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Ipswich Little League Frequently asked questions:

Q: Does Ipswich Little League offer financial assistance?

Ipswich Little League and Little League International want to ensure that every kid who wants to play Little League baseball can play Little League baseball, regardless of financial circumstances. If finances are an issue when it comes to the registration fee or equipment, please email the league at [email protected].

Q:  Can my child "play up" into a higher division?

The policy of Ipswich Little League is to have players play in a division with kids their own age. The only exceptions are for team formation/size, coaching needs, and safety reasons (such as if the player is so advanced they are a danger to other players their own age). The League will not move an older player down into a lower division in order to have a younger player move up, and will not overload teams with younger players moving up. If a division needs extra players, the Board will determine the number of players needed, and a tryout will be offered to all prospective players.

Q:  Can my child "play down" into a lower division?

During the Spring season, the policy of Ipswich Little League is to have players play in a division with kids their own age. However, exceptions are made for family requests, playing with classmates, team formation/size, safety reasons, ability, and grade. Any request to move down will be evaluated by the Player Agent and President, and would have to be approved by the Board.

PLEASE NOTE that a player may not "play down" on a Summer Ball Tournament team. Little League tournament teams are organized by age. Please see the section on Summer Ball.

Q:  Should my child play in Bubba Bat or Coach Pitch?

Children who are Little League 6-year-olds (will be 6 on August 31st of the the league year) have the option of selecting Bubba Bat or Coach Pitch. If your child is a Little League 6, the option to select either division will appear when registering. Bubba Bat is Ipswich's answer to tee ball. We work on the most basic baseball skills and play games with wiffle-style bats and balls. Bubba Bat meets once a week on Wednesday, and there are no helmets, hard balls, or hard bats. Coach Pitch meets three times a week. There are two practices during a week, and a game on Saturday. We use helmets, hard bats, and rubberized baseballs. The league recommends you play Bubba Bat if it is your first year in baseball. If you have played Bubba Bat for at least one year, please choose whichever option you think is right for your child, or whichever option works with your schedule. If your concern is how strong a baseball player your child will be later in either, because the chances this makes the slightest bit of difference is infinitesimal. Kids this age are just learning the game, and hopefully learning to love the game.

Q: What are Evaluations, and how to they work?

All players signing up for AAA and the Majors are evaluated over two days by a number of league-appointed evaluators. They are not a try-out, but rather a tool to help the league and coaches form balanced and competitive teams. As only AAA and Majors games are competitive, only AAA and Majors players are evaluated. There are no evaluations for Bubba Bat or Coach Pitch. All players who sign up for Ipswich Little League in the spring will be placed on a team.

Q:  How are teams formed?

Bubba Bat: As Bubba Bat games are non-competitive, teams are selected by the coaches and board with the friend concept in mind. The league tries to mix up ages and abilities.

Coach Pitch (A/AA): Coach Pitch games are non-competitive, so teams are selected by the coaches and board with the friend concept in mind. The league tries to mix up ages and abilities.

AAA: AAA has standard baseball rules with a few minor tweaks to make the game easier for kids who are 9 and 10. There is a trophy at the end, but only for the winning team. Because games are competitive, the League works hard to make sure the teams are fair as possible. All prospective AAA players are evaluated over two days on numerous metrics by a number of evaluators. After all of the kids are scored, the Player Agent, the President, and Board try to ensure the teams are as balanced as possible. After teams are formed, coaches are assigned.

Majors: All prospective majors players are evaluated on numerous metrics by a number of evaluators. Head coaches are assigned prior to the evaluations, and are invited to attend and observe the evaluations. The players are all scored, and the scores are provided to the coaches prior to a live draft. Draft order is assigned at random, and the players are drafted by the coaches using a snake draft system. The board determines the number of teams, number of players to be drafted, as well as which players will be drafted into the Majors. The draft is completed when all players are selected. Any child of a coach is assigned to the coach's team. The board does its best to determine in which round each coach's child would be drafted, and each coach is compelled to draft their own child(ren) in that round. For example, if a coach's child is considered to be one of the top 4 players in the league, that coach would be compelled to draft their own child with their 1st round pick.

Q: Is Little League organized by age or by grade?

In part because of the highly competitive nature of the Williamsport Tournament and the Little League World Series, Little League is organized by age, NOT by grade.

Q: What is my child's "Little League Age," and what does that mean.

Due in large part to the highly competitive nature of the Little League World Series, Little League divisions and teams (especially summer teams) are organized by age (not grade). Your child's Little League Age is how old they are on August 31st of the league year. Their 2024 Little League Age is how old they are on August 31, 2024. A child who turns 10 on August 30, 2024 is a Little League 10, shortened to "LL10." A child who turns 11 on September 2, 2024 will also be a "LL10." Some sports, like basketball, used grade, and others, like flag football, use the child's age on the day the season starts. Little League uses age on August 31st. The main reason is that Little League is for kids who are 12 and under. The Little League World Series is played in August every year, and features the best 12U teams in the world. A child cannot play who is 13. You do not need to know your child's Little League age to register. Our system will put your child in the correct division with other children their age. Just like with spring in-town divisions, summer tournament teams are also organized by Little League Age. If your child is a LL10, they would be eligible for our 10U summer team. The Little League age chart is below. This can be confusing, and is different than other sports, so please contact us if you have any further questions.

Q:  When does registration open for the 2024 season?

Early Registration for Spring 2024 and Summer 2024 is open!!! You can Register Here.

If you need assistance with the registration process, the following link includes helpful instructions:  

Q:  When does the season start?

The parade, opening day ceremonies, and opening day will be April 27th. AAA and Majors teams will have their first game that day. Bubba Bat will start practice April 24th. Coach Pitch practices will start the week of April 22nd. The first Bubba Bat and Coach Pitch games will be May 4th. AAA and Majors practices will start in April, as soon as the fields are ready.

Q: When does the season end?

The season ends on June 15th. Optional Summer tournaments can go on through early August.

Q:  Where and when do the kids play?

Bubba Bat plays every Wednesday from 5:30pm to 7pm at Town Hall/Green Street. 

Coach Pitch practices two days a week in the evening at Town Hall/Green Street. Practice schedules are selected by our volunteer coaches. Games are on Saturday later in the morning and early afternoon on Hopping Field located at Bialek Park (parking entrance off of Kimball Ave).  

AAA schedules is determined individually for each team. AAA teams play and practice mainly on Hopping Field at Bialek Park (parking entrance off of Kimball Ave). AAA typically meets four times a week, with a midweek game (typically on Tuesday or Wednesday), a Saturday afternoon game, and two midweek practices. Practice schedules are chosen by our volunteer coaches.

The Majors schedule is determined individually for each team, Majors teams play and practice mainly on Bowen Field at Bialek Park (parking entrance off of Linebrook Road). Majors typically meets four times a week, with a midweek game (typically on Tuesday or Wednesday), a Saturday evening game, and two midweek practices. Practice schedules are chosen by our volunteer coaches.

Q:  How are rain-outs decided?

Rainouts prior to the start of a game are usually decided by the managers of the two teams playing, with input from the Field Manager on conditions. If a game has already started and an umpire is present, the umpire is in charge of making the call.

Q:  What equipment is required and what does the league provide?

A glove is required for all divisions, and cleats and baseball pants are required for AAA and the Majors. The League provides hats and jerseys. Players are welcome to provide their own appropriate helmet and bat, but each team will team bats and extra helmets. There is no League policy on color of pants - but a preference is sometimes stated by the coach.

Q:  Can my child be put on a team with friends?

The lower the level, the easier it is to put friends together. As the kids get older and games become competitive, friend requests become more difficult. AAA and Majors teams are formed using a draft process to ensure that all of the teams are as balanced as possible. When games become competitive, the League prioritizes team balance over friend requests. Kids tend to have more fun when the teams are balanced and the games are competitive. If you would like to be placed on a team with a friend at the Bubba or Coach Pitch level, please let us know right after registration. It is very difficult to move players after teams have been formed.

Q:  Can I choose my child’s coach?

Much like playing with friends, this is easier at the lower levels. When games become competitive, an evaluation and draft process is used to ensure that all of the teams are as balanced as possible. Also, moving kids around has benefits for the kids and the coaches. However, if you or your child has a problem with a certain coach, please contact the League and the League will do what it can to make accommodations.

Q:  What is Summer Ball?

Summer Ball is tournament-style baseball played against other towns. It starts the third week of June and ends the first or second week of August. Teams are organized by age, and different tournaments are available for kids ages 8-12*. Ipswich generally fields an 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, and a 12U team. Tournaments are fairly local, and tend to be in places like Beverly, Danvers, Gloucester, and Amesbury. Summer Ball culminates in the “Williamsport Tournament,” in which 12-year-olds from all around the world compete for a chance to go to Pennsylvania and play in the LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES.

*The lowest age for summer ball is the 8U team. If there are spots available, kids as young as 7 can play.

Q:  Does my child have to be available all Summer to play Summer Ball?

No. The league understands that most people got away or take some time off in the Summer. The league tries to recruit enough kids to make up for kids going being away. The majority of the kids will miss some time here or there.

Q:  Does my child have to be a top player to play Summer Ball?

No. There are different levels of tournaments, and Ipswich Little League attempts to make sure everyone who wants to play in the Summer has some opportunity. However, the more competitive tournaments do have a selection process.

Q:  How are Summer Ball teams formed?

Summer Ball teams are formed based on perceived ability and team need, using input from all of the coaches. Select teams do not simply take the best players in order, but the players needed to field the most competitive team. Final teams are selected by the coaches and approved Board.

Q:  Why does Summer Ball cost additional money?

Many of the tournaments have a fee to enter, and all kids get a good quality Summer Ball hat and shirt with their name on the back.

Q. What bats are allowed for the 2024 season?

On January 1, 2018 a new USA Baseball Bat Standard was implemented. The vast majority of bats approved for Little League in 2017 and earlier are not acceptable for use in any Little League game, practice, or activity starting on January 1, 2018. The only exception is wood bats. Beginning in the 2018 season, non-wood and laminated bats used in Little League shall bear the USA Baseball logo signifying that the bat meets the USABat standard – USA Baseball’s Youth Bat Performance Standard. Look for this logo on approved bats:

Traditional wood bats are still approved for play and do NOT need to have the above logo. More information can be found here.

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