Q: When do the changes to on-field programming take effect?
A: The changes took effect on January 1, 2012.
Q: Why is USA Baseball making the changes?
A: In December 2011 at its congress in Dallas, the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) implemented changes to the age designations of its World Championships events. The IBAF announced that beginning in 2012 it will host 12U, 15U, 18U, 21U, and Women's championship events, each on an every-other-year basis and that an 18U, 15U and Women's Worlds are scheduled for this year. As a member federation of the IBAF, USA Baseball is compelled to alter its age designations accordingly. USA Baseball will continue to compete in continental events that serve as qualifiers for World Championships at each of the new National Team age levels. The COPABE-sanctioned tournaments are traditionally held every-other-year during IBAF off-years at each respective age level.
Q: What changes are being made on the National Team level?
A: USA Baseball will no longer field a 14U or 16U National Team, and will instead debut a 15U National Team, and 14U and 17U National Team Development Programs in 2012. USA Baseball will compete in the 2013 12U World Championship, but has not yet made a decision for the 21U event. The next 12U World Championship is scheduled for 2013, while the inaugural 21U event will be in 2014. The 18U, Collegiate, Women's and Professional Team programs will continue to move forward unchanged.
Q: What is a National Team Development Program?
A: While USA Baseball is still finalizing exact details, the current plan for the 14U and 17U National Team Development Programs is to invite a minimum of 38 athletes to a unique, approximately week-long development opportunity, wherein they will receive instruction from USA Baseball alumni and other sanctioned coaches and instructors. The group of players will participate in competitive, intrasquad games and will compete against other National Teams as well, schedule permitting. In addition to the instructional opportunity, players will showcase their skills in front of the USA Baseball National Team staffs as well as the amateur and professional scouting communities. The program will have a similar overall feel as that of USA Baseball's National Team Trials events.
Q: How do these changes affect USA Baseball events?
A: USA Baseball's scheduled 2013 events are affected as follows:
National High School Invitational (NHSI): No changes
14U/16U Championships: The 14U and 16U Championships -- formerly known as the Junior Olympics -- will shift and expand to accommodate a third age group, and will now be referred to as the 14U, 15U and 17U Championships. Each event will continue to be held across an east and west region, with Arizona and Florida serving as the hosts. The dates for each event are:
• 14U Championships; June 30-July 5; Glendale, Peoria and Goodyear, Ariz.; and June 18-23; Palm Beach County, Fla.
• 15U Championships; June 21-29; Glendale, Peoria and Goodyear, Ariz.; and June 12-20; Ft. Myers, Fla.
• 17U Championships; June 21-29; Glendale, Peoria and Goodyear, Ariz.; and June 18-26; Palm Beach County, Fla.
Tournament of Stars: No changes
Prospect Classic: No changes
14U/16U/17U Cups: Events will be held at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., on July 12-14, July 5-7 and July 19-21, respectively.
Breakthrough Series: No changes
Labor Day Cup: No changes
National Team Identification Series (NTIS): The three age divisions of the NTIS will shift from a 13U, 15U, 17U format to a 14U, 16U, 17U model which identifies athletes for the following season's 15U and 18U National Teams, and 17U National Team Development Program opportunities. The event dates are TBD.
Q: What are the dates, schedule, times, and locations of the new events?
A: For any schedule information not listed here in the FAQs, please visit USABaseball.com.
Q: What are the 2013 age determination dates for youth-level National Teams and National Team Development Programs?
A: Ages are determined as outlined below:
• USA Baseball 14U National Team Development Program - 1999 and 2000 birthdates
• USA Baseball 15U National Team - 1998 and 1999 birthdates
• USA Baseball 17U National Team Development Program - 1996 and 1997 birthdates
• USA Baseball 18U National Team - 1995 and 1996 birthdates