Following are frequently asked questions and answers about Arlington Travel Baseball and baseball in Arlington. If you don't see your question answered here, please let us know. We'll do our best to answer your question or point you in the right direction.
1. What is Arlington Travel Baseball?
Arlington Travel Baseball's mission is to provide youth baseball players in Arlington County, Virginia, an opportunity to improve baseball skills through quality coaching and higher levels of competition. ATB strives to create a positive baseball experience for each player. Teams are composed of 9U through 12U players who love baseball and want to develop their skills and understanding of the game. Winning games, tournaments or championships is NOT the primary goal of ATB. ATB teams strive to win by making maximum effort and competing with class. Player development and creating a quality baseball experience are our primary goal.
2. Is Arlington Travel Baseball a profit making venture?
Arlington Travel Baseball is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization with a volunteer board of directors. Players are charged a fee that covers the cost of uniforms, coach, insurance, tournament entry fees, umpire fees, and similar costs. All donations made to ATB are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. If you know of an individual or company interested in making a donation or becoming a sponsor, please let us know. Email us at
call us at 703-801-6297.
3. What are the ages for Arlington Travel Baseball teams?
ATB will field one or two teams per age group (9U through 12U) and players are selected through a tryout process. Tryouts will be held in June for the 9U teams and July for our 10-12U teams. Teams are selected to play together for an entire calendar year. .
4. Does ATB allow players to “play up”?
ATB believes each player should play in his/her respective age group and this is what we practice. At the travel level, moving players up reduces the competitive strength of the team losing the player, and puts that team at a competitive disadvantage. ATB will allow players who are one year too young (e.g., 7 or 8) to tryout for the 9U team. If the player makes that team, he/she will be allowed to “play up” for one year. After one year, this player will be required to tryout for his/her own age group. Exceptions to this rule will be made on an extremely limited basis (e.g., for players who are so dominant that they would pose an injury threat to the other players).
5. What is the difference between ATB and Little League or Babe Ruth?
Arlington Travel Baseball is a travel baseball organization. Players are selected through tryouts. Teams practice and play in Arlington County and may travel to other Virginia communities, Maryland, DC, or even further to participate in games or tournaments. Some tournaments or games may require weekend/overnight travel.
Arlington Little League (ALL) is a community youth recreational sports organization serving Arlington County. They provide Arlington’s youth with the opportunity to learn and play baseball in a safe and supporting environment. Because ALL is a recreational league, their programs must be able to encompass youth players of all ability and skill levels. A recreational league is an all-comers league. ALL makes every effort to structure their league and teams so that the competition is fair and balanced. ALL's goal is to provide the best baseball experience possible for all of the youth in Arlington, VA.
The Cal Ripken Division of Babe Ruth Baseball (ABR) is a youth-oriented non-profit baseball program currently serving over one million children ages 4 - 12. Babe Ruth is a national program that allows local groups sufficient freedom to design baseball programs to fit their local needs. Arlington Babe Ruth Baseball works in close harmony with the Arlington County Department of Parks & Recreation to give our children a quality baseball program second to none in the local area. The promotion of equal competition, camaraderie, full participation, good sportsmanship and just plain fun are the key objectives of this joint effort.
6. Why are ATB players required to play ALL or ABR during the Spring Season?
In working with the leagues and AYBA, ATB makes a good faith effort to minimize conflicts with the Arlington County recreational youth baseball leagues during their regular spring season and post-season tournament play that leads to their programs' "World Series." ATB requires participation in an Arlington County recreational youth baseball league during the spring season.
In early summer, ATB will minimize activity to permit participation in the Arlington Little League and Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth post-season league, district and state tournaments. We require our players to participate in ALL or ABR, only during the spring, so as to not strip the best players out of these program. We hope that ATB players will help to elevate the level of play for the recreational players and lead by example.
ATB players are not required to play ALL or ABR during the fall season.
7. What does the ATB Schedule look like?
Here is a high level overview of our annual calendar. Specifics will be communicated to players by their team’s general manager.
LATE SUMMER AND FALL
August: Practices are held but will be flexible to allow for family vacations. The new rising 9U team begins practice, too.
End of August: All baseball players "age up" -- in other words, players who were "baseball age" 8U during the spring/summer will become 9U for the fall; 9Us turn 10U; and so on.
September to early November: ATB team practices will be held approximately two times a week. Teams participate in Northern Virginia Travel Baseball League (NVTBL.org), playing doubleheaders on Sundays. Teams will also play in one travel tournament and possibly the end of season NVTBL playoff tournament.
December to February: Indoor Winter Training may be held in or outside of Arlington. For example, teams have practiced at VBC, Prime Time, Marymount University or at a local school gym.
March: ATB team practices begin and teams participate in at least one scrimmage or game.
April to mid-May: ATB teams practice one time per weeknight, Fridays and NVTBL game on Sundays during the ALL/ABR “regular season.” For games and scrimmages, ATB coaches will follow Little League pitch counts for its players. Each ATB team will play in a Memorial Day weekend tournament.
Late May to end of July: ATB team will continue practices and participate in three tournaments. (See the question below about resolving conflict between ATB and ALL/ABR activities for more details.)
8. How do players resolve conflicts with ALL/ABR practices and games?
Our goal is to minimize conflicts between ATB and ALL/ABR practices and games, and we will work with the players’ ALL/ABR leagues and their coaches in an effort to achieve this goal. We also want to stress the importance of open and frequent communication between parents and their player’s ABR/ALL/ATB coaches to ensure a successful ATB experience. In this regard, ATB coaches and managers will obtain from parents information about how often players are pitching and catching in ALL/ABR practices and games to avoid overuse of arms.
Starting in the spring 2018, ATB will continue to minimize conflicts by scheduling Friday night practices and Sunday NVTBL games. ATB will monitor all ATB player activities so that each player is eligible for recreation all stars. The ATB spring season will end immediately following the Memorial Day weekend tournament so that the players will be available for all regular season playoff games and all star games, if selected. ATB will resume after ALL/ABR all stars are eliminated in July. That said, ATB is careful to avoid scheduling tournaments or other events during periods of heavy activity in the spring ALL/ABR leagues.
9. What is the cost to participate in ATB for 2017-18?
The cost to participate for all ATB's 9-12U players in 2017-18 was $1425.
ATB's participant fee covers costs for the coaches, insurance, uniform ( to include two game jerseys, one practice shirt, one game hat and one practice hat), equipment, league (e.g., NVTBL) fees, tournament fees, winter indoor hitting workouts and speed and agility training, and Arlington County field use assessments. This fee does not include travel expenses for individual players. The fee does not include "major" travel tournaments such as the Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament.
Financial assistance may be available for qualified individuals. Please contact ATB President Richie Pacheco at
for more information.
10. Will teams play in any major tournaments?
The 12U may elect to participate in the Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament. If the 12U team elects to participate in this tournament, 12U team members will pay for all related expenses -- including, but not limited to, the tournament fee, umpire costs, pin costs, travel costs, etc. -- as they are not included in the ATB fees.
Any other ATB team may participate in a major tournament at their own expense, with approval from the ATB Board. Teams may conduct fundraisers (that are approved in advance by the ATB Board) to help defer the cost of these tournaments.
11. How many players on an ATB team?
Teams assignments will generally be 12 players. Back to top
12. Who determines who makes an ATB team during the tryouts?
ATB promotes a fair and objective team building process. The decision to extend a team assignment to a player will be made by the ATB selection committee. The ATB selection committee will consist of an ATB head coach, the ATB Director of Player Development and an independent evaluator. Players will be evaluated based on their skills, ability and desire to play.
13. What is the difference between the Blue, White and Academy teams? If the ATB coaches believe enough travel-ready players in a particular age group are available, ATB will field two teams. The first team will be called the 'Blue' team and the second team will be called the 'White' team. A majority of the higher-rated players will be placed on the Blue team, and ATB will try to ensure that both teams have the necessary players to be competitive. Both teams will be treated equally and play the same amount of games, practices, and tournaments. ATB will make sure each team is placed in the appropriate level of play in the NVTBL and will make it's best effort to register both teams in tournaments where they will be competitive.
The Academy team plays together during the fall season only. The team will practice outdoors once during the week and also practice indoors on Sundays when the team does not have a scheduled NVTBL game. ATB coaches will rotate to work with the team during practices and games. Winter workouts are not included in the player fee but are optional if there's enough interest.
14. Can my child play on an ATB team and play flag football or another rec sport in the fall?
ATB encourages players to remain engaged in other sports. Players must commit to make ATB their primary sport. The commitment ATB seeks will likely make participation with other travel or elite youth sports organizations difficult. For safety reasons along with commitment and scheduling conflicts players will not be permitted to play on another travel baseball team.
15. Can my child play for multiple travel baseball programs?
No. ATB players are not permitted to play for a second travel baseball team at any point during the ATB season, which runs from the fall through the spring/summer. There are many reasons for this policy. First, we want to protect players from overuse of their arms, and playing on multiple travel baseball teams (in addition to ALL or ABR in the spring) makes that difficult. Moreover, travel baseball programs often overlap at critical points, forcing players to choose one travel team over another. This is not a positive situation for either team. Finally, because ATB seeks to build team camaraderie over the course of a year-long season, it is not possible to play ATB only in the fall season. Players who accept roster spots with ATB are making a commitment to their teammates and coaches to play with ATB through the fall and spring/summer seasons.
16. Can my child participate in a sanctioned ABR or ALL all star team?
Yes. Sanctioned ALL/ABR all-star activities are considered to be part of the spring ALL/ABR season. The sanctioned all-star activities of these leagues typically begin in mid-June and run through early to mid-July. ATB players are expected to rejoin their teams immediately at the end of the sanctioned all-star activities. Note that some leagues combine their all-star program with a travel program, and require all-star team members also to participate on a travel team. As noted above, it is not possible for players to play for both ATB and a second travel baseball program, even if that second travel baseball program participates in sanctioned all-star activities during a portion of its season.
17. Can our family vacation in July or August while playing on an ATB team?
Of course families should plan and schedule vacations as appropriate. Although we expect that the commitment to ATB will require significant time, we understand families’ needs to plan and schedule vacations and other family activities.
18. Are current/past ATB players required to participate tryouts each year?
Yes. ATB holds annual age-group open tryouts for all new players and current ATB players. All players are required to tryout annually.
19 Do I need to register my child for ATB tryouts or can I walk up?
You must register your child for tryouts in order to participate. We may not be able to accommodate players who do not register to tryout in advance. Tryout registration will be announced on our website at least one month before tryouts are held.
20. What size diamonds does ATB use for games?
It is expected that 9 and 10U players will play games on a 46/60 diamond, the 11 and 12U players will play games on a 50/70 diamond. Practices may be conducted on varying size diamonds or at other practice facilities, based on Arlington County Parks & Recreation availability.
21. Do players tryout for specific positions or tryout for the team in general?
Players will tryout for the team, not specific positions. However, if there are specific positions a player is interested in or has significant experience in, please note that to the coaches at the tryout.
22. Will players be rotated through the positions during the season or will they be assigned certain positions?
Players will play more than one position during the season. The primary goal of ATB is to develop overall baseball skills. Players will have an opportunity to work on their skills at any position they would like to learn.
23. How is inclement weather handled?
For Arlington County parks-related last minute weather cancellations and information, call the PRCR Inclement Weather Line at 703-228-4715. Please check with your team’s general manager for weather cancellations and information for games outside of Arlington.