This will be a review of Rochester Hills Little League baseball and a comparison to the RARA (Rochester Avon Recreation Authority) baseball league. I get many questions as to both baseball leagues and now that I've (my son has) tried both, hopefully I can offer some insight on which league may best suit your child.
My son (10 years old) has been involved with RARA baseball (and T-ball) for 5 straight summers and we've had no complaints. Excellent coaches, satisfactory umpires, and fairness of play and fun for all were all highlights of our experience. I'd classify RARA baseball as the "just for fun" league. We recently crossed over to Rochester Hills Little League baseball at the advice of fellow sports parents.
Many kids cross over from RARA baseball leagues to Rochester Hills Little League baseball and there is always comparisons made by the parents. The talk is that the competitiveness and overall skill level of play of Rochester Little League is greater. I've found this to be true to a degree.
Rochester Hills Little League Baseball offers summer baseball for a cost of $160. Your child receives a slick looking uniform, 14 game schedule. Rochester Hills Little League Baseball also offers a Fall league for teams interested in extending their baseball season with flexible scheduling. When kids reach a certain age with Rochester Little League, they must try out for draft rating. This means your children are run through drills and "rated" by various coaches and drafted to teams based on ability. Draft ratings are obviously kept secret and you can obviously tell that by having this system that the league strives for competitiveness and balance. RHLL has no time limits to their 6-inning games and rules are tweaked and slightly (stealing bases, kid pitch, coach pitch) as the kids progress through the ranks.
RARA youth baseball is a great "just for fun" baseball league. For $80 RARA offers a 12 game summer season that begin in June. There is no draft system or tryout procedure and they try to lump teams together by geographic location so schoolmates can be on the same team etc. Uniforms include shirts and hats (pants extra). RARA games are timed (1 hour and 20 minutes). The time limit rule became very frustrating at times. I found the rules RARA implements for their baseball league to be slow to change as the kids got older. The time limit plus they have a pitch count that starts at 1 ball and 1 strike to "speed the game" up. Those rules plus others make it a fun league but not necessarily one that prepares boys for the next level of baseball as quickly as Rochester Hills Little League does.
I didn't notice much difference between the 2 leagues while my son was in "coach pitch". Once the draft system in RHLL comes into play, it became clear that the kids who are more serious about continuing baseball would want to switch from RARA to Rochester Hills Little League. Both leagues are great options and very well run. If your child is looking to have fun and learn baseball with friends, RARA is a fantastic, affordable option. If your child wants to pursue baseball at a higher level or a travel team, Rochester Hills Little League may be a better option as kids progress through the sport.
RARA (Rochester Avon Recreation Authority)
500 E. Second Street
Rochester, MI 48307
RHLL (Rochester Hills Little League)
PO Box 80313
Rochester Hills, MI 48308
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