Are you interested in playing Little League but have questions on getting started? Here are answers to many of the most common topics. Plus, feel free to contact us at email@example.com with any additional questions.
What is My Child’s Little League Age?
Your player’s League Age is determined by the Little League Baseball and Little League Softball Age Charts (see below). The dates for baseball and softball are different, but each determines the division in which your Little Leaguer will play this season. The Age Determination Date for a Little League Baseball player is the actual age of a child as of August 31 of the current year. The Age Determination Date for a Little League Softball player is the actual age of a child as of January 1 of the current year.
What Are the Requirements for Playing in the Major League Division?
There are several major considerations for playing in the Major League Division. First and foremost is safety. We do not want anyone put in a position in which they may get hurt or hurt someone else. This is why we have evaluations which help us determine the skill and ability of each player. This helps us place players into the appropriate level, and is the process in both baseball and softball.
Additionally, in baseball we do not allow any player who is below League Age 10 to play in the Majors, no matter how talented they are. In softball, we will occasionally allow a League Age 9 player move up to Majors, but this is a rare occurrence.
Finally, we place all League Age 12 players in the Major League Division, unless there is some discussion and agreement with the parents.
What Equipment Will My Child Need?
To play Little League, your child will need, at a minimum, a glove and baseball or softball pants. Bats, caps, jerseys and socks are provided by the league. Some players choose to purchase their own bats, batting gloves and sunglasses. None of these items are necessary for success, as players often grow too quickly to make the purchasing of bats worthwhile.
If you do decide to purchase your child his or her own bat, be aware of the regulations that govern bat size. In baseball, the bats may not exceed 33 inches and the barrel of the bat can be no larger than 2 1/4″. Bats may not exceed a BPF (bat performance factor) of 1.15. Bats must have at least a “drop” of 8. At bat’s drop is the numerical difference between the length of the bat, and the weight of the bat in ounces. In other words, if you are buying your child a 28 inch bat, the weight of the bat must be 20 ounces or less.
Some composite bats are legal, but before purchasing, check out the Official Little League Website for an ever changing list of approved composite bats. It changes frequently.
In softball, the bat must be a Little League Approved Softball Bat, no more than 33 inches with 2 1/4″ barrel.
How Long Are the Games?
Games at the Little League level are 6 innings, and are typically capped at around two hours. There can be exceptions to this if there is no additional game following the game in progress, and if both coaches agree to complete the scheduled game. On the weekdays a 5:30pm game is over by 7:30pm or when it gets dark.
It is unusual that games will last longer than two hours, but does occasionally happen.
What Are All-Stars?
If you have ever watched the Little League World Series, you have seen All-Stars competing. Local Little Leagues from around the United States — and the world — select All-Star teams that are made up of players from their league and will compete in the various tournaments that ultimately lead to the Little League World Series in August, held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Here in Yarmouth, at the conclusion of the Little League regular season and playoffs, we will select a group of All-Stars chosen for the various age groups, which have traditionally been 9-10 year olds, 10-11 year olds and 11-12 year olds. It is the 11-12 year olds that are ultimately seen at the Little League World Series.
It is a fairly big commitment, but also a great honor to be chosen. The Yarmouth All-Star teams will continue to play until they are eliminated. The progression of the All-Star season begins with the District 6 Tournament, then moves to the Maine State Championship, then to the New England Regional, and finally to the Little League World Series.
For more information on All-Stars, the process by which the players are chosen, and more about the tournaments and how Yarmouth has done over the years, visit our Baseball All-Stars page.
Can You Play Baseball AND Lacrosse?
In the Major Leagues, it is very difficult to do both. Teams typically have 11 players on their roster, so if you miss a game you will be really letting your teammates down. That being said, at the younger ages (Minor and Farm) it is easier to juggle the two sports, but is still not encouraged.
Softball has the same problems as baseball and often they are dealing with even smaller rosters.
Can Older Children Who Have Never Played Little League Still Play?
Absolutely – the caliber of players who play Little League varies dramatically. However, you may be asked to play in Minors (unless you are League Age 12) for safety sake. All our coaches are trained in new player development and we strive as an organization to be inclusive and focus on the elements of the sport which really benefit the players in life – team, courage, conditioning, etc.
What’s the Minimum Age to Play Little League?
In baseball, you can register for Farm League when you enter second grade. First graders play instructional league run through YCS. As a local rule, we keep all second graders in Farm League, even if they are Little League 8 and therefore Minor League eligible. As a third grader, you are now eligible (if you are League Age 8) to play in the Minor Leagues, but may choose to spend another year in Farm League for development sake.
In softball, you can enter Farm League as a first grader, and as a third grader you are eligible for Minor Leagues if you are age-eligible.