1. So this is baseball, right? Correct. We play fast-pitch baseball, use wood bats, steal bases, play 9-innings, and all that. Basically, we play MLB rules with a few caveats. The main difference is that we have free substitutions in the field and everyone in the line-up bats. Check out the rules tab above to get the specifics.
2. How much does it cost to play? HTA does not manage individual player registrations, it just facilitates league play for established clubs, so fees can vary. On average, each player will contribute about $100 to cover insurance, game balls, umpires and diamond fees. Uniforms are up to each club to purchase, but many have those costs offset or even covered by local sponsors. Individual equipment costs are totally up to you. Want to buy a Louisville Slugger Ash for $40, an Annex Maple for $80, or a Marucci Custom Pro for $150? That's your call. Same goes for gloves, cleats and batting helmets. You can scour Craigslist or go full custom. Make it what you want.
3. If HTA doesn't manage player registrations, how do I get on a team? You can either contact us to check roster availability on existing clubs, or you can get a group of guys together and start a new one. You can read more on building your own club by clicking the link above. If nothing else, let us know you're interested and we'll try to match you up with other solo prospects in the area to see what we can pull together. We'll do whatever we can to get as many guys playing as want to play. That's the point of this whole league.
4. What's with the age requirement deal? Simple. We don't want to go up against a bunch of 18-year olds with live arms and ridiculous reflexes. To join a club, you must turn at least 30 by the end of the calendar year. In order to pitch, you must turn at least 35 by the end of the calendar year. We have some great players well into their 40s and 50s. We also have some in their early 30s who still jump out of the batters box anytime they see a curveball. Had to draw the line on age somewhere.
5. What's the difference between HTA and other men's baseball leagues? We started HTA because the other leagues didn't quite meet our needs. First, the schedule. We only play on Sunday afternoons/evenings because we found playing throughout the week was just too tough to manage with jobs and family commitments. That's also why we start in August and play into early October. Many of us coach softball and little league so spring/summer is pretty busy. Second, the travel required by some of the other leagues is sometimes an issue. With HTA, we're keeping it local. As more clubs join, we'll split into geographic conferences to keep the travel time to a minimum. Third, the cost to play in some other leagues can be prohibitive for some. You won't find a cheaper way to play organized ball than through HTA. This league is officially "for profit" but that's only because the IRS doesn't consider adult amateur sports for "non-profit" status unless they're feeding US Olympic teams... and ain't none of us ever gonna be Olympians. We cover operating costs, and that's it. And finally, the concept of townball puts a spin on things. You play for your town, get local business sponsors and wear a town name on your chest. Your town Facebook page posts your schedule and results. Your kids and neighbors come out to the high school diamond and cheer you on. It's just a different feel - like you're playing for something bigger. Sounds kind of silly, but it is definitely different than other leagues.
6. What's the level of competition like? It varies. We have some hardcore athletes while others are more "enthusiasts." You can expect to see a couple pitchers throwing 80+mph, but you're more likely to be hacking at knucklers and hanging curves. Same goes with fielding, throwing and hitting. It's all over the place. But one thing's for certain - Clubs that play together for a year or two come back stronger. We play because we love baseball, not because we're filling time until we get signed to the minors. It can get heated at times, competition just does that to people, so it's not some dirt lot church league. We try to focus on playing solid fundamental baseball, setting good examples for our kids and enjoying the camaraderie of our teammates and opponents.
If you have other questions, please contact us and we'll get you an answer: