Frequently Asked Questions
Mason Amateur Baseball (MAB) was established in 2010 to support the the need to have a place for Mason Youth Baseball teams to have options to play competitive baseball in Southern Ohio. Our origin is Knothole Baseball and has been in place for well over 10 years. In 2010 more than 55 teams from Mason, Ohio played baseball in our organization.
MAB is an organization which offers a competitive baseball environment. The format of this organization enables coaches choose their team, develop their players’ skills to prepare them for successful high school, and potentially, college competition. Thus, the format is designed to allow youth in Mason the opportunity to play the highest level of competition available while maintaining Mason residency.
The 2012 season will see teams in age groups from 9-18 playing in Knothole, SWOL, and MWOL Leagues. 9U teams begin playing “real baseball”. Age groups from U10 and up decide where to play into Competition Based Leagues in order to maximize competition and challenge. This allows our players to be pushed by competition to be the best they can while recognizing that there are different levels of competitive baseball. Within each League, teams then are divided geographically where appropriate.
MAB Membership is selective, and will not be discriminatory. Anyone agreeing to these principles is welcome to apply for membership.
What is the 2012 Age Cut-Off for All Classes and Divisions?
Eligible Age Limits For All Classes Knothole / MWOL or SWOL (Over Age Players Not Allowed):
AA / U16+: Youth born on or after May 1, 1995
A-Major / U15: Youth born on or after May 1, 1996
A-Minor / U14: Youth born on or after May 1, 1997
B / U13: Youth born on or after May 1, 1998
B-1 /U12: Youth born on or after May 1, 1999
C / U11: Youth born on or after May 1, 2000
C-1 /U10: Youth born on or after May 1, 2001
D / U9: Youth born on or after May 1, 2002
What does the Organization hope to provide coaches, players and teams?
Each coach, each of our players, and teams have our own agenda of what we want to accomplish within our season. We would hope that a common thread among us all would be the following:
1. Teach our players and provided drills, practice and game opportunities to improve their physical, mental and emotional skills related to baseball.
2. Provide opportunities to teach our players (and in some cases fans) respect for the game, the competition, the coaches and officials.
3. To provide opportunities to teach our players about the value of team play, camaraderie and building relationships.
4. To provide a forum where kids learn the lessons that before you reap the benefits, you must have a vision, practice, and only then can you expect to get a hit, make a great defensive play, rebound from a strike out, gain a team victory, or a division championship.
We hope that each of you would include a similar list in your own mind and provide your vision to your players and parents. It is through these lessons that we hope to help make our players better men for the rest of their lives.
How many games should I expect to play?
Generally, you will play 16-20 league games. Each league also offers an end-of-season tournament(s) for qualifying teams. Winner(s) of the Knothole Tournament may qualify for the City Tournament too.
Many teams also play 1-6 tournaments and/or several non-league games each year. Ultimately, it is up to you, your team and your parents as to how many games you play in total.
Knothole based teams REQUIRE approval from the MAB Board to play in Tournaments. Also, LEAGUE games always will take precedent over a tournament.
Lastly, due to our limited fields, you will have to play 8pm games under the lights. We will do our best to balance the number of games you play at 8pm, but, plan on playing a minimum of 3 to 4.
What do I need to consider when determining how many players to have on my team?
You must take into account how many can pitch. This is very important, and may require more players today than in past years, as the movement to inning and pitch count limitations moves forward. See the Rules section of the website for Pitching Rules. Commitment levels, vacations, reliability, parental and players expectations and your philosophy all should be considered.
What should I expect to budget for the season?
- New team Deposit $100
- Estimated 2012 League fees
- Knothole: $525-$650 (includes MAB Fee)
- MWOL: $350 + MAB Fee
- SWOL: $450 + MAB Fee
- MAB Fee: $450
Non-league required expenses (estimates: 2011 numbers – so expect some increases regularly)
- Umpires Fee’s Estimate only ($55/one umpire; $110/two umpires @ 13U+. Paid by home team.)
- Insurance ($105 – 1$25) for MWOL and SWOL Teams
- Game balls ($35/dozen)
- Uniforms (varies, low end and basic $500, up to $3000 per team)
- Non-league optional expenses (travel, functions, websites, etc.)
- OneCall Now* ($72/year or $40 for 6 months)
- Indoor practice facility and/or batting practice
- Tournaments ($300 – $575 per tournaments)
- Equipment [batting helmets, balls, catcher’s gear & practice equipment]
Where do my fees go?
Fees go to the following: Field Maintenance and usage, City/School Fee's, League Fee’s, Administrative Fee’s, and communications.
What affiliations are we part of?
For the 2012 season, we have affiliated with the following Leagues:
- Great Cincinnati Knothole Association (GCKA)
- Midwest Ohio Baseball League (MWOL)
- Southwest Ohio Baseball Leageu (SWOL)
- Coming soon: Nations/USSSA for Touranment Play in Mason
How do I apply for Membership?
Go to the website www.masonamateurbaseball.org and follow the link on the left side of the page to MAB Registration & Forms. There you will find forms to complete. Initially, you will need to complete the New Team Applicatiopn (or Existing Team Registration if your team or organization was in the league last year) and submit it. Then at a future MANDATORY meeting you will find out actual fees and next steps to complete membership.
What forms will I need?
Eventually, you will need your team registration form, player contracts, medical release forms, roster, NYSCA Member Number, and Mason Residency. There is a Registration Checklist available on the MAB Registration link section of the website.
About Umpires and Scheduling:
As a member of Mason Amateur Baseball, schedulers will make all arrangements for your umpire needs. Coaches simply provide their schedule to the Mason Field Scheduler and umpire arrangements are made. As your schedule changes, notify the scheduler and the scheduler will make the appropriate changes. Coaches also have access to the MAB website to confirm the date and location of their scheduled games.
You are NOT to schedule your own umpires. The Leagues require that they be on our approved umpire list. If they are not already on our approved list, we ask that any umpire you want to use submit 3 references to get on the “approved list” to email@example.com. This is the same requirement made by many umpire associations in order for an umpire to join.
Umpires scheduled through oure Organization is part of being a member of MAB. Umpires are to be paid prior to the game to avoid any problems.
The purpose of this is to improve the quality and consistency of the umpires. Umpiring does impact the game. We believe that the Organization, your league and your games will be better as a result of this effort. Contact Dave Gramke at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or questions on umpires.
Why do we have Competition Based Leagues?
We believe it is critical to maintain competitive games in order for kids to improve and enjoy the game. Neither side enjoys a blowout. Within the Leagues there are even divisions for various levels of play. However, our leagues are a travel league and teams should welcome increased or equitable competition more than they should fear travel. We recognize that teams may have different skill levels, intensity levels and agendas. This is our attempt to provide equitable opportunities for all teams to compete with like-minded competitors by offering a variety of Leagues to compete in.
Why use the continuous batting order until high school ages?
Using the continuous batting order allows each player an opportunity to bat, increases his interest in the game (and hopefully keeps him interested for many years), keeps parents from complaining about playing time and takes the burden off the coaches from learning the more complicated rules for DH and EH line-ups.
Not all leagues require this, but, Knothole and MWOL Divisions II & III mandate the continuous batting order to allow each player to develop.
What is the procedure if I have questions or issues?
First, try to resolve them with the player, parent, coach, etc. Then contact your MAB Supervisor. If this is not possible, then contact Greg Stein at email@example.com.
Go to the link on the MAB website and click on Questions/Protest to find out more.
What about rain-outs and suspended games?
See the League rule book for specifics but generally games which are not completed games (ie. 4 1/2 if home team leads or 5 if the visitors lead) are suspended games. Suspended games should be resumed at the point of suspension with the same line-up and batting order as the original game (if possible). That is the ideal world and rarely applies to us perfectly. Knothole Division 2 requires games to be completed unless the League has overruled.
A couple of comments will help you all resolve issues among yourselves as they come up:
- If a kid who was at the original game is not available when the game is resumed, the team should not be charged an out. Simply skip his turn at bat with no penalty. Likewise, if you need to place a runner on a base and he is not there, simply use the last out.
- As a rule, any kid not available at the original game, cannot play in the suspended game. This is one exception to the bat your roster rule. However, there is no problem if the two coaches involved in a suspended game decide together that they are willing to allow kids not available for the original game to play for both sides.....that is okay (it is always okay to get more kids in the game if both sides agree). But don't play the game and then complain about the results.
- Pitching. These come up several times each year.
- If a player was ineligible to pitch during initial game, but has satisfactory rest for the make-up game, is he eligible? Yes. He would be able to pitch as long as he did not pitch the first game.
- If a player begins pitching in a game, but does not finish b/c of rain, etc. when the game resumes, assuming he has satisfactory rest, do we pick up original pitch count, or start back at zero? The pitch count is limited to his remaining per day pitch limits including the rain delayed pitches.
- Please use common sense and try to resolve any issues among yourselves about this issue.
What is the best way to communicate with parents, other coaches and league officials?
Many people today find email to be a simple way to communicate, while others prefer telephone. Organization officials are listed on the website with a direct link to their email. All coaches are provided with both telephone and email contacts of the Organization officials and the coaches in their age level. The Organization also endorses and makes available (at a cost) a service called One Call Now which allows you to make one phone call and send a message (including responses if you wish) to as many as 50 phone numbers. This significantly reduces the burden of contacting families via telephone.
What is expected of coaches concerning communication with other coaches and league officials?
It is expected that you will schedule your games promptly, reschedule make-ups promptly and return phone calls and emails within a reasonable timeframe. If you are not a computer person, hand that duty to another parent. If you are going to be out of town provide an alternative contact. Apply the Golden Rule and treat others the way you want to be treated. We are all busy volunteers and simply trying to do the best we can......help us all by communicating promptly.
Also, it is the HOME teams responsibility to check the Website Daily to ensure Schedule Accuracy. If you find an error you are to email the Field Scheduler at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Failing to show up for a game that is posted will result in a minimum $75 fine to cover field prep, and umpire fees.
Lessons learned from past coaches:
It is a good idea to have a team meeting where you lay out the expectations for players, parents and coaches regarding: commitment levels, sportsmanship, playing time, multiple sport conflicts, handling player and parent questions; coaches philosophy, parental conduct etc. These meetings and how well you lay out your expectations can make a major contribution to the years’ success.
It is critical to emphasize pitching and catching in the MWOL/SWOL leagues. Due to the pitch limits, you should make sure that you are training several pitchers with an emphasis on efficiency. Since the players can lead-off and steal, it is also critical that both your pitchers and catchers are keeping runners close and you avoid past balls which translate to base runners advancing.
Establish your tournament schedule before you set your league schedule to allow you plan your league games around any tournaments you plan to attend.
Many coaches have found that opponents closer to home make better weeknight games and schedule opponents further away for the weekends.
Use the number of games you plan to play to dictate uniform requirements. If you are playing several games per week, each parent in charge of laundry will appreciate having a second pair of socks, pants, jersey, etc. Obviously, this will increase the team or player budget, but is certainly worth considering.