FAQs

Koa Maryland & Washington, DC Kids Baseball FAQs

BASEBALL FAQs

Q: What’s the difference between a Travel/Select and a  Spartan Team?
A: Koa’s Travel/Select teams are pure “Select” teams, whereas the Spartan Teams are open registration “recreational” teams. The Travel/Select teams are professionally  coached at a very high level. In the Spartan League we offer a 3-tiered coaching option. The Travel/Select Teams require more of a commitment in terms of travel, game play, and costs. The Spartan Teams will stay local and practice only one day per week.

Q: What are the Spartan League coaching options?
A: In the Koa Spartan League we offer a 3-tiered  coaching option for all players and teams.

Option 1)The team pays a per/player fee to participate in the Spartan League (includes bases, catcher’s gear,  umpire fees, and game jerseys, practice jerseys and hats).  A team parent handles the practice and game  coaching.  A practice field will be given  subject to availability.  Suggested practice plans are provided.

Option 2)The team pays a per/player  fee to participate in the Spartan League (includes bases, catcher’s gear,  umpire fees, and game jerseys, practice jerseys and hats).  A team parent coaches at the games.  All team practices are handled by the Koa  coaching staff.  All team players may attend any other Koa practice for makeups, and when available, to get  additional practice.  A practice field will  be given. All players can attend the seasonal clinics.  (LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE).

Option 3)The team pays a per/player  fee to participate in the Spartan League (includes bases, catcher’s gear,  umpire fees, and game jerseys, practice jerseys and hats).  A professional Koa coach handles the games,  and the practices.  All team players may  attend any other Koa practice for makeups, and when available, to get  additional practice.  A practice field  will be provided.  All players can attend  the seasonal clinics. (LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE).

**Please note, if the option you select is under-enrolled, you will be given the opportunity to switch to a different coaching option for the season.**

Q: What is the cost of the Koa Spartan Teams?
A:  See our Cost Chart below. Please note, in all 3 options, players are required to purchase a player pack for game jerseys and a hat and that is included in the total fee. Click here for more Machine Pitch/ACC League information.

Big 10 League (Koa Coach Pitch: Grades K-1st) – $129

ACCLeague (Machine Pitch: Grades 1st-3rd)
Option 1- $135
Option 2- $235
Option 3- No Option 3

Ivy League (Kid Pitch-No Leading: Grades 4th-5th)
Option 1- $150
Option 2- $250
Option 3- $350

Q: How does the Koa Spartan League compare to other area “recreational” leagues?
A: Koa’s Spartan teams are part of the Koa baseball program, which is run by skilled professionals. All teams receive practice plans, and all players have the opportunity to interface with our professional coaching staff.

Q: If I play on a current Koa Travel/Select team, do I need to attend tryouts?
A: Maybe, if you currently play on a Koa Travel/Select team from 9u-11u then no, these current players are evaluated throughout the season.  12u-HS players must re tryout once a year.  12u-14u in the Spring, usually May, and HS players in the winter, usually January.

Q: If I currently play on a Travel/Select team, am I guaranteed a spot on the same Travel/Select team next season?
A: No … we evaluate the Travel/Select teams each season.

Q: If I’m not on a Spartan team do I need to tryout?
A: No – we do not have tryouts for the Spartan League, it is open registration. Click here to register!

Q: Are tryouts required for Spartan players?
A: No.

Q: If I currently play on a Spartan team, but I want to be considered for a Travel/Select team, do I need to tryout?
A: Yes, you will need to register to tryout.

Q: What happens if I do not make a Travel/Select team?
A: So long as there is sufficient turnout (which there most often is), your athlete will be invited to play with a Spartan Team (which goes through 5th grade).

Q: What happens if a player shows a lot of potential but is not quite ready for a Koa Travel/Select team?
A: For some age groups, we will put together developmental travel teams. These teams will have the same rigorous game and practice schedule as our Travel/Select teams but with a more instructional environment. Developmental travel teams are intended for athletes with a strong desire to play travel and the willingness to make the time commitment associated with a Koa Travel/Select team.

Q: Can I only register for the Spartan Team? Will my friends be on the team?
A: Yep, if you‚Äôre only interested in the Spartan Team, then we need to place you on the proper team. In the Spartan Team environment we are usually able to keep friends together. In fact, pre-formed teams are highly encouraged in the Koa Spartan League. Be sure to include friends’ names at the player preference prompt during registration if you wish to be placed together.

Q: What options are there for 6th graders and above?
A: The 6th graders and above should be playing on a Koa Travel/Select or developmental travel team.

Q: What if any difference is there between the ACC and Ivy League?
A: The ACC League is our machine pitch league for players in the 1st through 3rd grades. Our Ivy League is for players in roughly 4th and 5th grades. Games will be kid pitch with no leading.

Q: How do I figure out which Travel/Select team my player is eligible for in the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 seasons?
A: Please see our Travel/Select Age/Team Placement Chart below:

Travel Baseball Age/Team Placement Chart

Use Player’s Oldest Age Between May 1, 2013-April 30, 2014

8 years old                   8U Team Fall 2013/Spring 2014

9 years old                   9U Team Fall 2013/Spring 2014

10 years old                10U Team Fall 2013/Spring 2014

11 years old                11U Team Fall 2013/Spring 2014

12 years old                12U Team Fall 2013/Spring 2014

13 years old                13U Team Fall 2013/Spring 2014

14 years old                14U Team Fall 2013/Spring 2014

                    15 years & older          HS Ball Teams

¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† **Teams “age up” on August 15th

Q: I’m a parent coach – but I’d like to bring my entire team in the Spartan program. Is that possible?
A: Absolutely! Our Option 1 or Option 2 may be just what you are looking for. Or if you choose Option 3 you can still be a PAC, Parent Assistant Coach (see our Coaching Options FAQ). Contact Mindi for more info!

Q: What are the qualifications of the Koa coaches?
A: All of Koa’s coaches are required to go through extensive background screening, and training. Full bios of some of our coaches can be found on our staff page.

Q: How many coaches will be at the Spartan practices (Option #2 or #3).
A: There will be 1 or 2 coaches at the practice.

Q: How many coaches will be at the Travel/Select practices?
A: We will have 1 or 2 coaches at practices. Our goal is to have an average 1.5 coaches per practice, meaning 2 coaches about every other practice. There will not be 2 coaches at every practice.

Q: Do teams have practice plans?
A: All Koa teams (Spartan and Travel/Select) choosing to use professional Koa coaches for practices may follow the practice plans designed and implemented by the Koa collegiate and professional baseball players (one of whom is a former World Series player). Here are this season’s Spartan League practice plans.

Q: Do Koa players have a player code?
A: Yes! We will be requiring all Travel/Select players to sign the Koa Parent Pledge and Player Code. The purpose is to help instill more discipline with the players. For the Travel/Select players approaching high school, there will be increased demands to help the preparation process.

Q: How many coaches will be at the Spartan games?
A: For Spartan
League teams choosing Coaching Option 3, there will be one Koa coach at all Spartan League games. Teams choosing to provide their own coaching at Spartan League games may make the appropriate determination with regard to
coaches.

Q: How many coaches will be at the Travel/Select games?
A: We have 1-2 Koa coaches at Travel/Select games.

Q: How much parent involvement is required for Travel/Select? Do parents coach?
A: None is required. However, we do utilize parents to assist with safety issues, keeping the book, occasionally serving as a base coach, etc. Parents in our Travel/Select environment are not permitted to provide any instruction.

Q: What does a “professional” coach mean?
A: In simplest terms, it means that the coach is required to (a) follow the practice plans designed and implemented by the Koa collegiate and professional baseball players (one of whom was a shortstop in the Word Series!), (b) have extensive background screening performed, and (c) strive to adhere to our code of “PEP” (always POSITIVE, with ENERGY, and PROFESSIONAL).

Q: What league do the Travel/Select Teams play in?
A: Travel/Select Teams play in the NVTBL (Northern Virginia Travel Baseball League) or the MCBA (Montgomery County Baseball Association).

Q: Will the Travel/Select Teams have games in addition to the league games?
A: None are planned for the 2013 fall season.

Q: What league do the Spartan Teams play in?
A: The Spartan Teams will play in the Koa Spartan League. There will be roughly 7 Spartan games plus an end of the season playoff tournament (Spring only), The Koa Classic. Teams may also play other organizations such as the Northwest Little League, Capital Hill Sports, and RBBA. There may be occasional double headers on some weekends, and virtually no mid-week games.

Q: What is the age range for players competing in the Spartan League?
A: The Spartan League age range for competing players generally goes from +/- 1 or 2 years/grades, but never more.

Q: What is the commitment required for a Koa Travel/Select Team?
A: Generally, two practices per week, a double header during the weekend, and a few local games throughout the season. Sometimes there may be mid-week games. Koa expects that Travel/Select baseball will be the primary athletic commitment for the season. We totally understand about family trips and school work, but we are not lenient about missing Travel/Select baseball for another sport.

Q: How long is the commitment?
A: Koa Travel/Select players have a 1 season commitment (i.e., fall or spring). Spartan players have the same 1 season commitment (i.e., fall or spring).

Q: Are there mandatory winter workouts for Travel/Select teams?
A: Yes. This is a perfect time for players to work on their skills.

Q: Where will the practices and games be held?
A: For Travel/Select Teams and Spartan League Teams choosing Koa run practices, practices will typically be at schools and parks in the Potomac, Bethesda, and/or Rockville area. Spartan Games will typically be on local fields in Bethesda, Potomac, or Rockville. Travel/Select games are typically held in Virginia or at a Montgomery County Regional Parks.

Q: What if my athlete is not able to make a practice? I heard that Koa players (Spartan and Travel/Select) are allowed to attend another practice … is that true?
A: Yes! If a Spartan player who has chosen Option 2 or Option 3 has a conflict with a practice, that player is permitted to attend another Spartan practice that same week on an age-appropriate team. We understand that kids are busy and conflicts arise. If your player will be attending another practice you must notify Koa in advance. All Travel/Select players may attend another practice.

Q: Do the teams ever go inside and practice if you get rained out?
A: Yes! Generally, if a Koa run practice team (Travel/Select or Spartan Option 2 or 3) gets rained out 3 times, on the third time we will schedule an indoor practice (subject to availability). There will not be a charge for this extra opportunity.

Q: Do practice times ever change during a season?
A: Yes, as daylight conditions change during the season we will need to adjust practice times. In the fall this means earlier start times later in the season and for the spring it means later start times after daylight savings time begins. We want all teams to get in as much time on the field as they can during the season so we take advantage of the longer days whenever possible.

Q: How is playing time determined on the Koa Travel/Select Teams?
A: On the Koa Travel/Select Teams, double headers will typically occur on the weekends. One of the two games will be played 100% to win, and there will not be any focus on equitable rotation, either offensively or defensively. The second game of the double header will be focused more on player development (everyone will bat), and there will be an equitable rotation in that game. Of course, during practices there will be equal time spent on all players, irrespective of whether that player is a “starter.”

Q: How is playing time determined in the Koa Spartan League?
A: Each player should expect to sit no more than 2 innings per game. Teams will be required to ensure there is an equitable rotation in all games (everyone will bat). Please see the applicable rules.

Q: What if I have to withdraw from the Spartan League or a Travel/Select team?
A: There will be no team/league refunds given to any individual player who withdraws after the published registration deadline. If an additional replacement player can be found to take the spot of a withdrawing player, we will be able to refund league fees minus a 20% administrative fee. The administrative fee covers among other things, time spent (1) contacting new payers, (2) adjusting rosters, (3) notifying host league, and (4) hosting a new tryout. If we are unable to find a replacement player you will receive credit (minus the administrative fee) toward a future Koa program.

Q: How do you determine a Travel/Select player’s field position?
A: For our Travel/Select teams, our coaches evaluate player skills and place each athlete in a position that will most benefit the team. Depending on the individual player’s skills and the needs of the team, kids may play more than one position in a season. Players may let coaches know of their interest in a particular field position, but we cannot guarantee game play in that position.

Q: Can parents question playing time and field position assignments for Travel/Select players?
A: No – not ever, never! In the Travel/Select environment, coaches are making decisions based on team needs. Playing time may not be evenly distributed. The first game of a double header is played 100% to win; the 2nd game is for player development. Player position assignments are assigned by the Koa coaches to achieve the best results for the team. All players will receive equitable training and attention in practices. Parents will have an opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions during 2 designated times during the season.

Q: What is the cost of the Koa Travel/Select Teams?
A: The cost of the Spring 2013 team is $990 per player for the 8U-10U ages, $1,170 for 11U-12U ages and $1,250 for 13U-14U ages.  This includes: league and umpire fees, game uniforms (hat, green socks, pants, jersey and green belt), practice shirts, coaching/insurance fees, private instruction and/or weekly skill clinics depending on the age group, field maintenance and facility rental fees, equipment, and a game forfeit fee deposit (refundable).  Players must also purchase a player pack item which is a team helmet for Spring 2013.  The cost of the player pack is approximately $50.00 and is included in the total cost quoted above.

Q: How are teams formed?
A: First and foremost, a pre-formed team is kept together as long as they provide a full roster. Then, we split players by option (#1, #2, #3). We then move on to friend requests, and place athletes together by player preference. Priority number 3 is any practice day preferences listed during sign-ups. Lastly, we look at school/geographic location.¬†Please be sure to indicate any placement requests at the “Player Preferences” prompt during registration.

Q: What is the Spartan League uniform?
A: All ACC and Ivy League teams will receive 2 Koa shirts (1 jersey, and 1 practice shirt) and a hat. Each player will need to provide baseball pants (gray preferred) and socks (no color preference). Rubber cleats are recommended and no metal spikes are allowed.

Q: Is there a practice uniform for Spartan players?
A: Spartan players choosing Option 1, 2, or Option 3 must wear Koa hats, Koa practice shirts and their gray baseball pants to every practice.

Q: What are Koa’s pitching guidelines?
A: Safety is the uppermost criteria guiding our pitching decisions. The wellbeing of our athletes is the number one concern at Koa.

1. If at any point a pitcher is feeling pain, irrespective of the pitch count, he will be removed from the mound. This also applies even if the pitcher is in the middle of a batter.

2. We look to different respected organizations for guidance on pitch counts and rest limitations. These include, but are not limited to, Little League and ASMI. It should be noted that these two organizations differ on pitch count limitations. We do not follow the specific mandates of any organization; instead, we place great emphasis on the individual player. For example, in
2011 Little League allows
a 13 year old pitcher to throw 95 pitches per day. For some 13 year old pitchers, this may be appropriate; for others, only 50 pitches may be appropriate.

3. Koa takes into account many factors, including the type of pitches being thrown (i.e., fast balls versus breaking balls, etc.), the visible fatigue of the pitcher, other positions the pitcher has played (i.e., a “throwing” position such as catcher versus a receiving position such as first base), the biomechanics of the pitcher’s motion, and the pitcher’s past performance and speed of recovery.

4. Parents should understand what pain/discomfort means to a pitcher. Some pain/discomfort, for example, is simply an indicator of the muscles growing and developing. Other pain/discomfort, however, is indicative of an injury. Location, duration, and severity all play a role.

5. Pitchers at all ages are expected to take appropriate post-pitching steps to minimize injury (i.e., ice their arms, run to flush lactic acid, etc.).

PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO EMAIL US WITH QUESTIONS!

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