Based off the tremendous feedback of our 2016 Managers and League Survey, the BBSA Board of Directors has put together this FAQ of the most common questions/comments we received this year.
1)Who sets the schedules for the games?
- Divisions within Bartlett Little League playing a Metro schedule (Minors through Bigs) have their schedule set by District 13. For T-Ball through 8/9, Bartlett Little League creates our own schedules.
2)Why does the schedule come out so late, why did the lower divisions start so late, why did we find out about moving the schedule start date back?
- Why did the schedules come out so late?
i.Bartlett Little League divisions playing a Metro schedule (Minors through Bigs) have their schedule set by District 13. Those schedules cannot be made until every Little League within District 13 submits their teams and field availability. After those divisions are scheduled, we create the schedule for our in-house lower divisions.
ii.Until the Metro schedule is released we do not have enough of a view of field availability, we can’t schedule games until we know when fields are available.
- Why did the in-house divisions start so late?
i.The early part of the season (April / May) tends to have more unpredictable weather which can lead to considerable rainouts. In 2015 over 45% of the games were rained out. Since the Metro schedule starts mid-April, the board thought if we move the 8/9 and lower start date to mid-May we could avoid some of the bad weather. This would ease some of the congestion of rescheduling multiple divisions on the same field. In 2016 we had to reschedule less than 20% of the games.
ii.The later start date was communicated, but not clearly enough. It was in the registration information, but in review it should have been more clearly stated.
3)Who determines if a game is rained out?
- Based on feedback from our 2015 survey, in 2016 the board published field closures guidelines that defines that parameters to determine if games can be play (click here for: Guidelines).
- Even if it rains at your house or the radar shows a rain coming, it does not mean the fields at Koehler or Ruzicka are unplayable or even that it will rain before the game is over. With Chicago weather, predicting the weather and field conditions is a difficult job.
- There will be times that games may need to be scheduled the next day because of field availability, but every attempt is made to reschedule games at least a week out so family’s schedules are not affected.
4)When are games rescheduled after rain outs?
- Field space is reserved on Sunday and Friday to reschedule rain outs. We attempt to reschedule games for the next available open spot without putting excess burden on the team (for example 3 straight days of games).
- In the past in-house games were rescheduled by the Managers of the teams with a league coordinator, but many games never got rescheduled and most teams lost 3-4 games per season. Beginning in 2015 this was changed to just the league rescheduling games and most teams now lose zero to 1 game per season to weather.
- For Metro games, the managers of the two teams along with the Leagues representatives work to figure out open dates in their schedules and field availability at the home team’s field.
5)How is the draft done?
- For divisions using a draft, the procedure for the draft is based on Little League rules set out in the Little League Green Book. Bartlett Little League cannot modify these rules.
- Draft rules are communicated to the Managers prior to the start of the draft and the order is determined by a blind drawing. The draft is held with all managers (or manager designated representative) present.
- Board members not associated with a particular division that is drafting (manager, coach, and parent) are in charge of monitoring all draft activities and enforcing Little League International Rules.
6)How is All Star eligibility determined?
- All Star eligibility is established by Little League International, Bartlett Little League does not determine how eligibility is determined.
- Players must show residency (or go to a school) within Bartlett Little League’s boundaries and submit all required documentation as determined to Little League International. This includes a Birth Certificate. Residency can be established with a School Voucher form.
- All documents must be submitted to Little League District 13 prior to All Stars and be signed off as complete, this is true for all Little Leagues.
- Players must play a minimum of 60% of the Little League games by the predetermined date in Little League Green Book.
7)How All Star team managers and players are selected, why are travel players allowed to play all stars?
- How is the mangers selected?
i.The Manager of the team is voted on by the BBSA Board of Directors from all Managers who have expressed an interest in volunteering and committing their time to being the All Star manager.
- How are the players selected?
i.Player selection for Minors and above is determined at a tryout of the players selected by the manger s of each team in that division. The player selected for the tryouts by the managers should be based onplayers’ performance, versatility, sportsmanship, and attitude.
ii.Final team selection is based on the above matrix, tryout performance and availability / commitment of the player to participate in Little League All Star Tournament. The tournaments (District, Section, Division, Regionals, and World Series) can start the end of June / beginning of July and run through the end of August, depending on how far teams advance.
iii.Player selection for 8/9 and below is determined via a vote by all Managers in that division.
- Why are travel players allowed to play in All-Stars?
i.Any registered player in Bartlett Little League, who meets the residency requirements and the minimum playing requirement of participating in 60% of in house games, is eligible for all stars.
ii.It is expected that any player who participates on Bartlett Little League All-Star team is committed to the All-Star team and not an outside team.**
- In 2016 Bartlett Little League made a conscious effort to strengthen all of our age groups / divisions which included allowing players to participate in Bartlett Little League even if they are playing in another division or outside baseball league(aka: dual roster).
- This was done to strength Bartlett Little League for the future, and be more competitive at our district level and Little League All-Star events (concerns shown from past BBSA surveys).
- This is consistent in what other leagues in our district and around the country that have had successful competitive teams.
- Being our first year with dual rostering outside players there was a few challenges that we faced and were not foreseen at the time when the decision was made, and the Board will be looking to improve the process.
8)How is a player’s “League Age” determined?
- As defined by Little League International it is a players age on August 31st of that year, except for cross over ages (because of the recent age determination date change). There is a link on the BBSA website to help you determine your child’s League Age.
9)How are practice times and locations determined?
- Practice times and locations are scheduled by the Manager. Bartlett Little League does provide fields that can be reserved (this includes fields that are only for practice along with our game fields), but teams can practice where ever they like.
10)Why isn’t my child playing a certain position? Is it okay that a Manager restricts certain players to certain positions
- Minors and lower are considered instructional by Little League, Managers are encouraged to give players experience at as many positions as possible.
- This is at the Manager’s discretion. At Coach/Kid Pitch and below players should be given the opportunity to play all 9 positions. At 8/9 and increasing with each division player specialization will get more common. For example, Pitchers need to be able to throw strikes and First Basemen need to be able to catch the ball.
- If there is an issue, this question should be addressed to the Manager. The Manager should provide advice on what that player needs to work on to play a certain position. If the manager has a concern about the safety of the player this should be discussed at this time (example: able to catch a ball if playing First Base)
- As players advance through Little League there will be more position specialization and less rotation. Some positions require certain skills to play that position.
- There are no “bad” positions as you advance in Little League, all 9 positions can, and will, make plays that decide the outcome of the game.
11)How can my child become a better player?
- Managers can only do so much at practice and at games with length of the season. The single best way for your child to improve is to play at home. Even playing catch will help your child greatly. If you want more advanced training there are links on the BBSA website to Baseball camps and private training.
12)Fields in good condition, fields in bad conditions, covers over dugouts, additional porta-potty’s, bathrooms not open.
- The fields are in good condition.
i.Thank you, the past few years we have spent over $25,000 at Koehler making major repairs to K5, K4, K2 and K3.
ii.With our Play the Game grant from Little League work is being done to widen the Koehler dugouts to make them ADA compliant. We are also adding gates leading to the field and from the field as well.
iii.In 2016 we reopened 1 field (R2) to go along with R1 for game play and allowed practice time on R4 and R5. Some resources were put to those fields.
- Covers should be put over the dugouts.
i.In 2015 Tuff Shed and Home Depot donated putting covers over the dugouts on K5. In 2016 we had expected that another dugout was going to be done, but some things fell through.
ii.This season the board has discussed and started to review what is required and the cost to put covers over the dugouts at Koehler. This is on our wish list of capital project, if someone has contacts or would like to make donations to help defer cost for us to put covers on the dugouts, please reach out to a Board member.
- Condition of Ruzicka, bathrooms at Ruzicka.
i.Ruzicka is a shared facility with the Bartlett Raiders, each organization has the fields for 6 months.
ii.In 2015 Ruzicka was shut down to target our resources to improve our fields and in anticipation of completing the “Ruzicka Project”. Outside funds to complete the “Ruzicka Project” never materialized (a project to make Ruzicka a world class facility), so Ruzicka had limited use in 2015.
iii.In 2016 Ruzicka was begun to be reopened in line with our 3 year plan. Registrations increased and with the revamped divisions more fields are needed both for games as well as for practices. R2 was re-opened and practice time was opened up on R4 and R5.
- NOTE: Ruzicka R4 and R5 was opened for practices after safety reviews. Both fields were not meant to be put into game playing condition, minimal work was done.
- The managers had the ability to schedule practices there or other locations, no one was mandated to practice there.
iv.We were unable to open the bathrooms at Ruzicka because of resources. To open the bathrooms someone has to be responsible to unlock and lock them each night, along with cleaning them daily.
v.A porta-potty was placed next to the concession stand for access from R1 and R2 which has been a common place for that unit for years (or next to tower).
- NOTE: The initial placement of the porta-potty was put near R2, however residents that border R2 complained to the board about the location so it was moved to its current location.
vi.Plans to improve Ruzicka and utilize it further are currently under study.
vii.If you have suggestions along with volunteering or donations to improve Ruzicka (or any of our facilities) please reach out to a board member.
13)Why does the League costs so much?
- Bartlett Little League is a not-for-profit organization run completely by volunteers.
- We own and maintain all of our fields, which by itself cost almost $100k per year.
- We have paid concession stand workers along with paid umpires from the levels, 8/9 and up, game day field crews and outside contractors to help keep BBSA running.
- From this year’s survey responses 73% of people did not want to volunteer, with no volunteers we are forced to pay outside people or groups to help run the league.
14)Why was the 8/9 division changed, using new umpires at 8/9, rule changes for 8/9 and lower.
- The revision of the 8/9 division was intended to get our players and coaches more experience and better preparation for moving up to the Minor level and followed similar procedures as our older divisions.
ii.Run capped innings
- Younger / new umpires were used at this level for multiple reasons.
i.To give younger / new people involved and trained as umpires.
ii.The cost per game to BBSA is much lower than fully patched, experienced umpires supplied at the older levels.
- Why did it seem the rules were changing?
i.At the beginning of the season, new rules were set out for 8/9, Coach/Kid pitch, and lower divisions. These rules included points in the season to review the rules and implement any changes that were needed.
ii.From the beginning of the season all managers were advised and were involved in the process, discussion, and approval of the new rules.
- For example, the change in 8/9 to move from a hard stop to no new innings after 1:30 was implemented at the Manager’s request, and with 100% of the vote.
15)The Board is doing good things, The Board needs to be replaced, how can I join the Board, Why are Board Members allowed to manage teams?
- How can I join the board / what does the board do.
i.Bartlett Little League is run completely by volunteers, without volunteers the league would not exist. The board is made up of people who volunteered their time either as an Executive member (voting) or auxiliary member (non-voting).
ii.Each year the board, by Little League rules, must be dissolved and new elections are held (September) to elect a new board. This is an open election; anyone in good standing with BBSA is eligible to be a board member.
- The Executive board is selected after new board members are elected.
- Election notice is sent out in August with election in September.
i.Typically the board officially meets 2 times a month for about 3 hours each meeting. This does not include countless hours of off line conversations via email, phone calls and face to face discussion that are required to run the league throughout the season.
ii.Each year the board plans for upcoming baseball season (Spring and Fall) and all the things associated with making the league run. Plans could include new initiatives and new ideas on how to make the BBSA the best it can be. As with all plans, the best intensions are in the mind of the board members. Some things go as planned and work really well, and some can turn out be quite frankly, epic failures.
iii.The Board believes in transparency, board meetings are open to the public with time and dates posted on the website, the approved meeting notes are posted on the website for your review.
- Board Members Should not be coaches:
i.All managers are selected by the Board of Directors on an annual basis. There is no seniority from year to year. Anyone interested in becoming a manager in BBSA must register on-line and fill out volunteer form.
ii.Manager and coach selection is governed by our bylaws. A committee is appointed by the President, which reviews all manager applications. The committee then recommends a slate of managers to the Board of Directors for their approval.
iii.Over all the years, many board members have been managers / coaches along with board members who have just been parents volunteering to make BBSA best it can be. There is no intentional preference given to coaches who are board members.
iv.Board members who are coaches are subjected to following all the rules governing baseball by Little League, BBSA’s Code of Conduct and Bylaws. The same goes to all of our coaches.
v.Over the past 2 years 94.6% and 92.4% of people who took our end of the year survey said they DID NOT want to be part of the Board. With those types of numbers, that only leaves small segment of BBSA who is willing to volunteer their time on the Board. With those numbers there is a high probability that people willing to volunteering could be coaching as well. If more people who are not coaches volunteer, the less coaches possibly on the board.