Angela here….Since we’ve been talking about The Ripken Experience Aberdeen, I thought I’d answer some of the most common questions I get about this fantastic stay-and-play venue. That is….a little with input from Jon Rowland, manager of marketing and analytics for the Ripken Experience. Okay, actually, he answered most of these.
Q. What age groups can play in tournaments at The Ripken Experience Aberdeen? Do we have to book far in advance? and how do we find out about upcoming tournaments?
A. The Ripken Experience Aberdeen hosts tournaments from March through November. Tournament age groups range from 8u to 15/16u. Spring and summer tournaments are released in November for the coming year. There are tournaments that sell out on the day of release. Tournament schedules are released prior to being on sale so you should have your preferred and back up weeks picked out for the day tournaments go on sale. To opt-in to release information, please join the Ripken Way newsletter.
The two most popular events at The Ripken Experience Aberdeen are the Blue Crab Week-Long Experience and Ripken Experience Camp. Blue Crab is the marquee tournament in Aberdeen and the only Week-Long Experience featuring appearances from both Cal and Bill Ripken. Camp is for ballplayers aged 9 through 16 who are looking to learn The Ripken Way of playing the game. Campers will get the opportunity during the week to learn from Cal and Bill as well. Our camps in Aberdeen draw players from across the globe with campers this year coming from Switzerland and China.
Q. What local Aberdeen hotels do most teams stay in when they’re playing at The Ripken Experience? Do you have any good restaurant recommendations?
A. The Ripken Experience Aberdeen has great lodging partners in the Courtyard and Residence Inn by Marriott directly on site. Both hotels offer a unique lodging style for your stay in Aberdeen. When your team gets a break from the action, head over to The Greene Turtle for a great family and team setting for good food and watching that day’s sporting events.
Q. Are we allowed to and do we need to bring our own chairs and pop-up tents to The Ripken Experience Aberdeen?
A. Absolutely, parents can bring their own chairs and pop-up tents. Each field has bleacher seating and shaded area available, but if you would like to bring in your own, we welcome you to do so.
Q. What about food and drinks? Does The Ripken Experience allow outside food and drinks?
A. Families are able to bring in their own food and drink for the day. We know it can be tough to get to the concession stand between games or breaks in the action, so bring your lunch with you. All we ask is that you clean your area for the people coming to watch the next game.
Q. Does The Ripken Experience have any specific regulations regarding bats at used in games?
A. Bat rules are the same across all three facilities. Players aged 8u through 13u can use bats with either USA Baseball or BPF 1.15 stamps. Players participating in 14u and above must use BBCOR -3 2 5/8 barrel. All of our bat rules are updated here: https://www.ripkenbaseball.com/bat-rules
Q. What kind of entry fees should our team expect to pay in order to participate in a tournament at The Ripken Experience Aberdeen?
A. Tournament fees range based on the number of games you will be guaranteed. A 3-game minimum tournament in the summer costs $1,445 and a 4-game minimum in the summer costs $1,595. Week-Long Experiences are based on per participant pricing, which will begin at $395 / participant for our Blue Crab Experience in 2019. (Prices rise after 10/4 pricing deadline.)
Ripken Baseball offers two separate types of tournaments. A ‘tournament’ is a guarantee of three games with a maximum of five games throughout the weekend. A ‘classic’ is a guarantee of four games with a maximum of six games.
Q. Do family members have to pay an entry or parking fee to come and watch their team’s games?
A. There’s nothing better than being able to pack the stands with your friends and family. So let us do our part in making the experience accessible. Parking is free and there is no gate fee.
Q. Does The Ripken Experience Aberdeen provide water in the dugouts during games?
A. All tournaments have cold water in large jugs and cups in each dugout. We don’t mess around with players’ hydration.
Got any other questions about The Ripken Experience Aberdeen? Just shoot me a message on the Travel Ball Parents Facebook page and I’ll get it answered for you.