2022 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 & softball, 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 2022 Spring season.

Note: Playing ages are defined differently for Baseball and Softball.  The LL playing age may differ than the player's actual age during the time of registration.

Is Kirkland National Little League the correct little league for my child?

Little League is a community-based program, therefore, each little league operates within defined boundaries.  If your child resides or attends a school within the Kirkland National Little League boundary, then KNLL is the appropriate little league for enrollment.

To see if you are within the KNLL boundary, please input your home or school address into the Little League Finder found here: https://www.littleleague.org/LeagueFinder.htm

How do I register for T-Ball?

Our 2022 Spring registration for KNLL is planned to open in November 2021.  Registration is completed online at https://www.kirklandnational.com/registration.  You will need to login to your existing, 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 20, 2022 then team rosters will be formed.  Soon after, you will be contacted by the Team Manager to inform you which team your child is playing on along with other information (practice/game schedules, uniform colors, etc.).

You will receive an email invite to join your TeamSnap page.  KNLL utilizes this application to manage teams and schedules; you can access your Team's page through the TeamSnap website or by downloading the phone app (recommended).

I accidentally registered for the wrong league or division, what do I do?

Please contact the Director of T-Ball as soon as possible and well before the close of registration to discuss potential options - director.tball@kirklandnational.com

How long is the T-Ball season?

April 13 – start of the season (first Wednesday after LWSD Spring Break)

June 12 – last day of the season

Note: there may be some additional (optional & group) pre-season practices starting in March.

Why does the T-Ball season start later than some of the higher divisions?

The higher divisions (AAA & above) have mandatory game requirements that need to be fulfilled prior to the start of Little League playoffs.  Since we do not have playoffs in T-Ball, we have the luxury of starting our season later.  Typically, our March weather in Washington is not very favorable to baseball and softball activities, so starting our season a little later (hopefully) reduces the likelihood of rain-outs.

What is the schedule like?

Practices are one hour long and held on Wednesdays at local elementary school fields starting at either 5 or 6pm.  Games are also one hour long and held each Sunday at Big Finn Hill Park or the Juanita Beach fields starting at 1:00pm or 2:30pm (To Be Confirmed).  Towards the end of the season, we may have some Wednesday games instead of practice.  Managers may request players to show up 10-20 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.  T-Ball is essentially the only level we can accomplish this, as scheduling becomes a bit more complex in subsequent divisions.

One of the challenges we face with scheduling is field availability.  Traditionally, KNLL does not regularly schedule games on Sundays, so T-Ball has taken advantage of this extra field availability to 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.

How are teams formed?

In the lower divisions, KNLL tries to form teams by elementary school (during registration, pre-school aged children may specify the elementary they will attend in the coming years).

We need to distribute players to balance the team sizes, so there are no guarantees that your child will be placed on a team roster with kids entirely from their school.  When forming teams, we also take into consideration the grade levels and try to create balanced teams to avoid age (size) disparities between opposing teams.

Players enrolling in Tee Ball after the registration deadline will be placed on a team with the least amount of players to keep team sizes balanced; we cannot guarantee friend requests or placement with other players from their school after the initial team formation process has occurred.

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

Yes, friend requests can be made in our lower divisions and KNLL will do our best to accommodate them.  You can make this request during the registration process.  If you have already registered and want to submit a request, notify the Director of T-Ball prior to the T-Ball registration closing date - March 20, 2022 – director.tball@kirklandnational.com

How many players are on each team?

In T-Ball, we are targeting team sizes of 7-8 players.  Small teams help keep the kids engaged because there are more opportunities to be involved in a play.  Additionally, a smaller batting lineup helps ensure quicker transition for more innings on both offensive and defense.  To further ensure player safety and save time during games, we do not field the catcher position in T-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 (safety) baseballs and T-Ball Softball is played with (safety) softballs.  Since they use different balls, we want to support each of these programs early on and give players the full baseball or softball experience.

In T-Ball, we make our best effort to schedule baseball vs. baseball teams and softball vs. softball teams.  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 programs with another local Little League; otherwise, we may have to schedule a few games with 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 you have registered.  We will try to align your schedules so your children do not have to be in two different places at the same time and/or we can discuss alternative options - director.tball@kirklandnational.com

Why is there no Coach pitching in T-Ball?

Since our program is intended for entry-level players and our next division higher (A-Ball) is a modified Coach pitch division, we instruct our T-Ball Coaches to utilize the tee throughout the entire season.  This narrows the focus to developing a level swing and also ensures that we are maximizing the full hour with a faster pace of play.

Can 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!

While we do not utilize Umpires or Scorekeepers in T-Ball, we still encourage all parents to volunteer in some capacity at every level of play.  Extra parent volunteers in T-Ball can help keep kids engaged and allow practices to be broken into smaller groups for more 1-on-1 training.  Furthermore, at least one approved parent volunteer is required to be in a dugout occupied by children during games.  Typically, there are 3 other coaches who will likely be out of the field with the players.

Ultimately, the Team Manager (Head Coach) will be the one to decide on the number and capacity of the extra volunteers that will be utilized during each T-Ball event, but having extra help available is always appreciated to coral these young players: keep them in the right batting order, help with equipment (bats, helmets, etc.).

No experience is necessary to volunteer, but you will not be allowed to help in any capacity unless you are registered and approved 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 Parent Volunteer.

Please visit this page to learn more about the importance of volunteers in Little League - https://www.kirklandnational.com/volunteers/

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 check-out and maintain the team's equipment,  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 league and are responsible for the flow-down of information to their team's parents.

Coaches support the managers by assisting with planning, 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”.  As stated above, all volunteers need to be approved prior to participating in activities with the players.  Once approved, you may help during practices or in the dugout (when help is needed and/or requested by the Team 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.

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 check-out 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, Face covering (if necessary and dependent on local health guidelines), and, a 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.

It is also highly recommended that families procure a batting helmet and bat for their child – please see the next sections regarding bats and helmets.

Bat regulations:

“Effective on January 1, 2018, Little League Baseball compiled with the new USABat standard.”

Rule 1.10 - Baseball

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

This new standard does not apply to Softball.

Rule 1.10 - Softball (bottom of page)

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/

Additional Questions?

Please visit our FAQ page for more general league information - https://www.kirklandnational.com/faqs/
Email director.tball@kirklandnational.com for support with any additional questions