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Frequently Asked Questions

Do we have to pay immediately to register our player?

For your convenience, HAJBA offers Registration Payment Options for the Spring/Summer seasons at Checkout:

  • PAY ONLINE IN FULL: Submit total fees online upon conclusion of the registration session via Visa, MasterCard, Discover or Electronic Check.
  • PAYMENT PLAN: Fees are divided into 2 installments with the first installment of $25 to be collected online upon conclusion of this registration session via Visa, MasterCard or Discover account. The remaining balance will be automatically debited from the SAME ACCOUNT on April 1.
    • If you wish to use a different account to pay the balance, please log in to your NGIN account BEFORE the first day of payment to update your account information.
    • PayPal not an accepted form of payment with this payment option.
  • PAY OFFLINE (Full Payment): Please Send in a check for the registration amount. Once we receive your check, your child will be registered. You must choose "Pay Offline" for this option. Please include your child's name in the Memo Field of the check.
  • PAY OFFLINE (Deferred Payment): Please Send in a check for the amount of the registration post dated for March 31. Once we receive your check, your child will be considered registered. As long as the check is post dated for March 31, it will not be cashed until April 1. You must choose "Pay Offline" for this option. Please include your child's name in the Memo Field of the check.

Please make checks payable to HAJBA and mail check to:

HAJBA
PO Box 241
Howell, MI 48844
 
Payment Options will be available for selection on the Shopping Cart Page.
 

Fall season registration requires either payment in full online or payment in full offline.

Background Checks – Do we Run Them?

Yes, we run background checks on all of our board members, head coaches, assistant coaches and Adult umpires.

We use a service through our online registration system - Ngin to perform background checks. Our volunteers will simply fill out and submit a short online background check form. Once the information from this form is submitted, a National Criminal Background Check is performed, and the results are provided to us via our online registration system.

Through the National Criminal Background Check, we can discover possible issues for a particular volunteer. These background checks access data from the Department of Corrections, Administrative Office of the Courts, and Sex Offender Registries covering 49 states, Washington D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico.

These background checks cost our organization more than $20 per background check. We take the safety of the children in our programs seriously, which is the reason we run these background checks.

What will my child receive as part of the registration fee?

A child registered will receive the following:

  • Hat (baseball) or Visor (Softball)
  • Jersey (With registered last name on back)
  • Baseball/Softball pants
  • One pair of matching athletic socks

What equipment will be provided by the league for use during games and practices?

The following equipment will be provided by HAJBA available for use during games and practices:

  • Batting Helmets
  • Bases
  • Baseballs/Softballs
  • Catcher’s gear
  • Hitting Tee (TBall)

Is there any other equipment I should consider purchasing for my child?

All players should be ready for games with their own baseball/softball glove. Male players should have and wear a protective cup. Other items which may be considered, but are NOT REQUIRED.

  • Baseball Bat specific to the size of your child (Must be BBCOR certified for Major and Senior division)
  • Batting Glove(s)
  • Water Bottle

What guidelines should I use when determining what size/type bat to buy?

If purchasing a bat, understand the quality and price of bats varies widely. The weight of a bat can vary. The lighter a bat is, the easier it will be for your child to control the bat and swing it effectively. As a test, have your child hold the bat directly out from their side without bending their elbow. If they can hold it for 30 seconds without having it rise higher or lower, than it’s an appropriate weight.

USA Baseball bat stamps are acceptable, but not required for all Baseball divisions below Major baseball. Major and Senior divisions require BBCOR stamp or wood bats.

What guidelines should I use in determining what size baseball glove to purchase for my child?

Players glove requirements vary greatly by the size and ability of the player. One key, especially for young players, is  a flexible glove. Nothing is more frustrating to a player than having a ball fall out of their glove because they aren’t able to close the glove. There are a number of ways to help soften or break-in a glove. Your player's hand should fit comfortably into the glove as well. As with bats, the costs of gloves vary widely, depending on the quality and materials.

When does the season begin and end? And where are the games played?

The HAJBA Spring/Summer season begin practices about April 1.The regular season runs through June, with an end-of-season tournament which plans to be completed before July 3. Normally there will be 6-8 pre-season practices, approximately 12-16 regular season games, and a minimum of 1-2 post-season tournament games depending on the number of teams in each division. Game sites vary. For complete addresses and field maps follow this link

  • Northwest Elementary School
    • All Opening Day Games (Baseball, Softball and TBall)
    • TBall (5 and 6 year old)
    • Bantam Baseball
    • Midget Baseball
    • Minor Baseball
    • Highlander Travel Baseball (10u, 11u, 12u)
  • Bennett Field
    • Minor Baseball
    • Major Baseball
    • All Baseball All-Star games
    • Midget, Minor and Major Tournament Championship games
    • Highlander Travel Baseball (12u and 13u)
  • Parker Middle School
    • Major Baseball
    • Senior Baseball
    • Highlander Travel Baseball (13u, 14u, 15u, 16u, 18u)
  • Howell High School Freshmen Campus
    • Senior Baseball
    • Highlander Travel Baseball (13u, 14u, 15u, 16u, 18u)
  • Howell High School PE Fields (Between the football field and Pool building)
    • Bantam Softball
    • Midget Softball
    • Minor Softball

How are teams formed? Can my child be placed on to a team for Carpool purposes?

For the competitive younger divisions (Bantam Baseball, and Bantam Softball) teams are formed using a Blind draw process. All players are put into a pile, and managers draw their team, one player at a time, from the pile.

We are often asked by parents to place particular kids on a particular team with another player. The only time this request will be honored is when the children are siblings, in the same division. We cannot place friends, cousins, or other players on the same team to accommodate carpooling needs, or other situations.

We as an organization work hard to make the teams as competitive as possible and requests such as the above can result in stacked teams. This is a policy that has been created keeping all players in mind over the history of HAJBA and we strictly enforce it! We also feel that as a recreational program, it is good for the kids to be exposed to different kids to meet and make new friends.

For the older divisions (Midget, Minor, Major, and Senior Baseball and Softball) teams are formed using a draft process. For these divisions, players are invited to attend a player evaluation. At the evaluation, coaches will have the opportunity to see the players in action. The players will complete a number of skills and allow the coaches to see their ability.

These evaluations are very important to both the children and the coaches. It is important that parents make every effort to get their child to the evaluations so that the coaches can observe them.

During the team draft process, coaches will have the opportunity to choose players for their team based on their observations at the player evaluations.

Any players that do not show up for player evaluations are put into the blind draw process. Once in the blind draw process, coaches will not have the opportunity to choose them for their team under the draft process.

Any team returning for a second year in a division, will start with any of their players from the previous season that choose to return to the same team. It is the player's (or parent's) choice to return to the same team.

For additional questions about the team creation process, please contact the commissioner for your specific division.

What is the Game Feedback page on the website for?

The game feedback page on our website is a means for anyone to provide feedback on a HAJBA game that they attended. Examples of reasons to provide Feedback:

1) If you witness anyone (coach, parent or umpire) acting inappropriately on the field you can provide your feedback quickly via this online form.

2) If you are a coach, or parent, that witnesses an umpire that could use some additional “help” to make them a better umpire, you can provide feedback via this online form.

As you know, we use youth umpires, and often they need some additional support to be sure they are positioning themselves correctly in the field to make calls, as well as paying attention at all times to ensure they make an informed call.

This online form should not be used just to complain about an umpire because you were not happy with a particular call he/she made. We use the feedback you provide to help to make the umpire better.

3) If you witness an umpire that did an amazing job in your opinion, and would like to pass along some positive feedback to them, you can provide your feedback via this online form. Our umpires like to hear compliments, as well as constructive criticism.

4) The form can be used to provide any other relevant information pertaining to a particular game that you feel the HAJBA board of Directors should be aware of. In order for us to respond and react to any concerns you raise via the “Game Feedback” form, you need to be sure to fill it out completely, which includes your contact information. You will not be able to complete the feedback without logging into the website and providing your contact information.

Once we receive your feedback, we will forward the information to the relevant Board member for additional follow up, should follow up be required.

How Do I Become a Sponsor for a Community Team?

Without Community Team Sponsors, we could not offer the quality program that we do!

We offer several levels of sponsorship:

Home Run Event Sponsor: HAJBA has multiple major events in a season

  • Opening Day
  • Jesse Mack Softball Tournament
  • Softball Awards and All-Stars
  • Jesse Mack Baseball Tournament
  • Baseball Awards and All-Stars
  • Fall Season

Starting at $750, you can have title sponsorship of any 1 of these great HAJBA events.

Team Sponsor: Team Sponsors cover most of the cost of the uniform for our players. You receive your name and/or logo on the team jersey and receive recognition all season! Team Sponsor rate is $400 for the 2018 Spring/Summer season. All sponsors are offered a link to your web site will be added to our Sponsors Page at www.howellbaseball.org.

Double Play Sponsor: Along with a team sponsorship, the Double Play Sponsor can add Your company name and logo will appear on a 3’ x 5’ Vinyl Banner that will be attached to the fencing at one of our fields. All sponsors are offered a link to your web site will be added to our Sponsors Page at www.howellbaseball.org. Double Play sponsorship is $500.

Banner Sponsor: For $150, you can have two 3’ x 5’ Vinyl Banners to be posted during the season at the HAJBA Field of your choice.

Visit or Sponsors page or contact our Sponsorship Director for more details! 

What is a Team Coordinator?

Along with an assistant coach and parent volunteers, Head coaches are encouraged to recruit a parent to be a Team Coordinator. The Team Coordinator is a volunteer from each team that can help with a variety of tasks outside of practice and game tasks. For example:

  • Initial Team Introduction Letter
  • Game Snack Schedule Creation – Many teams choose to have a post-game snack for players. It us up to the coaches and parents to decide how they would like to handle this if they choose.
  • Uniform Distribution – Team coordinators can assist with uniform pick-up, delivery as well as a contact for any issues, replacements or late additions.
  • Dugout Organizer - Some Team Coordinators have arranged for teams to have personalized buckets/hangers for player equipment in the dugouts. This is not required.
  • Game Balls Coordination - Some Team Coordinators will manage the acquisition and distribution of games balls for coaches.
  • End of Season celebrations - Team coordinators can help arrange, schedule, and plan end of season parties if teams choose to have one.

How are Uniform jerseys ordered and distributed?

As part of registration, each player receives:

  • Team Jersey customized with Sponsor logo on the front and registered player's last name on the back
  • Pair of matching athletic socks
  • Pair of athletic pants
  • Baseball hat/Softball visor

When registering, a selection field for Pants and Jersey size is available. If you have any concerns about sizes and fit, all uniforms are purchased through J J Jinkleheimer & Co located at 2705 E Grand River Ave, Howell, MI 48843. They have uniform samples available to try on.

If a jersey needs to be re-order due to incorrect size following personalizing, HAJBA will not be responsible for the cost. Jersey replacement cost is between $25 - $35.

Incorrectly sized pants may be replaced through JJs at cost.

Uniforms are ordered following team formation meetings and are only planned to arrive the THURSDAY before opening day. Coaches or team coordinators will pick-up all uniforms from J J Jinkleheimer and distribute to the players.

Fall Baseball Program - Common Questions

Fall Ball is intended to be fun and instructional, preparing kids for the following season's Spring/Summer baseball season. It is a great way for your child to develop and become a better baseball player. Games will be played, but standings will not be kept and only 1 umpire per field will be provided.

Fall Ball Guidelines:

* A minimum of three teams per division is needed for that division to be formed.

* Each Division will be limited to no more than 6 teams.

* All prospective coaches will need to fill out a volunteer coach application form so that a background check can be ran.

* Teams will consist of 10-12 players.

* Teams will be formed via Blind Draw. The only 9 through 15 Year old players protected on a team are the Head Coach and Assistant Coaches children. No other players in this age range can be protected.

Any TBall coaches moving up to Bantam Baseball for the Fall Season can protect up to 3 additional players from their Spring/Summer team, with the understanding that they cannot protect these kids for the following year's Spring/Summer season.

* The season will run from the middle of August through first week in October. Actual start dates and finish dates will be provided each season.

* Firm game and practice schedules will be determined once all registrations are received and teams are selected. The intention is to play games on Mondays and Thursdays, but one additional weekday may be added depending on the number of kids that register.

*Players should register for the division they will play in for the following year's Spring/Summer season. It will be based on their age as of May 1 of the following year.

* The divisions are as follows:

TBall: 5 and 6 year old (1 hour game time – 5/6 year olds on same team)

Bantam: 7 - 8 year old

Midget: 9 - 10 year old

Minor: 11 - 12 year old (Wood Bats will be used – Provided by the league)

Major: 13 – 15 year old (Wood Bats will be used – Provided by the league)

All Divisions other than TBall will play 2 hour games, with a start time of 6:00 pm.

TBall teams will play 1 hour games, with a start time of 5:30 pm or 6:45 pm.

Practices will be scheduled for 1.5 hours and will begin at either 5:00 pm or 6:30 pm.

The intention is to practice and play games on Mondays and Thursdays, but one additional weekday may be added depending on the number of kids that register. Depending on the number of teams, the above start times may vary.

*Each player will receive a T-Shirt. Baseball pants, socks and hats will not be provided.

Umpiring Questions

Who umpires HAJBA games?

For the most part, kids who are actively playing or previously played in the HAJBA program choose to umpire. However, that is not a requirement. Also, there is opportunity for adults to be involved to work older division games as well as help teach and mentor inexperienced umpires.

How can I be an umpire?

Early each year, HAJBA promotes and hosts training classes for anyone interested. Umpire that meet the qualifications, attend training classes and clinics and pass the exam are eligible to umpire with HAJBA. Once qualified, umpires will need to at attend the scheduling meeting to sign up for games to be scheduled.

What are the qualifications to be a HAJBA Umpire?

Umpires must:

• Be at least 11 years old, preferably with at least 2 seasons of baseball/softball playing experience

• Attend a classroom training

• Attend an indoor skills clinic and/or a on-field clinic

• Pass an open rule book exam with a score of at least 75% (in 2 tries or less)

When is the training?

Each year in February and March, training dates are scheduled and posted on the HAJBA calendar. The goal is to identify the pool approved umpires by April 1 each season.

Are umpires paid?

Yes. HAJBA umpires are paid. The pay depends on the division and ranges from $15 - $40 per umpire, per game.

Can I still be an umpire if I have never played baseball before?

In general, HAJBA prefers umpires with baseball playing experience. However, if umpires are able to meet the qualifications, HAJBA may consider them.

Why do I only get 2 chances to pass the exam?

Umpiring can be stressful. Having the ability to remember and recall rules on the spot at a field without the ability to refer to a rule book is a skill. If a candidate is unable to get a passing score when they have immediate access to all of the answers, and no pressure of time (or fans or coaches) their opportunities for success on the field as an umpire is limited.

Is there a charge for training?

HAJBA is a non-profit. When there are specific costs for room rental, rule books and equipment that are passed on to umpire. HAJBA does not make a profit from the costs, but it helps to focus to the candidates and not on to all of the players in the league through registration fees.

How am I scheduled for games?

A scheduling meeting will be held when the yearly schedule is complete, usually mid-to-late April. At the meeting, umpires may sign-up for games based on their availability (usually 3-7 per year.) Once the scheduling is complete, additional games that become available are share via email by other umpires or from the Umpire-in-chief.

What if I cannot make a game I signed up for?

Once you select a game, you are responsible for it. If you cannot make the game, it is your job to find a sub. If you cannot find a sub and do not attend the game, the no-call, no-show can affect your access to additional games over the season, especially tournament games. If you cannot make your game and are unable to get a sub, contact the Umpire-in-chief, as soon as you have problems, to inform him of the status. This helps prevent games from being delayed or postponed because of missing umpires.

What is NFHS?

NFHS stands for the National Federation of High Schools. The NFHS makes the rules that cover high school sports, including baseball. These are the rules HAJBA follows for any baseball specific rules not covered in the HAJBA rule book. It is very important umpires understand where the game rules come from. 

How can I get more information or ask other questions?

For more details, email umpires@howellbaseball.org with additional questions.