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AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL MEMBERS OF MMBA

December 3, 2022

An Open Letter to Parents of MMBA Players from Mission Minor Baseball Association President Dan Williams.

First, let me apologize for my occasional angry conduct throughout 2022. The bereavement process is more difficult than I thought it would be.  In hindsight, I should have stepped away from MMBA in 2022. If I negatively affected you, please know it was not my intention.

I am reaching out to all of you to explain the reasoning for the way MMBA conducts baseball in Mission, as our commitment to development is being challenged.

MMBA strives to make all divisions as fun as possible for the players.  Every study on youth sports lists fun as the number one reason the overwhelming majority of youth play sports.  This applies to preschool to university-aged players. This means that we still need to pay attention to development.  We need to be aware that injecting fun into all levels makes the players more receptive to instruction.

There are a couple of main reasons players come back to a sport. The first is that the player has fun in the sport.  Second, they learn skills and knowledge of the game each year that they can build on the following year.  As you don’t learn to do math starting at the high school level, instead breaking it down to allow a steady growth in understanding, it is with sports.  Long Term Athlete Development is a science-based framework that gives athletes the best chance of success, and MMBA strives to follow LTAD in all divisions.

A quick breakdown of the divisions and what we look for at each level follows.

5U & 7U – We keep the team sizes small so all players are active during the session.  Emphasis on athleticism and basic baseball skills.  Three teams to a diamond, so all are active – two engaging in hitting and fielding while the third practices, then they switch so all three teams hit, field, and practice each session. Hitting from a tee to establish good habits on where to stand, how to hold the bat, and where to hit the ball., We use bean bags and other tools to develop hand-eye skills and speed ladders to start the footwork process while working on balance.  Base races by the players are fun and add a bit of competition so players can grasp winning and losing.

9U – A continuation of building basic baseball skills.  We try for smaller team sizes, although a lack of coaches can change this.  In this division, the most significant change is the hitting, where we use a mechanical pitching machine.  We have found that coach pitching increases the coach’s skill to hit the bat and not the player’s to hit the ball. Player pitching at this level has caused many players to leave the game due to being hit by a pitch, so we do not do this. We encourage the teaching of pitching but do not want players pitching to players seven and eight years old. The skill development continues with instruction on how to field balls, positions, and what to do at each base.  As many players are brand new to the game at this level, we still encourage using bean bags for catching development. More situational defense instruction on where to throw the ball on a hit and how to properly play each base.  Instruction on running after a hit.  How to be safe at each base.  Again, using tools to increase balance and athleticism.

11U - The most significant step in baseball.  Here we now have the biggest learning curve in baseball.  This division has modified rules for base stealing and pitching to accommodate the age of the players. The player has to learn many things in a three-month season. The player at this level must learn to pitch, umpires (strike zone), steal, proper fielding technique, proper catcher play, base responsibility, and cut-off positioning.  The reality is that at this level, the practice-to-game ratio should be 3 to 1.  Three practices for every game.  Why do this?  If your player is anyone but the pitcher, catcher, and the first baseperson in a game, they will touch a baseball 1 – 4 times in the game; let’s be generous and say they touch the ball twelve times.  In practice, that same player can touch a baseball fifty to one hundred times. In practice, the player is coached by one or more of our wonderful volunteers to do it the right way and gets feedback immediately instead of after a game.  This division is non-competitive in spring, and a summer ball component culminates in playing in a Provincial should the team qualify.

There is also a trend now to push players into a higher level of play.  Unfortunately, in the last five years, the divisions have been diluted talent.  For an association of MMBA’s size, the danger in separating the more mature players, sometimes referred to as the “talented players,” is that it leaves the balance of the players in a situation where there is no talent left for their team. This translates into players leaving the game before they have a chance to develop.  It can also have the same effect on the players playing up a level.  The team will struggle to compete if there is not enough talent for the team.  If only half of the players are suitable, and the rest are the best of the lower tier, then both sides of the equation suffer.  We have a total of around three hundred players.  There are associations in big districts that have 1000-1200 players.  The pure roll of the dice says the 1000-1200 player association will have more early-matured players compared to a small association making it more palatable to tier their program. This is not to say we will never have any AA or AAA teams. We have had both 13U AA and 15U AA in the past, and they did well.

13U, 15U, and 18U are all competitive interlock divisions where we play half of our games at home and a half away at other municipalities.  These divisions all can play in summer if the interest is there. Tiering in these divisions is by rule from BC Minor Baseball.  The registered number of players in a division determines the level of play. For example, in 13U, if we register thirty-seven players or more, we must field one AA team, and if we register sixty-one players or more, we must field two AA teams.  MMBA has never closed a registration to qualify for a lesser division. We look forward to the days when our registration numbers mean we have to tier our teams in this division.

MMBA will always release a player if we do not offer the level of play they have qualified for.  Should you be interested, there are specific rules from BC Minor Baseball that must be followed, so contact me for complete details.

In closing, MMBA has taken our responsibility for player safety and development seriously.  If you agree with our vision and implementation, please come to our AGM this Thursday, December 8, 2022, at 7 pm at the Leisure Center Room 4A/B and make your voice heard.  We need people with the best interests of all the players in MMBA stepping up to key positions in the organization.

Respectfully,

Dan Williams, MMBA President

Ivories88@shaw.ca

604-302-9377

2022 AGM December 8, 2022

Our AGM is Thursday December 8, 2022, 7 pm at the Mission Leisure Center Room 4A-4B.

Please attend we have roles to be filled and we need your input.

Click on the link below to see/save the AGM package.

See you there.

2022 COACHES CARAVAN - THANK YOU!

MMBA would like to thank the Coaches Caravan team - Mike Kelly, Grant Rimer, Al Forman, Michael Dagg, and Al Rimer for coming. The kids have so much fun! A perfect pre-season training indeed!

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The Registration "Home" is not currently available.

MMBA gratefully acknowledges the FINANCIAL support of the Province of British Columbia.

Get Your Volunteer Fee Refunded

To get your $75 fee back - Be a Head Coach

or work a tournament day scorekeeping, field dressing

We are a 100% volunteer organization when you help it helps all of us

Who We Are

Mission Minor Baseball (1990) Association is a not-for-profit registered society established in 1990 in Mission, BC,  Canada, providing the framework for youth aged 4-18 to play baseball in a safe and fun environment.  

MMBA is an innovator in programming, emphasizing Long Term Athlete Development, skill development, sportsmanship, and fun. 

We welcome all interested players regardless of experience and/or ability at all age levels.  We also have our Challenger division that offers fun baseball for physically and/or mentally challenged players of all ages. 

Financial barriers do not exist as we have programs available that guarantee your player is on the field for the season.  Mission Minor Baseball gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia!

Why Kids Play Sports

Find the reasons here

Now ask your player for honesty when considering what level to play at.

LTAD video - Must see for parents of 4-12 year olds

This video produced by Nova Scotia Sport is a great piece of work. Watch and learn.

Visit our Alumni under the Pride button on our Home page

Umpire Connection

Umpire Clinics listed here

Still need an Umpire Clinic? Click on the link above.

NCCP Coach Certification Required for 2022

NCCP is a national coaching certification pathway.  For 2022 we believe all coaches in summer baseball must be certified to a level as required for their division

Mission Minor Baseball is looking to have all coaches certified to Initiation level for 7U, 9U and 11U for spring play.  Initiation certification is an on-line component (cost is refunded to coaches by MMBA) and a four hour in person module.  Due to Covid in person clinic s have been stopped.  We will forward new information as we get it on this topic.

Take as many modules and learn as much as you want  - we pay.  MMBA pays because we value the coaches in our organization.  We believe the players of Mission Minor Baseball deserve the best informed and trained coaches possible and offering learning opportunities free of charge is one step to achieving this.

NCCP Pathway Information

Click here to get all the information you need to become a fully certified baseball coach.

MMBA Fun

  • Challengers at the 2017 Jamboree
  • 7U Tball gang practice on Saturday mornings- fun, fun and more fun
  • Yahoo we win!
  • Wow nice hit kid!!
  • I love this game!
  • Happy? Yes I am!
  • Yeahhhhhhh!!!
  • Loaded ready to fire!

Questions?? Contact Us Anytime

Dan Williams

Phone: 604-302-9377