The Rookie T-Ball Division is for 4 & 5 year old boys and girls. This division will focus on teaching the very basic fundamentals of baseball, such as proper swing mechanics and proper throwing technique using only the safest and most appropriate equipment for this age group. The teams will meet only once per week on Sunday afternoons and the sessions will be split into part practice and part games. This will be a non-competitive atmosphere so that the focus will remain on teaching and having fun for both players and coaches. There will be no game standings and there will be no playoffs. WHLL makes special provisions in the Rookie Division for buddy requests and so that your child has the chance to play with other classmates from his/her elementary school.
The Instructional/Coach Pitch Division is for 6 & 7 year old boys and girls. All players will be encouraged to swing the bat with a coach pitching the ball. This division will continue to teach the fundamentals of the game while learning more of the "rules of the game" in an effort to become more well rounded and "smart" players. There will be 2 meetings per week for this division with a practice on Saturday and games scheduled for Sundays. Before games start, there will be 2 practices per week. There will be no regular season standings and no playoffs for this division. NOTE: As of 2010 rule updates, there will be no batting tees allowed during Instructional games. WHLL makes special provisions in the Instructional Division for buddy requests and so that your child has the chance to play with other classmates from his/her elementary school. There are no coach requests.
The Minor League Division is for 8, 9 and 10 year old boys and girls. This division is designed to teach the finer skills of the game of baseball and to further develop individual skills including pitching, catching and the outfield. This will be a player pitch league. There is a playoff tournament for all teams at the end of the regular season. The focus will shift to more real game situations in this division in preparation for the jump to AAA. There could be up to 3 meetings per week for this division with weekday and Saturday practices. Once the season begins, there will be games every Sunday and mid-way through the season games will be played on weeknights also. Saturday practices will continue until the end of the season.
The AAA League Division is for 9*, 10 and 11 year old boys and girls. This division is designed to teach more advanced skills of the game of baseball as a final step in preparation for movement up into the Major League Division. There is a playoff tournament for all teams at the end of the regular season. Skills developed here will be beyond those found in Minors. The focus will shift to more advanced and competitive game situations in this division with advanced concentration on specialty positions like pitching and catching. There will be up to 3 meetings per week for this division with weekday and Saturday practices. Once the season begins, there will be games every Sunday and mid-way through the season games will be played on weeknights also. Saturday practices will continue until the end of the season.
The Major League Division is for players who are 10*, 11 and 12 years old. This division will be the most competitive division. There will be regular season standings and a playoff tournament at the end of the season. The focus will be to continue to develop individual skills and to teach the more complex aspects of the game in a more competitive atmosphere. Players in this division will meet up to 3 times per week. Practices will be scheduled for a weeknight and on Saturdays. Once the season starts there will be games every Sunday and on weeknights throughout the season, with Saturday practices until season’s end.
Practices are the last piece to pulling every season together. Practices are established by a lottery system for Instructional, Minors, AAA and Majors. The lottery occurs at the final coaches meeting before the season starts. Within 48 hours of this meeting, parents are notified of their teams and coaches. Practice schedules are literally the final step before season kick-off. By virtue of our lottery system, WHLL is unable to take special requests in advance for specific practice times and days. WHLL also does not allow for team/roster changes due to practice conflicts after practice schedules have been established and distributed to your designated team. Once a practice time has been set for a team, that time is firm and no changes will be allowed.
* All players ages 8 - 12 must attend our player evaluation session to be held in mid-March. All players will be evaluated at this time so that we can distribute the players amongst the teams as fairly as possible. We may invite a number of 9 year olds to play up into the AAA Division and a number of 10 year old players to play up into the Majors Division. The number of players invited to play up will be based solely upon the number of open slots available in those divisions and the abilities of the players based on the evaluation at the group practice. The final decision as to whether or not those players who are chosen to play up will be the parents and players alone. You may decline any invitation to play up if you so wish. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES will 9 year old players be asked to play in Majors. Majors are STRICTLY limited to 10, 11 and 12 year old players.
The West Hartford Little League remains committed to not regularly scheduling any games or practices on Fridays and to not regularly schedule any games for Saturdays. Because of the growth of the league and the lack of available fields, it is necessary to schedule practices on Saturdays. We realize that this may present a conflict for some players due to religious obligations. No player will be penalized in any way if they cannot attend Saturday practices. We totally understand, respect and support a family’s obligations that would prevent a player from attending Saturday practices.