I'd like to hear from others who have ideas, opinions and solutions regarding the OBA's player release policies.

I've been inactive on this site for a long time and may have missed some threads about this topic, so I apologize if I'm being redundant.

In my opinion, the OBA policies are in need of a complete makeover, if not abolition, because they don't benefit the kids...who is it the OBA is (supposedly) doing this for, if not the kids?

Parents pay a great deal of money to be on any OBA Rep team, but they can't choose where THEY want to pay that money...they have to pay where they live? A parent can pay for many things for their kids outside their "hometown", but when it comes to sports, parents MUST stay where they live?

WHY?

Parents can register their kids to play baseball in ANY House League system without a release, but not in Rep? Why are (arguably) better players prevented from playing outside their "hometown", but the lesser skilled players in House Leagues are free to play anywhere?

What is the solution?
Original Post
Yes...I have seen that proposed amendment, which is part of what brought me back here to get some input...I know there are many people here with experiences and ideas.

I think that proposed amendment was sent in late completely ON PURPOSE, I think they wanted to test the waters and see what the rank and file reaction would be...or...to get people considering it for a year, to grow the idea (and support for it)...the proposal sure got tons of publicity...easier than sending an e-mail, don't ya think?

The YSBA has members (high up) on the OBA Executive, so I find it very difficult to believe that they're not smart enough to hit a submission date that they've know about for a year...dumb like foxes maybe?
The question I have is whether this proposed rule change - that never (or hasn't yet) happened - has any relationship to the fact that a high ranking OBA Executive member has recently opened a baseball training facility and that business would directly benefit from passing this rule?

Things that make ya go hmmmmmmm
The OBA rules are perfectly understandable for several reasons !
The OBA provides very inexpensive BB for a wide range of players ! They do not want stronger areas raiding smaller areas for their best players !
You have 2 options other than not playing ! One is to move and the other is as Blexan said, pay thousands of dollars to play elite ball !
Politics, politics...amd more politics. One of the issues i have is that the OBA is at least partially publically funded, and some of there policies more than a little hypocrital.

The more that challenge conventional thinking and voice an opinion, the greater the chance that some common sense will come of it eventually. The ECPL is an alternative that would compete with many mid/low level pblo teams, the terriers, mets, blue jays still at the top - but their talent pool is drastically depleted vs 4-5 years ago.I don't think anyone who has seen this would argue. My hat is off to those who are working on solutions - lucky are those who line in regions where volunterrs have a bit of insight and sway in their local organizations. I think hamilton has a kid that throws 90's that stayed local and was drafted. Good for him!


It's unfortunate that $, profit and prejudice come into play with youth baseball and public $. The old boys network is alive and well - and very,very profitable. Congrats to all who have managed to line their pockets. 10-15 K for bb is a bit absurd, but more power to those who can afford it.

Local OBA associations are just as much to blame in their myopic and insular mindset.

now let's go out and have some fun and play ball!

6 inches of snow fell last night. Smile Fingers crossed for April.
quote:
Originally posted by liner:
Politics, politics...amd more politics. One of the issues i have is that the OBA is at least partially publically funded, and some of there policies more than a little hypocrital.

The more that challenge conventional thinking and voice an opinion, the greater the chance that some common sense will come of it eventually. The ECPL is an alternative that would compete with many mid/low level pblo teams, the terriers, mets, blue jays still at the top - but their talent pool is drastically depleted vs 4-5 years ago.I don't think anyone who has seen this would argue. My hat is off to those who are working on solutions - lucky are those who line in regions where volunterrs have a bit of insight and sway in their local organizations. I think hamilton has a kid that throws 90's that stayed local and was drafted. Good for him!


It's unfortunate that $, profit and prejudice come into play with youth baseball and public $. The old boys network is alive and well - and very,very profitable. Congrats to all who have managed to line their pockets. 10-15 K for bb is a bit absurd, but more power to those who can afford it.

Local OBA associations are just as much to blame in their myopic and insular mindset.

now let's go out and have some fun and play ball!

6 inches of snow fell last night. Smile Fingers crossed for April.


It doesnt matter where you play if you throw 90.
I'm now hearing that the OBA is attempting to bring ECPL teams into the OBA fold.

Apparently, the OBA is travelling around to their affilate's monthly meetings, with a presentation that shows the OBA "vision" for a new OBA, which will include the OBA on top (where else), with PBLO and ECPL teams all under the same OBA umbrella.

I apologise for using "vision" and OBA in the same sentence...I can imagine it is confusing.

Rumor has it that OBA has approached some ECPL teams to "suggest" that they leave the ECPL and play only in an OBA "Recognized Alternate Baseball Program", which would no doubt make a former ECPL team eligible for all sorts of OBA goodies...like National team tryouts, OBA Eliminations etc etc.

So maybe this new olive branch added to the threat of player and coach suspensions looming (once they actually submit an amendment on time for next years AGM) will get the OBA what they truly want in Ontario....


C-O-N-T-R-O-L

You know what they say about power and absolute power
Interesting thought, if it's set up properly - it could be a step in the right direction. Hard to really get a sense of trust though...instead of talking to the teams directly, if they got the boards together something worthwhile might actually come of it.

Rumor has it the ecpl will have a series at the skydome with Quebec, sponsored by the MLB scouts etc. May involve some PBLO as well - so maybe there is hope for some form of almagamtion or cooperation.

90 mph is a great place to be - that's why the Hamilton kid didn't have to spend 15K to get noticed...problem is there are too many kids crusing at 80 spending that much.
You would be surprised at how many D! pitchers cruise in the 80s even some pros ! It helps if you throw in the 90s for sure but most D1 teams have several. My son's team had 4 throwing 92 up to 98 and only 1 got drafted in his JR year ! He was at 98 but also could pitch against top D1 teams. Getting drafted is only part of the story !
The state of BB in Ontario is sad and not just because of the OBS ! The OBA is struggling to survive in a tough expensive environment ! They have made mistakes and have corrected some. They do embrace PBLO players and many from other elite teams ! If you stand o0ut and are interested they will invite you to tryout for the youth teams !
I do feel sorry for players parents who feel they have to pay huge fees especially teams that really do not play great competition !
The most we paid was $2200 for a full year with trips to Long Island, Charleston SC and other great tournaments. We spent a total of approx $8000 including OBA,HS and Elite !
If you think about what you are doing you can get noticed without spending big dollars.
OBA teams are not always a good value for teams and families...some are, but I would bet that less and less fall into that category every year.

The VAST majority of OBA Rep teams are coached by "dads"...and while that is not meant to be derogatory, it certainly is not a compliment in many cases (the majority, in fact), considering how many "dads" coach a Rep team just so their son can play on that team...we ALL know this scenario personally, I'm sure.

I know of MANY teams playing in OBA Rep programs and some are barely classified at an 'A' Level, but the team budgets exceed $13,000, which means parents on these psuedo-rep teams are paying a minimum of $1000, which does not include expenses (add another five or six hundred for costs...much more in many cases).

Less "competitive" OBA Rep baseball will almost certainly lead to more parents choosing better teams and coaches for not much more money on some Elite teams. In most cases, Elite teams have better coaching, better training and attend better tournaments (I realize that is not applicable to ALL Elite teams), so if the costs are double what an OBA team costs and the training, coaching and competition is twice as good...who is getting ripped off?

At least in the Ontario "Elite" world, if you don't like the coach, you can change teams without a release...can't do that in the OBA, even if the coach is completely ignorant about baseball and his kid is the worst player on the team.
When my son played OBA the team was AAA and we played some great teams out of TO, Kitchener etc but Elite ball had not had taken most of the top players at that time . Yes there was a lot of daddy ball but we just ignored it ! Our coach's son was good enough to play and ended up at a D1 college and just finished his PHD in Electrical Engineering !
I found that the OBA was reasonable and cot 2-3 hundred a year plus back then a couple hundred to play district all-star. I understand they no longer have district all-star which were the best players from the 8 Ontario districts. That was a blast !
The Elite teams were $2200 to $8000 back then but we always cut a deal ! To me that is at least 10 times the OBA team we played for but it was worth it in my opinion ! I understand it is watered down a lot now and the costs are ridiculous . I don't know what I would do in todays situation !I certainly would have my son buckle down so he would be noticed no matter where he played if his goal was to play US college ball ! I also recommend doing well in the classroom !
quote:
Originally posted by BobbleheadDoll:
You would be surprised at how many D! pitchers cruise in the 80s even some pros ! It helps if you throw in the 90s for sure but most D1 teams have several. My son's team had 4 throwing 92 up to 98 and only 1 got drafted in his JR year ! He was at 98 but also could pitch against top D1 teams. Getting drafted is only part of the story !
The state of BB in Ontario is sad and not just because of the OBS ! The OBA is struggling to survive in a tough expensive environment ! They have made mistakes and have corrected some. They do embrace PBLO players and many from other elite teams ! If you stand o0ut and are interested they will invite you to tryout for the youth teams !
I do feel sorry for players parents who feel they have to pay huge fees especially teams that really do not play great competition !
The most we paid was $2200 for a full year with trips to Long Island, Charleston SC and other great tournaments. We spent a total of approx $8000 including OBA,HS and Elite !
If you think about what you are doing you can get noticed without spending big dollars.


Throwing 90 in the OBA gets you noticed big time but has absolutely nothing to do with future success ..ie. draft ..etc

“If you think about what you are doing you can get noticed without spending big dollars.”

Not true anymore
quote:
Originally posted by remyxo:
OBA teams are not always a good value for teams and families...some are, but I would bet that less and less fall into that category every year.

The VAST majority of OBA Rep teams are coached by "dads"...and while that is not meant to be derogatory, it certainly is not a compliment in many cases (the majority, in fact), considering how many "dads" coach a Rep team just so their son can play on that team...we ALL know this scenario personally, I'm sure.

I know of MANY teams playing in OBA Rep programs and some are barely classified at an 'A' Level, but the team budgets exceed $13,000, which means parents on these psuedo-rep teams are paying a minimum of $1000, which does not include expenses (add another five or six hundred for costs...much more in many cases).

Less "competitive" OBA Rep baseball will almost certainly lead to more parents choosing better teams and coaches for not much more money on some Elite teams. In most cases, Elite teams have better coaching, better training and attend better tournaments (I realize that is not applicable to ALL Elite teams), so if the costs are double what an OBA team costs and the training, coaching and competition is twice as good...who is getting ripped off?

At least in the Ontario "Elite" world, if you don't like the coach, you can change teams without a release...can't do that in the OBA, even if the coach is completely ignorant about baseball and his kid is the worst player on the team.


IMO the daddy ball thing is REALLY bad in OBA
quote:
Originally posted by blexann:
IMO the daddy ball thing is REALLY bad in OBA


And it will only get worse, where local associations have less players and less teams.

Don't forget that in most cases, local associations get one vote (at the affiliate AGM) for every rep team they have in a given year (no matter how bad a team it is) and dadddies who get a team that they don't deserve will vote however the poobah of their asssociation wants, to keep coaching.

Q: Why do vote$ matter?
A: $illy question


I recall a few years ago when they supposedly re-invented the coach training program in the OBA and called it "competency based"...go watch a few Tier 2 or Tier 3 teams play and see how that's working out.

In fairness, even Tier 1 teams have coaching issues, but the OBA doesn't care and they can keep you locked up forever...even if a coach is incompetent they don't have to release your kid to a better team.

Don't anyone tell me that the OBA release policy is about balance, or keeping it competitive, because that's complete BS, just look which associations win more on Labour Day...fair is a 4-letter word in the OBA.
quote:
Don't anyone tell me that the OBA release policy is about balance, or keeping it competitive, because that's complete BS


It is not about balance, it is about making sure that less well endowed araes have a few decent players who would otherwise leave for major centers ! Not hard to understand !
As far as daddy ball it exists all over the USA and Canada ! BB coaches who coach essentially without pay is usually a dad. If you have a way to solve that problem, the OBA would be sure to listen !

Blex
"“If you think about what you are doing you can get noticed without spending big dollars.”

Not true anymore"

That is more true today than ever ! It is "effective marketing" ! Coaches are looking for players that can help their team and if your son is good and you show the coach he could perform at that level, he will get a chance !
quote:
Originally posted by BobbleheadDoll:
quote:
Don't anyone tell me that the OBA release policy is about balance, or keeping it competitive, because that's complete BS


It is not about balance, it is about making sure that less well endowed araes have a few decent players who would otherwise leave for major centers ! Not hard to understand !
As far as daddy ball it exists all over the USA and Canada ! BB coaches who coach essentially without pay is usually a dad. If you have a way to solve that problem, the OBA would be sure to listen !

Blex
"“If you think about what you are doing you can get noticed without spending big dollars.”

Not true anymore"

That is more true today than ever ! It is "effective marketing" ! Coaches are looking for players that can help their team and if your son is good and you show the coach he could perform at that level, he will get a chance !


You cannot compare the daddy ball in the US to what is happening here. It is a very small group of **** heads that are in charge and pat each other on the back. In the US there are alternative programs just like what we have here for Hockey – so many alternatives for hockey here. Bobblehead, times are different now than when your son played – I’m sure you had some good and bad experiences but you cannot compare to today - you just cannot. In fact, baseball in Ontario today is different from even 2 years ago!!!

So my older son played 1 year elite and enjoyed it greatly but he knew when to get out and concentrate on his education. He now plays BB at a Canadian University and loves it!!

My younger son as I said left baseball and is having the time of his life with a great Hockey coach at the AAA level for the last 2 years. He is a serious Jnr prospect. In hockey those dads would not last 2 years. In OBA the bad coaching and dads that just should not be coaching are almost never kicked out – they last forever. You don’t want to know how my sons last year in the OBA went A TOTAL DISASTER OF A TEAM AND COACHING STAFF.

ELITE LEVEL PLAYERS ARE LEAVING THE SPORT
Hockey is a different sport all together and my city is a hockey city. Ted Nolan is a client and I attended most of his son's games for years. 2 of my nephews are AAA coaches and have no son's !
BB is not comparable and it is rare to find a coach without a son on his team ! Without these dads BB would not exist ! Yes we had good and bad experiences in OBA but we fought through it and my son played 4 years of D1 in South Carolina,got a great degree and had no problem getting a great job ! It cost us next to nothing for that degree !
I watch all levels of BB still including Canadian U BB. You cannot compare that to US college ball and yes it is fun as most BB is ! I watch local OBA all the time as well as Elite. The only difference is the cost and what you don't get for the price you pay ! OBA is still a fun BB experience which is not without it's usual upset parents. USA daddy ball is exactly the same as here and in the small centers they have no choices either !
quote:
Originally posted by BobbleheadDoll:
Hockey is a different sport all together and my city is a hockey city. Ted Nolan is a client and I attended most of his son's games for years. 2 of my nephews are AAA coaches and have no son's !
BB is not comparable and it is rare to find a coach without a son on his team ! Without these dads BB would not exist ! Yes we had good and bad experiences in OBA but we fought through it and my son played 4 years of D1 in South Carolina,got a great degree and had no problem getting a great job ! It cost us next to nothing for that degree !
I watch all levels of BB still including Canadian U BB. You cannot compare that to US college ball and yes it is fun as most BB is ! I watch local OBA all the time as well as Elite. The only difference is the cost and what you don't get for the price you pay ! OBA is still a fun BB experience which is not without it's usual upset parents. USA daddy ball is exactly the same as here and in the small centers they have no choices either !




There are currently some Elite teams in Ontario (not to name any teams wink wink) that have dads coaching!!!!

Its bad

A note about Canadian University ball. yes I know you cannot compare the 2 however believe it or not many Canadian kids are coming BACK from JUCOs to play in Ontario mostly University ball. It is happening, check it out. Some US ball is not all its hyped up to be - save for your sons experience. Players come back for various reasons – culture shock, playing time..etc

Again we were smart enough to make the right choices for both my sons whenever I saw a situation where my sons best interest was being compromised on a consistent basis. Well...we were done and moved on.

Neither of my boys played college ball in the US. But my older son spent 2 summers playing on a travel team that toured the US.

Its all about choices...and I know some of my sons friends that have made the wrong choices.
quote:
believe it or not many Canadian kids are coming BACK from JUCOs to play in Ontario mostly University ball. It is happening, check it out. Some US ball is not all its hyped up to be - save for your sons experience. Players come back for various reasons – culture shock, playing time..etc


I don't have to check it out, I knew most of them personally. You are right that they come back for various reasons and yes many had a reality check. No longer the big fish. One guy I knew well spent 2 years in JC and played for Brock ! He was throwing 92mph. I was with him and his mother when he got signed at a MLB tryout. A rare thing !He never got any interest in the US ! I knew 2 who came back from Canisius after their freshman year very angry' At one time I knew at least 150 players who played US ball. Some had wonderful experiences, some expected too much and got burned. I have over the years warned people about their expectations. Our experience was as I said magical. We got more than we expected because we tried to keep it real ! We did not spend a fortune and enjoyed the journey even the rough spots !
Personally we owe a lot to our local OBA team and my son played with them as well as Elite until the last year before college !It was a shame that the level of ball was on a decline at midget level for several reasons lack of interest being the big one !
It sounds like you made the right choices for your son's but mine wanted to play D1 in the South. If things went sour he would have come back and finished his degree here ! He is getting married in Myrtle Beach in May on a Plantation ! His roommates were amazing young men, one is an accountant and the other at Law school at U of South Carolina ! The accountant was the top academic in the conference !
There's no way to say this gently, so I won't try

Whatever wonderful experiences you may have had 5 or 10 years ago has no bearing on, nor vailidity regarding, current issues with the OBA fossils-in-charge.

Sorry if that sounds rude, but hijacking yet another thread to wax poetic about what used to be and what your son is doing now is not helpful to my original question in any way.

Yes, this is an open forum and I can't stop you from posting, but if all you want to do is travel down memory lane, open your own thread (name it "once upon a time") and I promise I won't bother you...or even read it.


The OBA is a mess NOW...I couldn't care less what it was like 10 years ago, because what was, will not repair what is.


Still hoping to hear some ideas about how to fix what is wrong...anyone?
Now why would I be offended by some cry baby ?
The OBA is trying to do the best they can given parents like you !
If your son has the talent he will succeed. If he has the talent and a parent who cries because things aren't going his way , he will fail ! That may be harsh but live with it !
This was never about my son, genius.

He is playing on the team he wants, with coaches I am very happy with, at the AAA Level.

Not everyone on here is only thinking (or typing) about just their own kid, although I wouldn't expect you to understand that.

The OBA isn't doing "the best" at anything, except protecting their own interests and positions on the board...do your knee pads have an OBA logo on them?
Actually I talked about other players and not just mine !
You are maligning an organization that has severed Ontario BB as best it can based on volunteer coaches ! It may not meet your high expectations , but you are free to pay thousands of dollars to get paid coaches. Very few not for profit teams left since the Rebels folded !
How did you know I was a genius ?

Should I list the players who played OBA and ended up in the pros ? Starting with Joey Votto
quote:
Originally posted by BobbleheadDoll:

You are maligning an organization that has severed Ontario BB as best it can based on volunteer coaches !

Should I list the players who played OBA and ended up in the pros ? Starting with Joey Votto


I agree with your statement...the OBA has "severed" Ontario BB (perhaps you meant served and the genius label was premature)

A trained monkey (which you may well be) can name MLB players ...how about a real challenge...name all the kids that have quit baseball since the OBA decided players have no rights (unless the OBA says they do).

Of course the OBA (or their apologists & lackies) will shine a light on "success stories", but those are .001% of the players that go through the OBA...how about some consideration for the other 99.999% of OBA kids?

You're welcome to the last word grandpa...I sense it is important to you.
This is one of your least intelligent remarks and I do have a law degree ! OBA represents all BB players in Ontario who join the OBA and not just a few that see themselves as superior players.

"The OBA is like the NHL...propping up too many weak teams, to make themselves feel more important.

If the OBA were a company, it would be bankrupt and out of business long ago...it needs to change, evolve, or cease to exist and until the OBA dinosaurs fossilize, we're in their grip.

Still looking for that lawyer in the crowd!"

Amazing idiocy !
quote:
so does one of the oba honchos

what a coincidence - or is it


No I never practiced law and never an OBA honcho! Just a guy who appreciated everything they tried to do on a limited budget and with volunteer coaches !
It burns me to see cry baby parents and players who malign an organization that has done so much for youth BB in Ontario !
A lot has changed in just the past five years or so, that my guy has been playing. He managed to stay just in front of those rule changes upon rule changes each year. If you include the interlock with TBA, he has been in five different affiliates and a stint in Buffalo. I guess they would feel great that finally the rules they have put in place would never let that happen again. It's true - they wouldnt...

and that's the sad part. We live rural and you're lucky to get in 15 games in a season locally. I can say in a heartbeat, he would not be in the game today if the new rules had been in place when he started out. He will be with a strong organization next summer and there are a number of US schools interested in getting him to camp as a pitcher already. Imagine if he becomes a D1 pitcher and can look back and say that "...for my situation, the organization that nurtured me, closed off the very doors that got me here."

I think Bobble has a lot to offer. Then again, Bobble, there are things (multiple teams) that your son was able to do back then that he couldn't do now under OBA rules. You were able to market with a good quality video at a time when there wasn't nearly as much video being sent out. Nowadays, you can load new videos every month or so on a free recruiting site and everyone is doing it. Coaches are inundated with videos. There is an expectation that you have one or two (at $600 a pop) PG Showcases under your belt. I'm not saying your son wasn't a very projectable pitcher when all was said and done but, the marketting of very projectable is quite different.

Imagine if you had no pitching coaching at all and you cant move.

For the other guys... imagine if baseball were run like basketball - pretty much complete freedom of movement. You see teams forming and folding on a continual basis. With girls and guys playing; a much longer season; they are running on about 2 1/2 times the budget - they can handle it. In baseball the affiliates would never know what they would be getting year-to-year. Organized ball might die without some sort of stability.

As far as its mandate goes, the OBA is fulfilling it. Every year 80 or so teams show up, play baseball and in general have fun doing so. Personally, in order for the sport to thrive, I believe they should have broadened the mandate to include maximizing the development of baseball to its highest levels. That would have kept the game alive and healthy. They should have created the PBLO
themselves and the training programs to reach elite levels.

I dont really want to close the door on Baseball Ontario. I think there's hope. That hope in my opinion, takes on the form of an overhaul of coaching development. Out of the 80 or so Bantam teams in Ontario, how many of them truly have a person capable of training a 15U player to pitch?; to hit? I'm not talking about training just the basics. I mean a kid who has been well-trained since 9 YO. I think that number is more than 5 and less than 10 - out of the 80. If that number were between 65 and 80, would we be so worried about moving our kids around?

I occasionally read the OBA minutes - I dont see serious development getting on the agenda soon...
The biggest problem as I see it is the OBA isn't set up to deal effectively with the current situation. Either though an imbalance of power or apathy, unwilling to look at it big picture. My kids have lived through the transition, the first one's AAA team was decimated by the PBLO, it was early in the development for the local PBLO team and they raided 3 good teams and reduced it to a AA level. Truth is he wasn't quite good enough to play PBLO and fortunately he didn't buy into that expensive dream. 5 of the kids he played AAA with locally had quality D 1 offers, 2 are currently doing well and will graduate - 1 has a shot at being drafted. The other potental D'1's remainded in canada for a number of reason - injury - preference for a cdn education and one had academic deficiencies, a couple others went down for Juco and came back to Cdn universities. The second son is currently in the ECPL, having played for 9 years prior in AAA, made the jump at 16/17. Great local coaches who cared, and contributed vast amounts of time - at a cerain point development was hindered though. The difference in level of play between the old AAA and new AAA is dramatic.It was an incredibly difficult decison and $ was the issue between ECPL and PBLO. Even then it remains a stretch of resources.

There are close connections with many PBLO organizers and the OBA - past and current. As a result you have too many conflicting dynamics; the only way to resolve this is for an independant authority to step in and establish some form of central hierarchy. Maybe blow it up and rebuild it.

There is some recent progress as it looks like some of the more knowlegeable experts (scouts and TM CDA coaches) are looking to bring together opportunities for all. Unfortunate that they have to do this independantly as they shouldn't have to.

IMO many of the PBLO organizers have compromised the principles and spirit of the OBA, and lack a tremendous amount of personal integrity. Seeking to make thousands of dollars off of teenagers and parents is what ticks me off. Feeding false hopes to many to pad their pockets. (Apologies to those who do it non profit - few and far between).

In my perfect world, each local organization would
continue to operate under the regional umbrellas (ICBA, COBA, YSBA, TBA etc). Each regional entity would organzie elite all star teams (2?) that particpate in 2-3 high profile tournaments summer and fall - shutting down communally for a week at sometime to accomodate. Winter workouts and specific training sessions would be open to all at one central or a rotating location, (year round) anyone wishing to participate would be welcome for a fee covering costs (not being aware of governement funding - this could help offset partially) I am pretty sure that a good core system/team could operate for 3-4K - and parents would have an options as far as involvement. Those who wanted to play A, AA, AAA league baseball, and train in the winter, play fall ball and potentaially play 1 tourney could do so for about 2 - 2.5 K. Even houseague would be welcome for training sessions - how better to increase participation, knowledge, awareness and increasing future competitivenses while building a base?

Underlying benefit is that the talent pool remains consistent; options are available for level of play and cost... HL, A, AA players can workout in the winter, receive conditioning, play fall ball and improve as well. There will always be some issues with who gets picked, but this is offset with the additional laying and practice opportunites - a 3rd level team could also be created to play in a select fall or summer tournament. There would be money in this budget to help pay for expertise in training and coaching as well.

The biggest challenge is getting the local teams to work together - does Guelph want to work with Cambridge in this process? Does Newmarket want to to work with Barrie? Residency rules would still apply, scheduling would be the biggest area of interdependance really - local bias for players would factor in when choosing teams and by who - but by having 2-3 teams (if #'s permitted) this would limit the controversy.

Final thought - we are all good people on this board, I know I don't always agree with soe things that are posted - but BB Doll is a good guy who really does want to help, Remmie - I agree with you wholeheartedly on many points. Blexanne has been there and seen it as well. Passion about our kids and the futures of others as well is what unites us.

I think ut's time to go outside play some catch...the first time in 3 years we havem't been down south with BB. TG spring is around the corner.
liner - I am with you on this post.

Son trained this winter with the very expensive option; will return to OBA for last summer and then will be gone. Have witnessed some very strong OBA Bantam teams that have been completely 'gutted' in the 16U year by PBLO's like the situation you describe.

I dont see an option if one is to progress with baseball. If you are a pitcher in a canibalized league, you might as well be throwing at cardboard signs. You are right in saying that the ECPL is less money. The scope of the program is also a lot less though (not necessarily a bad thing). Top end PBLO programs are intended to make longer trips and play competitively with teams much further south. That costs money. We have trained and played with four ECPL teams and one PBLO. Our training facility is second to none. I dont mean that it is overly fancy-smancy - I mean that it is well-designed from an industrial engineering standpoint. There's no way a team can put as many pitchers through in front of as many qualified pitching coaches as this place. This is a long term process and I would hazard it's designed fairly close to a D1 program.

I have witnessed in every program players that might not be elite... might not even project. I think though that it becomes obvious pretty soon. By 17U and 18U the kids drop out. Right now I can see guys that simply cannot hit; they pitch and every batter hits them; they are told there is no way they can play the position they think they can.

I dont know how the OBA would handle the selection process, particulalrly with the affiliates. They would certainly need to enlist the kind of coaches that exist in the PBLO and ECPL. It is doubtful that the OBA could create programs that would compete at the highest levels of the PBLO. The politics of those teams would be an absolute circus, particularly when you throw in the politics of the affiliates themselves.

Lastly, I would say that people that work within the PBLO and ECPL do not appear to be getting all that rich. When his playing days are done, I'm not encouraging my kid to get into the business, other than as a hobby. I wonder though whether some of the programs are 'overkill'. Do you really need to be in front of 20 universities if you are really only interested in a few of them at that point?

Maybe blow up and rebuild is the option.
Interesting points and perspectives from Notlong and Liner...much appeciated.

Look -- I don't pretend to have all the answers for this OBA as it is now, but I can tell you mine is not a lay-opinion. I have been on the inside trying to effect change for many years now and I can tell you that change is not welcome and opinions contrary to the OBA hierarcy's chosen direction is met with persona-non-grata status for "offenders".

The OBA is like every other "volunteer" sporting association in Ontario (in many ways) and I understand the original rationale for Ontario laws which allow these associations to exist and remain self-policing. When the OBA originated many years ago, youth sports were NOT "big business"...that has changed and while some sports have evolved, others have not.

The GTHL now releases all players at the end of each season. All 40,000 players can go wherever they want within the GTHL for whatever reason they want. I know hockey and baseball are very different animals in Canada, but it begs the questions: what makes Baseball refuse to release players, yet other sports let players move freely?

It is not simply a matter of numbers, because Basketball also allows free movement, as do the majority of Sock-er associations (had to change spelling to avoid ***'s), yet baseball remains steadfastly opposed to releases...except for special interests of certain groups and a select few individuals (not an opinion - a fact).

Sports associations were (and continue to be)allowed their autonomomy under the assumption that those in charge were/are acting in good faith and that the basic tenets of adminstrative laws were/are being followed. I have looked into many aspects of these statutes and it seems there are some that are interpreted "liberally" and not for the benefit of all concerned.

The reality is that for most parents, playing in a different association is not a viable option, because the logistics and financial issues make it either problematic, or impossible...getting johnny to a practice/game 45 minutes away adds a great deal of time and cost to a parent's already challenging days.

I have talked to hundreds of parents over many, many years, as both a parent, coach and executive member and I know the amount of families that can "afford" (in time and money)to play outside their home association is a very small percentage (in the very low single digits).

As stated before, youth sports associations were given autonomy and act as administrative tribunals when they allow appeals of their policies and rules -- I have to question why they do not allow Alternate Dispute Resolution to OBA decisions, because NOT to allow ADR does not give people the perception that fairness is a core value of OBA processes, or goals.

I do believe the OBA has done good things in past years, but I have no reason to believe that continues to be the case and I shudder to think what will happen as time goes on, if no checks or balances are put in place to ensure the OBA is accountable to someone who is 100% un-biased, instead of another buddy on the board.
It's just a point of view but, if we allowed anyone to go anywhere they wanted in baseball, I believe its foundations would crumble.

A few itterations of the "grass is greener" and with such small numbers playing baseball anyways, many baseball centres would disappear.

The OBA rule that allows movement only within the affiliate until Bantam, although it does not work for our minority situation, is probably not a bad rule overall. The problem is each affiliate creates their own riders to these rules. I find it funny that Georgetown had to go Nationals-shopping outside COBA this year in Guelph, Etobicoke, etc. but, Releases were limited within COBA itself. The whole movement thing is an inter-related puzzle between OBA, Afilliate, and Affiliate member - not just the OBA itself.

I'd like to see more happening with development, particularly at the younger ages. You have a lot of kids come to tryouts at Rookie in the Toronto area and only twelve spots to fill on the AAA team. Somehow, we need to retain the other 50 or so kids. I almost wonder whether you could create a winter development league for players up to 11YO in sports domes in the major centres. This might build a stronger base at the younger ages.

Maybe Baseball Ontario hires some advanced HS baseball players to go out and assist teams with their practices throughout the summer.

Maybe they look at some of the ideas about different levels of play that liner suggests.

It's not that the OBA is doing nothing right now. I thought it was a good thing that the Hamilton Cardinals hosted that "baseball beyond HS" seminar a couple of weekends back.

Maybe if they started a roving coach the coaches thing going. This is kind of like an ISO audit, with an offer to provide training afterwards. Results are confidential.
Actually when I marketed my son there was tons of video and net profiles. Same as today ! We did no showcases at all while many friends did .
A misconception about AAA, AA etc is that it reflects the level of play. AAA tend to be better but the OBA determines the designation based on population to draw players from. Our team was a AA size city that played AAA ! You can play up but not down !
I was there when the elite teams raided the OBA teams and the OBA reacted badly ! A once thriving organization was falling apart ! I have talked to the OBA many times and they had a hard time accepting what was happening and not all were unanimous about how to handle the situation. Team O had split from the OBA and the youth team was a disaster under Lumley ! Elite players were banned from playing on the youth team !
Eventually the OBA made up to the PBLO through the Team O coaches and that led to elite players being allowed to tryout and Ontario to regain their dominance in Canada !
The OBA had tried many suggestions such as roving coaches. They also had MiLB players in the Jays org hold skill days. Cogeco used to hold a skills camp with the Stompers, a Jay affiliate. We had college coaches from Brock teach our players skills pre season. Our local affiliate was doing it's best .
As the miget level approached many players dropped out and had other interests and it was hard to get 30=40 players out and even harder to get skilled players !
We also suffered under daddy ball and in fact my son was on the all star rookie team and wsa carded the next year as a call up. That was minor mosquito the 1st year of pitching. He was devastated but 8 of the best players were cut outright ! My son went through hell and the few times he was called up he was only used rarely ! I remember 1 game where the coaches were desperate and the were being mercied as usual and the coach said we only have BHD's son to go in. He struck all 3 batters out and they pulled him. Many more stories but the coach was fired mid season !
I have been there and done all that and never looked back. I also recognize the short falls of OBA but unless you are prepared to pay thousands so they can provide better coaches and venue you are out of luck ! Things were just as tough back when !We may have got more for our money but that is a reality of inflation !
If players are free to get releases and go wherever they want, there will be an imbalance of talent and teams that have many imports will dominate, while those that lose better players will flounder and fail.

I have seen and heard the argument so many times, I’ve lost count, but the problem is - it is only a theory – but it is one that generates enough concern (or fear) to garner support for the status quo.

TBA, COBA, YSBA and a few others have strong local centers with large/growing populations, which will allow them to stay strong in numbers for a long time to come. Strong populations = more players = better chances to have (proportionally) better players = better chances of having stronger teams.

Outside the GTA is where there are teams with less players at tryouts, which is usually a function of less (or limited) population to draw players from. If players from outside the GTA know they can play on a TBA team as “free agents”, how many players will make that jump…1…2? Nobody knows, but it sure as hell won’t be half the team and the likelihood of a team folding that loses even 2 players is very slim.

How about this scenario -- a group of players gets so fed up with a team/coach/association that many of the players boycott local tryouts to FORCE their local team to fold (due to insufficient players). At that point they all are automatically allowed to go elsewhere (with no team in their own area)…you think this is impossible? It is very possible and not hard to coordinate in some areas.

Is the OBA “balanced” now? No, because in most cases population = more strength of teams, so (proportionally) teams that draw from larger populations will win more and have more strong players (not always, but more often).

The OBA allowed PBLO teams into Provincial Elimination Tournaments for years, putting the AAA teams from the OBA at a distinct disadvantage, when trying to qualify to play in the Nationals…how is that fair?

Here are some release scenarios that HAVE occurred:

Player ‘A’ wants a release from a AA Rep team, but the release is denied at all 3 levels of the appeal process -- rather than continue to play on a team with a coach who has exhibited complete disdain for the player (and family), the player quits baseball altogether.

Player ‘B’ wants a release from a AA Rep team, but the release is denied at all 3 levels of the appeal process – the player is clearly a AAA caliber talent (several AAA teams want him), but the rules allow the local association to deny the release and they are supported by the affiliate and by the OBA, so, the player leaves baseball and plays “summer hockey”, never to return.

Player ‘C’ wants a release from an A Rep Team (to play on a AAA team), but the release is denied at all 3 levels of the appeal process – rather than play on a sub-standard OBA team with completely incompetent coaches, the player joins an ECPL team.

All 3 players were 100% willing to continue playing on a new team within their current affiliate and their release would never have resulted in them playing on a team that would have competed against the team they wanted to leave.

All 3 players have now left the OBA completely, so how does the OBA win in ANY of these cases? Yes, they have protected their precious rules and maintained their control over the players that remain, but they have told 3 players that they matter less than a rule that is applied un-evenly (at best).

One last example (this one is not real, but it is all too possible and just plain stupid):

Player ‘D’ left his home association 3 years ago, but now wants to play in a different association than his home, or current association. The player requests his release from the current association and it is granted, but his home association refuses to release the player to the new association because of a “bad taste in the mouth” of the coach from 3 years ago….what does the player do now? His current team knows he wants to leave, but he can’t go where he wants to and his home association team is run by a coach who is clearly holding a grudge.

If you think the Player ‘D’ scenario can’t happen, guess again – there have been several variations of that same set of circumstances and more will no doubt follow.

If NO player was EVER released under ANY circumstances in the OBA, perhaps the current release policy might begin to approach being “fair”, but in reality MANY players have changed teams and more will, so how can a rule be considered fair if it isn’t equally applied (that is a rhetorical question).

The OBA and their supporters can always justify their own rules, even if those same rules don’t pass the “sniff test” that logical and reasonable people would use to judge such decisions.

The "right" to do something does not mean that doing it is "right".

Here’s the ultimate in release policy "fairness" for all associations: ANY association that allows imports MUST allow player releases. How can an association allow a coach the benefit of cutting a local player in favour of an import, but then refuse to allow a player the right to “cut” a coach? What makes a coach’s choices omnipotent and a player’s choices irrelevant? Only one thing – a release policy.

“If moral behavior were simply following rules, we could program a computer to be moral. Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.”
No disrespect on how things happened there Bobble. Maybe I'll ask a question though. Do you think a Canadian RHP throwing 88 mph at the end of his Jr summer, would receive much attention in todays world, without participating with a travel program or doing a showcase, would garner much attention by just sending in a video? I'm saying somebody in the 90th percentile - not the 95th.

You're right when you say, "unless you are prepared to pay thousands". Liner pointed to a solution that was basically a tiered system getting to a point where it would be like THOUSANDS.

Even if the OBA were motivated to develop an elite system, I dont think they could actually pull it off and I dont think they could do it for less money than the PBLO's (same-program-for-same-program).

Certainly, Ontario's baseball credibility plummetted when they banned the PBLO's. Clearly the PBLO's made an impact when they were allowed. A few years back I did some analysis of about 200 players that attended Try Outs for I think Jr Nationals at Pearson. 90% of them were from elites. Maybe one OBA player makes the final team.

Certainly there are teams that play well beyond their centre size - Tecumseh comes to mind at our age group. Our team this year intends to move up from AA to AAA. How about Woodslea Bantam down in the Sun Parlour? A tiny community forms a team and draws the best players from Riverside, the Stars and Tecumseh. I bet less than 2 guys are from Woodslea. A class D centre that will probably give everybody a run for Nationals this year, let alone trying to qualify for AAA. Worse yet, you wont see it coming, cause if I were them I'd be playing all my strengthening games in MI.

I'm not really sure what the answer is.
quote:
Do you think a Canadian RHP throwing 88 mph at the end of his Jr summer, would receive much attention in todays world, without participating with a travel program or doing a showcase, would garner much attention by just sending in a video? I'm saying somebody in the 90th percentile - not the 95th.


Yes he could but I think the travel team and showcases would add credibility to the pitcher. For example mu son pitched against the SR Brantford Red Sox at 17 yo and struck 5 out in 2 innings ! Coaches on the teams knew the batters who were former college players. BB is a small world !
Some colleges mostly Florida JCs wanted him to come and workout for them ! For example Pensacola which had 2 Canadians on the team. They were his star players. I had a news clip of my son beating their team which was the London District All star team. The coach I believe his last name was Martin called and wanted us to workout for him. Many coaches will not make offers off videos but many will if you show them what you can do/ Just throwing 88 is not enough as almost all teams have several throwing harder. You need hooks to make you stand out. My son's college team had 4 guys throwing in the 90s and still does.
All of our videos were taken at 17yo and my son was only throwing 82-83 ! Our goal was to get his college paid for through academic and BB money ! We didn't care about how prominent the team was which would have probably made it harder to reach our goal ! We cared more about who they played. Playing top teams was very exciting to my son ! If he didn't get what he wanted , he would have stayed home.
We used DVD instead of net because it was a physical reminder for the coach to look at it. We made it so the coach had a quick access to what he needed to see ! Lots of game action edited to get rid of wasted footage ! We had response from all but a couple schools !

Playing in showcases didn't really help some of son's friends anymore than my son ! Yes most of them played US college ball but not worth the extra money to us ! One was hitting 90 and was very good. He paid a fortune and ended up at a D1 in Arkansas and now sells cars while playing on a COBA SR team ! He also needed a realease to play COBA as my son did to play COBA. Both got releases. Releases are only needed of course if you are playing under the OBA umbrella ! You also have to realize that the team you want to move to may not want you to move as well as the team you leave ! If you get a spot you in fact are taking a spot that a resident is losing ! It is a two way street and you nwou;d not like it if an import took your spot away.
HS also has similar rules. Our HS was a magnet for top Basketball players. Lots of players wanted to play at son's HS but were blocked by a jurisdiction rule. Some even sold there homews to move into the jurisdiction ! The HS was a AA school that played AAAA against the best teams in Ontario like East Commerce . The rules were the same as BB ! OBA did not invent the rules but adopted them !

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