Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between Rep and Select baseball?
A: Select baseball is typically the next level of increased competition and commitment up from House League baseball. Rep baseball is typically another level of competition and commitment up above Select baseball. Rep baseball is further sub-divided into three tiers, “AAA”, “AA” and “A”, with “AAA” generally representing the highest level of competition in Rep baseball.
Elite baseball is another level of competition above AAA Rep baseball and is reserved for the 15U age group and above.
Q: What is the official season for Rep and Select baseball?
A: The Rep regular season typically starts the first week of May and ends on or before Labour Day Monday. There are typically 16-22 regular season games (split evenly between home and away) as well as a small handful of exhibition games. Additionally, Rep team play between three and six weekend tournaments during the season (including the TBA playoffs in mid-to-late-August and the OBA playoffs on Labour Day weekend). Additionally, Rep teams practice twice per week.
Rep teams typically play any day of the week. Leaside’s home games are normally heavily weighted towards Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The Select regular season typically starts the last weekend in May and ends in mid-August. There are typically 9-10 regular season games (split between home and away) as well as a small handful of exhibition games. Additionally, Select teams play between one and three weekend tournaments during the season (including the TBA playoffs in mid-August). The number of tournaments and exhibition games is set out by the head coach in consultation with parents in the winter. Additionally, Select teams practice once or twice per week.
About half of all tournaments are travel tournaments, requiring overnight hotel stays for the team players and families.
Select teams typically (but not in all cases) play their regular season games on Sundays.
Q: Where will we play in the summer?
A: The Leaside Leafs try our very best to have home games as close to the community as we can. However, due to the incredible interest in the Rep and Select programs we are forced to have home fields spread from within Leaside to north of the 401. We are doing our best consolidate our home field permits closer to Leaside.
Rep teams normally participate in the Toronto Baseball Association (“TBA”) or an interlocked league with the TBA and the York Simcoe Baseball Association (“YSBA”), depending on the age group and level. In either case, Rep families should be prepared to play away games as far north as Barrie and as far east as Oshawa.
Select teams play in the TBA East circuit and play their away games throughout the central and eastern part of Toronto.
Our practice fields are typically within or closer to Leaside than game fields as they do not require the same standard of upkeep and facilites. Almost all practice fields are inside Leaside or within a 15 minute drive from Leaside.
Q: What is the commitment required for Rep and Select baseball in the winter?
A: All Rep teams train in the winter. Depending on the head coach’s discretion, informal training can start in mid-October. In all cases regular weekly (or twice weekly) training starts at the beginning of January.
Select teams training in the winter is typically determined on a team-by-team basis but generally starts on a weekly schedule in early January.
Teams typically train in the winter in local school gyms, as well as turfed sports domes and batting cages around Toronto
Q: My child plays other competitive sports, such as skiing and hockey. Is this a problem? What is the expectation on commitment to the team?
A: We understand that high performing athletes are often involved in other sports. In fact, we encourage participation in other sports as it provides cross-training benefits. Through the winter, we ask that players attend as many of the baseball practices as they can. If players have a regular conflict with winter sports they can consider going to another Leaside team’s non-conflicting practice during the winter.
However, starting April 1, we ask that baseball becomes the priority sport. If players are absent from many games or practices they are letting the team down, they are not developing as baseball players and they are filling a spot on the team that could have been given to another player. So we ask that only players and families that can make the commitment join these teams.
Generally, starting April 1, coaches expect players to attend at least 80% of all games and practices. Coaches will set their own guidelines for attendance in the winter based on team philosophy and individual player circumstances.
Q: Is there any break from baseball during the summer? What if we want to go on vacation, to the cottage or away to camp?
A: Each team generally takes a two week break from all games and practices. This is called the “blackout period” and its dates are determined by the coaching staff. Players and families can use this time as they wish. We do ask that players and families avoid travelling in the two weeks leading up to the major end-of-season’s playoffs (i.e. TBA championships, OBA championships, and the Elimination tournament).
Q: What are team fees?
A: Team fees can vary considerably based on two factors: (1) the frequency and quality of winter training facilities selected by the team and (2) the amount of professional and/or semi-professional coaching and instruction the team elects to use. In most cases the fee ranges are as follows:
Rep teams: $1,500 to $2,000
Select teams: $1,000 to $1,500
These fees do not include the cost of player’s individual equipment (e.g. baseball glove, cleats), player uniforms and cost of travel.
Q: What equipment does a player need?
A: A player requires the following personal equipment: uniform (fitting and ordering coordinated by the team in the winter), cleats, sliding shorts or jock/jill with cup, baseball glove, batting helmet (some teams provide this), baseball bag (some teams has standardized), bat (most teams provide this).
Q: How many players are on a team?
A: Generally rosters range from 12 to 16 players between 8U and 18U.
When a Rep team is short players for a game they may “call-up” a player from Select or the Rep team in the age group younger. When a Select team is short players for a game they may call-up a player from House League or the Select team in the age group younger.
Q: I don’t really know what level of play my child can play. Which tryout should we come to?
A: Our recommendation is that if you are not sure of your child’s level of play that you come to the first Rep AAA tryout. There will be players of many skill and experience levels at that first tryout. From there parents and players can make a determination of their comfort level and assess if they should proceed with the Rep AAA tryout path or skip to the first Rep AA or Select tryout.
It is most common that a player with no prior baseball experience above House League, and no supplemental training (such as baseball camp) is ultimately most appropriate for the Select or Rep AA tryout. Having said this, there are several examples in the younger age groups of special players jumping straight from House League to Rep AAA.
Q: How may tryouts should a player attend?
A: Players may attend as many tryouts at as many levels as they wish. However, to be properly assessed for a team a player should attend at least two tryouts for their preferred team (e.g. if a player wishes to be considered for the Rep AA team, they should make sure that they attend at least two of the Rep AA tryouts).
If a player knows that they are going to miss a tryout and cannot attend at least two tryouts for their preferred team they should let the head coach know and alternate arrangements can be considered.
Q: What if I played for a Rep or Select team in a different association last year?
A: If the last Rep or Select baseball that a player played was outside of the Leaside Baseball Association, then the player must produce a release document from their prior association before participating in Leaside Leafs tryouts. This should be requested by the player to their prior association well in advance of tryouts and submitted to the Leaside Leafs tryout regisration desk at their first tryout.
Q: Can girls play on the Leaside Leafs?
A: Absolutely! Some of the finest baseball players in the Leaside Leafs Rep and Select program are girls.
Q: How will I know if my child made or didn’t make a team?
A: Not all players that try out will make a Leaside Leafs Rep or Select team. In the week following a team’s final tryout the head coach will send an email to the player’s family indicating that the player has made the team, has not made the team, or has not yet made the team but is still being considered.
If a player finds out that they have not made a Leaside Leafs Rep or Select team they are invited to participate in the Leaside House League in the spring (registration starts mid-winter) as well as tryout for a Leaside Leafs Rep or Select team next year. We also encourage kids with a passion for baseball to consider the winter Leaside Baseball Camp, which has proven to be a highly effective training environment for Rep and Select players.