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Frequently asked questions

EFFECTIVE WITH THE SPRING 2015 SEASON

What sports does FCAA oversee?

FCAA has Cal Ripken baseball (5-12 year olds), Babe Ruth baseball (13-18 year olds), and Babe Ruth girls softball (5-16 year olds).

Where are FCAA practices and games held?

The FCAA baseball/softball complex is located in Ed Austin Regional Park, near the intersection of Monument Road and McCormick Road. The mailing address is P.O. Box 351135, Jacksonville, FL 32225-1135. Park Phone Number: (904) 564-2080. PLEASE NOTE: This phone is NOT monitored regularly. EMAILS are the preferred method of communication. Recreation baseball league practices and games are held at this complex. There are other fields in close proximity to the park where practices may be held.  Advanced Baseball, Allstar and softball teams will travel to other parks.

 

What will my player’s practice and game schedule be?

The first few weeks of each season are devoted solely to practice. Practices are generally held twice a week: once on a weeknight and once on Saturday. Your coach will announce practice days and times at your first team meeting. Once your team begins playing games, you’ll maintain a similar schedule of two games per week. Evening practices and games usually start around 6:00 or 6:30. You may have an occasional Friday night game starting as late as 8:00. Additional practices once the game schedule begins are at your coach's discretion. Generally there are no games/practices on Wednesdays and Sundays.

When does registration take place?

Fall registration generally runs from August 1st through the first week in September. Spring registration generally runs from December 1st through the end of January. The schedule for registration will be posted on our home page.

How do I register?

FCAA offers easy online registration at www.gofcaa.org. If you prefer to pay with check or cash, we will be available at the park to take registrations in person on a limited basis. The schedule for in-park registrations will be posted on our home page. PLEASE NOTE: All Returned checks are subject to a $40 NSF fee.

Why do I have to set up an account on the website to register my player online?

An account is required for several reasons:

Maintain player data: In an effort to streamline the registration process, the website is designed to hold your player’s data from season to season. This can only happen by attaching this data to your secure account.

Access to team pages: While in its beginning stages, teams will eventually have the ability to create their own web pages to share information and post practice/game schedules.

I missed the registration deadline. Can I still register?

Please contact our Registration Director or Park President if you have missed the normal registration deadline. We’ll make every effort to find a spot for your player, but please be aware there are no guarantees. Late registrations will be charged a $20 surcharge, depending on how far into the season we are, and must be paid by credit card or cash. No checks accepted after the official registration period ends. Please see “What does it cost to play baseball/softball at FCAA” for additional information.

What does it cost to play baseball/softball at FCAA?

Category (League)

Age Range

DOB Range

Fee

Effective 8/31/2015 Fee (with Late Charge)

Instructional T-Ball

4-5

5/1/2010-4/30/2012

$120

$140

T-Ball Major

5-6

5/1/2009-4/30/2011

$120

$140

Rookie

7-8

5/1/2007-4/30/2009

$130

$150

Minor

9-10

5/1/2005-4/30/2007

$130

$150

Major

11-12

5/1/2003-4/30/2005

$130

$150

 

Category (League)

Age Range

DOB Range

Fee

Effective 3/1/2015 Fee (with Late Charge)

Junior*

13-15

5/1/1999-4/30/2003

$140

$160

18U**

16-18

5/1/1997-4/30/1999

$140

$160

 

 

Category (League)

Age Range

DOB Range

Fee

Effective 8/31/2015 Fee (with Late Charge)

8U

4-8

1/1/2006-12/31/2010

$120

$140

10U

9-10

1/1/2004-12/31/2005

$120

$140

12U

9-12

1/1/2002-12/31/2005

$120

$140

16U

13-16

1/1/1998-12/31/2001

$130

$150

 

Siblings are given a $10 discount if they are signed up at the same time. FCAA reserves the right to adjust fees without advanced notice.

*SPRING SEASON ONLY-Junior registrations will be extended to accommodate school tryouts. Late charge dates will be posted on the home page.

**18U teams will be formed if there is enough interest. FALL SEASON ONLY-League age 16 year olds may choose to play in the Junior league.

What is your refund policy?

Prior to team selection 100% of the amount paid minus an administrative fee of $5 will be refunded (please note multichild and other discounts may affect the amount refunded). Once teams have been selected, only 50% of your initial registration fee will be refunded. Late charges are not refundable. All refunds will be sent by check, and will require a couple weeks to process.

Where does my registration money go?

FCAA provides your player with a baseball uniform including pants (except juniors and 18u), belt (if necessary), jersey, hat, and socks. Softball players receive a uniform (pants or shorts depending on the league, shirt and visor). T-ball and 8U players receive participation trophies at the end of each season. Older leagues vary by season and league.

A portion of your fees go to cover the costs of running and maintaining the fields, dugouts, batting cages, and the concession stand. We must also purchase equipment (baseballs, helmets, catcher’s gear, etc) and pay umpire fees. Administrative expenses include phone, internet, utilities, and website hosting. Finally, we provide liability and accident insurance coverage on all of our players. FCAA is a non-profit organization. We do everything possible to contain costs while maintaining a safe, fun environment for all.

What equipment will I need to buy?

Players are not required to have their own helmet or bat as each team is provided an equipment bag with these items. However, many parents prefer to provide their own helmet and bat. Please note that helmets must have face guards for Rookie and Minor Leagues.

T-Ball and 8U – Parents will need to provide a glove and athletic shoes. Baseball/softball cleats are recommended. A protective cup is optional but also recommended.

Rookies - Glove, baseball cleats, and protective cup (required at all practices and games).

Minors and 10U - Glove, baseball/softball cleats, and protective cup (required at all practices and games).

Majors and 12-16U - Glove, baseball/softball cleats, and protective cup (required at all practices and games).

Junior and 18U - Glove, baseball cleats, (metal ok), and protective cup (required at all practices and games).

Equipment NOT Allowed during practices and games (Babe Ruth & Cal Ripken rules) jewelry of any kind - i.e. ear rings, necklaces, bracelets, and watches.

Are team pictures included in the registration fee?

No. Team and individual pictures are taken on picture day at the beginning of the season. You may choose to purchase pictures and merchandise directly from the photographer. Your coach or team parent will tell you when pictures are scheduled and provide an order form.

Is there a difference between the Fall and Spring seasons?

The Fall season is considered more of a “practice” season, as there are many players moving up and changing leagues. This season is generally less competitive with fewer games. The Fall season, including practices, generally runs from the second week in September until the week before Thanksgiving.

The Spring season is longer and more competitive. Players are comfortable with their new leagues and many are gearing up for summer Allstars. The Spring season, including practices, generally runs from the second week in February until the middle of May. Games are not typically scheduled during Spring Break and Easter.

How do I determine which league my child should play in?

Please see “What does it cost to play baseball/softball at FCAA” for additional information.

BASEBALL: FCAA uses the Babe Ruth League cutoff date of April 30th of the following year for the Fall and Spring seasons, respectively. For example, if your player is signing up for the Fall season as a six year old, but will turn 7 on or before April 30th of the following year, he/she should be playing in the Rookie7/8-year old league for the Fall and following Spring season. If you register online, your player will automatically be assigned to the proper league when you enter his/her birthdate.

SOFTBALL: Babe Ruth League cutoff date is December 31st of the previous year.

I don’t think my player is ready to advance to the next league. Can I hold him/her back for a season?

In short, all players must register and evaluate with their proper age group. Please notify your league director of your concerns at evaluation. The director will pay particular attention to your player's evaluation to ensure they are safe to play.

This is a common question, particularly in the Fall season when children with Spring birthdays seem too young to move up to the next league. However, FCAA strongly encourages you to stick to the published date guidelines and keep your child with his or her own age group.

The umpires and coaches use the Fall season as an opportunity to familiarize transitioning players with the different rules, regulations, and strategy of their new league. Waiting to advance during the more competitive spring season may put your child at a disadvantage.

In general, we have found that children perform well when kept with their own age group. If you still have concerns or doubts about moving your child ahead, please contact your league director or park President to discuss. Your player will be required to register for their proper year group. Should the director/president determine it is not safe for your player to play in his/her age appropriate league, arrangements will be made to keep him/her down. The final decision to allow a player to stay back will be safety-based.

Holding a player back strictly for the purpose of scheduling or carpooling is strongly discouraged and could pose a safety threat to the players in the younger league.

My player is bored in his/her current league. Can he/she play up a league?

In short, all players must register and evaluate with their proper age group. Please contact your league director prior to evaluations to determine the best course of action.

Again, the safety of the players is our top priority. Advancement will be at the discretion of the league directors and coaches involved. In no case will a player be allowed to move up more than one league.

Does my player have to try out?

From T-ball Majors/8U onward, players are asked to participate in skills evaluation in front of the coaches. The evaluations aid the coaches in the draft process. All registered players will be placed on a team regardless of skill level or past baseball experience. Evaluation dates and times will be listed on the website (under evaluation times). If your player is unable to make it to his/her posted evaluation time please contact your league director.

Can I request a certain coach? Can I request that my player and his/her friend play together?

We will make every effort to accommodate requests from Instructional T-ball parents. In the older leagues, teams are formed based on a draft in an effort to create equitable teams. We will honor your request if possible, but can’t make any guarantees. You may also request to NOT be on a particular team.

Will my 4 year old actually play baseball games in Instructional T-ball?

Yes! Your four or five year old will play two-inning games against other Instructional T-ball teams. During both innings your child will get the opportunity to bat and round the bases to home. Score is never kept and no one gets called out. Instructional T-ball is all about teaching basic skills, building confidence, and having fun.

Do you offer 18-and-under baseball?

18U baseball is offered depending on level of interest and coach availability. 18U games often take place away from our park. Registration fees will be refunded in the event there are not enough players to form a team.

Can I volunteer to be a coach / assistant coach / team parent?

Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering in one of these positions when you register your player, or contact your director via email. The City of Jacksonville and FCAA require anyone who will work on the field or in the dugout with the kids have a COJ Volunteer Badge each year. If you plan on coaching, being assistant coach and/or anticipate helping on the field during practice, in the dugout or on the field during the season you must have a current year COJ Badge. Contact the COJ Parks and Recreation Department to schedule an appointment to apply for a badge. Once you receive your badge it must be worn at all times when interacting with players. PLEASE NOTE: You must be on a roster in order for the badge to be released to the park President, who in turn will deliver it to you.

If you have a badge from last year, fill out and return the Continuation Form located on the home page to the Athletic Director or Park President at least 3 weeks before the season begins.

How are coaches selected and is there training involved?

Head and assistant coaches must have a badge as indicated above and be approved by the Board prior to the start of each season. The Board uses in part anonymous survey results submitted by Parents and Guardians in selecting the best coaches available for our program.

I can’t commit to coaching. Are there other ways to help?

Yes! FCAA is a nonprofit, all volunteer organization. Everyone is encouraged to help out in any way they are able. Opportunities include but are not limited to the following:

Board Members: Positions include but are not limited to: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Athletic Director, League and Advanced Baseball Directors, Website, Registration, Equipment, Fundraising, Communications, Physical Plant, Public Relations, Uniforms, Trophies, Concession Stand and At Large. Please contact the Park President for more information.

Fundraising: Fundraising is a critical part of our park’s success. Each season there is at least one major fundraising project for recreation ball participation. There are also separate fundraising for our Cooperstown Team (12U), our Blue Monster Project (expanding the Junior field to allow 18U teams), and Allstar teams. Corporate and Individual sponsorships are always welcome!

Field Maintenance: Every summer our park hosts a number of tournaments. Help is always needed for field maintenance.

Team Parent: Support your team and assist your coaches and parents by becoming a team parent. Responsibilities include coordinating picture day and fundraising, assigning snacks and organizing the end of the season party. Depending on the league/coach, this position may include dugout duty.

Concession Duty: Every team will be required to work the concession stand once during the season. Help your coach out by volunteering your services. The COJ volunteer badge is not necessary for concession stand duty. There are additional opportunities to work the concession stand during Allstar tournaments each summer.

Are there community service hour opportunities for my High School child?

Yes! Our Concession Stand regularly uses teenagers to (over 14) to work for community service hours. Speak to Regina Lowrie for additional information.

Additionally, coaches may allow teenagers to earn hours by participating in practices as "junior coaches". Contact the league directors or athletic director for placement.

What is Advanced Baseball?

Please see the Advanced Baseball page for additional information. Advanced Baseball runs concurrently with recreation ball, with practices/games held on Wednesday and Sunday. PLEASE NOTE: Additional fees apply.

What is Allstars?

Allstars is a summer baseball program for advanced players in every league. Open tryouts are held in the spring, with the head coaches from each league selecting the coach and players. The cost per player is approximately $250-$500 depending on the number and location of the tournaments played. Travel with the possibility of overnight stay is involved. Please note there may be restrictions to participation if your player has played at another park in the surrounding area. Please contact our President with any questions.

What is the Cooperstown team?

FCAA has made the commitment to support the 12UA All-Star Team to compete in the Cooperstown All-Star Village Invitational Tournament in Cooperstown, New York. Please visit the Cooperstown page for additional information and participation requirements/restrictions.

May I bring my pet to the ballpark?

No. While leashed dogs are allowed in Ed Austin Regional Park, they are prohibited from the baseball/softball complex during practices and games. Dogs are never allowed in the dugouts or on the fields. Even docile dogs can react unexpectedly in stressful situations. For the safety of other spectators, please leave all pets at home.

Didn’t find the answer to your question?

Contact one of our board members via email (contact information is located on the FCAA Board page-the link is located on the left side of the home page).