What are the various playing levels of Tilton Northfield Little League (TNLL) baseball?
TNLL is comprised of four levels of play: T-Ball, Rookie, Minors and Majors divisions. The playing rules vary slightly for each division.
TNLL ensures players develop appropriately in terms of skills, knowledge, and sportsmanship. TNLL has established age brackets that players need to participate in, however, there are situations where some players may play down due to safety risks upon approval of the Board of Director's.
Pitching is a major difference among the divisions. T-ball has no pitching, with players batting off a tee. Rookie is strictly coach pitch. Minors and majors is strictly player pitch.
When does the season begin?
Please check the events calendar on the TNLL website for exact dates and other league events. Typically, the season begins on the last Saturday in April or first Saturday in May and extends through June and July for different divisions.
How long will the season last?
The TNLL regular game season usually lasts from the beginning of May to the end of June and includes playoff games for the minors and majors teams. The season is extended for players that are selected to the District 2 All-Star tournament teams. Please consider your vacation plans if you have a child that may be selected to these teams.
Where are TNLL games played?
TNLL utilizes the baseball field (Charles Dwinal Field) at the corner of Summer Street and Park St for most minors and majors games. TNLL also uses the field at Canterbury Elementary School for minors and rookie games. Also, we have agreements with the Winnisquam School District to utilize their school fields. The majors teams will play games with the other teams in Little League’s NH Dstrict 2 (Laconia, Concord, Hooksett, Lamprey River, Rye, Portsmouth and Somersworth)
What days and times are the games played?
Tball and Rookie teams will play one game per week on Saturdays. Minors and majors teams are scheduled to play 2 or 3 games each week in the evenings and Saturdays. Game days are typically Monday through Friday evenings at 6 pm and throughout the day Saturdays, and Sundays as needed. It is recommended that tball players arrive at the field approximately 15 minutes prior to game time, players in all other divisions should plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to game time so they can properly warm up, and managers can get the line-up cards ready prior to the start of the game.
Who umpires TNLL games?
TNLL is very lucky to have volunteer umpires. TNLL uses a combination of parent volunteers and volunteer umpires from other local sport programs. In the lower divisions (T-Ball and Rookie), we generally do not have umpires, although some parents will volunteer. In the upper divisions (Minors and Majors), a plate umpire is required for play and we generally have at least one field umpire.
When will the practices begin?
TNLL targets early April for all teams to start practicing, depending on snowmelt and field conditions. Indoor practices sometime become available to TNLL, we schedule those times accordingly. The goal is for teams to be in a position to begin practices at least 3-4 weeks before Opening Day.
How often and long will my child practice?
Practice frequency and duration are up to the team manager and vary based on the division, game schedules and weather. Generally, each Manager will hold one or two practices per week, possibly more for the majors teams.
Where will my child practice?
TNLL schedules field practice times at the Charles Dwinall Field (Pines), the Tilton Prep School Field (behind Park n Go Market), Southwick School, Union Sanborn School, Winnisquam Middle School and Canterbury Elementary School. Your child’s team Manager will communicate where your child will practice once your child is placed on a team.
What equipment will my child need before the first practice or game?
Some Managers will require special items at practices, which he/she will communicate at the beginning of the season. Generally, for practices, players are required comfortable clothing (dress for the weather), a hat, cleats (not required for tball), baseball glove, an athletic cup (males), a drink, sunscreen, and bug spray. Bats are not required, however if you decide to purchase a bat, it must be Little League approved. For games, in addition to those items listed for practices, Tball players are required to wear their TNLL supplied hat and shirt. Rookie and Minors players are required to wear their TNLL supplied shirt, hat, and socks, along with grey baseball pants. Majors players are required to wear their TNLL supplied shirt, hat, and socks, along with white baseball pants.
Are there any uniform supplies my child needs?
A uniform consists of a pair of grey baseball pants (white for majors players), black belt, a baseball jersey, a hat, and a pair of socks. TNLL will provide each player a team jersey, socks and a team hat. Baseball pants, socks, and cleats are not required for tball. Due to individual fittings, players need to provide the baseball pants (available at any sporting or department store), and black belt. The jersey and hat are the player's to keep. The jerseys don't provide much warmth, so it is a good idea to purchase a long-sleeve baseball shirt to match the color of your child's team. Your manager will provide more specifics as to the color. Cups are required for minor and major divisions and should also be worn at the rookie level if you are a catcher. Rubber cleats are also required for minor and major divisions (recommended for Rookie), and steel spikes are not allowed. A quality leather glove is a must, it is recommended to stay away from vinyl and simulated leather gloves that may be cheaper, but tend to cause the player a great deal of frustration. All players should bring a windbreaker, jacket, or sweatshirt to every game and practice, especially early in the season. For games, these need to be worn under the uniform shirt. Also, be sure to bring a drink, sunscreen and bug spray.
When will I find out what team my child will play on?
All teams should be formed by the beginning of April. Your child's manager will notify you of the team's first meeting. If you don't hear from a team manager by mid-April, please contact a league official.
Can my child be placed on a team with one of their friends?
TNLL allows friends to request to be placed on the same team together only in the T-ball or Rookie divisions, but there is no guarantee that it will be approved. In the minors and majors, there are absolutely no requests due to the player selection process of the draft. The upper division teams are created using a balanced draft process that helps to promote even and competitive teams.
If my child is unhappy with the team they are placed on, can they switch teams?
Only in extreme cases does the league allow children to switch teams after the teams have been formed. Such requests must be made in writing to TNLL Player Agent or Board Member. Approval requires extenuating circumstances, so any request is highly unlikely to be approved, and in most cases we will ask the player remains with their team.
If my child decides to quit, is it possible to get a refund?
A refund is available upon request prior to the close of registration. A refund of 50% is available if a request is received prior to Opening Day. After Opening Day, NO REFUNDS are allowed.
Can I keep my child down in a lower division or bring him/her up a division a year early?
TNLL strongly supports age appropriate competition and development in keeping with Little League guidelines. The only time an adjustment may be made is when there is a safety risk to a player playing in their age appropriate division. If you are concerned please discuss this at the time you sign up with the Player Agent, Player Development Coordinator, or a board member. A decision will be made to allow the player to play down.
What are draft "options"?
Options are picks that each manager has available prior to the minor and major division drafts. The options pertain to the manager's own child and/or their coach's (max of 2 Coaches) child. Managers must request an option, and options are granted upon approval from the Board of Directors. Refer to the TNLL draft rules document.
Are there any rules around minimum playing time?
Rules will vary by division regarding playing time. In T-ball, all players play in the field and all players bat in a continuous batting order. There are minimums for innings played in all divisions. Refer to the local rules posted on the TNLL website.
Are there time limits on games?
T-ball games are limited to 1-hour. Rookie games are limited to 1 hour 30 minutes. Other divisions will be limited by darkness or field schedules.
How many managers/coaches can be on a team?
Every team has a manager approved by the Board of Directors. Each team's manager can have as many assistants as they can find for practices, but only two assistant coaches are allowed in the dugout during games. TNLL also allows a Team Parent in the dugout during games. This person is allowed to only assist in maintaining team’s behavior, maintaining scorebooks, and must stay in the dugout. The Team Parent will not be allowed on the playing field in any context or allowed to act in the context of a coach. Any manager, coach or Team Parent that comes into contact with players, either during games or practices MUST submit a Little League Volunteer application to the league and submit to a background check.
What are the responsibilities of a manager and a coach?
The team manager oversees the management of the team throughout the season. They are responsible for setting a practice schedule, developing a practice format, creating a lineup card for every game, and ensuring kids get their minimum playing time in each game. Managers are the focal point of the team and must be committed to following through with managing the team from early April to end of June. Time commitment is usually around 8-10 hours a week depending upon division. Managers need to be able to commit to be at all practices and games. Managers also must attend a pre-season coaching clinic provided by the league, and a manager's meeting with the division representative. As well, they must schedule and conduct a parent meeting prior to or at the first practice of the season. Managers are assisted by a volunteer team parent that helps with things like concession stand scheduling, fundraising events, uniform distribution, and picture day.
Two assistant coaches are allowed in the dugout during games. However, a manager may elect to use more than two coaches during practice. Coaches provide support during practice to ensure kids get enough attention while developing their skills. Coaches are under the guidance and direction of the manager. Assistant coaches should commit to be at all practices and games, generally about 6-8 hours a week depending upon division. Coaches also need to attend a pre-season clinic provided by the league. All actions of an assistant coach during games are the ultimate responsibility of the manager.
What are the responsibilities of a Team Parent?
The Team Parent assists the Manager with various duties. The Manager will communicate his/her expectations at the beginning of the season. Generally, the Team Parent will handle various administrative duties for the team, communicate with the league, plan special events with the team, help maintain discipline, and communicate with parents. Team Parent should plan on 4-6 hours a week and commit to be at every game and practice.
Are there conduct rules that apply during games?
Absolutely. TNLL does not tolerate foul language or taunting at any level by the players, parents, managers, or coaches. Any spectator, player, manager or coach that is warned is subject to being ejected from the premises and banned from the complex for additional games.
TNLL does not tolerate any violence directed at anyone, nor does it tolerate vandalism to TNLL or personal property. These circumstances will be dealt with by local Police.
TNLL provides a safe, family venue for children to play baseball, anything that violates this will be immediately dealt with.
What is the playoff structure?
TNLL teams play an entire regular season with the final standings in the minors and majors divisions establishing the seeding for a post-season tournament. This approach allows all of the teams to work on developing the skills of each and every player on the team. Managers do not have to win every game, and as a result, they can play kids in positions where they can learn without the overriding pressure to "not lose". The end product is a playoff tournament where every game is a good contest, and the lower seeded teams often rise up. This is by far the best approach to overall player development. There are no playoffs or post-season tournaments for the Tball and Rookie divisions.
Who is responsible for staffing the Snack Bar at the TNLL complex?
The Snack Shack Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator are TNLL Board Members, and responsible for operating the Snack Shack at the Charles Dwinal Field. Volunteers are needed to staff the concession stand for all games played at the Charles Dwinal Field. If you are interested in working in the concession stand, please contact the Snack Shack Coordinator (This information can be found under the board contacts). Training will be provided for those who have never worked in the concession stand. Volunteer forms are required to be completed, along with the mandatory background check.
Do I have to participate in any fundraising?
TNLL relies on fundraising to help support the operations of the league. Player registration fees only account for 25% of the needed operating capital required for equipment, facilities maintenance and repairs, uniforms, etc. TNLL supplements player registration fees with league sponsors and fundraising. Each team is expected to participate in the league's fundraising activities.
Who do I contact if I have a problem that needs to be resolved by the league?
If at any time you have a problem or just want information, you can e-mail the league at any time. However, please first discuss any concerns with your child's manager. If you prefer to contact a Board Member, contact information is on the TNLL website or it is posted at the Snack Shack. You are also welcome to attend a Board meeting and express your concerns directly to the Board. The meetings will be posted on the website as well as the concession stand bulletin board.
What is available on the website?
The league's web site is www.tnll.org. The site offers all the information you need to stay informed about events, schedules, rules, board member contacts, sponsorship information, baseball clinics, umpire training, etc. If you have a question that is still unanswered, please contact one of the TNLL Board Members.
How is TNLL Managed?
TNLL is managed by an elected Board of Directors that administer the league in line with established bylaws, Constitution and Little League Rules. The league is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization.
How can I volunteer for TNLL?
TNLL relies on volunteers to operate. Coaches, snack shack staff, board of directors, field maintenance, umpires, etc. are all volunteers. If you are interested in helping in anyway, or have a service to offer, please contact a TNLL Board Member and discuss your interest with them.