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FAQ’s - Needham Little League - 2021 Spring Season

Kindergarten and First Grade Baseball

Updated November 2, 2020

Other links:

Town of Needham Field Status

Practice Plans and more

Game Rules

Coaches Code of Conduct

Can you tell me more about Kindergarten and First Grade Baseball?

The goal at these levels is to have fun and learn to enjoy the game of baseball, while building fundamental baseball skills and practicing safely. 
We incorporate a mix of practices, games, clinics, and encourage high activity with lots of repetitions so the players learn fielding, throwing, hitting, and running. It’s not just the players who are learning the game. A lot of coaches are new too.  NLL helps our coaches get going with coaching clinics, pre-season player clinics, practice plans, game rules, and great fields; and we encourage creativity and energy to keep it moving and fun.  We don’t keep score or use umpires at this level, but the kids definitely compete on the field. 
Kindergarten Baseball uses a tee to start and switches to coach pitching after the 6th game.  First Grade Baseball starts out with the tee and progresses to coach pitching starting around the 3rd game. 

What is the age eligibility? Is it by grade or by age?

To play in Kindergarten Baseball, players must be in Kindergarten or born between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2015.

To play in First Grade Baseball, players must either be in First Grade or born between September 1, 2013 and August 31, 2014.  

Where do I sign up or register?

Click on the Open Registrations link on the left navigation menu.
Click on the Begin Registration button under “2021 SPRING BASEBALL: Kindergarten and First Grade.”  It is $160 per player.  Continue to follow the instructions in subsequent pages.
By default, players will be assigned to the league corresponding with their grade but please enter in any requests in the Special Requests field during registration.  At all levels, players are eligible to play in NLL Baseball if they reside in Needham or go to school in Needham.
Registration will officially close on February 15, 2021.  You can register for the waitlist after the deadline and we'll try to form extra teams.  However, it's unlikely that we'll be able to accommodate special requests for late registrations, unless, of course, you plan to manage and coach.

Can my child be placed on the same team as his/her friend(s)?

As for team rosters, we have tried to organize the teams by a) manager and coach availability, b) friend match, and c) schools. Ideally all teams have at least 3 managers/coaches and the players are from 2-3 schools. However, it doesn’t always work out that way, based on the complexity of accommodating special requests. If you would like to request your child to be matched with a specific friend or coach, please note that in the Special Requests field when registering and it will become part of the player profile. Player profile can also be edited at any time. We form the teams in mid-February through early March.

I don’t have any extensive coaching or baseball experience. Can I or should I coach?

ABSOLUTELY YES! Needham Baseball recognizes the importance of our coaches at all levels. Just as your son or daughter is playing baseball for the first or second time we expect that you are a first or second time coach. We have a great coach development program for coaches of Kindergarten and First Graders. We will have a Coaches Clinics (Dates TBA). These are professionally run clinics at Frozen Ropes that will help you run fun, organized, and effective practices. Bring your glove and athletic wear.
We ask our coaches to structure the practices and games for high activity with lots of repetitions in different skill stations, which means that teams need at least 3 coaches. Even if you can’t make all the games and practices, please volunteer as an Assistant Coach. There are four basic roles for helping out:
Manager – Has 'ownership' of a team, including on-field practices and games, and off-field communications with parents.
Co-Manager – same as the above but shared with a partner.
Assistant Coach - Participates on the field, runs practice drills and coaches games.
Helpful parent - Helps with off-field activities, i.e. communications, organization, year-end party, etc.  Contact your manager if this is for you.
If you are helping with on-field activities, you must register online so the league can conduct a background check. To Register as a coach or volunteer:
Click on the Open Registration link on the left navigation menu.
Click on the Begin Registration button under “Coach & Volunteer Registration.” 

When are the practices and games, and how long is the season?

The season starts in early April and ends mid-to late June. Teams generally meet twice per week - once at a set weekend time and once on a random weeknight. Sessions are 60 to 90 minutes depending on age. In April, it’s all practices and in May & June, the weeknight session will be the game and the weekend session will be a practice. Weeknight sessions start at 6:00 pm.
When it rains, please check the Needham Park and Recreation website will publish Field Status by 3:00 PM.

When do I find out what team my child is on?

Typically rosters and schedules are finalized by the end of March.  Directors of Kindergarten and First Grade will send initial communications but once the season is underway, your manager/coach will manage communications.  We will publish a full practice and field schedule on our web site.

What equipment do the players need?

Players must provide their own glove: a 9 or 10 inch is glove is about the right size for Kindergarten players. First Grade players may opt for a bigger glove. Players should also have athletic shoes, such as sneakers or cleats (cleats are recommended), and should wear long pants (baseball pants or sweat pants) as short pants are not recommended. 
The league provides each player with a team hat and shirt, and each team with a few dozen balls.  The league also provides all the necessary equipment to run a game or practice, such as bats, bases, tees, helmets and some other specialty training materials.  These items are kept in locked bins at the fields, and managers will be provided with a key or lock combination. 
Also, many players have their own bats and helmets.  We use metal or wood bats at the Kindergarten & First Grade level - usually 26" or 27".

K&F Schedule at a glance

- Registration will officially close on February 15, 2021.  You can register for the waitlist in February and early March and we'll try to form extra teams.  However, it's unlikely that we'll be able to accommodate special requests for late registrations, unless of course you plan to manage and coach.
- Coaches meeting - mid February. All coaches should attend and interested parents may attend.
- Early April - Parks & Recreation opens fields & practices start
- Parade: Opening day parade is usually held on a Sunday in late April or early May.  All teams meet at Greene’s Field for team photos and a march to DeFazio Field for a ceremony and BBQ.
- Season Ends - mid June.
Any questions should be directed to the Director of Kindergarten or Director of First Grade, as the case may be.