Baseball programs guide

The Tomball Kings offer high school and youth baseball programs throughout the year. We organize these programs by (i) playing age or grade, as applicable, and (ii) season. For example, “15U Spring” signifies the spring-season baseball program for players who have a playing age of fifteen, fourteen, or thirteen (our “15U Division”).

The “U” adjacent to the playing-age magnitude means “and under.”

We do not necessarily offer the same programs each season. For example, we may support 8U league play in the spring, but not in the fall. We determine what programs to support in particular seasons on the basis of player evaluations, availability, and development needs.

As an organization, we seek to prepare younger players to succeed in highly-competitive play at the high school level and beyond, and thus shape our program offerings from season to season in order to best prepare our players for that level of competition.

Seasons

Our seasons are summer, fall, winter, and spring, divided according to the following schedule:

  • June 1 through August 31 (“Summer“)
  • September 1 through November 30 (“Fall“)
  • December 1 through January 15 (“Winter“)
  • January 16 through May 31 (“Spring“)

We assign each season to an “academic year” that commences September 1 and concludes May 31. For program purposes we treat summer as the first season of the academic year, even though it concludes before the academic year commences. Spring is the final season of the academic year.

Divisions

Our divisions are:

  • High school (academic freshmen through seniors)
  • 15U (playing ages 13U, 14U, and 15U)
  • 12U (playing ages 11U and 12U)
  • 10U (playing ages 9U and 10U)
  • 8U (playing ages 6U, 7U, and 8U)

These divisions align with common transition points or steps in the development of young baseball players, corresponding with changes in physical maturity, athletic ability, baseball skill, field sizes, and game rules.

Within each division we may field multiple rosters in a particular season, either at a given playing age or across multiple playing ages. For example, in the 12U Division we may field 12U “Red” and 12U “Blue” rosters; alternatively, we may field one 12U roster and another 11U roster. From time to time, particularly at younger playing ages, we may form practice-only rosters or attach a practice squad to a game roster. We make these determinations on a season-to-season basis in accordance with player evaluations, availability, and development needs.

Playing ages and grades

The term “playing age” means a player’s age as of a date certain and may differ from a player’s calendar age. We compute at least two playing ages for each player in our organization: one as of April 30 and another as of September 1. We use these playing ages to determine a player’s age eligibility for league, tournament, or interscholastic competition, as well as for participation in our training programs, camps, and clinics.

With the approval of our coaches and director of baseball operations, we may allow a player to compete at a playing age higher than his computed playing age (known as “playing up”), but never at a lower playing age. For example, in a 12U Division program for players of the 12U and 11U playing ages, we might allow participation by a 10U player, but would never permit a 13U player to do so. We have a strong preference, however, for players to compete within their normal age divisions and generally will only approve requests to “play up” under extraordinary circumstances.

As an organization, we welcome players who have a playing age of at least six years by April 30 of a given year but not more than eighteen years by September 1 of a given year. This means, for example, that a player who turns nineteen years of age on September 2 or later of a given year would still be age-eligible for high school play, but one who has reached age nineteen on or before September 1 would be ineligible.

We take academic grade level into account for determination of (i) eligibility for interscholastic play and (ii) when a player must begin high school play. For example, a 15U eighth-grader may be eligible for spring competition against junior high or middle schools, but ineligible for high school competition; a freshman whose playing age is 15U may be eligible for 15U competition in the fall, but required to compete in the high school division in the spring.

Rosters

The Tomball Kings operate under a “one team” concept. This means that as an organization, we treat all players on Tomball Kings game rosters, irrespective of playing age, as part of one team. We expect our older players to view our younger players as teammates and to help and encourage them accordingly.

The director of baseball operations determines all roster assignments, in consultation with division coaches. All roster assignments are season to season in nature. For example, a 10U Division player may be on a 10U Red roster in the fall and then a 10U Blue roster in the spring.

The roster designations “varsity” and “subvarsity” apply only to spring interscholastic competition at the high school level.

Seasonal priorities

We support and provide programs for year-round improvement in athleticism and baseball skill, but vary our program offerings by season.

Spring is our primary game season. During the spring season, all rosters in all divisions participate either in interscholastic or league competition.

We gear our programs in the summer, fall, and winter seasons toward spring as our primary game season. Our priority for each of these other seasons to prepare all of our players to perform to the best of their abilities during spring interscholastic and league play.

We focus our summer and winter programs on improvements in player strength, speed, stamina, power, mobility, and resilience against injury. Outside of the spring season, we offer formal training programs for players of all ages.

Fall is our secondary game season. Below the high school level we support league play in the 15U, 12U, and 10U divisions, and we may support practice-only rosters for novice or inexperienced players. For high school players we offer formal training programs in the fall, while encouraging them to also play sports other than baseball in order to improve their athleticism and potential as baseball players. Also in the fall, we may have one or more programs to help especially incoming freshman gain additional game experience through league or tournament play. Our high school coaches will make these determinations on a season-to-season basis, depending upon their evaluations of player-development and roster needs.

Academic year 2022-2023 programs

The Tomball Kings plan the programs listed below for the 2022-2023 academic year that commences with the Summer 2022 season.

Except with the permission of the director of baseball operations, Off-Season Training for High School Players is for players who (i) were on a Tomball Kings roster in Spring 2022 or (ii) received a high school roster invitation pursuant to the August 2022 high school tryout.

The Baseball Performance Program for students of junior high and elementary grade levels and is open to all student-athletes (boys and girls) who will be fifteen years of age or younger during the 2022-2023 academic year.

Once these programs commence, continued eligibility is subject to players meeting performance standards as set forth by our coaches and trainers.

Playing-age designations are those effective as of June 1, 2022 for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Summer 2022

  • Off-season training for high school players.
  • Baseball performance program for students of junior high and elementary grade levels.
  • Class offerings across all divisions.

Fall 2022

  • Off-season training for high school players.
  • Baseball performance program for students of junior high and elementary grade levels.
  • A two-week block of baseball practices and scrimmages for high school and select 15U players.
  • League competition for players in the high school, 15U, 12U, and 10U divisions.
  • Offeringa of classes and other activities across all divisions.

Winter 2022-2023

  • Off-season training for high school players.
  • Speed, conditioning, and mobility training for players in all other divisions.
  • Offering of classes and other activities across all divisions.

Spring 2023

  • Interscholastic competition at the varsity and subvarsity levels for high school players.
  • League competition for players in the 15U, 12U, 10U, and 8U divisions.