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Updated Wednesday February 22, 2017 by North Coast Minor Baseball Association.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL?

Baseball ("hardball") and softball ("slowpitch") are similar in many respects, but you'll notice a few major differences between the two sports when you begin to compare. The biggest difference is the pitching, where baseball is an overhand throwing motion off of a raised mound, and softball is an underhand toss off of level ground.  In addition, the ball is smaller (and denser) in baseball, whereas the ball is larger and has limited flight in softball.  There are other subtle difference with regards to base distances, field sizes, and minor rules.

We like baseball because its a more popular sport on a professional level (its what the kids can watch on TV!), offers more competitive affiliations, and its easier for a baseball kid to switch to softball than the other way around.

WHAT EQUIPMENT DOES MY CHILD NEED?

All players must supply their own glove.  (Blastball doesn’t really NEED a glove, but from an orientation/development perspective we very strongly recommend it.)

In TeeBall and Baseball, we strongly recommend players get their own batting helmet and groin protection.  We will have common “team” helmets available as an alternative. 

If you bring your paid registration receipt into Oceanside Sports, they are offering a 20% discount to NCMBA players on a glove or helmet!

On a completely optional basis, players can also consider baseball shoes/cleats (soccer cleats are a good substitute at this age), baseball pants, personal bats, etc.  Please make sure they are well identified with a name label.

Tshirt uniforms and hats will be supplied by the league and kept by the player.  The league will provide bats, balls, bases, catcher’s equipment, umpire equipment for parent volunteers, etc.

WHAT IS "BLASTBALL"?

Blastball is a simplified “orientation” version of baseball, designed to reduce time standing around and increase movement. The game is played with special soft bats and balls to avoid risk of injury and minimize equipment needs. Teams are kept small in number to allow supervision, reduce waiting times and increase repetitions of the fun stuff.  

A game has 2-3 teams. (If there are three teams, one team hits, one team fields and a third team works with instructors on skill development.) The batting team takes turns hitting the ball off of a “T”. The batter runs to first base after hitting the ball. The base honks when it is stepped on. After hitting, running to the base and making it honk, the player comes back off the field. After the hitting team has all had turns at bat, the teams rotate.

HOW DO I KNOW WHICH PROGRAM TO REGISTER FOR?

On the registration page you’ll see that we’ve tried to align programs with age groups:

Blastball:        Ages 4 & 5 (Pre-K & K, Birthyear 2012-2011)
TeeBall:         Ages 6 & 7 (Grade 1 & 2, Birthyear 2010-2009)
Baseball:       Ages 8 to 11 (Grade 3 to 6, Birthyear 2005-2008)

Register for the group that lines up best with age, and after we are able to do an initial assessment we can always adjust them to the right group for their skill and knowledge level.  Players who master skills early will be encouraged to join a level up.

Depending on registration numbers we may also run two "baseball" divisions to give a better seperation in age groups and skill levels.

If you have any further questions, or just want to talk about the best way to fit your child in, contact us by email (northcoastball@gmail.com) and we’ll give you a call.

WHAT DAYS AND TIMES ARE THE PROGRAMS GOING TO BE USING?

The 2017 season will begin the week of April 22 and will run until the end of June.  We may try and get out a little earlier with some indoor practices just to start throwing and catching.

Blastball will be a slightly shorter season running from early May to late June.

Specific days haven't been determined yet but will likely focus on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays to avoid other organized sports conflicts (especially soccer).

WHERE WILL THE KIDS BE PLAYING?

All programs -- Blastball, TeeBall and Baseball -- will be playing at McKeown Field in Port Edward (beside the old elementary school). This field is a very level, well-maintained field that drains extremely well, and is currently being customized for baseball by the District. The field location will also provide us with some use of the old elementary school gym for rainy days--although apparently "Sunny Port Edward" should provide us with better conditions generally.

WHAT ABOUT RAIN?

We’ll be instituting an email and text messaging system that will push out alerts to parents by 3:00 PM if we are cancelling a practice/game in the evening based on weather. 

We are currently investigating the potential for ‘makeup’ options and/or potential ‘rainy day’ indoor practice space in the old Port Edward elementary school gym.