The Warriors program is designed for serious baseball players with the talent and desire to train and play at the highest level possible. The Warriors provide a “family friendly” travel program focused exclusively on the personal and athletic development of our players (see our "Commandments" below). Tryouts are open to all Orland Park residents and OYA families, and evaluations are conducted impartially and objectively by a panel of coaches.
Practices begin indoors in November and December with two 2hr sessions weekly. Our practices accommodate other sports and activities during the winter months, but our game preparation begins in earnest in March (when additional indoor sessions may be added) and players are expected to be available and have baseball as their top priority after April 1. Costs vary slightly by team but are between $1500 and $1800 for new players depending on which team they are placed on, including all uniforms, indoor practice time, tournaments, outdoor field time and games (returning players may be slightly less where new uniforms are not required). This year our program will field eleven full time teams, one part time team, and July tournament teams. The number of teams depends on the number of qualified players and coaches at each age level, and teams are formed and placed in leagues based on their competitive abilities.
Tryouts are held annually at the end of July.
OYA Warriors Competitive Development Program
For over 45 years, the OYA has been committed to providing the best baseball experience to the boys of Orland Park. As we continue forward with that mission, the OYA must consistently adapt to the changing circumstances of both our Orland Park community and the baseball community both locally and across the country. Those changes include a proliferation of baseball organizations lacking the OYA’s focus on development and the Orland Park community. Parents and boys with a strong interest in baseball are faced with incredibly difficult and extreme choices between family, financial and developmental priorities.
Since 2010, the OYA Competitive Development Program (through our Warriors teams) offers a family friendly, financially competitive, and development focused alternative for those players with the skills and desire to move beyond our traditional recreational programs. These teams include full and part time teams playing in a variety of leagues and torunaments suitable to each team's makeup. Our first year included 11 different Warrior teams playing across ages from 8 to 14. A full breakdown of the program including a list of “Frequently Asked Questions” is included below.
It is our sincere goal for this program to provide a unique, family friendly “middle ground” alternative that allows Orland Park boys to pursue their baseball passion in a healthy atmosphere focused on sportsmanship and development.
OYA Warriors Competitive Development Program
A family friendly, player focused baseball development program for Orland Park youth.
“The Commandments”: Philosophy & Ground Rules
1. Sportsmanship first. All OYA standards of conduct apply to players and parents for all games. These additional development standards are established and enforced by the Competitive Committee of OYA Board of Directors.
2. Open tryouts conducted by managers and independent third party evaluators. Teams formed to accommodate all interested, qualified players at each age group, with assistant coaches selected after tryouts. Managers and Coaches selected based on:
a. Ability to relate and teach the players.
b. Level of relevant baseball knowledge.
c. Commitment and involvement with the OYA.
3. Focus on providing maximum quality experience at lowest cost.
4. Strict adherence to pitch counts and rest days for pitchers.
5. Age appropriate maximum number of games/scrimmages per season at all levels (including tournaments).
6. Year round commitment with accommodation to playing other sports out of season.
7. Game/scrimmage schedules approved by Competitive Committee with limited tournament play and general rule of 1 week off between tournaments.
8. Practices scheduled throughout the season (not just games), with a general ratio of one practice for every two games/scrimmages once games begin. Maximum 5 days games/practices per week in season (except select tournament weeks),
9. Limited travel with majority of games less than 30 minute drive. Eligibility generally limited to Orland Park residents and those participating in OYA recreational programs.
10. Family friendly scheduling and atmosphere that respects and considers the individual player, the parents, and other family members. Never losing sight that it is just a game and should always be fun. Season ends approximately July 15 to accommodate summer vacations.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do this?
Right now, parents and players in Orland Park are faced with two dramatic extremes for baseball. The travel organizations can play up to 90 games in a summer, cost a substantial amount of money (particularly after factoring travel costs), and generally require tremendous time and financial commitments from both the kids and families. The OYA recreational program, conversely, generally includes 20 or fewer games with no continuity or year round training.
The OYA Competitive program provides the continuity and year round training those players serious about baseball crave, without requiring a disproportionate commitment. Therefore, our commitment is to keep the costs low (less than $1,800 annually), focus on quality training and competition over quantity (45-50 games, including tournaments, practices throughout the year), and low “add-on” investment (home games and practices in Orland Park, local travel, limited days per week, deferral to other sports out of season, etc.).
2. How many teams will there be? Where do they play?
Our objective is to provide baseball. From age 8 and up, there will be as many teams as there are qualified players and coaches. At some age levels that might mean one team, at others it may mean three. In 2015, there are 12 Competitive Development teams. eleven of those teams were full time travel teams and one will be a part time travel team (players also participated in the OYA recreational league).
3. How are coaches selected?
Coaches are selected annually based on the three criteria listed in our “Commandments”. In terms of importance, the ability to relate well to the kids and represent the OYA in good sportsmanship, dignity and class is the minimum standard. No coach is bigger than the program, and no coach will be allowed to damage our kids or reputation.
4. How is this different from other travel programs?
The OYA competitive program is different in several important ways. The OYA program is exactly that, a comprehensive program run and administered by the OYA with specific requirements and limitations for coaches, parents and players designed for the welfare of our families and players. Coaches are held accountable to these standards rather than operating independently.
Specifically, the OYA believes players benefit from playing different sports, having rest days, and having their workload monitored to avoid burnout. Similarly, the OYA believes families benefit from minimizing travel requirements, having time available for other kids, and enjoying youth baseball without a punitive financial commitment. Finally, the OYA is committed to open and fair participation in all our programs. Teams will not be predetermined or exclusive, but will be open to all OYA participants in annual tryouts independent of prior year results and decisions. No player will be left behind as our traditional leagues and Metro/July All Star teams will continue to provide opportunities for growth and improvement in advance of tryouts for the following year.
5. What about the OYA recreational league?
First the Metro program, and now the Competitive Development program were inspired and focused on strengthening our recreational league. All players in OYA benefit when the best coaches and players stay inside the organization and provide instruction and competition. Orland Park families need this “middle ground” option to keep their children playing and developing toward high school with reasonable time and financial requirements. Similarly, our recreational leagues need opportunities for those better players to stay inside the OYA and grow as players and people. The Competitive Development league is designed to give our players more opportunities and keep the Orland Park community inside the OYA playing together.
6. How often are the tryouts be?
Tryouts will be in July annually for the Competitive Development teams with additional tryouts for July All Star teams held in May. Tryouts and specific details for the 2015 season will be released in June. Specific details will be posted at www.oyaboys.org
7. How are the players be selected?
Players are selected annually by a committee assigned by the OYA Board. The committee includes any previously identified managers, but no other parents in the specific age group. Players are evaluated by: 1) Performance in tryouts, 2) Previous performance, experience and involvement with the OYA, and 3) Consistency, fit and appropriateness with the OYA development program as outlined in our “Commandments”.