The Cannons are sponsored and supported by Norfolk Baseball. It was created to provide an opportunity for players to participate on an AAU club baseball team as part of their spring season. The program is geared towards players that want an opportunity to compete at a higher level of play and seek a structured offseason development program to enhance their baseball experience.
The mission of Cannons Baseball is to develop the physical, mental, and emotional growth of our local youth. The program is dedicated to teaching skills, increasing athleticism and confidence, while promoting self-respect, respect for others, and sportsmanship. It is our hope that these principles will be instilled and remain with each of our players throughout his or her life both on and off the baseball field.
The Cannons will field teams at the Junior Level for baseball ages 9, 10, 11, & 12. Teams will register for New England AAU Baseball or an equivalent league. As our teams graduate to the big diamond (ages 13+) we plan to support those Senior League teams that want to continue to play.
Our Junior Cannons focus is to develop the skills, discipline, and strong character necessary for our players to reach the highest level of personal growth and achievement while emphasizing a strong commitment to teamwork, work habits and mental preparations. These principals are the foundations for our intensive off-season training program, which are led by our dedicated coaching staffs. The ideal Cannons players is hungry to learn how to play the game through listening and repetitions, has respect for others and themselves, and puts team over individual accomplishments. As an organization, we strive to meet these high standards but can only accomplish them with the support of our players and parents.
If selected to a team, our players can expect the following:
- A 16 to 20 game schedule, consisting of league and non-league games, plus potential playoffs and tournaments
- Games to be played on either Saturday and/or Sunday as double headers
- Weekly indoor off-season training typically commencing in mid-December and concluding by the end March
- Start of season in April and ends in June prior to the start of our Summer program
Our Senior Cannons will be structured similar to the Junior Level programs, but with an increased focus and commitment to the development of the student-athletes in our community. As players get older they are met with more challenges that they must overcome. Our goal is to help our players develop the life skills necessary to meet these obstacles head on by demonstrating confidence, self-esteem and awareness of their actions. In addition to above, our senior players can expect:
- Games likely to continue into July
- Support for players that aspire to play at the collegiate level
In season practices may be conducted at the discretion of each team’s coaching staff but should not be prioritized over participation in their spring town league games.
Eligibility to Play
Junior and Senior Cannon teams will primarily consist of players who live in one of the KP towns, which include Norfolk, Plainville, or Wrentham. The Junior players must also be registered for their respective town's Spring Cal Ripken Leagues. The Senior players are encouraged to play our Spring Massasoit League but participation is not required to be eligible for the Senior Cannon teams.
Players are required to play for teams based on their baseball age. We will be using the AAU baseball age chart to determine a player's baseball age. In the case where an age appropriate team is not available in the current year, a player may play up (not down) until one is available in the future.
Any exceptions to these rules must be requested and granted prior to tryouts. Exceptions must be approved by the Cannons board, along with the Commissioner and President of Norfolk Baseball. Any exceptions that are approved are for the current year only. It is the responsibility of the player to make another exception request for the subsequent year.
Players selected for the Cannons’ are expected to treat their other spring teams with equal respect and Cannons Managers/Coaches will work with the other spring town league coaches to ensure a safe season for all.
Each year teams will hold a formal tryout process. All players that wish to be considered for a roster spot must attend a designated tryout for their approved age group. Returning players are not guaranteed a roster spot year-over-year but must re-earn their spot on the team. The evaluators for each age group will include impartial evaluators who do not have a player in the age group to ensure a fair and equitable tryout for all participants.
Team rosters will be submitted by team managers and require the approval by the Cannons board, along with the Commissioner and President of Norfolk Baseball prior to announcement. Once approved, roster offer letter will be distributed to players and parents. Acceptance of the roster spot along with a non-refundable registration deposit is required to secure a spot on the team.
In addition to full roster spots, teams have the ability to select alternates to their player rosters. An alternate player is one who will be eligible to participate in all off-season training and is not considered part of the regular playing roster. Alternate players become eligible to join the playing roster for any one game or for the reminder of the season if other players on the regular roster are either injured or cannot play.
The registration fee per team will reflect all costs to run that team which includes uniforms and other apparel, umpires, and any applicable field usage fees, unless specifically excluded. Alternate players will be asked to pay a reduced registration fee to cover the cost of training and a uniform.
Managers must send an indication to the Cannons board by the end of June of the current year to express their interest in managing a Cannons team for the next season. To qualify for manager consideration, a candidate must satisfy the following:
- Be a member of the baseball community from one of the KP towns, which include Norfolk, Plainville, or Wrentham
- Be in good standing with their town’s baseball organizations
- Supply the necessary CORI documentation
- Demonstrate a strong baseball knowledge and communication skills
All qualified candidates will be considered by the Cannons board, which will submit its recommendations to the Commissioner and President of Norfolk Baseball for final approval.
Once managers are selected, they will have the ability to nominate individuals for their respective coaching staffs for approval by the Cannons board, along with the Commissioner and President of Norfolk Baseball prior to announcement. Coaches also need to satisfy the above mentioned qualifications.
Expectations for Players, Parents and Coaches
The Cannons season is meant to be a learning, positive experience for the players and enjoying to watch for the parents. The following summary lists what is expected of the player, coach and the proper etiquette of a parent to maximize the experience for everyone involved.
Expectations for the player:
- Be on time to practices and games
- Be willing to work hard during practices without complaining or being disruptive
- Be respectful of the coaches and other adults
- Follow all team guidelines and rules
- Understand that playing time is earned through hard work in practice and executing on the field
- Be a positive influence to your teammates by providing encouragement and leadership
- Do not be a distraction to the rest of the team
- Display good sportsmanship
- Put your team first
- Give 100%, 100% of the time
Expectations for the coach:
- Be prepared for practices and games
- Treat each player fairly
- Communicate expectations to the players and parents
- Always be willing to communicate honestly with parents and players
- Treat the players like young men
- Make sure the players are prepared physically and mentally for each game
- Never let the players give up
- Display good sportsmanship
- Lead by setting the right example
Expectations for the parents:
- Make sure the player is willing to make the commitment necessary before accepting the invitation to join the team
- Have the player to practices and games on-time. Communicate with the coach if an issue comes up that will cause a delay.
- Understand that the coach must make decisions that are best for the team
- Refrain from instructing the player from the stands. Cheering should be limited to encouragement and congratulations
- Parents are not allowed in the dugout during a game (unless invited)
- Never approach a coach about playing time during a game or immediately after
- Treat opposing parents, fans, players, and coach with respect and good sportsmanship
For any inquiries, please contact the Cannons board.