Frequently Asked Questions
We have prepared the accompanying FAQs to address questions that may arise. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask any member of the WYBSA.
1. My player is “old” for his or her grade, can he or she play up?
No. WYBSA is "grade based", and so children play with their own grades, regardless of their age.
2. My player is one of the best 2nd grade/4th grade baseball/softball players, can he or she play up to the next level?
No. WYBSA is grade based.
3. Are there really NO Exceptions to playing up?
The WYBSA reserves the discretion to allow a baseball player to play “up” in very rare instances. The Board will not elevate a player simply because a player is good enough to play with the higher grades. The Board will reserve this discretion for truly exceptional players. This is not meant to advance the best players in a particular grade each year, rather, it is meant to recognize that every few years a player has significantly greater physical development and baseball skills than his or her peers. If a player is identified as a candidate to play with older grades, the Board will consider a number of factors, including without limitation:
a. Age – Is the player older than his or her classmates?
b. Ability – How does the child’s ability compare with the top players in the higher grades? For example, if a 4th grader, would that player be among the best of the 5th and 6th graders based on the player evaluations?
c. Player Safety – Does the player’s advanced physical and skill development pose a safety issue for players in that child’s own grade?
d. Past Performance – Have previous coaches identified the child as simply not belonging in the lower division? Additionally, the Board reserves the right to place a player in a division other than what his or her age normally dictates if players are needed in a different division and/or there are too many players in a division to field teams with the appropriate number of players.
e. Family Accommodations: At a family's request, the Board may place a player outside of his or her grade if it would allow siblings to play together on the same team. Note, the Board will not make such an accommodation unless it determines, utilizing the factors listed above, that the child playing outside of his or her grade will be competitive within that age group, and will not pose a safety issue to themselves or any other player.
4. Can my child play in a lower division than his or her grade?
Again, the WYBSA is grade based, however, we want the children to play in a comfortable, fun environment. We recognize that for a variety of factors, a child may be more comfortable playing in a lower division. In those instances, the parents should submit a request to the WYBSA for consideration.
5. My son is a 12 year old, 7th grader, does he play Majors or Babe Ruth Prep?
Your son has the option. Under the Cal Ripken rules that the WYBSA follows, your son can choose to play "Majors" with the 12 year olds, or "Babe Ruth" with the 7th graders. You will be contacted and asked to make a choice before teams are selected for the Spring.
6. So, the April 30th cutoff date doesn’t matter anymore?
The April 30 is still important, it just will not dictate how we organize our Spring Leagues. It will still determine a player’s eligibility to play Cal Ripken Baseball. Also, the April 30 date will be used to determine eligibility for Summer Baseball teams, as required by Cal Ripken Baseball and our Charter.
7. If there is no “playing up”, do evaluations even matter?
Yes, the evaluations are important so that the coaches have as much information as possible to draft balanced teams.
8. Does my 1st or 2nd Grader need to attend evaluations?
No. We conduct evaluations so that we can assemble balanced teams. In the Instructional League, while we still want to have balanced teams, we do not keep score, and allow for more friends and classmates to play on the same team, while still keeping an eye on competitive balance.
9. Do these changes affect how the Summer Baseball teams are selected?
No. Currently, we have made no changes to how those teams are selected. We are obligated to follow the April 30th birthday cutoff to determine eligibility for each of those teams.