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Frequently Asked Questions

Gig Harbor Little League: Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gig Harbor Little League?
Gig Harbor Little League is a non-profit organization serving hundreds of families each year. Our league offers a fun, supportive, instructional and competitive experience for boys and girls ages 4 through 16 residing in Gig Harbor. Programs focus on the development of baseball and softball skills, sportsmanship, and a love for the game in a family-oriented, all-volunteer community. 

Gig Harbor Little League is chartered by Little League International and is a member of Washington's District 2. It is managed by an annually-elected, all-volunteer Board of Directors that operates in accordance with the rules, regulations, and policies of Little League International. Our league is funded by registration fees, fundraising, and sponsor donations and is operated solely through volunteer efforts of its General Membership.

When does the season begin?
Typically, and depending upon the division of play, the regular season begins in late March or early April and extends through mid June. 

Additional playing opportunities exist for players who are selected to play on GHLL's All Star teams for participation in Little League International Tournaments. Tournament play can last until late-July for Minors Division All Star Teams or extend into mid-August for Majors, Juniors, and Seniors Divisions. Please consider your vacation plans if your child is interested in playing on an All Star team.

Regular season games for Juniors and Seniors divisions may extend through late June.

Why does the season start so early instead of waiting for better weather?

The primary reason the season starts in late March/early April is that the season needs to end in time for Little League International Tournament play. Tournament dates are governed by Little League International. In addition, our start date allows us to complete the season prior to the end of the school year and avoid conflicts with summer vacation plans.

Where are games played?

Gig Harbor Little League games are played at the GHLL Fields and various fields at schools and parks throughout Gig Harbor.

Away games for Softball and Intermediates, Junior and Senior Baseball will require travel to other District 2 Little League facilities in the Kitsap County/Olympic Peninsula area.

What days and times are the games played?

All teams are scheduled to play at least one game per week. AA and AAA Baseball and Softball generally play two games per week. Majors Division of Baseball and Softball play two and possibly three games per week. Games are typically scheduled in the evenings Monday through Friday and on Saturdays throughout the day and evenings. Games are not scheduled on Sundays as Sunday afternoon is reserved for rain-outs and make-ups. The team manager will determine when players should arrive at the field before a game for warm-ups. Warm-up starts about 30 to 60 minutes prior to game time.

Juniors Softball and Intermediate through Seniors Baseball schedules remain unconfirmed at this time. In conversation with other District 2 Leagues, GHLL will explore scheduling games in one of three formats: 1.) game schedule to include a mix of weeknight and weekend games, 2.) game schedule to include only weeknight games, and 3.) game schedule to include doubleheaders on Saturday and/or Sunday. We will update this information as early as scheduling decisions are made.

Who umpires Gig Harbor Little League games?

Gig Harbor Little League uses a combination of volunteer umpires and parent volunteers. If GHLL is unable to assign a plate umpire then parents are asked to step-in as the umpire for such games. Every year, our league experiences a shortage of umpires. GHLL is always seeking and committed to support more volunteers to fill this important role. Umpire training sessions will be scheduled before and during the season to encourage ongoing participation.

When will the practices begin?

Practices will begin in mid-March. Practice times, dates, and fields are assigned by the League Scheduler. 

How often and long are practices?

Practice frequency and duration varies by division and is determined by the League Scheduler. Tee Ball teams generally practice for one hour once a week. A, AA Baseball, and AA Softball generally practice no more than 1 ½ hours, twice a week. AAA Baseball and Softball teams generally practice 1 ½ to 2 hours, two or three times a week. Majors Softball and Majors, Intermediate, Juniors, and Seniors, Baseball teams may practice for 2 hours, 3 to 4 times a week prior to the season and 1 to 3 times per week after the season starts. Practices may be scheduled any day of the week after school hours, and not before noon on Sundays.

Where are practices held?

Gig Harbor Little League schedules practices at various schools and parks throughout Gig Harbor. Batting Practices are held at the Batting Cages at the GHLL Fields. Your team manager will inform you about the location of practice.

What equipment will a player need to bring to the first practice?

Players should arrive at their first practice with a glove, bat, batting helmet, hat, appropriate pants, rubber molded cleats, and water bottle. Use of an athletic cup is mandatory in Baseball Minors Division and above.

For our Softball Divisions, all batters must wear a batting helmet with face guard.

Balls and catcher's gear are provided to each Team Manager by Gig Harbor Little League.

Little League International requires that all male players wear an athletic supporter and that all male catchers wear an athletic cup.

What equipment or uniform items are players required to provide?

A uniform consisting of a jersey and cap/visor, will be provided by Gig Harbor Little League to each player. Players provide their own pants, socks and belts. The team manager will provide details about the color and style of pants required to complete the uniform.

Molded rubber cleats are highly recommended for all players at the Majors level and below. Metal spikes are not allowed at the Juniors and Seniors level. 

- Each player provides his/her own bat, batting helmet and glove. Leather gloves are highly recommended. Vinyl and simulated leather gloves can be less expensive but can cause a player a great deal of frustration. Non-leather materials may become slick in our wet weather and it is difficult to form a pocket in these materials. These problems make it more difficult for the player to catch a ball safely and effectively. NOTE: Softball players should use a softball glove, not a baseball glove. The pocket on a baseball glove is too small to accomadtae a softball and players will struggle to catch a softball if they are using a baseball glove. 

- All players should dress appropriately for the weather. A windbreaker, jacket, or sweatshirt should be brought to every game and practice, particularly early in the season. Athletic undershirts are very effective at providing warmth in cold weather and perspiration wicking in warm weather.

- Bats and helmets are provided to each team although players may provide their own. If you choose to provide equipment for your player, please check our website for applicable Little League requirements which vary with level of play. Non-conforming equipment cannot be used in practice or during game play.

When will I find out what team my child will play on?

Players and their parents will be directly contacted by their manager by phone or by email prior to our Meet the Manager event. If you don't hear from a manager by the date go Meet the Manager listed on the website, please contact the Player Agent (Baseball) or the VP of Softball or another member of the GHLL Board of Directors.

How are teams selected?

All Majors, AAA, AA and A Baseball and Softball teams are determined by a draft following evaluations held in February. In all cases, the league strives to create balanced teams. Intermediate, Juniors, and Seniors Division teams, to the extent sufficient players sign up to make more than one team, will be determined by selection or draft.

Can a player ask to be placed on a team with his or her friends?
Due to Little League Rules regarding the operation of our league and our draft process, for our Baseball and Softball programs, we cannot accommodate any teammate, coach, carpool or scheduling conflict requests, nor can we switch players to another team once the teams have been drafted. 

Our Tee Ball division is the only division in which we accommodate coach and/or teammate requests if possible. 

If a player decides not to play, is it possible to get a refund?

If a player decides to withdraw, a refund of registration fees minus a 10% service charge is available only up to the time of a player's first game. Parents should contact our registrar about the decision not to play and a refund.

How do I determine my child's age for Little League purposes?

"Little League Age" is determined by Little League International. Click here to view the Little League age calculator.

What division should my child sign up for? Can my child play in a lower or higher division?

Gig Harbor Little League strongly supports age appropriate competition and development. Each Division has general age groups, some of which are mandated by Little League rules.

Little League rules and Gig Harbor Little League policy may allow players assigned to certain divisions to move up early or to play down in order to develop additional skills. Any request to do so must be made to the Player Agent for Baseball or VP Softball for Softball and a safety/skills assessment may be required to aid in the decision-making.

If my child is a talented player, should I consider signing up for a higher division? If I am concerned about my child's skill level or emotional maturity, should I consider signing up for a lower division?

Little League International sets minimum age requirements for certain levels of play. You cannot register a player to a division for which he or she does not meet the minimum age requirement.

"Playing up" typically means that a child is at the lowest allowable age of a division instead of falling somewhere in the middle of a division's age range. Most children benefit from playing with others within their age group rather than playing up as they will generally get more playing time, have more opportunities to play preferred positions, play with their school age peers, and receive opportunities to take on leadership roles. Usually, these things turn out to be more important to players than what division they play in. While there are some players who may have a more positive experience playing up, there are many very good players for whom this would be a mistake. For instance, a child might possess the physical skill to play up but lack the emotional maturity to relate successfully with older team mates. This can be a difficult decision for a parent to make and it should be one that is made only after careful consideration. If your child has not played organized baseball or softball or if you have concerns about your child's skill levels and ability to play safely at a designated level, it may benefit him or her to "play down" a division. Ordinarily, a child will do best when he or she is surrounded by his peers and friends. However, Gig Harbor Little League is happy to conduct safety assessments to assist in your decision-making about the appropriate level of play.

How many players are assigned to a team? How many teams are in a division?

Each season, the size of a team's roster and the number of teams per division are dependent upon the number of kids that sign up. The President, Player Agents, and Vice-Presidents will decide the number of teams for each division late in the registration process when most players have registered. For this reason it is very helpful for players to register early. Gig Harbor Little League is guided by the commitment to offer the broadest opportunity for play to the greatest number of children. Therefore, we work to keep the number of players per team low to increase playing time for each player. This results in typically having 12 players per team for Majors, AAA, and divisions and 10 to 11 players per team for the younger divisions. When teams have 13 players, that is typically the result of unanticipated late registrations or not having enough players to form an additional team.

Can a player be assigned to the same team on which his or her parent is coaching or on which a sibling is playing?

Gig Harbor Little League ensures that children can be placed on the team that is coached by their parent. When registered siblings are assigned to the same division, the league can place those siblings on the same team upon request of the parents. 

Are there any rules about minimum playing time?

Majors and Minors Divisions have a minimum playing time of three innings in the field per player in a complete game (six innings) and two innings in the field per player in a game shortened for any reason but in which at least four innings are played. The Baseball A and AA Divisions field 10 players on the defense each inning. The Minors through Majors Divisions of Softball and Baseball use a Continuous Batting Order (i.e., bat the line up) that tends to equalize the number of at bats for all players. In the Tee Ball Division, 10 players are fielded on defense (four in the outfield) per inning and the team roster bats the lineup once each inning. Intermediate, Juniors, and Seniors Baseball Divisions have minimum playing time rules of one at bat and one inning of play per game.

Are there time limits on games?

Tee Ball games are four innings and generally take one hour, with a “no new inning” rules at 1 hour and 15 minutes of play. For A, AA, AAA and Majors Baseball, a complete game is 6 innings but there will be no new inning started after 2 hours past the scheduled start time of the game and play shall end at 2 hours and 10 minutes past the scheduled start time of the game (Unless otherwise noted in our local rules). For example: If the game is scheduled for 5 pm then no new inning shall begin after 7:00 pm and the game shall end at 7:10 pm. For Softball games, a complete game is 6 innings, however, no new inning will start after 2-hours have elapsed. Time will start when the Umpire-In-Chief calls “play” to start the game. A new inning starts the moment the third out is made in the previous inning. All games played at the Gig Harbor Little League complex will end no later than 2 hours 10 minutes from the start of the game regardless of the game situation. Interleague games played at other complexes in District 2 are subject to the District Guidlines for Interleague Softball.

What are the responsibilities of a Manager and an Assistant Coach?

The Team Manager oversees all aspects of his or her team throughout the season. This responsibility includes conducting a parent/player meeting prior to the first practice of the season, developing a practice format, creating a lineup and establishing field positions for players every game, participating in league fundraising activities, complying with all league rules and policies (such as insuring kids get their minimum playing time each game), filling out all accident reports, and setting an appropriate example for the kids. Managers are the focal point of the team and must be committed to following through with managing the team from mid-February through mid-June. Managers also must attend a pre-season coaching clinic provided by the league. Managers are assisted by a volunteer Team Parent that helps with things like fundraising events, uniform distribution, end of season party and picture day.

Up to two Assistant Coaches are allowed in the dugout during games. However, a Manager may elect to use additional Practice Coaches during team practices. Coaches provide support during practice to ensure kids get enough attention while developing their skills. Coaches are under the guidance and direction of the manager. Typically, the Manager will design a practice format and have assistants take care of coaching small groups of players, assisting with batting practice, or other duties. Assistant Coaches should commit to be at all practices and games and need to attend a pre-season clinic provided by the league. All actions of a team's Coaches during games or at practice are the ultimate responsibility of the Manager. Managers are also required to provide two umpires for 8 games during the season. 

How are Managers and Coaches selected?

All Managers and Coaches must be approved by the Gig Harbor Little League Board of Directors. Any Manager, Assistant Coach, or Practice Coach MUST complete and submit a Volunteer Application and a Coach Questionnaire, undergo a background check, and be approved by the league in order to participate in Gig Harbor Little League.

Are there conduct rules that apply during games?

Gig Harbor Little League will publish a Code of Conduct for Players, Coaches, and Parents/Spectators prior to the start of the season. In general, the league does not permit foul language or taunting by any players, parents, managers, or coaches. No pets are allowed at our fields. Smoking and use of alcoholic beverages is prohibited at any Little League game or practice. Any spectator, player, manager or coach who receives a warning for inappropriate conduct is subject to being ejected from the premises and banned from the complex for additional games.

Is there a post-season tournament?

Gig Harbor Little League teams (Majors, AAA and AA levels of Baseball; Majors, AAA and AA levels of Softball) play a regular season followed by a post-season tournament. This approach allows teams to work on developing the skills of each player during the regular season and then competing for the league championship in the tournament. Because all teams participate in post-season championship tournament, winning is de-emphasized during the regular season. This format provides greater flexibility for managers to play kids in various positions during the regular season where they can learn without an overriding pressure for the team to win. The intended result is a playoff tournament where all players have developed and teams are capable of competing to be league champions.

Who do I contact if I have a problem that needs to be resolved by the league?

If at any time you have a problem or just want information, please feel free to e-mail the league at any time. We encourage players and parents to first discuss any questions or concerns with the team's manager as might be appropriate. If this does not provide answers or resolve your concern, a parent may communicate with the league's Player Agent, the respective league Vice Presidents or the league President. Contact information is located on the Gig Harbor Little League web site under the BOARD MEMBERS link. You are also welcome to attend a Board meeting and express your concerns directly to the Board. Please contact the league Secretary to arrange to be placed on the agenda at the next scheduled Board meeting.

Contact

Gig Harbor Little League

 P.O. Box 2176
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335

Email: [email protected]

Contact Us

Gig Harbor Little League

 P.O. Box 2176
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335

Email: [email protected]

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