National Youth Sports is a company that runs recreational and competitive sports leagues across the country, including in Henderson and Las Vegas. They offer a variety of sports and age groups. This review is of the Tball program for 3-4-year-olds.
$90 per season
$80 if you register early
$45 if you volunteer to coach the team
they do offer a payment plan, but it costs extra
When you register, you select the area you live in, and you also provide your zip code and closest cross streets. You are placed on a team with other families who live relatively nearby. Where practices are held is up to the team. We played games at Mountain View park (not far from Wigwam and Green Valley) one season and at Sunridge Park another season (Sunridge Heights and Eastern). You will not know the exact location or times of games until about a week before the season starts.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The NYS seasons runs year-round on roughly the schedule below (exact dates below are from 2017/2018, but reflect general seasons to give you an idea). The date of the parents meeting is significant because practices will start a few days after that meeting, giving you about a month of practices before games start. If you register by the earlybird deadline you save $10. Don’t forget to include a coach or teammate request if you have friends you’re playing with. The parents meeting is held at Greenspun Jr High in Henderson. You meet in the cafeteria and sit at a table with your team. The main purpose of the meeting is to establish where and when you will hold your practices, as this is entirely up to the team.
Early Registration Deadline: ?
Parents Meeting: December 3
Games: January 6 – February 24
Spring Early Registration Deadline Jan 26
Parents Meeting: March 3
Games: April 7 to June 2 (no games spring break or Memorial Day)
Early Registration Deadline: ?
Parents Meeting: beginning of June
Games: June 24 – August 12 (no games 4th of July weekend)
Early Registration Deadline: July 21
Parents Meeting: August 20
Games: September 23 – November 18 (No games Nevada Day weekend)
Registration includes a jersey and a hat. If you want to customize the jersey with a name on the back, you pay $7 extra. Pants and socks are also available for purchase, but definitely not necessary.
NYS does not provide photos or trophies. They do give participant information to third party photo and award companies. This is the sketchy part. You will start getting emails saying “you are scheduled for photos at 5pm on Friday” and “trophy order deadline is Saturday” and things like that. It makes it seem like it’s NYS-sponsored, but it’s not. You are certainly able to use those services if you choose to, but you don’t have to. The better option is to do your own thing, if someone on the team is willing to coordinate it. On a few of our NYS teams we had a mom on the team who was a photographer and did the team photos. On another team we all chipped in a few dollars to hire a photographer to come to one of the practices to do pictures. One of our teams opted to go with the pseudo-NYS email advertising, and I was not pleased with the quality of the product.
WHAT TO TAKE
When you play Tball, all your child will need is a glove. The balls and tee are provided at the game. The coach will either provide their own bats, balls, and a tee for practice, or can borrow them from NYS. Kyler wears cleats to games, but they are definitely not necessary.
A good bat size for most 3-4-year-olds is 24” If your child is taller or bigger they could potentially use up to a 26” or 27” This link is to the Rawlins baseball sizing chart.
Glove size is largely your preference. We have a size 8 and a size 10 1/2. The bigger glove was too big for Kyler at age 4.
I feel that NYS programs have been a great introductory sports experience for our family. We have played two seasons of Tball. One season was right after Kyler turned 3, then we played again a year later, right after he turned 4.
It’s important to remember that Tball is not baseball. It involves a lot of chaos and playing in the dirt.Tball is a learning experience for the little guys because there is a lot of waiting involved. Unlike 3-4 soccer, where they all get to run and run and run the whole time, Tball requires waiting for turns, waiting on bases, etc.
Games are 3 innings long, or 50 minutes, whichever is shorter. Each player bats every inning, and you always hit a single. The last batter hits the “home run” and clears the bases. It is completely acceptable, and almost necessary, for several parents to be on the field helping. Sometimes there are nearly as many adults as there are kids on the field (unlike soccer, where they will ask you to leave the field).
The first season we played, we held practices on Saturdays for the first four weeks before games started. Once games started we didn’t have practices during the week, but most teams do, it’s just up to the team. Our second season, my husband and I coached the team. I really recommend it! You get $45 of your registration back, which I didn’t know until after we decided to coach, so that was a nice bonus. One of the upsides of coaching is that you have some control over locations and times of practices. Also, we had one season with NYS (not Tball, another sport) where we did not have a great experience with the coach, so I decided I would coach as often as possible in the future, or at least put in a request for a coach I knew.
WHAT WE LIKED
I enjoy meeting other families with kids the same age as ours. One of my favorite parts of having Kyler play sports is seeing how proud he is of himself when he does a good job. It is difficult to teach a 3-year-old new skills like catching and throwing a baseball, especially when they’re not particularly interested in following instructions, but I’ve found that as difficult as it is to get through a season, by the end of the season they have made some progress, and that is rewarding. I think Kyler’s favorite part of Tball is being with his friends.
Although it is more work for the parents, I really enjoy that NYS is run by parent volunteers. It makes it so everyone is invested in the experience for the kids and everyone works together.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
The NYS website is really difficult to work with. For example, the only place the information for the parents meeting is provided is in the email sent immediately after you first register. It is extremely difficult to locate that info on the site itself and I didn’t even know about the parents meeting the first few seasons we were with NYS.
The age cutoffs aren’t entirely clear. For example, we were able to sign up for 3-4 year old soccer when my son was not quite 3, and he didn’t even turn 3 that season. When I called to find out about the official cutoff, nobody knew. It wasn’t until I was in the online registration process that it came out that the cutoff was 21 months or something like that. The system has since changed and it is again impossible to find the actual birthday cutoffs.
WILL WE GO AGAIN
We are registered to play and coach the next season of Tball coming up. After that, however, when Kyler turns 5, Tball is no longer an option. The 6U (ages 5-6) age group plays coach-pitch and I just don’t see him being ready for that at this point. So we may switch to another league that has 5-year-olds play Tball at that point.