Hi everybody- My son's (freshman  D1 pitcher) coach told him that he'd like him to play on a team in the NECBL Northern division . I was wondering if someone can shed some light on a few things for me?

Aside from food/gas, are there any fees in this league ? Also is there transportation provided to the away games/hotels covered? How is the level of play and overall experience ? Thank you so much, this is unknown territory for us  and very little info out there.

 

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Son played in NECBL this year after his frosh year. My thoughts after watching a handful of games and feedback from my son.

1. My son did not pay a fee to play for his team.

2. All transportation/lodging was covered for away games.

3. My son enjoyed his experience but was a little burned out towards end of season. Lots of games and lots of time traveling although that seems to be the same in most summer leagues. Lots of offense in the NECBL. Seems most players are working to improve defensively. Also seems to be the place for lots of young pitchers working to improve their game. Some do and some don’t so there are definitely some marathon games. 

All-in-all a good experience for him and probably next best thing to Cape Cod. I think he would recommend and so would we.

BTW...best stadium and fan support in north division (in our experience) was VT Mountaineers playing in Montpelier. Really cool little stadium surrounded by some of the best scenery with great local fan support.

Thanks so much - that's very helpful info! and appreciate the fun tidbit about the VT Mountaineers stadium-it seems like there are some really cool and quirky stadiums in the summer leagues.

We feel very grateful for everything  but like to know how it works ... Is it  standard protocol for coaches to basically assign players to a team?I 'm assuming upperclassmen get more input as to what team they play on? 

Also is there a lot of roster movement in the spring (post season play, etc?)  or are the rosters generally pretty set?

Welcome to the site.  It varies by school but many schools assign players to the summer program and, generally, the players go where the coach suggests.  Upperclassmen usually do the same.  If a player has a good option set up close to home, some coaches will be fine with that.  Typically, the college coaches have a pipeline of summer programs they have relationships with where they know the player will get roughly the agreed upon opportunity/playing time and, for pitchers, innings limits will be enforced.

Regarding post-season play/Spring, most established summer teams will have players on short term contract to play the beginning of the season while the full term contract players are finishing out any post season play.  There is some roster movement for a variety of other reasons - injury, innings pitched in-season, internship opportunities, performance didn't meet expectations, etc.  Still, if the player is a freshman and assigned to a decent league, that is a good thing.  You said the coach "would like to see him play on... "  Is he assigning him or just suggesting?

Also be aware that there is plenty more information you can search on this site regarding summer college baseball.

It is not normally an option.  When they say they want to see you play, they are actually saying this is where you need to play.  It is like optional practice, not really optional.  They will usually put them on an inning count according to how much they pitch during regular season.  Schools have connections with certain teams in certain leagues.  My son got the option of Coastal Plains or California.  He chose Coastal Plains because it is where we live.  He wanted to be able to be a little this summer and get to see friends and friends/family come watch him play.  There was a team real near us but that is not who his school is affiliated with so he is playing a little further away.  His contract has all details in it so he will know what he is obligated to pay, if any and any other details.  It is a binding contract which usually prohibits him from playing anywhere else during the summer.  It is a long summer and sometimes very boring for pitchers because they play every day and only pitch once a week or so.  They can be involved in activities and keep stats and some announce games.  They say you can work a part-time job and many will help you get one but that depends on travel.  The Coastal Plains league travels almost every other day and many of those are 6-8 hours away.  Makes short nights on the way home and they play the next night. 

Since you noted your son is a pitcher, I thought I would add there is a lot of variation of pitchers on most rosters as you might expect.  A lot of it depends on what happens during the actual college baseball season.  Some pitchers are on innings limits going into the Summer, so some will depart the team after they reach those.  The teams are always adding pitchers as the Summer goes on.  Other kids get hurt, as pitchers are particularly vulnerable if they are used multiple times per week versus a game or two in the college season.  And some kids have not built up much endurance--as one poster noted, there are a lot of kids who Redshirted or pitched very little (as my son did for his college team) and are now expected to contribute.  My son went from being a typical 1-2 inning pitcher to reaching 90 pitches in his final outing after six weeks building up his arm.

Your son should know that the experience will be a real plus for him as both a baseball player and as a life experience living away from home with a host family.  But he needs to be fully committed and see it through to the end.  Lots of kids do not seem to understand what it means to sign a contract and stay committed.  There were two kids from the same college team who quit my son's team after two weeks, and they will be blackballed from the league and their coach may have a tough time placing other kids in the league as a consequence of their action.

It is an absolute blast to go to the games and experience it all.  With your son a pitcher, try to plan a whole week to make sure you get a chance to see him in action once or twice.

P.S. Regarding fees, you will likely be expected to make a uniform deposit at the beginning of the Summer, but otherwise do not have to pay anything.  We did replenish my son's ATM account a lot as the food they got was somewhat limited and they are young athletes who like to eat a lot.

Also, to further address your "fees" question... many if not most teams charge a fee.  There are a few that are high but most are reasonable.  Between the host families and teams, many meals will likely be provided.  If you want to feel good about the fee, just do a cost analysis of the food and laundry bill, along with any help with activities that you may have spent had he stayed home for the summer.

2019LHP:

If the coach is considering sending your son to the NECBL, consider him very lucky. Most polls/listings rank the NECBL #2 behind the Cape (Sometimes Northwoods is #2 & NECBL#3). It's a great league, the cities and the level of competition. My son got a "taste" of the NECBL as a rising sophomore (after his American Legion season and AAU were winding down) for one team. He was a starter as a rising senior for the Valley Blue Sox (out of Holyoke, MA). Great memories for me watching him go 6 for 7, 5 runs scored in the championship win, which was a nice way to have your last college summer league game

The core of position players will play the entire season (unless let go, injury, or loss of commitment). A number of pitchers came and went as they were on "pitch counts" especially if their team went deep in the NCAA tourney. So rosters had some flex, but no where near what the Cape does. NECBL may pick up a fewer players after a Cape 10 day contract ends. It goes the other way too- a player may be asked to join the Cape after his team is eliminated from NECBL post season (geographic proximity helps).

There is a set fee (I forget what it is); you can find it on the website. There are host families (helpful but not required to have a car).  Daily meals are provided by the host families and dinner is after the field(Both home and away) after games.  The league prepared son for his senior year as he faced some pitchers from P5 programs - and played with and against a number of "All league" players. Outside of occasional & unusual scoring decisions (H or E) and live stats freezing, no complaints. The games are livestreamed for a fee (game or season). The coverage varied based on what ballpark you were playing. Living in New England I got to watch son play in cities I probably otherwise wouldn't have visited.  The Blue Sox had their own bus; other teams I believe had rental agreements.

To COACHLD: Kept hearing how Montpelier was the only state capital in the U.S. that didn't have a McDonalds.

 

Thanks everybody- All this info is really informative and much appreciated.

Knowing more about how the summer leagues operate helps put everything in perspective and takes away some of the unknown. I am grateful that he has very supportive coaching at his school.

Just to note, starting this year the NECBL now charges a non refundable $250 registration fee, which is understandable with the rising costs of doing business these days but wanted to mention it.

 

KYLE31,  I played in the PGCBL in 2018, although as my handle may give away as a pitcher. Our team all thoroughly enjoyed their experience. Depending on how they decide to split the divisions this year with Jamestown coming back into the mix teams will get to know each other very quickly. Our division consisted of 4 teams total, who you play probably close to 50% if not more of your games against. We typically played 6 games a week, and never stayed in hotels. Typical bus rides were probably around 2 hours each way, some of the longer trips that we only had to make once or twice throughout the season were closer to 3 or 4 each way. 

Our coach did a good job of getting all of our position guys work, they played mostly on some sort of rotation, with middle infielders rotating around, and catchers and corner guys rotating. Outfielders rotated throughout positions as well, although judgement was used and the guys who were out there for their bats not their speed didn't really get put in center. Some of the more critical position players played a bit more especially as the playoffs neared, but overall no one spent a ton of time sitting. 

The quality of the league was pretty good, a lot of younger guys from some big d1s, especially pitchers. Amsterdam always puts together a great team. Other than that some mid-major guys as well as a mix of JUCO and some older D2 and D3 guys who have done well at their level but may have had a hard time getting into more prestigious leagues. 

Fans were hit or miss, usually depended on the night of the week and what events teams were hosting, but some drew more than a few thousand (Saugerties on a 1 dollar beer night was packed). 

If you have any other questions feel free to pm me or ask on here if there is anything more general that I may have missed. 

 

Maybe LHP15 can also address this... 

PGCBL is one of the leagues (at least some of the teams) that had a particularly high sticker price but that was about four years ago.  Not sure if still the case.  Son, along with some of his D2 teammates, was assigned there but things blew up when the players and college HC found out what they were trying to charge.  Everyone backed out.  That team has since disbanded.

I believe it was $750 for the summer, I think the price varies from team to team though. It includes the host family, gym membership (worth $70 or 80 a month). We were also fed before every game by our team whether on the road or not, typical pregame spreads of cold cuts or pb + j. Post game we were also fed at home we ate particularly well, on the road it varied, some places just gave leftover hot dogs. 

For the cost especially compared to summer ball I felt everything it included made it well worth it. That's not far off from what PG is charging for a simple showcase now. 

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