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ENYTB was established in 1996 to foster the growth of youth travel baseball in the eastern region of Upstate New York and adjacent areas. The League has no geographic boundaries per se. Its geographic center is the No. Colonie/Clifton Park, NY area, and stretches as far west as Syracuse and the Utica-Rome area, as far east as Pittsfield MA, as far north as Queensbury, NY and Rutland, VT as far south as Poughkeepsie, NY and as far to the southwest as Binghamton, NY. Teams from Montreal have participated in the League's fall baseball program as well.
Total league membership 15 years ago was 8 teams, all in a single age division (14U) and under a single sanctioning body (AABC). A record 250 teams participated in the League's 2009 summer program (12 age levels and three sanctioning bodies). And, the ENYTB Gold Division has produced a national age division champion for three consecutive years (2007-2009)! We must be doing something right!
One of the key elements of the League's successful growth strategy has been its membership rules, which encourage League participation and growth:
(1) No team in good standing with the League shall be denied entry to the league provided its roster is comprised exclusively of players who did not participate in the League for another League member in the prior year or if they did, their team is not active in the League in the current year, or the player has been "released" by his previous club/team or qualifies under any of the League's several exemptions. see ENYTB Constitution, Article XVI
(2) Furthermore, any team, once started in the League, has the right to continue in the League forever, provided it remains in good standing with the League.
To see a timeline of ENYTB's history and record of growth, see League Info > About Us > Timeline
Another key element in the League's successful growth strategy has been its ability to strike a balance between the interests of players and members in the matter of inter-member competition for players. ENYTB's rules have evolved over a decade and a half, and rely much more heavily on "roster protection" than they do territory. The League rejects both extreme views on free agency. It believes that total free agency would not provide the stability and continuity required to maintain club programs from year-to-year. At the same time, the opposite extreme where players are limited to playing for one club based solely on their place of residence is unnecessarily rigid, leading to much player dissatisfaction and less overall participation.
ENYTB ROSTER PROTECTION
- By definition, any player who did not participate in the league in the prior year is a free agent in the current year i.e., they are free to play for any club/team of their choice.
- Once a player chooses to play for a member club, he becomes that club's "protected" player.
- Members are not allowed to tamper with another member's protected players i.e., they are not permitted talk to current league players about playing for their organization. This means no personal tryouts, no working out with their team and no discussion with the player, or anyone acting on behalf of the player, related to the prospect of the player playing for their team. All of the latter are forms of tampering.
- To change teams, a player must obtain a "release" from his current club,or qualify under any of the various league exemptions, as described in Article XVI of the League's Constitution.
Another key element in the League's successful growth strategy is that all league play is sanctioned by three different national sanctioning bodies: AABC (1996); NABF (1999) and PONY (2003) i.e., a single game can qualify as a sanctioned game in as many as three sanctionings. These affiliations afford our members the opportunity to qualify for approximately 100 berths in 22 sanctioned National Championship Tournament Series (NCTS) in 2009. ENYTB also hosts numerous sanctioned tournaments every year, including at least one at every age level. ENYTB also sponsors its own end-of-season tournaments for each age division from mid-July on. These "Last Man Standing" tournaments are open to members and non-members alike. To register online for an ENYTB Open tournament, Click Here.
The League expanded its scope in 2004 by offering an adult baseball program that includes sanctioned play in both the College (22U) and Unlimited Divisions. Many players who graduated from the ENYTB youth program have returned to the League as adult players. ENYTB hosted the NABF College Regional in 2009 for the sixth consecutive year. Today, ENYTB offers a continuous program of multi-sanctioned travel play from 9U through Unlimited.
CUSTOMIZED SCHEDULING A hallmark of ENYTB membership and yet another another key element in the League's successful growth strategy is its customized scheduling service, including competitively balanced scheduling. Teams indicate when they can play, how much they want to play and when their home field is available. ENYTB schedules them accordingly, along with other preferences re: DH, weekday play vs weekend play, etc. In addition, ENYTB teams are classified for regular season play according to their age and overall skill level. The Gold Division provides our most advanced teams a level of competition far superior to that commonly found in league play. The Silver Division includes a broader range of teams, including many who can give our gold teams a run for their money on any given day. The Silver Division is often divided between Hi Silver and Lo Silver. The Lo Silver Division offers teams a lesser but still challenging level of competition.
ENYTB earmarks its berths in sanctioned tournament berths to each of the various League Divisions. Thus, every ENYTB member team, regardless of its skill level designation, begins the season with a realistic chance for success, including the potential to compete in a sanctioned championship tournament and even possibly a World Series and become a national champion. The ENYTB program (GOLD Division) has produced three consecutive national champions: 2007 DevilCats (NABF16U); 2008 Spring Renegades (AABC13U); and, the 2009 Spring Renegades (AABC9U).
ENYPONY PROGRAM - Available To Rec Level Leagues
ENYTB expanded its scope again in 2009 by establishing its ENYPONY program in response to the needs of several ENYTB member organizations that also operate "house" leagues. These members were seeking opportunities to enhance and extend their house league programs through play with similar level teams from other house leagues. The ENYPONY program includes the following elements:
- PONY sanctioning;
- Inter-member supplemental travel play during the regular season on an optional basis;
- League sponsored post-season tournaments; and,
- Eligibility for PONY sanctioned post-season tournaments.
THE RML WEBSITE - enytb.com
All of the key elements contributing to the League's successful growth strategy list above are programmatic. We would be remiss not to mention the role of the website in the growth and success of the league. The informational requirements of delivering the customized and diversified services name above are rather enormous. It is the reason that, to the best of our knowledge, no other league anywhere offers a level of service remotely comparable. Until seven years ago, we were providing this service manually, via spreadsheets and what not. At that time we had approximately 55 teams and understood that we would be unable to accommodate continued growth w/o a website customized to our league program. That was perhaps the best and most important decision the league ever made.
PROGRAM SUMMARYThe ENYTB program package guarantees every member a first class and satisfying travel league experience regardless of:
- the age of its team(s) or their level of play;
- when those teams are available to play or when their home field is available;
- how many games they to play; or
- whether they want to be eligible to qualify for sanctioned tournament play.
NOTE: ENYTB sponsors its own tournaments during the month of July. Entry fee includes umps, balls, team trophies and tournament tee-shirts for all finalists. Register online, show up and play.
NOTE: ENYTB also offers a similarly customized fall baseball program. Look for announcement and registration form on ENYTB News Board in mid-July.