New Parent Info
NEW PARENT/PLAYER INFORMATION
If you are new to Athens Sandlot, then this will give you some general information. There are links and pull down links
at the top of the page for additional information on many of these items such as Registration Day and Evaluation Day.
The Athens Sandlot league was formed with the goal of creating instructional competitive play for youth baseball and softball. Teams are made by spreading players with different ability levels across the teams. The goal is to equalize the teams so that play is competitive. Each team should have a mix of players from beginners to advanced. By blending the players over several teams, the teams are better balanced and the skilled players help teach the new players the game.
ATHENS SANDLOT started in 2003 by a group of dads wanting to see more kids play America's favorite pastime sport. It also helps with forming middle school and ultimately high school teams with players interested in continuing to play. We are not a city run program. We are a private 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. We are run by volunteers. The board and coaches are all volunteers. Some of the original founders of the league from 2003 are still involved even though their kids have grown up.
Since 2003 Athens Sandlot has improved eight of the baseball/softball fields at the West End Park including the high school size Dalton Field. We added two fields for younger baseball and softball players. We replaced fenced backstops with solid backstops, fenced in all the fields (except Crosley - Fields 1 & 2 were already fenced in), added dugouts to the fields, added stone field name markers, iknstalled foul line poles, added a wind screen on Fenway, added pitchers mounds, bleachers, double first bases, planted trees/shrubs/flowers, created a shelter house, added a batting cage, added draining, and revamped the concession stand. These and other improvements were only possible due to the help of volunteer businesses and individuals who want to see the league be the best it can be.
In 2003, we started with a 11/12 year old baseball league and 35 players. Today we have about 350 players and have added girls softball with players ranging from 6-12 years old. We also facilitate organizing jr. high baseball and softball leagues for 7th and 8th graders.
The league is primarily funded by team sponsors, registration fees, and concession stand sales. Board members have regularly reached into their own pockets to purchase items on an as needed basis.
THE SEASON STARTS
Any of this information is located on the website on the tabs above. There is a list of "Important Dates" you can print out identical to the home page that lists a calender of events for the season.
You can sign up for announcements on the home page. We also have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed under Athens Sandlot.
- Flyers go out to the schools in February prior as a reminder that sign up (registration) is coming in March. Just has the registration date/times on it.
- Junior High (7th and 8th grades) baseball/softball is school based. Registration for Athens Junior High Baseball is held in February. Athens Jr. High softball is handled through the Athens Middle School. Athens County players should contact their respective middle schools for info.
- There is a mandatory coaches meeting for people interested in coaching. No coaching experience is necessary. Just a desire to help the kids. This league is only able to run becuase coaches volunteer their time. A scorekeeper volunteers for each team as well. Each team ususally has one head coach and two assistants. Coaching Info is found here.
- Field clean up begins in Februrary. We organize and review the catcher's equipment, ball supply, paint backstops, repair fields, fix fence, replace/repair signs, plant flowers, clean up leaves, edge the fields, clean up the dugouts, etc.
- Cleaning and organizing the concession stand also starts.
- 7-12 year old baseball and 6-12 year old softball registration is held in mid March at the Athens Rec Center. We recommend trying on uniforms for correct sizing. Mark the player's size on the registration form.
- If siblings are playing in the same age group and live in the same household and you would like them to play together, mark the players brother's/sister's name of the registration form and bring it to the attention of the Sandlot person helping to register you. Only brothers/sisters are grouped. Cousins and others are not grouped with family members.
- Held in March sometime after Registration Day. Players are evaluated on their basic hitting, throwing and catching ability.
- Pitchers and catchers are identified.
- Held on a Saturday. If you are not in town on that day then you may attend the makeup session held two days before on a THURSDAY. Both are held at the ballfields.
- After evaluations the commissioners for each age division get together and form teams and designate head coaches over the weekend.
- After the teams are formed and coaches are identified, coaches are informed of their players by the commissioners. Coaches contact players and let them know what team they are on and when their practices will be.
PRACTICE AND GAMES
- Generally each team is scheduled field time to practice two to three days during the week and weekend. If it rains on a practice day it is up to the coach to have a make up practice but it is not required. The weather is spotty and we deal with it as it comes. Teams are scheduled back to back to back to fit everyone in. Use good judgment and don't get on the infields when wet. Ruts in the field collect water and are our biggest enemy for proper field drainage which will ultimately will delay or cancel play.
- If it has rained and the fields are wet, then no practice takes place on the infields but the outfields may be useable. PLAYERS NEED TO STAY OFF THE MOUNDS AND INFIELD WHEN WET.
- COACHES ARE TO USE GOOD JUDGMENT in deciding whether to practice. Your coach is responsible for cancelling practice of holding practice off field (or in the outfield). There is plenty of space and a batting cage that may be used instead of in the infield. Every practice does not have to take place on a field. Also, if a coach wants to have additional practices it is their choice. Practices usually are held for two weeks.
- The Commissioners, Board Members, City and umpires may cancel games due to weather. It is up to the coaches to decide whether to make up games (which they can sometimes do for their next practice). Coaches are responsible for contacting Kevin to arrange for umpires as that would be an "extra, unplanned game" (Otherwise how would he know?).
PARADE AND OPENING DAY GAMES
- The annual parade is a voluntary event. It's our way of kicking off the season! It starts on Morris Avenue. There are no prearranged parking areas for teams. Teams provide a float or other vehicle for the team to ride in. A sponsor sign or poster board thanking the sponsor is needed. The route takes us up Court Street and turns right on Union Ave. The vehicles then proceed to the ball park at the West End fields. An adult needs to be present with the kids on the float. Kids need to be seated on floats. Candy throwing is prohibited by the City of Athens.
- There are opening day ceremonies where teams are announced while players walk onto the field. We play the national anthem and afterwards the first games of the season are held.
Once games start, teams typically practice one day and play one day during the week. The teams then have two games on Saturday. If your practice or game is cancelled due to weather, your coach will have information whether there will be a make up game held. Generally the season is scheduled so tight for field use that teams may not be able to make up a missed game. Some coaches use their practice time to hold a scrimmage or make up a game once the season starts.
DURING THE SEASON
We arrange for a photographer to come and take pictures. Date and time will be on the home page. Watch your kids progress from year to year with these team and individual pictures! It's awesome!
As a fundraiser we sell flowers. Order forms will be available from coaches and on the website. We pay for pitching mound clay, infield dirt, equipment, baseballs and softballs, portable mounds, mowers, field rakes, etc., from money generated from the flower sale.
LEAGUE TOURNAMENT WEEK AND END OF SEASON
Held at the end of the season. Generally single elimination. The one left is the winner! The last game marks the end of the season. Turn in any league quipment to coaches such as balls, heartguards, helmets and catchers eqipment. Coaches turn in equipment into the concession stand upon finishing your last game.
At the conclusion of the season, coaches assemble for each age group and nominate players from their team to form an all-star team for each age. All star teams require a firm committment from players that they wish to participate in practice as well as games. If you will be unavailble due to vacation for an extended period of time then you probably do not want to participate but discuss it with your coach. Travel is involved to various tournaments usually in state but may be out of state. They will be additional fees for uniforms and tournament fees as such items. Allstar teams may play anywhere from two to six tournaments and must participate in the Athens Sandlot tournment for their age division.
ATHENS SANDLOT created or updated all the fields at the park except for softball fields 1 & 2. We have close to $500,000 in materials and labor rebuilding the fieldsto what you see today! We spend additional money each year on the fields in maintenence and the park in general to keep it looking nice. We've planted trees, flowers, installed a shelter house, pictnic tables and benches and monuments to each of the fields. We work hard to keep them in good shape year after year. These fields are now your fields too! Take care of them and be repectful of them by using the recycling bins, garbage bins and keeping the dugouts free from trash.
ATHENS SANDLOT PRIMARILY TAKES CARE OF THE FIELDS. The city mows but has over ten parks to take care of. Athens Sandlot provides extra labor and equipment to keep the grass cut, edges around the fields, weeds, drags the fields, lines the fields, plants flowers and plants and makes repairs as necessary. Players help take care of the fields too!. Help us keep them nice!
We have purchased expensive equipment including the field liners and field rakes to help take care of the fields. We also use our own private tractors, rakes, shovels , generators, blowers, mowers, hedge clippers and anything else we need from our own houses to help keep the park nice.
Teams using the fields are responible for picking up their garbage from the dugouts prior to leaving. There are new recycling bins located at each field. Please use them.
After the game the teams who were using the field are responsible for filling in the pitchers mound and the batters box.
NO HITTING PRACTICE INTO ANY FENCE. No balls should be thrown or hit into any of the fences. It costs money to replacing fencing and is not easy. We have about $25,000 in fencing around each field and it cannot be replaced in sections.
Stay off the trees. We planted a lot of trees down at the park trying to make shade for the crowds. We have lost trees from kids breaking limbs off.
No digging in the triangular field markers hold the field signs at each field. It is not a play pit. We can't plant there if the kids are allowed to dig there. Also, a marker was broken by kids playing in and around the marker. They are expensive ($2500). One has been broken recently. Please stay off them.
PLEASE USE RECYCLING BINS! That would cut down on a bunch of trash if plastic bottles and cans are put in the recycling bins. And it keeps the park looking nice too!
BAT QUESTIONS? GO HERE
It is easy to get caught up in the excitement! We rarely have any problems but once in a while there is a flareup. So we ask everyone to remember the following:
1. These are Kids
2. Kids abilities range from 1st time players to veterans on every team
3. Coaches Volunteer and set the example for players
4. Umpires are Human
5. This is not the World Series
6. This is not the actual Reds/Indians/(Insert name here) team playing
7. This is a competative instructional league
Athens Sandlot promotes sportsmanship!
Help the kids have fun and get better!
Cheer the kids on! They are trying their best!
Hopefully that answers some of your questions! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Have a great time!