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Levels of Play

The following is a summary of each of our Little League Divisions to determine the appropriate fit for your player.  A player's softball experience and ability should be the overriding factor to determine in which softball level your player participates.

"Little League Age" based on player's age as of December 31, 2020 (see Little League Age Calculator if needed).

As players advance through the different levels of softball, the quality of play improves and the level of excitement, intensity, and competition increases.

T-BALL:  Target age is 4-6 year olds (typically Pre-K through grade 1)

 

  • Starts with hitting off of a tee, coaches may introduce coach pitch later in the season
  • Expect 8-10 games for the season.
  • No score is kept and the emphasis is on having fun.
  • Teams bat through the line-up, and we try to get teams off the field after 3 innings.

The focus is on introducing kids to the sport, and getting them interested in activities associated with the game so that they want to continue with softball next year.

 

"A" DIVISION: Target age is 6-7 year olds (typically grades 1 and 2) 

 

  • Age exceptions: 5-year-olds must have 1 year of t-ball experience or 8-year-olds new to softball that don't pose safety risk.
  • Coaches will pitch using a safety "softie" ball (5 pitches max) and then player hits off a tee
  • Expect about 12-15 games per season.

Single A is recommended for players who have a basic understanding and proficiency of the game and/or have completed 1 year of T-ball. Fundamentals are a focal point at this level as well as getting the kids to swing aggressively at the ball. Coaches will focus on identifying bases and positions. They will teach to run from, through and around bases. Players will learn how to catch a ball without dropping, throw with accuracy and knowledge to where to throw the ball, field a slowly hit/thrown ground ball, how to bat the line up and understand what an out is and how to get it.

 

"AA" DIVISION: Target age is 8-9 year olds (typically grades 3 and 4)

 

  • Age exceptions: highly-skilled 7-year-olds or 10-year-olds that are new to softball and do not pose a safety risk
  • There is both player pitch, and coach pitch as necessary, with a 11" softie softball
  • Pitching distance = 35 feet
  • Max run rule = 5 runs per inning 
  • Expect approximately 12-15 games for the season.

Players should be able to put the ball into play at least 50% of the time off the machine at the beginning of the season. Players should be able to put the ball in play at least 50% of "at bats" off kid pitch by the end of the season. Player should have knowledge of how to stay in the box and the batting stance.

 

The coaching emphasis on the mechanics of fielding, throwing and hitting will continue. Kids should know how to catch a pop up, back up bases, field harder hit ground balls and move to the proper throwing position. Players should have an understanding of defensive positions and how all the positions work. Knowledge of base running skills - e.g. rounding bases, advancing one base on over throws, etc. - should be covered. Players should be able to make reasonable throws from SS/2nd to 1st with reasonable accuracy and throw the full distance between bases.

 

This is the first level that introduced player pitch and a lot of practice is required.  Pitchers need to develop to the point of having proper delivery techniques and mechanics - not so much emphasis on speed. Catchers should focus on position and safety.

 

"AAA" DIVISION: Target age is 9-11 year olds (typically grades 4 and 5)

 

  • Team placement by coach evaluation only (those not drafted will move down to "AA")
  • Age exceptions: occasional 8-year-olds with advanced skills; 12 year-olds may play at this level if not drafted to a Majors team.
  • Player pitch the entire season
  • Pitching distance = 35 feet
  • Max run rule = 5 runs per inning 
  • You can expect approximately 12-18 games for the season.

"AAA" Players have good working knowledge of the game and are beginning to really hone their skills, both in the field and at the plate.  Fielding, catching, throwing, and hitting fundamentals will be evaluated to determine if the player has the skills to be successful at the AAA level.

 

Base stealing is introduced at this level and continued development of base running skills - e.g. rounding bases, advancing one base on over throws, etc. - will be essential.  Players should be able to make mostly accurate throws to 1st base and consistently throw the full distance between bases.

 

"MAJORS" DIVISION: Target age is 11-12 year olds (typically grades 6 and 7)

 

  • Team placement by coach evaluation only (those not drafted will move down to "AAA" or 12-year-olds may potentially be placed on a Juniors team)
  • Age exceptions: highly-skilled 10 year-olds.
  • Player pitch the entire season
  • Pitching distance = 40 feet
  • Max run rule = 5 runs per inning; final inning is open
  • Expect approximately 14-18 games for the season.

The Majors division is the most competitive level of Little League play for this age group. As part of the evaluation process, fielding, catching, throwing, and hitting fundamentals will be assessed to determine if the player has the skills to be successful at the Majors level.

 

"JUNIORS" DIViSIONTarget age is 13-14 year olds (typically grades 8 and 9)

 

  • Team placement by coach evaluation only
  • Age Exception: 12-year-olds who don't get drafted to Majors team can be moved up to Juniors
  • Player pitch the entire season
  • Pitching distance = 43 feet
  • Max run rule = 6 runs per inning; final inning is open
  • Expect approximately 14-18 games for the season.

The Juniors division also offers a competitive level of play and is a great experience for 12-14 year olds who prefer Little League play vs. other "club" softball offerings.  As part of the evaluation process, fielding, catching, throwing, and hitting fundamentals will be assessed to ensure the player is a good fit for the Juniors level.