9U - 14U Tournament Team Information
The Hillsborough Baseball League (HBL) is committed to providing an excellent learning environment for all Hillsborough children who want to play baseball. The league sponsors spring recreational in-town leagues in support of that purpose. Further, HBL has an expanding in-season and off-season development program to provide our kids, parents, & coaches the tools to help our parents/coaches become better teachers and our kids better players.
The Tournament & Travel Team Program is a competitive program that combines the higher level players from our in-town leagues. The purpose of this program is to provide the players with a higher level of instruction and play while preparing them to represent HBL in the Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth District, State, Regional, & National Tournaments, as well as other locally-sponsored tournaments.
The information below explains the process HBL will employ for the formation of 2021 Season Travel teams at the 9U – 14U age levels. In addition, there are also guidelines by which managers are selected for these teams. Evaluation sessions are scheduled for various dates from during September and October 2021. It is required that you register for, & participate in, at least one, but not more than two sessions for each age group being evaluated. In addition, you must attend one scrimmage session that will be attended by the evaluators.
All residents of Hillsborough who will be between the ages of 8 & 14 on April 30, 2021 are eligible to participate. Prior participation in HBL is not required. Additionally, all players must be in good financial standing with HBL ($0 balance).
*NEW POLICY* At evaluations players must submit a travel deposit of $200.00 (cash or check made to HBL) prior to the evaluations. Once a spot on a travel team is offered and accepted, this check will be deposited and the spot will be secured. A player will be given 48 hours to register for the travel program if the spot is accepted. If the spot is accepted, HBL will deposit the $200 down payment; absolutely NO refunds will be issued unless an extenuating circumstance is presented to and approved by the HBL Board of Directors. If the spot is declined within the 48 hour period, the $200 deposit will be returned. If no decision is made by the player within that 48 hour period, the spot will be offered to another player and the $200 will be forfeited.
You must pre-register for any try-out sessions you attend; walk-ups will not be permitted.
The Tournament Team evaluation and formation process will take place during September and October (weather permitting) for ages 9U-14U. It will consist of evaluations from a professional and knowledgeable baseball instructor/coach in conjunction with evaluations from the prospective Tournament Team Managers, as well as final review by the Tournament Team Committee.
Players will be judged on their ability on the following categories:
- Running speed
- OF Play
- INF Play
- Arm Strength / Accuracy
- Hitting Form / Power
Evaluation as a pitcher & / or catcher is optional during the evaluation, but must be selected during registration or the player will not be evaluated in those categories. Not being evaluated for either (or both) positions will not diminish a player’s chance of being selected.
All players should plan to register for, and participate in, two (2) evaluation sessions. Please keep in mind that the second session will be used to refine the evaluator’s skills assessment. Not participating in two sessions may have a negative impact on a player’s chance of making a team.
If a player cannot attend his/her scheduled session(s), parents/guardians should email the Director of Travel & Tournament Teams
) as soon as possible prior to his/her scheduled session(s). All absences are subject to the approval of the STT Committee &/or Board of Directors. Failure to obtain approval for an absence may result in a player's elimination from consideration.
After all evaluations have been completed, the evaluators will review all data collected and rank all players according to their performance. The STT Committee will review the player rankings and begin the manager selection process of all Gold-team eligible candidates. Once managers have been selected by the committee and approved by the BOD, the formation of the Gold teams will be completed and players will be notified of their selection status. If there are enough players remaining to form a Maroon team, the process will be repeated.
Conduct During Evaluation:
Parents are not allowed to provide instructions of any kind to their child during the actual try-out as it may be unsettling to the other children who are trying to stay focused. You will receive one warning and then be asked to wait in the parking lot. This will be strictly enforced.
Dress Code for Evaluations:
We expect that every prospective player to be baseball ready. Players should not wear any HBL apparel indicating that they have played on a travel team in a previous year. Additionally, no equipment for use during the evaluation will be provided by the HBL.
Please be advised that tournament teams are formed for the purpose of competitive play. Our managers understand that we are still in the business of youth baseball development and, to the best of their ability, will make sure the players get opportunities to become a better player. That said, playing time & position assignment are at the full discretion of the manager. We ask that you have a conversation with your child as to what this means and what could happen prior to joining a tournament team.
At some levels, HBL will form 2 tournament teams. Teams will be grouped using the player's skill assessment from the evaluation period. After the evaluations have been completed, the Top 9 players according to the evaluation ranking are guaranteed a spot on the Gold roster if they choose to accept it. The manager will then be given 2+ discretionary picks (3+ for 13/14U) to fill out the roster. If there are enough remaining players to form a Maroon team, the process stated above will be repeated.
In order to be considered for manager of a 2021 tournament team, an application must be submitted prior to September 30, 2020. This deadline will be strictly adhered to unless we are in need of additional candidates for a particular age group. To be considered a candidate:
- Must be in good standing from a disciplinary standpoint
- Must be in good financial standing ($0 Balance) with HBL with all financial responsibilities met or have had arrangements made for it
- Must attend the evaluations and submit an evaluation for each player
- Does not have to be a current manager in HBL
- Must have their Rutgers Safety Certification
- Must complete online Babe Ruth Coaching Certification
The BOD will review all applications and choose a manager after the Top 9 players are identified from the tryout for each team at each age level. If there are multiple candidates whose player finished in the Top 9, an interview with the STT Committee will be conducted.
Teams forming in the fall are strongly encouraged to begin team practice in January. Practices will continue through the in-town league season and the team will be participating in a weekend league that may require some travel. All players will be encouraged to participate in these activities as frequently as possible. However the travel/tournament team’s activities should not take precedence over In-town league activities. As stated above, to be eligible for summer tournament play you must participate in a minimum of 75% of your in-town team’s games.
Summer tournament team participation requires a significant commitment, particularly the entire months of June and July. For families who plan on vacationing during that time, we ask that you speak with the Tournament Team Director prior to entering the selection process to ensure this is right for your family. Being selected to a team and then being unavailable for extended number of games does not relieve you of your portion of the financial costs. Please understand we do this to be fair to some other family that may have been available to commit.
All tournament & travel team fees are at the expense of the parents/guardians of the players on the respective teams. Given these teams will be formed in the fall, allowing those teams to schedule indoor winter practice as well as additional tournaments, and /or weekend leagues, please expect the fees to be in the $500 - $600 range for the entire season. This number may increase depending upon the number of games, practices, and tournaments on the team’s schedule. Expenses include, but are not are not limited to, evaluation fee, uniform, winter gym fees, spring league fee, and summer tournament fees. .
All players accepting a position / roster spot will be required to make payments prior to the beginning of the Spring 2020 season.
Please direct all questions to