Opening day is Saturday April 12th at the Bel Air High School Stadium. Pictures for ages 7-8 through 13-15 will be held on Friday April 11th at the McFaull Center gym. T-ball pictures will be held at BAHS on Saturday April 12th. The picture schedule is now posted in the news items.
Bel Air Baseball will participate in the Orioles Little League Day on Sunday April 27th vs Kansas City Royals. Those in uniform are invited to parade around the field prior the game. Tickets are $13/each - with $5 going back to the program as a fundraiser. Tickets can be reserved by emailing the chairperson. They are currently available for distribution. THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS A SELLOUT AGAIN THIS YEAR.
2014 Season Update
Welcome to the 2014 Baseball Season! The Bel Air Baseball Program is a volunteer organization that operates within the Bel Air Recreation Committee. Our focus is to teach baseball skills, promote fair team play, and above all have fun for players of all ages and skill levels. Teams are formed according to age and ability, and league "balance" is encouraged. We ask all players, coaches, parents, umpires and spectators to honor our Program’s Code of Conduct.
Program Registration for the 2014 Baseball Season will be held online only starting Wednesday, Jan 1st. Registration will continue through January 31st or until programs are filled. If available, late registration will be offered beginning February 1st with an additional $10 fee.
ALL COACHES, ASSISTANTS and VOLUNTEERS need to register using the Adult Volunteer link.
Program fees for 2014 remain unchanged from 2013
AGE GROUPS/REGISTRATION COSTS/GAME DAYS
April 30th, 2014
6 or younger
Saturday (Sunday makeup)
8 or younger
Mon/Tues & Thurs/Fri (2 games/week)
10 or younger
Tuesday and Friday
12 or younger
Monday and Thursday
15 or younger
19 or younger
Sunday or Monday & Wednesday
Varies - Up to Age 19
Practice Wednesday, Game Days vary by team
*Players registering after Jan 31st will be assessed a late fee of $10.
**The 13-15 Age Group will play in the Northern Harford County Baseball League and compete against other local recreation councils in Forest Hill and Hickory.
Bel Air Baseball is affiliated with the Cal Ripken Division of Babe Ruth Baseball.
PLAYER EVALUATIONS - Player evaluations for the 9-10, 11-12 and 13-15 Leagues are scheduled for Sunday March 9th. These evaluations are designed to assess player skill levels to ensure that the in-house leagues are balanced. ALL players should attend. Evaluations will be held at the McFaul Activities Center gym. 9-10 evaluations will be 1:00-2:30pm, 11-12 evaluations will be 2:30-3:30pm and 13-15 evaluations will be 3:30-4:30pm.
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE FOR 2014
Practices and games will be held at various fields in the Bel Air area. The status of each field will be listed on the website home page.
The first session of t-ball will be Saturday April 26th
The 13-15 season will begin Monday April 14th.
Practices for the 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12 leagues will start the week of March 31st and continue through Friday April 25th. The season for each league will begin the week of April 28th.
Opening day is Saturday April 12th at the Bel Air High School Stadium. Pictures for ages 7-8 through 13-15 will be held on Friday April 11th at the McFaull Center gym. T-ball pictures will be held at BAHS on Saturday April 12th. The picture schedule will be posted in the news items.
Bel Air Baseball will look to host a local competition of the Pitch, Hit and Run on opening day for ages 7-14. It will be held on the Bel Air High school softball and jv baseball fields. Registration forms will be posted or you can register at opening day. Winners will advance to the regional competition.
Bel Air Baseball will host a Little League Day at the Baltimore Orioles. The date is Sunday April 27th vs Kansas City Royals. The cost of the game will be $13/ticket - with $5 going to Bel Air Baseball as a fundraiser. Ticket requests can be emailed to the chairperson at
Games to be held at Ripken this year - This is still TBD
PLAYING UP - On occasion, a player may be sufficiently talented to play up in an older age group. Parents should consider this carefully as a younger player may be at risk, no matter what his/her skill level is. No player younger than 6 years old will be allowed to play up in the 7-8 age group. No player younger than 10 may play up in the 11-12 age group. No player younger than 12 may play up in the 13-15 age group.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED - Bel Air Baseball is a volunteer organization that operates solely thru the dedication of our volunteers. We are always looking for interested volunteers to assist with coaching, maintaining the fields, and various other tasks. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up through the Adult Volunteer registration link. All coaches are required to complete an online coaches’ certification course. Bel Air Recreation Committee coaches and volunteers must complete an online background check.
UMPIRES - Umpires are needed for the 9-10 and 11-12 age groups. If you are interested in umpiring please contact us via email at
or you can also sign up at registration.
SIGNING UP TOGETHER WITH FRIENDS - In order to maintain the Program’s balance we can only honor carpool requests and other special requests in the 4-6 and 7-8 Age Groups.
REFUNDS - Refunds will only be considered for medical reasons.
CODE OF CONDUCT - All coaches, players, parents, umpires and spectators are expected to become familiar with and honor our Program’s Code of Conduct posted on the website.
TRAVEL TEAMS - The Bel Air Baseball Program has travel teams that play in various leagues in the Harford County and Baltimore metropolitan areas up to age 19. In-house play is optional for travel players from the 13-19 age groups. Travel players thru age 12 are also required to play on an in-house team. Travel registration for ages 13-19 is $80 - players should use the Travel/Metro 90' registration link. This is not refundable if a player is not selected for a travel team, but is transferable to in-house registration costs. Travel baseball is a self-funded program (i.e. players cover the costs of league fees, uniforms, equipment, umpires, etc.). Players Fees can range from $300 to $1000 per player in addition to the program registration fee depending upon the team, league, tournaments, etc. Players can raise a portion of these fees thru fundraising. Travel baseball is a more competitive experience than the in-house program and only the most proficient players are selected. To try out for a Bel Air Baseball Travel Team all players must register with the program. Players interested in trying out for a travel team should sign up at the earliest registration. Travel Team tryouts will begin February 1st. Additional information on travel baseball can be found at www.belairrec-baseball.org .
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION - For additional information contact the Bel Air Baseball Program chairperson via email at
Coaching your child: Expert advice from T-ball to high school
It’s an unforgettable line from Field of Dreams: “Hey, Dad, you wanna have a catch?” Kevin Costner is already an adult when he tosses a baseball to his ghostly father. For most dads and kids, the moment comes much sooner; and for thousands of families across the country, a simple catch leads to dad signing up his son or daughter with the local youth league, and then signing up himself as coach.
Then the simple joy of tossing a ball back and forth transforms into something more complicated. The team, of course, includes other players. And they have parents, many of whom have opinions about you as a coach. Practices are difficult enough to run smoothly, and they lead to games, and games are competitive. Are you a good coach or a poor one? Is your child a good player or a lousy one? Are you playing favorites with your child? Or are you harder on your kid than on the others, creating friction in the family?
None of that mattered during the backyard catch. Coaching a son or daughter, it turns out, is one of the most challenging pursuits a parent can take on. It can be exceedingly rewarding. And it can be exceedingly frustrating – to the child as well as the parent.
Even if the child hits the sports equivalent of the lottery and becomes a professional athlete, memories of the years under dad’s tutelage can be a mixed bag. Kevin Neary and Leigh A. Tobin co-authored a book, Major League Dads, which features 250 pages of big-league baseball players recounting being coached as youngsters by their fathers. Most of the memories are positive: the work ethic dad taught, the skills he honed, the fun he emphasized. Others are telling, and could help serve as a road map for any dad piling bats and helmets into his car and heading off to the field. Neary and Tobin even reference Field of Dreams (and its most unforgettable line: “If you build it, he will come.”)
Another resource for parents coaching their children is Bruce E. Brown of Proactive Coaching, who has spoken to more than a million young athletes, parents and coaches over the last 12 years. His common-sense advice helps anyone involved in youth, high school and college sports maximize their enjoyment while avoiding pitfalls. He was the primary source for a story I wrote in February on how to avoid being a nightmare sports parent.
Most dad/coaches do a good job, Brown said, although they all face obstacles. He pointed out that because professional athletes often have freakish athletic ability, their success isn’t necessarily the product of a dad who did everything right as a coach. But some do. The finest youth coach in tiny Pierson, Fla., 35 years ago was Larry Jones, whose son, also named Larry, was such a chip off the old block people started calling him Chipper. Of course, today Chipper Jones is a 19-year MLB veteran and seven-time All-Star with the Atlanta Braves.
“My dad and I still talk two or three times a week,” Jones told Neary. “Whenever I get into a slump, my coaches ask me if I’ve called my dad. He knows my swing the best of anyone.”
Greg Maddux, who ranks eighth all-time with 355 wins, is appreciative of something most children don’t hear: “The greatest lesson I learned from my father was that you’ve got to think for yourself. You’ve got to learn how to do things for yourself. I know it was hard for a dad to do and say, but he did it.”
It’s inevitable that a coach will say something to his child he wouldn’t say to another player. When a pre-teen Derek Jeter wouldn’t shake hands with the other team after a loss, his father/coach told him it was “time to grab a tennis racket, since you obviously don’t know how to play a team sport.” And Tampa Bay Rays slugger Evan Longoria’s dad told him to stop crying when the boy was pitching at age 8.
“I can just remember him walking out to the mound and him giving me that stern look – almost a yell, but not really – saying, ‘What are you doing crying out here?’ ” Longoria said. “But he made sure not to go too far with his look because he didn’t want me to cry even more.”
Coaching a son or daughter is not a prerequisite for getting him or her a college scholarship or reaching the pros. The father of J.D., Stephen and Tim Drew – the only family to have three first-round draft picks – didn’t coach. But regardless of a child’s talent, a parent might choose to coach. It can be tremendously rewarding. And most youth sports organizations will gladly accept another volunteer.
Steve Henson is Senior Editor, Major League Baseball at USA Today Sports Media Group. You can follow him on Twitter at @HensonUSAToday