Collegiate summer baseball leagues are amateur baseball leagues in the United States featuring players who have attended at least one year of college and have at least one year of athletic eligibility remaining. Generally, they operate from early June to early August. Players use wooden baseball bats, hence the common nickname of these leagues as "wood bat leagues".
To find a collegiate summer team, players work with their college coaches and prospective teams' general managers. They report to summer leagues after completing their spring collegiate season with their NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA teams. Some players arrive late due to their college team's postseason play, which sometimes runs into early June. In some cases, players are drafted during the collegiate summer season. These draftees can remain with their collegiate summer team until they sign a professional contract. During the season, players are housed by volunteer host families and bussed to and from road games.
The leagues vary greatly in their attendances, quality of play, and ability to attract scouts. The Cape Cod League is considered the premier collegiate summer league. In 2011, Baseball America scouted and ranked Top 10 prospects from 19 leagues, indicated below with (BA).Ballpark Digest tracks attendance for 14 leagues, indicated below with (BD). Many collegiate summer teams occupy cities and ballparks where a minor league team has left a city.