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Berwyn Paoli Area Little League

Frequently Asked Questions

QUESTIONS

Who should I contact to learn more about Berwyn Paoli Area Little League?
Who is eligible to play for BPALL?
What levels of play are offered?
Can girls play baseball?
Where and when are games and practices held? How often do teams practice?
What are the lengths of games? Are there limits?
What seasons of play does BPALL offer? When do they begin and end?
What are the costs of BPALL? Registration? Anticipated equipment costs?
When is registration for the Spring season?
Why does registration occur so far in advance?
Can my child be placed on a team with a friend? Sibling?
What if I cannot afford to register my child? Is financial assistance available?
I registered. What happens next?
How does the team selection process work?
My child is new to the game. At what level should he/she be placed?
How are coaches selected/appointed to teams? Can I coach or manage?
Are there volunteer opportunities?
What equipment is provided and what do I need to supply for my child?
Does everyone get to play regardless of ability?
Who umpires the games? Can I volunteer as an umpire?
What if my child struggles?
What are All-star, tournament, district teams?
What do I need to do to have a ball-field named after me?

ANSWERS

Who should I contact to learn more about Berwyn Paoli Area Little League (BPALL)?

The Contact Info page of our site has contact information for all key division and league leaders, as well as our BPALL organizational leaders. For general information, please contact us at [email protected].

Who is eligible to play for BPALL?

Little League eligibility is based on age and residency. Age: Boys and girls ages 4-16. For baseball, a player must be 4 years old by August 31. For softball, the player must by 5 years old by Dec 31.

Geographically speaking, players/families must either be (a) residents within our Little League designated geographic region or (b) attend a school within our geographic boundaries. To ascertain or confirm whether your child is within Berwyn Paoli area boundaries, we encourage you use to the LEAGUE FINDER provided by Little League International. Or, you may consult our LITTLE LEAGUE BOUNDARY MAP for specifics on our league boundaries.

Schools falling within the BPALL boundary include the following: Delaware Valley Friends School, Hillside Elementary, St. Norbert Elementary, Devon Elementary, Beaumont Elementary, Royer Greaves School for the Blind, Tarleton Day School, Regina Luminis Academy, Schuylkill Elementary, Conestoga High School, and TE Middle School.

What levels of play are offered?

Tee Ball (boys and girls ages 4-6)

Tee Ball introduces children (boys and girls) to the joys and fundamentals of baseball. Players hit off of a batting tee, using a soft safety ball. The emphasis in this division is on having fun in a safe, low-key, noncompetitive environment while developing basic skills. Players get their first exposure to the rules of the game, teamwork and sportsmanship. No records of team standings are kept. Every child plays defensively in the field. Every player bats throughout the lineup.

Coach/Machine Pitch (ages 7-8, BASEBALL as of August 31; SOFTBALL as of December 31)

This division offers players their introduction to live pitching. The emphasis remains on having fun in a low-key, noncompetitive environment. Coaches throw gentle, hittable pitches to their own players (for baseball, using a soft, safety ball). Pitching machines at low speeds are used as well. Players expand their knowledge of the rules of the game, teamwork, and sportsmanship and begin learning how to make plays in the field. No records of team standing are kept. Teams field all players defensively and every player bats every time through the lineup.

Minors - Kid Pitch (ages 9-11, BASEBALL as of August 31; SOFTBALL as of December 31)

Minors introduces a more competitive atmosphere—the emphasis is still light-hearted and fun—as players face-off against their friends and neighbors on the mound. Young pitchers will learn proper form and how to make adjustments to correct for inaccuracy. Batters will learn to recognize and time good pitches and avoid the occasional wild one. Skill development continues for fielding and play-making. Score-keeping, standings, and playoffs make for a more competitive level of play. Fields are now standard Little League dimensions.

Majors (ages 10-12, BASEBALL as of August 31; SOFTBALL as of December 31)

The Majors boil down to execution. By this stage, the kids know the rules, the positions and roles, and the mechanics of fielding, throwing and batting. With the foundation in place, it comes down to making plays. Games are high-paced and exciting for families and spectators. Coaches still emphasize fun and fair-play. But expectations are higher. Hard work, skill development, and baseball wisdom are high priorities. The division is designed to be both the satisfying culmination of some players' Little League careers and to prepare other players for higher levels of play including advancement in Little League Tournament play.

Intermediate 50/70 (age 13, BASEBALL ONLY as of August 31)

The Intermediate 50/70 Division—first introduced to Little League in 2010—serves to transition Little League baseball players from the 40/60 field dimensions of the Majors to the pro-level 60/90 diamonds of the Junior and Senior Divisions. Pitchers and base-runners undoubtedly appreciate the bridge. Beyond field dimensions, players enjoy an expansion of game rules, nudging them closer to the guidelines and excitement of MLB play.

Juniors (ages 13-14, BASEBALL as of August 31; SOFTBALL as of December 31)

Welcome to the big leagues. The regular season schedule is tailored to minimize conflicts with school and Legion programs and usually includes competition against other little league programs.

Seniors (ages 15-16, BASEBALL as of August 31; SOFTBALL as of December 31)

The Seniors Program is the culmination of the Little League journey. The regular season schedule is tailored to minimize conflicts with school and Legion programs and usually includes competition against other little league programs.

Challenger Division (children with physical and intellectual challenges; all ages)

The Challenger Division offers children with physical and intellectual challenges the full benefits of Little League participation in an athletic environment structured to meet their needs.

All-Star Tournament Teams (teams by year, BASEBALL as of August 31; SOFTBALL as of December 31)

At the end of the spring Little League season, tryouts are held for BPALL All-Star teams by year, ages 8-16. All assembled teams compete in the Little League tournament beginning with district-play and possibly advancing to sectionals, state, and regionals. The 12-year old teams compete for a chance to compete in the big dance—the Little League World Series of baseball and softball.

Can girls play baseball?

Girls and boys play together in Tee Ball (the introductory division of our program). From there, girls have the option to progress in either the softball or baseball program. BPALL welcomes girls in BOTH programs. Maddy Freking and Mo’ne Davis have paved the way for participation in baseball. The girls of Rowan Little League in Salisbury, North Carolina, have certainly set the bar high for softball players everywhere with their five-year run of Little League World Series appearances.

Where and when are games and practices held? How often do teams practice?

Games are held on weekdays and Saturdays. Practices are typically held once a week on weekdays in the early evening. Coaches work with planners and parents to establish the day. While many of our practices and games (as well as events) are held at our town center, Field of Dreams, some are played at our other field venues. For a list of field locations, please visit the fields section of our site.

What are the lengths of games? Are there limits?

Due to the lack of a game clock (one of the charms of the sport), a ballgame can, theoretically go on forever. Worry not. Little League ensures respect for busy family schedules. Game lengths—with some variation—are as follows:

Division # Innings Game Length (time)
Tee Ball 3 innings +/- 1 hour
Coach/Machine Pitch 6 innings +/- 2 hours
Minors 6 innings +/- 2 hours
Majors 6 innings +/- 2 hours
Juniors 7 innings +/- 2 hours
Seniors 7 innings +/- 2 hours

What seasons of play does BPALL offer? When do they begin and end?

BPALL offers two seasons of play: Spring (primary) and Fall (secondary, more relaxed and focused on skill development). The Spring season is the heartbeat of Little League baseball. In addition to practices and games, BPALL hosts numerous events for children and families throughout the season and into summer.

The Spring season will typically start with practices in mid-to-late March and games in early to mid-April. The final games are generally played in early-to-mid June.

The Fall season typically runs from early September to late October.

What are the costs of BPALL? Registration? Anticipated equipment costs?

Spring season costs are as follows:
  • Tee Ball: $150
  • Coach/Machine Pitch Baseball: $230
  • Minors Baseball: $250
  • Majors Baseball: $250
  • Juniors Baseball: $250
  • Seniors Baseball: $250
  • Softball: $200
  • Challenger Division: $60
Note that there may be an early registration discount and/or late fee applied. Check the BPALL email blasts and/or the BPALL website for more information.

Equipment needed and anticipated costs:

The League supplies catchers gear. Players must provide their own helmets, bats, and gloves. It is also highly recommended that players wear cleats. Cleats must be plastic molded up through the Majors division. Metal spikes are allowed only in the Intermediate, Juniors, and Seniors divisions.

Equipment Low-end
expected cost
High-end
expected cost
Batting helmet $25 $100
Tee ball bat $15 $70
Baseball/softball bat $20 $450
Glove $15 $300
Softball Face Guard $20 $45
Cleats $20 $60
Pants $20 $40

When is registration for the Spring season?

Registration will typically run from around December 1 through the end of March. A late registration fee will typically be applied starting some time in February or early March. Check the BPALL email blasts and the BPALL website for more information.

Why does registration occur so far in advance?

Planning, scheduling, and team building take a lot of time and effort. The earlier players are registered, the easier it is estimate and plan for the number of teams, field requirements, coaching assignments, scheduling, etc.

Can my child be placed on a team with a friend? Sibling?

Accommodations can be made at the Tee Ball and Coach/Machine Pitch levels for player placement requests. For Minors and Majors, however, Little League rules do not allow us to arrange teams by request. We have the draft process in place in order to balance out the teams and keep team arrangement manageable.

What if I cannot afford to register my child? Is financial assistance available?

Berwyn Paoli Area Little League’s policy is that no child will ever be turned away from our program due to financial hardship. Scholarship requests should be directed the Scholarship Director at [email protected].

I registered. What happens next?

For the Machine Pitch, Minors, and Majors divisions, your player will be invited to an evaluation session some time between the middle of February and early March. This is to assess skill levels and experience. Teams are assembled via a draft soon thereafter. The draft is then carefully managed to ensure a balanced distribution of skill levels, with particular attention paid to pitchers and catchers (teams short on experience at these positions can struggle).

For all divisions, you should hear from your coach by early to mid-March. Practices will begin in mid to late March and the season commences in early to mid-April.

How does the team selection process work?

In Tee Ball and Machine Pitch Baseball, teams are put together by the league. In these divisions, the league will do its best to accommodate friend requests, although this is not guaranteed. Also, the league will attempt to put multiple children from the same school or neighborhood on a team (i.e., we try to avoid a child from being the only player from a school on that team).

In the older divisions (Minors and older), teams are selected through a draft. At the close of registration, players are invited to an evaluation day (generally two days are offered to accommodate schedules) to assess their core skills. The draft is then carefully managed to ensure a balanced distribution of skill levels, with particular attention paid to pitchers and catchers (teams short on experience at these positions can struggle).

Ultimately, we put a lot of time into ensuring that teams and divisions are fair and balanced. This benefits experienced and less-experienced players alike. Each league manager within each division will draft a team. The drafts are done based on a combination of player age and skill level. We go out of our way to set up teams and divisions that are fair and balanced in order to give each player a positive experience and benefit their skill development.

My child is new to the game. At what level should he/she be placed?

First we take age into consideration; some ages are eligible for one or two certain divisions. Which division they are placed in of the two will depend on where our managers think the player will be most comfortable and have the best experience.

Any questions can be directed to [email protected].

How are coaches selected/appointed to teams? Can I coach or manage?

Head Coaches and Assistant Coaches apply to manage/coach by using our on-line registration system for coaches and volunteers. The BPALL 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 are required to attend a BPALL-hosted clinic held prior to the season in order to convey a core curriculum and drills that meet BPALL’s high standards.

All coaches must pass a thorough background check including a criminal background check before being placed with a team. 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.

Are there volunteer opportunities?

Yes, yes, and yes. Berwyn Paoli Area Little League, and Little Leagues throughout the world, run on the backs and minds of volunteers. It’s central to what makes Little League unique among youth sports and the experience for our children, so rich. Opportunities for service range from the simple and quick—raking an infield after a game—to strategic and involved—positions on the League Board. Visit our volunteer page for more information. Or reach out to our Volunteer Coordinators at [email protected].

What equipment is provided and what do I need to supply for my child?

The league supplies catcher's gear. Players must provide their own helmets, bats, and gloves. It is also highly recommended that players wear cleats.

Does everyone get to play regardless of ability?

Absolutely. In Tee Ball and Coach/Machine Pitch, players rotate all positions and everyone bats. In the Minors and going forward, players begin to zero-in on positions that fit their skills and preferences. Players still rotate through positions. But children showing greater skill with, for example, pitching will begin to see more playing time at that position. By the majors, players will have found 1-3 positions that are a best fit. BPALL takes great pains to emphasize the importance of ALL positions on the field. It takes a team to win a ballgame.

Who umpires the games? Can I volunteer as an umpire?

BPALL uses both adult umpires (provided through a professional service) and youth/student umpires. Boys and girls between the ages of 13-18, with some experience with baseball/softball, can join our youth umpire program. Please visit the Umpires Lounge for more details. Or reach out to our Youth Umpires coordinator at [email protected].

What if my child struggles?

Our philosophy is that every Little Leaguer has a role to play and every child can grow and advance as a ballplayer. If your Little Leaguer is struggling with any aspects of the game, or simply wants to strengthen a part of their game, BPALL offers one-on-one and group training sessions to help. Prior to the Spring season, BPALL will appoint a coordinator with whom you can discuss your situation and set up some personalized training. We offer this free of charge and will work to shore up your Little Leaguer's confidence, as well as their play.

What are All-star, tournament, district teams?

All-Star teams (also referred to as tournament teams or district teams) represent Berwyn Paoli Area Little League in the official Little League tournaments. These tournaments start at age 9 and are held at Little League District level, Section level, State level, Regional level, and National/Global level. At the end of the spring Little League season, tryouts are held for BPALL All-Star teams by year, ages 8-16. All teams compete in the Little League District 27 and can advance to additional levels. The 12-year old teams and older compete for a chance to compete in the big dance—the Little League World Series of baseball and softball.

What do I need to do to have a ball-field named after me?

Volunteer. A lot. And donate. A lot.
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