2015 Spring/Summer Season

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The Illiana Thunderbolts will field several teams in the Spring/Summer of 2015.

If you are interested in finding out more information on how you may participate on one of the teams or if you are ready to sign up to play for the Illiana Thunderbolts please continue reading this page.

At this point in time (September 2014) the Illiana Thunderbolts intend to field teams in the following age groups:

15u birthday between 5/1/1999 to 4/30 2000
14u birthday between 5/1/2000 to 4/30 2001
13u birthday between 5/1/2001 to 4/30 2002
12u birthday between 5/1/2002 to 4/30 2003
11u birthday between 5/1/2003 to 4/30 2004

15u TEAM FULL TIME
General Information
All of the players will be attending high school and many will be playing on their high school team.
The season will begin IMMEDIATELY AFTER the high school season ends which is approximately around memorial day. The first 2 weeks after the high school season we will play local games working on getting the team synched and ready for the summer.
After our “spring training” we will primarily participate in tournaments. These tournaments for the most part will be local with a few “showcase” tournaments that may or may not require an overnite stay.
Please click on this LINK to fill out a 15u “hold-a spot for me” form.
Players filling out this form will get 1st chance at making receiving an invitation to fill a roster spot


14u TEAM FULL TIME
General Information
Some of the players will be in high school and some still in junior h.s. Most of the players attending high school will be playing on their high school team.  Since these players cannot begin playing travel baseball until the H.S. season ends we will working primarily with the 14u 8th graders getting ready to play as soon as the high school players become available
The regular season will then begin IMMEDIATELY AFTER the high school season ends which is approximately around memorial day. The  season will consist of many local games, local tournaments and most likely one overnite tournament.
Please click on this LINK to fill out a 14u “hold-a spot for me” form.
Players filling out this form will get 1st chance at making receiving an invitation to fill a roster spot

13u TEAM FULL TIME
General Information
Since all of the players will be in junior high this season will begin in early March and go through the end of July. Games will consist of local games, local tournaments, and most likely one overnite tournament.
For the majority of our players this will be their first campaign on a full time travel team that is not affiliated with an in-house program. Thus the learning curve will be sharp and the experience MUCH different that the parents and players have had in their in-house years. It will be important for the players to be prepared for a higher level of baseball than they have been used to. Every year many parents sign up their players to play at this age believing that since their son was on the “all star” team that he will also be an all star playing travel baseball. Unfortunately that is not the case.
Many of the teams we will play during the year will have players that have NEVER played in-house rec-ball and have exclusively played travel ball since they were 7 years old. Many of the teams we will play have been playing  together for 3, 4, 5 year as a team! So please remember if you choose to participate with the Thunderbolts at this important age transition you will need patience, fortitude, and a higher level of commitment than in the past.
From the many years that the Illiana Thunderbolts have been fielding a 13u team we have learned that it will be necessary to carry a larger roster to begin the year as several parents will find the experience too different and too difficult than what they expected and will simply stop showing up. The parents and players that keep fighting and trying hard will be rewarded with a great season of baseball and will be clearly on their way to grow in the next several years. Most of the players that have come through our program have found that the experience of playing for the Iliana Thunderbolts  has prepared them in  a special way for the transition to high school baseball.

Please click on this LINK to fill out a 13u “hold-a spot for me” form.
Players filling out this form will get 1st chance at making receiving an invitation to fill a roster spot.


 

12u TEAM PART TIME
General Information
Since many of the players at this age still play for their local in-house rec teams, the Illiana Thunderbolts will be fielding a PART TIME travel ball team.. We recognize and completely support the excellent in-house programs throughout the area and encourage parents and players to support and participate in these programs. Our experience over the many years has taught us that with cooperation, understanding, and flexibility our players can complete their last year in little league, cal ripken or whatever program they participate in and still enjoy the travel ball experience with the Illiana Thunderbolts.
We accomplish this little trick very simply. Our season begins early before the local teams are formed. As soon as the weather breaks in March we try to begin practices along with games and tournaments in early April. Weather permitting your player will have had 30-40 at bats and participate in a dozen games or more BEFORE the in-house programs opening day. We will then continue to play games on Sundays when most leagues do not play regular games. We try and slide in a memorial day tournament as well. The PART-TIME travel season will take  a”break”  at the end of June to allow all of the players that are chosen to participate on their in-house tournament teams to focus on those games. As soon as that is over (which is usually the 2nd week in June we then reassemble and play our season that includes many local regular games and tournaments. Our season will then end at the end of July allowing for plenty of vacation time before school resumes in the fall.

Please click on this LINK to fill out a 12u “hold-a spot for me” form.
Players filling out this form will get 1st chance at making receiving an invitation to fill a roster spot.


 

11u TEAM PART TIME
General Information
Since many of the players at this age still play for their local in-house rec teams, the Illiana Thunderbolts will be fielding a PART TIME travel ball team.. We recognize and completely support the excellent in-house programs throughout the area and encourage parents and players to support and participate in these programs. Our experience over the many years has taught us that with cooperation, understanding, and flexibility our players can complete their last year in little league, cal ripken or whatever program they participate in and still enjoy the travel ball experience with the Illiana Thunderbolts.
We accomplish this little trick very simply. Our season begins early before the local teams are formed. As soon as the weather breaks in March we try to begin practices along with games and tournaments in early April. Weather permitting your player will have had 30-40 at bats and participate in a dozen games or more BEFORE the in-house programs opening day. We will then continue to play games on Sundays when most leagues do not play regular games. We try and slide in a memorial day tournament as well. The PART-TIME travel season will take  a”break”  at the end of June to allow all of the players that are chosen to participate on their in-house tournament teams to focus on those games. As soon as that is over (which is usually the 2nd week in June we then reassemble and play our season that includes many local regular games and tournaments. Our season will then end at the end of July allowing for plenty of vacation time before school resumes in the fall.

Please click on this LINK to fill out a 11u “hold-a spot for me” form.
Players filling out this form will get 1st chance at making receiving an invitation to fill a roster spot.

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