The Watchung Hills Warriors travel baseball program is designed for children who want to play a more competitive brand of the game than they will generally see in recreation leagues.
MISSION & PHILOSOPHY
The Warriors travel baseball program aims to:
- Provide a positive and supportive atmosphere in which to engage in healthy athletic competition against peers with similar abilities.
- Teach the fundamentals of baseball.
- Promote teamwork, self-confidence, pride in team, and a love for the game.
- Foster good sportsmanship in victory and defeat.
- Encourage players to cultivate friendships and have fun.
The travel baseball program is open to residents of Warren and Watchung. Players from nearby towns may try out if their hometown does not have a travel baseball program for their age division; however, players from Warren and Watchung will generally be given priority. Players must participate in the spring recreation baseball program to be eligible for travel baseball.
A player’s age group (7U, 8U, 9U, etc.) is determined by the player’s age as of April 30.
For example, if your son or daughter is 8 and turns 9 after April 30, 2023, they can participate in the 8U evaluations and be placed on an 8U team. A player who turns 9 on or before April 30, 2023 would only be able to participate on the 9U team. To address some issues over the last year, players will be eligible to try out for two age brackets (their eligible year and one bracket above). A player can only be placed on a team if they attended the tryout.
Participation in the Travel Tryouts is mandatory for all players who wish to be placed on a Travel team. The only exception is a player who is in attendance, but is injured and cannot participate.
Players are required to register and actively participate (75% or more) in the Spring Recreation Season to play Travel baseball.
Previous participation in the Travel Program is not a prerequisite for participation in the 2023 Travel Program nor does it guarantee the player a roster spot.
Commitment & Schedule
The Travel Baseball program is a competitive-level program which requires commitment from both the player and the player's family. Watchung Hills Warriors participates in the USABL spring program which runs early April through mid-June. And the New Providence Summer League which runs for the month of July.
Teams may opt to participate in holiday tournaments throughout the spring and summer season (i.e. - Memorial Day, 4th of July), and depending on the league or tournaments that the team participates in, may have multiple games in a weekend or in one day.
- Participation in another spring sport is not prohibited, however, priority must be given to the travel baseball program. A player that commits to the WBSI spring/summer travel baseball program is to give priority to the baseball practices and game schedule in-season over other sports and club programs.
- Due to the time commitment required, players will not be permitted to join the travel team if they play on a ‘club’ baseball team during the same period.
- Prompt and regular attendance is a must for all Travel players. Parents must plan summer vacations to avoid conflict with practices and games.
- Frequent schedule changes are to be expected due to weather and changing dates in leagues and tournaments, so players and parents must plan to be flexible.
- The coaches for each age group will decide if the team will participate in the 'Cal Ripken District Tournament' held at the end of June, and any other tournaments through the year. Any team advancing to the state tournament will be expected to participate, which is held in early July.
Club baseball involvement has increased over the past 10 years and in order to combat that, WBSI is committed to putting together the most competitive teams with the most committed players. There is no substitute for playing for your town with your friends and WBSI strives to continue this tradition with our children by rewarding hard work, dedication and skill.
- Travel teams will be formed at each age group depending on the number of players, the skill level of the players, and the availability of Coaches and Managers. The team levels will be organized by color – Blue and Gray.
- Teams are limited to 11 or 12 players, the decision to take 11 vs 12 is at the coach's discretion.
- Tryouts will be conducted by independent evaluators along with league volunteers. Players will be placed on a team based on the tryout results from outside evaluators and input from league coaches and prior year’s performance.
- The travel program is focused on forming competitive teams at each age bracket.
- Not all players may make a travel team, though every effort will be made to accommodate the maximum number of players into the travel program given there are enough players trying out and coaches to form a complete team.
The Watchung Hills travel program is part of WBSI, a non-profit, volunteer-based organization.
Teams incur expenses such as league and tournament registration fees, baseballs and other equipment, umpire fees, insurance, utilities, and groundskeeping costs. These expenses are divided equally across all teams.
In addition to the registration fee, families should anticipate fees for travel baseball that include:
- Winter training (~ $400-700 varies based on program and age)
- Uniforms and gear (~$175)
- League/tournament fees (~$500 varies based on which leagues and tournaments the team enters)
- Tournaments typically cost $50-$75 per player and more competitive teams may play in 3-5 tournaments throughout the year.
- In addition, some travel teams in the older age groups may also elect to participate in out of state, high-profile tournaments (e.g. Cooperstown, Ripken Experience, Sports at the Beach, Hershey, Perfect Game, Diamond Nation, etc.) that may require additional fees and which may involve multiple-day travel.
- WBSI/WLL strives to make our travel program accessible to any family that wishes to participate - financial assistance may be available if needed.