WHITEMARSH LITTLE LEAGUE: SPRING BASEBALL Divisions

T-BALL (Age 4-5)
The Little League Tee Ball program is a training process by which youngsters can learn, develop and practice fundamental baseball skills at an early age and receive maximum enjoyment from the experience. Conventional baseball and softball requires that a pitcher throw accurately across home plate, within each batter's defined strike zone. Most youngsters 4 & 5 years old have not developed skills to pitch accurately nor to hit a pitched ball. Consequently, neither batters nor fielders are given ample opportunity to develop fundamental hitting and defensive skills outside an organized Tee Ball program. Emphasis is on learning and not competition at this level. A 60-foot diamond with a pitching distance set at 46 feet is used at this level through to the Major level.

The young player benefits in several ways by hitting the ball from a tee. Batters have the opportunity to develop hand-eye coordination and swing technique without fear of being hit by a pitched ball. Fielders are allowed more opportunities to develop fundamental fielding skills.

Youngsters will learn to play and enjoy baseball through good instruction and participation in Tee Ball. A key to a successful Tee Ball program is the careful selection of managers and coaches. Adult leadership must reflect positive and constructive direction tempered with patience. The learning experience must be fun coupled with developing fundamental skills of hitting, throwing, fielding and running. The basic concept is total team participation, in a congenial environment, under the direction of concerned and competent adults. Remember, the value of the Tee Ball program is the learning experience. Participants in Tee Ball are in a critical developmental period. New managers are recruited at this age and will, hopefully, become important and dedicated volunteers for years to come. Their reward will come from being a positive factor and influence in each child's development.

Tee ball games are played at Miles Park.


INSTRUCTIONAL (Age 6 and 7)
The Little League Instructional program is the next step in the training process after T-Ball. Coach pitch at the Instructional level is utilized to begin the development of batting skills. At this age, we introduce a “catcher” to the game and “plays at the plate” begin.
Age 6-7 Instructional games are played at Cedar Grove Park.


ADVANCED INSTRUCTIONAL (Age 8)
The Little League Advanced Instructional program is the next step in the training process. A pitching machine is utilized at the Advanced Instructional level to begin the development of batting skills. The pitching machine allows for batters to experience “pitching” that is “machine” accurate to develop timing without fear of getting hit by a pitch. At this age, we introduce a “catcher” to the game and “plays at the plate” begin. At age 8, post-season tournament opportunities are available for the best players in the Advanced Instructional League. Local baseball leagues host tournaments where we can compete with the best teams from neighboring townships.

Age 6-7 Instructional games are played at Cedar Grove Park.
Age 8 Advanced Instructional games are played at Miles Park.


AA (Age 9-10)
The Little League AA program begins pitching! The start of this season is both exciting and harrowing. Coupled with the excitement of pitching, this age also experiences the beginning of competition. In AA we begin to keep game scores and standings among intra-league teams. The entire complexion of the game changes at this age and we creep closer to “real” baseball. We institute 3 outfielders, in lieu of 4, from all previous leagues.

AA – Developmental Division games played at Miles Park.


AAA (Age 10-11)
The AAA program continues the development of the players. Pitching becomes more accurate and outfielding skills become important as batters begin to hit more consistently. AAA post-season play starts the 10-year-old Little League sanctioned District tournament. We play against adjoining local Little League teams in an effort to move on to LL Section and State titles.

AAA - Developmental Division games played at Miles Park.


MAJORS (Age 11-12)
Rules and strategies are emphasized at this level and preparations are made for the 12-year-old post season Little League sanctioned District tournament. This is
the age that leads to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, which is televised on National television.
In addition, we also play in local adjoining community tournaments after the Little League sanctioned tournament.

Majors - games played at Miles Park.


JUNIORS (Age 13-14)
An extension of the parent Little League program
-        Leagues play on the 90’ diamond
-        Features a full range of tournament play, including a Junior League Baseball World Series
-        Our teams travel to and play against East and West Norriton, Plymouth, Conshohocken and Norristown.

Juniors - games played at Miles Park.


SENIORS (Age 15-16)
An extension of the parent Little League program
-        Designed for youth 15 -16 years old
-        League plays on the 90’ diamond
-        Features a full range of tournament play, including a Big League Baseball World Series
-        Our teams travel to and play against Norristown, Upper Moreland, Hatboro, Plymouth and Conshohocken.

Seniors – games played at Miles Park.


CHALLENGER
The Challenger Division of Little League Baseball is a program for mentally and physically disabled youth to enjoy the full benefits of Little League participation in an athletic environment structured to their abilities. However, whenever possible and with reasonable accommodations, disabled youngsters should participate in unrestricted league play provided their participation is possible and fair within the standard rules and regulations of Little League. More than the skills of baseball learned through the experience, the value of Little League Challenger Division is found in the proven therapeutic and socialization benefits of participating in sports, the strengthening of participants' self-esteem, the opportunities to mainstream into other divisions of play and the discipline of teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play which are hallmarks of the Little League program.

The philosophy of the Little League Challenger Division is to provide the framework so that every Little League program may offer a structured, athletic activity for all youth in the community. Playing equipment, uniforms, official shoulder patches, umpires and special event activities provided for existing divisions are to be available for the Little League Challenger participants as well.

Chartered by the United States Congress as an educational program, it is incumbent upon every league administration to provide the same organization structure as offered the other Little League divisions and to assimilate the Little League Challenger participants into the structure of the Little League program.

A special group of children, who shun the description "special," can now enjoy all the benefits Little League Baseball has been offering to youngsters worldwide since 1939. Playing with the same equipment on the same fields, Challenger Division participants learn not only the fundamentals of baseball, but also how it feels to be just like other children together as a team, being cheered and earning awards for their achievements.