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Manager’s Guide To the Farm and AA Divisions

No:

Yes:

Scores (in Farm)

Fun

Standings

Good sportsmanship

Statistics

Encouragement

Losers

Safety

Negative behavior

Skill improvement

Center of attention

Rules of the game

Focus on results

Focus on efforts

Keys to a GREAT Season:

Always be Positive

Educate

Encourage

Keep it Fun

Safety, always

Good Sportsmanship

Focus on efforts, not results

Introduction

 

How to use this Handbook

Use this handbook as a guide to managing your team. Some of you might be new to managing and may have a lot of questions. This handbook attempts to answer your questions, as well as give you suggestions and tips on how to manage your team. Read it before the season starts.

 

What is the Farm Division?

The Farm Division is the second division within the Belmont / Redwood Shores Little League (BRSLL) and is designed for kids who are 7 and 8 year old as of August 30th.

Farm League is typically composed of 10-14 teams with 12-14 kids on each team. Each team typically has a Manager, a Head Coach, Assistant Coaches, two Umpires and one Head Team Parent.

Farm League is NON-COMPETITIVE; there is NO SCORE kept during the game. This is to help ensure that the kids learn to enjoy the game and are able to enhance their athletic skills and sportsmanship. The goal is to have fun and learn baseball skills. If at any time a parent, coach or child acts contrary to this goal, they will be warned and potentially suspended from playing in this league. For more information on this policy, see the Complaint Policy in Appendix F, Sample Offenses and Consequences in Appendix G and Managers, Parents and Players Code of Conduct (appendix I, J and K).

 

What is the AA Division?

The Farm Division is the third division within the Belmont / Redwood Shores Little League (BRSLL) and is for 8 and 9 year olds, as of April 30th. In some cases, 10 year olds may also play AA.

                                        

AA is typically composed of 6 to 8 teams with approximately 12-13 kids on each team. Each team has up to 3 coaches (one of which is the Team Manager), and as much help as they can get from parents for scorekeeping and umpiring..

                                        

AA is the first competitive division of Little League; i.e. score is kept during the game. Most kids playing in AA will be experiencing competitive baseball for the first time. Because of this, less emphasis should be placed on the competitive aspect of the game and more emphasis should be placed on educating and encouraging the kids. This is to help ensure that the kids learn to enjoy the game and are able to enhance their athletic skills and sportsmanship. The goal is to have fun and learn baseball skills. If at any time a parent or coach violates this goal, they will be warned and depending on the seriousness of the violation(s), potentially suspended from volunteering in this league.                 

Where to we play and practice?

Farm teams practice twice a week, usually at Ralston Middle School or Cipriani Elementary School, and play one game Saturday at Ralston. Once or twice you may also play a Sunday game.

AA teams practice twice a week, usually at Fox School and/or Sandpiper School, and play one to two games per week, usually on Saturdays and/or Sundays. Games are usually played at Sandpiper School.

The full game schedule for all the teams will be posted up on the website (www.brsll.org).

Roles and Responsibilities

The following describes the roles required to operate a successfully Farm Team.

 

Team Manager:  The Team Manager is responsible for the team. They are responsible for ensuring that the League’s philosophy, goals, codes of conduct and rules are communicated, monitored and enforced. They are also responsible for the equipment that is distributed at the beginning of the season. They organize practices and get everything coordinated for the games. They work with the team’s coaches to ensure the above is executed. They are also the main contact between their team and the Farm Division Coordinator for any communication of events, information, concerns, questions, etc. For each practice and game, the Team Manager is responsible for ensuring that all of the players’ medical forms are at the game in case of any injuries. The Manager also ensures that children are rotated through the fielding positions to ensure that all children participate in all fielding positions throughout the year.

 

Team Coaches:  The Team Coaches are responsible for helping organize and conduct the team practices as well as the games. They are the principal means through which players will learn how to play the game of baseball during practices and games. It is critical that the Team Coaches keep in mind that the game of baseball is for the kids and is meant to be FUN. Therefore, the role of the Team Coach will require a lot of patience and willingness to work with the kids in helping them to learn the rules of baseball and good sportsmanship.

 

Team Umpire: The Umpires are responsible for officiating the game. The umpires must attend the umpire’s clinic to get certified. The umpire’s goal is to call the game fairly and to use their best judgment. The umpire should also encourage the players to try their best, acknowledge good efforts and discretely point out the correct rules when players do not know/understand the correct rules of the game. In Farm, Umpires can run their own children’s games. This is not allowed at higher division.

 

Head Team Parent:  The Head Team Parent helps coordinate the efforts of the Team Parents. They act as the main contact between the Team Parents and the Team Manager as well as the Farm Division Coordinator for and communication of events, information, etc. The Head Team Parent coordinates the supplying or drinks/snacks for your teams after each game. The Head Team Parent also coordinates the end of year party for their team. The Head Team Parent should recruit some parents to help them with the above.

 

Team Parent: By default, everyone else is a Team Parent. The Team Parent will supply drinks/snacks for your teams after each game as least once during the season, based on a schedule determined by the Head Team Parent. Some Team Parents may also be asked to help coordinate the end of year party for your team.

 

Important Dates, Events and Contacts

Managers meeting: All managers will get together with the Farm Division Coordinator to review philosophy, rules, codes of conduct and goals. The upcoming events (such as Picture Day and Opening Day) will also be reviewed in detail. This is a good opportunity for Managers (new and experienced) to ask questions and get informed about Managing in Farm.

 

Team meeting:  This is the time when parents and their kids meet their manager. At this meeting the roles of Coaching, Umpiring, Head Team Parents and Team Parents should be finalized. This is your best opportunity to get volunteers! Try to secure them at this meeting. The manager will review the league’s philosophy, roles, responsibilities, rules, etc.

Picture Day:  Picture Day is when all of the Little League players have their individual and team pictures taken. In order to accommodate all of teams that need to get their pictures taken, it is very important that you arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled picture time. All players should be dressed in their complete uniform and should be sure to have the picture form filled out and in their hand to turn in to the photographer. Please do not bring bats, gloves or baseballs.

Opening Day: Opening Day is a traditional ceremony in Little League and is an exciting time to see our kids all dressed up in their new uniforms anxious to “play ball”!  Here is a typical Opening Day Ceremony schedule (please check to verify times):

8:15 AM – Arrive at Belmont Sports Complex (parking may be difficult).

8:30 AM – Teams begin to be announced in alphabetical order and are assembled onto the field

9:30 AM – National Anthem; Presentation of Board Members; Presentation of City Dignitaries; Presentation of Awards; Little League Pledge; First Pitch

10:00 AM – First game begins

 

Mid-Season Managers’ checkpoint:  This is a meeting held half way through the season to discuss with Team Managers how things are going and to talk about possible improvements that could be made. Although this meeting is not mandatory, it is highly recommended that all attend because the input received from this meeting will directly apply to our future Farm Division efforts.

 

End of Season: Last game.

AA Tournament: After the regular season ends, AA will play the “city” tournament. The teams will be ranked based on their record (wins/losses). A double elimination or pool play format will be used to determine which two teams will play for the tournament championship on “championship Saturday”.         

                

Team Parties / Award Distribution: At the end of the year, it is appropriate to hold a team party. The Head Team Parent along with the other Team Parents should coordinate this party. Typically, the party includes getting all of the parents and kids together at a restaurant and having a presentation of the trophies and yearbooks to the players. This is a nice way to wrap up the season.

 

Code of Conduct

As Manager (or Coach) you’ll need to read, sign and submit the Manager/Coach’s Code of Conduct to the Division Coordinator. Coaches should submit theirs to their Manager and the Manager should submit theirs (and their Coaches’ form) to the Division Coordinator. It is important that you understand the Code of Conduct and follow them. Failure to do so can result in disciplinary actions such as verbal warnings up to being expelled from the league. Appendix I lists the Manager/Coaches’ Code of Conduct.

Parents also have a Code of Conduct. All parents must read, sign and submit the Parents’ Code of Conduct to the Team Managers. Appendix J lists the Parents’ Code of Conduct.

Finally, the kids have a Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct should be read to the kids at least 3 times by the Manager and/or Coach. Appendix K lists the Players’ Code of Conduct.

 

Where can I get schedule, contact info and other information?

Everything you need to know, including schedules, team, other team manager, board members, contact information, rules, and park locations, is available on the BRSLL web site at www.brsll.org. You will want to check the website weekly for up-to-date information from the league. If you have any other questions, please contact the Farm Division Coordinator or the League President. Their contact information is on the “Board of Directors” section of the web site.

 

Philosophy

Guess what?  You're A Role Model. You're probably the most important role model that your players have during the season. Players are going to look to you not only for guidance and instruction, but they will be watching and listening to how you react to every situation.

The key thing to remember is to focus on efforts, not results, in a positive manner. For example, saying “good try” when a player misses a grounder goes a long way.

 

Working with Kids

Keep it Fun

Develop practices that let them do the things they enjoy. Kids learn better in a fun environment. They’ll want to keep playing and practicing if it’s fun. Don’t organize your practices where kids spend too much time standing around and not enough time playing. For example, having one kid hit fly balls while having the rest of the team shagging balls is only fun for one kid. Kids want variety and action. They want to develop different skills and they want to run around and have fun. A practice that keeps them moving, playing games and learning, and has a variety of activities, provides an environment that kids will enjoy.

Teamwork

All kids want to be accepted and liked by their peers. Playing on a team gives kids the opportunity to form friendships and interact with other kids in a setting other than school.

You will have kids at different skill levels. Teach your more skillful players to be aware of their teammates skills and adapt.

Teach the Basic Skills

Kids love learning new skills. Just watch the joy of a child making contact for the first time or catching a ball for the first time. As their skill level improves, the challenges must also increase. If they are not challenged they will lose interest. At this age, it’s all about teaching the basic skills. Your goal is to have each player learn these skills. As Mike Krzyzewski once said, “You hear, you forget. You see, you remember.” Try to show them instead of just telling them.

Patience and Be Positive

Players need a patient, supportive coach that can teach and motivate in a positive way. Knowing how to be positive and having the ability to communicate with your players is more important to a successful season than knowing many aspects of the game.

Communication

Your challenge as a coach is to ensure every kid experiences some level of success at every practice and game. Always express appreciation for their efforts, accomplishments, discipline, etc. Encourage positive behavior and giving it your best.

Each player needs to know that you care for him as an individual and that you believe he is an important part of the team. Take time to talk to all players individually.

Safety

Safety First!  Use common sense. Ask yourself: Is the practice field safe? Are the bats leaning against the fence?  Do the kids know when they can pick up bats?  Are the kids not on the field behind the backstop during batting?  Are their fingers off the fence?  Are the helmets padded enough? Etc. Make sure you always have the kids Medical Release Forms.

Sportsmanship

As a coach it's important that you teach the value of sportsmanship. It’s ok to show joy when your team makes an exciting play, but not at the expense of the player on the opposing team. Always show the other team respect. Your leadership is the best way to get this across to your players. Interact with the players on the other team. Compliment them when they make a good play. Show your players that you appreciate the other team and the opportunity to play against them.

 

Working with Parents

Parents can get emotional watching their kids play. Their emotions can range from pure joy and pride to anger and disappointment. While their intentions may be good, the strong emotional bond between parent and child can lead to some irrational behavior.

Get them involved

A “win-win” situation for both the managers/coaches and parents is to get the parents involved. The more the merrier. There is always work to go around. Have the parents help with practices, snack duty, end of season party, etc. It helps you reduce your workload and it helps the parents feel like they are part of the team (which they are). They will also see that running a team is a lot of work and they will appreciate your efforts more.

Communication

Get started early. Introduce yourself to the parents by giving them a call. Also, email them a letter detailing your coaching philosophy, expectations and rules (See sample letter in Appendix B). Give them a list of the kids’ names in your team, along with their parents name and contact info. Include the game schedule, practice schedule and any other important dates/events. You can do all this at the first team meeting.

Challenging Situations

Parents watching their kids play baseball can be an emotional experience. Most parents don't realize how emotional they become when they get caught up in the moment of watching their child in a competitive environment. Because of this, problems may arise, even in a non-competitive league.

If a parent confronts you, do your best to listen and respond to them with empathy. It's important that you listen to their concerns and take a real interest in what they are saying. Don't feel like you have to defend yourself right away. Sometimes listening to the concern and telling the parent that you will think about the situation and get back to them is enough to diffuse the situation. Just by doing that you validate the concern and show that you're open to suggestions. Parents want to feel like their input is taken seriously and that they have a say in what's happening with their child. You then can take the time to analyze the comments and see if there's any validity to the concerns. When you call the parent or talk to them at the next practice they will most likely be much calmer. It will also give you a chance to calm down. Parent complaints at the end of a game can be infuriating. Remember that you are a role model to the kids. If you can't handle the situation without getting upset, then it's best to tell the parent that you have to go and you will call them later.

If you think you're going to have a situation with a parent that you may not be able to resolve, document all the conversations that you have with that parent. What exactly is their complaint? Were they insulting or angry?  What was your response? This way if you have to go to league administrators about the parent you can accurately describe exactly what has gone on. This will help the administrators in not having to take sides over a he said, she said type of argument.

Emphasize fun, skill and non-competitiveness of league - Encourage Positive Attitude

Emphasize that the league is not competitive. Communicate that the league focuses on learning skills and rules of the game, safety, fun and good sportsmanship. There are no scores, standings, statistics and losers.

There is always something positive in any situation. If parents see you with a positive attitude, chances are this will reflect on them and go a long way toward establishing a great relationship. Focus on the positive. For example, if a kid continuously drops the ball – tell him/her “good try”. Show them the proper technique but stay positive.

The Parents’ Code of Conduct (Appendix J) is something that should be reviewed with parents. It is important that parents understand it before the season starts.

 

Recruiting

All Managers and Coaching assignments will be reviewed by the Farm Division Coordinator and approved by the League Board. All volunteers must complete and submit a Volunteer Form to their Manager. The Manager must then submit these forms to the Division Coordinator.

 

Coaches and Assistant Coaches

As Manager, you’ll need to recruit some coaches. Practices are more effective with more coaches. We will pair managers with coaches who volunteer as best we can, but you will likely need to turn to the parents for more assistant coaches.

It would be preferable if the assistant coaches know the basic skills and the rules of the game but if they know how to catch and throw, recruit them. At this age, most kids will need one on one/two attention. They are learning how to catch and throw so they will need special attention from the adults in order to master these basic skills. In Farm you will mostly be running simple drills that are easy to show to assistant coaches.

In games, you will want three coaches to help you run the game. When your team is up to bat you will need someone to run the pitching machine and someone to run the dug-out and make sure the batters are ready the right order. You will also want someone to be the first and third base coaches. If you don’t have enough coaches, you can recruit parents for these roles.

 

Umpires

Each team must supply an Umpire for each game. Therefore you’ll need to recruit at least one umpire from your team. It is a good idea if you recruit a back-up umpire. Your coaches can also sub as Umpires when necessary. In Farm, Umpires can work their own child’s game and since there are no balls and strikes to call the job is fairly easy. And the Umpire gets the best view of the game! Umpires need only go through a single training class before the season starts.

 

Head Teams Parent and other volunteers

You’ll need to recruit one Head Team Parent to organize the snack schedule and the end of season team awards party.

Also, you should also recruit two to three parents to help get the fields ready before the games and put it away after the games. Getting the fields ready involves dragging the field, watering it, chalking it and placing the bases and cones. Post game field duties involve dragging the field, watering it and removing the bases and cones. The home team is responsible to set up the field before the game and the visiting team dismantles it after the game.

 

Building Your Team

Tryouts and the Draft

This section applies only to AA. Farm teams are built by the Farm DC.

Tryouts (or Skills Assessment) are necessary in order to make the teams as fair and balanced, in regards to skill level, as possible. Each team’s manager will evaluate each player’s skills. Five skills will be assessed (hitting, fielding, base running, throwing and catching). Managers will score the kids based on a 1 to 5 rating for each skill, where 1 is beginner, 2 is low intermediate, 3 is intermediate, 4 is high intermediate and 5 is mastered. Points will be added for each player and the total will be the player’s rating.

                                        

Rules and specifics of the draft are documented in the AA Supplemental rules (BRSLL website). When drafting your team it’s highly recommended you take the best player available rather than friends or school- mates of your son or daughter. If you draft too many players based on friendships your team could suffer competitively during the season. One of the main benefits of this league is making new friends.

Coaches communication

Once you have your coaches, discuss/review:

You may want to take a stab at defining some of the points above, sharing it with your coaches and asking them for their feedback. This may work better than starting with nothing.

 

Team Goals

As Managers and Coaches, you should set some team goals. Some good ones include:

 

Team Rules

Work with your coaches to develop the team rules. Rules should include:

 

Required Equipment

The league provides a uniform for every player, including cap, shirt, socks and pants which are theirs to keep. The league also provides helmets, catcher’s gear, bats and balls for practices and games. Kids should always bring their gloves and wear cleats. It’s a good idea if the kids write their name and phone number on their glove, bat, uniform, etc. in case any of it is left behind. In Farm, the league requires boys to wear in order to play catcher, and we strongly recommend they wear one no matter what position they play. They will get used to it quickly.

 

Paperwork

Make sure every child in your team has the proper Medical forms filled out by their parents.

 

Team Meeting

By now, you should be ready to conduct a Team Parent meeting. At the meeting, make sure everyone introduces themselves. State how you are going to run the team, state your philosophy and goals. Let them know that there is no score keeping (this is a non-competitive league) and the attention is on having fun and learning the game. Communicate the Team Rules  (see Team Rules section) and Team Goals (see Team Goals section). Let them know how you are going to distribute playing time; how are you going to determine who plays where; what skills and values you are going to emphasize. Let them know what time you expect them and their kids at practices and games, what they need to bring, etc. Ask them to let you know when the kids will not be at practices or games at least 2-3 days before. Keep them in the loop. Let parents know how their kids are doing.

Review practice and game schedule. Review what the kids should bring and wear at practices. Share contact information. Go over paperwork. This is a good time to complete your recruiting of coaches, umpires, scorekeepers and team parent.

Review the Parent's Code of Conduct with the parents. Make sure the sign it and return the bottom half to you. This will also be the first time you’ll review the Players Code of Conduct with the players. Make sure they are listening and understand it.

 

Practices

The key to running a productive season is to plan ahead and get organized. It is ideal to have a well-defined master plan for your practices, including goals and objectives. The master practice plan should be your road map as far as developing the kids’ baseball skills, and you can write it and share it with your coaches before the season starts. However, if you are doing this for the first time it’s can also work just fine to plan as you go. Focus the early practices on the various basic skills and then watch how the team develops and plan each week’s practices based on how the previous game went.

Whether you have a master plan or plan as you go, never show up for a practice without a plan in hand. Some sample practice plans are below.

Try to learn the kids name as quickly as possible. Use name tags for the first few practices. This will help you and your coaches. Keep attendance. If the need every arises where you need to decide on which player you need to choose for an activity, choose the one that attended the most practices.

The hardest thing about practice is to keep all the kids busy and not waiting around. The best way to do this is to be prepared and to plan on dividing the team into smaller groups to avoid waiting time. Often, kids are waiting for their turn and the mind starts to wonder. Try to make use of every minute. Split the team in groups and have your coaches help you with the drills. Space is limited at practices, but you can spread out as much as space permits.

If you want to do certain drills with the whole team together, make sure they are drills everyone can participate in at the same time and have your all your coaches involved in giving feedback.

Most of all, keep it fun. Make a game out of the drills. If the drills are fun, the kids will not lose interest, they will learn quicker and they will enjoy themselves. Also, no matter how fun the drill kids at this age cannot do it for a full hour. Variety is your friend. If it gets boring you will lose them.

 

Master Plan Objectives

The first thing you’ll want to do in developing your Master Practice Plan is to prioritize your objectives:

1)   Decide which skills (from section IV) you’d like to accomplish and when you’d like them accomplished.

2)   Organize practices to achieve skills based on your timeline. Do this by creating a chart that lists the practice dates horizontally and the skills vertically (see Appendix D for sample practice chart)

3)   Plan each practice based on accomplishing the skills goals. How? See next section.

 

Design practice around objectives (skills)

Have a plan for every practice before you arrive.  The easiest way to do this is to have a standard practice template. A practice template is an outline of your practice. Here are two sample templates for 90 minute practices. The first one features one coach running a clinic during practice to cover a special skill one-on-one with each player, while coach 2 and 3 each do two drills with half the team at a time.

Or,

Plug in your objectives for the practice from your master practice plan (chart). You should also include any parts of the last game that did not work as well as you would have liked. Plug in the drills that will help you achieve the practice objectives. Plug in which coach which run with drills/clinic.

Be sure you give yourself time to prepare the field before practice. Most Farm practice fields do not need to be prepared, but if you are going to use the pitching machine get it set up prior to practice start. If you are lucky enough to practice on a dirt field, please water the field prior to practice.

See Appendix C for Sample Practice Plans.

 

Coaches – Pre/Post

Part of the practice plan should include what you want your coaches to do. Which coach will run the clinic?  Which coach will run which drills?  It’s always nice to get volunteer coaches but if they have baseball skills, even better. Try to get the coach that has the best skills for the drills/clinic.

A few days before each practice, assign drill and clinic responsibilities to your coaches and email them to your coaches so they can prepare and ask you questions before the practice. This way you can iron out any issues with your coaches before the practice rather than during practice (you want to make good use out of every precious practice minute).

Your coaches should come to the practice 10-15 minutes before practice so you can review the practice plan with them (aka Pre Practice Coaches meeting). Review the drills and clinics with them and see if they are comfortable running these drills/clinic.

After the practice, review the results with your coaches… what worked, what didn’t, suggestions for next practice, kids feedback (who did well, who needs further guidance, etc.).

 

Pre/Post Team Talk

Keep the Pre Practice Meeting short, i.e. less than 5 minutes. Cover some of the game’s key concepts so that the kids memorize them (e.g. the bases, aim for the chest when throwing, listen to the coaches when running, positions, etc.). Briefly cover what skills you’re going to cover. For the first few practices, you’ll want to go over the team rules with the kids and parents.

As for the Post Practice Meeting, again keep it short. Briefly review what you learned. Talk about the next event (game or practice), i.e. who you’re playing against, when and where. Take a minute and have a brief meeting with the parents about the next game… review where the next game is at, what time they should be there, who’s umpiring, etc. Always end the practice with a team cheer.

 

Drills

As mentioned, the drills selected for your practice should help you achieve your goals. For example, if one of your goals is to cover throwing techniques, your practice should cover drills that cover step / throw and lateral shuffle / throw techniques.

In order to take advantage of every precious minute of practice time, divide your team in smaller groups and assign each group to a specific drill. Have each coach responsible for the drills. Start the drills by carefully reviewing what you would like the kids to do. Take your time, repeat yourself loudly, make sure your drive the message through. Once the drills begin, ideally, your job should be to monitor the time and the groups, ensuring that the skills are being taught and followed properly and lend a helping hand to your coaches. When the time is up, rotate the groups.

For example, assign group A to infield drills and assign group B to outfield drills. Assign coach 1 to the infield drills and coach 2 to the outfield drills.

Another example, assign group A to base running drills in the infield and group B to hitting skills in the outfield. Assign coach 1 to the base running drills and assign coach 2 to the hitting skills.

 

Clinics

Clinics are specifically designed for one-on-one time between the coach and the player. Clinics are ideal for practicing hitting, catching, throwing, catcher, fielding grounders and fly balls. You may want to use clinics for kids who are having trouble with these basic skills. For example, if a child has difficulties catching, assign them to the clinic for a portion of the practice and have a coach work with the child on basic catching skills.

 

Scrimmage

The purpose of scrimmage play is to put to use what the kids learned at practice. Kids usually enjoy scrimmage. Keep it fun, fast moving and have the kids play different positions. See Appendix E for websites that have suggested scrimmage drills.

 

Game Situations

There may be game situations you would like to go over and practice with your team, especially if it was a real game situation that occurred and your team was unprepared for. For example, force outs situations. At this age though, learning the basic skills is priority one. Once the basic skills have been mastered, then you can move on to game situations. Therefore, I wouldn’t spend too much time on game situations. You may save this for the second half of the season.

 

Fun Games

The kids will enjoy ending practice with a fun game. Here are a few fun games that work well at the Farm level:

·      Hit The Bucket: Turn a bucket upside down on home plate and place a batting helmet on it. Line the players up at the pitcher’s mound. If anyone can throw the ball and hit the bucket hard enough to knock the helmet off gets a point.

·      Two-Touch: Place the tee at home plate and a player on first and third base. A batter hits the ball off the tee and runs the bases, while the players on first and third chase the ball and touch it. The batter gets a point for each base he reaches before both defenders touch the ball.

·      Relay Race: Divide the team in half, placing half at home plate and half at second base. The first in each group runs around the bases and tags the second member of their team, who then runs in a normal relay-race fashion. First team to get everyone around the bases wins.

With these games, you can set a goal for the team (certain number of points, certain times) and if they succeed as a team, they can win a prize (candy is popular). This stresses that we win or loose as a team.

 

Games

 

Track and Plan (positions, batting line up)

Set up your batting order and positions before the game. It can get tricky is players don’t show up for the game so be prepared to make quick adjustments.

Track the positions the kids play. The Farm Supplemental Rules requires you to give each player equal time in the outfield, infield and on the bench. You should also attempt to balance out the whole season, and make sure every player gets a chance to play every position in a game. You should also change the batting order each game to give each player a chance to bat near the top of the line-up. Try to assign each position to each kid the same number of times and give each kid the same number of at-bats for the season.

Note any special accomplishments – effort, teamwork, determination, and mention it at future practices. Some managers like to award “game balls” to a player who played well or achieved one of their goals. It’s appropriate in Farm if you choose to give game balls, that you find an opportunity to give one to every player on the team at some point in the season.

 

Arrive Early to Warm-up

You will want to have everyone arrive prior to game-time to warm-up. You will be able to find space near the game fields to warm-up, as there will not be much time to do so on the game field after the previous game is over. The warm-up need not be extensive, but may include stretching, having the players run across the field, playing catch. There is likely not room to set up the pitching machine, but some coaches like to toss whiffle balls for the players to hit during warm-ups.

It’s nice to arrive 30 minutes early to have time for a warm-up which is not rushed, but 15 minutes can be enough.

 

Coaches

Coordinate with your coaches during or prior to warm-ups to review what they should do during the game (who will cover 1st base, 3rd base, who will operate the pitching machine). For instructions on operating the pitching machine and the default settings, see appendix H. Make sure a coach keeps an eye on the on-deck circle. For safety reasons, players are not allowed in the on-deck circle.

Prior to the game find a chance to go talk to the other team’s manager and check to see if there are any special circumstances you should be aware of.

 

Umpires

Each team needs to assign an umpire for each game. Find out if your umpire will be at the game well before the game. If not, see if the back up umpire will be there. If not, find out if the opposing team can supply at least one umpire (you can have a game with one umpire only). If not, each team will need to provide a coach as an umpire.

Umpires are an important part of the game. It’s always a good idea to get 2 umpires for your team.

 

Parents

Encourage parents to show good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches, and officials at every game and practice. Though they will cheer for their child during games, remind them to try to keep from yelling instructions to them. Remind them that this is the kids’ opportunity to enjoy playing the game. Much of the fun is lost if their Mom or Dad is always yelling instructions. When a group of college athletes were asked what they liked least about their youth sports experience, the most common answer was “the ride home after the game”. While parents are well meaning when they try to point out mistakes made, make sure they know that their primary role is supporting their children, not coaching them.

 

Field Prep

If you are the home team, you are responsible for setting up the field for play. If you are the first game, plan extra time to water and drag the field, chalk the lines and set up the bases. If you are not the first game, the visiting team will be there to help pull off a quick re-setup of the field.  Having some parents volunteer for field set-up will really help this go faster.

 

Pre-Game and Post-Game Meetings

Have a pre-game pep talk 5 minutes before the game. Reinforce the skills they’ve learned, teamwork, good sportsmanship and most importantly have fun. Remind the kids that the on-deck position is not permitted. Announce the batting lineup and positions. Because you’ll need to rotate the players every inning, announce the positions each inning before they take the field.

At the end of the game prior to leaving the field, have the kids shout a cheer for the opposing team. Line the kids up for handshakes with the opposing team.

While parents may be anxious to leave after the game, it’s very helpful to have a quick gathering before they do. (Be sure to get out of the way of the following game before you start.) After the game, praise your players. Focus on effort. No matter the result of the game, remind the kids that there is no score and everyone is a winner and the important thing is to have fun. Before the kids leave, have them do a team cheer.

You may want to make notes on opportunities for improvement and think about how to address them in practice.

If you are the visiting team, but not the last game, make sure the field is ready for the next game. The home team of the following game will also be there to set up and you can join forces to get the work done quickly. Having a parent volunteer for field set-up will really help. If you are the last game of the day, it is your responsibility to make sure the fields are properly taken down and all the equipment properly locked up.

 

Sportsmanship

You’re goal is to teach them how to play baseball, and also how to be good sports. You will play against teams who are aggressive, and this is fine. Learning how to take extra bases on bad throws by the defense, and how to run hard to score from second base are all part of learning the game. This also teaches the defense that they must throw the ball quickly and with precision. However, if the game is becoming lop-sided, please also teach by demonstrating good sportsmanship. If you are the dominating team, you can also teach your players how to read the third base coach by not sending them at every opportunity. If you are the weaker team, don’t be frustrated and trust the other manager is doing what his players need as well.

 

Game Rules

Supplemental Rules for Farm League are available on the Managers Page of the league web site.

City Tournament

 All AA teams will participate in a post-season tournament to determine the teams that will play on the Championship Saturday. The format will be double elimination or pool play if time permits. Seeding will be determined by regular season play. The home teams for each tournament game will be determined based on regular season standings. A trophy for first and second place will be awarded.  

Basic Skills

 

Throwing Skills

Throwing requires the entire body to work together in order to throw the ball accurately and with force. All positions on the field require the ability to throw the ball accurately. Good throwing mechanics will enable your kids to make plays. When you warm up with the team before practice or play catch in the back yard, make sure you work on your mechanics and strive to improve your accuracy.

The five steps to throwing a ball; they are:

Foot work

Turn and throw

Turn your body perpendicular towards the target. Your glove shoulder should point towards the target. While you’re turning, get the ball out of your glove and grip the ball. Weight should be on your back foot.

Step and throw

Take a step with towards the target with your catching side foot. Your body should point towards the target. While taking your step, get the ball out of your glove and grip the ball. Weight should be on your back foot.

Shuffle and throw

Turn your body perpendicular towards the target. Your glove shoulder should point towards the target. While you’re turning, get the ball out of your glove and grip the ball. Weight should be on your back foot. Shuffle your feet once or twice to pick up momentum.

Grip the ball

Grip the ball with your index and middle fingers across the seams to ensure a good grip. Kids with smaller hand may need to use three fingers. Keep your thumb under the ball. Keep the ball out on the fingertips, not back in your hand.

L Shape

Raise your throwing arm behind your head in an L shape. Weight should be in on your back foot. Aim for the receiving players chest.

Over the top

Transfer your weight forward to your front foot. Swing your throwing arm over your throwing shoulder and let the ball go.

Follow through

Follow through by moving your back foot forward and land it in the ready position. Continue moving your arm downward. Your body should complete the motion by facing the target.

See Appendix E for websites that have suggested throwing drills.

 

Catching Skills

Catching is a critical part of the game. Here are the steps kids should follow when catching a ball:

Ready Position

Square up your shoulders and face the person throwing the ball. Have your hands up just under your chest, with your hands open facing the thrower. Have your knees slightly bent and your weight on the balls of your feet. Basically, you want to be ready to move

Go to the ball

Get ready to move into a position to give you the best opportunity to catch the ball. If it's thrown over your head take a drop step and go after it. If it's thrown a few feet to your side, move and try and get in front of it. Basically move towards the ball.

Watch the ball into the glove

Keep your eyes on the ball. Watch it go inside the glove .

Glove position (below/above waist)

If the ball is thrown above your waist you should catch the ball with your thumbs together, closing your bare hand over your glove as you make the catch. If the ball is thrown below your waist, catch the ball with your little fingers together and again close your bare hand over your glove as you make the catch.

Use Both hands

Once the ball enters your glove, immediately squeeze the glove closed and place your other hand over the glove.

Note: See Appendix E for websites that have suggested catching drills.

 

Hitting Skills

A lot of people make hitting a lot more complicated than it needs to be at this age. Basically, your job is to teach the kids how to swing the bat properly, and if they make contact, great!  A good swing and missing the ball is better that a bad swing and making contact. Keep hitting simple for now, 4 easy steps.

Ready Position

Wear a helmet!

Grip,

Have a loose grip across your fingers, not the palm of your hand.

Foot Position

Spread your feet slightly wider than you shoulder width, with the majority of your weight on your back foot. Your toes should point towards the plate. Make sure you are comfortable. Make sure you can tap the front right corner of the plate with out moving your feet. This ensures you have complete plate coverage.

Hand/Bat Position

For a right-handed batter, the hands should be behind the right shoulder, with the right elbow bent and pointing down. The bat should be held at roughly a 45 degree to the hands.

Pick up the ball

Pick up the ball as soon as it is released. Strengthen your grip; begin moving your shoulders and hips forward; turn them slightly into an open position. Move the bat farther from the body. Keep your eyes on the ball and track it all the way in while keeping your head still. Take a small step forward as the ball is approaching.

Swing

Transfer your weight forward (from back foot to front foot) by driving your legs and hips forward. Pivot your back foot and push towards your front foot. Turn your hips first and then your shoulders; drop your hands and bring the bat forward with power. Keep your eyes on the ball as you make contact.

Follow through

Complete the swing by continuing bringing your arms around to the opposite shoulder. Keep your eyes on the ball.

Note: See Appendix E for websites that have suggested hitting drills.

 

Base Running Skills

What’s easier for a kid than running?   Kids love to run. Your job is to keep it fun while teaching them the bases, when to run, when not to run, when to run through a base, when to cut the base etc. It’s not as easy as it sounds…

Know the bases

First thing’s first, the kids need to know the bases. Where’s first base?  Where’s second base?  Third base? Home plate?  Where do you run after you hit the ball?  Where do you run after you run to first base?  Repeat these questions at every practice. Hold up a diagram of the diamond and have them show you where the bases are.

1st / 3rd base coach instructions

After learning the bases, the kids need to know when to run through first base vs. rounding it and going for second. The best thing to tell them is to watch the bag in front of you and listen to the first base coach. It’s important that the kids know that after they hit the ball, they should run hard to first and listen for instructions from the 1st base coach. When heading to second base, they need to listen to the first base coach as to whether to stop at second or round second and go for third. The thirds base coach instructs the runner from second to third and onto home.

Getting out of the box

The important thing here is after the hit and follow-through, the kids need to drop the bat immediately, i.e. don’t have them throw the bat. A lot of kids will be so excited from the hit that they will throw the bat… a possible hazard. If they forget to drop the bat, have them run with the bat for a few steps and then drop it. Slowly, they will remember. The other thing you should tell them is to get out of the batters box immediately after the follow through, put your head down slightly and run. Don’t look and admire your hit.

Home to 1st

While running towards first base, look at the first base bag. Listen to the 1st base coach’s instructions, which will either be “run through”, “round and hold”, “go to second”. If the coach shouts “run through”, keep running after you step on the bag (for a few steps) and fade to the right. Come back to the bag after taking those few steps after crossing the bag. If the coach shouts “round and hold”, round the bag and take a few steps after crossing the bag. The 1st base coach should help you find where the ball is; be ready to come back to 1st quickly or go to second base.

Home to 2nd, 3rd, Home

If the 1st base coach yells “go to second”, round first and run hard to second. Look at the 2nd base bag while running. The 1st base coach will tell you what you should be doing before you get to 2nd base, i.e. “hold up at second” (remember no sliding) or “go to third”. Overrunning a bag is easy at this age; so practice timing your running so that you can come to a full stop at the bag.

2nd to 3rd, Home, 3rd to Home

At this point, the 3rd base coach should instruct you what to do, which is either “hold up at third” or “run home”. If running home, don’t forget to step on the plate (a lot of times kids may be so excited about scoring that they will do whatever they can to avoid the tag.)  Stay within the base line and touch the bag/plate. If you miss the bag/plate, stop and go back and touch it.

Note: See Appendix E for websites that have suggested base running drills.

 

Infield Skills

Infield play is important to the success of any defense but it’s ok to make errors. At this age, there will be a lot of them, missed balls, wild throws, etc. But if you work on having the kids giving 100% and practice the skills below, you’ll start seeing fewer errors, guaranteed.

Positions

First things first, you need to learn the bases and positions. Once you know the bases (where’s first, second, etc.), you need to then learn where the first, second, third baseman and shortstop play. A lot of kids will think that a second baseman will play on second base, a third baseman will play on third base. Your coach will remind you where the proper position plays.

Dead ball vs. Live ball

You need to know when a ball is Live or Dead. When the ball is dead, play is dead. You cannot advance a base when play is dead. More importantly, when a ball is live, play is live. You need to be alert and be aware of where the ball is. Your coach will remind you when play is live and dead.

Ready position

When you get in the ready position, you need to be ready to field a hard line drive AND move. Bend your knees and back comfortably. Place your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Put your weight on the inside balls of your feet so you can push off in either direction easily. Place your hands out in front of your body but comfortable and not too far away

Lateral shuffle

Get in front of the grounder. Get in the habit of moving toward the grounder as you prepare to field it. Approach the ball in a controlled manner that is aggressive but not out of control. Shuffle laterally and get in front of the ball as quickly as possible. Do not charge at the ball unless it’s a slow roller.

Fielding ground balls

As you get closer to the ball, begin breaking down to get into position to field the ball. To do this, shorten your steps and widen your feet. Get square to the ball. Bend not only at the knees but also with your back. Put your hands out in front of your body and open your glove toward the ball with your bare hand on top.

Watch the ball all the way into your glove and use both hands to trap the ball. Suck up the ball from that position into a position to throw. Get the ball out of your glove quickly, turn and look at your target, step and throw.

Cutoff/Relays

At this age, outfielders should get into the habit of throwing the ball to the cut-off infielder. That should be the second baseman for the right fielder and the shortstop for the center fielder and left fielder.

Go out to the outer edge of the infield, in between the thrower and the pitchers mound. Raise your arms so the outfielder knows where you are and can see his target. Listen to your coach as to where to throw it after you catch it. After catching the ball, either throw it to the pitcher, run it into the dead ball zone (circle around the pitcher’s mound) or throw it at one of the bases depending on the situation.

Catching fly balls

See “Outfield”.

Force out (when to tag vs. when not to tag)

At this age, if you’ve thought the kids the meaning of a force out, you’ve done one heck of a job. Basically, a force play is when a runner is forced to run to the next base because the hitter hit a grounder. For example, if a base runner is at first base and the hitter hits a grounder, the base runner is forced to the next base. Or if there are base runners at first base and second base and the hitter hits a grounder, the base runners are forced to the next base. Finally, if the bases are loaded and the hitter hits a grounder, the base runners are forced to advance. A tag is not required on force plays. You need to step on the base / home plate with the ball in hand/glove. For non-force plays, a tag is required.

Double Play

I wouldn’t waste your time trying to teach the kids about double plays. Concentrate on making sure the kids understand force out. If they understand it, then you can move on to double plays. Double play is challenging. The kids need to complete four skills quickly.

Field the grounder and throw to second base. Catch the ball, step on the bag, turn and throw to first base.

Note: See Appendix E for websites that have suggested infield drills.

 

Outfield Skills

Positions

First thing’s first, you need to learn where the positions play. A lot of kids will get confused between left and right field. Your coach will remind you where the proper position plays.

Dead ball vs. Live ball

See “Infield”.

Ready position

See “Infield”.

Fielding ground balls

Get in front of the grounder. Get in the habit of moving toward the grounder as you prepare to field it. Approach the ball in a controlled manner that is aggressive but not out of control. Shuffle laterally and get in front of the ball as quickly as possible. As you get closer to the ball, begin breaking down to get into position to field the ball. To do this, shorten your steps and widen your feet. Get square to the ball. Bend not only at the knees but also with your back. Put your hands out in front of your body and open your glove toward the ball with your bare hand on top.

Watch the ball all the way into your glove and use both hands to trap the ball. Suck up the ball from that position into a position to throw. Get the ball out of your glove quickly, turn and look at your cut-off and get ready to throw.

On the other hand, if the ball is rolling, charge at the ball. Pick up the ball with you bare hand, stand up, look at your cut-off and get ready to throw.

Throwing to the cutoff

Depending on how far you are from the cut-off will determine whether you’ll do a toss throw, step / throw or shuffle / throw (see Throwing section). Even if you are a few feet from the cut-off, throw to the cut-off person so you can get into the habit of throwing to the cut-off. You’ll want to get the ball to the cut-off as quickly as possible. Don’t be distracted as to what’s going on in the infield.

Catching fly balls

From the ready position, run to where you think the ball will come down, doing your best to keep your eye on the ball. Make quick glances to where you running to, making sure there are no obstacles or players in your way. If you think you’ll catch the ball, yell loudly “I’ve got it, I’ve got it”. If someone else yells it after you’ve yelled it, stop running and let that person catch it.

Extend your glove out in front of your head. Follow the ball all the way into your glove. After the catch, throw the ball to the cut-off quickly.

Backup

Fly balls will be few and far between so keep yourself in the game. Do so by backing up infield plays. Every time the ball is hit to the infield, back up the play. The right fielder should backup balls hit to 1st and second. The center fielder should back up balls hit to 2nd and the short stop. The left fielder should back up balls hit to the third base.

Note: See Appendix E for websites that have suggested outfield drills.

 

Catcher Skills

The catcher is one of the busiest players on the field because they are involved in every pitch. The position is demanding.

Dead ball vs. Live ball

See “Infield”.

Squat/Positioning

Squat in a comfortable crouching position a couple feet behind home plate. Extend the mitt out in front of your body. Protect your throwing hand by placing it behind your body or leg. Balance your weight on the balls of your feet and keep your feet shoulders width apart.

Catching

Though we use pitching machines, get into the habit of providing a target. Pick a target and don’t move it until the machine has released the ball. Open and turn your glove down for a pitch thrown down and in. Close your glove and turn it down for a pitch thrown down and out

Fielding

Burst out of the crouch and head straight for the ball. Pick up the ball with your bare hand, stand up, look at your target and get ready to throw. Depending on how far you are, you may want to shuffle / throw or step/ throw. If you are unsure where to throw, listen to your coach’s instructions as to where to throw.

Pop flies

Find where the ball is. Take off your mask and toss it away. Your coaches and teammates will tell you where the ball is. Get under the ball and catch the ball softly with both hands above your chin. Watch the ball all the way into your mitt.

Note: See Appendix E for websites that have suggested catching drills.

 

End of Season

 

Awards Ceremony

 

It’s time to relish all the memories from the season. Plan on one final get together for the parents and kids. This event can take place at a local park, bowling alley, local swimming pool or restaurant. After eating, end the event with an awards ceremony. Thank everyone, especially the coaches, umpires and team parents. Present any pictures, stories, etc. from the season. When presenting the trophies, individualize each one by stating the player with the most… For example, “most improved hitting”, “best attendance”, “Best sportsmanship”, “Best team player”, “Best all around”, etc.

Yearbooks should also be distributed at this event.

Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done!

 

Appendix A – Parent’s Sample Letter

You could send this letter to the team prior to the team meeting, or this might be a good script for what you say at the team meeting.

Dear Parent(s):

I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the manager of your son’s/daughter’ team, the XXXXXX. I’d like to state my coaching philosophy and my goals for your child and the team this season. Youth baseball can be an exciting and fun opportunity for your child to learn new skills, make new friends, and have fun. As fun as it can be for your child, different expectations from the coach, parent(s), and player can take away from that positive experience in a number of ways. As you read through this letter please make sure that my philosophy fits with your expectations of what you want for your child and how you believe the team should be run. If not, this is your opportunity to let me know.

Coaching Philosophy

I believe that kids gain confidence and a love for the game through positive feedback from parents, managers, coaches, and other players. Skill level develops at different rates for kids, but effort and having fun can always be achieved. I try to always provide positive feedback for effort.

I believe in trying to make practices as fun and entertaining for the kids as possible, while providing the practice and instruction that they need to improve. I've found that kids expect and respond to well structured and organized practices. Attention span is often limited with this age group, so I will strive to keep them moving and active.

Teamwork and developing friendships is an important part of any team sport. I always try to tell the kids how important it is for them to support each other and to always be positive towards their teammates.

The league is non-competitive. We do not track scores. There are no losers. Everyone is a winner. Competition is an important element of any sport and as kids grow they naturally become more competitive. I feel my role and that of the parents is to encourage good effort and attitude.

I will work on teaching fundamentals and skills during practice, but I believe the game is their time. I will give instruction during the game if I feel it will help with their performance during the game, but in general I try let them enjoy the game. I don't think any of the kids want to be told what they did wrong during the game. I hope as parents you will do the same. At this age, one missed ground ball can ruin the game for some kids. If your child misses a ground ball, tell them how proud you were of the effort they made to get in front of it. Strive to make them feel good about their contribution. My goal is to have every child feel that they played a great game that day.

Objectives

With this age group, I have 5 primary coaching objectives which I believe are equally important.

1.     Help your child develop the skills necessary to be successful at this level and to prepare your child for next season.

2.     To have fun and have the kids develop a love for the game.

3.     Learn about the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship.

4.     Give positive reinforcement based on effort rather than results.

5.     Provide a safe and healthy environment for all the kids on the team.

Playing Time and Positions

For this age group there is a drastic difference in skill level among the kids. I want to give the kids an opportunity to play a number of different positions and I'll make sure each player gets a chance each game to play in the infield each game.

Team Rules and Discipline

We will have a few team rules that we will discuss at the first practice. Rules may be added during the season if necessary.

Player Expectations

Parent Expectations

I'm looking forward to a fun and rewarding season. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to call me.

 

Sincerely,

 

Name

Phone Number

Email Address

Appendix B – Sample Practice Plan

Date: 3/13                     Practice time: 4:30PM

Goals / Skills to be covered:

1) Basic Throwing  (step / throw and lateral shuffle / throw)

2) Catching

3) Base Running

4) Fielding Grounders

                5) Catcher

                6) Hitting

Notes to mention:

Great effort by Jim on last game – ran hard to 1st base and beat a grounder to the pitcher.

4:15 PM: Coach Pre-Practice Meeting

1.     Coach ABC covers Base Running skills in the infield and covers Throwing and Catching skills in the outfield. Drills to run are…

2.     Coach XYZ covers Fielding Grounders in the outfield and Hitting skills in the infield. Drills to run are…

3.     Coach 123 runs Catcher clinic with players…

4:30 PM: Team Pre-Practice Meeting

1.     Review Team Rules

2.     Today’s goals are:

a.     learn the proper mechanics on how to throw and catch

b.     learn the proper mechanics on how to run the bases

c.      learn the proper mechanics on how to field grounders

d.     learn the proper mechanics on how to play catcher

e.     learn the proper mechanics on how to hit

3.     Review some of the key concepts that they need to learn (what’s a force out, where does a first baseman play, etc.)

4:35 PM: Stretches

4:40 PM

·      Clinic – Catching – Coach 123 (players- a,b,c,…)

·      GROUP A – Basic Throwing / Catching drills – Coach XYZ (outfield)

·      GROUP B – Base Running drills – Coach ABC (infield)

5:00 PM – SWITCH

5:20 PM - water break

5:25 PM

·      Clinic – Catching continued– Coach 123 (players- a,b,c,…)

·      GROUP A – Infield grounders drills – Coach XYZ (outfield)

·      GROUP B – Hitting drills – Coach ABC (infield)

5:45 PM SCRIMMAGE

6:05 PM Team and Parents Post-Practice Meeting

·      Next game

·      Cheer

6:10 PM Coach Post-Practice Meeting

6:20 PM Cleanup

Notes:

·      Drill 123 worked well

·      Drill 789 did not work well… it confused the kids.

Attendance:

·      Connor and Dylan did not attend

Next Game:

·      Jim will not be attending

·      John will be umpiring.

Appendix C – Practice Chart

 

3/14

3/16

3/21

3/23

3/28

3/30

4/4

4/6

4/11

4/13

4/18

4/20

4/25

4/27

5/2

5/4

Throwing

D

 

D

 

D

C

 

 

C

 

C

 

C

 

 

 

Catching

D

 

D

 

D

C

 

 

C

 

C

 

C

 

 

 

Hitting

C

 

 

D

C

D

D

C

D

C

D

C

D

C

D

D

BR – know the bases

D

D

 

 

D

 

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

 

BR – Coaches Instructions

D

D

D

 

D

 

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

 

BR – Out of Box

D

D

D

 

D

 

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

 

BR – Home to 1st

D

D

D

 

D

 

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

 

BR – Home to Home

D

D

D

 

D

 

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

 

Br – 2nd/3r to Home

 

 

D

 

D

 

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

 

Infield – positions

 

 

 

D

 

D

D

 

D

 

D

D

D

D

D

D

Dead/Live Ball

 

 

 

D

 

D

D

 

D

 

D

D

D

D

D

D

Fielding ground balls

 

 

 

D

 

D

D

 

D

 

D

D

D

D

D

D

Cutoff/Relay

 

 

 

 

 

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

D

 

D

D

Force Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D

 

D

D

D

D

D

 

Double Play

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D

Outfield positions

 

 

 

 

 

 

D

 

D

D

D

 

D

 

D

D

Fly Balls

 

 

 

 

 

 

C

 

D

D

D

 

D

 

C

D

OF- Backup Plays

 

 

 

 

 

 

D

 

 

 

D

 

D

 

D

D

Catcher – Skills

 

C

 

C

 

D

 

D

D

 

D

D

D

D

D

D

D=Drills

C=Clinic

 

Appendix D – Drills and Clinics

There are many websites that offer good drills and clinics. You will find that most drills are geared towards older kids, however there are a number of drills that work great for 7 and 8 year old kids. When choosing drills/clinics for your practice, keep in mind that they need to be:

1.     Consistent to Farm league rules (i.e. no stealing, no bunting, no leading, etc.)

2.     At the same skill level as 7/8 year old baseball players (i.e. no pitching, no sliding)

3.     Fun

4.     Simple

Also keep in mind when to use a drill in a clinic as opposed to a team activity. The general rule of thumb is if it’s a one-on-one drill that requires special attention to technique; use the drill in a clinic.

·      http://www.qcbaseball.com/drills/baseball_drills1.aspx: This is a great web site. This site has many good tips for younger kids. Each drill is rated.

·      http://eteamz.active.com/baseball/instruction/tips: Another good web site. This site has tons of good suggestions, however a lot of them are for older kids.

·      BRSLL Coaches Clinic: at the coaches’ clinic you will get a handout with several drills. The “coaches” at the clinic will also go over several drills and tips.

 

Appendix E – BRSLL Complaint Procedure

1.     A letter is written to the division coordinator. The President would receive a copy. The letter should contain facts surrounding the complaint as well as who/what the complaint is about.

2.     If the complaint is not too severe, the respective division coordinator will handle it without it going to the review board. The division coordinator would then notify the complainer and the review board of the action that is taken. If the complainer is not satisfied with the division coordinator’s action, then they may request to the President that the Review Committee review the complaint. The President then has the authority to either deem the matter closed or to refer it to the review board.

3.     If in fact a division coordinator observes a serious violation of any nature of Little League rules or rules of conduct in their division, the division coordinator has the authority to act immediately i.e. suspension until further notice, which is defined as the amount of the time it takes for the committee to making a final ruling on the issue. This type of violation will be sent to the Review Committee for further action.

4.     If a complaint warrants a review board, the following will take place:

a.     Arrange a date, time and location for the review board to meet outside of the regular Board Meetings. This meeting would be a closed-door session and only the Committee, the accuser, the accused, and witnesses may attend. No other members can attend.

b.     Have the division coordinator contact the individual who is involved and advise him or her of the complaint and forward copy of the complaint to him or her. Advise the individual of the date, time and location of the review board. The individual may bring any individuals who wish to speak on their behalf. If the individual wishes not to attend, then he or she will be advised in writing of any action that has taken place. This will be done within seven (7) days of the meeting.

c.      Upon completion of the meeting the committee will decide if any action should be taken. Once a decision is made, a letter will be sent to the accused and the accuser within seven days of the meeting.

d.     A report will then be given at the next regular Little League Board Meeting summarizing the meeting.

e.     In the event the complaint involves an individual who is on the Review Board, then the President will designate a board member to take that individual’s seat on the committee.

 

 

Appendix F – Sample Offenses and Consequences

These are a few examples of situations that may arise in a game, but by no means cover all situations that many come up. In all cases the umpire is in charge of the game and the managers are responsible for their players, parents and spectators. As outlines in the Little League rule book section 9.02, an Umpires decision which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a ball is fair or foul or whether a runner is safe or out, is FINAL. No player, manager, coach, or parent shall object to such judgment decisions. If there is reasonable doubt that an umpire’s decision may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask that the correct ruling be made. Such appeals shall be calmly and professionally made only to the umpire who made the protested decision. Section 9.05 states that the umpire shall report to the vice president of the division with 24 hours after the end of the game all violations of the rules and other incidents worthy of comment, including the disqualification of any manger, coach or player, and the reason therefore.

Less severe actions

Parents/Spectators

Consequences

Comment

Being loud and obnoxious at a game

Warning to manager. Umpire can eject offender from field

If multiple offenses occur, suspension of parent/spectator may happen.

Parents are chanting and distracting players

Warning to manager. Umpire can eject offender from field

If multiple offenses occur, suspension of parent/spectator may happen.

Incite, or try to incite, a demonstration by spectators

Warning to manager. Umpire can eject offender from field

Rule 4.06 VP will attempt to discuss/warn manager before bringing it to the Review Committee.

Repeated yelling and screaming in a degrading manner at player or parents or umpire

Warning to manager. Umpire can eject offender from field

VP will attempt to discuss/warn manager before bringing it to the Review Committee.

Very severe actions

Parents/Spectators

Consequences

Comment

*Yelling obscenities at umpires, coaches or players

Parent will be told to leave game area, possible suspension

Protest Review Committee will evaluate the member’s status.

*Spectators using alcohol at the field

Offender will be asked to leave area, possible suspension.

Protest Review Committee will evaluate the member’s status.

*Loud, unruly spectator conduct that is distracting to the players.

Warn manager to control fans. Could stop game and ask offender to leave the game area, possible suspension.

Protest Review Committee will evaluate the member’s status.

*Manager/coach use of profanity.

Offender will be ejected from game. If witnessed by VP may suspend immediately until further notice.

Protest Review Committee will evaluate the member’s status.

*Aggressively getting in the face of an umpire

Offender will be ejected from game. If witnessed by VP may suspend immediately until further notice.

Protest Review Committee will evaluate the member’s status.

*Aggressively getting in the face of a manager

If witnessed by VP may suspend immediately until further notice.

Protest Review Committee will evaluate the member’s status.

**Physically assaulting anyone

Offenders will be ejected and suspended immediately by VP until further notice.

Protest Review Committee will evaluate the member’s status.

*Using Alcohol or smoking at practice or games

If witnessed by VP may suspend immediately until further notice. If at a game, offender will be ejected.

Protest Review Committee will evaluate the member’s status.

*Use of distracting language, which refers to reflects upon opposing players, managers, coaches, spectators or umpires

VP will warn, if occurs again possible suspension until further notice.

Protest Review Committee will evaluate the member’s status.

*Kicking garbage cans, bases or anything in anger

If witnessed by VP may suspend immediately until further notice.

Protest Review Committee will evaluate the member’s status.

*Anyone throwing, kicking equipment in anger.

If witnessed by VP may suspend immediately until further notice.

Protest Review Committee will evaluate the member’s status.

* NOTE: If any of the above violations are not committed in the presence of the division coordinator, a formal complaint letter must be generated surrounding the incident. Possible consequences to the above actions:

Penalties For LESS SEVERE Offenses

1st offense= warning

2nd offense = 1-2 game suspension

3rd offense = terminated from League for the remainder of the year

PEnalities For VERY SEVERE Offenses

1st offense= 1-3 game suspension

2nd offense = 4-5 game suspension

3rd offense = terminated from League for the remainder of the year

 

** TERMINATED FROM LITTLE LEAGUE INDEFINITELY