Seniors start Sunday with players meeting
Time to grab your friends and form your own baseball team for the summer!
The Seniors Division of Bettendorf-Pleasant Valley Youth Baseball kicks off Sunday, May 1 with a players and coaches meeting starting at 5 p.m. at Saldivar Field at Devils Glen Park.
Registration remains open for the Seniors Division, which is baseball for ages 15-20. The sign-up link:
Signing up now — and attending the meeting — is essential to help set the number of teams and get uniforms ordered in time for the summer season. Games are scheduled to start Tuesday, May 31. NOTE: An earlier start is possible depending on project arrival of the uniforms.
If you are interested in playing — BUT UNABLE TO ATTEND THE MEETING BECAUSE OF WORK OR SCHOOL CONFLICTS —please get registered before Sunday’s meeting to ensure you and or your group is counted!
For more information, please contact Steve Tappa at email@example.com or 563-676-8111. NOTE: Emails are better than phone calls at this time of year.
ABOUT THE SENIORS DIVISION:
There are no tryouts or draft. Ideally, friends & classmates are grouped together in the Seniors. So make sure to list the players/coaches you are planning to play with in the special request section of your registration.
If you only have one best friend you’d like to play with? Please list that.
If you only have 3-4 friends and don’t have a “full” team? That’s OK!
All registered players will be placed on a team and groups can be consolidated to make a team.
Each team needs an adult coach/manager and sponsor to form a team — but let us know if you need help with either. Note for prospective coaches: This is a “players league,” where the players are old enough to do many tasks themselves! And the Seniors Division follows the Spiderman mantra in terms of players making this league great for themselves: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Coaches/managers and sponsors are needed at this time. To volunteer, please contact Steve Tappa at firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTE: A coaches and captains meeting follows the players meeting Sunday to review rules and team expectations.
The overall purpose of the players meeting is to set expectations, discuss details of the season and cover other important information about the division & the way we will operate. It’s also a good time to address all questions.
The meeting also allows “free agents” to get an idea of the familiar faces in the league for team placements.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1. What is the Seniors Division? Also known as the Colt League. The division is for teenagers, ages 15-20, to continue playing competitive baseball on a regulation diamond (90-foot bases, 60-feet, 6-inches mound-to-home). High school students hail mostly from Bettendorf or Pleasant Valley, but Assumption and some other Davenport schools also are represented. North Scott schools also usually have a team or two in the league. Participants are also welcome from the Illinois Quad Cities. Players younger than 15 are eligible to play in the league as well, especially those eighth graders participating on high school teams or looking ahead to tryouts as ninth graders. NOTE: The mixture of participants ranges from current and former high-school program players; younger kids preparing to make the jump to high school play; and high school athletes from other sports. The division also regularly attracts a handful of college-age athletes (including baseball players) wishing to continue playing the game with friends. (The age limit allows for participants unable to transition into slow-pitch softball because of the drinking-age restrictions in many of those leagues).
2. How many players make up a team? Each team should plan to carry between 12-15 players on their roster to allow for both injuries and the inevitable work, school and other personal conflicts that come up during the summer. NOTE: BPV uses a continuous batting order — so everybody who shows up gets to bat – and free defensive substitutions to help keep games moving quickly. A “sub rule” also is used to ensure games are played — so if a team is short players, they can borrow from any other BPV Seniors or Juniors Division team. Unregistered players are ineligible because they are not covered by BPV’s insurance policy. Teams using ineligible players are subject to suspension.
3. How many teams are in the league? To be determined by the number of playing participants. Last year included 13 teams split into divisions based on the age and experience levels of their rosters. A two-tier postseason tournament was offered for the same reason, with the youngest teams offered the choice of playing in a Gold or Silver bracket.
4. How are teams formed? There are no tryouts and there is no draft. Players are encouraged to play with their friends and classmates. Players can form their own teams. An adult coach and sponsor is needed (ask if you need help finding either). If you only have one best friend you would like to play with? Please list that in the requests section during registration. And if you only have 3-4 friends interested in playing and do not have a “full” team? That is OK, too! Groups can be consolidated to make a team and all registered players will be placed on a team.
5. What equipment is necessary? All participants receive a jersey/shirt and hat, with sponsor fees covering most of that cost. Players provide their own baseball pants, shoes, and gloves. Most players have their own bats and batting helmets. Batting helmets and catching gear is provided for teams, if needed, but most players opt to use their own catching gear, too. The league provides game balls and qualified high school and young adult umpires for each game. NOTE: A limited supply of previously used pants, cleats, gloves, and bats are available to borrow from the league if needed by participants.
6. How many games can I expect to play? Normally, three games per week depending on the weather. The Seniors Division schedules as many games as the calendar allows from late May to late July/early August. So, expect to lose some games to the weather, as rainouts are rarely re-scheduled because of a lack of field and player availabilities. The season wraps up in early August before the first high school practices of the fall with a double-elimination postseason tournament and an all-star game. Barring severe weather problems, you can expect to play between 20-25 regular season games and at least 2 tournament games (unless inclement weather forces a tournament reduction to single elimination).
7. When are the games? The Seniors program runs from late May to early August with no games offered during the long weekends for Memorial Day and the 4th of July to avoid the inevitable holiday conflicts (including out-of-town trips) for players, coaches, umpires, and administrators. The last few seasons, every night of the week except Saturday has been used for game nights. The nights can vary depending on the number of teams and games necessary. Normally, teams will be on a Tuesday-Thursday-Sunday or Monday-Wednesday-Friday rotation during a game week – although back-to-back game nights are possible and sometimes necessary. Typically, doubleheaders are played — with two teams starting a game at 5:30 p.m., and two other teams playing at 8 p.m. New innings may not start in either game after a 2-hour and 15-minute time limit has been reached. Like the fall program, “day” games have been played previously on Sundays, too, but those afternoon game times are only used when necessary to allow players a good time (all day Saturday and Sunday afternoons) to work their part-time jobs. NOTE: Except during the postseason tournament, Bettendorf enforces a 10:30 p.m. lights out/out-of-park policy which allows for little wiggle room. So do not waste time — we are hustling on and off the field!
8. Where are the games? Games are primarily under the lights at Saldivar Field at Bettendorf’s Devils Glen Park – as well as 10-15 minutes north of the TBK Bank Sports Complex at McCausland City Field. Bettendorf’s lighted Juniors Division diamonds at Crow Creek #5 (Smitty Field) and Castro Field at Kiwanis Park/Paul Norton School also can be expanded for use depending on the Juniors Division schedule.
9. When are the practices? Diamond time and practice time is at a premium. Teams are welcome to practice whenever (and wherever) they are able — particularly in May before the season starts (and there is a field schedule to sign up for diamond time at Devils Glen and the BPV Juniors Division fields if necessary and available). However, a common experience in Seniors is few (if any) actual practices and a lot of game action (with three games per week normally). Many teams simply rely on pre-game warmups, including batting practices in the batting cage, because of limited player availability.
10. What if I am trying out for the high school team? What happens if I make it? Players making their high school & college teams are able to play in the BPV Seniors Division. Past experiences show this league works especially well with high school freshman players looking for additional at-bats/defensive innings (or pitching innings if not pitching on the freshman level) against good competition on a regulation diamond. When school lets out, freshman games and practices normally are in the morning and early afternoon – and game action is at a premium. So, BPV Seniors games three nights per week is a good option for more repetitions, more at bats and more innings on defense (or innings pitched if not pitching on the freshman team). This is especially true with few travel/tournament weekend options for players 15-over. (A recent BPV Seniors player actually juggled BPV games with weekend tournaments AND freshman games/practices). NOTE: The request for all players participating on scholastic teams is DO SOMETHING YOU DON’T NORMALLY DO FOR YOUR SCHOOL TEAM when playing in BPV games. If you pitch for your school team? Do not pitch in the BPV, but add some defensive position (outfield, especially) to your tool belt to become a better-rounded high school baseball player. And enjoy those at-bats you are not getting on your school team! If you catch for your school team? Add time at a corner infield or outfield spot and maybe consider pitching. If you play middle infield? Focus on the outfield. If you do not normally catch or pitch for the school team? Either is always a great skill to develop and make your more versatile. ALSO: If trying out and not sure if you will make your high school team, sign up because full refunds are available if you have second thoughts later in the month. (It is easier to subtract players from a roster instead of trying to add players or additional teams later). To discuss the possibilities, or for more information, please contact Steve Tappa at email@example.com.
11. What is the registration fee? $150 for the season (plus a $3 online service fee for us using the registration system to remain organized). That’s only $25 more than the other divisions in BPV — despite playing more games — and the increased costs for insurance (older divisions cost more to insure per player), for umpires (necessarily experienced umps command larger fees), field maintenance (more games equal more the city charges us from chalk and field rental), equipment (Seniors Division goes through a ton of baseballs and hardware costs more for adult sizes) and uniforms (larger rosters, larger apparel, larger costs). NOTE: BPV annually operates the Seniors Division at a deficit — but we do that because we feel this division and these kids are that important. Financial assistance is available for hardship cases with demonstrated need. To discuss, please contact Steve Tappa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
12. How do I become a sponsor? The sponsorship fee is $400 for the season (and teams playing together in the fall wear their existing uniforms to give sponsor a little extra bang for no extra bucks). Sponsorship helps cover some (but not all) of the uniform costs for teams. Sponsors are able to advertise their business on the jerseys/shirts and are able to choose their team colors (unless the color combination has been claimed by another sponsor). Sponsors also may make a donation to the general BPV fund to help cover league costs or anonymously sponsor a player or family on financial aid. For more information, contact Steve Tappa at email@example.com.
13. How do I register? The online registration link is at BPVbaseball.com in the announcements section (any of the news stories mentioning “seniors” or “registration”). Otherwise, the registration link is https://active.leagueone.com/Olr/Pages/Welcome.aspx?ClubId=14196. The registration system accepts Credit Cards. Checks can be mailed to: BPV Baseball, P.O. Box 215, Bettendorf, Iowa 52722. Payment options and financial assistance also can be discussed by contacting Steve Tappa at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-676-8111. After May 1, please contact Tappa to be sure playing space remains. Do not delay; there are only so many sots available after the player meeting (typically in mid/late April). Requests to play with certain friends are encouraged but cannot be guaranteed late in the registration process.
14. What if I have a schedule conflict? Simply communicate with your coach and teammates. Perfect attendance cannot be expected because of jobs, school activities and family functions (That’s why rosters are larger than the usual Little League). With Colt League, rules allow for late arrivals and early departures to play as much as possible, when players arrive or before they depart. When teams are short of players in the regular season, they also can borrow from other teams to avoid a forfeit, so there are opportunities to play more games than your team is scheduled to play. A long-standing rule that has been skipped in recent seasons considers players postseason eligible (for the tournament and all-star game) by participating in 40-percent of their team’s games.
15. What if my question was not answered above? For more information, contact Steve Tappa at email@example.com or 563-676-8111. Or visit BPVBaseball.com.