Palatka Babe Ruth, (PBR) is pleased to offer Advanced Baseball (“AB”) for those players that wish to compete at a higher level than the standard recreational program. The purpose of the AB program is to provide an environment for the PBR player that wishes to develop their skill set in a more competitive setting. Participants in the AB program will have the opportunity to enhance their ability against other players with similar advanced skills in the area and potentially throughout the state of Florida. The program will strive to provide an environment of healthy competition and develop fundamental baseball skills, self-confidence, and well-rounded athletes.
The league currently offers advanced baseball opportunities for players in the age groups of 6U and over. Each player that wishes to participate in AB is required to attend a mandatory try out that is conducted separately from the recreational season evaluations. There is no guarantee that each participant in the tryout will qualify for an AB team. The number of teams each season is dependent on the number of participants with a skill level commensurate with area advanced baseball and the availability of coaches for each age group. In a typical league year, PBR will strive to offer AB opportunities during both the fall and spring season.
Unlike recreational baseball, AB coaches are not subject to minimum playing time or rotation rules. Decisions around defensive positioning, playing time and the batting order are at the discretion of each head coach and their staff. In some divisions there may also be rules that differ than from the standard rec game (ex. stoppage of play, advancing on overthrows, etc.)
Players offered the opportunity to participate in AB must commit to a full season and are responsible for the appropriate team fees, which vary by age group. The AB program is a rewarding and challenging experience that requires a level of commitment from both the players and their parents/guardians.
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Anyone with a love of the game of baseball and a desire to play at a high level is welcome to participate in tryouts. Players that wish to participate in AB tryouts will need to complete a separate sign-up form located on the PBR website.
Does my child need to play recreational baseball to play AB?
Playing the standard recreational baseball season in the spring is mandatory to qualify for the AB program. The fall season does not have this requirement, a player can choose to participate in AB only.
When do practices take place?
AB baseball is meant to be a complement and extension of the recreational division. As such, practices for AB will take place on Monday and Friday during the rec season and may be moved following its conclusion.
How long does the season last?
The length of the AB season is at the discretion of the coaches, with input from the families. AB begins around the same time as rec and will typically extend past the rec season based on tournament play, practice schedule and appetite for additional playing opportunities.
Are there additional costs associated with AB?
Costs for AB will be incurred over the course of the season and will vary based on uniform costs, tournament fees, umpire costs, etc. There is no additional registration fee to participate in AB, unless the player elects not to participate in the fall rec season. These costs may be reduced through team sponsors or fundraising events held by the team. At the end of the season, parents will receive an invoice in their Sports Engine account for any costs not offset by fundraising or sponsors.
Is there travel involved?
Most games will be played in the North Central Florida area. However, on occasion there may be travel for tournament play that will be greater than a 1-hour drive.
If my child makes the fall AB team, is he/she guaranteed a spot on the spring roster?
All participants in the AB program will be required to try out for each new season. AB players from the fall season are not guaranteed a spot on the spring roster.
Is AB required to qualify for the spring All-Star team?
No, participation in the AB program is not required to qualify for the spring All Star team. However, participation in AB does provide greater visibility for players against advanced competition, which may increase their chances of being selected for the All-Star team.
I would like to be a head coach or an assistant, how do I sign up?
When signing up your child, there is an indication of coaching interest box on the form. Additionally, candidates are required to send a summary of their coaching experience and philosophy/approach. Interest in coaching does not guarantee a position for your child on an AB team. Final coaching decisions will be made by a 3-person panel of board members, selected by the President, and approved by the board, who have no players in the respective Divisions.