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Riverview Athletic Association

FAQs

Got a question?  Want to learn more about how the RAA operates?  Please see our Frequently Asked Questions that have been compiled for your use.

1.    How are the coaches selected?

Registration forms for each sport contain a section for a parent to volunteer as a coach, manager or referee (basketball).  Each parent who requests an opportunity to serve as a coach, manager or referee is given consideration.  If there are more volunteers than positions (not the usual situation) preference is given to those who have previously served as a coach, manager or assistant.  All coaches must pass a criminal and Act 33 (child abuse) background check (paid for by the RAA).

2.    How are the teams selected?

All teams are selected by a draft conducted shortly after registration closes for the sport.  Drafts are overseen by the commissioner of the league.  The goal is to pick teams that are equally competitive.

3.    What is a draft?

A draft is the procedure used to pick teams.  For example, if there are 44 players and 4 teams for the baseball league, each team will have 11 players, which means there will be 11 rounds to the draft.  Each coach selects a player in the first round.  In each of the following rounds the coaches pick in reverse order to the immediately preceding round.  That procedure is followed until all 44 players are selected.  Coaches and the commissioners attempt to rank players by round so that the teams that are selected are equally competitive.

4.    How many kids can play on a team (maximum)?

As a guideline, basketball teams generally have 7 to 9 players (5 play at a time).  Baseball and softball teams generally have 10 to 12 players (9 or 10 play in the field at any one time and teams generally use a continuous batting order).  Flag football teams generally have 8 or 9 players (7 play on the field).

5.    Where do I get information on practices? 


Coaches and managers have information on practices.  Sometimes, practices are posted on the RAA website (www.raasports.org).  However, practices are generally not on the website unless electronically published and made available to the webmaster.  Practice schedules are provided to the coach at the time of the draft.  Coaches are then responsible for providing the practice schedule to their players.  Coaches can also call or email their players to let them know of any changes to the practice times.  Game times are usually on the website since these schedules are generally less likely to be changed.

6.    Who determines the practice schedule?

The commissioner of the sport gives out practice schedules to coaches.  Coaches can switch times with other coaches.  Coaches can also request additional practice times as their schedule and gym/field availability permits.

7.    When does the season start and end – each sport – basketball?  Flag football? Baseball?


Baseball and in-house girls softball teams are usually selected in March.  Practices are conducted in March and April.  Opening day is usually the third Saturday of April.  Baseball season continues through mid-June and playoffs take place the third or fourth week of June.  Travel teams are selected in mid-May and play tournaments in late June and July.

Girls’ fast-pitch softball teams play in other leagues (e.g. Allegheny Valley).  Girls’ fast-pitch softball follows a similar schedule but begins and ends the season in accordance with the schedule of the particular league.

Basketball clinics begin in October and teams are selected around the end of October.  Practices and practice games are scheduled during November and December.  The regular season begins after the Christmas and New Years Holidays and ends around mid-March.

Flag football season begins at the end of August and continues through late October.

8.    How do the coaches determine which position the kids will play in baseball and should the positions be rotated during a game?

Each coach has the discretion to decide what position each of his players should play.  Rotating positions is not mandatory.  However, as a general guideline and depending on game situations, coaches in the manager pitch and minor league are encouraged to move kids around so that they have opportunities to play different positions.  Manager Pitch league rules stipulate that players cannot play one position for more than two consecutive innings.

9.    Who is on the Board of the RAA?  


Current RAA Board of Directors

10.    What if I am interested in being on the Board?


New Board members are nominated and elected in August.  Anyone interested in serving on the Board should let a Board member know of the interest.  The RAA is always looking for Board members who are willing to donate their time and talents to the RAA.

11.    When and where are the board meetings held?  Can anyone attend?


Board meetings are usually held the first Wednesday or Thursday of the month at the Elks in Oakmont.  Any participant in RAA programs can attend the Board meetings but should make arrangements in advance with a Board member.

12.    Are the minutes to these board meetings public?


Minutes of all Board meetings are prepared.  A participant in RAA programs can request a copy of the minutes.  Requests for copies of meeting minutes should be directed to an officer of the Board.

13.    What if my child wanted to be on a team with a friend?


Other than for T-ball (baseball) and 1st/2nd grade basketball, requests for children to be on a team with a friend cannot be guaranteed.  Any such request should be directed to a coach or noted on a registration form.  A coach may then select the friends during the draft but will generally not be permitted to do so if such selection would upset the competitive balance of a league.

14.    What is the mission of RAA?

The mission of the RAA is identified on the website at www.raasports.org, as follows:

“The mission of the Association is to bring together the residents and students of the Oakmont and Verona communities to promote basketball, baseball and football athletic skills, positive relationship skills, good sportsmanship and community pride.”

15.    Does RAA do any fundraising?

Yes.  RAA usually has a winter fundraiser (band, food, drinks and games) in February or March and a golf outing in August. Please review the website for information regarding these fundraisers.  The RAA also seeks sponsors for all of our programs to defray the costs of the programs in an effort to keep the registration fees reasonable.

16.    How old to you have to be to play?

Baseball and Girl’s in-house softball accepts players that are five years old.  Basketball accepts players beginning in first grade.  Flag football accepts players beginning in third grade.

17.    Are any of the teams in any sport co-ed?

The RAA provides separate teams and leagues for boys and girls for all leagues other than T-ball.  

18.    Rules of manager-pitch, minor league and major league?

Rules for manager-pitch, minor league and major league are posted on the RAA website at www.raasports.org.

19.    How much does it cost to sponsor an RAA baseball team?

The sponsor fee varies based on the number of teams or sports sponsored.  A sponsor’s name is imprinted prominently on the back of the players’ jerseys and a listing is added to the RAA website.  Sponsors also receive a recognition plaque. 

20.    What if I am interested in sponsoring a team?

Anyone interested in sponsoring a team should let a Board member know.  RAA accepts sponsorships for baseball teams from January through March.

21.    Who determines who will coach a travel/tournament team?


Travel/tournament team coaches are selected from the coaches in the league.  The commissioner selects the coach from those of the existing coaches who have expressed interest and makes a recommendation to the Board.  The Board then approves the coach.  Priority is given to coaches who have previously coached a travel/tournament team.

22.    Do you have to live in Oakmont/Verona to be on an RAA team?


The RAA sports programs are open to all members of the public.

23.    What if I have a problem with the way a coach handled something?


Problems with the way a coach handles something should generally be first addressed by the player (and parents) to the coach.  If the problem cannot be resolved directly with the coach or the problem involves an issue that is not appropriate to bring directly to the coach, then the problem should be brought to the attention of a member of the Board of the RAA.  The Board will not address issues committed to the discretion of the coach such as playing time or the field position of a player.  Rather, the Board will only address problems that constitute a violation by a coach of RAA rules or policy or other similar matters.

24.    What is a tournament/travel team?

A tournament/travel team is a team selected to play in tournaments or in a league outside the RAA.  Players for those teams are selected from the eligible players in a particular age or grade.  Players on travel teams must generally attend a school located in Oakmont and Verona.

Currently, the RAA selects travel/tournament teams in baseball for ages 7 and 8 (Manager Pitch), 9, 10, 11, 12.  The RAA also selects travel teams for the Pony League teams (ages 13 and 14).  For Basketball, there are travel teams for 5th and 6th grade boys and girls.

25.    What is playing up’?

Playing up occurs when a player in a younger league is asked to play for a team in an older league.  For example, if a team in the baseball minor leagues needs a player, the coach from that team can call up a player from the manager pitch league.

26.    What are the rules – when should a coach call a player up?

A coach should call a player up when he or she does not expect to have enough players to field a full baseball team.  A coach may also call a player up in basketball if he or she will only have 5 or 6 players and believes an additional substitute is necessary.  For basketball, call-ups are generally made on a rotating basis from a list of eligible players approved by the commissioner.

27.    How do I know if a game is cancelled or re-scheduled?


Coaches are responsible for notifying their players when a game is cancelled or rescheduled.  Cancellations may be posted on the RAA website at www.raasports.org; however, not all cancellations may be updated to that site in time.  As such, any time you are not sure if a game has been cancelled or re-scheduled, you should contact your coach.  Many coaches prefer to communicate via email, so having a working email address that is checked with some regularity is important.

28.    Who is the commissioner of the league?

Currently, Garret Stempfer and Brian Duncan are the commissioners of baseball, Sarah Shellaby is the commissioner of softball, Rich Ogrodowski and Craig Betler are the commissioners of basketball and Dom Lio is the commissioner of football.

29.    Is it a volunteer position?


All positions in the RAA are volunteer positions.  Anyone interested in volunteering for any position should let an RAA Board member know of their interest.

30.    How is a commissioner chosen?

Commissioners are selected from the Board members who express an interest in the position and are approved by the Board.

31.    How are the referees for basketball and football chosen?

Basketball referees are volunteers and are generally selected by the commissioner from the coaches.  RAA also uses referees who are not coaches but have knowledge of the rules and prior experience with refereeing.  Football referees are other coaches from the league whose teams are not playing and/or Board members and other volunteers having an interest in helping the RAA.

32.    Are the referees/umpires paid?


Basketball and football referees are not paid.  Using paid referees would require the RAA to substantially increase the registration fees for basketball and football.  Umpires for all baseball leagues except Manager Pitch baseball and T-Ball are paid “patch” umpires.

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