength and hand-eye coordination.
  9. Ontario Physical Education guidelines explicitly state that before the age of 8, “games” with “winners/losers” are damaging to developing egos.
  10. Winning and losing is not what sport is all about. Can anyone name the t-ball champions from last year? (Trick question) We are coaching to teach. We want our kids to be enthusiastic about this sport. We project our need to win and have a definitive answer as to who lost and why onto them, but in reality, they’re happiest when they’re moving and learning. Practice makes that possible!

“My personal commitment to all parents and coaches of the CBA’s Junior House League program is to be available to field your questions, help with practice design and troubleshoot whenever possible.  We are hoping that coaches will access the resources available to build their own capacity and confidence moving forward.” Sincerely, Matt Thomas (CBA Player and Coach Development)

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