||At what level do I want to play and compete?
There are up to 3 levels of play in AAU baseball ....... Division I, Division II and closed base when applicable. There is no hard and fast definition of who can play in Division I and who can play in Division II. For the most part, Division I is for the teams from larger cities or the statewide invitation only teams or teams that have combined three or four 4-A high schools together to make their team. Division II is geared more for the local teams and teams from smaller communities. Closed base is typically for teams that would like to play rules simlar to Little League. You'll have to decide:
- Do you want to play at a predominantly local level?
- Do you want to compete with the best teams in the state for a championship and a chance to go to a National Tournament?
- Are you building a team to try to win a National Championship? The way you answer the above three questions will dictate if you want to play in Division I or Division II. What you're looking for, of course, is good competition.
||How do I (a coach) form my team?
How you select your players is pretty much up to you.
- Some AAU teams are Little League ®, Babe Ruth ®, Dixie Youth ®, or high school teams that want to keep playing together during the summer and into the fall after their league season is over. The Florida team that won the Little League World Series ® a couple of years ago was essentially an AAU team from the previous fall. And they gave a great deal of credit for their success in Williamsport to their participation in AAU Baseball.
- Some teams are formed via open tryouts.
- Some teams are fromed by invitation only. A couple of points to consider in choosing your team:
1. Make sure you have enough pitching. If you're going to tournaments where you might play four or five games in a weekend, you can't do that with less than eight to ten pitchers. The last thing you'd want to do is hurt a kid by pitching him too much with too little rest.
2. Make sure you'll have adequate playing time for all the kids you keep on the team. There is an AAU limit of 20 kids on the roster when you go to Nationals. That doesn't mean you have to keep twenty. Moms and Dads get very upset when they've forked over $1,000+ and their son plays two innings in five games over a weekend tournament.