As of the most recent meeting between Little League and BC Minor Associations, registrations numbers for the North Shore have 591 players registered in the North Shore Baseball Association and 2,035 players registered in Little League. There is also the assumption that some players have registered for both and are still trying to make up their mind. Highlands will be closing our registration of Feb. 20th in order to prepare for team rosters and evaluations.
As Little League on the North Shore has more than 4 times the enrolment than North Shore Baseball Association (Over approx 2000 players compared to approx 500) all of our regular season games will take place on the North Shore. BC Minor can not guarantee this and while they intend to keep travel to a minimum for the younger ages, their limited enrolment will mean that travel to games should be considered and will definitely be an issue to consider with older age groups. Teams will be required to play regular season games against other BC Minor Associations within the lower mainland (closet BC Minor associates are Vancouver, Burnaby, Coquitlam and Chilliwack).
There is a great deal of speculation about this at the moment, but the truth is that final decisions about field allocations have not been made public. Highlands new increased catchment now includes the following Little League fields as well as Delbrook.
Chris Zuehlke Memorial Park
The District of Vancouver and City of Vancouver will need to assign fields between the two leagues, most likely based on enrolment numbers.
Our assumption is that Highlands will remain at Delbrook as we have always been and if our enrolment increases as it appears may be the case, we may be given access to another field either to share or outright. BC Minor have different diamond dimensions and therefore sharing fields is also an added challenge.
BC Minor’s new North Shore Baseball Association includes players from Bowen Island, Lion’s Bay, West Vancouver, and North Vancouver, and therefore could see home fields provided in any of those areas.
Final decisions will be made soon.
BC Minor promotes that they have better development and coaches than Little League as they have paid coaches. The fact that they have paid coaches is correct but only at the age 11 and older and only for the AAA team (of which there will likely be one team per age group) and possibly for the AA team (which might be two per age group). Parents pay extra for these paid coaches. Highlands Little League coaches are volunteers and parents as is a tradition for all coaches for every one of the thousands of Little League teams throughout Canada and the US.
Tiered System vs Post Season All Stars
One of the biggest differences between the leagues that is that BC Minor plays a tiered regular season at the older ages vs Little League which plays a non-tiered regular season where skilled players are mixed equally with new players. Little League then has a highly competitive tiered post season. (For 11/12 year olds, this culminates at the Little League World Series in Williamsport,PA)
The Boards of those two associations felt that BC Minor was going to give their children a better baseball experience than what they currently had within their Little League associations, and their membership voted in favour of the move. Highlands has always had one of the largest enrolments of players in North Vancouver and takes great pride in its regular season and post season programs. Both continue to produce rewarding experiences for coaches, parents and especially players at all skill levels. Little League has been good to Highlands and we will continue to be proud members.