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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information      The Little League Season      Team Formation

Coaches and Umpires      Financial

General Information

Which Little League do we belong to?
We are the Centennial Lakes Little League (CLLL) located serves youth in the Lino Lakes, Centerville, Lexington, Circle Pines and East Blaine.  We are chartered through International Little League in Williamsport, PA.  We also run the Silver Bullets girls fastpitch league.  Please see the section on Fastpitch for more details.
 
Are there residency requirements for CLLL?

Yes, to play in baseball, players must reside within our league boundary.  Consult our Little League Boundary Map for specifics.  If you live outside of our boundaries you must obtain a waiver to play in our league for any post-season (All-Stars) play.  When you register you will be asked questions about residency and directed to the process of obtaining a waiver if necessary.

Starting in 2014, Little League now allows for a player to live outside our league boundaries and play in our league if you go to school in the Centennial School District, live outside our boundaries but played with our league last year, or qualify under a few other exemptions.  See Little League International's Residence and School Attendance Player Eligibility Requirements for full details.

 
What levels of play are provided in Little League?
Centennial Lakes Little League offers T-Ball, Coach Pitch, AAA, International and Majors.  We also offer girls fastpitch in our Silver Bullets programs including 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U and with enough interest 16U and 18U.
 
T-Ball: (Ages 4-5 with 6 yr old option) This is instructional baseball and game scores are not recorded. Players in this division are co-ed.  At this level the ball is hit from a tee. Games consist of four innings or 1-1/2 hours.  Teams are formed by random draft each season.  6 yr olds are encouraged to play Coach Pitch (see below) but inexperienced 6 yr olds can play T-Ball.  Games are scheduled for Mondays and a few Fridays with some weekend play at 5:45, 6:30 or 7:15 pm.
 
Coach Pitch: (Ages 6-8) This is instructional baseball and game scores are not recorded.  Players in this division are co-ed however, we recommend girls consider switching to our girls only Silver Bullets Fastpitch 8U program.  At this level coaches pitch to their own team. Games consist of five innings or 1-1/2 hours. Teams are formed by random draft each season. Games are scheduled for Mondays and Wednesdays with some weekend play, mostly at 6:00 pm.
 
AAA Pitching & Skills development Baseball: (Ages 9, **8 yr olds allowed if already played 2 years at coach pitch) At this level of play, players pitch to each other.   Games consist of six innings or two hours.  Teams are formed by random draft each season.  Games are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays, mostly at 6:00 pm.
 
Major Baseball: (Ages 10-12)  All players are selected for teams based on player evaluations (tryouts) by team Managers in a player draft. Majors is the highest level of play in Little League for ages 12 and under and is divided into three levels, International, American League and National League, with National League being our most competitive, followed by American League and then International League.  All Majors players participate in a tryout and teams are formed through a draft process every year.
 
International League generally plays two times a week at 6:00 pm.  Play will be Mondays through Sundays depending on field availability.  International League plays some games against Coon Rapids.
 
American League has four teams and generally plays two games a week at 6:00 pm.  Play will be Mondays through Sundays depending on field availability and will periodically play against several other Little League associations.
 
National League (Traveling) has four teams and generally plays two or three games a week at 6:00 pm.  National League is more competitive and have more games and practices than American League.  Play will be Mondays through Sundays and will regularly play against other Little League associations.
 
How old does my child have to be in order to be eligible to play Little League? What is League Age?
Little League baseball is for children ages 4-12 and is based on how old the child is as of August 31st (generally) of the year they will be playing, known as "League Age". See the Age Chart or our Little League Age Calculator to figure out your child's "League Age"
 
Are there any volunteer opportunities?
There are plenty of volunteer opportunities you can do for both your team and for the league. At the team level, you can volunteer to coach, assistant coach, team parent (team manager or organizer), field preparation, or be the scorekeeper for your team. At the league level there are also many committees and events that you can participate in including, opening day ceremonies, fundraising, league publicity, picture day, team/league sponsorship, newsletter, fall ball, team parent orientation, tournaments, or assisting with the league's communications efforts. By participating in these positions, you are helping the Little League Organization to provide the best possible playing opportunities for your child! If you are interested in helping please email the office with what you are interested in at clittleleague@comcast.net.
 
Who should I contact to get more information about CLLL or to get an answer to a specific question?
The roster of board members is posted on this website. Each board member can answer the questions pertinent to their area of responsibility.
 
Who do I contact if I have a problem that needs to be resolved with the league?
This depends on the nature of the problem or issue, as follows:
 
For issues regarding your Child’s selection to a particular team, please contact the League Representative for your division.  This can be found on our Baseball Board Members page or Softball Board Members page.  If there are questions regarding league rules and more specifically, Centennial Lakes Little League rules, please read through the house rules posted on the website in our league manual.
 

The Little League Season

What equipment does my child need to play Little League?
At a minimum, your child will need a baseball glove - boys also will need to wear an athletic supporter with a hard cup. Our league color for baseball pants is grey and can be purchase at most big box stores in the area.  The league will supply a team shirt and hat. Most children will also require belt, bat, and (non-metal) cleats, which the league does not provide. The league provides each team with several bats, batting helmets and catcher gear. Players can bring their own bats, helmets and catchers equipment if they choose, but are not required to furnish these items themselves.
 
When does the season begin? How long does it last?
Little League season begins around the beginning of March, and lasts until about the end of June. Teams begin to practice in March indoors at our league facilities and move outdoors in April weather permitting. Extended season is available for anyone interested through the end of July.  Starting in Minor League, all-star teams are formed and may play through August.  We also provide a Fall Ball opportunity that mostly play games on Sundays.
 
When does Fall Ball begin?
Fall Leagues will be offered in August/September.  Ages for Fall Leagues is one year older than normal, meaning kids are invited to play up a level for Fall Ball.
 
When does All-Star play begin?

All-Star play is available to Minor and Major leagues (ages 9-12).  All-Star teams are formed in June and play through July - some play may be through August.

When will we be contacted by the coach?
Your coaches will contact you soon after teams are formed.  You should hear from your coach some time in March prior to the first practices starting.  For Majors your coaches should call within a week after tryouts.

When are practices?
Practices begin in mid March, and are scheduled weekly until the start of game play in April.  The higher the level of play the more often practices and games are scheduled.  
 
When are games played?
Games begin in April and are generally scheduled 2 times per week; however, there may be weeks where 1 or 3 games are scheduled. Game play continues until the season ends near the end of June.
 
Where are games played?
Games and practices are played on fields throughout the Centennial School District Area.
 

How do I know if a game or practice is cancelled due to weather?
Our league rarely cancels games due to weather forecasts.  Games are not called until game time AT THE FIELD.  Once onsite, the umpire or both coaches with the umpire (or both coaches if no umpire) decide to cancel the game.  Parents and players should expect the game to be played as scheduled.

Games can be called due to severe weather such as heavy rain or lightning, but players and parents should be aware that Summer weather can be spotty.  Inclement weather at your workplace or home is usually quite different across town at the ballpark.  Safety will always be our utmost concern, but every effort will be made to start and complete each scheduled game.

Please consult our FIELD STATUS before calling your coach or the league offices.

If its too hot, will games be cancelled?
Centennial Lakes Little League does not cancel games because of the hot weather; but here are some tips to keeping your player healthy and cool during these high-temperature days:

  • Keep your player hydrated throughout the day before the game. This will help him/her from trying to drink too much too fast during their game.
  • Pack a small cooler with ice, extra water/Gatorade, and wet cloths for cooling their neck and face.
  • Stay away from sodas!
  • Don’t eat a big meal before heading to the park; instead have a sandwich or fruit or something light before the game.
 
What are the differences between Little League rules and house rules?
Little League rules are those rules to which we are strictly bound. Little League rules are strictly adhered to at the Majors level of play. Each year Little League publishes updated rules that are well founded in history and are focused at every kid getting a chance to play Little League. House Rules are those rules adopted by the Centennial Lakes Little League Board to enhance the game for the players. The house rules generally apply to the Minor League and below levels. An example of house rules is a continuous batting order where all the kids attending the game bat in succession until all have batted. After all have batted the batting order reverts to the top of the batting order. House rules are posted on the CLLL website and are voted on each year.
 
Are there time limits on games?
Yes, there are time limits on some games when it is necessary to clear the field for another game.  Time limits are detailed in the house rules for each level of play in our league handbook. Any game can also be called due to darkness (by the home plate umpire) in the interest of safety for the players.
 
Are there must-play rules? Does everyone get to play regardless of ability?
Yes and yes. The must-play rules become less stringent at higher levels, but all players must play in every game, regardless of ability. In general, CLLL house rules require more play for each child than the standard Little League rules do.
 
What is inter-league play?
Little League rules allow CLLL to schedule games with adjoining leagues if this is mutually agreeable. In general CLLL will pursue inter-league play opportunities when possible in the upper divisions. At lower levels, where the number of teams is greater, there is less inter-league play. The extent of inter-league play may vary from year to year.
 

Team Formation

When are teams selected? What is the process for team selection?
Upon completion of the registration process the league will determine the number of teams to be formed within each division. Teams from T-Ball through AAA Leagues do not tryout.  The Major Leagues includes the International League, American League and the National League and require tryouts, which typically occur in Mid February. All team formations typically occur around the end of February.
 
Teams are selected, based on the criteria of their official Little League age and their individual skills. The manager and coaches evaluate the players abilities during the tryout process. This is an objective evaluation of the child's baseball skills. Four basic skills are evaluated during the tryout: throwing, fielding, hitting and running. Throwing and fielding evaluations occur by having each player field 9-11 grounders all thrown back to specific bases. Managers will then evaluate and grade each child on basic form, ability to track the ball and arm strength. Next, the player is given 15 balls to hit. Managers again will evaluate the player on bat speed and swing mechanics.  Lastly, all players will be lined up for short sprint to evaluate their overall speed.
 
All Manager scores are captured and an average tryout score for each child is created by the Player Agent. The Player Agent will use this average scoring with the managers to create a draft structure that promotes parity among the teams at each level. The basic objective of tryouts is to rank all the players based upon their age and abilities so that when the teams are drafted, teams can be equally balanced.
 
Can I keep my child in a lower division or bring them up a division early?
CLLL encourages all parents to allow their children to play at a level of baseball that compliments their age and ability levels. As such, parents can request 6 yr olds to stay in T-Ball.
 
8 yr olds can play up into AAA if they have played for two years in coach pitch however this doesn't mean we recommend them to do so.  If they are not ready to play with 9 yr olds it may not be in their best interest to play with older, more talented kids.  Its a personal decision for parents.
 
9 yr olds are not allowed into the major leagues (International, American or National Leagues).  The primary reason is because 12 yr olds will also be playing and we cannot have a 12 yr old pitching to a 9 yr old.  
 
Once a child reaches Little League age eligibility for the Majors division a tryout process is in place to determine their ability level and a draft is in place for the purposes of distributing the talent evenly to all teams at that level.
 
Can my child be placed on a team with one of their friends?
The league will do its best to accommodate requests at the T-ball and Coach Pitch levels. As the skill level increases the draft selection process does not allow this to happen (AAA and Majors). When filling out the online Centennial Lakes Little League sign up form please note the friend's name and the league will do the best it can.  If your child is requested to play with another, that other child must also request back.  
 
What division does drafting begin? Why is it needed?
The basic objective of having a player draft is for all teams at a given level to be relatively equally balanced.  Tryouts are held for all players in the Major League (Little League age 10-12).
 
Each year there will be separate tryouts for the International League, American League and one for the National League. Only those players attending tryouts for the applicable divisions will be eligible to participate in that division's draft.
 
The National League tryout occurs first, followed quickly by the National League draft.  Any player not drafted into the National League will be placed into the American League draft, which will usually occur a day or two later.  Any player not drafted onto an American League team will be placed into the International League Tryouts and draft.  Contact the Player Agent if you have questions about draft eligibility and player placement.
 
How many teams are in each division, and how is that determined?
The number of teams in each division may vary from year to year, as this is a function of how many children register, their ages, and their skill level.
 
Is there post-season play? How are teams selected?
Invitational Tournaments and All-Star play for 9 to 12 year old players start the last week of June and run through the first week of August. The process of selecting the all-stars at each level varies by age level with players for the 9, 10, 11 and 12 yr old levels selected by an all star tryout.
 

Coaches and Umpires

What is the process for selecting coaches? 
Head Coaches and Assistant Coaches apply to manage/coach by using our On-line registration system for coaches and volunteers.
 
The CLLL Board reviews all applications and in some cases interviews coaches to determine eligibility.  The major focus is coaching background and skills, communication ability to children and parents, and commitment.
 
All coaches and managers must pass a thorough background check including a criminal background check before managing.
 
A Recommended List of Coaches/Managers, based on the number of teams needed for each division, is presented to the Board for discussion and final approval by the President of the league.  
 
National League coaches participate in an interview process with a selection committee.  Any coach interested in the National League is encouraged to contact the President or League administrator to convey interest.
 
How many coaches can a team have?
CLLL policy is 3 Coaches at the National Level and 2 Coaches at all other Levels, all of whom must be approved by the CLLL Board of Directors.
 
New for 2017: Only head coaches will be named prior to team formation, and allowed to draft teams.  Assistants will be chosen from your team roster.
 
Who umpires the games? How can I become an umpire?
At the Minors and Majors level the games are umpired by anyone interested that is 13 years old or older, including adults. The umpires are trained prior to league play and depending on years of experience and skill are assigned to the various levels. The umpires are paid a fee for this work. Fans should not be communicating (good or bad) about umpire calls. It is the responsibility of the Coaches on each team to communicate with the umpires if there is an issue. At the T-Ball and Coach Pitch levels, umpires are not needed since the coaches and parent-umpires are on the field and fill in as umpires. Volunteers are a key in making this a successful program. If you are 13 or older and interested in being an umpire please contact the league office.  There is umpire training offered every April for interested parties..
 
 

Financial

Is financial assistance available?
CLLL's policy is that no child will ever be turned away from our program due to a financial hardship.  Scholarship requests should be directed to the Administrative Coordinator at the office.   If someone would like to sponsor a scholarship, please contact the office..
 
Is it possible to get a refund if we change our mind about playing in CLLL? 
Refer to the Handbook on line for our refund policy as there are deadline dates for refunds.  Please note: for those trying out for a traveling team (e.g. softball or National League baseball), not making the traveling team of your choice does not warrant a refund and is past the refund date.
 
How do I sponsor a team?
There are many levels of sponsorship available.  Please take the time to review and consider which level of sponsorship is appropriate for you.  You can obtain a form listing levels of sponsorship, which can be completed and mailed into CLLL headquarters along with your donation.