Starting in 2020, COMBA will be changing the league formats for Rally Cap and Tadpole. Instead of Rally Cap (U6-U7) and Tadpole (U8-U9), we will be splitting up all age groups, as well as introducing a U5 program. When registering for 2020, you will have the following options:
A lot of organizations are switching to this format, and you may already be familiar with it in other local associations like soccer. This is the recommended format for these ages and is being strongly encouraged by Baseball Canada, and with that Baseball BC. Kamloops switched to this format 3-4 years ago and has seen a drastic increase in the number of players that stay in baseball, which can only help bolster the older age groups, in years to come.
Physical and Mental Development
The difference between a child born in January as a U9 (01-2010) VS a child born in Dec as U8 (12-2011) is a full two years. The physical and mental development at these early stages are very dramatic and have been a concern for COMBA and parents alike, as seen by the number of requests to have children move up due to ability and safety concerns. With this new format, we will NOT be entertaining any move-up requests.
Mandatory Coaching Manual
One of the big advantages to these changes is the support that comes from Baseball BC in the way of training programs that outline the full 10 weeks of training for the season. This program WILL BE MANDATORY to follow for all coaches. This does 2 important things:
1) Makes coaching that much easier. Most coaches at this level have very little experience coaching and very little experience playing high level of ball. So, having a manual that walks through every practice, as well as what to look for for each skill helps coaches learn the fundamentals and structure practices to best help the players. It is also hopeful that coaches will be less intimidated to step-up and coach because the workload is dramatically decreased.
2) Puts all players at a more equal level. We want all players to have the same basic skill-set of baseball and movement skills moving on from year-to-year, regardless of the ability of the coaches. The more equal the players, the more fun everyone.
Kelowna / Rutland Boundaries Removed
Another one of the changes is the removal of "Kelowna" and "Rutland" divisions. We are the only sport in Kelowna that has separate divisions. If your child plays any other sport, games / practices vary from Lake Country to West Kelowna. It's time that COMBA removed these boundaries, as well. We are lucky to have the numbers that we are still only driving within the Kelowna city limits, unlike all the other sports mentioned.
With any major change, there will be hiccups and adjustments, year-over-year, as we perfect the program. However, we strongly believe that these changes will benefit the organization and it's players and are excited for these changes.
Once we get into fall ball, the formats for each division will be posted in their respective sections under "Divisions".