1. What equipment do I need to buy?
Players must have a baseball glove and cleats. Boys should wear a protective cup and a chest guard. However, most children end up with their own batting helmet, bat, and batting gloves.
Each player is given a full uniform - jersey, pants, socks and a hat (visor for softball).
Each team will have several helmets in the team equipment bag. Any player without a helmet must use a team helmet. If a player brings his/her own helmet, he/she is not required to share it with any other player. If you are buying a helmet for softball, make sure to buy one with a face guard as the face guard is required for Little League softball (but not for baseball).
If you decide to purchase a bat for your child, make sure to find one that is the proper length and weight and is part of the new USABat standard. A bat that is too long or heavy will not help a child hit the ball further. T-ball players must use t-ball bats only.
T-ball bats may also be used in the Clinic divisions but cannot be used past that point (once the children graduate to hard baseballs or softballs, t-ball bats will dent). Each t-ball team will have a t-ball bat in the equipment bag.
Players in the Boys Majors division must use a wood bat. Each team in the Boys Majors division will be given several bats in various lenghts/weights. Before purchasing an expensive composite metal bat, please check the official Little League web site to make sure that the bat is legal for Little League play.
2. I requested that my child be placed on the same team as his or her friend, but they were placed on separate teams. Why can't my child play on the same team as his or her friend?
All decisions regarding player placement are at the discretion of the division director.
League divisions are classified as either competitive or non-competitive. In the youngest non-competitive divisions - Lil Sluggers, T-Ball and Clinic, requests to place children on the same team as one friend are generally honored. However, we do ask that you request just one friend and do not attempt to form a team by having one child request a friend and having that friend request a third friend and so on. This makes it very difficult for the division director to honor all the requests.
In the intermediate non-competive Rookie divisions, directors may choose to create the teams without regard to friendships in order to better balance the teams so that games will be better even though there are times when no scores are kept.
In the competitive divisions - Boys A, Boys AA, Boys AAA, Boys Majors, Girls Minors and Girls Majors, all players are rated and selected for teams by means of a draft system to insure competetive balance. Consequently, requests to play on the same team as a friend cannot be honored for children playing in competitive divisions.
3. When are Little League games played?
The Little League season runs from the first week of April through the second week of June, with two games each week; one game during the week at 6:00PM (possibly later for games played under the lights at the Pool fields) and one game on Saturday (times will vary) for the boys and Sundays (times will vary) for the girls.
4. How do I become a manager/coach?
When you register your child, indicate on the form that you wish to volunteer to be a manager or coach. Generally, managers begin their 'careers' in the T-ball division and then continue on along with their child. Any parent/guardian who volunteers to manage or coach in the T-ball division is interviewed by that year's T-ball director who then creates manager/coach combinations.
In the non-competitive divisions, the division director assigns the manager/coach combinations. In the competitive divisions, managers are allowed to select their coach but the selection must be approved by the division director. In situations where having a manager and coach together would negatively affect the competitive balance of a division, the pair will not be allowed to be together.
All managers and coaches must be approved by the board of directors
Unless a manager does something which disqualifies him or her from managing, he or she is generally given a team to manage each year. Of course, there are times when a division has fewer teams than the year before and therefore requires fewer managers.
5. Why are children rated in the Little League?
The sole reason for rating children is to insure a fair and equitable draft when teams in our competitive divisions are selected. All children who are eligible to play in one of our competitive divisions in the following season are given a rating by their Manager and/or Coach at the end of each season. All of the ratings are then reviewed on a division by division basis for accuracy and to insure that players are rated properly in relationship to each other. When the drafts take place for our competitive teams (usually in February and/or March) each manager and coach is supplied with a list of eligible players together with the child's rating. The ratings determine each Manager and/or Coaches position during the draft and insure that all of our competitive teams are equally balanced.
6. My child's team seems to lose more games than any of the other teams. How can I be assured that teams are not 'stacked'?
All teams in competitive divisions are selected by a lottery draft system. The ratings of each child are reviewed for accuracy prior to the drafts. The lottery draft system is administered under an extensive set of draft rules and under the auspices of the Board of Directors to insure uniformity and fairness. Despite our best efforts, the ratings cannot measure a child's development from one ability level to another from one year to the next. Nevertheless, the 'stacking' of teams is strictly prohibited.
7. My child is a below average player. How can I be assured that he or she will be treated fairly by the Manager and/or Coach?
Although there is no mathematical formula imposed upon Managers and Coaches with regard to a child's playing time, each of our Managers and Coaches are encouraged to maximize the amount of field playing time for each child taking into consideration the stated Little League goals of fostering a winning team spirit tempered by individual growth and sportsmanship. In addition, the following local rules prevent children in our Little League from being treated unfairly: (a) Each child must bat at his or her designated line-up position. No player may be passed over in the batting order. (b) Every player must play in the field at least every other complete inning. Finally, all Managers and Coaches are reviewed for their ability to instruct each child on the team's roster in the fundamentals of baseball or softball while maintaining a competitive spirit. Those Managers and Coaches that are either unable or unwilling to reach out to all team players will not be allowed to continue such roles in the future. If you believe that your child is not being treated fairly by a Manager or Coach, you should share your concerns with Director of your child's division as soon as possible.
8. My child is really not oriented toward athletics and generally is very shy and timid. How can I be sure that Little League baseball will be a good experience for him or her?
Little League divisions are composed of children of similar age groups. Thus, regardless of your child's skill level, he or she will be playing with children of similar ages and physical development. Furthermore, because of our lottery draft system, each team will have players who are above average, average and below average. In our experience, we have found that all players, regardless of their ability at the beginning of the season, generally develop and improve these abilities as the season progresses. Moreover, many children who start a season with low ratings surprise their Managers, Coaches and parents by over-taking fellow players who have higher ratings. We believe that regardless of the ability level of a child, the Little League experience is worthwhile for all children.
9. My child would like to pitch and play shortstop. Why does he or she spend most of his or her time playing outfield?
During the preseason practice sessions, each Manager and Coach is able to obtain a perspective on your child's skill level at various field positions. Generally speaking, a Manager or Coach is free to place a child in the particular field position that he or she feels will match the child's skill level and be helpful to the team. The Little League encourages all Managers and Coaches to maximize the number of field positions played by all team players. Any Manager or Coach who, in the opinion of the Board of Directors, abuses the assignment of field positions may be barred from any future managing and/or coaching assignments.
10. As a parent, I know a little bit about the rules of baseball. Some of the calls that I hear the umpires make are clearly erroneous. How can you remedy this situation?
Please keep in mind that your baseball knowledge may not coincide with the Williamsport Little League Baseball rules or our local rules which govern all of our games. Secondly, parents are strictly forbidden from arguing or discussing any disputed calls with the umpire. Only the team Manager or Coach may approach the umpire in order to discuss any disputed call. Judgment calls by the umpire such as ball or strike, safe or out, may not be challenged regardless of the number of parents and spectators who disagree with such call. Non-judgment calls of the umpire may be disputed by the filing of a formal written protest by the team Manager and/or Coach. If you believe that an umpire has made an erroneous call, you should report your observations directly to the team Manager or Coach. Under no circumstances may a parent or spectator approach, argue with or scream at an umpire.
11. We are religious and our child is unable to play on Saturdays. Are games played on Saturday, and if so, what are the alternatives?
Most baseball divisions play at least half their games on Saturday. As an alternative, the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC) has a baseball league which may work out better for your child.