Rochester Hills Little League Review – RHLL review and a comparison to the RARA (Rochester Avon Recreation Authority) baseball league for youth baseball.
I get many questions as to both baseball leagues and now that I’ve (my son has) been involved with both, hopefully I can offer some insight on which league may best suit your child. In case you weren’t aware of RARA, RARA is my local (Rochester / Rochester Hills) area Parks & Rec Department.
My son had been involved with RARA baseball (and T-ball) for 5 straight summers and we’ve had no complaints. Excellent coaches, satisfactory umpires, and fairness of play and fun for all were all highlights of our experience. I’d classify RARA baseball as the “just for fun” league. We recently crossed over to Rochester Hills Little League baseball at the advice of fellow sports parents.
Many kids cross over from RARA baseball leagues to Rochester Hills Little League baseball and there is always comparisons made by the parents. The talk is that the competitiveness and overall skill level of play of Rochester Little League is greater. I’ve found this to be true to a degree.
ROCHESTER HILLS LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL REVIEW
Rochester Hills Little League Baseball offers spring baseball for (for boys ages 9-12). RHLL spring/summer league begins in mid-late April with practices beginning in March. Your child receives a slick looking uniform and a 14 game schedule. Rochester Hills Little League Baseball also offers a Fall league for teams interested in extending their baseball season with flexible scheduling. When kids reach a certain age with Rochester Little League, they must try out for draft rating. This means your children are run through drills and “rated” by various coaches and drafted to teams based on ability. Draft ratings are obviously kept secret and you can obviously tell that by having this system that the league strives for competitiveness and balance. RHLL baseball season has an All Star Game for the spring league that is played once the season ends and the playoffs begin. By the time rainout/make-up games and playoff games are over, the season easily runs through mid-June. All teams make the playoffs in Rochester Hills Little League and the format is double-elimination.
RARA YOUTH BASEBALL LEAGUE REVIEW
RARA youth baseball is a great “just for fun” baseball league. For a much more inexpensive price, RARA offers a 12 game summer season that begins in late May and runs through July. There is no draft system or tryout procedure and they try to lump teams together by geographic location so schoolmates can be on the same team etc. Uniforms include shirts and hats (pants extra). RARA games are timed (1 hour and 20 minutes). The time limit rule became very frustrating at times. I found the rules RARA implements for their baseball league to be slow to change as the kids got older. The time limit plus they have a pitch count that starts at 1 ball and 1 strike to “speed the game” up. Those rules plus others make it a fun league but not necessarily one that prepares boys for the next level of baseball as quickly as Rochester Hills Little League does. RARA features a 1-game elimination playoff and there is no All Star Game. RARA baseball kids receive a team uni, team photo, and end-of-the-season participation award.
I didn’t notice much difference between the 2 leagues while my son was in “coach pitch”. Once the draft system in RHLL comes into play, it became clear that the kids who are more serious about continuing baseball would want to switch from RARA to Rochester Hills Little League. I feel both leagues are great options and very well run. If your child is looking to have fun and learn baseball with friends, RARA is a fantastic, affordable option. If your child wants to pursue baseball at a higher level or eventually a highly-competitive travel team, Rochester Hills Little League may be a better option as kids progress through the sport.
Basically, this is how youth baseball works… When you’re child is very young, try youth baseball (i9 baseball or your local Parks & Rec baseball league). If there is interest, move up to Little League. If there is still interest AND ability, your best bet for development is a travel baseball league.
RHLL (Rochester Hills Little League)
PO Box 80313
Rochester Hills, MI 48308
For more on Rochester Hills Little League, visit www.rochesterhillslittleleague.com