We hope everyone is enjoying summer. As referenced in the email sent in early July, set forth below is more information regarding the forthcoming Fall Westport Youth Travel Baseball (WYTB) season.
Because WYTB is introducing many new features and goals of, and modifications to, the Fall program, we wanted to highlight some of the more significant changes upfront, which are discussed in more detail below:
Active management of the WYTB programs via committee of volunteers
Responsiveness to parental feedback from prior seasons
Heightened commitment to seek to retain our most talented players
Earlier try-out dates (August 29-30)
13U travel program joins WYTB and becomes a gateway to Staples baseball
Glenn Katz returning as a head coach for the 12U team
One team for each age level
9U Fall East Shore division
Opportunity to play local friendlies and in tournaments
Procedures for addressing potential IST conflicts in connection with roster selection
Coaching Advisory Committee
3 coaches per team, including Parent Assistant Coach
Parent Team Manager
Try-outs for the 8U through 13U teams will be administered by IST and will occur on August 29 and 30 (times and locations for each age group are set forth below). We have moved the try-outs in response to feedback from prior seasons regarding conflicts with Labor Day weekend and that it is too challenging to participate in try-outs on the first day of school, which is August 31, 2017 for Westport public schools. We appreciate that there may be conflicts with the try-outs schedule, and IST will do its best to accommodate.
Please contact Glenn Katz at
by August 21 if your child has a good faith conflict with the August 29-30 try-out dates.
All players must attend both evaluation dates (one day only for 8U players) at the applicable times set forth below. Please plan ahead to manage any scheduling conflicts. Fixed try-out dates/times were arranged, and fields reserved, to ensure fairness across the programs and equal opportunity for all players. Please register and pay the non-refundable $10 fee for each child separately. Only those who register will be permitted to try out; there will be no walk-ins permitted.
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 gear (e.g., jersey and cap), or he or she will be asked to remove it before participating in the try-out.
- Once all participants are signed in, 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.
- For children trying out for the 9U-13U teams, 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.
Player evaluation 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 last season's coaches may be considered as well. We will make every effort to operate a consistently applied, multiple evaluator and merit-based review. In addition, we are implementing procedures for roster selection to attempt to address any known potential conflicts between IST coaches and players trying out or their siblings/parents.
Date, Times and Fields
Tuesday, August 29ANDWednesday, August 30 for 9U through 13U
Tuesday, August 29 for 8U
Try-outs will be held on the following fields at the following times:
13U: 3:30-5:30 p.m.
12U: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
11U: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
10U: 3:30-5:30 p.m.
9U: 1:00-3:00 p.m.
8U: 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF ROSTERS
WYTB will post on its website the rosters for each of the WYTB teams at the end of the day on September 1.
After teams are announced, parents may contact Glenn Katz at IST at
for more detailed feedback on your child's baseball strengths and weaknesses 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 Glenn or another IST coach is to solicit constructive feedback—it is not a forum for abusive or negative comments, which will not be tolerated by WYTB.
Based on data from, and feedback regarding, prior Fall seasons and anecdotal feedback regarding expected registration for this Fall, we currently expect to field one team, consisting of 12-14 players at each of the 8U through 13U age levels. As previously announced, children who are eligible to play at the 13U (May 1, 2004 – April 30, 2005) age level will now participate in WYTB, as opposed to Advanced Baseball.
As in prior Fall seasons, by contrast to the Spring, children will not have to play Little League in the Fall, in addition to Travel baseball, as we recognize that many players participate in other Fall sports. To that end, WYTB and IST will attempt to accommodate practice and game schedules of other Fall sports to the extent feasible, but cannot assure parents that there will not be scheduling conflicts.
We still encourage players to play both Little League baseball and WYTB should their schedules permit. For parents of 8U Travelplayers, we strongly encourage you to register your children in Fall Little League as well because the Travel program is developmental.
COACHES, AGE RANGES FOR ELIGIBILITY AND PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS
The 8U through 13U teams will be coached by experienced IST coaches to be announced later this summer. Glenn Katz will be the head coach of the 12U team to reinforce IST's commitment to WYTB's programs.
WYTB has introduced some structural changes to maximize the coaching this Fall which we expect to carry forward into the Spring season:
First, a Coaches Advisory Committee, consisting of a group of volunteer parents will oversee the relationship with IST and will work closely with Glenn and the IST coaches to strive to enhance player development and growth, ensure fair dealing and deliver on constructive feedback from parents.
Second, a "Parent Assistant Coach"--in order to address feedback that additional coaching during practices and games would help improve the finished product and experience for the players and increase player safety, and to balance the desire to keep our pricing lower relative to other local baseball programs, we have decided to add a third coach to each team, a Parent Assistant Coach, who will be a qualified volunteer parent identified by WYTB, taking into account a number of criteria, after the team roster has been announced. We also believe that this third coach will be well positioned to provide real-time feedback to the Coaching Advisory Committee and, in turn, to IST. The Parent Assistant Coach will not be responsible for 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.
Third, a "Parent Team Manager," who would be the Parent Assistant Coach or a designated "Team Mom" or "Team Dad," to take the lead on ongoing communications with parents over the course of the season, including regarding practice and game schedules and researching opportunities for tournaments.
13U Coaches: IST Coaches TBD
Eligibility: Birthdates May 1, 2004 – April 30, 2005
Team Focus: Further developing players' skills at a higher, more competitive level, on the larger, 60/90 diamond. Playing winning team baseball and trying to create a cohesive core of talented players to progress to play together at Staples and developing teamwork and camaraderie among players and prospective players on Staples teams.
League: East Shore Travel League
12U Coaches: Glenn Katz and IST Assistant
Eligibility: Birthdates May 1, 2005 – August 31, 2006
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. Emphasis on 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 and beginning preparation for next year's move to the 60/90 diamond will be a focus.
League: East Shore Travel League
11U Coaches: IST Coaches TBD
Eligibility: Birthdates September 1, 2006 - August 31, 2007
Team Focus: Enhancing players' skill sets to play at a higher, more competitive level, as children play on the 50/70 diamond. Players will also 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
10U Coaches: IST Coaches TBD
Eligibility: Birthdates September 1, 2007 - August 31, 2008
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 (open bases). 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
9U Coaches: IST Coaches TBD
Eligibility: Birthdates September 1, 2008 - August 31, 2009
Team Focus: This team is primarily developmental in nature with weekly practices while playing a full game schedule. The team plays on the Little League 46/60 diamond with no leading, but stealing is permitted. Coaches will stress learning 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. Unlike last Fall, East Shore expects to include a 9U Fall division.
8U Coaches: IST Coaches TBD
Eligibility: Birthdates September 1, 2009 – August 31, 2010
Team Focus: This program is developmental in nature and intended for those who want more advanced baseball in addition to Little League gameplay. The Fall program will consist of practices featuring drills to demonstrate game situations and intra-squad scrimmages (these dates/times will not conflict with Fall Little League games). The coaches will explore scheduling one or more games against teams from other towns with kid-pitch / coach pitch 8U teams to the extent available. The team plays on the Little League 46/60 diamond. Coaches will stress learning the fundamentals of the game and learning to play team baseball.
LEAGUE AND SCHEDULE
WYTB currently expects that the 9U-13U teams will play in the East Shore Travel League this Fall. For age groups within East Shore with multiple divisions (e.g., typically 11U through 13U), the coaches will determine in which division WYTB teams will participate. The Fall season for such teams runs approximately 8 weeks, with a schedule of approximately 18 games plus playoffs beginning September 8 and ending October 29. Please see above re: the 8U Fall program. As discussed above, coaches will explore adding friendlies against competitive local teams and participation in tournaments.
This is the link for East Shore's website, which will ultimately include schedules for the teams which you can select from the menu on the left side.
Pricing information for the various WYTB offerings will follow, as there remains variables for each program that drive pricing. For example, as discussed in the email sent earlier this summer, coaches will explore adding to the Fall schedule a local or out-of-town tournament after assessing the competitive ability of the team. These tournaments have fees that would be allocated to the cost of the program, and WYTB would prefer not to invoice parents separately for them.
PRACTICES AND OTHER INFORMATION
Coaches will schedule practices for teams and will communicate timing at the beginning of the season at Parents' meetings once teams have been selected. This will also be an opportunity to learn about coach/team expectations and discussion of other logistical information.
We look forward to a successful Fall season. Please do not hesitate to contact Jeff Brill at with any questions.