A Great Overview on AAU Baseball
What is AAU baseball?
AAU istands for the American Athletic Union, and it sponsors AAU baseball teams and AAU baseball tournaments throughout the country for many years. Those who are involved with AAU baseball follow the organization's mission statement in everything that they do. Doing so helps AAU players develop physically, mentally and morally and engage in good sportsmanship and citizenship on and off the field. Being able to participate in challenging situations through AAU baseball tournaments and other competitions also helps these developments occur.
The AAU sponsors 41 sports, which are played in 55 districts, and has been involved with sports since 1888. It had even been intimately involved with the Olympics until a change in how American athletes are chosen for the Games took place in the 1970s and the AAU turned its focus to youth sports. Today, it is comprised of 700,000 members as well as 150,000 volunteers, many of whom work with baseball, which has been a part of this organization since 1983.
The structure of AAU baseball is generally broken down within those districts to sublevels, such as one in which elite AAU teams participate, one that is more intermediate in nature and one that is for those whose baseball memberships just started and are not as experienced in the sport.
So, what does it take to play AAU baseball?
Of the AAU baseball rules, none are more important than age. You need to be of the appropriate age for the team and competition that you're playing in, and AAU rules require that you supply proof of your age. Additionally, AAU rules stipulate that you live in the right geographical area for the team that you're playing for.
Skill level is irrelevant although if you want to be amongst those offered baseball scholarships for college, you should aim for the highest level possible and play against the top competition possible, partly to impress college coaches who may become interested in you but mostly to further develop your baseball skills.
AAU Club Level 1, AAU Club Level 2 and AAU Club Level 3
AAU baseball clubs can join the organization and become a member in one of three AAU membership levels
Those at AAU club level 1 receive the minimum benefits of being able to participate in AAU tournaments and other events. The primary bonus for those at AAU club level 2 is also receiving the ability to host events. Clubs can upgrade themselves from AAU club level 1 to AAU club level 2 if they wish.
Meanwhile, those at AAU club level 3 receive all those benefits as well as the ability to receive tax-exempt benefits if those may be enjoyed when local laws are considered. An upgrade to AAU club level 3 is not possible; a club would have to purchase that AAU club membership as a separate entity if it wishes to move to that level without delay.
So, when you're looking to answer the question, "Are there AAU baseball teams near me?" and you start researching the answer, you might hear those AAU club membership terms mentioned. However, those do not influence those who complete AAU sign-ups as the skill levels of players at each of the AAU club membership levels are varied and not connected with that AAU club membership level. However, if you want to know how to start an AAU baseball team, that is the first step, deciding on a membership level and paying for it.
AAU Baseball Membership
Players will need to engage in an AAU sign up before playing for a team. When completing the AAU membership process, you'll be initially presented with two membership options. The only difference between the two AAU sign up options is that the one that costs $14 a year includes insurance coverage for play at any AAU licensed events while the $16 AAU membership option also provides insurance coverage under certain circumstances at non-AAU events. Once you complete your AAU sign up, you'll be a member and eligible for AAU teams through Aug. 31.
AAU Baseball Teams and AAU Baseball Tournaments
One of the most common questions student athletes have is, "Are there AAU baseball teams near me?" The AAU is broken into many districts. These are mostly based on state boundaries but not always. For example, Florida and Kansas are each split into two regions while Alabama and Tennessee join to make up one. Look at the district map to see where there are AAU baseball teams near you. As a result of joining one, you'll be able to start becoming a better player and a better teammate while facing competition that fits the ability levels of you and your team.
Once on a squad, you'll most likely play in several AAU baseball tournaments. The tournament fees vary by geographical and other factors, but they range from roughly $250 to $1,250 apiece.
Some of the most popular AAU regions are AAU baseball North Carolina (NC), AAU baseball Massachusetts (MA) and Southern California AAU baseball (SoCal).
AAU baseball North Carolina NC is ranked amongst the top three districts in the country, and AAU baseball North Carolina NC teams are spread across the Tar Heel State. Meanwhile, AAU baseball Massachusetts MA is part of the New England District, which is comprised of more than 400 AAU baseball teams and is also home to organizations based in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Lastly, the Southern California AAU baseball SoCal District is one of the country's best as it's ranked amongst the top five AAU districts.
AAU Baseball Schedules, Rankings and Teams Stats
Where to find information such as AAU schedules, rankings and stats depends on which district is yours, but the first place to look should be that organization's website. For example, New England AAU Baseball provides a team tracker, which is where you can search for league and tournament results. Click on the team names to discover more information about them such as lists of tournaments that those AAU teams have played in, results of those games and who the teams' coaches and players are. District pages for AAU baseball organizations located in Florida and North Carolina also list team rankings.
So you can browse a list of AAU baseball tournaments as well as a list of the AAU nationals. Of the AAU tournaments that are played nationwide, the National Championship, which generally takes place in July, is the most prestigious one for older players while the Grand National Championships is the feature event for younger players.
Do note the AAU baseball rules that are to be followed in order to take part in these national tournaments legally.
AAU Baseball Tryouts
If you're searching for AAU teams looking for players, head to the AAU website to see if any AAU baseball tryouts are taking place in your area. Consider that there might be a cost. If so, it's often around $50.
Depending on the AAU team being tried out for, there might be a minimum number of tryout sessions that need to be attended. This is usually one or two while players can generally participate in more if they wish to. While there, you'll be tested on a few factors such as your ability to perform baseball-related actions such as catching, throwing and hitting as well as things like how you handle yourself while on and off the field.
Note that you can also join the free agent player list, which is viewable by AAU coaches. This can be helpful if you're looking to participate in AAU tournaments and even AAU nationals but missed the tryout dates.
AAU Baseball Partners
AAU partners with several organizations, and they provide benefits that are enjoyed by all who are involved with AAU Baseball. For example, AAU members enjoy discounts on Blast Motion products while ESPN Wide World of Sports is home to several AAU events as well as AAU competitions in other sports.
College Baseball Recruiting
One factor that AAU baseball playing experience helps with is earning college scholarships and attaining spots on college baseball rosters. Coaches want to see that you're challenging yourself against the best competition possible, and time spent on AAU teams helps to show that. Challenging yourself is important as there's quite a high level of competition for those roster spots as only about 2 percent of high school baseball players will end up on NCAA Division I rosters. While the competition for scholarships is even higher as each of those schools is only allowed 11.7 scholarships even though teams comprise of many more players than that.
Taking care of the steps that you can take to get recruited is a necessity. It's best to start your freshman year of high school. If that's in the past, jump into the process immediately. Also, note that your best fit might not be at a Division I school as the best package for you could be at any level of college baseball.
Also, make sure to take into account the college baseball recruiting guidelines as these will give you an idea of what experience and skills are necessary to play at the different levels of this sport. It also helps to get your name and ability out there through means such as baseball camps and showcases and recruiting videos.
Moreover, consider the recruiting rules calendar so that you know when the coaches can contact you and related rules that need to be followed. However, don't feel hampered by them as you can contact coaches at any time; the limits are more on their end than yours.
Overview of NCSA
As you play baseball with AAU and go through this process, consider enlisting the help of NCSA, which has helped 24,000 student-athletes commit to a university for sports over the past 12 months, connects those athletes with 35,000 coaches and helps them reach out to and have positive interactions with the rest.
NCSA is focused on helping those in high school navigate the often confusing and overwhelming recruiting process since it was founded in 2000 by Chris Krause, who experienced those struggles himself while looking to play college football in the 1980s. Although he was successful in earning playing time as a nose guard and linebacker at Vanderbilt University, he wanted to ensure that nobody else had to go through the recruiting-related difficulties that he did.
One of the ways that this was done was by moving the recruiting experience more into the digital age. NCSA also became the first organization to provide online highlight videos to the coaches who are deciding who to award athletic scholarships to. Simply put, this technology was used to improve the ability for student-athletes to determine best where would be the best college fit for them athletically, academically and socially. In the years since then, athletes and coaches have both reported high levels of satisfaction with what NCSA has to offer. The organization has earned a Google Reviews score of 4.9 out of 5.
Helping make these positive connections between coaches and athletes a reality are NCSA's more than 700 employees, many of whom have had direct experience in the recruiting process, know what you're going through right now and are excited about helping you follow in their footsteps.
If you would like to join the list of NCSA athletes who have earned spots on college rosters, fill out your free baseball recruiting profile today. If you have any questions about how NCSA, the world's largest college athletic recruiting network, can help you achieve your dreams, give us a call at 866 495-5172.