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Season Information
All you need to know about playing TeeBall

Draws - Game Times - Uniforms & Equipment - Trophies - Insurance - Costs
The Season - Geography - Parental Involvement - Development -

 
 

The Detail ...

DRAWS

Draws for TeeBall are published in the Library area of the Hills Juniors website. Generally, we will publish preliminary draws for the first couple of weeks by late August or early September, and then confirm the complete season draws by late September or early October. This process allows for re-grading and late team nomination. Check the Hills Juniors website as the season unfolds.

GAME TIMES

Most games are played in one of two timeslots on a Saturday morning:- either 8:30am or 10:30am. Teeball games are an hour and a quarter for U/8 fixtures, and an hour and a half for U/10 and U/12 fixtures.

In the U/10 and U/12 competitions, one or two games may be scheduled for play midweek. If this happens, it is up to the teams involved to find a mutually acceptable time and venue. It doesn't strictly have to be "in the middle of the week". These fixtures will be to balance the draw in a situation where there aren't enough Saturdays available to complete the full playing schedule. One popular option is playing "twilight" games on Saturday evenings during Daylight Saving.

Most coaches will expect the players to be at the venue about half an hour (or perhaps more) earlier than the scheduled game time in order to warm up properly. Check with your club coach.

UNIFORMS & EQUIPMENT

Each club has its own uniform policy. You should check with your chosen club. However, as a guide, the general convention is that a player buys his or her own personal gear (a glove, groin protector, shoes, perhaps a mouthguard), a playing cap, and in some cases pants. The clubs will then provide such additional items as playing tops, bats, game balls, catcher's gear, helmets etc, at either no additional charge or a small rental fee for the playing top. There is a vibrant second-hand market for some of this equipment, so please check with your club's uniform officer before spending too much at the local sporting-goods shop. Optional items such as jackets, gear bags, slickers and suchlike are just that:- optional.

Players are free to buy and use their own bats and other equipment, but this is not necessary and for TeeBall, we don't recommend it. Wait until your child makes a longer term commitment to baseball, and then buy them the right gear when they're a little older.

TROPHIES

All Hills clubs provide physical tokens of participation for every single player. These will take the form of trophies, medals or other icons. In addition, most clubs have a policy of providing a couple of special merit awards each season. These take the form of Most Valuable Player, Most Improved Player, a Coach's Award, Most Enthusiastic Player, or various other names. Each club has its own policy on this. The intent is to reward exceptional commitment rather than skill or raw talent, with a view to encouraging personal development in everyone.

INSURANCE

You will pay a fee to your club that includes an insurance component. This cost covers not only players, but volunteers as well. Sadly, the coverage is inadequate for most purposes, and it only pays out at all if the loss involved is horrendous (death, permanent disablement, loss of limbs etc). This isn't our fault as a sport:- it is simple reality in the current climate of liability law. We suggest that you cover your child for more probable injuries using an insurance provider like EBM, who offer coverage for all sports 24x7, for about $25 per child per annum. We do not endorse this particular company:- it's just an example. Parents are encouraged to do their own research.

If you're worried about your exposure as a volunteer, we suggest you talk to your club. Companies like AON offer insurance packages specifically designed for things like loss of income, accident and property loss. Again, we're not endorsing this company:- merely suggesting that you need something more than the standard cover to be able to sleep nights.

COSTS

The cost of participation in TeeBall within Hills is minimal, given the rewards available and by comparison with the fees charged by both other junior sports, and by other TeeBall organisations in Sydney.

The club fee will probably be subsidised by sponsorship or senior players. If it looks expensive, consider what other sports charge. If your child is aged 6 or younger, there may be a discount available on the playing fee. Ask about it here .

  • A glove should be under $20. Check with your club.

  • A groin protector should be from $9 to $20.

  • A pair of shoes (soccer boots, tennis shoes or joggers) should be something you have already.

  • A mouthguard starts at $9 and could run you $100 or more for a custom one. Talk to a dentist if you like.

  • Baseball pants are $30 or so, or your child could wear tracksuit pants as long as they are the right colour.

  • A playing cap will be somewhere between $12 and $25 depending on the design and club.

  • You don't need to buy a bat, balls or catcher's gear.

  • You don't need to buy a helmet. If you want to, it should be less than $30.

 
 

The Playing Season ...

The start and end of the season is dictated by the number of teams nominated by affiliated clubs. In turn, this will depend on the player registration process and how quickly it comes together, as it does every year.

Generally, teeball games commence in mid to late September.

Games are played each Saturday except for the middle week of the October school holidays, and five weekends in the summer holidays beginning with the Christmas week. Competitions finish in either the first or second week of March.

 

 

Geography - How far do I have to drive?

The Hills clubs' catchments stretch from Dundas and Ermington in the southeast to Richmond in the northwest, and all points in between. It's a huge area. Elite baseball players in their teenage years are happy to travel dozens of kilometres for a game, but we understand that this is not a viable option for families of younger kids, especially more than a couple of younger kids.

The draws for TeeBall are designed to keep travelling to a minimum. Teams play each other on a "Home and Away" format, which means you can expect to be at your local home ground every second week, but will need to travel on the off weeks. The good news is that if you register with (for example) Carlingford, your "Away" games will generally be at places like Northmead, Castle Hill, and Winston Hills. If you register at Oakville, your "Away" games will be at Hawkesbury, Schofields, Rouse Hill and perhaps Kellyville.

With petrol moving up to and beyond a buck forty a litre, and Windsor Road becoming more cluttered week by week, this is the least we can do.


 

Parental Involvement

At Hills, our clubs try to strike a balance between providing a logistically attractive sport for busy families, but without encouraging a "drop-and-run" approach from parents. We are not a child-minding service. With that in mind, most clubs running TeeBall teams will look to the parents in that team to provide some basic support for it. Each team will need a coach, an assistant coach, a manager, a scorer and an umpire. In Modball, the teams also need to arrange for a Pitching Coach. That might seem like a heavy load, but in reality, all of these jobs can be done by an average parent with no prior knowledge of the game.

All Hills clubs will fully support TeeBall parents who are prepared to devote a little extra time to their child's TeeBall team. That support might come in the form of training, counselling, educational resources, mentoring, or in many other ways. This is really no different to any other junior sport, except that the requirements of (for example) a soccer or cricket team may be only one or two people instead of five. We won't apologise for that. TeeBall is so rewarding for the children on so many levels that it shouldn't be seen as a problem, but rather as an opportunity.

Some clubs will provide a mentoring service that provides coaches and umpires (the two most difficult roles) early in the season. If they do so, it will be on the understanding that parents in the team will step up to the plate and take on these roles as the season unfolds. TeeBall is a game where the best experience will come from a team where the parents become part of team spirit, just as their children do.


 

Development

At Hills, we don't offer district-wide development programmes for players of TeeBall age:- this is the duty of the individual clubs. However, we do have programmes in place for players aged 10 and above, as they transition to baseball. These programmes have a proven record of success over the last two decades, measured by inclusion of local players in NSW and Australian representative teams, success in inter-district representative competitions, and progression of players to professional contracts in the USA.

For more information, see the Futures Page or the Hills Junior Baseball site.

 

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