2020 Tee Ball Season

Is Tee Ball the right level for my child?

Guided by the Little League Tee Ball Program, KNLL Tee Ball is tailored for entry-level players. Designed to provide a safe and fun introduction to the fundamentals of baseball, players learn the basic concepts of catching, throwing, and hitting off a tee. There is no coach pitching in our Tee Ball division.

The target ages are Little League Age 4 to 6-year old players with no previous experience in an organized Tee Ball league. Use the Little League Age Calculator to verify your player’s age for the 2020 Spring season.

How do I register for Tee Ball?

Registration for Kirkland National Little League opens in November 2019. You can register at https://www.kirklandnational.com/registration. First you will need to login or create a new TeamSnap account. If you require additional instructions or assistance with registration please email director.tball@kirklandnational.com

T-Ball registration closes on March 16, 2020 (deadline extended).  After registration closes, teams will be formed. You will be contacted by the Team Manager soon after to inform you which team your child is playing on and they will provide the schedule for practices and games.

How long is the Tee Ball season?

April 15 – start of the season (first Wednesday after LWSD Spring Break)

June 14 – last day of the season

Note, there may be some additional pre-season practices on Wednesdays starting March 25, if your team Manager chooses to conduct them and enough kids can participate based on their schedules.

What is the schedule like?

Practices are one hour long and held on Wednesdays at a local elementary school field or 132nd Square Park starting at either 5 or 6pm. Games are also one hour long and held each Sunday at Big Finn Hill Park starting at 1:00pm or 2:30pm. Towards the end of the season, instead of practice on Wednesday there will be games, likely at 132nd Square Park or Juanita Beach Park. Managers may request players to show up 10-15 minutes early on game days for warm-ups.

At the T-Ball age level, Little League recommends limiting activities to 45-75 minutes.

Please note: this schedule may require some slight adjustments depending on the following factors: field scheduling and availability, number of registrants and teams formed for T-Ball (Baseball / Softball).

Why are events scheduled for Sundays and Wednesdays?

In the past, KNLL has provided consistency with the scheduled days for T-Ball and it resulted in positive feedback from the parents. This is pretty much the only level we can accomplish this, as scheduling becomes a bit more complex in the upper divisions.

One of the challenges we face with scheduling is field availability. Traditionally, KNLL does not regularly schedule events for levels above T-Ball to occur on Sundays, so for the past 2 years we decided to take advantage of that availability and schedule T-Ball games to occur at Big Finn Hill Park on Sundays. Big Finn Hill Park provides a great atmosphere for games, and the T-Ball players get excited to play on the same fields that the big kids play on. Wednesday was selected as the other T-Ball event day, more simply, because it is in the middle of the week, so the days off are spaced out equally.

Can I request that my child be placed on a specific team with a friend or a coach?

Yes, you can make this request, and KNLL will do the best to accommodate it. You can make this request during the registration process. If you are already registered and want to make a request, notify the Director of T-Ball prior to the closing date of T-Ball registration, which is March 16, 2020 – director.tball@kirklandnational.com

How are teams formed?

In the lower divisions, KNLL tries to form teams by elementary school. Since we need to distribute the players to balance the team sizes, there are no guarantees that your child will be placed on a team with kids from their school. When forming teams, we will also look at the grade levels and try to create balanced teams to avoid a big age disparity between opposing teams.

In T-Ball we are targeting team sizes of 7-8 players. Small teams help keep the kids engaged because there is more chance to be involved in a play. Batting goes quicker since the lineup is small. We do not utilize catchers in T-Ball.

How do I volunteer as a Manager, Coach, or Volunteer?

KNLL is 100% run by volunteers – this includes Board Members, Umpires, Managers, Coaches, Scorekeepers, and more. We cannot successfully run the league without the help of our parents and other grown-ups – that’s you!

We encourage all parents to volunteer at the T-Ball level. This helps keep kids engaged and allows practices to be broken into smaller groups for more 1-on-1 training. Also, a parent in the dugout during games is always appreciated to help coral kids, keep them in the right batting order, and help get helmets on the players. No experience is necessary to volunteer, but you will not be allowed to help at all unless you register as a volunteer. Register at https://www.kirklandnational.com/registration, and click the Register to Volunteer button to register yourself as a Manager, Coach, or Volunteer.

The Manager of the team will be the one to decide how Coaches and Volunteers will be utilized.

If you have additional questions about registering or what is required of the different roles contact the Director of T-Ball – director.tball@kirklandnational.com

What is the difference between a Manager and Coach?

The Manager “takes ownership” of the team as the Head Coach. They lead the practices (plans) and manage the game-day line-ups (requires more involvement, specifically in the higher divisions). Managers are also responsible for conducting correspondence with the league and disseminating information to the parents. They are also the main point of contact for the parents.

Coaches support the managers by assisting with drills in practice, in the dugout, and on-the-field during games.

In T-Ball there are many additional opportunities to help the team by registering as a “Volunteer”. Once you are an approved volunteer, you are then allowed to be on the field during practices to help with coaching activities (when help is requested by the Manager).

What are the Tee Ball rules?

Please visit the Rules Page for KNLL Local Rules - See Appendix C for playing rules specific to Tee Ball.

Do girls and boys play on the same team in Tee Ball?

Most boys choose to play T-Ball Baseball and most girls choose to play T-Ball Softball. The main difference is that T-Ball Baseball is played with baseballs (safety balls) and T-Ball Softball is played with softballs (safety balls). Since they use different balls, we make our best effort to schedule baseball vs. baseball team and softball vs. softball team. However, sometimes there are not enough T-Ball teams to achieve this goal. If we have a shortage in teams, we may try to align our Softball T-Ball program with Kirkland American Little League; otherwise, we may have to schedule softball teams vs. baseball teams.

If you have children enrolled in both T-Ball Baseball and T-Ball Softball, please notify the Director of T-Ball after registration. We will try to align the schedules so your children do not have to be in two different places at the same time or we can discuss alternative options - director.tball@kirklandnational.com

What equipment is provided, and what do I need to purchase for my child?

Provided: A team hat/visor and jersey (shirt) will be provided by the league. Additionally, each team manager will receive gear bags with shared equipment: helmets, bats, balls, tees, and other equipment to use for practices and games for the duration of the season.

Required: Baseball/Softball Glove and Protective Safety Cup (only required for boys)

Recommended: Baseball/Softball Pants (full length athletic pants or sweats are a viable alternative), cleats, baseball belt and socks. You should wait until you have been contacted by the Team Manager with team name and color scheme before purchasing these items. Some families prefer to purchase their own helmet and bat for their child – that’s ok, but it’s not required – please see the next sections regarding bats and helmets.

Bat regulations:

“Effective on January 1, 2018, Little League Baseball will adhere to the new USABat standard.”

https://www.littleleague.org/playing-rules/bat-information/usa-baseball-bat-standard-faq/

This new standard does not apply to Softball.

For T-Ball (Baseball), players can still use older models of bats, however, they must be 26” or shorter and you will need to purchase a USABat sticker that reads “ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS”. Stickers are $2 and can be ordered from the following website:

https://usabaseballshop.com/products/usabat-tee-ball-sticker?variant=44877922632

If you are planning on purchasing a new bat and would like to keep it for future use in “A” ball, you should consider purchasing a USA certified bat.

Helmet regulations:

LLOR 1.16 and 1.17 state that “helmets may not be re-painted and may not contain tape or re-applied decals or stickers unless approved in writing by the helmet manufacturer or authorized dealer.” Such written approval may not be recorded by KNLL, D9, Western Region, or Little League International. Therefore, the burden falls to the parent or guardian to obtain such written approval and the manager to ensure the alterations are in compliance with that approval.

Helmet attachments are products that are sold separately from the helmet that the consumer is responsible for attaching to the helmet. These include c-flaps and similar face guards. Such attachments generally require altering the helmet by drilling holes and removing padding. These alterations void the NOCSAE certification of the helmet, making it illegal to use in Little League play. Little League International provides a clearinghouse of approved attachments here: https://www.littleleague.org/playing-rules/modifying-helmets-with-additional-attachments/

During pregame inspection of the equipment by the umpires, written approval shall be presented for any alterations to helmets. Umpires are empowered to adjudge if those alterations are in compliance with LLOR and the written approval. Any altered helmets without written approval shall be removed from play.

LLOR 1.16 and 1.17 advise that “altering helmets in any way can be dangerous.” Therefore, KNLL strongly discourages any alterations to helmets

Where can I purchase baseball/softball equipment?

There are several local sporting goods stores and online websites from which to purchase gear. KNLL purchases our league’s gear locally from Risan Athletic - https://www.risan.com/