If you’re an athlete, head coach, or parent of an athlete, you’ve heard of travel baseball and softball. But what exactly is the difference between playing on a travel team versus a local school or recreational organization?
In today’s blog, we answer the top five frequently asked questions surrounding travel baseball and softball.
What is Travel Baseball and Softball?
Travel baseball and softball is a common term used to describe competitive baseball and softball organizations that participate in tournaments hosted all around the country.
Travel ball gives athletes more playing time. With thousands of travel ball teams organized in the United States, spending a summer season playing on of these teams has become a popular way for student-athletes to continue playing the sport they love, even when their school or recreational league may not offer a league to participate in.
Travel ball teams are competitive. Due to its cost and commitment, travel ball players play with and against some of the best athletes within their sport. The increased competition level and exposure to new coaches is a key to helping baseball or softball athletes earn a college scholarship, which is a huge perk that comes with playing on a travel team.
Where Do Travel Teams Play?
As the term implies – travel teams play all across the country!
The range of travel will depend on the type of team or league the athlete joins. Some teams may stay within their own geographical part of the United States (Ex. A travel team based out of California may only opt to play in tournaments on the west coast) while others may have schedules that take them all across the entire country in one summer! For many areas of the country, travel tournaments are spark a positive economic impact as they bring many people in for weekends filled with baseball or softball.
It’s important to note that some travel teams will only play over weekends, allowing time for players, parents, and coaches to travel to and from competitions. In the summer season, certain tournaments may begin before or end after the weekend.
Is Travel Baseball Worth the Cost?
For many parents, signing up their baseball or softball player for a travel team is a matter of cost.
Typical range of cost: $500-$4,000 annually. This includes travel team fees, registration, travel costs associated with hotel reservations and food, plus gear for your athlete.
It’s important to compare the monetary cost and opportunity cost together as you weigh the decision to register your athlete for a travel team.
The travel team experience is extremely beneficial for athlete’s looking to earn a college scholarship, as it exposes them to better competition, advanced training programs, and a glimpse into what it’s like traveling while staying prepared to face competition.
What’s the Difference Between Travel Baseball and Little League?
While both provide a place for athletes to compete in baseball or softball, there are certainly key differences between travel baseball and little league.
Competition. The skill level of little league teams and travel teams are a big factor.
Since little league is less of a cost for families and doesn’t require as much travel, more people opt to register for this type of baseball experience.
Since playing on a travel team requires more expenses, many teams are formed by the “best of the best” players in that particular area. Many travel teams require an athlete to tryout, and if their skill level matches what coaches look for, they formally “make the team.”
Seasonality. Little league and other local recreational leagues are often scheduled in the spring, the most popular time to play baseball and softball.
While travel baseball can also occur at the same time, most clubs operate at peak activity in the summer months, when families have more time and ability travel with their athlete.
Would Travel Baseball or Softball Help Athletic Development?
With the increased level of competition and unique experience, travel baseball and softball helps prepare athletes to take their game to the next level. Many college players grew up competing for both their local team and a travel team. Plus, travel teams also allow athletes to learn from other baseball coaches and players they otherwise wouldn’t be able to interact with.
Travel Baseball at Cyclone Ballparks
Cyclone Ballparks, located in Pecos, TX is a premier location that welcomes travel baseball tournaments and families from all over the country! With five synthetic turf diamond fields and several amenities, we’re capable of hosting the biggest and most competitive baseball or softball tournaments.
Plan your visit to Cyclone Ballparks today, and learn more about upcoming events by checking out our tournament calendar.