The Panthers System
The Panthers program is based on the philosophy that our players develop best when pushed to compete at the highest possible level. We want our players to build skills that allow them to compete for provincial championships at every age and every level of play. We are especially focused on building teams at the 13U AAA, 15U AAA and 18U AAA levels, where the opportunity exists to compete in and win a National Championship.
Age Groups and Nomenclature
Age groups are no longer referred to using names such as Rookie, Mosquito, Peewee, Bantam or Midget. We now simply refer to the age of the players at each level. The first level of play (formerly Minor Rookie) is now referred to as 8U and each age group moves up from there until you reach 18U (formerly Midget).
A four tier system
At each age level we seek to field three Rep teams (or 2 Rep teams and 1 Elite team at 14U and above) and a Select team. These teams are chosen sequentially such that the first team plays at the highest level of competition and the other two teams play at the subsequent levels. This three level system aims to retain players within the Panthers Rep program, allowing them time to build skills within the system and enjoy competitive play. Players who are not selected to play within the Panthers Rep system can still don the Panthers uniform as a House League player playing Panthers Select.
For simplicity, we refer internally (within KMBA) to the 1st Rep team chosen at each age group as AAA, the 2nd as AA and the 3rd as A. Select teams are referred to as simply “Panthers Select”.
Panthers Rep teams play their regular season as part of the InterCounty Baseball Association (ICBA) “loops”. ICBA (and by extention, KMBA) is part of Baseball Ontario or the Ontario Baseball Association (OBA).
Panthers Elite teams play as part of the Elite Baseball League of Ontario (EBLO) which is affiliated with the OBA.
Panthers Select runs on a different system from our Rep teams, governed by the Select Ontario Baseball Association (part of OBA). The details below pertain specifically to our Rep and Elite programs. More information on our Select Program can be found HERE.
Levels of Competition
Baseball Ontario (OBA) provides competitions at the following levels, shown in decending level of play: AAA, AA, A, B, C, D. Due to the population of Kitchener our Panthers teams can compete at only AAA, AA and A. KMBA encourages teams to compete at the level equal to or greater then their KMBA designation in all OBA competitions.
The Intercounty Baseball Association (ICBA) uses a different system, providing play at two levels: Tier 1 and Tier 2.
For ages 8U to 13U AAA teams will play in Tier 1, the A team will play in Tier 2 while the AA team will choose the loop most appropriate for them. More and more our AA teams are choosing to challenge themselves in the Tier 1 loop and AAA teams are often choosing to play one age level ahead of their designated age group to maximize their challenge and develop player skills leading up to their 13U year where our AAA team competes to go to Nationals.
For ages 14U to 18U the ICBA provides play for our AA and A teams in their Tier 1 and Tier 2 divisions.
The Elite Baseball League of Ontario (EBLO) provides top level play for AAA teams throughout Ontario at the 15U to 18U age levels including our Panthers Elite teams. Teams in the EBLO play strictly at the AAA level and the league consists of teams that typically battle for provincial titles.
Our Panthers Elite program is designed to move our top players into the program and combine them with other top players from the ICBA to form teams that can compete for and win AAA championships.
We begin the journey by forming a 14U Elite team that competes in the EBLO 15U division and against top competition from the United States. This team focuses on player development and learning what it takes to win at the highest levels. In subsequent years this team graduates as a true 15U Elite team ready to compete for National championships.
Following the 15U year the team graduates to 16U and then on to 18U where they can once again compete for Nationals. At every level the teams receive elite levels of training and development along with a great baseball experience.
|KMBA Level||ICBA Level||OBA Level|
|AAA (14U-18U)||N/A||EBLO (AAA)|
|AAA (8U-13U)||Tier 1||AAA|
|AA (all ages)||Tier 1 or Tier 2||A or AA|
|A (all ages)||Tier 2||A|
Still have questions?
Choosing what is right for your player is important and we are here to help! For any inquiries about our teams, philosophies, or processes you can contact any of the following individuals:
President – Ron Mooibroek (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Assistant Executive Director – Ellen Menage (email@example.com)
Elite Program Inquiries
Elite Commitee Members – Brian Bishop (firstname.lastname@example.org)
– Jeff Pietraszko (email@example.com)
Elite Team Coaches – 14U Ron Mooibroek (firstname.lastname@example.org)
– 15U Brian Bishop (email@example.com)
– 16U Chris Bishop (firstname.lastname@example.org)
– 18Y Jeff Pietraszko (email@example.com)
Rep Program Inquiries
Baseball Operations – James Stuart (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Once Rep coaches are selected contact information will be available on the our 2020 Rep Teams and Coaches Page