1. Who may participate in Raptors baseball?
Any child from 6 years old to 14 years old (based on child's age as of 5/1/2023). We do allow 5-year-olds to play up to a 6-year-old team so long as he/she meets the age requirement (i.e. turns 5 by May 1). We only allow three 5-year-olds per team at the 6U level
Documentation is required for all returning and new players. Official state certified birth certificates or a valid passport are accepted and must be produced when requested.
2. When does AA baseball registration occur?
Online individual registration for Raptors baseball opens mid-October and closes in February. Registration may close early based on number of registrations and capacity. If registrations closes, the option to be placed on our waitlist will exist. All registrations are on a first come first served basis. Baseball registration can close early if we reach capacity. EARLY REGISTRATION IS SUGGESTED AND ENCOURAGED!!
3. When does AAA & Majors baseball registration occur?
Team registration (no individual registration) for AAA & Majors will occur early February. Coaches will receive a specific registration link that they will forward to their team/players after they have paid in full for the AYL league fee.
4. Why does baseball registration occur so early for this Spring/Summer sport?
Raptors is a member of the AYL which has more than 300+ teams participating in youth baseball. By Mid-February, each club must define and commit to the number of teams by age and division that will participate in the league. This is required to allow time for the all-volunteer AYL baseball board to complete detailed plans for the season including game schedule, number of officials required, game fields, etc. This also provides ample time for Raptors to acquire quality coaches to fill any coaching vacancies.
5. What is the difference between AA and AAA/Majors?
AA is a competitive intermediate level (usually the step up after rec baseball). AA is split into two divisions. National (intermediate) and American (advanced).
AAA/Majors is for the most advanced/proficient of players who have played at the AA level prior and typically play in weekend tournaments throughout the season. Most AAA teams play the AYL season on top of playing tournaments offered by USSSA, Triple Crown, CABA and other tournament providers.
6. How do I register my player for AAA/Majors team/league?
The coaches of the AAA/Majors teams control their rosters. Roster spots are obtained by coaches’ invitation only or through a tryout. Raptors has no ability to place players on a competitive AAA/Majors roster without the consent from the head coach. Team tryouts are typically held shortly after the baseball season ends (usually July, August, or September). AAA/Majors teams usually start indoor practice in January. If you miss tryouts but wish for your player at this level we suggest networking via social media to obtain more information.
7. When does the typical baseball season run (All Levels)?
Practice begins for both AA and AAA at the beginning of March. AYL league games starting at the beginning of April. This allows ample time for the players to get into "baseball" shape.
The AA season consists of weekly regular season games (played on weekends) and an end of season AYL World Series tournament. AA teams, regardless of division, will be scheduled for games on both Saturdays and Sundays. Almost all teams will have games on both days of each weekend throughout the season.
The AAA & Majors season consists of weekly regular season games (played on weeknights) and an end of season single elimination AYL World Series tournament. Our AYL World Series season ending tournament is usually completed by the end of June. The season calendar varies year to year by as much as one week. Games may be added or subtracted based on weather and schedule optimization. If weather affects games AA teams may have to play during the week for make-ups.
8. How do I go about registering my child for Raptors baseball (AA levels)?
Register online on the baseball homepage under the REGISTRATION tab or orange "register now" button. Registration opens mid-October and is first come first served until we are at capacity.
9. What is the cost to play Raptors baseball (AA levels)?
The cost for Raptors baseball can change from year-to-year primarily based on our field provider’s adjustments in field usage fees. The early bird cost to play baseball in 2023 is $400 ($375 for 6U and 7U) until December 31, 2022, per child if registered and paid in full prior to closing registration or age groups reaching capacity.
Regular registration begins on January 1st at $500 ($475 for 6U and 7U). Once we reach capacity, we will move late and unpaid registrants to a waitlist. Players registering late are placed on a waitlist and then on a team if space is available. Registrations must be paid in full to be placed on a roster. Registration without a payment does not "hold" a spot on any roster.
Also, if a registration is complete without payment during the early bird time period it must be paid by the end of the early bird period in order to still take advantage of the discount. Once we get to regular registration, those who remain unpaid will lose early bird priority and discounts.
10. What is the cost to play Raptors baseball (AAA & Majors levels)?
The team cost for AAA & Majors baseball can change from year-to-year primarily based on our field provider’s adjustments in field usage fees and AYL league costs. The cost to play baseball in 2023 is $4000 per team. Teams must be registered by the registration deadline and paid in full by January 31, 2022.
11. What does the registration fee cover (AA levels)?
The fee covers many items including but not limited to:
► League Registration costs and fees, insurance costs, coach background checks, mailing list costs, etc.
► Practice costs such as practice field (indoor & outdoor) usage & permits, coaching and practice equipment.
► Game costs such as game field usage & permits, including weekly field set up/tear down, official’s costs, website scheduling, score reporting costs, and officials evaluation costs.
► Raptors baseball operating expenses such as bank fees, credit card fees, ongoing coaching evaluations, coaches training clinics, education, background checks, administration costs, copying, postage, etc.
12. What equipment will I have to purchase for my child to play Raptors baseball (AA levels)?
Each individual player is responsible for purchasing his/her own game uniform, glove, batting helmet and cleats. Raptors does not provide batting helmets, or baseball bats.
The required Raptors game uniform consists of a home white pinstriped jersey and an away green jersey with Raptors logos on the front, Home white pinstripe baseball pants and away grey with black piping pants, and the approved Raptors baseball hat. Players will have two options of pant length, however if a player purchases “knicker” knee height pants, they will be required to by Raptors Gametime socks as well. Prime Time Sports is the authorized provider of the official Raptors game jerseys, pants, and hat.
Before purchasing and putting a number on your jersey be sure your jersey number has been approved by the Raptors Director.
13. Where can we purchase baseball uniforms and equipment (AA levels)?
Prime Time Sports is the authorized uniform provider.
14. How is a new player assigned to a team? Can we request a friend to play with or a coach to play for?
A baseball player is assigned to a team based on the player's age is on May 1, 2023 and experience. We attempt to place a new player on a team with a similar experience level. Then if there are multiple choices, we will try to match the new player with a team that has other players from the same school or within the middle school feeder system. Priority for placement is based on what date you registered online.
Raptors baseball players may request to play with a friend or a particular coach. This can be noted on the online registration forms. If a team preference is indicated on the registration form, Raptors will try to honor that preference. However, there are other factors such as team level of competitive play, specific team roster openings, etc, that affect that placement.
15. Are there tryouts?
At this time, Raptors does not hold tryouts for AA levels. Raptors does hold player evaluations to be able to match skill level with appropriate teams and divisions. In some cases, the Raptors executive baseball board will suggest some players move to the Town of Castle Rock recreation league based on skill level shown at evaluations. If this is suggested it is because the player’s base knowledge or skills are below the minimum level that will make AA baseball enjoyable for the player. Our job is to make sure every kid has an enjoyable and successful season of baseball, even if that means playing in a begginer level league.
Raptors reserve the right to change the no tryout policy in the future.
At the AAA & Majors level there are tryouts that are ran and facilitated by the Head coach of that particular team.
16. How are returning Raptors baseball players placed on teams (AA levels)?
Returning players who are registered and paid in full by December 31st of the current year will automatically be granted higher priority over new players to Raptors and will generally be assigned to the same team they played on the previous season. The player’s jersey number used by that returning player is also maintained for that player as long as the registration is completed by December 31st of the current year. Should a returning player fail to register by the December 31st cutoff, they will be placed on a team in the same manner and in the same priority as any new player. Should a returning player wish to change teams for any reason please contact one of the Raptors baseball representatives as soon as possible so we can advise and assist you in making the requested change. Please understand that a returning player that wishes to change teams must still register by December 31st of the current year. If registered prior to December 31st, the returning player requesting to change teams will be given priority over any new players requesting that same team. Priority for placement for the returning player requesting to change teams is based on the date you registered online.
17. How many players are on a team (AA levels)?
Team size can vary depending upon the number of kids registering to play but the preferred roster size is 12 kids for AA teams.
18. Where, when and how often is practice (all levels)?
Raptors pay for permits for practice fields primarily from The Town of Castle Rock, Douglas County Parks & Recreation and Douglas County Schools. Typically, all our practice fields are located in Castle Rock.
Teams will be given 2 practices per week in the preseason prior to games starting. Once the regular season starts, teams will typically still have two practices per week (April - June) with the practice times being 5:00pm to 9:30pm during the week.
The start and end time for practices generally takes in to account the coaches work schedule and field availability. Generally, practices are 90 minutes long and are from 5-6:30pm, 6:30-8:00pm and 8:00-9:30pm
We also try our best to schedule teams at appropriate practice times for their age groups.
5 to 8-year-olds will have practices that end no later than 6:30pm (unless otherwise requested by the coach)
9 to10-year-olds will have practices that end no later than 8:00pm
11 and above can and will practice until 9:30pm.
We do stagger and try to put teams as early as possible, however 13/14U are the first to be scheduled late followed by 12U and continuing downward.
19. How many games are played (AA levels)? Where and when are they scheduled (AA levels)?
The AYL regular season generally consists of being scheduled for 14 games. All teams qualify for the post-season AYL World Series tournament. Beyond the guaranteed game in the World Series, the number of games that a team can play depends on how many games a team can win. In some cases, teams can play 2-3 games in a day. In addition, teams will play in the AYL preseason games the first weekend of April.
The AYL is comprised of Member Clubs establishing teams in the South Metro area communities of Littleton, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, South Aurora, Parker, Castle Rock, Cherry Creek and South Jeffco. Games can be played at any of these locations at specific fields.
Regular season games are scheduled for Friday (5-10PM), Saturday (9AM-9PM) Sunday (9AM-9PM), and Monday (5-10PM). Typically, the first regular-season game is scheduled for Friday, Saturday or Sunday of the second weekend in April. The regular season runs through the second week of June. Postseason playoffs begin immediately following the conclusion of the regular season and continue with the AYL World Series tournament that is usually completed the end of June/early July. Please understand that games may be postponed by weather, field issues or other problems resulting in game cancelations. Games are typically rescheduled ASAP and can be played on any day of the week.
20. What if we have a family vacation scheduled during the season?
Baseball requires significant preparation and practice as well as a strong commitment to the team. Family vacations during the season are highly discouraged. Depending upon team rules, playing time may be impacted because of the time your player misses due to a vacation. You are encouraged to schedule your vacations prior to or after the season to avoid playing time impact. If you must schedule a family vacation during the season, please inform your head coach as soon as possible to understand how your team is impacted.
21. What happens if my team has to forfeit a game?
Anytime a team forfeits an AYL league game, the AYL will assess a fine for the forfeit ($100 for regular season, $200 for playoffs). There will also be field use charges and umpire fees that will be assessed as well. The Raptors Baseball Board will discuss the cause of the forfeit with the team coach. The coach will provide us with those families that were absent and created the forfeit. The forfeit charges will be split amongst the families responsible for creating the forfeit. Forfeits not only effect your own team, but your opponents and the umpires.
Forfeit charges will be added to the account of those responsible for making their team forfeit. If during the regular season, those players will become ineligible to play until their forfeit fines are paid. If the forfeit occurs in the playoffs, then the fees will be added and due within 90 days. If they are not paid within 90 days, then the outstanding balance can and will be sent to collections. Also, families responsible for forfeits will not be allowed to play Raptors Athletics until those fines are paid.
22. What if my child decides after signing up that he does not like baseball and wants to quit? What is the refund policy?
All refund requests through 1/15/2023 will be issued minus $50 for administrative fees. Any registration or request made after 1/15/2023 is 100% non-refundable even in the event of (but not limited to) a delayed or cancelled season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
22. Who can be a coach?
Anyone can apply to be a head coach. The head coach will appoint his/her own assistant coaches. The process involves filling out an application, undergoing a background check and completing an interview with Raptors baseball representatives. All Raptors coaches are required to attend any mandated yearly AYL coach trainings/meetings and are encouraged to attend any local coaching clinics if they can as well. All Raptors baseball coaches must go through the mandatory concussion training offered free online which is required by state law. If you are interested in coaching Raptors baseball please contact the Raptors baseball representatives directly.
23. Who will be my player's coach?
Raptors is an all-volunteer organization. Every coach, assistant coach, team mom/dad, AYL delegate, treasurer, president, vice-president, coordinator, etc., is a volunteer. While many of our coaches have been with us for many years, we have new coaches every season and are always looking for more interested coaches to continue to grow our program. Raptors provides instruction to coaches in the form of clinics (coaches are required to attend at least one clinic per season) and requires background checks on all coaches as well as concussion training. In the situation where a roster is formed from registrations but there is no coach for that team, we will reach out to the parents of those players to fill the coaching role - we understand it's a big commitment but it's also a very rewarding one!
24. When will I be contacted by my player's coach?
Coaches will be contacting their players by the 3rd week in February. If you have not been contacted by the last week in February please contact the director of baseball.
25. Where can I find the age-specific baseball rules?
Baseball rules can be found at: http://aylsportsbaseball.leag1.com/Page.asp?n=40026&org=aylsportsbaseball
26. Does my player get equal playing time?
As a competitive organization players may not receive equal play time. For specific play time rule regulations please visit the baseball rules at www.aylsports.org
AYL's playing time rule states at AA every player in attendance must bat in the batting order and play 6 of the first 15 defensive outs in AA games. The only exception to this is in instance of injury or disciplinary action from the coach.
27. How can I help?
There are many volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in volunteering your time to the Raptors organization, please contact the Raptors baseball director.
Should you have further questions please contact our volunteers listed below:
Collin Cacchione (Director of Baseball)
Michael Levin (Assistant Director of Baseball)