As with any person running a small business, a league owner's work is never done. Stay organized, form committees, delegate -- and above all, have fun. Also, check with this list of questions to keep your league set-up on the right track.
- Before doing anything, ensure there's not a league in your area already.
- What is the age/skill group of your league? Adults? Kids? Kids with special needs? Choose your sponsors and your practice fields accordingly.
- Do you want your league to join a national association, like Nations Baseball in Texas? Joining a national association opens you up to more opportunities for play, and all of them work by a standard set of rules.
- Decide whether your team needs accident and liability insurance. It's highly advisable, and you may be able to offset the costs via monthly dues.
- How will you choose who goes on each team? Via lottery? How will leadership be assigned?
- Recruit players through friends, work, family or neighbors. If you're still looking, try flyers at the local gym or grocery store. If your town has a Web site, post about it there.
- Set up a board of directors -- it doesn't have to be super-formal, but you need to have some leadership in place in order to make decisions.
- What equipment will be provided by the team, and what equipment will players be responsible for? Often players have their own gloves or bats. However, you'll probably have to invest in things like bases and balls.
- Will you vote on your team colors and design, or assign a committee?
- Will you hold practices and games on the same field? Sometimes you can use a field for free during the week but must rent the space on weekends. Check with your town's parks and recreation department to find out all the available public baseball diamonds in the area.
- Remember to give back to your community, as they support you. Donate regularly to local organizations, or hold charity games for fun.
All of these tips should give you an informed start on your adventure of starting your own league. And just remember, if you build it, they will come.
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