Baseball

BASEBALL SEASON OVERVIEW

Once the season begins, you can expect two team-related activities (practice and/or games) to occur each week. Dates are general and are subject to slight change from year to year.

Please note that practice times/dates/locations are entirely dependent upon the number of player registrations. We will not know exact dates or times of practices/games until all teams are formed for the season. Rain-outs will occur; we intentionally increase the number of games scheduled and do not typically re-schedule rain-out games.

Valley Little League is broadly categorized into two divisions: Upper Division and Lower Division.

  • Upper Division (i.e., League Ages 9-14) consists of Juniors (LA 14), Intermediate (LA 13) Major, Coast, and AAA teams.
  • Lower Division (i.e., League Ages 4-8) consists of AA, A, and Mickeys.


CALENDAR OF EVENTS (
see here)

VALLEY LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL DIVISIONS

Valley Little League offers baseball for league ages 4-15 in divisions that are based upon "League Age". League age is determined by Little League International and can be found by using the age chart attached below. Please note that League Age is not necessarily the same "age" of your player. Little League encourages players to ascend through division play and not skip or "play up" a division. For more information, see detailed division descriptions below.

BASEBALL DIVISION DESCRIPTIONS

Mickeys Baseball

Mickey's level baseball introduces LA 4 year-old boys and girls (coed) to the fundamental rules and skills of baseball. Players will be introduced to hitting, throwing and catching mechanics in a safe and fun environment. Players will learn to hit T-Ball style baseballs during practices and game play. Mickey's teams will meet 1-2 times per week beginning in April through June (exact dates change each year). Games are up to 3 innings in length and every player bats in each inning. No scores are kept during games. Games are typically played for approximately 60 minutes regardless of innings. T-ball bats (<26" and with official sticker) will be allowed for use in this division.

The League provides parent volunteers with coaching practice plans, team baseball gear and team uniforms. The volunteer coaches receive training prior to the start of the season. Players will need to purchase a baseball glove, long-sleeved T-shirt, baseball pants, and athletic supporter (including cup for boys). Baseball cleats (rubber) are recommended, but running shoes will suffice. Your coach will recommend a coordinated color of pants to purchase. The League provides all players and three coaches with a team hat and jersey. Team parents are expected to help the coach with other important team volunteer duties like snack coordinator, bench coach, field prep, photo coordinator, and more. Teams are generally organized by volunteer managers, school, and neighborhood.

 

A Baseball (coach pitch and/or batting tee)

The A baseball division is for LA 5-6-year-olds, and continues the skill building that begins in Mickey’s baseball. Players will continue to develop individual hitting, throwing and catching mechanics in a safe and fun environment. Safety-5 balls are used for games and practices and coaches will have discretion to pitch overhand from one knee/bucket or use a batting tee. Players will begin to be introduced to rules of the game, with more focus on base running and team fielding techniques. Teams will meet twice per week beginning in April through June (exact dates change each year). Games are 3 innings in length and every player bats in each inning. No scores are kept during games. T-ball bats (<26" and with official sticker) will be allowed for use in this division.

VLL provides parent volunteers with coaching practice plans, team baseball gear, jerseys and hats for players and 3 coaches. Volunteer coaches receive training prior to the start of the season. Players will need to have a baseball glove, long-sleeved T-shirt, baseball pants, athletic supporter (including cup for boys), and socks. Baseball cleats (rubber) are recommended. Your coach will recommend a coordinated color of pants and socks to purchase when uniforms are administered to their team. Team parents are expected to help the coach with other important team volunteer duties like snack coordinator, bench coach, field prep, photo coordinator, and more. Teams are organized by volunteer managers, school, or neighborhoods.

 

AA Baseball (coach pitch)

The AA baseball division (coach + player pitch) is for LA 7-8-year-olds, and is a transitional level to AAA baseball. Players further develop their baseball skills, baseball IQ and sportsmanship in a safe and fun environment. Innings are limited to 3 outs or 4 runs scored, whichever comes first, and a maximum of 6 innings. Players will learn to pitch and throw at practice while coaches pitch to them in games. Players will be called out at the bases and can strikeout while batting. Scores are kept to track runs per inning, but wins-losses are not maintained. Bats that are less than 26" in length or USA bats are required for use in all activities in this division.

Teams are composed of 11-12 players, depending on the number of coach volunteers, and teams are organized by volunteer managers, school, and neighborhoods. Teams meet 2-3 times per week (a meeting is a practice or a game). Parents should expect a 5-6 hour time commitment per week. Practice starts in April and games begin in May. There are approximately 10-16 games in a season. The League provides parent volunteers with coaching practice plans, team baseball gear, jerseys and hats for players and 3 coaches. Volunteer coaches receive training prior to the start of the season. Players will need to purchase a baseball glove, long-sleeved T-shirt, baseball pants, athletic supporter (including cup for boys), and socks. Baseball cleats (rubber) are recommended. Your coach will recommend a coordinated color of pants and socks to purchase. Team parents are expected to help the coach with other important team volunteer duties like umpire, snack coordinator, bench coach, score keeper, field prep, photo coordinator, and more.Teams are organized by volunteer managers, school, or neighborhoods.

 

AAA Baseball

The AAA division is the first program level that is entirely kid-pitch and includes LA players 9-10, with some league age 8 ONLY if they attend pre-season evaluations and get drafted by a team. The AAA division is an INSTRUCTIONAL division that intends to build strong fundamental skills foundation in anticipation of introducing competition in our year end tournament and in subsequent baseball divisions. USA bats are required for use in all activities in this division.

Teams typically are composed of 12-13 players and have two practices each week. Teams are formed by the draft process and games begin in early April and usually occur two days on each week for approximately 16 games in a season. Practice begins in March and game play begins in April. Games are 6 innings in length with three outs per inning. Games are played against teams from Sno-Valley and Falls Little Leagues and may be in Duvall, Carnation, Fall City, Snoqualmie and North Bend. The season culminates with the Valley Tournament to introduce players to Pool and Bracket tournament play. Limited base stealing is allowed, game scores are maintained, and won/loss records are retained for end of year tournament. League age 8-10 players are eligible for the VLL All Star team should they attain their minimum play requirements.

 

Coast Baseball

The Coast baseball division is an introduction to competitive baseball but still maintains an instructional focus. Coast teams typically have 12 players and the teams are organized by draft process that is managed by the player agent. Coast teams are generally comprised of LA 10-11 players. USA bats are required for use in all activities in this division.

Teams typically have two practices and/or two games per week. There are approximately 18 games in regular season game play. Practice starts in late February and games start in late March or early April. Coast level teams will generally meet 2-3 times per week from about March to June (exact dates change each year). Games are 6 innings in length with three outs per inning and are played against teams from Sno-Valley and Falls Little Leagues and may be in Duvall, Carnation, Fall City, Snoqualmie and North Bend. The season ends with the Valley Tournament to introduce players to Pool and Bracket tournament play. Base stealing is allowed, scores and standings retained, and players at this level are eligible for VLL post-season All-Star team (ages 9-11).

 

Majors Baseball

The Majors baseball division is the first fully competitive program in Little League. Majors teams typically have 12 players and the teams are organized by draft. The draft is managed by the upper division player agent and the VLL BOD. Majors is geared towards LA 11-12-year-olds. All registered 12 year-olds must be placed on a Majors team. USA bats are required for use in all activities in this division. Major level teams will meet 2-3 times per week from about late-February through June (exact dates change each year). There are approximately 20 games in a season; regular season game play begins in late March or early April. Managers may elect to schedule several scrimmage games before regular season game play begins.

Majors games are 6 innings in length and occur on regulation LL fields. Teams typically have two practices and/or two games per week. Games are played against teams from Sno-Valley and Falls Little Leagues and may occur in Duvall, Carnation, Fall City, Snoqualmie and North Bend. The regular season ends in late May with the Valley Tournament. Base stealing is allowed and game scores are retained records are used for seeding in the All Valley Tournament. Eligible players at this level will be considered for post-season All-Star teams (ages 10-12).

 

Intermediate Baseball

The Intermediate Division of Little League is a program designed for players who are League Age 13 years old and offers a transition for players between the standard Little League field size (46-foot pitching distance and 60-foot base paths) and the Junior, Senior and Big League field size diamond (60-foot, 6-inch pitching distance and 90-foot base paths). Intermediate teams typically have two practices and/or games per week. Certified USA or BBCOR bats are required for use in all activities in this division.

Practice begins in late February and games start in early April. Games are 7 innings in length and are played against teams from all over District 9. There are approximately 20 games in a season. Intermediate baseball is our players first opportunity to play with more traditional baseball rules. Bases are placed at 70 ft and players pitch from 50 ft. Game scores are retained and players have the opportunity to possibly continue playing in post season tournaments.

 

Juniors & Seniors Baseball

The Junior and Senior Divisions of Little League Baseball is a program designed for players who are League Age 14 and League Age 15 years old, respectively. These divisions play on a conventional field using a 90-foot diamond with a pitching distance of 60 feet, 6 inches. As a continuation from the Intermediate program, VLL will compete against other District 9 Juniors and Seniors Little League programs. Players may continue to use certified USA or BBCOR bats with a maximum 2-5/8" diameter barrel. Additionally, metal cleats are allowed except when pitching from an artificial turf mound. Juniors and Senior teams are eligible for postseason tournament opportunities, including the respective Juniors and Seniors Little League World Series tournaments.

There are generally 20 games in a season, practice begins in March and games begin by early April. Games are 7 innings in length. Play continues on the full size fields. Scores are kept and players have the opportunity to possibly continue playing in post season tournaments.

 

REGULAR SEASON TEAM FORMATION

Valley Little League regular season teams are formed following Little League specifications. New teams are formed EACH season and do not carry over from the previous year.

Lower Division teams (Mickeys, A, and AA) are formed in consultation with the volunteer managers/coaches and by loosely grouped according to their school that the players attend. Mixed aged teams are equally populated with age classifications. Managers are allowed to select three players (in addition to their own player) to begin their team formation.

 

Upper Division teams are formed at a player draft that occurs in mid-February of each season. Each player that registers for the upper division MUST attend a player evaluation so that the managers and player agent can form equitable teams. Managers are selected at BOD Meeting from a list of candidates that applied to manage a team for that season.

 

Draft Procedures are stipulated according to VLL charter rules. Draft order is selected randomly between managers within the same division of play. Draft occurs in a serpentine fashion (e.g., 1, 2, 3, 3, 2, 1). The Majors draft is conducted first, followed by Coast and AAA drafts. The manager will select their team name and practice time/locations at the conclusion of the draft. Following the draft, mangers will contact their roster via TeamSnap communications.

 

General Criteria: VLL attempts to roster twelve players on each Upper Division team. The number of teams are determined early in the season based on previous year registration information that is projected for the current season. Care is given to form teams so that players follow the normal ascension through the system and do NOT skip a division of play. Siblings can play on the same team at the request of the parent/guardian.

 

Team Meeting: Shortly after team formation, players will receive notification from their coach regarding an initial TEAM MEETING. Each manager has the authority to structure their individual team meetings. At a minimum, players will be introduced, communication protocol will be finalized, team structure will be conferred, and schedule information (game and practice) will be relayed to the players and their family.

 

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED

VLL provides most of the equipment that will be required for baseball players. Players will need to provide their own pants, athletic shoes (turf shoes or cleats are recommended), socks (pack an extra pair), belt, athletic supporter, and glove. Rain will occur during our early spring practices, a light jacket or wind breaker is helpful during those periods. You will be appraised by your coach regarding color of uniform during your initial team meeting. Many coaches put together a uniform package so that all players have the same attire, this is not required but can save time searching for individual items. Beginning in 2018, a new bat standard is in place for Little League Upper Division teams. Please take time to review those standards (see New LL Bat Standards) .

VLL will provide uniform jersey, hat, bat, balls, catcher equipment, first aid kits, batting tees, catch nets, throw down bases, and helmets. Many families opt to purchase their own baseball equipment (i.e., bat and helmet) for their player along with a backpack so that they have everything they will need in a concise location. While this is convenient, do not feel that it is a requirement. Helmet face guards are optional for baseball players; they are NOT included on VLL helmets and should be purchased by the parents if they are needed. Coaches will adjust their equipment inventory to suit the needs of their team. Please let us know if you need assistance with any of these items. Risan Athletics and Dicks Sporting Goods are both local sponsors of our program and stock all of the items that you will need for your player.

VLL WILL SUPPLY USA BATS FOR EACH TEAM.