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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who should I contact to get more information about Pinole Hercules Little League (PHLL) or to get an answer to a specific question?

If you don't find your answer here, please direct your inquiry to info@pinoleherculesll.org.

How do I sponsor a team?

There are levels of sponsorship available. Please take the time to review and consider one of these sponsorship opportunities that is appropriate for you. You can obtain a form listing levels of sponsorship by email to sponsor@pinoleherculesll.org.

Is Pinole Hercules Little League financial assistance available?

Reduced registration fee and full scholarships are available upon eligibility verification of specific needs due to financial hardship.  Please contact scholarship@pinoleherculesll.org for more information.

REGISTRATION

How and when do I register?

Registration begins in October. Both new and returning players must register. Registering is via online at website www.pinoleherculesll.org. Please be aware you may have to show proof of age and residency as this is a local Little League that follows state and national Little League age and residency rules. Any player having a balance due for registration for the current or any previous season will not be permitted to play in games until the balance is settled    Please direct questions to registration@pinoleherculesll.org.

Why do we register players so early?

Our league registration numbers determine the number of managers we choose, uniforms we order, the amount of new equipment we must purchase, and the number of practice and playing fields we must reserve. This all takes time and is done by volunteers. We must register by November to get them on the playing field that spring. Teams are formed in January, practice starts in February, and games begin in March.

What happens if I register my child late?

We want to ensure that every child who wants to play can do so. However, players who register late may be put on a waiting list for team placement.

Can I get a refund?

The league realizes that sometime your plans change after you register your child. To set team rosters and minimize disruptions caused by ineligible player registrations, player drops and withdrawals, the league has adopted the following refund policy.

All refunds are subject to the discretion of the league President. All refund requests must be emailed with reason for cancellation to registration@pinoleherculesll.org. No refund will be processed without an email request.

No refund will be given if the player or a member has been dismissed or suspended due to unsportsmanlike behavior or not abiding code of conduct. Refunds will be credited back per payment method at time of registration.

What are the levels of play?

Description of Little League divisions of play Teeball, Baseball, Softball, and Challenger are available at Little League Divisions of Play.

What is Little League Age?

Little League uses the player's birth date to determine their "league age", and this is the age used to help determine which division a player may play in.  Explanations of how to determine your child's league age and what divisions are available to each age group are available at League Age.

TEAMS

How many teams are in each division, and how is that determined?

Upon completion of the registration process the league will determine the number of teams to be formed within each division. The number of teams in each division may vary from year to year, as this is a function of how many children register, their ages, and skill level.

Teams are selected based on the criteria of their official Little League age and their individual skills. The manager and coaches evaluate the player's abilities during the skills assessment. This is an objective evaluation of the child's skills. Basic skills are evaluated during skills assessment include throwing, fielding, batting, running, and others.

Does my child have to attend the skills assessment?

Yes, to be eligible for the baseball and softball drafts, players registered for Minor and above divisions will need to participate. The basic objective of the skills assessment is for managers and coaches to evaluate and rank all players based upon their age and abilities so that team drafts can be equally balanced.

What if my child cannot make their skills assessment session?

We understand that illness, emergencies, etc., occur, and we schedule two assessment dates for this reason.  Failure to attend will place your child at the lowest division for their age group as well as disqualify them for a call-up should a roster spot become available in the division above.

When are skills assessments?

Skills Assessments are in December. Each player must attend one session. All fees must be paid in full or up-to-date for registered players to participate in league skills assessment sessions or be assigned to teams. If fees are not paid in full or up to date, the player may be placed on a waiting list until fee issues are resolved.

Why is a draft needed?

The basic objective of having a player draft is for all teams at a given level to be relatively equally balanced.

Who attends the drafts?

All drafts are closed meetings and attendance is strictly limited to control confidentiality of the selection process. Attendance is limited to approved managers and coaches of the team being selected, Board members, Player Agent and other appropriate parties as determined by the President and Vice President. Draft order will not be revealed. Players will be notified after all Minor and Major Divisions have been drafted as to which team selected them.

How are Baseball teams formed?

Major drafts first, then all players not assigned to a Major team are assigned to the Minor draft.

Intermediate/Junior Division will draft teams in January.

How are Softball teams formed?

Major draft first, then all players not assigned to a Major team are assigned to the Minor draft.

Junior/Senior Division will draft teams in January.

Can my child be placed on a team with a friend or coach?

Teeball - Teams are formed by the Player Agent based on skill level, locality, and age to equalize the teams.  Any special requests should be sent to registration@pinoleherculesll.org and the Player Agent will make every attempt to honor your request, but we cannot guarantee.  

Baseball and Softball - Minor players and above are subject to a draft format, therefore any special requests cannot be honored.

Can I keep my child in a lower division or bring them up in a division early?

PHLL encourages all parents/guardians to allow their children to play at a level that complements their age and ability levels.

Age, experience, and Official Little League rules factor into and govern the decision of what level a child can play. Once a child reaches Little League age eligibility for the draft, a skills assessment and evaluation process are in place to determine their ability level and a draft is in place for the purposes of distributing the ability level evenly to all teams at that level.

GAMES

What equipment will my child need?

Players will need a fielder glove, pants, belt, socks, and boys in Minor division and above will need to wear an athletic supporter with a protective cup. Rubber cleats are recommended; metal cleats are only permitted in baseball Intermediate/Junior and softball Junior/Senior. Your manager will recommend the color of pants, belt, and socks to purchase. All players receive a team hat and jersey. The league provides batting helmets and catchers gear.   Players can bring their own batting helmet and catcher equipment if they choose. All catcher helmets require a throat guard.

When do practices begin?

Pre-season practice begins in February. Practice days, times, and frequency differ by division and team, and the schedule won't be known until the end of January.  You can expect one weeknight practice and one weekend practice. Generally, we do not schedule practices on Friday or Sunday.

When do games start?

Regular season games are played March through May. Generally, you will have one weekday evening game and one weekend game per week. We do not schedule Friday or Sunday games unless it is necessary for a rain make-up or other scheduling conflict. There will be no games during Memorial Day weekend.

Where are games played?

Practices, intra-league, and home inter-league games are conducted on local fields here in Pinole and Hercules. Away inter-league games are played at fields of other local leagues.

What is inter-league play?

Little League rules allow to schedule games with adjoining leagues if this is mutually agreeable. In general, PHLL will pursue inter-league play opportunities when possible. The extent of inter-league play may vary from year to year.

Are there time limits on games?

Yes, there are time limits on games. Time limits are detailed in the local rules for each division. Any game can also be called due to darkness (by the home plate umpire) in the interest of safety for the players.

Are there must play rules? Does everyone get to play regardless of ability?

Yes, and yes. There are “must play” rules, all players must play in every game regardless of ability.  The Little League rule book has the details for how this is implemented.

What are the differences between Little League rules and local rules?

Little League rules are those rules to which we are strictly bound. Each year, Little League publishes updated rules that are well founded in history and are focused at every child getting a chance to play Little League. Local rules are those rules adopted by the PHLL Board to enhance the game for the players. 

What about Post-Season games?

There are a few different types of post-season games/tournaments:

Tournament of Champions

The division champion teams from Baseball and Softball move on to the district-wide “Tournament of Champions”. This tournament typically runs from early June to mid-June.

All-Stars

Player skills and availability are used to determine placement on the All-Star teams. These games begin mid-June and typically the games run through July. Tournament (All-Stars) season players must meet spring participation requirements and be selected to a tournament team. 

How many coaches can a team have?

Little League rules allow for a maximum of three managing/coaching personnel in the dugout during games. Therefore, teams may have one Manager and minimum two Coaches of record, all of whom must be appointed by PHLL President and approved by Board of Directors.

Who umpires the games? How can I become an umpire?

Games are umpired by anyone interested that is 13 years old or older.  Umpires are assigned to various levels of play depending on years of experience and skill.  Spectators and fans should not be communicating (good or bad) about umpire calls. It is the responsibility of the managers on each team to communicate with the umpires if there is an issue. At the lower levels, umpires are not needed since the coaches are on the field and fill in as umpires. Volunteers are a key in making this a successful program. If you are interested in being an umpire, please contact umpire@pinoleherculesll.org.

Who keeps score, and how is it done?

Each softball and baseball Minor level teams and above is to have a scorekeeper who is familiar with keeping score. The home team scorebook is the official scorebook. If there are any questions by the umpire or others on the status of the game, the home scorebook is used. Score is not tracked in Teeball and a scorekeeper is not required from Teeball teams. PHLL provides a scorekeeping clinic before each new spring season to train new scorekeepers and to refresh returning scorekeepers.

VOLUNTEERS

How do I volunteer?

There are plenty of volunteer opportunities for both your team and for the league. At the team level, you can volunteer to manage, coach, scorekeeper, team parent, help with field preparation and cleanup. At the league level, there are many activities that you can participate in to help the league provide the best possible playing opportunities for your child. As we are a volunteer organization, your help is greatly appreciated. Please contact volunteer@pinoleherculesll.org to find out how you can participate.

How do I become a manager or coach?

Persons interested in volunteering to manage or coach for the league must pass a background screening. Manager/Coach volunteer online application and background screening start in October and can be completed on the league website. All managers and coaches must be appointed by PHLL President and approved by Board of Directors.  If you are interested in being a manager or coach, please contact coach@pinoleherculesll.org.

 

Updated: 10/2019