What level should my child play?

Little League Playing Age

Use the Little League Age Calculator to verify your player’s age for the 2020 Spring season; it should be the player’s age on August 31, 2020.  Please note that the player’s Little League Age may not be the actual age of the player during registration, the Spring season, or All-Stars.

RETURNING FAMILIES NOTE:  KNLL Baseball has added a Coast Division for our 2020 Spring Season to offer a more competitive, developmental division prior to Majors.  This will also align our divisions closer to those of other leagues within District 9.  With the addition of a Coast Division, we have implemented some substantial changes to our Lower Level Divisions in an effort to focus on developing players in more incremental progression.

Please review the division descriptions below prior to registration to register your child for the appropriate and/or desired level of play.  If you have further questions about a Division, please refer to the Local Rules Appendices or email vp.baseball@kirklandnational.com

LOWER LEVELS

Tee Ball

Guided by the Little League Tee Ball Program, KNLL Tee Ball is tailored for entry-level players. Designed to provide a safe and fun introduction to the fundamentals of baseball, players learn the basic concepts of catching, throwing, and hitting off a tee. There is no coach pitching in our Tee Ball division.

The target ages are Little League Age 4 to 6-year old players with no previous experience in an organized Tee Ball league.  Ideal team sizes are 7-8 players to provide more individual coaching and keep players engaged in activity on the field.  Parents should expect their player to participate in 2 one-hour events (practice/game) each week on Wednesdays and Sundays.  Our regular season schedule starts the week after LWSD Spring Break and runs into the middle of June.  Players are assigned to teams – see Lower Level Team Formation below.

A Division

Intended for second and third-year players, players Little League Age 5 and 6 must have prior Tee Ball experience to join this Division.  Players Little League Age 7 may start here without prior experience.

In A Division, players hit off live pitching (Coach Pitch) using Level 5 Safety Balls.  During games, each batter will receive up to 5 pitches to hit, then hit off a Tee.  This ensures players develop their swing throughout the season and put the ball into play for the fielders.  Building on the basic concepts learned in Tee Ball, additional focus is on base running and team fielding techniques.  Outs are enforced but not counted towards retiring the side as each team bats through their line-up every inning.

Ideal team size is 8-10 players.  Parents should expect their player to participate in 2-3 events (practices/games) each week with each event lasting between 1 ½ - 2 hours.  Practices will start near the end of March and our season will run until the middle of June.  Players are assigned to teams – see Lower Level Team Formation below.

AA Division

AA Division is designed for Little League Age 7 to 8-year old players with prior experience and 9-year old players new to organized baseball.  Players pitch to batters using Level 5 Safety Balls. Umpires are now required.  The first half of the season is Coach Pitch only (8 pitches maximum, no walks).  The second half is Modified Player Pitch; after Ball 4 from a player pitcher, the batter’s Coach will pitch and finish the at-bat resulting in a strike-out or hit.  There is no stealing and outs are enforced and counted towards retiring the side.

Ideal team size is 10-11 players.  Parents should expect their player to participate in 2-3 events (practices/games) each week with each event lasting between 1 ½ - 2 hours.  Practices will start near the end of March and our season will run until the middle of June.  There will not be any playoff or championship games at the end of the season.  Players are assigned to teams – see Lower Level Team Formation below.

UPPER LEVELS

AAA Division

Designed for players Little League Age 9 and 10 (advanced 8-year old players see note below), AAA Division is exclusively player pitch using conventional (hard) baseballs.  An instructional division to continue building on the fundamentals of baseball, emphasis is on developing pitching by giving all players the opportunity to pitch in multiple games.  Players begin stealing bases with limitations in place for the first part of the season.  Stealing home is not allowed.

Typical team size is 12 players. Parents should expect their player to participate in 2-3 events (practices/games) each week with each event lasting about 2 hours.  The season concludes with playoff games.  Players are evaluated and drafted to teams – See Upper Level Evaluation Process below.  AAA players are eligible for All-Stars but may have lower consideration than players from Coast and Majors.

NOTE:  8-year old players wishing to play AAA must register for the AA Division and email the Baseball Player Agent of their intent to evaluate up.  If drafted to AAA, they will be transferred within our system and arrangements made for the additional registration fees.

Coast Division

Coast Division is designed as a stepping stone to Majors for experienced players Little League Age 10 and 11 and advanced 9-year old players.  This division is an introduction to competitive baseball but still maintains an instructional focus.

Typical team size is 12 players.  Parents should expect about 3 events (practices/games) each week with each event lasting 2 – 2 ½ hours.  The season concludes with playoff games.  Players are evaluated and drafted to teams – See Upper Level Evaluation Process below.  Coast players are eligible for All-Stars and will have high consideration when forming the 10u All-Star team.

Majors Division

Majors is a competitive baseball division designed for players Little League Age 11 and 12 but may include high-level 10-year olds. Teaching advanced concepts of baseball on both offense and defense, games continue to be played on 60’ baseball diamonds with a 46’ pitching distance.

Typical team size is 12 players.  Parents should expect about 3 events (practices/games) each week with each event lasting 2 – 2 ½ hours.  The season will conclude with playoff games.  Players are evaluated and drafted to teams – See Upper Level Evaluation Process below.  Majors players are eligible for All-Stars and will have high consideration when forming the 10u, 11u & 12u All-Star teams.

Intermediates Division

Intermediate is a competitive baseball division for players Little League Age 13.  Teaching advanced concepts of baseball, including balks, lead-offs and pick-offs, this division plays on a field with 70’ base paths and a pitching distance of 50’ to prepare players for the jump to the MLB size fields they use in High School.

Typical team size is between 11-14 players.  KNLL would prefer to field their own team but has the option to combine with another league within our District if we fall short.  Any team formed would have Inter-league games against other teams within District 9.  If only one team KNLL team is formed, no evaluation or draft is required.  Parents should expect about 3 events (practices/games) each week with each event lasting 2 – 2 ½ hours.  While there is no end of season playoff games, Intermediate players are All-Star eligible but may form with other leagues to field an All-Star team.

Juniors Division

Juniors is a competitive baseball division intended mostly for players Little League Age 14 using the same rules as Intermediates, but games are played with 90’ bases and a pitching distance of 60’ 6”.  Team sizes, formations, expectations, and All-Stars are the same as for Intermediates.

Seniors Division

Seniors is a competitive baseball division intended mostly for players Little League Age 15-16 using the same rules as our Juniors program.  Team sizes, formations, expectations, and All-Stars are the same as for Intermediates.

Lower Level Team Formation

There is no evaluation process in the Lower Levels.  Each player is assigned to a team based on their school or neighborhood.  When school groups are larger than team sizes within a Division, they are split up to optimize team sizes and parity.  Because registration numbers are never balanced within each school, please plan on your child playing with several kids from their school and meeting some new friends this season.

NOTE:  Unlike other local, recreational youth sports, Little League Divisions are grouped by age and skill, not by grade.  It is not uncommon for two kids in the same grade to play in different Divisions.

Each player is allowed one (1) friend / carpool request.  This request must be reciprocal between two (2) players and made at the time of registration.  For example, Player A requests Player K AND Player K also requests Player A.  KNLL will do our best to honor reciprocal requests, but does not guarantee them.  Please note that honoring reciprocal requests may cause a player to be on a team with no other friends from their school.  There is no guarantee your child will be teamed with the same coaches or players from the previous season, nor have the same team name or uniform colors.

Upper Level Evaluation and Draft

All players registered in or hoping to play in the Upper Levels must attend at least one evaluation prior to the KNLL Draft.  Organized by the Player Agent, managers and coaches within each division evaluate players on fielding, throwing, base running, batting and pitching.  Players are ranked by their evaluation scores and teams are formed via a blind serpentine draft.  As a group, the Managers make minor adjustments in an effort to ensure parity amongst every team.  When all Managers are equally satisfied with being assigned to any team, they draw a number to determine their team assignment for the upcoming season.

We ensure each Manager has their child on his/her team and that siblings are placed on the same team.  Managers do not get to pick players or pair up with other coaches prior to team formation.  There are no friend or carpool requests in the Upper Levels.  Managers will need to recruit Parent Volunteers from their team assignment to help with umpiring, coaching, scorekeeping, etc.  All teams are disbanded at the conclusion of the season and the process starts over with new teams being formed next season.

Please see this page for baseball evaluations dates, locations and times: http://www.kirklandnational.com/bbevals

Equipment Required

Parents need to supply a baseball glove, uniform pants, belt, socks, long sleeve undershirt, and protective cup (boys).  Baseball cleats are highly recommended and must have rubber soles in Majors and below.  The team manager will contact the parents to notify them of their uniform color scheme.

KNLL supplies each player with a jersey and hat.  All teams are supplied with baseballs, batting helmets, bats, catcher’s gear, and other items necessary for the level of play.  This is shared equipment, so some parents may elect to purchase a baseball bat or helmet for their player.  If you do so, please ensure your selections comply with Little League and KNLL Local Rules prior to purchase.  Also, do not make any alterations to equipment to ensure it will be eligible for use in Little League.