Panthers Rep Tryouts
Frequently Asked Questions
Every year, we receive a number of questions regarding tryouts for the Panthers Rep program. We have compiled these questions to bring you this Q & A page. We will continue to add relevant questions and answers as they arise so check back here if you have a question pertaining to the Panthers Rep tryout process.
Q. What equipment should we bring/wear to tryouts?
A. The following items are required to be brought to/worn at each tryout:
- Ball Glove (required)
- Batting Helmet (required)
- Jock/Jill (required)
- Long Pants (required)
- Cleats or lace-up running shoes (required) – open-toed or slip-on shoes are not permitted.
- Recommended: A bat that meets age requirements for the age level at which you are trying out (CLICK HERE for Baseball Ontario bat rules), If you do not have a bat, you may be able to borrow one at tryouts.
- Batting gloves (optional)
Q. Can I try out for the Panthers if I live outside of the Kitchener Minor Baseball catchment area?
The KMBA catchment area includes the following cities/towns: Kitchener, Roseville, Mannheim, Breslau, Maryhill, Plattsville or New Dundee.
If you live outside of these areas, you likely have a different “home association”.
For the full ICBA Boundary map, CLICK HERE.
Baseball Ontario (OBA) and InterCounty Baseball Association (ICBA) does allow players to try out for Rep programs outside of their home association if your home association provides you with a Release. You may also require a “pass through” release, depending on your home address. You must provide KMBA with all necessary releases prior to trying out for a Panthers Rep team.
For more information on releases within ICBA, CLICK HERE
For more information on releases outside of ICBA, refer to the OBA Release FAQ
If you have already secured a release from your home association, you can upload it ahead of tryouts HERE.
Q. What level should I select for my player on the tryout registration form?
A. This year, we have tryouts at the highest level of play at each age group optional. This means that if your player is not interested in or ready for the AAA (8U-13U) or Elite (14U-18U) levels, you can start tryouts at the AA and/or A level. For more information on the various levels of play within the Panther system, CLICK HERE.
Q. Why was the optional starting point introduced?
A. The first tryout is where the AAA coaches begin their team selection. In previous years, this first tryout has been an open call for all players of all skill levels to come out and be assessed. In some age groups, this has been upwards of 80 players at the initial tryout.
You can imagine how difficult and time-consuming it must be to assess 80 players, many of whom may not be interested in or ready for play at the AAA level. By allowing players to indicate the highest level of play they are interested in, we can provide our AAA coaches with a more manageable and more appropriate group to assess to form their teams. This also means 1-3 fewer tryout dates for families who know they do not wish to play AAA ball. Players who attend the AAA tryouts but do not make the AAA team are then released to continue tryouts at the AA and/or A levels.
Q. Can I still attend the AAA tryouts even if we don’t want to play at that level?
A. In order to ensure that coaches are able to focus on the players that truly wish to be there (thereby ensuring that those players get as thorough of an evaluation as possible), we are asking families to respect the time of those coaches and players by beginning tryouts only at the highest level at which they are willing to accept a position. If you have no intention of accepting a position at the AAA level if it is offered to you, we ask that you begin your tryout process at the AA or A levels.
Q. What are “Independent Assessments” and why has this been added to the tryout process?
A. Each year we continue to receive feedback that families would like to see some form of unbiased evaluation as part of our tryout process. You spoke, and we listened! This year, we have decided to take advantage of advancements in technology to collect digital evaluations all potential Rep players using the HitTrax system located at Blue Chip Sports. This digital evaluation will provide key metrics to our coaches ahead of tryouts to help them get a better over-all picture of each player.
Q. How and when do I book an Independent Assessment?
A. When you submit your Online Tryout Registration, you will be redirected to a separate page to schedule your player’s independent assessment. If, for some reason, you were not redirected, you can schedule your player’s Independent Assessment now.
All Independent Assessments should be completed prior to Labour Day.
Q. What is the HitTrax system and what does it measure?
A. Picture the HitTrax system like an XBox Kinect, but far, far more sophisticated. The HitTrax sensor can measure dozens of key performance metrics simultaneously. For example:
– Hitting: exit velocity and launch angle
– Pitching: velocity, vertical and horizontal break, pitch location (balls/strikes)
– Catchers Only: pop time, throw to second speed/accuracy
For more information on the HitTrax system, CLICK HERE.
Q. What if my player doesn’t perform well in an indoor/digital setting?
A. The HitTrax digital evaluation is only one tool in a very thorough evaluation process. Your player will still have the opportunity to “show their stuff” at in-person, on-field tryouts. If you would like to try out the HitTrax technology prior to your tryout evaluation, you can do so by booking a time (at an additional cost payable to Blue Chip Sports) by clicking HERE.
Q. Can we get/see our player’s results?
A. KMBA and Blue Chip Sports ask that all parents remain in the waiting area while their player is completing their evaluation. You may request a copy of your player’s results from Blue Chip Sports (additional charges may apply), however you will not be able to see how your player compares to others who have taken (or will be taking) the evaluation.
Q. When will coaches be selected and announced?
A. Head Coach interviews will be taking place in the second half of August. Selections will be completed and Head Coaches will be announced Labour Day. Once Head Coaches are selected, details will be posted on our 2020 Rep Teams and Coaches page.
Q. How do you select coaches?
A. All potential Head Coaches must complete a coaching application detailing their vision and plan for the team for the upcoming season. These applicants are then interviewed by a Selection Committee which selects the Head Coach for each team. Parent survey results are taken into consideration when making these selections. Once the Head Coach is named, they select their coaching staff (Assistant Coaches). This may be done before or after tryouts begin.
Q. Who selects the Head Coaches?
A. Interviews for Head Coach positions are conducted by and selections are made by a Selection Committee of 5 KMBA members including the President, Executive Director and Assistant Executive Director. The balance of the Committee will be appointed from KMBA volunteers who are active, long-standing members of our baseball community and includes those with coaching and/or administrative experience. The Committee as a whole will include individuals who no longer have players in the system as well as those who do. Committee members who have applied for a coaching position, are related to coaching candidates, or have players in the system will abstain from decisions regarding coaches for that age group.
Q. Are current Head Coaches guaranteed to be granted the same team for the following year?
A. There is no guarantee that a coach that currently holds a position will automatically be granted the same position the following year. However, most coaches who continue to support and encourage the KMBA Vision and Principles and receive generally positive parent and player feedback will be invited back for another season leading the same team.
Q. Why did the cost of tryouts increase?
A. In our endeavour to provide our members with more impartial tryout assessments, we have added an Independent Assessment using the HitTrax technology at Blue Chip Sports. This additional assessment carries an additional cost and as a result, tryout fees were increased.
Q. What does the tryout fee cover?
A. The tryout fee covers the HitTrax assessment as well as diamond (or indoor facility) rentals required to complete the tryout process. KMBA always aims to break even on tryout costs.
Q. When should I register?
A. You should register for tryouts as soon as you decide at what level your player wishes to play. Tryout registration for Elite closes August 15th. Tryout Registration for 8U-13U AAA closes August 31st and registration for AA/AA closes September 30th. As a reminder, your HitTrax Independent Evaluation must be completed prior to your first tryout date (ideally by the end of August).
Q. When will tryouts be held?
A. 14U to 18U Elite tryouts begin in mid to late August. For more information on the Elite program, visit our Panthers Elite information page.
8U to 13U AAA Tryouts will take place in early to mid September (dates to be determined once Head Coaches are selected).
8U-18U AA/A Tryouts will take place in October (dates to be determined once Head Coaches are selected).
Our complete tryout schedule for all teams will be posted on our 2020 Tryout Schedule page. The schedule page will be updated regularly so please check it regularly for any new or updated tryout dates.
Still have questions?
Contact us by submitting a feedback form and selecting “Question” at the top of the form. CLICK HERE to submit a question.