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For the seventh year, USA Baseball will bring the nation's top 144 18-and-under baseball players to North Carolina, to compete in the Tournament of Stars (TOS). The TOS serves as USA Baseball's main selection vehicle, in choosing the young men that will represent the United States on the 18U National Team. These elite-level baseball players are eager to impress and perform at their best to earn a spot on the 18U National Team. In order to provide the environment for these players to excel, we rely heavily on the support and generosity of local families that make up USA Baseball's Host Family Program.

The Host Family Program is comprised of 72 local families that open their homes and hearts to the players participating in the TOS. USA Baseball asks that host families take in two players for the week of the TOS. Having two players in the same household creates a more comfortable environment for the players and overall a better experience for the host families. In addition to housing, host families are responsible for meals, transportation and uniform laundry; basically making these players part of your family for a week. We do ask that each player have their own bed to sleep in -- same room, bunk beds or other similar sleeping arrangements are more than OK.

Players will have one game per day and the rest of the day is up to the host family! We encourage families to include host players in your normal family routine, whether that's your child's scheduled activities, hanging around the house, playing outside or going to the pool. Even though these players are of the elite level, we sometimes forget, they are just kids themselves. While serving as a host family requires adding two new "kids" for a week, the friendships that are forged in that short week between the players and their host families last a lifetime.

In addition to the wonderful experience you will have being a host family, USA Baseball offers some great benefits exclusive to our host families. During the TOS, host kids have the chance to join their host players on the baseball field and take part in the Bat Kid and Field of Dreams Program. USA Baseball also hosts a free baseball clinic exclusive to host kids as part of the host family orientation. Plus, if one week isn't enough time spent out at the baseball field, host families will be able to attend any USA Baseball event at the National Training Complex, FREE of charge! USA Baseball believes that once you are a host family, you are part of the USA Baseball family, so additional benefits will be offered throughout the TOS and the season.

Again, the Tournament of Stars (TOS) would not be possible without the livelihood and kindness of the local families committed to the Host Family Program. While we hope that most of previous host families will return year after year, not all families' schedules will allow them to host annually. We are always looking forward to expanding the hosting experience to new families!

To see more about what it is like to be a host family, take a look at our photo album from the 2011 TOS.

If you are interested in becoming a host family for the 2013 Tournament of Stars, complete the host family application and return it to USA Baseball.

Important Dates:

• Thursday, June 6, 6-8 p.m.: Host family meeting/orientation/kids clinic
• Tuesday, June 18: Players arrive/event orientation
• Wednesday-Sunday, June 19-23: TOS pool-play games
• Monday, June 24: Players depart

Host family responsibilities and benefits:

• Provide housing for two athletes
• Responsible for players' transportation, meals and laundry (uniforms)
• Have your child take part in our Bat Kids or Field of Dreams program during the TOS, exclusive to our host families
• Free baseball clinic exclusive to host family kids
• Free admission to USA Baseball games and events at the National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.
• Once-in-a-lifetime experience to gain lifelong friendships with some of the nation's brightest future stars
• Expose your family to the positive influence of dedicated elite-level athletes
• Become a part of the USA Baseball family

For more information, please contact Lindsay Robertson by email or by calling 919-474-8721 x236.