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Little League Baseball

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Fall 2018 Frequently Asked Questions


How is the Fall season different from the Spring season?

The fall is beginning of our league year that culminates with the spring season (2019). The focus in the fall is on development as we expect many kids to move up a level next spring (from the past spring) so fall is focused on skill development. No standings are kept and rules encourage players to be given an opportunity to expand their skill set.

Player Placement Guide

To assist you with choosing the appropriate level of play for your child, please use the following guidelines:
If your child is baseball age: Then choose:
5                                                         Tee-Ball
6 with no Tee-Ball experience            Tee-Ball or Coach Pitch
6 with Tee-Ball experience                 Coach Pitch
7 with Tee-Ball experience only         Coach Pitch
7 with Coach Pitch experience           Pitching Machine
8 with Pitching Machine experience   Draft Player Pitch
9 with Pitching Machine experience   Draft Player Pitch
9 with AA experience                         Draft Player Pitch

Baseball age 8 players that register for Draft Player Pitch must be selected to a player pitch team subject to the availability of team slots. The number of available team slots for age 8 players will be determined after all age 9 and 10 players have been assigned to a team.

Baseball age 9 players that register for Draft Player Pitch will be considered primarily for the Intermediate level. In exceptional cases where the player possesses the necessary skills based on prior experiences and experience to play at the Advanced level as determined by the Advanced coaches, he or she may be drafted into Advanced.

Baseball age 10-12 players who did not play on a SYA Spring 2018 Majors team, should select Draft Player Pitch. The coaches evaluation of the player’s skills and the subsequent Advanced and Intermediate drafts will determine what level the player will placed in (Introduction, Intermediate or Advanced).

Only players who played on a SYA Spring 2018 Majors team should select Advanced (returning).

What size glove or bat should I buy?

While there is no specific science to selecting the right size glove or bat, many online baseball stores have various guidelines to choosing a glove or bat. Kids come in all different shapes and sizes, so here is one guide that provides guidelines in determining size.

How can I be sure my child resides within the SYA Little League boundaries?

Please check our boundary maps (East, West) on the SYA Little League web site. If you are still unclear after viewing the map, try the text versions of each – East, West. Live within the boundaries and trying to figure out which league, ask yourself – do I live East or West of Rt 28 as this serves as our boundary between the two leagues. Otherwise, please email us. Players that also attend school within our boundaries are also eligible to play with us, after some basic forms are completed in conjunction with the school the player attends.

How do I register for SYA Little League?

SYA Little League currently accepts online registration. You may register during open registration around May 1.. Discount fees end at all levels on July 31, 2018. While registration is open until late August for Machine Pitch, Coach Pitch and TBall, all kid pitch levels will go to a wait-list starting August 10.

What are the fees for the 2018 Fall Season?

See the Fees page for details.

Where will practices and games be held?

SYA is allocated by Fairfax County use of up to 20 fields located across the Centreville/Clifton area. SYA Sports also has two fields available for practices/games at SYA Sports Park. Games are scheduled by SYA for each level as are practices, which are allocated based on level and Managers’ requests.

How can I make a special request after I’ve gone through the registration process?

No problem. There are two ways we will get your special request entered into your registration information. Send an email with the request and it will also be captured in your registration information.

My son or daughter should be playing in a level that I am unable to register for, either in a higher level or lower level?

The best thing to do is complete the registration for the age appropriate level and select the mail-in option for payment. Then send an email with the request and we will respond to the request as well as make any updates on the registration.

When does the season start?

Practices will begin on or about August 10 for all levels. Games will begin right after Labor Day. The season usually ends by Nov 1. We are evaluating changes to the fall season to introduce more clinics that focus on player development. As information becomes available it will be shared.

How often will practices be held?

Practices vary by level, with Advanced Kid Pitch practicing several times per week prior to the start of games. TBall and Coach Pitch practice once per week. This varies based on Manager and field availability.

Will we be able to pick our practice night?

Practices will be limited to the number of fields accessible by the League. Managers make requests, and the League allocates practice times and fields. While every effort is made to honor requests, it is very difficult to meet every parent and manager request.

How often do teams play games?

A typical week would look like this for teams:

  • Advanced Kid Pitch: 1-2 practices and 2 games
  • Intermediate Kid Pitch: 1-2 practices and 2 games
  • Introduction to Kid Pitch: 1-2 practices and either 1 or 2 games
  • A (Machine Pitch): 1 practice and 1 game
  • CP: 1 practice and 1 game
  • TB: 1 practice and 1 game

A second game during the week may occur at the lower levels depending on the total number of teams and how many Saturdays are in the season. Rainouts are also rescheduled during the week. If a manager has the energy and fields are available, teams may practice an additional night. SYA limits teams to four team events per week once the season starts, five prior to the season starting.

Why are the player pitch levels called Advanced, Intermediate, and Introduction as opposed to Majors, AAA, and AA that are used in the spring?

The intent here is to ensure people understand that the fall levels are not the same as in the spring. Players go through tryouts and a draft in the spring. These fall names still relate to the spring however, Advanced is not Majors; maybe a step below as many of the better players are off playing travel baseball or other sports in the fall.

Can we request a specific coach or teammate during registration?

The League does its best to accommodate requests in the lower divisions (TBall, Coach Pitch, and Machine Pitch), although we cannot guarantee requests will be granted. In the upper divisions the player evaluations from the spring season and drafts will determine team placement.

How do I become a Manager?

Applicants – Volunteers – must apply online by July 15 or ASAP to be considered. For all levels, the League works with all candidates to select Managers and pair them up with assistant coaches. All applicants are notified shortly after August 1 once the numbers of teams are determined of their status. Please note that all applicants will go through a background check per Little League Baseball rules.

How do I become a Volunteer?

This is the easiest thing to do! Just say, “Yes!” when your team coach asks for help. Team Parents organize after-game snacks, team parties, and any other festivity the team dreams up. You can also support the league by volunteering as little as an hour a weekend to work the Snack Shack, umpire a game, work on fields or help out with other league activities. All league volunteers are subject to a background check as required by SYA Sports and Little League International.

What is the Volunteer Opt-Out Fee?

SYA Little League is a volunteer organization that needs the support of the community (especially parents) to operate and provide a great atmosphere for their kids to enjoy baseball. During the registration process, parents are asked if they would be willing to volunteer some of their time in support of SYA Little League. Adult volunteers are needed and expected to volunteer during the course of a season in any of the areas to include Snack Shack staffing, field maintenance, fundraising, or many other areas were we need your help and support. Parents may choose to opt-out of this support by paying an additional $50 fee per family. This will get them out of volunteering their time as the league will avoid sending volunteer emails to all opt-out parents. For all those who said they would volunteer, expect to see various emails on opportunities on how you can support SYA Little League.

What equipment does the League provide?

The League will provide each Kid Pitch player with a team hat, team shirt, belt and a pair of socks. Pitching Machine players receive a hat, shirt, and socks, while Coach Pitch and T-Ball players receive a hat and shirt. Teams are provided batting helmets, bats and catcher’s protective gear. Each player is required to provide an athletic cup, baseball glove, baseball cleats and baseball pants. Players also need to provide a water bottle and a strap for glasses. Glasses must have non-breakable lenses.

Does SYA Little League have insurance?

Yes. We purchase our insurance through Little League International to include accident and general liability. More information can be found in this article as well as on Little League International’s web site. Note: Paid umpires are not covered under the program.

 

Spring 2018 Frequently Asked Questions


How can I be sure my child resides within the SYA Little League boundaries?

Please check our boundary maps (East, West) on the SYA Little League web site. If you are still unclear after viewing the map, try the text versions of each – East, West. Live within the boundaries and trying to figure out which league, ask yourself – do I live East or West of Rt 28 as this serves as our boundary between the two leagues. Otherwise, please email us. Players that also attend school within our boundaries are also eligible to play with us, after some basic forms are completed in conjunction with the school the player attends.

How do I register for SYA Little League?

SYA Little League currently accepts online registration. You may register during open registration beginning around December 1. Early Bird Discounts – $25 – end January 31, 2018. While registration is open, waitlists begin around March 7 for Machine Pitch, Coach Pitch and TBall, all kid pitch levels will will go to a wait-list starting on February 24.

What are the fees for the 2018 Spring Season?

See the Fees page for details. Fees have not changed for 2018.

Why is concussion training mandatory?

Following state law enacted a few years ago for anyone using school fields, SYA has implemented this requirement this spring. SYA requires players, parents, and volunteers to complete Concussion Training through the INOVA system. This is an annual requirement by the organization. Each year all players and at least one parent will be required to complete the training before being authorized to be assigned to an SYA team, either house or travel. If parents will be volunteering as Coach, their Coach Concussion Training will meet the requirement for the parent (parents will not have to complete both the parental Concussion Training and the coach Concussion Training). Coaches must also complete the Concussion Training to be authorized to be assigned to an SYA team. To start the process, each family or individual Coach must create an INOVA Family Account at:
https://www.youthleaguesusa.com//inova/FamilyAccount.html.
When creating the Family Account, please select Southwestern Youth Association (SYA) as the organization of which you are a member, so that your Concussion Training is recorded and tracked properly by the system and reported back properly to the SYA database. Further information can be found on the player/coach registration form. Please note if you intend to coach, either as a head coach or assistant, you must take the coach training. This will count as a parent completing the training – the parent training does not count as the coach training. Please make sure the names you enter in the INOVA account match exactly with the names used with SYA Little League (or other SYA sports). The names and DOB are used to match up the status between the two systems. Concussion training is good for a year, across any SYA sport. The SYA year runs from the Fall season to the Summer season.

Why two levels of TBall?

Since Little League is implementing a new age determination date for all players at these levels, SYA Little League determined that we may have many players that will not reach the age of 4 until later in 2018. Having these first time players playing against 5 and maybe 6 year olds we thought we be a little too much so we divided the levels. Parents still have the option to choose which level, however please take into account your child when registering. Should we not have enough players for one of the TB levels, SYA Little League may decide to consolidate into one TB level. This determination will be made in late February if it does happen.

Where will practices and games be held?

SYA is allocated by Fairfax County use of up to 20+ fields located across the Centreville/Clifton area. SYA Sports also has two fields available for practices/games at SYA Sports Park. Games are scheduled by SYA for each level as are practices, which are allocated based on level and Managers’ requests.

How can I make a special request after I’ve gone through the registration process?

No problem. There are two ways we will get your special request entered into your registration information. Send an email with the request and it will also be captured in your registration information. For player pitch levels, players are drafted onto teams and the special requests are generally secondary to the draft.

What size glove or bat should I buy?

While there is no specific science to selecting the right size glove or bat, many online baseball stores have various guidelines to choosing a glove or bat. Kids come in all different shapes and sizes, so here is one guide that provides guidelines in determining size. Look for our Equipment Exchange over the winter for trading in for “bigger” used equipment.

Please note that any bats used in prior years are now illegal – TeeBall bats being the exception, although these will need to be verified and a sticker placed on them. See the article on our home page about the new bat standard from USA Baseball.

My son or daughter should be playing in a level that I am unable to register for, either in a higher level or lower level?

The best thing to do is complete the registration for the age appropriate level and select the mail-in option for payment. Then send an email with the request and we will respond to the request as well as make any updates on the registration.

When does the season start?

Practices will begin in early to mid-March for all levels. Games will begin the on or about April 1.

How often will practices be held?

Practices vary by level, with Majors practicing 2-3 times per week prior to the start of games. TBall and Coach Pitch practice 1-2 times per week. This varies based on Manager and field availability.

Will we be able to pick our practice night?

Practices will be limited to the number of fields accessible by the League. Managers make requests, and the League allocates practice times and fields. While every effort is made to honor requests, it is very difficult to meet every parent and manager request.

How often do teams play games?

A typical week would look like this for teams:

  • Majors: 1-2 practices and 2 games
  • AAA: 1-2 practices and 2 games
  • AA: 1-2 practices and either 1-2 games
  • A (Machine Pitch): 1 practice and 1-2 games
  • CP: 1 practice and 1-2 games
  • TB: 1 practice and 1-2 games

A second game during the week may occur at the lower levels depending on the total number of teams and how many Saturdays are in the season. Rainouts are also rescheduled during the week. If a manager has the energy and fields are available, teams may practice an additional night. SYA limits teams to four team events per week once the season starts, five prior to the season starting.

Can we request a specific coach or teammate during registration?

The League does its best to accommodate requests in the lower divisions (TBall, Coach Pitch, and Machine Pitch), although we cannot guarantee requests will be granted. In the upper, player pitch divisions (AA, AAA, and Majors), the player tryouts, evaluations and drafts will determine team placement.

How are players assigned to teams and divisions?

For Majors, AAA, and AA, all players, except Returning Majors player, must attend a tryout. Following the completion of the tryouts, drafts are held to determine teams starting with the Majors level. For details on the draft procedures, see the Standard Operating Procedures on this SYA Little League web site. For all other levels, players are assigned based on requests, neighborhood, and other factors. The League does its best to honor all requests at Machine Pitch and lower levels.

How do I become a Manager?

Applicants – Volunteers – must apply online by about January 15 to be considered. The specific date will be in the registration article on our home page. For all levels, the League works with all candidates to select Managers and pair them up with assistant coaches. All applicants are notified prior to the player tryouts, once the numbers of teams are determined of their status. Please note that all applicants will go through a background check per Little League Baseball rules.

How do I become a Volunteer?

This is the easiest thing to do! Just say, “Yes!” when your team coach asks for help. Team Parents organize after-game snacks, team parties, and any other festivity the team dreams up. You can also support the league by volunteering as little as an hour a weekend to work the Snack Shack, umpire a game, work on fields or help out with other league activities. All league volunteers are subject to a background check as required by SYA Sports and Little League International.

What is the Volunteer Opt-Out Fee?

SYA Little League is a volunteer organization that needs the support of the community (especially parents) to operate and provide a great atmosphere for their kids to enjoy baseball. During the registration process, parents are asked if they would be willing to volunteer some of their time in support of SYA Little League. Adult volunteers are needed and expected to volunteer during the course of a season in any of the areas to include Snack Shack staffing, field maintenance, fundraising, umpiring, or many other areas were we need your help and support. Sorry, being a scorekeeper or team parent doesn’t count towards this as the volunteering should be in support of the league, not a team. Parents may choose to opt-out of this support by paying an additional $50 fee per family. This will get them out of volunteering their time as the league will avoid sending volunteer emails to all opt-out parents. For all those who said they would volunteer, expect to see various emails on opportunities on how you can support SYA Little League.

What equipment does the League provide?

The League will provide each Majors, AAA, and AA player with a team hat, team shirt, belt and a pair of socks. Pitching Machine players receive a hat, shirt, and socks, while Coach Pitch and T-Ball players receive a hat and shirt. Teams are provided batting helmets, bats and catcher’s protective gear. Each player is required to provide an athletic cup, baseball glove, baseball cleats and baseball pants. Players also need to provide a water bottle and a strap for glasses. Glasses must have non-breakable lenses.

Does SYA Little League have insurance?

Yes. We purchase our insurance through Little League International to include accident and general liability. More information can be found in this article as well as on Little League International’s web site.

What are the Opening Ceremonies?

The Opening Day Ceremony provides the SYA Little League community the opportunity to kick off the season with all our players. Each season we like to recognize community leaders/heroes for what they have provided us. All players are invited in uniform – no cleats – to this community event that typically includes a team banner contest as well as the local high schools’ baseball teams. This is scheduled for April 7. More details to follow.

End of Season Awards

End of season awards are provided for all TB and CP Players and will be given to the managers to distribute to their teams at the end of the season. SYA Little League also provides trophies to the regular season division champions at the Majors and AAA levels, plus playoff champions at the Majors, AAA, and AA levels. Runner-up medals are awarded to the second place team in these playoffs. All All Star players and Special Games players are recognized with medals.

 

This information will be updated as this applies to the old registration system.

Q: I’ve taken concussion training in the past.  How is this different? 
A: This is a new program and different than the concussion training you may have taken in previous seasons. SYA requires players (5 years of age and older) and ONE parent to complete concussion training through the INOVA system. This is an annual requirement by the organization. If a parent is coaching (or assisting) a team, they are required to take the Coach concussion training. This would count as parent training also, however the parent training does not count as the coach training.

Q: Is this a SYA Little League mandate? 
A:  This is mandated across all SYA sports, and is required by law in the state of Virginia for use any state field (schools, parks, etc) for the safety of all of the SYA players.  Refer to http://syasports.org/sya-concussion-training-information/ for more details.

Q: What if I don’t complete the training? 
A: Players and coaches that have not completed this training will not be assigned (or drafted) to teams and will not be able to participate until the concussion training requirements are completed. The league will send out reminders as we get closer to the start of the season with player pitch tryouts.

Q: How do I get credit for taking the concussion training with SYA?  
A: You must register on the INOVA website with the exact information as the SYA registration system.  When creating the Family Account, please select Southwestern Youth Association (SYA) as the organization of which you are a member, so that your Concussion Training is recorded and tracked properly by the system

For example, if at SYA a player is registered as “Bob”, that player must register in INOVA’s concussion system as “Bob”.  If they are registered as “Robert” in either system, the information will not match between the systems.

Note: when creating the family account select Southwestern Youth Association (SYA) as the organization of which you are a member, so that your Concussion training is recorded and tracked properly by our system. Be sure to register in the INOVA family account using the EXACT same first and last name and date of birth as you did in your SYA registration in order to be recognized in our system.

Q: I’m planning on coaching and have a player in the league.  Do I need to take the training multiple times? 
A: If you sign up with the INOVA concussion training as a coach, that training will count towards your family (parent) concussion training.  If you take the family/parent training first, you will still need to do the coaching concussion training.  So make sure to do the coaching training first if you have any desire to coach or assistant coach!

Q: Does my player have to take the training in addition to myself? 
A: Yes, all players 5 years old and older must take the training. For players younger than 5, only the parent must take the training.

Q: Can I combine the training I do with my child? 
A: No.  The family/parent and coach training must be done separately from the player training.

Q: Do all parents of a player need to sign up individually? 
A: No.  Only one parent is required to sign up and take the training for the family account.

Q: I’ve lost the link to the INOVA concussion site.  What is it? 
A: It should be in the SYA registration email, but to go directly to the INOVA family account concussion training dashboard at https://www.youthleaguesusa.com/inova/FamilyAccount.html

Q: What do I do if I or my child took the training and SYA does not reflect that? 
A: Confirm in both systems the information and email SYA admin@syayouthsports.org for assistance.  Please provide the names and dates of registration and training to help in tracking down information.

Q: How long is the training valid for and would it be valid across other SYA sports? 
A: SYA year runs from the Fall Season through the Summer Season. Concussion training is valid for the duration of that year. Training, whether if be parent, player, or coach, is valid across all SYA sports for that year – remember, names and date of birth must match exactly in all cases to have the completion marked.

SYA has a 24/7 concussion hotline (703-970-6427) that’s staffed specifically by a concussion team at all hours (nights and weekends included).  This is an all-in-one concussion number so it can be used for questions pertaining to the concussions in general, scheduling appointments, online education program, etc.  Just say you are with SYA.