Baseball - Which Division Should I Choose?

Which Division should I Choose?

This information is intended to help players and their families decide at which level a player should be placed in the SVLL baseball program. On the boundaries of the levels there is no specific requirement which causes the player to be placed on one side or the other. The league considers three primary factors:

  • The player is at a level at which he or she is optimally safe
  • The player is at a level where he or she will have fun
  • The player is at a level where his or her skills will be advanced

Playing Age and Divisions:

When registering for the spring 2017 season, a player will request a level of play at a particular level. But what level? The place to start is the age categories for each group. Please keep in mind age is determined by League Age. A baseball player's Little League age for the spring 2017 season is his or her age on August 31, 2017.

The divisions in the Sky Valley Little League are as follows:

Baseball Division Eligible Ages
Tee Ball 4, 5, 6
Rookies 7, 8
Farm •• 8, 9, 10
Minors 9, 10, 11
Majors 10,11,12

*** The decision to allow 10 yr olds in Majors is made year to year based on the number of players at each age level and the number of openings on teams in the Majors division.

IMPORTANT: If a child does not participate in the tryouts, they will be placed in the lowest division that they are age qualified for.

· 7 & 8 - Rookies

· 9 - Farm

· 10, 11 - Minors (AAA)

· 12 - Majors

Division Descriptions:

T-Ball (Ages 4, 5, 6)
This division is typically intended for pre-school and kindergarteners. A soft Incrediball baseball is used for player safety. Players hit the ball from a batting tee for the majority of the season, with games at the end of the season played with the coach pitching. Every player plays in the field and bats each inning.

If your child is 5 or 6 and has never played organized baseball, T-Ball is a great place to begin. However, if your child is 7 we recommend you move your child up to the Rookie level even if your player has no baseball experience. If your child is 6, has played a season in T-Ball, can hit a pitched ball every now and then, and can catch a thrown ball every now and then, consider having him or her tryout for the Rookie division.

Rookie - Machine Pitch (Ages 6, 7, 8)
In the Rookie division, a rubber coated ball and a pitching machine are used to introduce players to hitting a moving ball. The pitching machine is used to pitch for the entire season. Innings are 3 outs or 5 runs - whichever comes first. Defensively, nine players take the field, including a catcher in full gear and fielder in the mound area. Scores are kept and there is a post-season tournament.

On average the Rookie division plays two games per week, ideally one during the week and one on Saturday.

If your child is 7, the Rookie league is probably where he or she should play. If your child played T-Ball as a 5-year old, then the Rookie division could be suitable for your 6-year-old. Ultimately, coaches will determine which players play in this division.

Farm (Ages 8, 9, 10)
The purpose of the Farm division is to provide an introduction to real baseball. It is meant for players who are ready to move past machine pitch, but may not be ready to play against strong 10 & 11 year old players in the Minors division.

The rules of the division are modified to fit the age group and ensure games move at a good pace. Players will pitch, but there are no walks (coaches will finish up the at-bat after four balls). Real baseballs are used, umpires work the games, scores and standings are kept, and there is a post-season tournament. Players are placed on a team through a tryout and draft process. They must go through the draft process the next season even if they remain in the same division.

If your 8 year old can hit a pitched ball and can throw and catch consistently, then he or she may be ready for the Farm division. If your 9 year old played rookies last year as an 8 year old, the Farm division is the best spot for them. Ultimately, coaches will determine through the draft process which players play in this division.

Minors (AAA) (Ages 9, 10, 11)
In the Minors division, real baseballs are used, umpires work the games, scores and standings are kept, and there is a post-season tournament. Players are placed on a team through a tryout and draft process. They must go through the draft process the next season even if they remain in the same division.

If your 9-year old has already played a year at the Farm division, can hit a pitched ball and can throw and catch consistently, then he or she could potentially be selected into the Minors division. Ultimately, coaches will determine through the draft process which players play in this division.

Majors (Ages 10, 11, 12)
In the Majors division, real baseballs are used, umpires work the games, scores and standings are kept, and all teams participate in a post-season tournament. Players are placed on a team through a tryout and draft process. They must go through the draft process the next season even if they remain in the same division.

Intermediate (50/70) - (Ages 11, 12, 13)
The Intermediate division is played using 50' pitching distances and 70' base paths. Players can take leads and the game mimics the rules of higher levels of baseball. LL Senior baseballs are used, league scheduled umpires work the games, scores and standings are kept. There are typically not enough SVLL teams to have an in-house league, so district wide interleague play is expected during the regular season.

Players are placed on a team through a tryout and draft process if more than one team is formed in this division. They must go through the draft process the next season even if they remain in the same division.

Juniors (Ages 13, 14)
The Juniors division is the first division that the game is played on 90' bases. Players can take leads and the game mimics the rules of higher levels of baseball. Real baseballs are used, umpires work the games, scores and standings are kept, and there is a district wide post-season tournament. There are typically not enough SVLL teams to have an in-house league, so district wide interleague play is expected during the regular season.

Players are placed on a team through a tryout and draft process if more than one team is formed in this division.They must go through the draft process the next season even if they remain in the same division.

Seniors Division -- Ages 15-16
The Seniors division continues the natural progression of baseball, with the game played on 90' bases. Players can take leads and the game mimics the rules of higher levels of baseball. Real baseballs are used, umpires work the games, scores and standings are kept, and there is a district wide post-season tournament. There are typically not enough SVLL teams to have an in-house league, so district wide interleague play is expected during the regular season.

Players are placed on a team through a try-out and draft process if more than one team is formed in this division. They must go through the draft process the next season even if they remain in the same division.

Players who are league age 14 and have played a season at the Junior division may tryout for the Seniors division. Ultimately, coaches will determine through the draft process which players play in this division.

 
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