Originally Posted by Misterbill
People, please do not believe that all the four websites listed above are for competitive national baseball leagues. The poster definitely has his facts wrong about youth baseball.
Cal Ripken sponsors youth baseball nationally. There is a World Series in Aberdeen, MD with 10 US regional champs and, I think 8 foreign entries. To get to the World Series (national competition), a team needs to win state, then its region. In Cal Ripken (and Little League) it is a steep downward pointing funnel to get to their World Series (national competition)
Our team made it in 2009 (Cal Ripken).
The other three listed sites have nothing (or very little) to do with leagues. They are tournaments set up by entrepreneurs. Any team who wants to fork over the entry fee and pay for travel can sign up. No ranking or W-L record requirement. The only hint of a league is ECTB, which has some age group leagues with teams from Virginia. This is not "regional and national competition year round". These are showcases.
In youth baseball there are lots of discussions about a variety of issues. But despite the fact that only an infinitesimally small fraction of young baseball players get to experience national competition based on ability and merit, you don't hear complaints about "opportunities being denied" or "we used to enjoy going to Williamsport or Aberdeen so much" that you hear about on this board in the context of tennis
Thanks Mr Bill, but the poster does not have his facts wrong. The links were a sampling, and while some of them are national(LL and ripken are the largest by far), many of them are regional, and some are 'entrepreneurs' who deal with independent teams, the larger point remains the same : that is that "little league' does not have a monopoly on national play the way that USTA does. There are other avenues that are available for "inter-sectional' play in the baseball world outside of the Little League(tm) World Series.
The fact is hundreds of kids from my little backwater will be on traveling baseball teams, hundreds will be on traveling volleyball teams and hundreds will be on traveling soccer teams. And I don't mean 101, the number could be closer to a thousand.
This is really just the start of where the analogy to baseball and other sports really breaks down. As others have pointed out, there is no national individual rankings, there is no point chasing. Most kids leave the junior system at high school to focus on JV and Varsity, some of the best tennis kids don't even bother with high school cause its not competitive. Pros and colleges scouting services have hundreds of scouts spread out throughout the country, tennis does not., etc,etc,etc. Its just a really bad analogy that just doesn't hold up any kind of examination