TRAVEL TEAMS and SPECIAL TALENT CLUB
As this season approaches, you’ll start to see or hear of tryouts for travel teams, special talent clubs, elite baseball teams, and a host of other associations that are in similar company.
Along with this notification of when and where you’ll probably see a fee charged to you if you attend. Some of these fees can be rather expensive. What’s expensive? Well, that’s up to you to determine – how much is too much.
In any event, here are some things that you want to be aware of with respect to fees and other things.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO BE A MEMBER OF THIS TEAM IF PICKED?
More often than not a cost is associated with membership. These clubs often have central offices or governing authorities that require a base fee for the club to belong to and share in the expense of scheduling, umpire fees, park fees, insurance, sometimes local and other taxes, playoff and tournament fees, and overall administration fees. At the other end of the expense spectrum is the “pay as you go” fees like per event, per park and field, per umpire, and the like.
PENALTIES FOR NO SHOWS
It’s not unusual for a player to be penalized in dollars and cents, and even cut from a club if a certain attendance record is not met. For example, a player might be penalized $ 25 for missing each event, and then cut from the team all together if more than say …. three events are missed. Every organization is different and a lot can depend of the nature of the circumstances. Family vacations, serious illness and the like maybe taken into consideration – but look closely at the fine print of your playing agreement.
ASK HOW MANY RETURNING PLAYERS ARE AT THE TRYOUT.
If a club has say, eighteen roster openings and all eighteen players from last year show up at the tryout – don’t be too surprised if the team is already formed, regardless. Or say the only player not to show up from last year’s team was the first baseman – then there’s a good chance that the only opening is the first base position.
A team that develops chemistry and a solid working relationship is a difficult nut to crack, I don’t care how good you are.
Also in this mix are the parents and booster of the returning players. More often than not, these adults have a good working relationship with the coaches because they’ve been their during fund raising, transporting players back and forth, getting things done for the coaches so the coaches don’t have to shoulder everything, and even arranging motel accommodations and splitting the cost of eating out while on the road. Coaches that have the luxury of having parents and boosters like this know exactly what side their bread is buttered on and they say thank you by keeping both the player and the parent – it’s only natural.
So, the bottom line here is – look before you put out your cold hard cash. Think how reasonable the situation is and does it make sense to you.
COST OF PHYSICAL EXAM AND ABILITY TO PLAY
Some of these organizations will accept your school’s physical exam that you submitted during the school year, others will not. The reasons can be many. For example the school’s medical exam may be conducted by a doctor’s assistant, a LPN, a RN, a clinical assistant, or even a nurse practitioner, and then signed off as such. The organization that you may be trying out for may require a MD doctor and no less.
Shot records may also be required giving an indication that all your inoculations are up to date.
Certain medical conditions may exempt you from playing with some organizations. For example asthma and allergies to bee stings and pollen may be a disqualification. So know beforehand, because most – not all, fees during tryouts are not refundable.
COST OF TRAVEL AND REALTED ADMINISTATION
Most organizations require you to provide your own transportation. Along with this may be a requirement for “ certificate of insurance” from your insurance agent. The reasons are many, to include by not limited to the carrying of passengers, like other youngsters to and from games in your family vehicle. An organization wants to protect itself from being sued in the event of an accident and even some parks and private stadiums will require this certificate just like any other “team” delivery system of vehicles entering their property.
Some insurance policies will not cover this kind of “regular” transport and exposure to liability. And if so, your family’s insurance premiums can go up to cover the extra “circumstances”.
With respect to providing your own transportation, this can be a real reality check for a family., especially a family on a budget. If the family car is say twelve years old and every day it’s a “cross your fingers” – well perhaps you should step back and think this over. The miles and the
wear and tear can add up quickly. How’s your spare tire(s) situation?
Your health insurance should also be looked at closely. Does this club travel along the routes and at places of competition where the medical facilities (hospitals and clinics) accept your insurance plan ?