Player Eligibility, Tryouts and the Draft
West Raleigh Baseball is not affiliated with the city of Raleigh and has no residency requirements, so players from many surrounding areas are eligible to play in the league. Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken Baseball require that players play within the geographic area assigned to a given league. Players in Wake County from Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Holly Springs, Morrisville, etc. are within West Raleigh Baseball's assigned area. Players from the Garner, Pittsboro and Fuquay Varina areas may be required to obtain signed release forms from their base leagues to participate in Babe Ruth or Cal Ripken play at West Raleigh.
Guaranteed Spot Rules
West Raleigh guarantees roster spots in Spring Ball ONLY for:
- Players who played West Raleigh Baseball the prior spring season. If a Spring season is missed, that player is no longer guaranteed a spot.
- Play in West Raleigh's Fall Baseball program DOES NOT guarantee a roster spot in the Spring program.
- For Fall Ball, previous Fall season returning players are guaranteed spots, as are siblings of players guaranteed a Fall spot.
- Spring play DOES guarantee a Fall roster spot.
- Siblings of Modified Coach Pitch players of any age are NOT guaranteed a roster spot in any league.
- Players who have a sibling who has a guaranteed spot in West Raleigh Spring Ball. The sibling rule is meant to foster the family community experience at West Raleigh.
Former Girls Softball Players
Girls who played in the former WR Girls Softball program may compete for roster spots in the Baseball program as non-guaranteed players.
Player Try Outs
Typically approximately 450-500 players will try out. Some of them are already players in the league with guaranteed placement, but require evaluation because they are "aging up" to the next age group or because they are trying out for advanced play in the American or National Leagues.
In the Spring, the tryouts are usually on a weekend day in mid-February, with players of different ages trying out on different days and times. A second weekend date is scheduled, but there are no guarantees that this second weekend will take place. Therefore, we strongly recommend making every effort to attend the first tryout date, particularly for new players, as the second weekend could be cancelled due to rainouts and not made up. With the tight early-season schedules and restricted field availability, the league has occasionally had to make the difficult decision to abandon the second tryout date.
New-to-league players who do not attend tryouts will not be eligible to be drafted until all guaranteed-spot players and all new players who did try out are drafted. If open spots still remain, other players may be selected by random drawing. This scenario, while possible, does not typically occur.
In the Fall, there is usually only one tryout date, though some accommodation may be made for Spring All Star players if they are still playing in a tournament on the tryout date. In fall as in spring, making it to tryouts is imperative for new-to-league players.
Tryouts are set up so that players are given the opportunity to demonstrate fielding (usually ground balls and/or pop-ups), throwing, catching, hitting and running. Older players are also typically given the opportunity to show outfield, pitching and catching skills. Coaches look for good technique in getting in front of the ball, getting off a good, accurate throw, being able to catch a thrown ball properly, good batting stance and swing. They also look at players speed and quickness, hustle and demeanor (if they miss a ball they just get ready for the next play).
Coaches, often along with their returning assistant coaches, score the players and then rank them according to their teams needs for the draft.
Player Spot Availability
West Raleigh never really knows exactly how many new-player spots will be available until registration is complete. It will depend on the number of returning players, guaranteed spots, the amount of roster spots on teams and the amount of teams in each league.
For each league, the coaches draft players in the inverse order of finish from the prior year's regular season, so the team that finished last will draft first and so on. By the time of the draft, each league will know how many new-to-West Raleigh players can be drafted, and once the specific number of new players are drafted, all subsequent draft picks are from among the players who are guaranteed spots based on prior play in the league or siblings in the league. When the numbers of teams in a league is increased or decreased, normal draft rules may be supplemented to ensure fairness.
If a player has been drafted, he/she will be contacted by their new coach, usually within a day of the draft. The coach will introduce him/herself and let the player (or parent) know when and where the first practice will be held, and what the expectations for players on the team will be.
If a player has not heard from a coach within 2-3 days of the draft date, the likelihood is that they were not drafted. Registration fees made by check will be returned un-deposited, and payments made by credit card will be reimbursed within about a week of the draft.
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