Hello! Thank you for your interest in UW’S Club Baseball Team! Here’s some information regarding the club:
Time Commitment: This is probably the most common reason players cite for not trying out for the team. However, Club Baseball has minimal conflicts with class, especially in the fall and early spring semester. Players choose their own practice times, and if you are swamped with homework it is fine to miss. We definitely understand that school comes first. In past years we’ve had multiple players with difficult majors (pre-med, pre-law, business, engineering) and they haven’t had problems. During the spring semester it gets a little more demanding because we occasionally travel on the weekends but nothing overwhelming.
Teams: Teams: We are a group of about 40 students consisting of 2 teams (D1 and D2) that compete in the NCBA (National Club Baseball Association).
Try-outs: Take place in the fall semester starting the second week of school. We traditionally have 60 new players try-out each year for about 20 spots. Consist of 1 practice during the week with 1-2 games on the weekend. The coaches (former students who started the club baseball program) schedule a practice date every day of the week so that you can pick the date that works best for your schedule. You also get to pick the times that you would like to play on the weekend. They last until early October.
Making the team: Once you’ve made the team we try to practice outside (once a week) until the weather stops us from doing so. After that, the practice schedule eases up for the next couple months. You sign up for the Stock Pavillion practice for once a week during the winter. There we set up a batting cage and have a mound for pitchers to get their work in. Again, you get to pick the day of the week that works best for your schedule. Every once in a while we will schedule a practice at the McClain Center, (where the football team practices inside) which are more mandatory. The actual club season begins with our team spring break trip in March, when we go to Tampa, FL.
After this you will be placed on 1 of the 2 teams, either DI or DII based on your skill level. Both teams play the same amount of games but play different teams. DII’s conference consists of NIU, Winona State, Bradley, and Augustana. DI’s conference consists of UWM, UW-Whitewater, Marquette, Northwestern, and UW-Eau Claire. Both teams usually win their conferences and get to play in the Regional Tournament. If you win the regional tournament (which we have done for the past 4 years) your team makes the Club Baseball World Series.
Playing time is not equal for any of the teams, but coaches try to give guys plenty of chances to earn a spot. We play weekend series against other conference teams consisting of 3 conference games and 1 exhibition game.
Facilities: For tryouts we practice and play at local high school fields generally 15-20 minutes off campus. UW Rec Sports just passed a referendum to build a turf baseball field on campus but that won’t be complete for 5 years or so. If you don’t have a car, that is not a problem since we usually meet at the Kohl center and carpool to practices/games.
Competition Level: Club Baseball’s competition is somewhere between high school baseball and DIII baseball. Pitchers usually throw anywhere from low 70’s or low 80’s and lineups top to bottom are usually consistent. Obviously competition at Regionals and the World Series is much better. Most teams have multiple players that were cut or released from their campus’s Varsity program. Our teams are usually very good and many of our players could have played at least DIII baseball, but chose to go to Madison because this school has a lot to offer.
Cost is another reason commonly cited by people who decide not to try out. However, with the amount of fundraising and grant money we receive, the cost is minimal. Fall semester is $50 and spring semester is $50. Try out fee is $25, and if you make the team that money goes towards your fall dues. Spring break usually runs around $200 + travel, which is fairly cheap compared to other Spring Break options.