North Oakland Baseball Federation review, info, and discussion about the transition from Little League to Travel Baseball and Fed Ball Leagues. This review will is designed to help those parents with sons new to travel baseball – more about the transition to Travel Baseball rather than hardcore specifics of the NOBF league itself.
North Oakland Baseball Federation Review
Just as my son progressed out of his parks and recreation baseball league (RARA / Rochester Avon Recreational Authority) to Little League years ago, it was time, ability-wise, for him to transition from Little League baseball to travel baseball. Obviously, with the cost increase and the increase in number of games played vs Little League, travel baseball or North Oakland Baseball Federation is considered a step up.
The transition to NOBF is usually fairly natural… meaning usually your child’s Little League coach or some parents will pull you aside about their plans to jump to Fed Ball and starting up a team and ask you about having your son join their team. That’s how it worked with my son. He had a coach looking to
start a team and wanted to take my son with him. If your son has been playing Little League for a length of time, there’s a good chance you may be approached by someone regarding a move up – especially as your kid gets older or shows tremendous ability. My son was asked to make the transition at 11
but didn’t feel ready to consider Fed ball until age 12. Some fathers skip Little League altogether and opt to start the fed ball experience for their kids in u8 & u9 leagues.
If you’re new to the experience entirely, the best way to get your son playing North Oakland Baseball Federation is to go to the NOBF website and head to the tryout section. I’ve noticed the teams and coaches in my son’s league have VASTLY different approaches and coaching styles – I recommend your
son try out for as many different teams as possible. Hopefully you can have your choice as to what would be the best fit for your son because, as stated, the teams within the league all have the freedom to run
themselves differently. Tryouts for the next season usually take place in July and August.
One of the things I’ve been most surprised about as a parent in regards to North Oakland Baseball Federation league is responsibility heaped on the coaches – far more involved than Little League or Rec League. New coaches to NOBF are on the hook to run the whole show. Practice fields, offseason indoor practice fields, outside tournaments, travel, scheduling, uniforms (home AND away), practice schedules… the works. Far different from Little League’s strict mandates. So, basically your son’s team will naturally take on the personality of the coach. Coaches in this league have a ton of freedom. They also have the freedom to schedule outside travel tournaments and as many practices as they like – this means the cost for your son to play on a team can vary greatly.
Costs for a child to play in North Oakland Baseball Federation varies greatly depending on the coach (see above paragraph). Fortunately, my son’s coach made a conscious effort to try to keep costs as low as
possible. My son’s season came in at $1000 for his U13 league. This included a 21-game schedule, 1 local tournament that featured at least 3 games and 1 away tournament in Petoskey that featured up to 4 games. Cost included extremely nice uniforms (home & away) that included helmets, bags
etc, indoor practice field 1x per week during the winter months, additional in-season practices, trips to the batting cages, team social events, etc. Granted, some of these perks came out of the pockets of my
son’s beyond-generous manager and coaching staff. Costs go up from $1000 per season if tournaments aren’t local, more than 2 tournaments scheduled etc… Obviously, out of town tournament travel costs fall to the parents. If you’re wary of the cost, always talk to your prospective coaches at your son’s tryout to ask about the cost situation of each team. I know this was an issue with me and my family. I needed to make sure we weren’t traveling across the Mid-West every weekend for 3 months straight.
For more info on North Oakland Baseball Federation, visit www.nobf.net.