LeRoy Little League: My Site News
About LeRoy Little League Levels of Play
What is “League Age”?
“League Age” is how Little League determines which levels of play children may be eligible for based on their birthdate. The determination date is set forth by leadership in Williamsport PA.
Due to changes in the rules set forth by Williamsport in past several years, different age groups are currently using different age determination dates so children did not lose eligibility during typical Little League years. The following will aid in determining your child’s league age:
For players born on or before April 30, 2005: The new age determination date of September 1st will be effective starting with the 2018 Little League Baseball Season. For the 2017 season, these players will use the May 1st age determination date.
For players born between May 1, 2005 and August 31, 2005: The new age determination date of September 1st will be effective starting with the 2019 Little League Baseball Season. For the 2017 & 2018 seasons, these players will use the May 1st age determination date.
For players born on or after September 1, 2005: The September 1st age determination date is effective immediately. Basically, whatever your child’s age will be on September 1st, 2017 is their league age for the 2017 season.
Instructional Baseball (league age 4 - 6)
Instructional baseball is quite often a child’s first experience in organized sports. LeRoy’s program begins the Tuesday after the Little League Parade (this year the parade is Saturday April 22nd – all levels of play participate!) and runs through June, ending with a party. After teams are created (typically by end of March), a coach will be in touch to give more information about the parade, season, and to hand out uniforms. Teams meet for practice and games on Tuesday and Thursday of the week from 6 – 7 PM. Depending on field availability and numbers of teams, the fields are either behind Wolcott St. School, Presidential Acres, or Genesee Park. Each player will receive a hat and t-shirt jersey that they get to keep. Parents need to supply cleats or sneakers and a mitt. Some kids also wear baseball pants, but shorts or sweats are fine as well. Each team will have bats, but players can bring their own as well.
At this level, softer versions of actual baseballs are used. The focus of the program is teaching some fundamentals, sportsmanship, basic rules of the game, teamwork, and most importantly having fun. Practices typically consist of working in stations, as kids at this age do much better keeping busy instead of being in line. Skill development focuses on catching, throwing, batting, and running. The use of a batting tee is important in developing good swing mechanics. Games are truly “mock” games… no outs are recorded and every player bats every inning. A coach pitches to the player from their knee (to provide correct pitch trajectory) with another coach playing catcher. A batting tee is used at times if the child prefers or struggles hitting the pitch. Children are rotated through positions to get varied experiences. The kids enjoy the games and the parents do very much as well!
T-Shirt Baseball (league age 6 - 10)
In LeRoy, T-shirt baseball encompasses a wide range of ages and skill levels. LeRoy’s program begins the week after the Little League Parade (this year the parade is Saturday April 22nd – all levels of play participate!) and runs through June, sometimes later. After teams are decided (typically by end of March), a coach will be in touch to give more information about the parade, season, and to hand out uniforms. Teams meet between 2 and 4 times per week for practice and games. The overwhelming amount of practices are held at Wildwood Park, however may be held at different sites depending on field availability and coaches’ decisions. Most games take place at Wildwood as well, however teams usually are provided with an opportunity to play at the Little League field as well! Each player will receive a hat, pants, and t-shirt jersey that they get to keep. Parents need to supply cleats or sneakers and a mitt. Each team will have bats, but players can bring their own as well. The team provides catcher’s gear as well.
At this level, actual hardballs are used. Wildwood Park has Little League sized baseball diamonds. The focus of the program continues with teaching fundamentals, sportsmanship, teamwork, and most importantly having fun. More complex rules of baseball are introduced at this level as well as more enhanced skill development. Enhanced skill development is important in preparation for participation at the Little League level.
The schedule of practices and games will be developed based on number of teams and field availability. Due to a lack of playing fields in LeRoy, the schedule does not often follow a pattern as Instructional did. Practices are longer than 1 hour typically. At this level, games are more similar to actual games than at the Instructional level as outs are recorded, but score is not kept. Historically, a combination of player pitch and coach pitch made up T-Shirt games, however this year LeRoy Little League is exploring the use of mechanical pitching machines. Kids play the catcher position at this level. Some rotation of defensive positions takes place, but skill level is taken into more consideration. Coaches from opposing teams work together during games to continue with baseball instruction in real time.
Little League (league age 9 – 12)
While the Little League level also encompasses different ages and skill levels, a higher level of skill proficiency is necessary at this level per leadership in Williamsport. A try-out takes place in late February (this year on Saturday 2/25, more details will be available at registration) at Trigon Gym. That day, all players deemed skill proficient enough for play at this level are drafted onto a Little League team and notified that evening. Players not demonstrating skills proficient enough for safe play at this level are placed onto a T-Shirt team.
Practice typically begins the week after try-outs indoors at the school. Practice schedule varies depending on number of teams and space availability. As soon as the weather allows, practices are held outside. Practice schedule and sites are determined by coaches based on field availability and may take place at LL Field, Wildwood Park, Bunnell Park, Stafford Rec, Hartwood Park, behind the school, or even in coaches’ yards!
Opening day (Saturday 4/22 this year) begins with a parade and ceremony at the LL Field. All teams play Opening Day. The season then continues through the middle of June (16 regular season games). Playoffs then begin with all teams making the postseason. A champion is crowned.
The level of play and commitment increases significantly at this level. When the weather is good, your child may be practicing or playing baseball 6 days a week! Games are 6 innings long, mostly follow the normal rules of competitive baseball, and kids pitch the entire game. Standings are kept and are available on the website. A complex set of rules exists for pitch counts to try to prevent arm injury for young pitchers. The games are typically umpired by high school and college kids, who are trained by ex-certified umpires. The environment at the LeRoy Little League field is second to none. All games are called over the PA system by a volunteer who also runs the scoreboard. The concession stand is open for every game, and manned by volunteers. Local restaurants provide food for sale most weekends! Parents are asked to work the stand 3 times to get their volunteer deposit back. Without this collaboration, the stand would not be able to be opened.
All-star teams are also selected at this level for play in Little League World Series Tournament. Teams are chosen through a vote by the managers, who are not allowed to vote for players on their own team. LeRoy typically enters an all-star team for the 9-10 year old division and 11-12 year old division. Depending on number of players in the league, a team at the 10-11 year old division may also be entered. Games in the district round are against Batavia, Dansville, Geneseo, and Oakfield, with the champion moving on to the sectional round (however only LeRoy and Batavia fielded teams at 10-11 year old division last year). Depending on the success of the team, All-star game play may extend through July.
WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS FOR COACHING, UMPIRING, FIELD MAINTENANCE, FUNDRAISING, CONCESSIONS, and MORE!!! WE NEED YOUR HELP, LEROY LITTLE LEAGUE IS WHAT WE AS ADULTS MAKE OF IT FOR OUR CHILDREN.