Starting in 2021, COMBA will be changing the league formats for Rally Cap and Tadpole. Instead of Rally Cap (U6-U7) and Tadpole (U8-U9), we will be splitting up all age groups, as well as introducing a U5 program.
A lot of organizations are switching to this format, and you may already be familiar with it in other local associations like soccer. This is the recommended format for these ages and is being strongly encouraged by Baseball Canada, and Baseball BC. Kamloops switched to this format 4 years ago and has seen a drastic increase in the number of players that remain in baseball, which only helps bolster the older age groups, in years to come.
Physical and Mental Development
The difference between a child born in January as a U9 (01-2012) VS a child born in December as U8 (12-2013) is a full two years. The physical and mental development at these early stages is very dramatic and have been a concern for COMBA and parents alike, as seen by the number of requests to have children move up due to ability and safety concerns. With this new format, we will NOT be entertaining any move-up requests.
Mandatory Coaching Manual
One of the big advantages to these changes is the support that comes from Baseball BC in training programs that outline the full 10 weeks of training for the season. This program is mandatory for all coaches to follow. Following this programming does 2 important things:
First, it makes coaching that much simpler. Most coaches at this level have very little experience coaching and very little experience playing high level of ball. Having a manual that walks through every practice, as well as what to look for for each skill helps coaches learn the fundamentals and structure practices to best help the players. It is also hopeful that coaches will be less intimidated to step-up and coach because the workload is dramatically decreased.
Second, it puts all players at a more equal level. We want all players to have the same basic skill-set of baseball and movement skills moving on from year-to-year, regardless of the ability of the coaches. The more equal the players in training, the more fun everyone.
We are looking forward to these changes for Spring of 2021!