Website Manager

South Durham Little League

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: When does SDLL play?

A1: SDLL offers a competitive spring season from February through mid-June. A shorter, instructional fall season runs from the end of August through October.

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

A2: No. Only children 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. Please contact the SDLL Player Agent at [email protected] prior to registering your child if you would like to register your child as an out of boundary player.

Exceptions to the Little League® boundary rule:  

  1. Everyone is eligible to play Tee Ball in both the spring and 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 in their first year of SDLL play, per Little League® International).

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. Age groups for each division are listed below (see Question 12).

Q4: When is registration for the spring season?

A4: Baseball and softball registration typically opens during the first week of January and closes when maximum capacity is reached. This registration window may be as short as a one day for certain divisions, a week or two, or could be into February. Tee Ball registration is usually open longer than other divisions. Once a division is full, we will form a waitlist.

If offered, registration for the Juniors (Ages 12-14) and Seniors (Ages 13-16) spring season opens the first week of January and typically does not close until March. The Juniors/Seniors Divisions begin 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 on a weekend day in early to mid February for all baseball league age 6-12 and softball league age 6-12 players (if canceled due to inclement weather, it is generally rescheduled for the following Saturday or Sunday).  

  • There is no Skills Evaluation for league ages 4 and 5.  

  • The draft for team assignments is in mid to late February. 

  • Teams start practicing no later than the first week of March. 

  • Opening Ceremonies are typically on a Saturday in either late March or early April.

  • Games start in March or early April.

  • The season ends in mid May to early June with an end of season tournament for all divisions, except for Tee Ball and Juniors/Seniors. 

  • For A through Majors baseball divisions and all softball divisions, end of season tournament champion teams play one more game in mid-June. This game is played against the Bull City Little League champions in the respective division for the Mayor’s Cup.

    For ages 13-16 (Juniors/Seniors): 

  • Registration opens in January and generally remains open through early March.

  • Skills Evaluations are held in mid to late March.

  • The draft for team assignments is in mid to late March, immediately following 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 in the middle of August for all divisions. Similar to spring, this registration window may be as short as a one day for certain divisions, a week or two, or could be into February. Tee Ball registration is usually open longer than other divisions. Once a division is full, we will form a waitlist.

Q7: What are the dates for the fall season?

A7: For all ages: 

  • Fall season registration takes place in early to mid-August. 

  • Skills Evaluations are in mid-August, for all players regardless of participation in the previous season.

  • There is no Skills Evaluation for league age 4 or 5. 

  • There may be a Juniors or Seniors Division for baseball and softball, 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 in 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 2023, the fees are as follows:

Tee Ball: $160

Baseball: $210

Softball: $185

Seniors Baseball: $235

Seniors Softball: $185

*If your league age 6 player who is registered for Tee Ball is placed into a machine pitch division following player evaluations, you will be contacted to cover the registration fee difference between the two divisions. Please contact the Player Agent at [email protected] with any questions.

*SDLL only accepts credit card payments for registration fees.

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. To request to be added to the waitlist, please email the SDLL player agent at [email protected].

Q10: What divisions of baseball/softball 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 and softball 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 or five divisions of baseball in the fall, and may offer Juniors or Seniors:

  1. Tee Ball: modified coach pitch and tee for beginning baseball and softball 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

SDLL currently offers three divisions of softball in the spring and fall, and may offer Juniors or Seniors:

  1. Tee Ball: shared with baseball

  2. Lower Minors: coach pitch for league ages 6 - 8

  3. Upper Minors: modified player pitch for league ages 8 - 11

  4. Majors: Top level player pitch for league ages 9 - 12

  5. Juniors and/or Seniors: player pitch for league ages 12 - 16

NOTE: Players will be placed in divisions based on their experience and ability, which is why age groups for different divisions may overlap. 

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. They are an important part of the preseason, as they aid the league in placing players in the appropriate division with peers of comparative skill and with building even teams.

  • Every spring and fall, all players league ages 6 through 16 must undergo an evaluation as part of the division assignments and draft. League age 4 and 5 players do not evaluate. Evaluations for league ages 6 through 12 are generally held the first or second weekend in February, with the rain date set for the following weekend. Dates, times, and locations for evaluations are generally distributed by email, on the league’s website, and on the league’s Facebook page as the season approaches. Evaluations for league ages 13 through 16 are generally sometime in March.


Q12: How are players assigned to divisions and drafted to teams?

A12: For specific details regarding division assignments, please refer to the SDLL Bylaws. While age is a factor, it is only one factor of many. After being slotted into divisions, players are drafted to teams by the team managers from the top down based mostly on ability. 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 or softball?

A13: In the preseason, teams generally practice three times a week for 75-90 minutes (usually 60 minutes for Tee Ball) at a time. Locations of these practices may vary. 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 could 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. Tee ball generally has no more than two events per week. Due to variations in the schedule, teams may have one game or three games in a given week. 

  • In the spring, baseball Rookie through Majors divisions and softball Lower Minors through Majors divisions will have 12 or more games plus an end of season tournament in which each team will play at least one more game. Tee Ball teams play a minimum of 8-10 games.
  • In the fall, the time commitment is generally the same. The fall season generally has fewer games (minimum of 8). Recently, an end of season tournament has been added for baseball divisions for the fall season - softball does not play an end of season tournament in the fall.

Q14: When are games played?

A14: Game days generally vary week to week for each team. The following is a general schedule but may vary season to season depending on number of teams, field availability and weather.

  • In the spring and fall, Tee Ball games typically start at 5:30 PM or 6:00 PM during the week, and between 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM on Saturday. Tee Ball games or practices are generally not rescheduled if canceled.
  • Rookie and A (Machine Pitch) games generally start at 5:30 PM or 6:00 PM during the week, and at 9:00 AM or 11:00 AM on Saturdays. For AA and AAA, games generally start between 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM during the week, and between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM on Saturdays. Games may begin as early as 8:00 AM on Saturday. Games in the Majors/Juniors/Seniors baseball and softball divisions are generally played on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to allow flexibility for players who also play on other teams. Games generally start between 5:45 PM and 7:00 PM.
  • Schedules are distributed by the league through the head coaches.

Q15: How long are games?

A15: Games (across all divisions) are generally time limited except for the Majors division. Games across all divisions are not time limited during the End of Season Tournament. 

Q16: Where are games played?

A16: SDLL has little ownership of fields just for the league. Games are played at Parkwood and various ball fields affiliated with Durham Parks and Recreation, Durham Public Schools, and other private organizations. Fields are rented from Durham Parks and Recreation, and the use of other affiliated fields is generally set up through a service-in-kind agreement. Names and addresses of our current fields can be found under Our Field Locations on the SDLL website. 

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

A17: You will be notified by your coach (or possibly a team parent). Additionally, the league recommends you sign up for RainedOut alerts in order to receive a timely notification - you can opt in to receive email or text alert notifications from SDLL regarding field closures, event cancellations, and more. All persons, regardless of previous registration, must re-sign up annually for notifications from SDLL's RainedOut account.

Q18: What equipment does a player need for baseball or softball?

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 bat and batting helmet.   

  • For the season, your player is required to have a fielding glove and cleats (optional in Tee Ball). For baseball only, male players must also have 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, bats, catching protective gear, and a pitcher’s helmet (for machine pitch divisions) that players can use. The league also provides each player with a jersey and hat. Players are responsible for providing their own baseball pants, belt, and socks in colors the team manager chooses (black, white or grey for pants).
  • Beginning in 2018, Little League® International introduced a new bat standard for all baseball divisions, including Tee Ball. To learn more and to ensure your player’s bat meets the applicable standard for use in a Little League game, please click here. Please note that bats not meeting this standard will not be permitted for use. For softball divisions, all bats must follow the Little League® requirements listed in rule 1.10. For more information, please click here.
  • If you are new to Little League® baseball or softball, 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, there is a weekend each spring (late February/early March) and fall (August) where all SDLL players are given a 20% off coupon to shop at the Dick’s Sporting Goods store in New Hope Commons (for in store purchases only). League families may use the coupon to purchase a variety of baseball/softball 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 for the spring season only -  date, time, and location of this ceremony 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. Currently, SlugFest is SDLL’s annual fundraiser. All SDLL players are asked to participate by fundraising and participating in a hitting contest. Tee Ball players will not participate in the hitting contest, but all players in the Tee Ball through Majors divisions that participate in fundraising will be entered into the SlugFest Raffle. The raffle has prizes including free camps, clinics, SDLL gear, gift cards/gift certificates, and more! For the Rookie through Majors divisions, the top three players obtaining the highest scores in the slugging competition will 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 maintaining ongoing field improvements, providing quality baseball/softball equipment, and working toward acquiring SDLL dedicated fields. All money collected from SlugFest goes directly towards these goals.

SlugFest is generally held on a weekend (Friday night and Saturday) in late April or early May. 

If you have additional SlugFest questions or would like to volunteer, please reach out to our SlugFest coordinator at [email protected].

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

A22: Every spring season in all divisions except Tee Ball, SDLL holds an annual tournament at the conclusion of the regular season. This tournament usually starts in mid-to-late May and typically runs through the beginning of June. Game dates and times are determined at the end of regular season play based upon the teams’ records and their bracket assignment. The tournament schedule will be posted on the league’s website.

  • All baseball teams (Rookie through Majors) and softball teams (Lower Minors through Majors) winning the EOST are recognized as SDLL Division Champions, and each individual player on the EOST champion team receives a trophy.  
  • The baseball (A through Majors) and softball (Lower Minors through Majors) SDLL Division Champions winning the EOST will represent SDLL in the Mayor’s Cup hosted by SDLL or Bull City Little League. These games generally take place during the week following the conclusion of the EOST.

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

A23: YES! 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 - can you honor my request?

A24: Except for Tee Ball, SDLL assigns players to teams by means of a player draft. Head coaches' children will be placed on their team. 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 children (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 unless their family requests otherwise.

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. Players will sit no more than two innings per game and will play both infield and outfield defensive positions every game.

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

A27: The pledges for players and parents/volunteers can be found here.

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

A28: While some rules can be found on the Little League® International website, Little League® now offers a free Rulebook App that is approved for dugout use. This app is available for download on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and through Amazon for use on Kindle.

  • SDLL uses supplementary local rules which cannot contradict the official Little League® rules. The SDLL local rules are available for review on the SDLL website under Local League Rules prior to the start of each 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. However, if an entire season is canceled, the BOD (Board of Directors) will consider an appropriate refund minus any already paid expenses (e.g. equipment purchases, uniforms, insurance fees, charter fees, field rentals, etc.).

Q30: I have questions about All Stars - where can I find more information?

A30: Check out our new All Stars FAQ page!

Q31: Are parents expected to volunteer?

A31: Yes. SDLL is an all volunteer league providing Little League® baseball and softball for more than 700+ players every year. Parents and others are needed to volunteer their time and talent to help ensure the success of the league - examples of volunteer tasks include helping with field maintenance, serving as a team parent, assisting with opening ceremonies/team pictures/uniforms/SlugFest, and other opportunities.

  • Please reach out to your team’s coach regarding assisting with scorekeeping, recording pitch counts, pregame and postgame field work, and Team Parent opportunities. The Team Parent task involves a minimum amount of time and really helps with communicating team and league activities to the parents. For all other volunteer opportunities, please send an e-mail to [email protected].

It takes a big village to run SDLL. Your time and talent is much needed and appreciated.

Q32: For SDLL games, who is permitted on the field or in the dugout?

A32: For games, only uniformed coaches who have successfully passed a volunteer background check are permitted in the dugout or on the field. For practices, both coaches and parents who have successfully completed a volunteer background check are permitted to assist.

Q33: Does SDLL conduct background checks on league volunteers?

A33: 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 parents, 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. Anyone refusing to comply is not permitted to volunteer.

Q34: I have a question not answered here - where can I get more information?  

A34: Additional questions and concerns may be addressed to the player’s team manager, to the SDLL President at [email protected], or to the SDLL Player Agent at [email protected]. You can keep up with the latest in SDLL news on our website or on social media:



Instagram: @sdll_nc

Twitter: @goSDLL

Additionally, our league charter requires an open public meeting take place annually for all SDLL families to attend. This meeting is held in early November of each year and is the primary opportunity to hear the most transparent information regarding our league, including its successes in the past year and priorities for the future. SDLL announces the location, date and time for the annual meeting in advance of the meeting on the league website, Facebook page, and by email to all league families for the current year.

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