Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball Information Update


The Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball Committee has released an important communique to attempt to explain two things:

  • What our Select program is and how it relates to our House League program.
  • And what the relationship is between Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball and the Toronto Playgrounds Rep program.

First of all, the Select teams that Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball has fielded in the past and will be fielding next season spring directly from our Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball program.

Select teams are organized by age groups as are our house league divisions…there can be Rookie Ball Select teams, Mosquito Select teams, Peewee Select teams, Bantam Select teams, and Midget Select teams. Different associations will tend to offer certain age groups but not others, and sometimes the teams offered will change from one year to the next based upon number of eligible and interested players. Players must be registered in our house league program and make a Select team…tryouts are held and the coaches will determine which players will be on the team.

The Select teams play once a week in a Select “loop” against the Select teams from other associations. For the past number of years (and for next year), Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball has participated in the Toronto West Loop, which is coordinated by people from the Etobicoke Baseball Association (EBA) and includes associations such as the Royal York, Bloordale, and Martingrove…York Baseball and Annette Baseball also participate in the Toronto West Loop. The Select teams also practice together each week as a select team…the game and practice each week are in addition to  a player’s participation in houseleague, not in place of it. Players taking part on a Select team must also be fully participating in house league…the select program is designed as an opportunity for some players to play more baseball while still participating in their house league. We know that this may not be adhered to in the case of all of the other associations participating in Select, but it is totally the “way of life” here in Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball.

Another important feature of the Select program is that it requires that all players actually play…everyone in the lineup must play at least two of the first four defensive innings and everyone in the lineup goes up for a regular turn at bat. This is not the case with Rep baseball. Again, we want our Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball Select teams to be “pushing the envelope” of everyone playing as far as possible, in keeping with our house league philosophy of full and equal participation.

Now, two of the “nicer” features of the Select program (for busy parents) are that the Select games are always on the same night each week, and the distance you have to travel to get to the “away” games is relatively short. Some weeks our Select teams play at home, so there isn’t even any extra travel in those cases. Our Select teams usually play in one or two weekend tournaments over the summer as well, and travel is obviously involved at those times. The registration fee for Select, which is in addition to the house league registration fee, depends partly upon the number of tournaments a team will be entering.

Now, to be clear, the outdoor Select sessions that we are currently organizing and letting you know about for various age groups are not the formal tryouts…they are an opportunity for us to get a handle on the levels of interest in Select at the various age groups so that we can properly prepare for the tryout process and next season in terms of the numbers of coaches and managers required. However, these sessions will be an opportunity to get additional workout time and the chance for parents to find out more about our league and program.

Now, I’m going to now turn to the matter of the relationship between our Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball program and the Toronto Playgrounds Rep teams. There is no direct connection or link between Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball and the TP Rep teams…the Rep teams are not overseen or coordinated by the House League Baseball Committee or myself, and we have no say as to who coaches those teams or which players make those teams. We recognize that our two programs sharing the Toronto Playgrounds name creates a confusing situation for people, so this communique is partly an effort to help lessen the confusion somewhat.

I’m noting this especially at this time because I’ve had some concerns and comments directed to me regarding the way that some particular Rep coaches conduct themselves. All I’m going to say at this point is that the Rep coaches don’t represent or speak for the Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball program. This is not to say that everything they say and do is questionable or troubling…far from it. Rather, it’s to make it as clear as possible that I’m not able to take any action regarding things that occur in the context of the Toronto Playgrounds Rep program.

I am totally able (on behalf of the committee) to be involved and take action regarding things that occur in the context of the Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball program, including the Select teams. The great news on this front is that the vast majority of the “action” that I need to take regarding our coaches is passing on to them the fantastic feedback I receive from our parents about the experiences their kids have enjoyed as part of our Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball Program!

I hope that this information has helped to answer some of the questions you may have had…please let us know if you still have any questions regarding our house league and/or Select programs at


Steve Smith

Coordinator, Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball