PBO Mission Statement
The goal of the Palos Baseball Organization is to enhance the quality of life for the youth of our community by providing quality youth athletic programs where players can learn and develop fundamentals, skills, teamwork and good sportsmanship.
Palos Baseball is a 60 year old organization in the town of Palos Heights. We are non-profit group made up entirely of volunteers. PBO is not funded in any way by the city of Palos Heights. Our program is paid for by your registration fees and by other fundraising efforts. These include our concession stand, Windy City Thunderbolts Night, Corporate Sponsors, the July Rumble Tournament and individual donations.
Our board exists of four officers (president, vice-president, treasurer and secretary) and other trustees who run all aspects of the program. Each trustee is a chair of one of our committees. The committees include: rules, disciplinary, travel, fundraising, capital improvements, fields, picnic & pictures, July Rumble tournament, Thunderbolts night, website & community relations, umpires, coach development, safety, concessions, uniforms & equipment, and four division reps.
Additionally, we have an advisory board made up of the head coaches for several of the local high school baseball teams. Their role is to advise us on all aspects of the running of our league. In particular they put considerable time in helping design our coach’s clinics, our coach development programs and our travel program.
Currently this board consists of:
- Matt O'Neill, Head Varsity Baseball Coach, Stagg High School
- Frank DiFoggio, Head Varsity Baseball Coach, Shepard High School
Your Volunteer Obligation
Having each parent do their part in volunteering is vital to the success and viability of our program. Without your help, we cannot exist.
Concession Stand Work: A parent for each player is required to work one concession stand shift. A schedule for each teams shift is given to the managers prior to the start of the season.
Thunderbolts Night: We have a PBO Night at The Windy City Thunderbolts Park in Crestwood each year. This is a terrific night that both kids and parents enjoy and is one of the highlights of our season.
As part of registration, the purchase of tickets to the Palos Baseball Night at Windy City Thunderbolts EVENT at $10 each is required. The date of the game is Wednesday in June.
FOUR Thunderbolts tickets for the first player registered
TWO additional Thunderbolts tickets for the second player registered
TWO additional Thunderbolts tickets for the third or more players registered
Our In-House Program
Our recreational or "in-house" program is our core reason for existing. It is available to any individual between the ages of 7 and 14, who wishes to participate. This year we will have over 650 kids making up approximately 56 teams. Our divisions and their age limitations are as follows:
- Pinto: 1st and 2nd graders (7-8 years old)
- Mustang: 3rd & 4th graders (9-10 years old)
- Bronco: 5th & 6th graders (11-12 years old)
- Pony: 7th & 8th graders (13-14 years old)
Registration: The PBO registration takes place in the fall for the next season. This is done so the trustee volunteers have suitable time to plan and prepare.
Manager selection: At the registration nights there are sign up forms to volunteer to manage. For those who think they do not have the time to commit to manage a team, consider that there are many parents out there that are willing to help. It can be a wonderful experience for you to share this time with you own child as well as to make a difference in others lives. For those who haven’t coached before, not to fear. We have coaches clinics set up in the early spring and there are plenty of experienced coaches in our program to help you plan practices, etc. At the end of each season, parents on each team are asked to evaluate their manager in several categories. This evaluation is part of the basis for selecting managers.
Final manager approval and selection will be done by the PBO Board of Trustees
Player Team Selection: In late February, managers will meet by division and draft players. They are informed of a player’s previous history by evaluation forms that show the players ranking by his/her previous managers. This information includes the main positions they played, how many innings they pitched and whether or not they were all-star or travel team selections. We encourage an attempt to get as equal teams as possible. Draft night often turns into an open forum to facilitate this.
- Special placement requests such as “buddy”, car pool, friend manager, etc, are not allowed.
- Relative placement (brother, sister, cousin) are allowed and will be accommodated per request,
- Parents are reminded that no manager should suggest to you that your child will be on his team.
- Any special request to not be placed with a particular manager should be noted on your registration form.
Games and Practices: Games begin mid April and our season ends around July 1st. There is a 13-15 game schedule. All scores are recorded on our website and standings are posted. At the conclusion of the regular season, all teams make a bracketed single elimination playoff. PBO cannot guarantee that all games will be played if the weather does not cooperate. Every effort will be made to re-schedule rain outs. Whenever possible, make up games are scheduled for Sunday afternoons as this is a day where regular games are not scheduled.
Games are scheduled for weekdays (except Wednesdays) at 5:30 pm and for Saturdays at 8:30 am, 10:45 am, 1:00 pm, 3:15 pm, 5:30 pm for Pony and 9:00 am, 11:30 am, 2:00 pm and 4:30 pm for all other division. Each team will have the opportunity to play under the lights for a night game.
Your teams practice schedule and location will be determined by your manager and will vary per team. Typically teams average 1-2 practices per week. Practice space is not assigned to teams. It is up to individual managers to secure his own practice space.
Playing time procedures: Each division has specific rules regarding the minimum number of innings each child is required to play. All divisions use a continuous batting order regardless of who is playing in the field. All divisions utilize a “free substitution rule” except for the pitcher position.
Uniforms and Equipment: Uniforms are provided as part of your registration fee. Included is a pair of baseball pants, t-shirt, hat and socks. Your manager is provided with an equipment bag which includes batting helmets and catchers gear. Each player will need to provide his/her own glove and bat.
All Star Selection and Games: Near the conclusion of the regular season, each team will select 3-4 players to represent them in our annual all-star games. There is no formal procedure for this selection. Often times it is either at the manager’s discretion or the team votes on the players on team vote for whom they want to represent them.
The Annual Picnic: Each year PBO puts on a picnic/carnival for the players and their families. This is held on a Saturday in mid June, There are games for kids of all ages. Some of last year’s highlights were lunch for the players, jumpy's, cotton candy, and a dunk tank.
Pictures: A basic picture package will be provided. 2D Photography comes to the park on several Saturdays throughout the season to take the team photo as well as individual photos during live action play.
Umpires: PBO is proud to have its own internal umpire program. We provide summer jobs to over 30 kids in the community each year. Training and equipment are provided and kids can start at 13 years old. You can sign your child up to umpire by contacting our umpire coordinator. This information is on our website.
The PBO Travel Program
In addition to the in-house recreational program, PBO also offers an optional travel program. This program is designed to offer the more advanced players an opportunity to play more games and against similarly organized teams. All players who participate in the travel program must also play in our in-house program. The program is organized as follows:
Try-outs: We have try outs in the late summer for our 12 year old Cooperstown teams. For the 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, and 14 year old teams, we have try outs in early December indoors. Evaluators who do not have children trying out for the team rank the players based on their abilities to field, throw, hit, etc. When available, the local high school coaches that sit on the PBO advisory board are the evaluators. Otherwise, members of our board of trustees evaluate
The emphasis for spring travel will be on the development of the players and the enjoyment of the game. Equal playing time is encouraged.
Manager Selection: Anyone interested in managing should put his name in for consideration with the travel coordinator. Manager selections are made by our board prior to the try out and their names will be posted on our website.
The season: After the teams are selected, their practices begin in early January at the Quarry in Romoeville. PBO assigns practice times for field and batting cage use for each team.
Along with our manager and coaches, PBO offers the 11u, 12u, 13u, and 14u Spring travel teams an additional program for speed, agility and strength training.
Your manager will have the flexibility to join one of any number of travel leagues, depending on what level he feels that the team can compete on. These include, Chicagoland Sunday Baseball, i-80, or the NIML leagues. Regardless of the league joined, travel games are only allowed on Sundays and Wednesdays. These are off days for the PBO in-house program. Usually, Wednesdays are reserved for practices and Sunday mornings for games. But that is up to the discretion of the coach.
No more than 25 games can be played during the travel season (including any tournaments). This is to protect our young players and pitchers from injury and to protect their part time travel status.
Costs: All costs related to travel are the responsibility of the parents on the team. Your manager will divide the costs of the indoor practice space fee, uniforms, game balls, umpires and tournament costs equally amongst the players on the team. Usually this is in the $150 - $250 range but can vary on the number of games and extra practice that is decided by the team and manager.
PBO treats July travel separately from spring travel. This is done as to allow those who do not wish to continue to play into July due to vacations or other obligations the flexibility to still play spring travel.
A separate tryout for July travel takes place in the first week in June. The team is selected with an emphasis on fielding the best players for this tournament season.
July travel consists of playing in 3-4 tournaments in the chicagoland area. The number of tournaments will conveyed to the parents at each age level prior to the try-out.
Costs: Usually, uniforms are the same as in spring to keep costs down. Additionally, the PBO July tournament is free to our teams. So the costs for July travel will be the other 2-4 tournament entered. The cost per player can vary between $100 and $200 per player plus uniform costs if needed.
The 12 year old Cooperstown Team: In the fall prior to the season, we have a try out for the following years 12 year old travel team. This team will play together throughout the spring and July travel season and compete in the prestigious tournament in Cooperstown, NY. This is the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Due to the cost of this tournament, this team will spend those months prior fundraising to cover the costs.
13 & 14 year old travel teams: In the December month before the season, we will have tryouts for next year’s 13 & 14 year old travel teams. This in an age where we feel that players want to take their experience to the next level and prepare for making their high school teams.
So to help them prepare, we start winter workouts in the Quarry in Romeoville just after January 1st. These are weekly workouts where we divide the time between team defensive play, hitting, pitching and the catcher position and strength and conditioning.
These teams will typically join a more competitive travel league to play in the spring and have the option of going away for an out of town tournament over the Memorial Day Weekend.