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FAQs

What is Bainbridge Island Little League?

When does the season (games) begin

How long will the season last?

Why does the season start so early instead of waiting for better weather?

Where are games played?

What days and times are the games played?

Who umpires Bainbridge Island Little League games?

When will the practices begin?

How often and long are practices?

Where are practices held?

What equipment will a player need to bring to the first practice?

When will I find out what team my child will play on?

How are teams selected?

Can a player ask to be placed on a team with his or her friends?

If a player or parent is unhappy with the assigned team, can the player switch teams?

If a player decides not to play, is it possible to get a refund?

How do I determine my child's age for Little League purposes?

What division should my child sign up for?

The ages in these divisions are broad. What should I consider when signing up for a division?

If my child is a talented player, should I consider signing up for a higher division? If I am concerned about my child's skill level or emotional maturity, should I consider signing up for a lower division?

How many players are assigned to a team? How many teams are in a division?

Can a player be assigned to the same team on which his or her parent is coaching or on which a sibling is playing?

Are there any rules about minimum playing time?

Are there time limits on games?

What are the responsibilities of a Manager and an Assistant Coach?

Are there conduct rules that apply during games?

Is there a post-season tournament?

Who is responsible for staffing the Snack Shack?

Do I have to participate in fundraising?

Who do I contact if I have a problem that needs to be resolved by the league?

What is available on the website?

Answers to your questions....

When does the season (games) begin?

Please see "Key Dates" for exact league dates and events. Typically, and depending upon the division of play, the regular season begins in early April (after Spring Break) and extends through mid June. Bainbridge Island Little League holds an an annual "Jamboree" to celebrate the start of the new season.

How long will the season last?

The Bainbridge Island Little League season (regular season and playoff games) usually runs between 8 and 12 weeks depending on division. Additional playing opportunities exist for players who both register and are selected to play on BILL's All Star teams for participation in Little League International Tournaments. Tournament play can last until late-July for Minors Division All Star Teams or extend into mid-August for Majors, Intermediate and Uppers Divisions. Please consider your vacation plans if your child is interested in playing on an All Star team. 
Regular season games for Intermediates and Uppers may extend through late June. Bainbridge Island Little League is also chartered to operate Instructional Leagues that may be organized in the future.

Why does the season start so early instead of waiting for better weather?

The primary reason the season starts in late March/early April is that the season needs to end in time for Little League International Tournament play. Tournament dates are governed by Little League International and are beyond the control of the local Little League. In addition, our start date allows us to complete the season prior to the end of the school year and avoid conflicts with summer vacation plans.

Where are games played?

Bainbridge Island Little League games are played at Rotary Park (Majors, AAA and AA Baseball), Hidden Cove Park (AA, and AAA and Majors as field conditions or field availability dictate), Strawberry Park (A, all Softball divisions, and Tee Ball), Sakai (T-ball through AA and Softball as field conditions and availability dictate). Home games for Intermediates are played at Rotary and Uppers games are tentatively scheduled for Sands Field (or, possibly, at BHS Baseball Field or Battle Point Park Field B). Away games for Intermediate and Uppers baseball, and Intermediate and Majors Softball require travel to other District 2 Little League facilities in the Kitsap County/Olympic Peninsula area.

What days and times are the games played?

All teams are scheduled to play at least one game per week. AA and AAA Baseball and Minors and Intermediate Softball generally play two games per week. Majors Division of Baseball and Softball play two and possibly three games per week.

Games are typically scheduled Monday through Saturday. From time to time games may be scheduled on a Friday if a make-up game is required and other time slots or fields are not available. Games are not scheduled on Sundays. Weekday games typically start at 5:45 to allow commuters adequate time. Saturday game times vary throughout the day. During the month of April, weekday games may start at 5:30 PM and/or end early due to limited sunlight. Subsequent to the end of Daylight Savings, Saturday games may start as late as 6:00PM. The team manager will determine when players should arrive at the field before a game for warm-ups. Warm-ups typically start 30 minutes to game time.

Intermediate and Uppers game times remain unconfirmed at this time. In conversation with other District 2 Leagues, BILL will explore scheduling games in one of three formats: 1) game schedule to include a mix of weeknight and weekend games, 2) game schedule to include only weeknight games, and 3) game schedule to include doubleheaders on Saturday and/or Sunday. We will update this information as early as scheduling decisions are made.

Who umpires Bainbridge Island Little League games?

Bainbridge Island Little League uses a combination of volunteer umpires and parent volunteers. Little League International very strongly discourages the use of paid umpires. BILL works to assign a plate umpire and a field umpire for Majors and AAA Baseball and for Majors Softball game although there may occur times when only a plate umpire is available. A plate umpire is assigned to Intermediate Softball games and to AA Baseball games if available. If BILL is unable to assign a plate umpire at this level of play then parents and/or are asked to step-in as the umpire for such games. Tee Ball, Minors Softball, and A/Rookie Baseball games use parents and/or coaches as umpires.

Every year, our league experiences a shortage of umpires. BILL is always seeking and committed to support more volunteers to fill this important role. Umpire training sessions will be scheduled before and during the season to encourage ongoing participation. Due to this shortage of volunteer umpires the league has had to begin to fill the gaps with paid umpires where necessary. Please reach out to the VP of Baseball or Umpire in Chief if you can volunteer your time to ump.

When will the practices begin?

Practices  typically start in early-to-mid to March. Practice times, dates, and fields are chosen by team managers and subject to field availability.

How often and long are practices?

Practice frequency and duration varies by division and is decided by the team manager. Tee Ball teams generally practice for one hour once a week. A and AA Baseball, and Minors Softball generally practice no more than 1 ½ hours, twice a week. AAA Baseball and Intermediate Softball teams generally practice 1 ½ to 2 hours, two or three times a week. Majors, Intermediates, and Uppers teams may practice for 2 hours, 3 to 4 times a week prior to the season and 1 to 3 times per week after the season starts. Practice duration and frequency is determined by the team manager based on preference, field availability and game schedules. Practices may be scheduled any day of the week after school hours, and not before noon on Sundays.

Where are practices held?

Bainbridge Island Little League schedules practices at Rotary Park, Strawberry Park, Hidden Cove Park, Battle Point Park and at various Bainbridge schools. Your team manager will inform you about the location of practice.

What equipment will a player need to bring to the first practice?

Players should arrive at their first practice with a glove, hat, appropriate pants, rubber molded cleats, and water bottle. Use of an athletic cup is mandatory in Baseball Minors Division and above. Mouth guards are recommended. Bats, balls, batting helmets and catcher's gear are provided to each manager by Bainbridge Island Little League. Little League International requires that all male players wear an athletic supporter and that all male catchers wear an athletic cup.

What equipment or uniform items are players required to provide?

A uniform consisting of a jersey and cap will be provided by Bainbridge Island Little League to each player.

Players are expected to provide their own socks, belts and pants since sizing on is more individual. The team manager will provide details about the color and style of pants required to complete the uniform.

Molded rubber cleats are highly recommended for all players at the Majors level and below. Steel spikes are permitted only in the Juniors Division and above.

Each player provides his/her own glove. Leather gloves are highly recommended. Vinyl and simulated leather gloves can be less expensive but can cause a player a great deal of frustration. Non-leather materials may become slick in our wet weather and it is difficult to form a pocket in these materials. These problems make it more difficult for the player to catch a ball safely and effectively.

All players should dress appropriately for the weather. A windbreaker, jacket, or sweatshirt should be brought to every game and practice, particularly early in the season. Athletic undershirts are very effective at providing warmth in cold weather and perspiration wicking in warm weather.

A limited number of bats and helmets are provided to each team. Players at all levels are encouraged to provide their own helmets given the potential for lice.

If you choose to provide equipment for your player, please check our website for applicable Little League requirements which vary with level of play. Please note that effective January 1, 2018, all bats used in Little League practices and games MUST have the USA standard logo and/or sticker on the bat. Non-conforming equipment cannot be used in practice or during game play.

When will I find out what team my child will play on?

Players and their parents will be directly contacted by their manager by phone or by email.

See Key Dates for the anticipated team formation date which can vary from season to season based on the timing of Spring Break and other events that fall outside the control of Little League.

How are teams selected/formed?

Teams for T-ball and Minors Baseball and Softball are formed based on schools, player requests, and other factors. Little League attempts to accommodate player requests for T-ball through Minors divisions but cannot guarantee anything based on the number of requests and other factors. All AAA and Majors teams are determined by a draft following assessments. Intermediates and Uppers Division teams, to the extent sufficient players sign up to make more than one team, will be determined by selection or draft. In all cases, the league strives to create balanced teams.

Can a player ask to be placed on a team with his or her friends?

Bainbridge Island Little League accepts requests of this type ONLY for players involved in Tee Ball and A Divisions of Baseball and in the Intermediate and Minors Divisions of Softball. Only reciprocal friend requests will be considered. For example, both friends must request each other in their online registration forms to be considered. Two reciprocal requests maximum are allowed at registration and will be considered. Email friend requests or late registration, non reciprocal requests are not valid friend requests and will not be considered. Due to BILL's primary goal of forming equitably balanced teams, the league does not guarantee it can or will honor such requests. Friends with friends requests(reciprocal) WILL NOT be entertained for any player assigned to AA and above since all assignments at these levels are made by player draft.

When will practices start?

Practice start dates will be posted on the website. The team manager will contact you about your child's first team meeting and/or practice. If you don't hear from a manager by the times listed on the website, please contact the appropriate player agent or another member of the BILL Board of Directors.

If a player or parent is unhappy with the assigned team, can the player switch teams?

Only in rare cases does the league allow children to switch teams after the teams have been formed. Such requests must be made in writing or email to the Player Agent. Approval is limited to extenuating circumstances. Typically, there must be a strong and specific reason that a player should not be on a particular team as opposed to a desire to be placed on another particular team. Divisional team balance is established early on and changes of this type are difficult if not impossible to implement without upsetting that balance. Also, once teams are established, changing from one team to another requires that another player change teams to keep an equal number of players per team. A parent should raise any concern about team placement, whether involving a specific coach or another player, when registering to play or with the appropriate Player Agent as soon as possible after team assignment.

If a player decides not to play, is it possible to get a refund?

If a player decides to withdraw, a refund of registration fees is available only up to the time of a player's first game. If uniforms have already been ordered, the amount refunded will be the registration amount less the cost of the uniform given Little League is unable to cancel the order or recoup the cost once uniforms orders are submitted. Parents should contact the Player Agent about the decision not to play and the Registrar about a refund.

How do I determine my child's age for Little League purposes?

"Little League age" is determined by Little League International. Click here to view the Little League age calculator.

What division should my child sign up for? Can my child play in a lower or higher division?

Bainbridge Island Little League strongly supports age appropriate competition and development. Each Division has general age groups, some of which are mandated by Little League rules.

Little League rules and Bainbridge Island Little League policy may allow players assigned to certain divisions to move up early or to play down in order to develop additional skills. Any request to do so must be made to the Player Agent and a safety/skills assessment may be required to aid in the decision-making.

The ages in these divisions are broad. What should I consider when signing up for a division?

Preserving the opportunity for a child to play with his or her circle of friends is often an important consideration. For Baseball, Majors are typically 5th and 6th graders, with very few 4th and 7th graders. AAA is mostly 4th graders with some 5th graders and some 3rd graders. AA is mostly kids going into 2nd or 3rd grade, A is typically kids in or going into 1st and 2nd grade. For Softball, Majors are typically 5th, 6th and 7th graders. Intermediates are typically 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Minors are typically 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders.

If my child is a talented player, should I consider signing up for a higher division? If I am concerned about my child's skill level or emotional maturity, should I consider signing up for a lower division?

Little League International sets minimum age requirements for certain levels of play. You cannot register a player to a division for which he or she does not meet the minimum age requirement.

"Playing up" typically means that a child is at the lowest allowable age of a division instead of falling somewhere in the middle of a division's age range. Most children benefit from playing with others within their age group rather than playing up as they will generally get more playing time, have more opportunities to play preferred positions, play with their school age peers, and receive opportunities to take on leadership roles. Usually, these things turn out to be more important to players than what division they play in. While there are some players who may have a more positive experience playing up, there are many very good players for whom this would be a mistake. For instance, a child might possess the physical skill to play up but lack the emotional maturity to relate successfully with older team mates. This can be a difficult decision for a parent to make and it should be one that is made only after careful consideration. If your child has not played organized baseball or softball or if you have concerns about your child's skill levels and ability to play safely at a designated level, it may benefit him or her to "play down" a division. Ordinarily, a child will do best when he or she is surrounded by his peers and friends. However, Bainbridge Island Little League is happy to conduct safety assessments to assist in your decision-making about the appropriate level of play.

How many players are assigned to a team? How many teams are in a division?

Each season, the size of a team's roster and the number of teams per division are dependent upon the number of kids that sign up. The President, Player Agents, and Vice-Presidents will decide the number of teams for each division late in the registration process when most players have registered. For this reason it is very helpful for players to register early. Bainbridge Island Little League is guided by the commitment to offer the broadest opportunity for play to the greatest number of children. Therefore, we work to keep the number of players per team low to increase playing time for each player. This results in typically having 12 players per team for Majors, AAA, and Softball Intermediate and 10 to 11 players per team for the younger divisions. When teams have 13 players, that is typically the result of unanticipated late registrations or not having enough players to form an additional team.

Can a player be assigned to the same team on which his or her parent is coaching or on which a sibling is playing?

Bainbridge Island Little League ensures that children are placed on the team that is coached by their parent. When registered siblings are assigned to the same division, the league places those siblings on the same team. Parents may request an exception to this practice.

Are there any rules about minimum playing time?

Majors and Minors Divisions have a minimum playing time of three innings in the field per player in a complete game (six innings) and two innings in the field per player in a game shortened for any reason but in which at least four innings are played. The Minors Divisions of Baseball and the Minors through Majors Divisions of Softball use a Continuous Batting Order (i.e., bat the line up) that tends to equalize the number of at bats for all players. The Majors Division of Baseball bats only nine players at a time with the remaining players coming to bat as substitutes. In this system, each player is required to get, at least, one at bat per game. All Minors and Majors teams field 9 defensive players at a time. In the Tee Ball Division, 10 players are fielded on defensive (four in the outfield) per inning and the team roster bats the lineup once each inning. Juniors, Seniors, and Big League Divisions have minimum playing time rules of one at bat and one inning of play per game.

Are there time limits on games?

Tee Ball games are three innings and generally take one hour. For Minors Division games (A, AA, and AAA baseball and Minors and Intermediate Softball), a complete game is 6 innings but no new inning may start after 1 hour 50 minutes from the first pitch. Majors, Intermediates and Uppers division games are played to completion and typically can last between 1 ½ and 2 ½ hours. Games may become shortened complete games by mercy rule, rain or darkness after four innings subject to Little League rules.

What are the responsibilities of a Manager and an Assistant Coach?

The team Manager oversees all aspects of his or her team throughout the season. This responsibility includes conducting a parent/player meeting prior to the first practice of the season, scheduling practices, developing a practice format, creating a lineup and establishing field positions for players every game, participating in league fundraising activities, complying with all league rules and policies (such as insuring kids get their minimum playing time each game), filling out all accident reports, and setting an appropriate example for the kids. Ideally, the Manager will be certified in First Aid or receive First Aid training from Bainbridge Island Little League. Managers are the focal point of the team and must be committed to following through with managing the team from mid-February through mid-June. Time commitment is usually around 8-10 hours a week depending upon division (less for Tee Ball), and they must commit to attend all practices and games. Managers also must attend a pre-season coaching clinic provided by the league. Managers are assisted by a volunteer Team Parent that helps with things like concession stand scheduling, fundraising events, uniform distribution, end of season party and picture day.

Up to two Assistant Coaches are allowed in the dugout during games. However, a Manager may elect to use additional Practice Coaches during team practices. Coaches provide support during practice to ensure kids get enough attention while developing their skills. Coaches are under the guidance and direction of the manager. Typically, the Manager will design a practice format and have assistants take care of coaching small groups of players, assisting with batting practice, or other duties. Assistant Coaches should commit to be at all practices and games requiring about 6-8 hours a week depending upon division of play. Coaches need to attend a pre-season clinic provided by the league. All actions of a team's Coaches during games or at practice are the ultimate responsibility of the Manager. How are Managers and Coaches selected?

All Managers and Coaches must be approved by the Bainbridge Island Little League Board of Directors. Managers may be required to undergo an interview in connection with a coach selection process carried out by BILL's Coaches Committee. Any Manager, Assistant Coach, or Practice Coach MUST complete and submit a Volunteer Application and a Coach Questionnaire, undergo a background check, and be approved by the league in order to participate in Bainbridge Island Little League.

Are there conduct rules that apply during games?

Bainbridge Island Little League will publish a Code of Conduct for Players, Coaches, and Parents/Spectators prior to the start of the season. In general, the league does not permit foul language or taunting by any players, parents, managers, or coaches. No pets are allowed at our fields per Parks District regulation. Smoking and use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited at any Little League game or practice. Any spectator, player, manager or coach who receives a warning for inappropriate conduct is subject to being ejected from the premises and banned from the complex for additional games.

Is there a post-season tournament?

Bainbridge Island Little League teams (Majors, AAA, AA, and A levels of Baseball; Majors and Intermediates of Softball) play a regular season followed by a post-season tournament. This approach allows teams to work on developing the skills of each player during the regular season and then competing for the league championship in the tournament. Because all teams participate in post-season championship tournament (with the exception of T-Ball), winning is de-emphasized during the regular season. This format provides greater flexibility for managers to play kids in various positions during the regular season where they can learn without an overriding pressure for the team to win. The intended result is a playoff tournament where all players have developed and teams are capable of competing to be league champions.

Do I have to participate in fundraising?

Yes. Bainbridge Island Little League relies on fundraising to help support the operations of the league. Player registration fees do not account for all operating capital required to run the program (e.g., equipment, facilities maintenance and repair, uniforms, etc). Bainbridge Island Little League supplements player registration fees with generous donations and sponsorships by our corporate sponsors and through fundraising. Each team is expected to participate in the league's annual fundraising activities. No individual player or parent is required to contribute financially to Bainbridge Island Little League beyond paying registration fees though all players are required to participate in the annual fundraiser event(s).

Who do I contact if I have a problem that needs to be resolved by the league?

If at any time you have a problem or just want information, please feel free to e-mail the league at any time. We encourage players and parents to first discuss any questions or concerns with the team's manager as might be appropriate. If this does not provide answers or resolve your concern, a parent may communicate with the league's Player Agent, the respective league Vice Presidents or the league President. Contact information is located on the Bainbridge Island Little League web site under the BOARD link. You are also welcome to attend a Board meeting and express your concerns directly to the Board. Please contact the league Secretary to arrange to be placed on the agenda at the next scheduled Board meeting.

What is available on the website?

The league's web site is at www.bilittleleague.org. The site offers all the information you need to stay informed about events, schedules, rules, Board Member contacts, sponsorship information, baseball clinics, umpire training, etc. If you have a question that is still unanswered, please contact any of our Board members.

Contact

Bainbridge Island Little League
P.O. BOX 10911 
BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Washington 98110

Email: [email protected]

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