Website Manager

South Durham Little League

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: When does SDLL play?

A1: SDLL offers a competitive Spring season from February to mid-June. A shorter instructional Fall season has been available in recent years during the months of September and October.

Q2: Can anyone register to play with SDLL regardless of where they live? 

A2: No. Only boys and girls who reside or go to school within SDLL’s boundary may register to play with SDLL during the Spring season. The boundary map may be seen here on Little League International’s website. Your child is eligible to play SDLL if either your home or school address is within SDLL’s boundaries.

Exceptions to the Little League boundary rule:  

  1. Everyone is eligible to play Tee Ball, Spring or Fall Season.  

  2. Everyone is eligible to play in the Fall Season.

  3. Players who successfully apply for and receive a waiver from Little League International (NOTE: players receiving a waiver who do not reside or attend school within the SDLL boundary are ineligible for All Star team consideration per Little League International).  Please contact the SDLL Player Agent for more details at [email protected]

Can any girl register for girls Softball at Bull City LL since SDLL does not offer girls Softball?
At this time, Fall 2019, SDLL is offering a girls' softball league.  Please see SOFTBALL on the menu bar.  For fall, any player may play for SDLL or Bull City LL, but we encourage you to participate in SDLL's first season of softball!

Q3: How does Little League determine a child’s “League Age”?

A3: A player’s “League Age” is not necessarily the same as their current age. You can determine your child’s League Age by using the Little League International age calculator. The player’s league age is critical in determining division assignment and All Star eligibility.  Note: Age groups for each division are listed below (see Question 12).

Q4: When is registration for the Spring season?

A4: Registration typically opens during the first week of January and closes February 1st (or earlier if maximum capacity is reached). Tee Ball registration is usually available for a few additional weeks.

If offered, registration for the Juniors (Ages 12-14) or Seniors (Ages 13-16) Spring season opens the first week of January and typically does not close until March.  The Juniors or Seniors Division begins in April or May (after or near the end of the Middle School season). 

Q5: What are the general dates for the Spring season?

A5: For ages 4-12: 

-Registration is in January. 
-Mandatory Skills Evaluations is generally the first Saturday or Sunday in February (if cancelled due to inclement weather, it is generally rescheduled for the following Saturday or Sunday).  
-There is no Skills Evaluation for Tee Ball (except for all league age 6 players wishing to play machine pitch, these players must evaluate at the mandatory skills evaluation).  
-The draft for team assignments is in mid to late February. 
-Teams start practicing no later than first week of March. 
-Opening Ceremonies is a Saturday in either late March or early April.
-Games start in March.
-The season ends in mid May to early June with an end of season tournament for all divisions, except Tee Ball and Juniors or Seniors. 

Division A thru Majors, tournament champion teams play one more game in mid-June, for the Mayor’s Cup, against the Bull City Little League champions.

For ages 12-16 (Juniors or Seniors): 

-Registration opens in January and generally remains open thru early March.
-Skills Evaluations are in mid-late March.. 
-The draft for team assignments is in mid-late March immediately after Skills Evaluations. 
-Teams start practicing in April. 
-Games start near the end of April/early May. 
-The season ends near the middle to end of June. 

Q6: When is registration for the Fall season?

A6: Registration typically opens during the first week of August and closes the middle of August for ages 4-12, and 12-16 if offered.

Q7: What are the dates for the Fall season?

A7: For all ages: 

-Fall season registration is in early to mid-August. 
-Skills Evaluations are in mid-August, but only for players who did not participate in the previous Spring season or Tee Ball players league age 6 interested in playing in the machine division. 
-There is no Skills Evaluation for Tee Ball. 
-There may be a Juniors or Seniors Division, depending upon number of registered players, available coaches and fields.
-The draft for team assignments is in late August. 
-Teams start practicing the last week of August or first week of September and games start mid-September. 
-The season ends the last week of October. 

Q8: How much is registration?

A8: The registration fee changes season to season.  For spring 2018, the fee is $175 for all divisions except Tee Ball. Tee Ball is less expensive.  The fall season is generally no less than $150 for all divisions except Tee Ball. Again, Tee Ball is less expensive. Juniors or Seniors, if available, is no less than $175. 

Q9: What happens if my child wants to play but registration is closed? 

A9: Your player will be placed on a waitlist and we will contact you if a spot becomes available. To avoid this, we strongly recommend that you register early.  However, to request to be added to the waitlist, please email the SDLL player agent at [email protected].

Q10: What divisions of baseball does SDLL offer?

A10: SDLL offers six divisions of baseball in the Spring, and may offer Juniors or Seniors:  

  1. Tee Ball: modified coach pitch and tee for beginning baseball players league ages 4-6

  2. Rookie: beginning machine pitch for league ages 6-8

  3. A: advanced machine pitch for league ages 7-9

  4. AA: beginning player pitch for league ages 8-10

  5. AAA: advance player pitch for league ages 9-11

  6. Majors:  top level player pitch for league ages 10-12

  7. Juniors or Seniors:  player pitch for league ages 12-16

SDLL offers four to five divisions of baseball in the fall, and may offer Juniors or Seniors:

  1. Tee Ball: modified coach pitch and tee for beginning baseball players league ages 4-6

  2. Lower Machine: beginning machine pitch for league ages 6-8

  3. Machine: advance machine pitch for league ages 7-9

  4. Cactus: beginning player pitch for league ages 8-11

  5. Grapefruit:  top level player pitch for league ages 10-12

  6. Juniors or Seniors:  player pitch for league ages 12-16

NOTE: the age groups overlap in Spring and Fall because players will be drafted to teams based on their experience and ability.  

Q11: What are evaluations? When do they occur?

A11: Evaluations are an assessment of the player’s skills in throwing, pitching, batting, fielding, catching and basic athleticism to aid the league in placing the player in the appropriate division with peers of comparative skill.  

Every Spring, all players league age 7 thru 16 (and player league age 6 wanting to be considered for the lower machine pitch division) must undergo an evaluation as part of the division assignments and draft.  Tee Ball does not evaluate. Evaluations for league age 7 thru 12 are generally held the first weekend in February (specific date, time and location to be determined), rain date is the second weekend of February.  See email, and/or Facebook as the season approaches for the dates, times and locations.  League age 13 thru 16 are generally sometime in March (specific date, time and location to be determined).

In the Fall, only those players who are league age 6 wanting to be considered for lower machine pitch or have never played with SDLL or did not participate in the spring season will need to evaluate prior to the division assignments and draft. Evaluations for league age 7 thru 16 are generally held on Saturday or Sunday in August (specific date, time and location to be determined). 

Q12: How are players assigned to divisions and drafted?

A12: Players are drafted to teams by the team managers from the top down based mostly on ability.  This means that, for a given age group, there will be players of that age playing at multiple levels. For specific details regarding division assignments and the draft, please go to this page on the SDLL website.

Team managers (and, if applicable, their assistant coaches) are determined prior to the draft, and their players are automatically added to the team in a pre-identified draft order.

Q13: How much of a time commitment is Little League baseball?

A13: In the preseason, teams generally practice twice a week for two hours (an hour usually for Tee Ball) at a time. Location of the practice may vary, but times are generally the same.  A weekend practice may be Saturday morning, afternoon or early evening. There are generally no games or practices on Sundays. However, if needed, a practice or make-up game may be scheduled.  Once games start, teams will average two games per week and will have a practice slot during the week or on the weekend every other week. Due to variations in the schedule, teams may have one game or three games in a given week. 

The Spring has 12 or more games in the Rookie thru Majors division plus an end of season tournament in which each team will play at least one more game.  

The Tee Ball teams in the Spring play a minimum of 8-10 games.  

In the Fall, the time commitment is generally the same except that, once the games start, teams will average one practice a week and one to two games per week.  

The Fall generally has fewer games (minimum of 8). There is no tournament in the Fall.

Tee ball, in Spring and Fall, generally has no more than two events per week, a practice and a game.

Please see Question 34 for South Durham Little League All Stars (league age 7 and up).

Q14: When are games played?

A14: Game days generally vary week to week for each team. 

In the Spring or Fall, Tee Ball games typically start at 5:30P or 6:00P during the week, and 8:00A, 9:00A, 10:00A, 11:00A or 12:00P on Saturday. Tee Ball games or practices are generally not rescheduled if cancelled.

Rookie and A (Machine Pitch), games generally start at 5:30pm or 6:00P during the week, and 9:00A or 11:00A on Saturdays. For AA and AAA, games generally start at 6:00P, 6:30P or 7:00P during the week, and 9:00A, 11:00A, 1:00P or 4:00P on Saturdays.  Though not often, games could begin as early as 8:00A on Saturday. Majors’ games are played on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to allow flexibility for players who also play on other baseball teams. Games generally start at 5:45P, 6:00P, 6:30P or 7:00P.

In the Fall, the Grapefruit division typically plays Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  All other divisions typically have Tuesday and Thursday as well as Saturday play. Nights of the week will vary with two to three activities per week.

Schedules are posted on the league website.

Q15: How long are games?

A15: For A divisions and above, SDLL plays six-inning games lasting around two hours. No new inning may start after the 1 hour, 45 minute from the first pitch, but an inning started before that time will be finished.   For the Rookie division, SDLL plays six-inning games lasting around 90-minutes. No new inning may start after the 1 hour, 30 minute from the first pitch, but an inning started before that time will be finished. Tee Ball games, SDLL plays four-inning games with a 60-minute time limit.

Q16: Where are games played?

A16: SDLL has no ownership of fields just for the league.  Games are played at various ball fields affiliated with Durham Parks and Recreation as well as Durham Public Schools and a few other private organizations.  Names and addresses of fields can be found under Ball Fields on the SDLL website. 

Q17: If a game and/practice is cancelled due to inclement weather, how will I be notified?

A17: You are notified by your coach, and possibly a team parent.  The league recommends you receive RainedOut text alerts for a timely notification. You can receive text alert field closing notifications by signing-up for RainedOut here or by going to the league website and clicking on the link.

Q18: What equipment does a player need for baseball?

A18: FOR EVALUATIONS, your player will need a fielding glove.  We will have helmets and bats available for use, but your player may utilize his or her own USA bat and batting helmet.   

FOR THE SEASON, your player is required to have a fielding glove, cleats, a belt in the color so noted by the team manager and an athletic supporter (cup) which must be worn for practices and games.  Most players have their own batting helmet, bat, and bat bag, but these are not required. SDLL does provide batting helmets, bat, catching protective wear (except for Tee Ball, there is no catcher position in Tee Ball) and a pitcher’s helmet (for machine pitch divisions and lower) that players can use.  The league also provides each player with a jersey, hat, and socks. Players are responsible for providing their own baseball pants in colors the team manager chooses (black, white or grey). 

STARTING 2018 - NEW BAT STANDARD, Little League International has a new bat standard mandatory for all divisions, including Tee Ball.  To learn more, and ensure your player’s bat meets the applicable standard for use in a Little League game, please click here.  Please note bats not meeting this new standard (USA), even if previously used in Little League play, will not be permitted for use.

IF YOU ARE NEW to Little League baseball, you should come to the first practice with your fielding glove. We would suggest NOT purchasing other equipment until discussing what is needed and what sizes are appropriate with the team manager at the first practice. 

Q19: What is Dick’s Sporting Goods Shop Day?

A19: Dick’s Sporting Goods generously supports SDLL.  As part of this relationship with Dick’s, each Spring and Fall, generally in late February or early March as well as August, all SDLL players are given a 20% off coupon to shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods in New Hope Commons store (for in store purchases only).  League families may use the coupon to purchase a variety of baseball goods and equipment as well as nearly any other item available for purchase in the store. If Dick’s does not carry the item needed, the store will order the item, apply the coupon and drop ship it to the buyer’s house for free.

Q20: Is there an opening and closing league ceremony with each season?

A20: There is an opening ceremony and professional photographer for team and individual photos for the Spring season only.  Date, time and location will be determined at the start of the season. There is no closing ceremony for either season.

Q21: What is Slugfest?

A21: Little League International allows for one fundraiser per year with player participation.  Slugfest is SDLL’s annual fundraiser. All SDLL players are asked to participate by obtaining pledges and participating in a hitting contest (though pledges may still be obtained without participating in the hitting contest). Tee Ball players will not participate in the hitting contest, but all participating players, Tee Ball thru Majors, obtaining pledges will be entered into the SlugFest Raffle.  For Rookie thru Majors, the top three players receiving the highest scores in the slugging competition receive a trophy, presented at the End of Season Tournament (see question 22).

SDLL is committed to keeping our operating costs as low as possible while still providing both ongoing field improvements, quality baseball equipment and acquirement of SDLL dedicated fields. All money collected from Slugfest goes directly towards these goals. 

Slugfest is generally held the last Saturday in April or first Saturday in May.  

Q22: What is The End of Season Tournament (EOST)?

A22: Every Spring season, in all divisions except Tee Ball, SDLL holds an annual tournament after the end of the regular season. The tournament usually starts in May and ends around the second weekend of June, and possibly earlier.  Game dates and times are determined after the end of regular season play based upon the teams’ records and their bracket assignment. The tournament schedule is posted on the league’s website.

All teams Rookie thru Majors winning the EOST  are recognized as SDLL Division Champions and each individual player on the EOST champion team receives a trophy.  The SDLL Division Champions A thru and including Majors winning the EOST will represent SDLL in the

Mayor’s Cup (see question 5).  

Q23: My child is X years old and has never played baseball before. Do you have a division appropriate for him?

A23: SDLL does not have a beginner's league.   Instead, SDLL has older but less experienced players play in a division with younger but more experienced players. This allows the younger players to contribute to the team based on their experience while the older players can contribute based on their mental and physical maturity. 

Q24: My child wants to play with his friend / My child wants to play for a certain Coach / My child can't practice on Wednesday / etc.

A24: Except for Tee Ball, SDLL assigns players to teams by means of a player draft. SDLL is not able to honor requests to be on a specific team, play with another player, or avoid practices and games on a given day. 

Q25: I have two siblings who want to play. Can they play on the same team?

A25: SDLL will place siblings who evaluate to the same division on the same team. 

Q26: Is playing time guaranteed?

A26: SDLL does not have an equal playing time requirement.  For the Tee Ball division, all players play in the field and all players bat in order during the game.  For other divisions, the teams bat all players in order but field a fixed number of positions on defense. Based on team sizes, there are usually two or three players on the bench during each defensive half inning. The league expectation is that players will sit no more than two innings and will play both infield and outfield defensive positions.

Q27: What is the Little League pledge for players and parents?

A27: The pledge for players, parents and volunteers can be found here.

Q28: Where can I find the rules for Little League baseball?

A28: Little League International has its own rule set based on OBR (Official Baseball Rules, the rule set used by Major League Baseball).  The rule set is updated each year before the spring season. 

Little League International provides a rule book for each Little League team. 
Little League International sells rule books on their website. In addition to the Little League rules, SDLL uses supplementary local rules which cannot contradict the official Little League rules. The SDLL rules are available on the SDLL website under Local League Rules prior to the start of the season.

Q29: Do you provide refunds?

A29: No refunds are provided after the player draft is completed and your player is placed on a team.

Q30: How many All Star teams are there?

A30: Each spring, SDLL competes in the North Carolina Little League All Star Tournament.  The makeup of each team is tied to the player’s league age. SDLL enters the following teams made-up of players from generally the following SDLL divisions into the tournament:

7-8 Team:   players league age 8 or 7 from SDLL division A and AA teams

9U Team: players league age 9 or 8 from SDLL division AA or AAA

10U Team:   players league age 10, 9 or 8 from SDLL division AAA and Majors teams

11U Team: players league age 11, 10 or 9 from the SDLL division Majors

Little League Team: players league age 12, 11 or 10 from SDLL division Majors

Juniors/Seniors: players league age 13 and up from the SDLL division Juniors/Seniors

The number of teams sponsored by SDLL may vary per age division based upon on the tournaments offered by Little League, coach availability and number of players.

Q31: Is there a number of regular season games that a player must participate in to be eligible for All Star team consideration?

A31: Yes.  Though it is to a player’s advantage to attend all of the games (so a full evaluation / assessment of a player’s ability can be determined by the coaches within the division participating in the selection of each All Star team) Little League mandates that players play in a minimum of 60% of all regular season games.  Only players with an approved medical waiver may be exempted from this requirement.

Q32: How are All Star players and coaches determined?

A32: Each All Star team has a minimum of twelve players.  All All Star team candidates must reside or attend school within the SDLL boundary. Players not meeting this residency or school attendance criteria may not be considered for an All Star team.  

For all teams except Little League, each SDLL manager for the A thru Majors division attends a meeting with the SDLL Player Agent to present statistics and discuss potential, age-appropriate All Star candidates from their division.  All coaches nominate, and vote for, the top nine players. The remaining players are chosen by the All Star Team Manager utilizing recommendations from coaches, statistics and knowledge of players.

For the Majors’ division only, six players are chosen based on a vote by ALL players in the Majors’ division, three players are chosen based on a vote of the Majors’ Team Managers and the remaining players are selected by the All Star Team Manager (see paragraph above).

Once All Star candidates are determined, the candidates' families receive an interest survey from the SDLL Player Agent.  The interest survey details All Star requirements, including time involved, cost, travel and more.  Families must respond within the time period indicated and are asked to accept, indicating their candidate would be interested in playing on the All Star team and would like to be further considered, or reject, declining any and all invitations to play on the All Star team. While many families do wish to have their player further considered in the All Star process, others decline indicating they do not wish to be further considered as the candidate's family may have other interests, plans or time constraints.

Each All Star Team Manager must be a uniformed SDLL coach for the present season.  The Little League (Majors) All Star Team Manager must coach in the Majors division.  

Uniformed SDLL coaches submit an interest in managing an All Star team to the SDLL President.  The team manager candidates are presented to the SDLL board by the President, and all team managers are nominated and approved by the SDLL board after the initial first nine (9) players for each team are selected.

Q33: Is a player league age 9 and playing in the A division eligible for an All Star team?

A33: Yes.  However, players league age 9 are too old for the 7-8 All Star team, and have a difficult candidacy for the other All Star teams due to not playing SDLL kid pitch baseball.  

Q34: How much time is required for All Stars, and is there a cost?

A34: Per Little League International policy, All Star teams may be announced no earlier than June 1.  Practice is a minimum of six (6) to seven (7) days a week for approximately two (2) hours each day.  Practices begin during the EOST; the duration is dependent upon each team’s tournament success (the one exception is the Little League Division team, whose All Star season could continue through the end of August).   The 7-8 All Star team will play four games in one weekend (double headers each day) and possibly the Monday after the weekend pool play. The remaining All Star teams will have two games or more, with most tournaments starting on a Thursday or Friday night.  All Star players are required to attend all practices and tournaments unless excused by the All Star Team Manager.

All Star player fees include uniform, practice and tournament fees.  Fees are no less than $125, and are collected by SDLL the first week of June. Additional cost includes travel cost to and from all District, State, Regional and National tournaments, including food and possible daily lodging cost.  

Q35: What documentation is required for All Star play?

A35: The League Player Agent prepares an affidavit to be signed by the President of the League confirming each All Star player’s eligibility to represent SDLL in the District, State, Regional or National tournament.  As required by this process, all parents or legal guardians of an All Star player candidate must present an original birth certificate, a copy of utility bill (dated from February of the current year or earlier, up to and including March of the previous year), a copy of a telecommunications bill (dated February of the current year or earlier, up to and including March of the previous year) and driver’s license (preferably matching the utility and telecommunications bill).

If playing in the league due to a school exception, parents of the All Star player candidate must present official school enrollment documentation for the current school year and an original birth certificate only.  Given All Stars occurs at the end of school year, parents are advised to ensure they have this required documentation prior to the school closing for summer.

All original birth certificates will be returned to the applicable All Star player at the end of the All Star tournament play.

All Star required documentation is collected the first week of June at a place, date and time determined by the Player Agent.  All questions and concerns regarding documentation requirements is to be addressed to the SDLL player agent at [email protected].

Q36: When and where is District 6 North Carolina Little League Tournament? State Tournament? Regional Tournament?

A36: For all teams except Little League, the last weekend in June is generally scheduled for the District 6 Little League tournament play.  For Little League, tournament play generally begins the first weekend in July. Recently, tournament games have been played in Wilson, North Carolina, at Gillette Athletic Field.

North Carolina State Tournaments (for all District Champions) rotate around the State with each district receiving opportunity to host. The 7/8 year old and 8/9 year old tournament is generally played in Wilson, North Carolina as well, but all the other tournament vary location from the Mountains to the Coast.  

Recently, Regional Tournament for 8/9/10 and 9/10/11 have been played in Greenville, North Carolina, at Elm Street Park.  The Little League Southeast Regional Tournament is always played in Warner Robins, Georgia, and the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Q37: Are parents expected to volunteer?

A37: Yes.  SDLL is an all volunteer league providing Little League baseball for more than 700+ players.  Parents are needed to volunteer their time and talent to help ensure the success of the league, helping with field maintenance, team parent, team snacks, concession stand, opening ceremonies, team pictures, uniforms, SlugFest, family fun night, Dick’s shop day, etc.

Please reach out to your assigned coach regarding scorekeeping, pitch count, before and after field work as well as Team Parent opportunities.  The Team Parent task involves a minimum amount of time and really helps communicate team and league activities to the parents. For all other volunteer opportunities, please send an e-mail to [email protected].

Q38: For SDLL games who is permitted on the field or in the dugout?

A38: For games, only uniformed coaches who have successfully passed a volunteer background check are permitted in the dugout or on the field. For practices, coaches as well as parents, who have successfully completed a volunteer background check, are permitted to help.

Q39: Does SDLL conduct background checks on league volunteers?

A39: Yes.  SDLL’s Little League charter requires background checks to be conducted each calendar year on all volunteers who have repetitive access to the players.  This includes, but is not limited to the BOD, all coaches, parents working with kids on the field during practices, team parent and umpires.

The background check is conducted by a firm under contract with Little League International.  All volunteers with repetitive access to players must comply with this requirement to volunteer.

Q40: Any other questions and concerns?  

A40: Information regarding SDLL is also provided via the league’s Twitter and Facebook account.  Twitter is @goSDLL and Facebook, go to the Facebook website and search for and like the SDLL page.  Additional questions and concerns may be addressed to the player’s team manage, the league at [email protected] or SDLL player agent at [email protected].

Also, the League Charter requires annually an open public meeting for all SDLL families to attend.  This meeting is held in October of each year and is the primary opportunity for the most transparent information regarding the League, including its successes in the past year and priorities for the future.  SDLL posts the location, date and time for the annual meeting no later than 30-days in advance of the meeting on the League website, Facebook page and email to all League families for the current year.  

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