Battle at the Castle Baseball announced today that there will be an expansion, again. Along with a new age regulation that follows the WBSC rulings there will be an all new U18 Battle at the Castle tournament in 2018.
The past years have shown that the tournament format is succesful. The players and parents like the concept where players register individually and get drafted into one of the Battle at the Castle teams. They do not depend on their regular season teams for extra challenges and the kids are subjected to new coaches and teammates. This widens their baseball network, making new friends and learn to be comfortable in new situations.
It seems like a natural development of the tournament to add the U18 tournament as well. “The U12 and U15 tournaments are on steam and our “veteran” players want to come back to Oosterhout to celebrate summer baseball again.” Asked about the decision, Paul Bun adds: “We had to think about this one for a while, as doing an extra tournament is easier said than done. The formats are there and the players will also come, as it builds on the successes of our previous 5 years of BATC baseball. But it will be a challenge to lure enough qualified game officials to our tournament to facilitate the everyday baseball experience we bring to the players. But, like in baseball, once in a while you have to step up to the plate and show them what you’ve got. And that’s what we are going to do. We have a great team of baseball volunteers in Oosterhout and I am sure that we can pull this off with the help of the baseball community in The Netherlands and Flanders. We are already looking forward to it.”
The new age regulations come in place of the Little League age regulations. For 2018 Little League decided on changing the cutoff date to september 1st, a good opportunity to make a change for the BATC Baseball tournament to synchronise with WBSC tournament regulations. The new eligibility rules for the 2018 tournament are that the U18 tournament will see players of 2000, 2001 and 2002. The U15 is for players born in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Players born in 2006 and 2007 will play the U12, along with a couple of 2008 born talents.
The 6th Battle at the Castle tournament hopes to draw a lot of international players and European players who play in their national teams. There have been players from The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Estland, Great Britain, Curacao, USA, Hungary, Sweden, Austria and Russia to the tournament.
“It will be a busy summer in Oosterhout, The Netherlands, with a lot of baseball. And that’s how we like our summers.”
Registration for the Battle at the Castle tournaments will open on january 1st of 2018. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.