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Travel Ball Tournament Checklists

Posted by JustBats.com on Apr 17, 2017 9:14:40 PM

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Whether you're an experienced travel ball parent or this is your first time taking a trip with the team, the team at JustBats.com has got you covered.

We realize that packing for a weekend trip can be somewhat stressful at times, so we're here to minimize the risk of you forgetting a necessity. We've done this through the creation of the ultimate checklist every player, parent, and coach needs to have while packing. Hopefully, you've got a big bag and an even bigger trunk because there are a lot of essentials needed for a weekend tournament.

We broke down the packing list by players, parents, and coaches. Please feel free to print this off and cross off the items as you go. In fact, we encourage it.

Player Checklist For Travel Ball Tournament
  • Baseball Bat(s) or Softball Bat(s). Some teams will supply team bats so that you don't have to worry about bringing your own bat. But, if you want to take your game to the next level, it is recommended to have and practice with your own bat. If you don't have multiple bats, don't worry. But, at JustBats, we do recommend having a backup as it is better to be safe than sorry. If for some reason your gamer becomes defective in the middle of a tournament, it never hurts to carry an extra in your bag. Good news is, JustBats has exclusive bat packs where we have combined some of our lowest priced closeout deals into packs of two so that you can save even more! 
  • Baseball Glove(s) or Softball Glove(s). You can't play defense without a glove. That's a fact. Our friends over at JustBallGloves.com offer the largest glove selection on the web if you're in the hunt for a new baseball or softball glove. 
  • Bat Bag. How else are you going to carry all of your gear? 
  • Batting gloves. Not everybody decides to wear batting gloves up to bat. If you're one of the many who does, make sure to pack your lucky batting gloves. If you need a new pair, check out the exclusive JustBats batting gloves!
  • Batting helmet. This is another item that hopefully your team provides rather than each player. Otherwise, you need to remember a batting helmet. You've got to protect that noggin. 
  • Baseballs or Softballs. Your coach will bring balls for the games, but if you want to play catch in the car or during pitstops, make sure to bring your own. 
  • Catcher's Gear. Don't rely on your parents or coaches to bring you gear. If you're a serious player, take responsibility and pack your own gear. 
  • Cup (if applicable). If you play in the outfield, you can probably get away with not bringing a cup. But, if you're an infielder or a catcher then you don't want to get caught without a cup. It is better to have one and not need it than to need it and not have it. Again, better safe than sorry. 
  • Dirty Laundry Bag. A black garbage bag will suffice. Toss your dirty laundry in a separate bag so that you can keep the stench out of your bat bag and your parents' car. Trust us, they will appreciate it. 
  • Extra set of clothes. You never know what might happen on a weekend trip. If you need clothes for three days, pack for four. Once again, better safe than sorry. 
  • Extra socks. You'd be surprised at how many pairs of socks you may go through. Most tournaments will have teams play many games in a single day. You're going to want to change your socks after each game. Otherwise, you will regret it later when you've got a foot full of blisters. 
  • Eye black. Reduce glare during those sunny games or when you've got stadium lights shining in your eye. Plus, you look much more intimidating with eye black, without a doubt. 
  • Face Mask. You've got to protect your face so don't forget your face mask if you prefer to wear one. These are more commonly used by pitchers and some infielders in softball.
  • Gum. If you're like most baseball and softball players, you're going to want some gum. Big League Chew, Double Bubble, and Quench Gum are some of the best bubble gums in the business. 
  • Hat / Visor. Don't forget that team issued cap. Otherwise, you'll stick out like a sore thumb on the field when you're the only player not wearing a ball cap.
  • Phone charger. If you've got a portable one, even better. Or, at least a car phone charger. You're going to be out at the field all day and don't want to risk the chance of your phone dying on you. What if your coach has important news about a game time changing? You don't want to miss that.
  • Slides / Sandals. There is no better feeling after a competitive game than taking off your cleats and dusty socks and throwing on a pair of slide sandals. You have to let those feet breathe!
  • Sunflower seeds. A healthy alternative to chewing tobacco or for those of you who just love spitting seeds. BIGS, Davids, and Spitz sunflower seeds are the most common among softball and baseball players across the nation. 
  • Sunglasses. These go hand-in-hand with eye black. There is no better way to block out the glare of the sun than to wear your sunglasses. According to Pro Baseball Insider, the three most popular choices for softball and baseball sunglasses are Oakley, Under Armour, and Nike. 
  • Uniform. This includes both your jersey and your pants for home and away. Bring an extra set if you have it. If you're lucky, you'll have a team manager or assistant coach dedicated to bringing the uniforms for the entire team. But, not all of us are so lucky. 
  • Water Bottle. A lot of team moms may provide extra water bottles for your tournament, but you should bring your own just in case. Nalgenes, Hydro Flasks, and Camelbaks are all great options for the dugout. It is not recommended to share water bottles. That is an easy way for the whole team to get sick. 

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Parent Checklist For Travel Ball Tournament
  • Blankets. Whether you need to keep your legs warm or are looking for something to sit on while you eat your picnic lunch, blankets come in handy.
  • Budget. Before you pile into the car, sit down and create a budget. Eating out for every meal adds up quick. Consider stopping at the local Walmart for groceries once you get to your final destination. Don't forget to carry cash for those gate fees. There is more that meets the eye, and you are likely to spend more money than you anticipated if a budget isn't in place. 
  • Bug spray. "If you think you're too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito." Don't let bugs buzzing in and around your ears ruin the time you have to watch your player compete at the sport they love. Bring some bug spray to keep the bugs at bay. 
  • Camera / Video Recorder. This is for those parents who love to document their athlete's career. Some tournaments will automatically record games for you, and then you can purchase game film afterward. Or, you can set up shop and record the games yourself. Also, check online to see if your tournament has a gallery. There may be some action shots of your player online that you can either download or pay for at a later date. 
  • Camping chairs / Bleacher pads. If you've ever tried to sit on a set of bleachers for an entire day, you know that it is miserable. Pack folding chairs for the entire family or if you prefer to sit in the bleachers, make sure you bring a bleacher seat with a back. Your body will thank you. 
  • Canopy Tent. Save yourself from getting a sunburn on hot days and from getting soaked on gloomy days by bringing a pop-up canopy tent. The best canopies are the ones that fold into a small bag with wheels. Those tents can get pretty heavy at times, especially after a long day in the heat. 
  • Car paint. On the way to the tournament, you can show off your team spirit and highlight your player's number on the windows to show how proud of them you are. When you win the whole, let every one you know on the highway that you are returning home a champion. 
  • Car tuneup. If your tournament is a long drive away, you may want to consider getting a general checkup of your car. If you need an oil change, now is the time to get one. Make sure you have jumper cables, a spare tire, and a tire iron just in case your battery dies, or you get a flat tire on the side of the road. Also, don't forget your spare keys. If you lose your set 1,000 miles from home, you'll wish you had your backup set. Lastly, air fresheners are a must for the stinky uniforms. If all of this is too much to handle, consider renting a car for the weekend. It may be more cost effective than putting a ton of miles on your personal vehicle. 
  • Charcoal Grill. Everybody loves to tailgate. Rather than go to Subway after every single game, bring some charcoal and grill in the parking lot in between games. Let all the other parents know, and you can turn it into a potluck. 
  • Cooler. Don't forget the ice. What good is a cooler without ice? You can store your drinks and water bottles in a cooler so that they don't get lukewarm throughout the day in the hot sun. 
  • Deck of cards. While the players are enjoying their down time (trust us, there will be a lot) get together with the other parents for a game night. There are so many options with a deck of cards but if you have a different game that you prefer, then, by all means, make sure to pack it. 
  • Extra bottles of water. When you make that trip to the grocery store to start off your trip, grab a case of water bottles or a couple of gallon jugs. You can never have too much water around young athletes. 
  • Extra set of clothes. It's never a bad thing when you come home after a weekend trip, and you have clothes that you didn't wear. It is a bad thing when you wake up Sunday morning and have to start re-wearing dirty clothes because you didn't pack an extra set. 
  • GPS. Sometimes, a phone with Google maps isn't enough. If you're in an area with little to no cell phone reception, you don't want to have to guess whether you need to turn left or right at a fork in the road. Garmin and TomTom are two great GPS devices to consider that will keep you from driving in circles.
  • Hand Sanitizer. For when you've finished your business at the porta potty. Or, if you prefer to stay germ-free. Hand sanitizer is a must. 
  • Hot hands. If your tournament is earlier in the spring or late into the fall, it may get a bit chilly outside. 
  • Hotel reservations. The sooner you book a hotel room, the better. Some tournaments will have hotel sponsors where you can stay at a cheaper rate so keep an eye out for those. Also, take into consideration a hotel with a hot continental breakfast and a nice laundry facility. This will save you both time and money. For those of you who like your space and own an RV or camper, make sure your campsite has openings the weekend of the tournament. 
  • House Sitter / Pet Sitter. To give yourself peace of mind, it is best to hire a sitter to check up on everything while you're away. Whether you have your sitter stay the night or pop in every once in a while is up to you. This helps deter possible break ins, and if you have plants, they will stay hydrated. Plus, if you have a pet, you'll want a sitter. They need attention and food every day if not multiple times a day. Or, if you want to bring your dog, make sure to pack the following:
    • Food & water bowls
    • Food
    • Ball
    • Poop bags
    • Leash
    • Extra collar
    • Treats
  • JustBats.com phone number. Just in case you need a baseball bat or softball bat with next day air. In all seriousness, if worst comes to worst and you need a bat ASAP, please don't hesitate to call our customer coaches at 866-321-BATS (2287) and explain your situation. We would be honored and more than happy to help. 
  • Laundry detergent and dryer sheets. Some players consider dirty uniforms as a badge of honor, but they will thank you for the crisp, fresh smelling uniform at the beginning of each day. Bringing your laundry detergent and dryer sheets will save you big time so that you're not paying $1.25 per load at the laundry facility or local laundromat. 
  • Leatherman / Swiss Army Knife. A multi-tool that does it all. This saves you from packing at least ten (10) other items. 
  • Map of colleges and universities nearby. It never hurts to check out the local schools. Who knows, maybe your player will end up going there some day on a full ride scholarship? 
  • Medications. If you have a player with asthma, make sure you have their inhaler handy at all times. Having an EpiPen available isn't a bad idea either, especially for those who are allergic to bees. 
  • Phone with charger and possible extra battery. It is best if you have an open line of communication at all times so that the coach can stay in contact with parents if needed. There are some days where you can be at the ball field for 8+ hours, and it is very easy for your phone to die during that time. Make sure you stay connected to the world. 
  • Ponchos. For those who aren't fortunate enough to bring a canopy tent, bring some ponchos. You never know when a rain storm might hit and there is nothing worse walking around with wet clothes. 
  • Post-game snacks / drinks. Plan ahead of time if it is your responsibility to provide snacks after one of the games. You can either stop at the grocery store and pick something out or make your players something homemade. Check out our ultimate guide to post game snacks.
  • Sunglasses / Sun hat. You don't want to miss that diving defensive catch or the miraculous steal to home plate because of the glaring sun right in your eyes. Plus, your eyes and face will thank you. Have you ever had tan lines from squinting too much? Don't start now. 
  • Sunscreen / Chapstick / Aloe. The trifecta for a hot, sunny day. Ever had a sunburn with chapped lips? Hopefully, with the use of sunscreen, you won't need aloe, but you should bring it anyways. 
  • Thermos. This one is for those coffee drinkers. Save your money, brew your own pot of coffee and throw it in a thermos at the beginning of each day. 
  • Tissues. With the accumulation of teenagers that are exerting energy, there is a good chance one of them already is or will get sick. Offer your tissues so that they don't spread there germs in other ways.
  • Toilet paper for the porta potty. There is nothing worse than using a porta potty. Oh, wait, yes there is. It's using a porta potty and then realizing you don't have any toilet paper.  Or, if you're lucky, it does have toilet paper, but it's single ply.  
  • Trash bags. Nobody likes a person who litters. 
  • Umbrella. It never hurts to carry an umbrella. Whether it be to block out the sun or provide cover from the rain, umbrellas do it all. 
  • Wagon. If you don't have some type of wagon, you're going to be making multiple trips to and from the car every time you pull up to the fields. Bring something along that allows you to carry everything in one quick swoop. A red rider wagon is always a top notch choice. 
  • Water bottle fan / Portable heater. Depending on the weather, you'll want one of these two items. Don't let the weather get the best of you and ruin your time at the ball park. 
  • Wet rags. If you're playing in hot, humid weather, your players will love you for a cold rag that they can put over their face and on their head between games. The Frogg Toggs chilly pad is our personal favorite. 

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Coach Checklist For Travel Ball Tournament
  • Balls, balls, and more balls. Bring a bucket or two of practice balls with at least a dozen brand new game balls, if not more. Hopefully, the tournament you're playing in will help with the cost of game balls, but that is not always the case. 
  • Batting helmets. Safety first. Every player must wear a helmet up to bat so make sure you have enough to go around. Don't forget to bring a helmet for your first and third base coaches as well.
  • Catcher's equipment. Your catcher(s) should bring and own their own equipment. But, a backup set of equipment could prove to be beneficial when you most need it. Bring a catcher's helmet, chest protector, and leg guards just in case. 
  • Clipboard. Are you a coach if you don't have a clipboard? You can use a clipboard to hang up your batting order or to take notes as the game goes along. If you see something that needs to be worked on as a team, write it down so that you don't forget it for the next practice. 
  • Extra set of clothes. We can't stress this enough. It is better to have extra clothes that you don't end up using than to need an extra set of clothes and not have it. 
  • First Aid Kit. Here is everything that should be included in your first aid kit:
    • Alcohol-free wet wipes
    • Neosporin
    • Bandaids. Make sure you have butterfly bandaids just in case somebody gets an open wound.
    • Gauze
    • Athletic Tape
    • Shears / Scissors
    • Splint
    • Q-tips
    • Tweezers
    • Sling
    • Ace bandage / Wrap
    • Safety pins
    • CPR shield
    • Eye wash (for that pesky dust in the eye)
    • Gloves (Non-latex)
    • Tylenol / Ibuprofen
    • Benadryl
    • Tums
  • Fungo bats. Over the course of the weekend, you're going to be hitting grounders and pop flys until your arms fall off. Save your energy and invest in a fungo bat. They are lighter and much longer than a traditional bat and will help you during warm ups to enhance player performance. At JustBats.com, we've got wood fungos, composite wood fungos, and aluminum fungos. 
  • Ice Bags. Most tournament venues will have an ice machine. At the very least, you can steal some from the concession stand. Bring small, plastic bags for those nagging ailments after the game. Some players will want to ice their shoulders, knees, and anything else that aches. 
  • Home & Away Jerseys. Hopefully, this task has been delegated to each player, an assistant coach, or a team manager. But, if it is on your shoulders, do NOT forget the jerseys. Most, if not all, tournaments will not allow participation without a team uniform. 
  • List of players & parents numbers. Have both a paper copy and an electronic copy of every single player's number along with their parents. If somebody is running late and you aren't sure where they are and the games about to start, you can easily get a hold of them. If a player gets seriously injured and you need to call their parents and inform them, you can go to list and find their parents' number. 
  • Medical release forms. Your players may be required to submit a medical release form for liability purposes. Ensure all players (and their parents) have signed all forms before the tournament. Properly completed team forms. 
  • Pitch counter. Never over exert your pitchers. Make sure you keep them on a rigorous pitch count and don't let them go a single pitch over. 
  • Roster sheet / Lineup cards. Tournaments and umpires will require a roster sheet before play. Double check to make sure every player is on the list so that nobody gets left out and isn't able to play. Ever wonder what the best spot to be in the batting order is? Once you've created your batting order, print off a copy and hang it up in the dugout so that your players can get mentally prepared for their next at bat. 
  • Rulebook. As a coach, you better know the ins and outs of the rule book. If an umpire makes a poor call, rather than get in his ear, cite the rulebook so that he knows where he went wrong. 
  • Scorebook. A simple way to keep track of batting positions, your roster, batting average, and much more. Make sure somebody is trained on how to properly fill out the scorebook so that you can focus on the game at hand. 
  • Team bats. Every player on your team may not be fortunate enough to own a personal bat. It is best to have a couple of team bats that anyone on the team can use if they feel so inclined. If you're on the hunt for some deals, check out the closeout baseball bats and softball bats or our exclusive JustBats.com Bat Packs

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There you have it. This is the ultimate travel ball tournament checklist for players, parents, and coaches so make sure to reference it the next time you pack. What do you think? Did we leave something off that you normally bring on your trips? Please leave a comment below so that we can add it to the list for others to see.

Our friends at Tournament Guy also have resources that can help you prepare for tournaments.

Or, if you have any baseball bat or softball bat related questions, you can reach out to our friendly customer coaches at 866-321-BATS (2287). You can also shoot them an email at [email protected] or click here to live chat! Remember, we're here for you from click to hit! 

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