By Jim Gasiewski of Woodside, commissioner of the Palo Alto Babe Ruth Prep League.
Palo Alto Babe Ruth baseball is gearing up for 2012. Babe Ruth baseball offers youth ages 13 to 15 the challenge of playing on a full-size diamond, and the kind of competition that will help them take their skills to the next level.
Tryouts for the upcoming Babe Ruth 2012 season are scheduled for Jan. 21 and 29, depending on weather.
Visit pababeruth.org by Jan. 28 to register to participate in tryouts.
Players are drafted onto teams shortly after tryouts. To be considered for a team, a player must make at least one scheduled tryout.
To be eligible for Babe Ruth, players must be 13, but not older than 15, by May 1. Players must be a resident of Atherton, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, Redwood City, Woodside, or certain areas of Los Altos Hills.
Thirteen-year-olds play in a "Prep" league made up o at least four teams. Fourteen- and 15-year-olds play together in an "Upper" league with seven or eight teams. Based on performance, some Prep league players will get the chance to extend their season and join the roster of an Upper league team.
Both Prep and Upper leagues play a short, busy season culminating in a championship tournament. Since many Upper league players also play for high school teams, their season begins after high school ball ends. The Prep league season starts earlier, and winds up as the Upper league begins play.
After the regular season, All Star teams are formed for each age group (13, 14, and 15), with the possibility of play in district, state, regional and national tournaments.
Go to pababeruth.org for more information.