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PLEASE BE SURE TO READ THIS EXCITING NEWS ABOUT ELCO YOUTH BASEBALL. 2014 REALIGNMENT OF OUR AGE GROUPS AND BETTER OPPORTUNITES FOR ALL OF OUR PLAYERS:
ELCO Youth Baseball has an exciting announcement of a partnership that will enhance the Baseball experiences of our players and fans alike.
Following our highly successful 2013 venture by moving our “Pony” players to the Lebanon County Pony Baseball League’s 12U division, we are now joining the 10U division of the same league with our players formerly known as “Mustangs.” This decision was not taken lightly by our Executive Committee and the opportunity was presented for discussion to our coaches that were present at our year-end meeting. It was unanimously approved by all parties.
In the end, this allows us to participate and compete in an established and successful program that has become the premier league for this age group in the south central region of Pennsylvania. There will be no change at the Midget Level for ELCO Blue or ELCO Gold—that program remains exactly the same.
While our 12U players (formerly known as “Ponies”) and our 10U players (formerly known as “Mustangs”) will play against both each other and teams outside the EYB program, our 8U players will play in an “in house” league in an exciting brand of coach pitch baseball. “Tee Ball” will exist as we know it today, but 8U will provide seven and eight year olds with the opportunity to learn more advanced baseball skills in a safe and fun environment while being introduced to “more serious” baseball—there are no playoffs, there are no standings, but the score is kept and outs will be recorded to move from the laid back nature of tee ball to the slightly less laid back nature of 8U. Simply put, this is a transition level from Tee Ball to more competitive baseball.
The Lebanon County Pony Baseball League (LCPBL) establishes age tiers, not grade tiers as we have been doing, for their divisions. Our nine and ten year old players will play in the LCPBL 10U division. Our eleven and twelve year old players will play in the LCPBL 12U division.
All registered players eight years old and younger will play in EYB in-house programs, as in years past. Our seven and eight year olds will play in an EYB 8U division, while six year olds will play in an EYB Tee Ball program. We will no longer be using the terms Mustang and Pony for our divisions.
With divisions at 12U, 10U and 8U, kids are playing with and against their age peers. (By the way, “12U” is the correct terminology—it means “12 & Under” based off the player’s baseball age on May 1. Other sports, notably soccer, put the U in front, which means “Under 12.”)
This is requiring us to go through a transition year—thanks in advance for your patience as we complete that transition. Because of the support we are receiving from the LCPBL staff, the transition is anticipated to be a smooth one.
LCPBL plays a 14 game season beginning in late April and ending in mid June. At both 10U and 12U, there is a single elimination playoff tournament to end the post-season in the third week of June. The LCPBL anticipates a dozen teams at 12U and nearly two dozen or more at 10U. Every school district in Lebanon County aside from Palmyra and Annville Cleona participate in this league.
Until we know the exact number of EYB teams we will have at the 8U and Teeball levels, we cannot speak to how many games we will have, but the goal will be about twelve games at 8U and ten games at Tee Ball.
Here is the handout that the EYB executive committee provided to our coaches on July 22, 2013 that will answer many of the questions you may have. The rules for the LCPBL and many other resources appear on their website, www.lebanoncountyponybaseball.com. The executive committee believes that not only was this venture worthwhile—it was necessary to continue to provide our kids with the best baseball experience possible while continuing to be a successful program.
Thanks for your support as we move ELCO Youth Baseball forward in 2014.
Registration opens = November 29th
Registration closes = February 14th
Travel tryouts = Between February 14th and March 15th
You should hear from your coach = Approximately March 15th
Practices Start = April 1st
Opening Day = To Be Determined (A Saturday in April)
Games start = Approximately May 1st
Picture Day = May 10th
Playoffs Start = Mid June
Season is over = Late June
Please note that registration will only be open between November 29th and February 14th. No late registrations will be accepted. Please help us spread the word and make sure all of your friends, family and neighbors are all registered.
Once you have mailed in your registration, you can expect to hear back from your coach in March about your practice schedule. Practices normally start in April.
GIRLS? Our Teeball program is coed, and that is for kindergartners. Typically 1st grade girls will play softball, and information about that program, as well as its registration link, can be found on the softball tab of this website.
PRACTICE AND GAME OBLIGATIONS? We will often get questions as to how often teams practice and the frequency of games. This can vary between age group and coach, but it typically looks like this. Practices typically start around April 1st and will continue throughout the entire season, which is to around the third week in June. Teeball teams will practice once or twice a week. 8U, 10U and 12U will practice twice a week. Midget "Travel" teams can practice four times per week. Games will start around May 1st and will usually consist of two games per week, per team. Most teams will continue to try to practice once or twice a week while games are going on.
CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS: We are always in need of more corporate sponsors. If your company would be interested in being a sponsor for one of our teams, please view our sponsorship form.
VACATION PLANNING? Every year we have parents ask us when they should plan their vacations, to ensure not missing any baseball. Last year, it was around June 25th when the season wrapped up, playoffs and all.
COACHES: I am excited to tell you that Elite Baseball is offering a "team rate" for coaches who are looking to continue to have them work with your kids. For those of you who were not able to attend the clinics we held, I can tell you the parents and coaches that were able to attend thought they did a great job. This current opportunity is for you to have them come to your team's weeknight practices and work specifically with your team.
The cost they are currently giving us is $120 for a two-hour practice. I can tell you, this is about what they would get for one kid for two hours, so this is an incredible discount that I would take advantage of if you can.
ELCO Youth Baseball will not be covering any of this expense, as we did not cover any of the costs for the clinic. If you want to ask each player to contribute $10, or you want to defer the cost over your coaching staff, is your preference entirely. I trust that you will come up with something that works for your team.
DO YOU FACEBOOK?: If so, we'd love to have you "Like Us" as it is a tool we use to give periodic updates throughout the year. Click here to visit our page.
HATS FOR SALE: We have had some interest from parents wanting to buy team hats. Either the blue and gold for the travel team or the black and white of the recreational division. We have some extras for sale. We will have a variety of velcro and flexfit options. Please call Michelle at 717.304.5420 for more information.
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