Summer Baseball Overview
Ages 8-14 Travel Summer Baseball
Needham Baseball provides a highly competitive summer travel baseball program for players in the 8U - 14U age groups. These teams are for dedicated baseball players. The program stresses skill development and competition.
The summer starts in late June and extends into August. Teams that make the playoffs could play into the middle of August.
Players will be expected to attend practices, regular season games, playoffs and possible tournaments. The high level of commitment is necessary to be able to field teams and make our program successful.
- Teams at 8U will be playing the Friendship League. The Friendship League does not have tiers and our teams will be as balanced as possible. Friendship League teams typically play two games per week and all teams qualify for playoffs.
- Teams from 9U through 12U will compete in the Suburban Youth Baseball League. There will be an “A” team and a “B” team at each age level. Teams at the age levels may play at least one weekend tournament. If registration numbers are sufficient, we will field more than two teams at each level. For example, in 2023, Needham fielded four teams at 9U and three teams at 10U.
- League placement and the number of team at the 13U- 15U will depend on registration numbers.
8U: All players will attend an evaluation in the spring. This combined with feedback from spring coaches will be used to create balanced teams.
9U-11U:There will be a evaluation in the spring for players who wish to be considered for the A teams. This combined with feedback from spring coaches and past evaluation data will be used to determine the A team roster.
12U: Teams will be selected based on feedback from spring coaches as well as past tryout and evaluation data. There won't be a formal tryout for these age groups.
13U & 14U: Number of teams and roster sizes will depend on registration numbers. Please note that the age classification at these levels may differ from the Little League Age Chart below. If there aren't enough players to field a team at an age level, registration fee will be refunded.
Any spring coaches who want to be considered to manage a summer team should contact the Director of Summer Baseball. All Needham Summer coaches are required to attend Positive Coaches Alliance (PCA) workshops and must be approved by the Board of Directors.
Each summer Needham sends a 12U team to compete in a weeklong baseball tournament in Cooperstown, New York, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Needham’s team will compete at Cooperstown All-Star Village Baseball Complex (now part of the Cal Ripken Baseball Experience). Needham Baseball & Softball Little League rising 12-year-old for the upcoming Spring baseball season are eligible to be considered for this tournament team.
Teams will be staying in the complex at the Cooperstown All-Star Village, in barrack-like accommodations with their teammates and three coaches. Meals and drinks are included, as well as laundry service for the kids uniforms etc. There are more than 50+ teams in the complex each week from across the country, so this is a great opportunity for the kids to meet ball players from coast to coast. Families of participants often travel to the area and stay in nearby hotels or rental homes/Air BNBs. There are many resources and reviews online covering the tournaments and the facility itself.
Please see this website for more details on the complex and the overall experience for the kids:
The cost per player to participate on this tournament team, should your child be selected, is approximately $1,850. This payment covers the player costs and a shared portion of the coach and umpire costs and certain other applicable fees. A first payment of $1,250 will be due within 2 weeks of team selection with the balance due in the spring. Team members will be expected to take part in fundraising efforts to help defray a portion of the costs and allow for reimbursement of a portion of the team fees to parents. Team selection will be made in October 2023.
The criteria for team eligibility and selection is as follows:
- All players who are registered to play as 12 year old in the Needham Baseball Spring season (or intend to register for Spring baseball) may register to be considered for the team.
- Players must be available for the entire tournament timeframe, staying in the bunkhouses. [Note that dietary restrictions and medical needs will be accommodated and addressed].
Needham Baseball and Softball has created the Cooperstown Committee which will oversee the team selection process which will be similar to the process currently used to select Little League tournament (Williamsport) teams. The committee be comprised of
- Summer Baseball Director
- VP of Baseball Operations
- Director of Majors Division
- Majors AL and NL Coaches (one each)
The Cooperstown Committee will evaluate all the players who have registered and select the first 9 members of the team. Selection criteria will include past tryout scores, recent coach evaluations, summer team participation and past all-star tournament selection. The team manager will be selected from the pool of coaches who expressed interest and have a child in the group that has been selected by the committee.
The team manager will select the two assistant coaches and the final 3-4 members of the team.
The tournament will be a wonderful experience for the kids to cap off their Needham Little League career. Nearly every child who has participated in this Cooperstown week considers it one of the highlights of their baseball lives. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.