This is the first in a series of updated articles that aim to sort out some of the misinformation that exists about community college baseball (also known as junior college or JUCO baseball).
Reasons to Choose JUCO Baseball
There are many great reasons why a player may choose to attend a community college before transferring to a 4-year school. For example:
- Community college baseball rules allow for more practice time and games throughout the entire school year. This gives players more opportunity during the fall semester to fine tune their skills during organized workouts or game play.
- Community college allows for up to two more years of physical growth and development for players who aren’t quite physical enough to play at other levels. It helps players who still want to test the waters and see what level they can play at while pursuing a 4-year degree.
- Community college provides undecided or uncertain students with up to two more years to research schools. That way, players can find a good fit athletically and otherwise.
- Community college baseball players are eligible for the MLB draft every year and can transfer to 4-year schools of any level without penalty.
Two of the biggest reasons why players choose to play community (junior) college baseball
- Community colleges provide a financially viable way to get general education requirements done (with an AA degree). Community college is significantly cheaper than 4 year schools and some levels of NJCAA baseball have up to 24 scholarships to hand out.
- Community college baseball has the least strict academic entry requirements in collegiate baseball. Players have a second chance to take academics seriously and get their grades up so they can meet NCAA D1, D2, and D3 eligibility requirements and continue playing at a 4-year school. Note: There are many who choose the JUCO route with great academic records!
Opportunities in JUCO Baseball
For all of these reasons and many others, JUCO baseball provides an outstanding option for players of all different backgrounds and in various stages of physical and skill development.
It is important to note that there are community college baseball teams of various skill levels. Some community college teams can compete with top tier D1 schools and are filled with players who will get drafted, while others compete at a much lower level and provide more opportunities for developing players. Sometimes generalizations are used to describe all community (junior) college baseball experiences. The truth is, at every level of college baseball, there are different experiences. Because of the varying levels of play in JUCO, generalizations don’t work and potential players may end up with a lot of misinformation. Most of this misinformation can be grouped into three main categories— academics, transfer rules, and level of play.
In our next three articles, Community College Baseball and Academics, Community College Baseball and Transfer Rules, and Community College Baseball and Level of Play, we will look at each one of these topics as they relate to JUCO baseball and some of the myths surrounding the community college game.
The Myths We’ll Cover
Myth #1: Because community college has the lowest academic requirements for entry, you can go there for a semester or a season and transfer to a bigger school.
Myth #2: You will make the team and play a lot right away if you go to a community college.
And, Myth #3: Community college classes will be easy and you will not have to work hard to improve your grades and do well in school.