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Blaine Area Little League FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions are listed below. This section will be updated based on the time of the year and any "hot topics" that may need to be addressed for our baseball community. Please check back often as this page will change as needed. If you have specific questions please request an answer through the contact us page and we will respond to your question within 48 hours or will add it to the FAQ's in the future. 


REGISTRATION AND TEAM FORMATION

What divisions of play does B.A.L.L. offer?

We offer playing opportunities for families with players ages 4-15. Divisions are: T-Ball (4 yr old), Instructional (5-6 yr old - coach pitch), Developmental 1 (7 yr old - coach pitch),  Developmental 2 (8 yr old - coach pitch), Rookie (9 yr old - first year player pitch), Minors (10-12 yr old), Majors (11-12 yr old), Northstar League (13-15 yr olds) and our Challenger Division (players with disabilities). Our goal is to have a maximum of 12 players per team for ages 4-12 and final roster size is based on interest and the number of coaches available.

How are teams formed at the 9-12 year old levels?

Players ages 9-12 participate in an evaluation process, after which coaches select players for their teams in a draft. The goal is to have balanced teams by distributing talent evenly.

  • 11 and 12 YO's must play in our Majors National and Majors American Divisions.
  • Majors National is made up of the top 11 and 12 YO's
  • Majors American is made up of the remaining 11 and 12 YO's and top 10 YO's
  • Minors is made up of the remaining 10 YO's and all 9 YO's
  •  All players that register for our programs are placed on teams regardless of ability as we are open to all interested players and place all players on teams.

How are teams formed at the 4-8 yr old level?

4-7 YO players are placed on teams by the age group commissioners. Teams are formed from the Blaine High School boundary and Spring Lake Park High School boundary.  Our goal is to place kids on teams with other kids from the neighborhood and/or school, but to also diversify with other kids from our community.

8 YO teams are more divided  to get the kids ready for the Minors and Majors divisions, where teams are formed via draft based off of evaluations.

 

How many players are placed on a team?

Our goal each year is to have no more than 12 players on a team at the 4-12 year old level so that we can maximize participation and development opportunities. However all teams are based on the availability of coaches and the appropriate interest levels of players. Some teams may have more or less than 12 players, but our goal is 12.

How do I request for my child to play up?

Requests to play up must be submitted to the B.A.L.L. Board of Directors for consideration. For 2022, our new schedule will require us to pay close attention to the number of children playing at all levels. For this reason, all players will be assigned to their age division at registration based on their birthdate. If you want your child to play up to the next age level, you will need to send your request in writing to the respective league commissioners by March 20th, 2022.

You will need to include your last years' coach and a brief description of why you are seeking your child to play up a level.  You may be asked to meet with members of the board, and will be given a decision about your child's placement after evaluations.  Our decision is based on 3 areas: availability in the level requesting to play up to, coach recommendation and evaluating in the top 25% of all kids at the age level they desire to play into (applies to Minors and Majors).  If you are granted the ability to play up and the fee increases, you will be billed separately.

I live outside of Blaine. Can my child still play B.A.L.L.?

The Blaine Area Little League charter covers players in Spring Lake Park, and portions of the Anoka Hennepin School District, specifically those who map to Blaine High School. 

If you're not sure which Little League serves your area, use the league finder provided through Little League International (below). 

Click here: https://www.littleleague.org/play-little-league/league-finder/

 

How do I request a refund?

Refund deadlines are based on the league age of the child registered.  Please see information below:

 

League ages 9-12

Parents who cancel registration on or before Feb 25, 2022 will receive a full refund, minus the card processing fees.   There will be no refunds given after this date.

 

League ages 4-8

Parents who cancel registration on or before Mar 25, 2022 will receive a full refund, minus the card processing fees.  There will be no refunds given after this date.

Does my child have a chance to play in the Little Leauge World Series?

Blaine Area Little League is a chartered organization of Little League International. In recent years, we have not entered Little League District Tournaments. However, the B.A.L.L. Board of Directors has decided to re-introduce All-Star teams as of 2020. All Star teams will be formed at the 9, 10, 11 and 12 year old league age levels.  We feel that although this will be an adjustment from the past, it will provide additional opportunities for players as they develop in the game of baseball and give them an expanded experience during their time in B.A.L.L. There will be optional tournaments for the Minors and Rookie divisions as well.  The younger ages (5-8) will play their same league schedules and league tournament as in the past.  

How do we make a buddy request?

Blaine Area Little League does not honor requests to play for a specific coach or with specific teammates with the following exceptions:

1) Siblings playing in the same division will automatically be assigned to the same team unless we are notified to not do so.

2) Coaches’ and the Assistant Coaches’ children will be assigned to the same team.

Requests above and beyond these two scenarios place a logistical and operational burden on commissioners who are attempting to create rosters that are fair and balanced for everyone.

What is expected at player evaluations (tryouts)?

Players will be evaluated on their baseball skills during player evaluations and tryouts. In general players will be evaluated on their hitting, throwing/catching, fielding, and running ability.

Can I pay for registration by check?

We are only accepting online payments for registration at this time. However, we can take checks in person and will arrange for you to meet us to make the payment and regsiter in person. Please reach out to our Information Coordinator. You will get the early bird discount if you reach out to us before that deadline, even if we meet after. 

Do you offer scholarships?

We do offer scholarships for discounted registration. You will need to provide proof of free or reduced lunches (the letter you received from the school district is perfect). We will provide a discount code for you to register at that time. Contact the Vice President on our website. 


SEASON

How long is the season?

If you're like us, you think about baseball all year! But, the bulk of your commitment to B.A.L.L. will be from Late March/Early April through the end of June for the Spring/Summer season and August through the end of September for the Summer/Fall season. Warm ups and evaluations (for older players) are in February/March, sometimes stretching into early April. Most team practices begin in mid- to late-April. Games begin for the older ages as early as the first week of May.  If your child is selected to tryout and participate on an All-Star or Select team (ages 9-12), those kids will be required to play for the entire month of July and possibly into August as well.

What time and when are the games held?

During the regular season on weeknights for ages 4-8, all games start at 6:30 PM and are around 1 hour 30 minutes. For all other ages games will be played in the "early slot" (5:45 PM ) or "under the lights" (8:00 PM)  All games are played in the City of Blaine. Ages 9-15 will play games on weekends during the season on Saturdays. Sunday afternoons or evening may be used for makeup games in extreme circumstances and for T-Ball games.

What does it mean to be part of Little League?

Divisions for ages 4-12 are affiliated with Little League International. B.A.L.L. is a part of Minnesota District 1. We follow Little League International rules and guidelines. Ages 13-15, depending on the age level, are associated with various organizations throughout Minnesota. All players who register to play in our organization will be placed on a team. We do not cut players and typically have 40-50 teams serving roughly 600 players.

How do we get registration materials for the upcoming season?

Registration is open and materials are available on the front page of our website.  Registration flyers also are sent home with elementary school students.  If you have further questions please contact our information coordinator listed on the front page or a member of or board via email. We will do our best to respond to your question within 48 hours.

When are practices held?

Coaches schedule practices. There are typically 1-2 practices per week (max) at the younger levels. At the rookie, minors/majors level and higher there are more games and all practices are conducted at the coaches request with no minimum or maximum requirement. The good news is all practices and play are usually within the City of Blaine. 


COACHES

IMPORTANT – 2022 Little League bat requirements

We want to make you aware of a change in bat rules mandated by Little League International that will require you to buy new bats for play effective January 1, 2018. The bats are intended to provide a safer playing experience for our children.

All levels of Little League baseball are required to have a bat with the new 2018 USA Bat stamp on it. This is a mandate of Little League International.  Every district, every city, every Little League organization is required to follow this new bat standard.  

Little League International baseball bat information: www.littleleague.org/batinfo.

What does this mean for you?  Every child will need to use a bat with the new stamp on it.  This rule affects all age levels, from 4-12 years old. If your child will be receiving a bat before next season (such as for a Christmas gift), please make sure it has the approved bat stamp.

To help accommodate the new rule, B.A.L.L. will be supplying all teams with one team bat that has the stamp and complies with the new bat standard.  The bat will be an average size for each age group. 

We will send regular reminders in email and have information posted here on our website, so no one is surprised by this new rule next year. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have, or refer to the Little League International website for detailed information.

How many coaches are there on a team?

Our goal is to have a minimum of three coaches per team at all levels, with most levels requiring four coaches (one head coach and two or three assistants). The numbers are dependent on the interest level of our parents and families that are interested in coaching each season. We typically have 80 to 85 teams each season. Coaches represent the largest group of volunteers that are needed to have a successful season. We will do our best to train them properly for success in developing each player. Because of their level of contact with players and families, coaches must pass a criminal background check and mandatory concussion training. They also commit to the principles of the Positive Coaching Alliance. 

What do I do if I am interested in coaching this season?

First, thank you for your interest! Coaches are very important in our organization. To proceed, please complete the online coaching application provided on the coaches page on the website and return by the deadline date to receive full consideration. You will be contacted regarding your interest and appointment after player registration closes. All positions are volunteer and require you to complete an online application, background check, proof of certifcate of concussion training. You will also be required to attend our coaches training meetings for the level you plan to coach.


BOARD

Who is on the board?

The B.A.L.L. Board of Directors comprises a president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, safety coordinator, player agents, scheduling coordinators, communication coordinator, volunteer/concessions coordinator and a uniform coordinator. Commissioners for each division are non-voting members of the board. All members are volunteers, typically parents or long-time supporters of B.A.L.L. To see who is serving in each role for the current season, visit the board tab on our homepage. 

How can I join the board?

We fill open board positions through an election process in October. We welcome anyone who is interested in learning about the board to join an upcoming board meeting, or reach out to the president or vice president. We are always looking for volunteers to assist with special events such as evaluations or our ice cream social. Volunteering is an easy way to get to know the organization and members of the board. Contact our volunteer coordinator to learn more. 

Can I sit in on a board meeting?

Yes! Board meetings are normally held the first Sunday of each month at the Blaine Baseball Complex (BBC) building starting at 6 p.m. All meetings are open to the public. If you plan to attend an upcoming board meeting please vist the Board Page on the website as times or dates may be adjusted on occasion.


ORGANIZATION INFORMATION

2021 Little League Age Chart

Here's where you can find your child's league age for 2021.

https://www.littleleague.org/play-little-league/determine-league-age/

Little League address look-up tool

The Blaine Area Little League charter covers players in Spring Lake Park, and portions of the Anoka Hennepin School District, specifically those who map to Blaine High School. 

If you're not sure which Little League serves your area, use the league finder provided through Little League International (below). 

Click here: https://www.littleleague.org/play-little-league/league-finder/

 

Northwoods League

Did you know that before Max Scherzer and Chris Sale were pitchers in the MLB, they played in the Northwoods League? Keep up on the Northwoods League online or catch a live game! Some of the teams are not too far away -- St. Cloud, Duluth, Willmar and Mankato, or even Madison, LaCrosse or Eau Claire! We are the only Little League to wear their colors and they love us - so if you go, be sure to let the teams know. You might just get on the field with the big guys! 

Trusted Coaches

Blaine Area Little League is a member of the Trusted Coaches program, which offers comprehensive training, education and screening necessary for a youth coach via a nationwide criminal background check‚ first-aid training, concussion instruction and Positive Coaching Alliance Double-Goal Coach® character education course. 

 
All Blaine Area LIttle League coaches will be required to complete the Trusted Coaches program. You may be familiar with Trusted Coaches if you participate in other youth sports, as several Blaine and Spring Lake Park area organizations are members. Coaches who complete the mandatory online training are committed to safe and healthy development of young athletes, emotionally and phyically. We are pleased to bring this program to Blaine Area Little League and welcome any feedback you may have on this positive coaching program. 
 
Blaine Area Little League 
Field Locations
 
AP = Airport Park -- 2130 105th Ave NE
BBC = Blaine Baseball Complex — 1150 Paul Parkway 
CE = Carrera East — 13129 Eldorado Street 
HA = Happy Acres — 11900 - 7th Street 
Ivy Hills — 12197 Fergus Street 
JEFF = Jefferson — 12833 Jefferson Street 
LLN = Little League North — 730 - 113th Avenue 
LLS = Little League South — 730 - 113th Avenue 
Mary Elizabeth — 8630 Eldorado Street 
NW = Northwood — 12047 Oak Park Boulevard 
OSE = Ostmans East — 1200 - 130th Lane 
OSW = Ostmans West — 1200 - 130th Lane 
QE = Quincy East — 10601 Quincy Blvd  
QW = Quincy West — 10601 Quincy Blvd  
Westwood — 8819 Able Street 
Xylite — 9033 Xylite Street