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Caroline County Little League

FAQs

The League

1.  Who is Caroline County Little League?
Caroline County Little League (operated as a Non-Profit Charity) is a local league, sanctioned by Little League, Inc. of Williamsport, PA, the largest youth affiliated program in the world.  

2.  How big is CCLL?
Our expectation for this spring is to have approximately 300-350 players in the league. Little League Baseball encourages boys and girls to become part of the Little League experience. The league is comprised entirely of volunteers who freely give their time to help our Caroline youth learn the games of baseball and softball, and embrace the Little League Baseball motto:  Loyalty, Character, and Courage.  Thanks in advance to all of the volunteers who will help this spring be a successful endeavor for everyone!

3.  What are the Caroline County Little League boundaries?
The boundaries for Caroline County Little League follow the same boundaries as the Caroline County School District.  A child must reside within this boundary to be eligible for All-Star teams.  A child may play within Caroline County Little League who resides outside of this boundary, but will not be eligible for any All-Star team.  In addition, a child living outside of our boundaries wishing to play with Caroline County Little League must be approved by Little League, Inc. If you feel you may qualify for a waiver exception, please contact our League President.

4.  What sports and levels of play does Caroline County Little League offer?
CCLL offers T-Ball for boys and girls from ages 4–6 (based on Age Determination guidelines on littleleague.org), Machine Pitch baseball and softball for boys and girls from ages 6-8 (based on Age Determination guidelines on littleleague.org), Minors, Majors, Juniors, and Seniors baseball for boys from ages 8–16, and softball for girls from ages 8–16. Any 8 year old wanting to waiver from our Machine Pitch league, must have played at least one year of Machine Pitch prior, fill out the required waiver form, and attend a player assessment before being approved.  

5.  How is the league organized?
CCLL is chartered by Little League Inc. and must follow their rules, regulations, and guidelines. The following are the divisions we offer, based on age determination guidelines on littleleague.org:
T-Ball for Boys and Girls, 4, 5, & 6 Year Olds (based on Age Determination guidelines on littleleague.org)
Machine Pitch Baseball and Softball Boys and Girls, 7 & 8 Year Olds (based on Age Determination guidelines on littleleague.org)
Minor Baseball and Softball, 9 & 10 Year Olds
Major Baseball and Softball, 11 & 12 Year Olds
Junior Baseball and Softball, 13 & 14 Year Olds
Senior Baseball and Softball, 13 - 16 Year Olds

6.  Can my child play down a division?
No, CCLL only offers players to waiver up a division.  That process requires a waiver form, and for the child to attend a player assessment to ensure they are ready to play above their league age requirements.  No child is allowed to play down a division.

Registration and Fees

1.  When is Registration?
We will register for Spring 2020 starting in December 2019.

2.  What are the registration fees for Caroline County Little League?

From 12/1/19 – 12/31/19:       From 1/1/20-2/15/20:           From 2/16/20 – 3/1/20: 
Tee ball = $30                         Tee ball = $55                       Tee ball = $80
Machine Pitch & up = $65      Machine Pitch & up = $75     Machine Pitch & up = $100

3.  What is included in the registration fee?
Your registration fees include a uniform shirt, cap (for baseball players), socks (for softball players), and trophy or medal at the end of the season.  You will have to provide all other equipment including pants, belt, socks, shoes, etc. Coaches will be given basic equipment such as bats, balls, catchers gear etc. You are also encouraged to provide individual player equipment if your child uses their own bat, catchers gear, etc.

4.  Are credit and debit cards accepted at walk-up registration sessions?

Yes.  We use Square. 

5.  Is there a refund policy? (subject to change at any time)

2013 Local Rules By-Law

Refund Policy

1.      All request for refunds must be in writing

2.      The following information must be in the request:

·         Parent Name

·         Mailing Address

·         Child’s Name 

·         Reason for request

3.      All requests will be presented to board for approval

4.      Request made after 1st game for that division will be denied

5.      Payments will be mailed out within 60 days after request is approved

6.  How is the registration fee used?
Our budget addresses equipment, uniforms, field improvements, field maintenance, post-season tournaments, and administrative expenses.

7.  Why do I need to bring a birth certificate and proofs of residency to registration?
These documents are required by Little League.  They are needed for the Age and Address Verification process.

8.  What is the Age and Address Verification? 
The Age and Address Verification process provides parents and league officials the opportunity to fulfill Player Age and Address Verification required by Little League baseball.

9.  Why does Caroline County Little League do this? 
Little League International requires all local Little Leagues to verify the Age and Address of all their players.  Because we are affiliated with Little League, we are bound to this requirement.

10.  What documents do I need to verify age? 
Bring a certified birth certificate with embossed seal, or your child's passport so that your child's age can be verified.

11.  What documents do I need to verify address? 
The easiest way to achieve this is to complete the school enrollment form from the 'Important Forms' tab on our website.  Little League requires three (3) separate items to demonstrate proof of residence so we can verify that you live within CCLL's boundaries.  These documents must show PHYSICAL address. You can find the documents needed on the forms page of this website. 

12.  Can I use a work, school, church, or other address instead of my personal residence to be in your league?
No, Little League Baseball International requires that your personal residence is used to establish which league your child plays in.

13.  Will your league make any exceptions? 
No, we cannot.  No verification, no baseball/softball, no kidding.  Sorry, but it is a Little League International rule.

14.  Please explain the Little League assistance program and is financial assistance available?
CCLL's policy is that no child will ever be turned away from our program due to a financial hardship.  Please contact the Player Agent for your league to discuss options available to you.

15.  How are other revenues generated for Caroline County Little League? 
As you know, operating such a program requires a lot of volunteer time and costs a great deal of money.  In order to keep the registration fees affordable for all, CCLL must turn to corporate and community sponsorships for much of our financial support to make up the difference needed to provide uniforms, upgrade equipment, pay for upkeep of the facilities, insurance, and other direct expenses of running the league.  In addition to registration fees and corporate sponsorships, CCLL has fundraising opportunities.  These fundraisers supply approximately 1/4 of the operating expenses for the year. We require each child to raise a minimum of $80 through fundraising. This year we are offering a fundraising option, as well as an opt-out option.  To opt-out of fundraising, you simply donate $80 to CCLL.

Teams and Assessments

1.  How are teams formed?
All teams will be drafted.  The minors and majors divisions have assessments.  The assessments are simply a way to ensure a fair distribution of talent among the teams in each division, as the coaches take notes and then the Player Agent along with coaches, conduct the drafts.

2.  What are assessments? 
Assessments are an event that CCLL holds in which a player's current baseball and/or softball skills are evaluated and assessed by Little League coaches.

3.  What happens at the assessments? 
Players will be rated on the following skills:
(1) Fielding fly balls
(2) Fielding ground balls
(3) Throwing
(4) Batting
(5) Running

4.  How long do the assessments last? 
It will vary depending on the number of players, but somewhere between one to two hours. Assessments are typically on a Saturday. Please check the schedule on our website for the appropriate time for your player(s).

 5.  Who has to attend player assessments?
Any child who is league age 4 - 12 years old (see League Age Chart under forms) who will be on a Tee Ball through Majors Division team, must attend player assessments. This process serves the purpose of allowing coaches to assess player's skills for the drafts.

Any league age 8 year olds who wish to "play up" in the Minors Division. The reason for this is to get a formal approval that the player is appropriate for that level of play and is not a safety risk to play in the Minors.  A waiver form must be filled out and submitted PRIOR to assessments if you are wavering an 8 year old.  Failure to do so, will result in your child playing in their league age division. 

6.  We have finished assessments.  How do I know what team my child is on?
CCLL asks that all head coaches contact their players within one week after the draft to set up their first meeting or practice.  

7.  Can players’ waiver "up"?
Yes, providing that the proper paperwork and requirements are met.  While it is generally not recommended, there are some children who have the skills and abilities where it would benefit them.  Players wishing to waiver up must attend the assessments for the division they wish to play in.  However, the decision to move the child up will be up to the player agent and coaches of that division.

**IMPORTANT** -  If any player opts to, and accepts a waiver up from their assigned league age division, he/she WILL ONLY be eligible for the all star division in their League Age. They are not eligible for All Stars in the division they waived up to.

8.  If my son or daughter is 6, should I move them from T-Ball to Machine Pitch?
If your child has played at least one year in T-Ball then you may be able to waiver them up.
Waiver up to Machine Pitch if your child can:

  1. consistently throw a baseball accurately in the air at a distance of 15 to 20 feet (e.g., when playing catch)
  2. consistently catch a reasonably thrown baseball from 15 to 20 feet (e.g., when playing catch)
  3. consistently field a ground ball on an infield surface
  4. easily hit a baseball off of a tee every time

If your child struggles with any one of these fundamental skills, T-Ball will provide a better environment for improving.

9.  If you are considering moving up from Machine Pitch to Minors here are a few questions to ask yourself and your son/daughter regarding last year’s experience.

  1. Was she/he able to make contact with the bat against 80% of the pitches received?
  2. Did she/he feel confident and was able to consistently catch the throws that hit her/his glove?
  3. Did she/he feel comfortable with the speed of the throws that were caught?
  4. Was she/he comfortable with the velocity of the balls hit her/his way?

If the answer is yes to these questions, they could probably move up to Minors and have a good experience.  If not, they may want to get a bit more experience and be one of the more confident and stronger players in Machine Pitch.

10.  Can I request a specific head coach and/or that my child plays with their friends on the same team?     
In the Tee Ball – Machine Pitch divisions, we will try to honor special play requests for siblings or children that have special carpool needs.  However, we do not guarantee the request will be met.  In Minors through Senior divisions, we do not accept special play requests.  Teams in these divisions are selected via the draft process.

11.  What if I have an issue with my child's head coach?
Speak with the head coach about your concerns.  Ninety-nine percent of the time this will take care of the issue.  If you still are not satisfied, your next contact would be the Director of your division.  If you feel the issue is critical you are always free to contact the Player Agent or President directly.

12.  If my child is unhappy with the team they are placed on, can they switch teams?
Only in extreme cases does the league allow children to switch teams after the teams have been formed.  Such requests must be made in writing to Caroline County Little League for consideration by the Player Agent.  Approval requires extenuating circumstances, so any request is highly unlikely to be approved, and in most cases we will ask that the player remain with their team.  Team balance is established early on, and changes of this type are difficult, if not impossible, to implement without upsetting the balance that has been established.

13.  When are team photos taken?
A schedule will be posted on the homepage or given to your coach.  Our plan is to have them done on Opening Day.

Volunteers

1.  Does Little League perform background checks on its volunteers?
Yes.  The local leagues are responsible for securing background checks on each adult volunteer over the age of 16.  The minimum background check required is a search of the VA Department of Public Safety’s Registered Sex Offender Database. 

2.  What if I just want to be the “Team Representative” or just help with practice?
We encourage all parents to volunteer and get involved with CCLL in some way.  There are many areas where parents can assist.  They can help the head coach in practices, be the Team Rep, umpire, help with field preparations and maintenance, and keep the scorebook, to name just a few.  However, all volunteers must fill out the Volunteer Application and submit to a background check before helping.

3.  What are the responsibilities of a head coach/manager and an assistant coach?
The head coach/manager oversees the management of the team throughout the season.  They are responsible for setting a practice schedule, developing a practice format, creating a lineup card for every game, and ensuring kids get their minimum playing time in each game. Managers are the focal point of the team and must be committed to following through with managing the team from mid-February to the beginning of June.  Time commitment is usually around 8–10 hours a week depending upon the division.  Managers need to be able to commit to be at most practices and games.  Managers also must attend pre-season meetings as required by the league, and a coach’s meeting with the division representative.  As well, they must schedule and conduct a parent meeting prior to the first practice of the season.  Managers are assisted by a volunteer team parent who helps with things like concession stand scheduling, fundraising events, uniform distribution, and picture day.

One or two assistant coaches are allowed in the dugout during games. Assistant Coaches provide support during practice to ensure kids get enough attention while developing their skills. Assistant Coaches are under the guidance and direction of the head coach.  Typically, a manager will design a practice format and have assistants take care of coaching small groups of players, assisting with batting practice, hitting fundamentals, or other assistant duties.  Assistant coaches should commit to be at all practices and games, generally about 6–8 hours a week depending upon the division.  All actions of an assistant coach during games are the ultimate responsibility of the manager.

4.  How are coaches selected?
CCLL is actively seeking coaching candidates at the time of registration.  Any adult who has turned in a completed Volunteer Form and passed the background check may manage a team.  No baseball or softball experience is necessary.  It is the Local League’s Board of Director’s decision to approve persons recommended by the President and wishing to fulfill a coaching position.  Coaching positions are not reserved on a year-to-year basis.  Each year a person wishing to coach must volunteer for the position, be recommended by the League’s President and approved by the Board of Directors.  Assistant Coaches are generally hand-picked by the head coach of each team and must also complete a Volunteer Form and pass a background check.

5.  I am in high school and would like to volunteer.  Can I get community service hour’s credit for doing this?
Absolutely.  We welcome teenagers to come and help us.  Please click contact us to learn more.   We have even had some umpire before.  We can sign off on community service hours for you.

Sponsorship

1.  How can I sponsor a team?
Please contact the League President or a Board Member and ask for a Sponsorship Form.

2.  If I sponsor a team, can I pick the team’s name? 
CCLL currently uses Major League Baseball Team names (Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, etc.) for all baseball teams.  CCLL will attempt to honor requests for specific teams where possible, but cannot guarantee it.  Please discuss any specific requests with the League President.

3.  If I sponsor a team, can I sponsor a specific child’s team (my son, granddaughter, etc.)? 
As with the team name, CCLL will make every attempt to honor the sponsor’s request. Again, please discuss any specific requests with the League President.

4.  If I am not able to sponsor a team, are there other ways to sponsor CCLL?
Yes, there is.  You can sponsor CCLL in several ways.  One is through a team sponsorship, or your business can purchase a sign to go on the outfield fence.  Another way is to sponsor through the website by buying advertising space.  You do not have to have a website in order to get this service.  Finally, you can also sponsor just by giving a donation.

5. I do not have a business, can I still sponsor?
Yes, you can.  We accept non-business sponsors as well.

6.  Are my charitable contributions and donations tax deductible?
Caroline County Little League is operated as a Non-Profit Charity.  One hundred percent (100%) of all contributions go directly to Caroline County Little League!  You will have to check with a CPA and/or the IRS to see how it would apply to you.

 

Equipment

1.  What equipment will my child need before the first practice or game?
Players should arrive at their first practice, ready to play ball with a glove, hat, rubber molded cleats, and practice baseball pants for the older division boys.  A baseball bag is recommended to transport bats, batting gloves, water bottles, hats, and other items.

2.  Are there any uniform supplies my child needs?
A uniform consists of a pair of baseball pants, belt, a baseball jersey, a hat, and socks. Caroline County Little League will provide each player a team jersey and a team hat (for baseball players)/socks (for softball players). Players need to provide the baseball pants, belt, socks, and shoes. The jersey and hat/socks are the player's to keep.  Your coach will provide more specifics as for the color of pants preferred for your team.  Rubber cleats are highly recommended.  Steel spikes are not allowed in the Major Divisions and below.  In the early part of the season, players should bring a windbreaker, jacket, or sweatshirt to every game and practice if the weather is cool.

3.  What kind of glove should I get my child?
A quality leather glove is a must and it is recommended to stay away from vinyl and simulated leather gloves that may be cheaper, but tend to cause the player a great deal of frustration.  It is impossible to form a pocket in gloves made of vinyl or simulated leather. Therefore, the ball tends to pop out when the player attempts to catch it. 

4.  What equipment does my child need to play Little League?
At minimum, your child will need a baseball glove and boys also will need to wear an athletic supporter with a hard cup.  A cup is REQUIRED for all boys playing Machine Pitch baseball and up.  Any boys not wearing one, will not be allowed on the field.  The league will supply a team shirt and hat (baseball)/socks (softball).  Most children will also require uniform pants, belt, and (non-metal) cleats, which the league does not provide.  The league provides each team with several bats, batting helmets, and catcher gear.  Players can bring their own helmets and catchers equipment if they choose, but are not required to furnish these items themselves.  

5.  What size bat should I purchase for my child?
This is a rather complicated question since kids come in all shapes and sizes.  The basic concept is that first you pick the weight of the bat, and then you pick the length.  A batter's power is determined by bat speed or how fast he can swing the bat through the strike zone. Therefore, the weight of the bat is the main determining factor in how fast a player can swing the bat.  The rule of thumb is that your child should be able to hold the bat in one hand, extend his arm until the bat is at shoulder height, and then hold it for 20 seconds. Make sure the bat doesn't dip and that the child is not doing gyrations to keep the bat up. This will give you the weight of the bat that your child can effectively handle.  Now find the longest bat with that weight.  The longer the bat the more of the plate the batter can cover. When looking at bats you'll hear a term called "drop".  Drop is the length of the bat (in inches) minus the weight of bat (in ounces).  For example, a 30-inch bat that weighs 20 ounces has a drop of -10.  The greater the drop, the more effective the bat.  Grip is another important factor.  Your child should be able to comfortably grip the bat.  Other factors include the material used in the grip, the size of the butt, the construction of the bat, etc.  The bottom line is:  (1) the bat must not be too heavy for the child, (2) it should be long enough to cover the plate, and (3) it should be comfortable in your child's hands.


Game Play

1.  What rules does Little League use to play?
Little League plays under a set of rules published by Little League International out of Williamsport, PA.  The rules are based on the Official Baseball Rules (OBR) used by Major League Baseball (MLB) with some changes for the safety of younger players and adaptations to play the game on fields with bases 60 feet apart versus 90 feet apart.

In addition, each Little League publishes their local ground rules.  Most of these center on how the minor division and below will play their games.

2.  What are the differences between Little League rules and Ground rules?
Little League rules are those rules to which we are strictly bound.  Little League rules are strictly adhered to at the Majors level of play.  Each year Little League publishes updated rules that are well founded in history and are focused at every kid getting a chance to play Little League.  Ground rules are those rules adopted by the Caroline County Little League Board to enhance the game for the players.  The ground rules generally apply to the Minors and lower levels.  An example of a ground rule is a continuous batting order where all the kids attending the game bat in succession until all have batted.  After all have batted, the batting order reverts to the top of the batting order.  Ground rules are posted on the CCLL website and are voted on each year.

3.  What is inter-league play?
Little League rules allow CCLL to schedule games with adjoining leagues if this is mutually agreeable.  In general, CCLL will pursue inter-league play opportunities when possible in the upper divisions.  At lower levels, where the number of teams is greater, we will probably not actively pursue inter-league play.  The extent of inter-league play may vary from year to year.

4.  Are there time limits on games?
Yes, the time limit varies by division.  Shorter time limits also come into play on weeknights to prevent keeping kids out late on a school night.

5.  Who decides if a game is rained out? 
That depends greatly on when the rain comes.  The Board Member in charge for that day will make the call after inspecting the fields.  Generally speaking, this is an easy call, because once the fields become soaked and slippery, it is a very time consuming project to make them playable again.  If it continues to rain or threatens to rain, all scheduled games will be postponed and rescheduled.  Once a game starts, all decision to play or continue a game is up to the Home Plate Umpire, who is the only person who can stop a game once it has begun.  If play is halted due to rain,PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THE PARK.  A “rain delay” is much different than a “rain out”.  Parents will be allowed to take their children to their car, but please do not leave until directed to by the Coach.  Lightning may also cut a game short without any rain present.  Obviously, safety is a concern here and CCLL will always err on the side of caution.

6.  How can I find out if a game is rained out? 
This is the more difficult question.  As noted above, if a decision is reached early enough, it will be communicated by your coach and posted on the Facebook site. However, if the decision is later, there is not enough time to call everybody that might be playing that day.  When possible, check with your Coach to see if they have been notified.  Most Coaches will attempt to contact their players once they know the game has been rained out, which is why it is important that Coaches have as much contact information as possible.  If you have not been contacted, then it is best to simply go to the field and find out.  Don’t be fooled by the weather conditions at your house or office. Numerous times it is raining in one part of town and nothing at the field.  If you don’t know, then continue to the field.

7.  Are there any rules around minimum playing time?
Rules vary by division regarding playing time.

Tee ball—All players play in the field and all players bat each inning.
Machine Pitch—Continuous batting order (no offensive substitutions, every player is on the batting lineup even if they don't play the field that inning) with 9 fielders
Minor—Continuous batting order with 9 fielders on defense
Majors and above—9 players in the batting order with substitutions

Minimum play for Machine Pitch and above is one at bat and two innings in the field.  Note: any player who arrives after the start of the game is not required to get minimum play at the head coach's discretion.

8.  If my child is unable to attend practice, will he/she still get to play in the game?
As stated above, Little League requires that all players play a minimum of two innings in the field and get a minimum of one time at bat.  However, it is very important that your child attend as many of the practices as possible so that he/she can continue to improve their skills while also working with the other players to learn to play as a team.  In the Minor Division and above, the team’s discipline plan will decide the playing time for excessive missed practices.  Ultimately, time of play, as well as position of play, is determined by each team's coach.

9.  I think my son/daughter is a pretty good player.  How does the league choose All-Stars?
More information will be posted on this topic later on.  Be sure to check back!

Umpires

1.  The umpires did a really bad job at umpiring our game, who can I complain to?
Umpiring is one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of the Little League program. The volunteer umpire is as much a part of Little League as the volunteer head coach, coach, or concession stand worker.  If you feel the need to complain about a call, feel free to contact the Umpire-in-Chief and volunteer to umpire a few games.  It will give you a different perspective on the game and make you appreciate that these volunteers are willing to give their time back to the game.  Besides, by umpiring, you have the best seat in the house.

2.  What if I am afraid of making the wrong call as an umpire?
Most people seem to not be interested in being the umpire.  Why?  Because they may feel that they will make a mistake, or they do not want to cause issues with other parents, or that they just don't know what to do.  Umpires make mistakes, they arehuman after all.  But remember, when calling fair/foul, safe/out, balls and strikes; an umpire may make over 600 calls in a game.  There are bound to be some mistakes.  It is a judgment call and umpires call it like they see it.

The Umpire-in-Chief is there to help and provide instruction for anyone who asks and is willing to take the time to help out all the kids of Little League Baseball and Softball.

REMEMBER, Little League is about the kids learning the game and having fun.
The umpires are there to help aid in the learning process by applying the rules.  Without the rules, nobody learns or has fun.

3.  OK, I will try it.  How do I volunteer to be an umpire?
Great!  First, fill out a Volunteer Application and become a General Member of the League. The Umpire-in-Chief will get with you and go over the Little League Rules and Local Ground Rules. Your first few times to umpire will probably be in the field with a more experienced umpire behind the plate.  Second, relax and go out there and just call it like you see it.

4.  If I umpire, will I be umpiring baseball or softball?
You will probably help in both divisions. The rules are pretty much the same for both, except for a few minor differences.

5.  Do umpires get paid in Caroline County Little League?
According to Little League Baseball, there is no sound reason for paying umpires, or any other person whose services should be provided on a volunteer basis.  

 

Members and Board of Directors

1.  Can I become a CCLL Board member?
Each year in October, on the third Monday, the Board of Directors must be re-elected.  Any adult can apply to become a board member.  All applicants must undergo a background check. 

3.  If I am not a member, can I attend the Board of Directors Meeting?
Yes.  Non-members (i.e., parents) are encouraged to attend our monthly meetings. Although you will not be able to vote on matters, you can be recognized to state your opinion on different subjects.  There are times that the Board of Directors will enter into Executive Session.  During this time, all non-Board members will be asked to leave the meeting temporarily.

4.  Do CCLL Directors get paid? 
No.  Unlike some other Youth Sports Organizations, the Board of Directors for Caroline County Little League is 100% volunteer.  No Director receives any financial compensation for their services to the League.  Additionally, Board members are required to pay the same registration fees for their children as everyone else.

5.  I have a question/concern, who should I contact? 
Questions?  Suggestions?  Ideas?  Concerns?  Want to help?  Check out the Board of Directors page to find the appropriate Board Member to contact. Or, you can email [email protected].

6.  How often is the website updated?
Caroline County Little League is a volunteer organization.  At this time, we have one person designated to update this page.  Should you have concerns, or suggestions to make navigating easier, please contact us at [email protected]