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Answers to your questions....

When does the season begin and how long will the season last?

Typically regular season practices begin in late March, with games starting the second week in April.  T-ball typically starts in April for practices and games.  The regular season goes until mid-June.  
Additional playing opportunities exist for players who both register and are selected for the BILL All-Star team. Tournament play can last until mid-July, with the possibility of playing in the Little League World Series held in mid-August for Majors.

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 (Primarily Majors and AAA), Hidden Cove Park (AA and AAA), Strawberry Park (A, all Softball divisions, and Tee Ball), Sakai (T-ball through AAA and Softball as field conditions and availability dictate). Home games for Intermediates and Junior/Seniors are played at Sands Field, the BHS Baseball Field, or Battle Point Park Field B. Away games for Intermediates, Juniors, and Seniors 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, with weekday games typically start at 5:45 PM. 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 6:00 PM. 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.

Who umpires Bainbridge Island Little League games?

Bainbridge Island Little League (BILL) originates it umpires from a base of volunteers. BILL works to assign a plate umpire and a field umpire for Majors and Minors if available. If BILL is unable to assign a plate umpire at then volunteers may be asked to step-in as the umpire at the game site. However, if a volunteer is unavailable or unwilling, teams are left without coaches to fill roles mandated by Little League International then games may be postponed or cancelled.

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. Please contact the league if you can volunteer your time to ump.

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, AA and above. Mouth guards are recommended. Bats, balls, batting helmets and catcher's gear are provided to each manager by Bainbridge Island Little League.  

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.

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?

Baseball players and their parents will be directly contacted by their manager after by email after Show Your Stuff Evaluations (held for AA through Majors), typically early to mid-March.  T-ball and A ball teams will also be announced by this schedule.  

How are teams selected/formed?

Teams for T-ball and A Baseball and Softball are formed based on schools, player requests, and other factors. BILL will attempt to accommodate player requests for T-ball through A baseball, but cannot guarantee anything based on the number of requests and other factors. All AA, AAA and Majors teams are determined by a draft following assessments. Intermediates, and Junior/Senior Baseball, 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.

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

Only in extremely 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.  The Age Determination Date for a Little League Baseball player is the actual age of a child on August 31 of the current year.  The Age Determination Date for a Little League Softball player is the actual age of a child on December 31 of the previous year.

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

Please see the "Choosing the Right Division" link under the Registration menu for detailed information on BILL Divisions of play.  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.  All 12 year old baseball players should register for Majors.

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.  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. Intermediates and Junior/Senior 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 includes taking responsibility for their teams(players, coaches, parents and spectators) conduct,  holding 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 publishes a Code of Conduct for Players, Coaches, and Parents/Spectators prior to the start of the season. 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 , use of alcoholic beverages and drugs 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 the Zero Tolerance Policy and being ejected from the premises and banned from the complex for additional games.

Is there a post-season tournament for BILL?

Bainbridge Island Little League teams (Majors, AAA & AA levels of Baseball; Majors and Intermediates of Softball) play a regular season followed by a post-season league 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.


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

Email: [email protected]

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