From the President: Let’s Make 2024 a Golden Year!

OYO Fans and Friends:

 

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” — John F. Kennedy

 

As I began to gather my thoughts for this letter, I kept coming back to two words – gratitude and appreciation.

 

I am incredibly grateful for the humbling opportunity to dedicate myself in service to the entire league, including this remarkable OYO family. Similarly, I am truly appreciative for all the selfless and tireless service that countless volunteers have demonstrated. Personally, throughout my two-plus decades at OYO, it is still a blessing to be selected to lead this amazing organization filled with so many wonderful people who put our ballplayers at the core of all we do.

 

It’s easy to reflect on all the amazing accomplishments we collectively made possible in 2023 – largest combined Spring rec league and full-time travel participation ever, largest Fall Ball registration ever, robust Winter Workout participation, record-setting year of sponsorship support, 99% of all games covered by umpires in an era of declining officiating engagement, more fields than ever and so much more. However, all the excitement, buzz and rage is about the milestones and opportunities ahead!

 

This Year Is Going To Be Golden, Literally!

 

2024 marks our 50th year of providing baseball and softball experiences to our resilient and magnificent ballplayers and their families. In 1975, our league first welcomed players at fields adjacent to Oaklandon Elementary before relocating in 1995 to Veterans Memorial Park, which has evolved through three comprehensive expansions.

 

50 Years of OYO is no accident. For five decades, OYO has been a proven example of excellence, greatness and dedication in our community. And our families have jumped in the trenches to make it a very special happy place for all by helping rake the fields to completing park prep day projects; being team parents to helping as assistant coaches; leading all star travel teams to coaching full time travel teams; and helping a player or fan in need to serving as a board member. Sure the league has encountered unfortunate trials and tribulations that have challenged the league’s tapestry, but the values and commitment from our loyal and dedicated volunteers have helped us overcome those moments with countless thrills and triumphs that truly define OYO today.

 

Why We Are Ready to Connect with You!

 

After all, OYO has a fundamental responsibility to impact our ballplayers’ experiences, our community and the game of baseball and softball for all who experience OYO wherever our teams go.

 

When the OYO Board convened last November, I asked our vast and diverse OYO Board of Directors to invoke “The Golden Circle” from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why and capture their “why” for becoming more involved. Then, in December we dove into the “Hedgehog Concept” from Jim Collins’ Good to Great for additional perspective on “what can OYO be the best at”.

 

Valuing the OYO Board’s overall focus, our 43 volunteer board members shared their wisdom and insight leading to several powerfully consistent themes. Recognizing the uplifting power of our program, they all point back to The OYO Way – our long-standing pact with OYO families to prioritize player development, establish respect, teach life lessons, emphasize fairness and promote character.

 

What’s in Store for 2024 and Beyond?

 

It’s a golden year for all of us who continue to call OYO home for our baseball and softball experience! Our five biggest priorities all year long will include:

  • Comprehensive Team Balance Improvements | Sharpen our processes on how we utilize coach feedback and advanced technology resources
  • More Support for Coach and Player Development | Utilize support systems and clinics for all coaches to improve the quality of practice drills and concepts
  • Travel Baseball and Softball Program Growth | Develop new opportunities for greater consistency and robust growth of our successful Bombers and Red Storm all-star and full-time travel programs
  • Increased Transparency and Consistency | Ensure greater accountability from each and every volunteer board member and coach while ensuring fairness for all
  • Maximize the OYO Experience | Prioritize how we deliver the best possible experience, especially on the field

 

But that’s not all! We want to celebrate! And, we will celebrate often! As our exclusive 2024 logo conveys, we’re recognizing our past, present and future! We’ll have special ceremonies on Opening Day, and we’ll offer special events all season long. We’ll mark our 50-day milestones this spring and fall. And we’ll carry forward the ideals and values that have made OYO the most amazing place to play ball in Central Indiana!

 

My Ask Is Simple.

 

“Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change.” — Richard Branson

 

The OYO success story is strong because it is created entirely by volunteers – like you – in every walk of life. We recognize change is never easy, but necessary to adapt and thrive. So, these very individuals – especially you – embrace the opportunities necessary to make important contributions that help OYO not only meet, but also exceed, expectations today and for the future, too!

 

If you have additional ideas and insights about change and growth, then please consider becoming a volunteer for change. Help drive positive change by participating as a coach, team parent, umpire, board member, grounds caretaker, sponsor, supporter, positive fan, etc. OYO has a place for you!

 

Thank you for reading this letter. Now, please consider and evaluate what you can personally do at OYO. And, I look forward to seeing you all at the fields soon.

 

As always, thank you for choosing OYO as your place for baseball and softball! Let’s make our 50th year our best year yet!

 

Play Ball!
Michael DeSanto
President, OYO Board of Directors
oyopresident1@gmail.com | 317.345.9006 (mobile | text)

Spring Season Coaches’ Meeting Recap

OYO Board Members recently conducted our exclusive Coaches’ Meeting and Orientation for our softball and baseball coaches in preparation of our 50th year of baseball and softball.

This meeting helps ensure all our coach volunteers are aligned in how they will leverage our organization’s resources and collaborate frequently to maximize the development of all our ballplayers across the league. What’s more, they are prepared to demonstrate great teamwork in providing our young softball and baseball players a memorable on-field experience this spring.

We hope the information attached provides our coaches with the details needed to execute a quality experience for all our ballplayers and their families. If you have any questions about the upcoming season, please contact an OYO Board Member.

As always, thank you for choosing OYO as your place for baseball and softball this spring. And, we truly appreciate you sharing your talents and volunteering to be a coach this season. Play Ball!

 

Link to Coaches Meeting Orientation:

 

Links to Helpful BASEBALL Coaching Resources:

 

Links to Helpful SOFTBALL Coaching Resources:

Here’s the Lowdown for the 2024 Spring Season

We look forward to an exciting 50th Year of baseball and softball at Veterans Memorial Park, the home of OYO.

To help kick off the season, several OYO Board Members recently conducted an important meeting for new OYO Families. This meeting provided an introduction to OYO’s operations and helped set expectations for the upcoming Spring Season. Our families discovered The OYO Way and how it will be carried out throughout the season to maximize the experience our ballplayers and families will enjoy as part of the OYO Family.

We’re now making available two important takeaways from the meeting:

  • PRESENTATION | The attached presentation provides all the details necessary to make plans for all the excitement the season will bring.
  • HANDOUTA reference handout for the 2024 Spring Season

If you have any questions about the upcoming season, please contact an OYO Board Member today.

As always, thank you for choosing OYO as your place for baseball and softball this spring!

2024 Spring Season Rosters Released

The OYO Spring Season is now officially underway. Thanks to your trust in OYO, we are ready for our 50th year of baseball and softball and prepared to make this the most memorable year yet. Rest assured, while March Madness starts early each year at OYO, we can assure you OYO is ready for 2024! So, here’s our own Top Ten summary to kickoff our Spring Season!

 

THANK YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS!
Thanks to the remarkable work of our many dedicated, caring and committed volunteer board members, OYO is ready for 2024. Before sharing details about the season ahead, kudos must be shared in honor of those who make this season possible:

  • Compassionate baseball and softball vice presidents and division commissioners have secured all our coaches and analyzed detailed player evaluations to ensure balanced rosters
  • Focused scheduling committee members have finalized and scheduled nearly 1000 practice assignments for all rec league and travel teams
  • Tireless sponsorship committee members have pursued every lead to secure as many sponsorships as possible for our record number of teams this spring
  • Dedicated grounds crew members have put in the work to improve our fields to make them safer and better for all our players and teams
  • Many more board members have gone the extra mile behind the scenes to make sure all parts of the season ahead are well planned, coordinated and organized

 

OUR WHY BEGINS WITH THE OYO WAY
We will all do our part to create a fun, positive learning environment for our ballplayers. We will all pitch in to keep our beloved park looking its best. And, we will all keep The OYO Way at the forefront of our kids’ baseball and softball experience. That’s what makes OYO THE place for baseball and softball in our community!

 

TEAM ASSIGNMENTS, PRACTICE SCHEDULE NOW AVAILABLE
All team assignments have now been published in LeagueApps. 
Simply login to your dashboard via our website powered by LeagueApps. When you check out your assignments online, you will find your ballplayer’s team name, coach information and practice times. Game schedules are forthcoming in late March. Also, please understand, our commissioners did their very best to meet as many requests as possible, so long as team balance was not compromised. Our coaches have been carefully selected and assigned. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your coach or commissioner with questions.

Also, if you believe you are in the right place but the roster or practices schedules are not showing, then we likely overlooked one of the publish checkboxes. Simply email us and we’ll turn it on for your division or team.

 

COACHES WILL TOUCH BASE SOON
By Thursday, all head coaches should have connected with their teams to make a preliminary introduction and set expectations. In the event you have not heard from your coach by Thursday, then you’re encouraged to email your coach directly with any questions you may have about the upcoming season! You can find the coach’s contact info via your team page in LeagueApps.

 

PRACTICES START WEEK OF MARCH 11
All practice times for weeknight practice times (thru week of April 22) and Saturday practice times (through April 6), can be found in LeagueApps, too. Unless the OYO Board makes a leaguewide announcement, all practice decisions are left to the discretion of the the team’s coach when the weather is in doubt.

 

14U/16U SOFTBALL AND JUNIOR BASEBALL STARTS LATER
The 14U/16U Softball and Junior Baseball seasons begin later than all our 12 and Under divisions. Early registration ends on March 18 for these two divisions, rosters are released in late April, practices begin May 4 and games begin May 20. The later start is designed to allow players to focus on their middle school or high school teams and then take the field with their OYO friends as those seasons wind down.

 

THE OYO WEATHERLINE IS FOR GAME DAYS ONLY, NOT PRACTICES
The OYO Weatherline (317.767.5170) is reserved exclusively for game day communications so please check with your coach about practices this fall. Please note, Opening Day for games is Saturday, April 13 (and weeknight games start Monday, April 29).

 

YOU KNOW YOUR TEAM…NOW GO TELL YOUR FRIENDS THERE’S STILL ROOM THIS SPRING!
Most teams still have 1-2 openings left for the 2024 Spring Season. We purposely construct rosters that allow for an additional player or two to be added. For nearly 20 years, registration patterns show we always receive approximately 175 player registrations between March 5 and Opening Day. (A year ago, we added 199 players alone.) Spread the word about the remaining 2024 Spring Season openings to your friends and encourage them to come and play at OYO (but please note we cannot guarantee same-team placement). Don’t let them miss out on the fun this season!

 

SOME TEAMS STILL NEED SPONSORSHIPS
We want to make sure every team has the support of a team sponsor this spring. At this time, we’re still a little short of that goal. If your team does not currently have a sponsor, you will receive an email on Wednesday morning. This is not unprecedented as each year we notify a handful of teams we still need team sponsors for their squad. It is just more pronounced in 2024 due to our growth. If you discover your team is in need of a sponsor, we hope you will contact a business you know or even your employer about being a Single or Double Play sponsor this year!

 

THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING OYO AS YOUR PLACE FOR BASEBALL & SOFTBALL
Once again, we truly appreciate your understanding and patience as we completed the team assignment process this spring. Most importantly, thank you for choosing OYO as your family’s place for baseball and softball. We appreciate your continued interest and support!

Still Time To Register This Spring … But Roster Openings Are Limited

Come take the field at OYO this spring — and encourage your friends to do the same! It’s our 50th Year, but we now have less than 50 openings for more 12 and Under ballplayers (with additional openings for 13 and Older players)! So, be sure you are registered and then tell your friends there’s still space for them for the 2024 Spring Season.

All future registrations will be handled on a first come, first serve basis. Once we reach maximum capacity, we will implement a waiting list process (where players can be added to the wait list at no charge). That said, based on experience, we know we will receive a flurry of registrations as we approach the game season. Don’t delay or you may find your ballplayer left off the ballfield this spring.

REGISTER TODAY! RECRUIT YOUR FRIENDS TODAY, TOO!
Let your friends, classmates, neighbors, and relatives know they can still join us for the 50th year of baseball and softball this spring. Once gone, there will be no additional openings available, just wait lists unfortunately.

As registrations continue to flow in daily, we now have only one or two openings per team on less than half  teams in each of our divisions. With registrations exceeding last year’s totals with a few weeks before Opening Day, we are quickly approaching maximum capacity and the openings remaining are all we have left to offer to interested families. So, act now!

Don’t Delay! Register Today!

DIVISIONROSTER OPENINGS AVAILABLETEAMS WITH ONE (OR MORE) OPENING
08U SOFTBALL5Boilermakers
Bruins
Bulldogs
Ducks
Hoosiers
10U SOFTBALL2Aces
Bulldogs
12U SOFTBALL0WAIT LIST FORMED
CHALLENGER2Cubs - Royal
Cubs - White
TEE BALL6Astros
Blue Jays
Cardinals
Cubs
Marlins
Padres
Yankees
JUNIOR ROOKIE0WAIT LIST FORMED
ROOKIE0WAIT LIST FORMED
MINOR0WAIT LIST FORMED
SUPER MAJOR5Cardinals
Diamondbacks
Reds
White Sox
Yankees
14U/16U SOFTBALL1Hoosiers
JUNIOR BASEBALL2Astros
Cubs
LAST UPDATED5.15.2024 | 4:00 P.M.

12 & Under Divisions:
20 Roster Openings
20 Teams w/ Openings

13 & Older Divisions:
3 Roster Openings
3 Teams w/ Openings

2024 Spring Season Openings

Come get involved with OYO this spring — and be part of our wonderful 50th Year of baseball and softball!

We have room for more ballplayers!
We need a few more coaches!
We seek many more team sponsors!

So, whether you’re a parent with an excited ballplayer, an adult who wants to make a difference or a business that enjoys supporting our community’s youth, then OYO ready for you!

Just be sure you are signed up to play, coach or sponsor very soon! Act now and then encourage your friends and peers to do the same for the 2024 Spring Season.

All future player registrations, coaching applications and sponsorships are handled on a first come, first serve basis.

 

MAKE SURE YOUR PLAYER IS ON A TEAM! THEN TELL YOUR FRIENDS TO REGISTER!

Don’t delay or you may find your ballplayer left off the ballfield. Let your friends, classmates, neighbors, and relatives know they can still join us this spring. Review our online overview for the 2024 Spring Season! Once gone, there will be no additional openings available, just wait lists unfortunately. Can you risk the wait?

 

MAKE AN IMPACT WHEN YOU COACH A TEAM!

We are seeking several wonderful parents to be head coaches. While our 12 and Under divisions begin practices in a week, our older divisions (for players ages 13 and older) are coming up in late April, too. We still need four more coaches for our older divisions soon. Will you create an amazing experience for a team of players?

 

MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHEN YOUR COMPANY SPONSORS A TEAM!

To continue to keep OYO’s fees affordable for all our families, we rely on the generous support from the surrounding business community through team sponsorships and park amenity sponsorships. At this time, 32 teams are in need of a team sponsor, and we offer options to support a team this spring only or both this spring and fall. Can out players count on you?

DIVISION# PLAYER OPENINGS# COACHES NEEDED# SPONSORS NEEDED
08U Softball1200
10U Softball800
12U Softball200
Challenger600
Tee Ball2200
Junior Rookie200
Rookie000
Minor1000
Super Major1200
14U/16U SoftballOpen registration continues26
Junior BaseballOpen registration continues24

last updated 03.07.2024 | 11:30 a.m.

Park Prep Day Set for Saturday, March 9

Make a difference in your overall experience this spring by lending a helping hand to prepare the park for a season of ballgames and visitors.
As we prepare to open our 50th season of baseball and softball at Veterans Memorial Park, we are encouraging all our families to come open the park to ensure a memorable experience for all our fans and families. As an all-volunteer organization, OYO relies on and needs the support of all our families to help ensure our park is ready during our first week of practices.

We’re asking all coaches, full-time travel families, rec league parents and other willing volunteers (including ballplayers) to come out and assist with basic chores small and large to prepare our park for the start of the season. Service hours can be earned for participating in our Park Prep Day activities. This season’s schedule is:

  • Saturday, March 9 | 9 a.m.-Noon.
  • Sunday, March 10 | Rain Date, Times TBA, if needed

 

Please note, if weather forces us to cancel a scheduled work day, we will update the OYO Weatherline  (317.767.5170). Please check the Weatherline before coming out to the park, if the weather is questionable.

While we don’t anticipate family members to be able to lend their hand for all three hours, we hope every family can volunteer for one hour to improve the quality of the surroundings at the ballpark. Please come out and make a difference — one that will improve your family’s experience all season long. And, we recommend you wear old shoes and bring work gloves.

Thanks for choosing and supporting OYO!

 

More Head Coaches Needed This Spring! Volunteer Today!

Here’s the scoop! We need more coaches in five divisions this spring. Our coaching needs (as of March 4 | 10 p.m.) are as follows:
    • Tee Ball | 1 coach
    • Minor | 2 coaches
    • 12U Softball | 1 coach
    • 14U/16U Softball | 2 coaches
    • Junior Baseball | 2 coaches
    • 08U Softball, 10U Softball, Challengers, Junior Rookie, Rookie, Super Major | All Set!

 

Team rosters will be released on Monday, March 4, yet we need a few more coaches to step up today! Yes, that’s right, we want YOU! Signup to be a rec league coach today!

 

This is a great way to get involved, and help countless ballplayer enjoy a wonderful experience playing the game. Even if you are new to coaching, we have valuable resources — player development skills framework, practice plans and coaches’ clinics — available to set you up for lots of success, too!

 

Thank you for your continued consideration and support for OYO!

Save-the-Date! OYO’s Annual Dick’s Shopping Days Are March 8-10

Great News!  Our friends at DICK’S Sporting Goods are hosting the OYO League Appreciation Day again this season. What’s more, there are even more days available to shop for all your baseball and softball needs — and any other items you and your family may need from DICK’s.

Once again this year, “save the dates”! You will have a four-day weekend window to purchase new gear — pants, gloves, bats, cleats and more — for the spring season. Mark your calendar, and make plans to shop at the Castleton Square Mall store from Friday, March 8 through Sunday, March 10. Come show your support for OYO and also receive a 20 percent in-store discount throughout the store, not just baseball and softball merchandise.

To receive the discount, families should access the flyer online with the discount code or have a hard copy available. Be sure to use this coupon as this is specific to our organization, and it should be shown at the time of checkout. Once again, this coupon is only valid at the Castleton Square store on between March 8-10, 2024. Save the dates, and come take advantage of the savings!

Thank you for supporting DICK’s Sporting Goods and OYO!

P.S. If you are not quite sure what equipment you need for your OYO ballplayer, then check out the TWIO post for tips on what baseball and softball gear your ballplayer needs most

 

OYO Board Expanding, Again! Come be a Deputy Treasurer!

In a remarkable show of support, volunteerism and leadership, more than 45 members have combined to fill all 51 positions available on the current OYO Board of Directors. Well, we’re not done yet! We have just identified two ways volunteers can make a profound impact on OYO and especially our travel baseball and softball programs.
 
As we continue to serve an important component of our program — full-time travel and all-star travel — we are seeking two more volunteers to serve on the OYO Board of Directors!
 
If you have ever thought about serving on the OYO Board, we would like to explore these opportunities with you (or others where we can consider co-chair capacities). Our current needs are listed here and detailed “job derscriptions” appear further below on this page:

    • Deputy Treasurer, Travel Baseball (Bombers)
    • Deputy Treasurer, Travel Softball (Red Storm)

 
The OYO Board of Directors is a group of remarkable and incredible people who genuinely enjoy serving the league’s ballplayers and families by sharing their time and talents. If you enjoy giving back to the community and teaming up with friends from throughout OYO to create memorable experiences, then the 2024 OYO Board of Directors is the place to be. What’s more, the OYO Board just happens to be one of the largest youth sports all-volunteer board of directors in Central Indiana.
 
Just simply email us to let us know you’re interested in joining the 2024 OYO Board of Directors.
 

GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF ALL OYO BOARD MEMBERS

    • Attend and participate in monthly board meetings (one per quarter in person, remainder virtual)
    • Serve Advisor on Duty (AOD) shifts during spring and fall seasons (approx. five in spring, three in fall)
    • Represent the very best of OYO at all times (including social media engagement, sportsmanship)
    • Fulfill duties of assigned role and keep appropriate executive board members informed

 

DEPUTY TREASURER, TRAVEL BASEBALL (Bombers)

  • Establish team coach and treasurer(s) contact list for all Full-Time Travel and All-Star (Rec Travel) Bombers teams, including intended start and end dates. (Typically 12-14 teams.)
  • Establish team treasurer agreement for fiduciary responsibility on behalf of OYO, as a signed form.
  • Enable account access at official banking institution to be set up for the travel team coach, although debit card should remain locked by Deputy Treasurer until travel team treasurer completes account access activities.
  • Require receipts to be obtained by team treasurer and reported to the OYO Deputy Treasurer.
  • Monitor for missing receipts or excessive spending without two-person verification that may require refreezing of debit card status.
  • Maintain ongoing routine communication with all team treasurers to identify areas of support.
  • Monitor accounts and submit monthly reports identifying results of review and potential risks to OYO Treasurer and VP of Travel Baseball, who will present findings to Executive Board where relevant.

 

DEPUTY TREASURER, TRAVEL SOFTBALL (Red Storm)

  • Establish team coach and treasurer(s) contact list for all Full-Time Travel and All-Star (Rec Travel) Red Storm teams, including intended start and end dates. (Typically 10-12 teams.)
  • Establish team treasurer agreement for fiduciary responsibility on behalf of OYO, as a signed form.
  • Enable account access at official banking institution to be set up for the travel team coach, although debit card should remain locked by Deputy Treasurer until travel team treasurer completes account access activities.
  • Require receipts to be obtained by team treasurer and reported to the OYO Deputy Treasurer.
  • Monitor for missing receipts or excessive spending without two-person verification that may require refreezing of debit card status.
  • Maintain ongoing routine communication with all team treasurers to identify areas of support.
  • Monitor accounts and submit monthly reports identifying results of review and potential risks to OYO Treasurer and VP of Travel Softball, who will present findings to Executive Board where relevant.

 

Learn more today…

If you have questions, contact one of the following individuals:

 
Thank you for your continued support and choosing OYO as your place for baseball and softball.
 
Now, we hope you will answer this call and make OYO the beneficiary of your volunteer service in 2024. Rest assured, more than 1200 families and 1900 ballplayers will greatly appreciate the difference you make in ensuring the fiscal stability of our entire travel.
 
Step up to the plate and join the board!