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OBA Programs

2021 In-House Teams

The In House program is typically managed by grade to keep kids playing with their classmates and buddies. There are a couple levels where ages can flex between leagues. Please read league descriptions closely.

Instructional League

Eligibility:   4 & 5 year olds. Must turn 4 by April 30, 2021 to be eligible. (PreK/Kindergarten)

Description:  Instructional League introduces the game of baseball to beginners by teaching fundamental skills and rules of the game.  Players bat the ball from a stationary batting tee at home plate.  No scores will be recorded or standings kept.

Schedule:   Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting the last week of April through June, ending with a Jamboree in late June at the Lee Carlson fields. The first 2 weeks of the season will be practices only.  Weeks 3 & 4 will be one practice and one game.  Weeks 5-8 will have two games per week.  Practice times will be 5:30 and 6:30, and game times will all be at 6:00. NOTE: times may change based registration numbers.

Primary Field Locations:  Rainbow Park in Maple Plain, Hackberry Park in Long Lake, and Morningside Park in Medina.

Equipment Recommendations:  Glove and helmet are required.  Bats, baseball pants and cleats are optional.  Your player will be given a t-shirt, socks and a hat at one of the first practices.

Coaches:  We rely solely on volunteer coaches for our Instructional League.  Teams at this level typically require 3-4 coaches / parent helpers per team to keep things moving smoothly and organized.  Many teams at this level will take a coach-by-committee approach where multiple coaches are paired together to allow for flexibility with work and family schedules.  Previous baseball coaching experience is not a requirement at this level and there is minimal time commitment outside of practice and game times.  OBA will provide practice plans and will have experienced coaches available to provide guidance.

Fee: $99  

Rookie League

Eligibility:   All 6 year-olds and young 7 year-olds. (Kinder - 1st Grade)  Age as of April 30, 2021. Older 7 year-olds can choose between Rookie League and Minor League based on grade / ability.

Description:   Fundamental skills and rules of the game are taught.  The coach will pitch to each of the batters on his own team using a mechanized Louisville Slugger manual pitching machine. Scores will not be kept, and no records of the standings are kept.  Teamwork and good sportsmanship, no matter the result of the game, will be emphasized.

Schedule:   Mondays and Wednesdays, starting the last week of April through June, ending with a Jamboree in late June. The first 2 weeks of the season will be practices only.  Weeks 3 & 4 will be one practice and one game.  Weeks 5-8 will have two games per week.  Practice times will be 5:30 and 6:30, and game times will all be at 6:00. NOTE: times may change based on registration numbers.

Primary Field Location: Orono Middle School fields, Morningside Park in Medina and Hackberry Park in Long Lake.

Equipment Recommendations:  Glove and helmet are required.  Bats, baseball pants and cleats are optional.  Your player will be given a t-shirt, socks and a hat at one of the first practices.

Coaches:  We rely solely on volunteer coaches for our Rookie League.  Teams at this level typically require 2-3 coaches per team to keep things moving smoothly and organized.  Many teams at this level will take a coach-by-committee approach where multiple coaches are paired together by OBA to allow for flexibility with work and family schedules.  Previous baseball coaching experience is not a requirement at this level, and there is minimal time commitment outside of practice and game times.  OBA will provide practice plans and will have experienced coaches available to provide guidance.

Fee: $140 

Minor League

Eligibility:   Older 7 year-olds and all 8 year-olds (1st-2nd Grade). Age as of April 30, 2021.  Older 7 year-olds can option between Rookie League and Minor League based on grade / ability.

Description:  This machine pitch league allows more hitting and defensive plays while building on the fundamental skills and rules of the game.  Wheel style pitching machines do the pitching during games and real baseballs are used.

This league will play games, but standings will not be kept. There will be a season-ending randomly-seeded tournament. The OBA In-House Director will form teams for this league in consultation with coaches.  These players will not need to attend tryouts / evaluations.

Schedule:  Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting the last week of April through June. This league will play 2-3 times per week.

Primary Field Location: Discovery Center fields in Maple Plain.

Fee: $195 

Major League 

Eligibility:  All 9 year-olds and 10 year-olds (3rd/4th Grade). Age as of April 30, 2021. Players will be required to attend evaluations - March 7 or 14 at Maple Grove Dome. NOTE: 9s and 10s in Majors also have the opportunity to play on a Tournament Team. Please read the Travel/Tournament section below for more details. (Tournament Team is a separate and additional team registration - Major League is required to play Tournament Team.)

Description:  Players begin pitching in this league.  This league is designed to provide balance and solid competition for all teams.  Players will be given opportunities to develop pitching, catching and fielding skills.  There will be a walk limit with coach or machine assist as needed to keep the pace of the game moving.

Schedule:  This league will play 2-3 times per week, primarily on Mondays and Thursdays.

Primary Field Locations: Lee Carlson fields and Bederwood Park

Fee: $230 

Financial assistance.  The Orono Baseball Association recognizes that participation in youth sports may be financially challenging for some families in our community.  It is our hope that no child is excluded from participating in baseball due to financial reasons. Please contact the OBA Treasurer to confidentially discuss financial assistance needs before registering.


Tournament  & Travel Team Information

While the OBA’s In-House program is generally divided by school grade-level, participation in traveling leagues and tournaments is determined by age.  This is because the leagues in which we participate (MBT, MYAS) are age specific.  A player’s age on April 30th determines his eligibility to participate in these travel leagues and tournaments. (However, players young for their grade can play with their grade level - i.e. a 10 year-old can play on the 11s Team if he is in 5th grade with the other 11s.)

For new families, here is some information on “Travel” vs. “Tournament”:

“Tournament Team” – this is a team that plays in weekend tournaments together. These players are required to also be on an in-house team in Major League. Tournament Teams are registered for 3 tournaments across May/June. Tournaments are played on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Tournament Team will typically practice once per week during the in-house season and may add additional practices late in the season if they have qualified for a state tournament. It is expected that players who choose to play a second sport make these baseball practices and games their first priority.

Teams that play in weekend tournaments can qualify for state tournaments.  OBA covers the entry fee (not including gate fee) of one state tournament.  There are 3 state tournaments in Minnesota: MYAS, MBT, MSF.  It is up to the coaches to decide which state tournament (if the team qualified for multiple) to participate in. Some teams choose to participate in more than one state tournament---this is at the coach’s discretion and at the team's expense.

Tournament teams are different than the in-house program.  The goal of the in-house program is to give all players similar playing time.  The Tournament teams are based on ability and playing time is granted accordingly.  However, both in-house and tournament team coaches may choose to reduce a player’s game time if they are not regularly attending practices.

OBA does not guarantee that every player who desires to play on a tournament team will have a spot on a team.  Additionally, OBA reserves the right to place players as needed to support league and player development.

“Travel Team” – this is a team that plays in a travel league during the week and 3 weekend tournaments across May/June. Travel teams will have a couple weekday practices early in the season. Once league games start, the number of practices will vary on the number of games each week. League games can be anywhere in the metro area. Practices are at the coach’s discretion. Each of the three tournaments is a qualifier for either the MBT State Tournament, MYAS Gopher State Tournament or MSF.  It is at the discretion of each team if they want to go to one or more state tournaments, if qualified. OBA will cover the fees for the team to go to one of the state tournaments.

Please read the Travel Handbook for more details.

10YO Tournament players through 15YO Travel players will be required to purchase uniforms. Please view the Uniforms page for more details. 

2021 Tournament Teams

Player Evaluations will be held on March 7 and March 14 at the Maple Grove Dome AND on March 15-16 at the location TBD.  OBA recommends these tournament teams use bats with the USA stamp. For more information on specific bat requirements, view the Bat Standards page.  Please note that players for tournament teams must live within the Orono school district boundary or attend Orono public school.  

A player’s age on April 30th determines his eligibility to participate in these travel leagues and tournaments. Players young for their grade can play with their grade level - i.e. a 10 year-old can register for and play on the 11s Team if he is in 5th grade with the other 11s.

10 Year-Old Program

OBA will be fielding the following tournament teams in 2021: 10AA and10A.  

Fee: $165

 

9 Year-Old Program

OBA will offer a “trial” 9 year-old Tournament Team(s) to introduce families & players to tournament baseball. (This is for third grade players. Young fourth-graders are encouraged to play with their grade, i.e. see the 10 year-old programs above).  The 9yo team(s) will play in one tournament. This team would be in addition to the player's participation in In-House baseball on a Majors League team. If your player is interested in this experience, please note your interest during registration. Team formation will be determined based on level of interest and evaluations of the group. OBA Operations Committee will determine the final number of teams & team formation to ensure the best experience for players. OBA will not guarantee that all interested will be placed on a team at this level. The cost of this team will be $79 which includes one tournament, a jersey top and a hat.

 

2021 Travel Teams

Player evaluations will be held on March 7 and 14 at the Maple Grove Dome and March 15-16 at location TBD.

11 Year-Old Programs: 

Overview: We are planning to have 3 travel teams for 11 year olds in 2021 at the AA and A (2 teams) levels.  We may also have a team at the 11/12B level that will play in a west metro league with local teams such as Delano, Rockford, Mound, Watertown and Hanover. Team placement will be based on evaluations.

Schedule:  The program starts with practices in mid-April and runs through June for the regular season, with playoffs continuing through State Tournament time (mid-July).  Dates of tournaments will be posted on the website as soon as they are available.  If a player signs up for travel tryout and is selected for a team, they are committed to playing in that team’s weekend tournaments for the season. The 11/12B Team will have weekly games and a season-ending tournament.

Bat Info: OBA recommends this age group use a USSSA Baseball bat. OBA will provide USA bats for tournament play.  For more information on specific bat requirements, view the Bat Standards page.

Fee: $460 

 

12 Year-Old Programs: 

Overview: We are planning to have 3 travel teams for 12 year olds in 2021. 12AA and one 12A team will play in Gopher State Baseball League. The other 12A team will play Metro Baseball League.  We will also have a team at the 11/12B level that will play in a west metro league with local teams such as Delano, Rockford, Mound, Watertown and Hanover. Team placement will be based on evaluations.

Schedule:  The program starts with practices in mid-April and runs through June for the regular season, with playoffs continuing through State Tournament time (mid-July).  Dates of tournaments will be posted on the website as soon as they are available.  If a player signs up for travel tryout and is selected for a team, they are committed to playing in that team’s weekend tournaments for the season. The 11/12B Team will have weekly games and a season-ending tournament.

Bat Info: OBA recommends this age group use the same bat standard you used last year (USSSA vs. USA).  For more information on specific bat requirements, view the Bat Standards page.

Fee: $460

 

13 Year-old Programs:

Overview:  We are planning to have 2 travel teams in the Metro Baseball League for 13 year-olds in 2021 at the AA and A levels.  We will also have a team at the 13/14B level that will play in a west metro league with local teams such as Delano, Rockford, Mound, Watertown and Hanover. Team placement will be based on evaluations.

Schedule:  The program starts with practices in mid-April with the regular season scheduled to continue through the end of June / mid-July.  Playoffs continue until State Tournament time.  Information regarding Tournament schedules will be posted on the web site as soon as available.  If a player signs up for travel tryout and is selected for a team, they are committed to playing in that team’s weekend tournaments for the season. The 13/14B Team will have weekly games and a season-ending tournament.

Bat Info: OBA recommends this age group use a USA bat. For more information on specific bat requirements, view the Bat Standards page.

Fee: $460 

 

14 Year-old Programs:

Overview:  We are planning to have 2 travel teams for 14 year olds in 2021 at the 14AAA and 14/15A level in the Gopher State Baseball League. We will also have a team at the 13/14B level that will play in a west metro league with local teams such as Delano, Rockford, Mound, Watertown and Hanover. Team placement will be based on evaluations.

Schedule:  The program starts with practices in mid-April with the regular season scheduled to continue through the end of June / mid-July.  Playoffs continue until State Tournament time.  Information regarding Tournament schedules will be posted on the web site as soon as available.  If a player signs up for travel tryout and is selected for a team, they are committed to playing in that team’s weekend tournaments for the season.

Bat Info: OBA recommends this age group use a USA bat. OBA will provide USA bats for tournament play.  For more information on specific bat requirements, view the Bat Standards page.

Fee: $460 

 

15 Year-old Programs:

Overview:  We are planning to have 2 teams for 15 year-olds at the 15AA (Metro Baseball League) and 14/15A (Gopher State Baseball League) levels for 2021 .

Schedule:  The program starts with practices in mid-April with the regular season scheduled to continue through the end of June / mid-July.  Playoffs continue until State Tournament time.  Information regarding Tournament schedules will be posted on the web site as soon as available.  If a player signs up for travel tryout and is selected for a team, they are committed to playing in that team’s weekend tournaments for the season.

These teams will continue to follow NFHS rules which allows wood bats or bats with the BBCOR stamp. 

Fee: $290

Financial assistance.  The Orono Baseball Association recognizes that participation in youth sports may be financially challenging for some families in our community.  It is our hope that no child is excluded from participating in baseball due to financial reasons. Please contact the OBA Treasurer to confidentially discuss financial assistance needs before registering.