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. Please contact the SDLL Player Agent at [email protected] prior to registering your child if you are 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, 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 in their first year of SDLL play, per Little League® International).  Please contact the SDLL Player Agent for more details at [email protected].

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: 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 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 wait list for a period of time.

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 for all baseball league age 6-12 and softball league age 6-12 (if cancelled due to inclement weather, it is generally rescheduled for the following Saturday or Sunday).  
-There is no Skills Evaluation for league age 4 or 5.  
-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, baseball 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 and are league age 6-12 for baseball or league age 6-12 for softball.
-There is no Skills Evaluation for league age 4 or 5. 
-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 2022, the fees are:
Tee Ball: $150
Baseball: $200
Softball: $175
Seniors Baseball: $225
Seniors Softball: $175

*A league age 6 player registering for Tee Ball but is placed into next division after the mandatory evaluations, you will be contacted to cover the difference between the two divisions. Please contact the Player Agent at [email protected] with any questions.

*Starting for the spring 2022 season SDLL will only accept 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 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 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 and soft ball 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 placed in divisions based on their experience and ability. 

While it is subject to change, SDLL has generally planned to support the following Softball Divisions and may offer a Juniors or Seniors:

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

  2. Lower Minors: Coach or Machine Pitch for league ages 6 - 9

  3. Upper Minors: Modified Player Pitch for league ages 7-11

  4. Majors: Top level player pitch for league ages 8-12

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


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 building even teams.

Every Spring, all players league age 6 thru 16 must undergo an evaluation as part of the division assignments and draft. League age 4 and 5 players does not evaluate. Evaluations for league age 6 thru 12 are generally held the first or second weekend in February (specific date, time and location to be determined), rain date is the following 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 next division or any league age player who has 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 6 thru 16 are generally held on Saturday or Sunday in mid to late August (specific date, time and location to be determined). 

Q12: How are players assigned to divisions and drafted?

A12: For specific details regarding division assignments, please go to the league assignment page. While age is a factor, it is only one factor. 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?

A13: In the preseason, teams generally practice twice a week for 90-120 minutes (an hour usually for Tee Ball) at a time. Location of the practice 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 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 baseball Rookie thru Majors division plus an end of season tournament in which each team will play at least one more game. Softball has 12 or more games in the Lower Minors thru Majors division plus an end of season tournament in which each team will play at least one 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 30 for South Durham Little League All Stars (applicable to 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, unless there is a large number of cancellations.

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 Baseball Grapefruit and Softball Majors 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 distributed by the league through the head coaches.

Q15: How long are games?

A15: All divisions other than Majors have time constraints to keep games roughly the same time. Tee ball games aim for 1 hour, Rookie 90 minutes, and A, AA, and AAA 2 hours. Majors play 6 untimed innings, though games are generally in the 2 hour range.

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. Fields are rented from Durham Parks and Recreation and Parkwood, and other affiliated fields are generally a service-in-kind agreement.  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 email or text alert field closing notifications by signing-up for RainedOut.  All persons, regardless of previous registration, must re-signup for SDLL's RainedOut account.  All team managers will provide notification in late February or early March.

Q18: What equipment does a player need for baseball and 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 USA bat and batting helmet.   

FOR THE SEASON, your player is required to have a fielding glove, cleats (optional in Tee Ball), a belt in the color so noted by the team manager and for baseball, 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 wear (except for Tee Ball, there is no catcher position in Tee Ball) 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 and socks in colors the team manager chooses (black, white or grey for pants).

STARTING 2018 - NEW BAT STANDARD, Little League® International has a new bat standard mandatory for all baseball 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.

All softball bats must follow the Little League® requirements, rule 1.10.  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, 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. Currently, 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.  The Raffle is for participating players only, prizes include free camps, clinics, SDLL gear, gift cards and certificates and more! 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 or second 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 baseball teams Rookie thru Majors and softball teams Lower Minors thru Majors winning the EOST are recognized as SDLL Division Champions and each individual player on the EOST champion team receives a trophy.  

The baseball SDLL Division Champions A thru and including Majors winning the EOST will represent SDLL in the Mayor’s Cup hosted by SDLL or Bull City LL generally the following week (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: 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.

A24: Except for Tee Ball, SDLL assigns players to teams by means of a player draft. Head coaches' kids 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 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 the parent(s) request 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 pledge for players, parents and volunteers can be found here.

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

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  and for 2020, have introduced a new rule book app (click here to learn more). 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.  However, if an entire season is cancelled, the BOD 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 are the answers?

A30: Check out our new All Stars FAQ only 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.  Parents and others 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].

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, coaches as well as parents, who have successfully completed a volunteer background check, are permitted to help.

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 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. Anyone refusing to comply is not permitted to volunteer.

Q34: Any other questions and concerns?  

A34: 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].  Other resources include:

Instagram: @sdll_nc
Twitter: @goSDLL

Also, the League charter requires annually an open public meeting for all SDLL families to attend. This meeting is held in late October/early November 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 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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