Baseball is a great game because it can be played for so little. You don't need extremely expensive equipment to play. You don't often need an expensive location to rent. It is perfect for local communities because it can be enjoyed by almost anyone and is fun to play and watch at practically every level.
It is for all these reasons that many communities have local baseball leagues of their own, especially for kids. Kids, however, are not the only ones who enjoy baseball, and adult amateur leagues can do wonders towards helping the community come together and stay fit all at the same time.
If your local community doesn't have a league that fits you and your level, then there is nothing stopping you from starting one of your own. With this guide, you will know exactly what you need to get your own league up and running and how to keep those upstart and running costs low so that everyone can enjoy.
There may actually be a local league in your area, but they aren't that great at advertising and letting others know it exists. Look through your local newspaper or ad listings, ask around, go to the town hall, or see if there is anything organized through the local gyms or community centers. Once you have exhausted those options and haven't found either any league or a league that suits you, then you can take the next step in starting your own league.
Before you can start a league, you need to have players and interested people. You can do this by putting up flyers, by putting in a local ad, and by using social media. Don't forget word-of-mouth, either. Ask your friends and family and have them spread the word to get in touch with you if they know anyone that might be interested, and so on.
Building a mailing list is essential as you can then get in contact and keep everyone who messaged you informed of what steps you are taking. Once you have enough players for a game, you can, for example, start looking at fields to rent.
A great way to keep costs low is to have every member get their own equipment. If you are trying to put together a league for amateurs, this can be very useful and can help those just getting into the sport properly. You can even float the idea of using part of the membership fee to cover basic costs, from field rental all the way to Lizard Skins bat grip tape.
Having everyone vote is another great way to keep the members engaged. Polls are easy to manage online. Some things you can vote on include what everyone wants to split costs on. Things that are essential, like field rental, are non-negotiable, but you can also split the cost into everyday equipment items like that bat grip tape so that it is always available and on hand.
This will give you a better idea of what the membership fee should be and also ensure that everyone knows where their membership fee money will be going.
While professionally maintained fields may require a rental price, there are many local areas you may be able to play for free. Parks and even schools are a great places to go to, as you can get in touch with either your city or with the school board to discuss about hosting your league there at certain times (usually on the weekends).
Membership fees cover the communal cost of running the league. It should cover field rental, game equipment like diamonds, a first aid kit, and even a small marketing budget to get the word out there about the league, any games, and of course, if you hold a tournament.
As interest and your list grows, you will need to decide how teams are split up. This can be entirely random, it can be based on skillset, it can be through a draft, or it can be a hybrid mix of options. The approach that suits your league best will depend entirely on how many are there to play regularly. If it is a small group splitting up everyone randomly on the day for a game may be all you can manage. If your league grows, you can then start putting people together with those of similar skillset.
While everyone will need to pay a membership fee, there also shouldn't be a penalty for not showing up. This is meant to be fun, and other responsibilities and events is going to take priority from time to time. That is why you will want to create a schedule so that people have options.
For example, you could meet twice a week. The first time could be a batting cage session and practice on a weeknight. The second time you meet up could be on the weekend for a few games randomly split up. This way, people have the option and can likely make more time to get out there, stay fit, make friends, and play baseball than otherwise.
If you have at least one team that is very good, you will want to look into entering local competitions with other leagues in the area. This often requires a fee, and you often need to go through a few hoops, from registering the team to following the rules of the tournament.
As your league grows, you can expand, and to expand, you will want to look into sponsors. You can get local businesses to advertise on your uniforms, can have a sponsored drink partner and more. Use the funds from that to enter into competitions, to expand your league for new members, and to even manage other community outreach programs.
A baseball league has the chance to keep people fit and bring a community together. If your local area doesn't have one, use these tips and get started. You, your friends, and your community will thank you.