1) What is the cost? - Well costs vary by age and level of play so here they are:
T-Ball - Cost is $125 per player
7U - 8U - Cost is $135 per player
9U - 11U - Cost is $140 per player
12U - 14U - Cost is $160 per player
15U - Cost is $175 per player
16U and older - Cost is $200 per player
2) Do you offer a multi-player discount? - Yes we do. No family will pay for more than 2 players, but the discount is given to the youngest players, so you pay for the 2 most expensive registrations
3) Do you offer discounts in conjunction with Little Miami FastPitch Softball? - We are sorry to say that we don't. We are 2 seperate organizations and while we enjoy the relationship that we do have with all Little Miami Youth Sports Organizations, we don't offer cross organizational discounts.
4) Why are costs different based on age, shouldn't they be the same? - Costs are different among the various age groups. Several years ago, we got away from "1 price fits all" and started to correctly charge based upon age/level so that we could more closely align our costs. The older kids will pay more, but they have more games and officials (umpires) cost more at those levels. Aligning our costs per age allows us to charge you for what you get!
5) What is included with my registration fee? - I like to say everything you need to play the game and get through the season with very little exceptions, but let's be clear here's what you get:
Uniform - Every player gets a customized uniform which includes Hat, Shirt, Pants and socks (Older kids get a belt). Our hats are personalized ... something that is huge when they end up on the ground and Johnny is looking for his!
Insurance - We insure every player.
Back Ground Checks for the Coach and 1 Assistant - This is important to us and should be for you. You may want to know why only 2 per team, well that is just a factor of expense. Each team will tell you which coaches have been checked and we ask that one of them be at every practice, game or event.
Umpire(s) - Officials are very important to the game and your registration fee pays for them to be there.
6) What isn't included with my registration fee? - Well, we don't furnish helmets, shoes or gloves or additional "personal protection". These are very personal items to a ball player and something that we frankly just can't supply. So, we always get asked, what should I buy, what are the requirements ... well here they are:
Helmets - Any baseball helmet with double ear flap and NOCSAE rating (the stamp witll be on the helmet) will do, but they ARE REQUIRED. We often sell them for a discounted price, so check with us, but any will do.
Shoes - There really aren't requirements here. You can have cleats (but not Metal before 14U), soccer cleats are fine, baseball, football, whatever. Tennis shoes are fine too. I guess the point is that they should be allowed to get dirty (maybe even muddy), but you don't have to spend a fortune. At the younger ages, you will see it all out there.
Gloves - Alright, this is important ... Gloves are AWESOME. The player needs one that will fit and one that they can use ... meaning that they need to be able to open and close it. This is not to be confused with "Batting Gloves" - those aren't required ... nope, I'm talking about the leather fielding glove. The older the player, the better the glove, but again, the younger kids will outgrow them quickly, so no need to break the bank.
Personal Protection - alright moms and dads, we're talking about a cup here, but it's not limited to that ... there are a lot of safety devices and personal protection items out there. When talking about "cups" ... strictly speaking, these are highly recommended at all ages! Get them used to this stuff early and you'll avoid the "issues" when it really counts (if you know what I mean). As for other personal safety equipment, that should be your choice. I don't think they need to look like tanks out there, but I like keeping them safe!
7) Why Knothole, versus some of the other leagues? - Well that is a very personal decision. We certainly have our reasons and were happy to share a few:
We like developing as many pitchers as possible and Knothole's rules support and encourage this theory. We start kids pitching at an early age and that means that kids get used to hitting off of someone their age earlier ... yep, start with the pitching and you'll actually improve the batter.
Pitching Distance - This is a key component to developing a healthy arm and keeping the pitcher safe. By the time our players reach 14U, they are pitching from and playing MLB dimensions. That's right 60'-6" pithcing distance and 90' bases by the time they are 14. This protects the pitcher from a hard hit comeback, but also keeps the game competitive to where we can develop the double play, leading off and stealing and other key parts to fundamentally understanding the game. It also prepares them for high school baseball earlier by teaching the concepts of leading off and base stealing.
Competition - Knothole offers 2 levels, Athletic and Recreational. Not every player wants to be, or can be, the next superstar in the MLB and that shouldn't keep them from playing. At the same time, there are some very skilled kids out there who WANT to develop their skills and their parents understand that seeing good competition is the best way to do that. So, offering competitive and recreational teams allows us to respect those differences and develop players at the level and speed that they wish to develop. You aren't ever locked in either ... start off recreational and move to competitive, or vice versa, we want what's best for the player.
Community Based - Knothole is aligned with the school districts and that allows us to show some pride for the area that we play for. We're part of Red's Nation right, mostly because of where we live ... why should youth sports be any different. That's why we proudly wear the Little Miami name and colors and support all Little Miami Youth Sports Programs!
8) Does LMYB offer SWOL team opportunities for players wanting a higher level of competition?
The answer to that is we absolutley do! We've had teams participating in SWOL for a few years now and are glad to help our coaches/teams/players who aspire to a higher level of competition. We DO require that our team continue to carry the LM branding and colors as well as an extremely high percentage of LMSD players on their roster.
9) How can I get more involved, not just with my player, but in helping baseball succeed in our community? This is our favorite question. Just ask, suggest, recommend, nominate, any way you choose, just let us know that someone wants to help. You don't need to have a kid in our program, you just have to want to help the kids that are in our program. Every player we have needs as many of us pulling for them behind the scenes and we'd be honored and happy to have you. Background checks could be required.
10) So is Little Miami affiliated with Little Miami Schools? While we have a close and valued relationship with the Little Miami School District, we are not "Affiliated" or part of the schools. We provide support to the High School Baseball Program, providing much needed equipment to that program yearly and we have a cooperative relationship with the schools, but as with all Little Miami Youth Sports Organizations, we are not part of the schools.
11) Does the Little Miami School District offer baseball as part of their sports programs? Yes, they do! LMSD offers baseball for Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors. If you'd like further information, please reach out to the schools (http://www.littlemiamischools.com).
12) Where are games played? Our home games are played within the local area, Hamilton Township, Maineville & Morrow. Away games are typically regional, but that varies per age group. Our T-ball Teams play each other, but we also play only our closest neighbors Kings and Clinton Massie. It helps limit travel but also allows our kids to see a sample of the competition they will see in the years to come. Coach/Kid Pitch Teams (7U&8U) typically play neighboring school districts, but could travel as far away as Waynesville and Wilmington. Older teams play as far south as the Ohio River, from Anderson Township to Blue Ash. This provides us the ability to see regional competition and the kids love seeing other ball parks!
13) Is it true that LMYB is affiliated with the Reds? Well not exactly, but we sure enjoy them. The Reds, through their Reds Community Fund are huge supporters of Knothole and as part of Knothole, we enjoy their support. Those Reds Tickets that we sell and buy go a long way in keeping our costs down because we are able to use funds from those tickets to buy much needed equipment to keep our program top notch. So, are we affiliated with the Reds, not directly, but we have an opportunity to benefit from them!