ATB 8U-12U FAQs
Arlington Travel Baseball's mission is to provide youth baseball players in Arlington County, Virginia, an opportunity to improve baseball skills through quality coaching and higher levels of competition. ATB strives to create a positive baseball experience for each player. Teams are composed of 8U through 12U players who love baseball and want to develop their skills and understanding of the game. Winning games, tournaments or championships is NOT the primary goal of ATB. ATB teams strive to win by making maximum effort and competing with class. Player development and creating a quality baseball experience are our primary goal.
Arlington Travel Baseball is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization with a volunteer board of directors. Players are charged a fee that covers the cost of uniforms, coach, insurance, tournament entry fees, umpire fees, and similar costs. All donations made to ATB are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. If you know of an individual or company interested in making a donation or becoming a sponsor, please let us know. Email us at email@example.com or call us at 703-679-7756.
ATB will field one or two teams per age group (9U through 12U) and players are selected through a tryout process. Tryouts will be held in June for the 9U teams and July for our 10-12U teams. Teams are selected to play together for an entire calendar year.
ATB believes each player should play in his/her respective age group and this is what we practice. At the travel level, moving players up reduces the competitive strength of the team losing the player, and puts that team at a competitive disadvantage. ATB will allow players who are one year too young (e.g., 7 or 8) to tryout for the 9U team. If the player makes that team, he/she will be allowed to “play up” for one year. After one year, this player will be required to tryout for his/her own age group. Exceptions to this rule will be made on an extremely limited basis (e.g., for players who are so dominant that they would pose an injury threat to the other players).
Arlington Travel Baseball is a travel baseball organization. Players are selected through tryouts. Teams practice and play in Arlington County and may travel to other Virginia communities, Maryland, DC, or even further to participate in games or tournaments. Some tournaments or games may require weekend/overnight travel.
Arlington Little League (ALL) is a community youth recreational sports organization serving Arlington County. They provide Arlington’s youth with the opportunity to learn and play baseball in a safe and supporting environment. Because ALL is a recreational league, their programs must be able to encompass youth players of all ability and skill levels. A recreational league is an all-comers league. ALL makes every effort to structure their league and teams so that the competition is fair and balanced. ALL's goal is to provide the best baseball experience possible for all of the youth in Arlington, VA.
The Cal Ripken Division of Babe Ruth Baseball (ABR) is a youth-oriented non-profit baseball program currently serving over one million children ages 4 - 12. Babe Ruth is a national program that allows local groups sufficient freedom to design baseball programs to fit their local needs. Arlington Babe Ruth Baseball works in close harmony with the Arlington County Department of Parks & Recreation to give our children a quality baseball program second to none in the local area. The promotion of equal competition, camaraderie, full participation, good sportsmanship and just plain fun are the key objectives of this joint effort.
In working with the leagues and AYBA, ATB makes a good faith effort to minimize conflicts with the Arlington County recreational youth baseball leagues during their regular spring season and post-season tournament play that leads to their programs' "World Series." ATB requires participation in an Arlington County recreational youth baseball league during the spring season.
In early summer, ATB will minimize activity to permit participation in the Arlington Little League and Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth post-season league, district and state tournaments. We require our players to participate in ALL or ABR, only during the spring, so as to not strip the best players out of these program. We hope that ATB players will help to elevate the level of play for the recreational players and lead by example.
ATB players are not required to play ALL or ABR during the fall season.
Here is a high level overview of our annual calendar. Specifics will be communicated to players by their team’s general manager.
LATE SUMMER AND FALL
- August: Practices are held but will be flexible to allow for family vacations. The new rising 9U team begins practice, too.
- End of August: All baseball players "age up" -- in other words, players who were "baseball age" 8U during the spring/summer will become 9U for the fall; 9Us turn 10U; and so on.
- September to early November: ATB team practices will be held approximately two times a week. Teams participate in Northern Virginia Travel Baseball League (NVTBL.org), playing doubleheaders on Sundays. Teams will also play in one travel tournament and possibly the end of season NVTBL playoff tournament.
- December to February: Indoor Winter Training may be held in or outside of Arlington. For example, teams have practiced at VBC, Prime Time, Marymount University or at a local school gym.
- March: ATB team practices begin and each team will play in a pre-season tournament.
- April to May: During ALL/ABR spring season, ATB teams will practice once per week, Sundays. Additionally, ATB will hold several hitting workouts during the spring. Each ATB team will play in a Memorial Day weekend tournament. The ATB 8U Team forms for play from May-July
- June to July: ATB team will continue practices and participate in two-three tournaments. (See the question below about resolving conflict between ATB and ALL/ABR activities for more details.)
- June: ATB holds try outs for its rising 9U teams.
- July: ATB holds try outs for its rising 10U-12U teams.
Our goal is to minimize conflicts between ATB and ALL/ABR practices and games, and we will work with the players’ ALL/ABR leagues and their coaches in an effort to achieve this goal. We also want to stress the importance of open and frequent communication between parents and their player’s ABR/ALL/ATB coaches to ensure a successful ATB experience.
ATB will scheduling Friday night volunteeer hitting practices. The ATB spring season will end immediately following the Memorial Day weekend tournament so that the players will be available for all regular season playoff games and all star games, if selected. ATB will resume after ALL/ABR all stars are eliminated in July. That said, ATB is careful to avoid scheduling tournaments or other events during periods of heavy activity in the spring ALL/ABR leagues.
The cost to participate for all ATB's 9-12U players in 2023-2024 is $2750.
ATB's participant fee covers costs for the coaches, insurance, uniform (to include two game jerseys, one practice shirt, one game hat and one practice hat), equipment, league (e.g., NVTBL) fees, tournament fees, winter indoor hitting workouts and speed and agility training, and Arlington County field use assessments. This fee does not include travel expenses for individual players.
Financial assistance may be available for qualified individuals. Please contact ATB President Drew Thomson at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The 12U may elect to participate in the Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament. If the 12U team elects to participate in this tournament, 12U team members will pay for all related expenses -- including, but not limited to, the tournament fee, umpire costs, pin costs, travel costs, etc. -- as they are not included in the ATB fees.
Any other ATB team may participate in a major tournament at their own expense, with approval from the ATB Board. Teams may conduct fundraisers (that are approved in advance by the ATB Board) to help defer the cost of these tournaments.
Teams will generally have 12 players.
ATB promotes a fair and objective team building process. The decision to extend a team assignment to a player will be made by the ATB selection committee. The ATB selection committee will consist of an ATB head coach, the ATB Director of Player Development and an independent evaluator. Players will be evaluated based on their skills, ability and desire to play.
If the ATB coaches believe enough travel-ready players in a particular age group are available, ATB will field two teams. The first team will be called the 'Blue' team and the second team will be called the 'White' team. A majority of the higher-rated players will be placed on the Blue team, and ATB will try to ensure that both teams have the necessary players to be competitive. Both teams will be treated equally and play the same amount of games, practices, and tournaments. ATB will make sure each team is placed in the appropriate level of play in the NVTBL and will make it's best effort to register both teams in tournaments where they will be competitive.
The Academy team plays together during the fall season only. The team will practice outdoors once during the week and also practice indoors on Sundays when the team does not have a scheduled NVTBL game. ATB coaches will rotate to work with the team during practices and games. Winter workouts are not included in the player fee but are optional if there's enough interest.
ATB encourages players to remain engaged in other sports. Players must commit to make ATB their primary sport. The commitment ATB seeks will likely make participation with other travel or elite youth sports organizations difficult. For safety reasons along with commitment and scheduling conflicts players will not be permitted to play on another travel baseball team.
No. ATB players are not permitted to play for a second travel baseball team at any point during the ATB season, which runs from the fall through the spring/summer. There are many reasons for this policy. First, we want to protect players from overuse of their arms, and playing on multiple travel baseball teams (in addition to ALL or ABR in the spring) makes that difficult. Moreover, travel baseball programs often overlap at critical points, forcing players to choose one travel team over another. This is not a positive situation for either team. Finally, because ATB seeks to build team camaraderie over the course of a year-long season, it is not possible to play ATB only in the fall season. Players who accept roster spots with ATB are making a commitment to their teammates and coaches to play with ATB through the fall and spring/summer seasons.
Yes. Sanctioned ALL/ABR all-star activities are considered to be part of the spring ALL/ABR season. The sanctioned all-star activities of these leagues typically begin in mid-June and run through early to mid-July. ATB players are expected to rejoin their teams immediately at the end of the sanctioned all-star activities. Note that some leagues combine their all-star program with a travel program, and require all-star team members also to participate on a travel team. As noted above, it is not possible for players to play for both ATB and a second travel baseball program, even if that second travel baseball program participates in sanctioned all-star activities during a portion of its season.
Of course families should plan and schedule vacations as they see fit. We expect, however, that the commitment to ATB will be considered as families plan and schedule vacations and other family activities. Please note that July is tournament and tryout season and plan your vacations accordingly.
Yes. ATB holds annual age-group open tryouts for all new and current ATB players. All players are required to tryout annually. ATB considers each season a blank slate. Players come and go from the region and develop at different rates. ATB looks at whole group of kids trying out for the program in order to field the right, and developmentally appropriate team at each level.
You must register your child for tryouts in order to participate. We may not be able to accommodate players who do not register to tryout in advance. Tryout registration will be announced on our website at least one month before tryouts are held.
It is expected that 9 and 10U players will play games on a 46/60 diamond, the 11 and 12U players will play games on a 50/70 diamond. Practices may be conducted on varying size diamonds or at other practice facilities, based on Arlington County Parks & Recreation availability.
Players will tryout for the team, not specific positions. If there are specific positions a player is interested in or has significant experience in, please note that to the coaches at the tryout.
Players will play more than one position during the season. The primary goal of ATB is to develop overall baseball skills. Players will have an opportunity to work on their skills at any position they would like to learn.
For Arlington County parks-related last minute weather cancellations and information, call the PRCR Inclement Weather Line at 703-228-4715. Please check with your team’s general manager for weather cancellations and information for games outside of Arlington.
Arlington Travel Baseball
PO Box 7088
Arlington, VA 22207