Frequently Asked QuestionsPlease take a moment to review this page. We hope that most questions parents have can be answered here.The League
1. Who is Devine Little League (DLL)? 2. How big is DLL? 3. What are the Devine Little League boundaries? 4. What sports and levels of play does Devine Little League offer? 5. How is the league organized? 6. I noticed that there are overlapping ages for the divisions. Why is that?
Registration and Fees
Teams and Tryouts
Members and Board of Directors
1. Who is Devine Little League?The Devine Little League (operated as a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Charity) is sanctioned by Little League, Inc. of Williamsport, PA, the largest youth affiliated program in the world. The first Devine Little League charter for baseball was in 1951. It is in District 21 of Texas West Section 3.2. How big is DLL?Our expectation for this spring is to have approximately 350 players in the league. Little League Baseball encourages boys and girls to become part of the little league experience. The league is comprised entirely of volunteers who freely give their time to help our Devine youth learn the game of baseball and embrace the Little League Baseball motto: Loyalty, Character, and Courage. Thanks in advance to all of the volunteers who will help this spring be a successful endeavor for everyone!
3. What are the Devine Little League boundaries?The boundaries for the Devine Little League follow the same boundaries as the Devine Independent School District. A child must reside within this boundary to be eligible for All-Star teams. A child may play within the Devine Little League who resides outside of this boundary, but will not be eligible for any All-Star team. In addition, a child living outside of our boundaries wishing to play with the Devine Little League must be approved by Little League, Inc. There are certain exceptions if the child or the parent(s) lived within the boundaries and volunteered or played with the league prior to moving. If you feel you may qualify for a Regulation II or Regulation IV exception, please contact our League President.
4. What sports and levels of play does Devine Little League offer?DLL offers T-Ball for boys and girls from ages 4–6 and baseball for boys from ages 6–16, and softball for girls from ages 6–16.
5. How is the league organized?DLL is chartered by Little League Baseball and must follow their rules, regulations, and guidelines. There are 7 divisions based on age: T-Ball Boys and Girls 4, 5, & 6 Year OldsCoach Pitch Baseball and Softball 6, 7, & 8 Year OldsMinor Baseball and Softball 9, 10, & 11 Year OldsMajor Baseball and Softball 9, 10, 11, & 12 Year OldsJunior Baseball and Softball 12, 13, & 14 Year OldsSenior Baseball and Softball 15 & 16 Year OldsBig League Baseball and Softball 17 & 18 Year Olds
6. I noticed that there are overlapping ages for the divisions. Why is that?As children grow older, some have better skills than others. It is a natural part of life. If players are placed into divisions rigidly by age, some players are simply not ready to compete at that level yet. By allowing some amount of flexibility, the parents and DLL officials can place players in divisions that fit better into their level of play. Most players would rather be in a lower division if it means they get to play more and learn more rather than sit on the bench in a higher level that is beyond their current abilities. On the other hand, children who are ready to move to a higher division can do so with parental approval. For example, if an 8 year old has played Coach Pitch and the parent feels the child is ready for Minors, that child can try out for Minors. Some divisions have more rigid age limits that cannot be modified. Those ages are reflected above.
1. Does Little League perform background checks on its volunteers?Yes. The local leagues are responsible for securing background checks on each adult volunteer over the age of 16. The minimum background check required is a search of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Registered Sex Offender Database.
2. What if I just want to be the “Team Mom” or just help with practice?We encourage all parents to volunteer and get involved with Little League in some way. There are many areas where parents can assist. They can help the manager in practices, be the Team Mom, umpire, help with field preparations and maintenance, and keep the scorebook, to name just a few. However, all volunteers must fill out the Volunteer Application and submit to a background check before helping.
3. 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 mid-February to the beginning of June. Time commitment is usually around 8–10 hours a week depending upon the division. Managers need to be able to commit to be at most practices and games. Managers also must attend pre-season meetings as required by the league, and a manager's meeting with the division representative. As well, they must schedule and conduct a parent meeting prior to the first practice of the season. Managers are assisted by a volunteer team parent who helps with things like concession stand scheduling, fundraising events, uniform distribution, and picture day.
Two or three 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. Typically, a manager will design a practice format and have assistants take care of coaching small groups of players, assisting with batting practice, hitting fungos, or other assistant duties. Assistant coaches should commit to be at all practices and games, generally about 6–8 hours a week depending upon the division. All actions of an assistant coach during games are the ultimate responsibility of the manager.
4. How are managers selected?DLL is actively seeking manager candidates at the time of registration. Any adult who has turned in a completed Volunteer Form and passed the background check may manage a team. No baseball or softball experience is necessary. It is the Local League’s Board of Director’s decision to approve persons recommended by the President and wishing to fulfill a management position. Management positions are not reserved on a year-to-year basis. Each year a person wishing to manage must volunteer for the position, be recommended by the League’s President and approved by the Board of Directors. Coaches are generally hand-picked by the manager of each team and must also complete a Volunteer Form and pass a background check.
5. I am in high school and would like to volunteer. Can I get community service hours credit for doing this?Absolutely. We welcome teenagers to come and help us. Please click on our volunteer section to learn more. We have had teen volunteers in the concession stand and have had them keep official scorebooks. We have even had some umpire before. We can sign off on community service hours for you.
1. How can I sponsor a team?Please contact the League President or a Board Member and ask for a Sponsorship Form.
2. If I sponsor a team, can I pick the team’s name? DLL currently uses Major League Baseball Team names (Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, etc.) for all Minor and Major baseball teams. DLL will attempt to honor requests for specific teams where possible, but cannot guarantee it. Please discuss any specific requests with the League President.
3. If I sponsor a team, can I sponsor a specific child’s team (my son, granddaughter, etc.)? As with the team name, DLL will make every attempt to honor the sponsor’s request. Again, please discuss any specific requests with the League President.
4. If I am not able to sponsor a team, are there other ways to sponsor DLL? Yes, there is. You can sponsor DLL in several ways. One is through a team sponsorship, or your business can purchase a sign to go on the outfield fence. Another way is to sponsor through the website by buying advertising space. You do not have to have a website in order to get this service. Finally, you can also sponsor through the Player Scholarship or just by giving a donation.
5. I do not have a business, can I still sponsor?Yes, you can. We accept non-business sponsors as well.
6. Can I help provide a player scholarship for other children?Yes, you can provide a scholarship donation or just a donation when you register. Scholarships are needed and much appreciated every year.
7. Are my charitable contributions and donations tax deductible?Yes, the Devine Little League is operated as a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Charity. One hundred percent (100%) of all contributions go directly to Devine Little League! You will have to check with a CPA and/or the IRS to see how it would apply to you.
1. When is Registration?Please check the Registration page for that information. We will post the date when it is time. The usual time period for the season is:
2. What are the registration fees for Devine Little League?This information will be posted on the Registration page. The registration fees are reviewed each year by the League Board of Directors. DLL still has some of the lowest registration fees in the district.
3. What is included in the registration fee?Your registration fees include a uniform shirt and cap. You will have to provide all other equipment including pants, socks, belt, shoes, etc.4. Can I register my child online and is it safe?The Board of Directors is looking into online registration. If it is decided that the League and parents could benefit from it, then we will have online registration. Parents must remember that the registration process will not be complete until all paperwork is received. (i.e., Birth Certificate, Proof of Residency, and Medical Release)5. Are credit and debit cards accepted at walk-up registration sessions?No. We do not have a merchant account to accept these. Registration fees must be paid by cash or check.6. Is there a refund policy?It is very simple and clear. Refunds of 50% will be made prior to team assignment. No refunds will be made after team assignments. Players who live outside the DLL borders and incorrectly register are subject to the refund policy. Internet fees charged by the service provider for online registration are non-refundable.7. How is the registration fee used?Our budget addresses equipment, uniforms, field improvements, field maintenance, post-season tournaments, and administrative expenses. 8. Why do I need to bring a birth certificate and proofs of residency to registration?These documents are needed for the Age and Address Verification process.
9. What is Age and Address Verification? The Age and Address Verification process provides parents and league officials the opportunity to fulfill Player Age and Address Verification required by Little League baseball.
10. Why does Devine Little League do this? Little League International requires all local Little Leagues to verify the Age and Address of all their players. Because we are affiliated with Little League, we are bound to this requirement.
11. What documents do I need to verify age? Bring a certified birth certificate with embossed seal (no photocopies will be accepted) or your child's passport so that your child's age can be verified.
12. What documents do I need to verify address? Little League requires three (3) separate items to demonstrate proof of residence so we can verify that you live within DLL's boundaries. You can find the documents needed on the Registration page. The documents will be reviewed and returned to you at registration.
13. Can I use a work, school, church, or other address instead of my personal residence to be in your league?No, Little League Baseball requires that your personal residence is used to establish which league your child plays in.
14. Will your league make any exceptions? No, we cannot. No verification, no baseball, no kidding. Sorry, but it is a Little League International rule.
15. Please explain the Little League assistance program and is financial assistance available?DLL's policy is that no child will ever be turned away from our program due to a financial hardship. We have started a player scholarship program to help cover some of the cost of registration expenses only.
Volunteer Requirements for Scholarships
Full Scholarship(per child)
6 evenings volunteering in the concession stand or participate in either field maintenance or scorekeeping.
1/2 Scholarship(per child)
3 evenings volunteering in the concession stand or participate in either field maintenance or scorekeeping.
1. How are teams formed?All teams from T-ball division through Senior division will be drafted. The higher divisions, Coach Pitch through Seniors, have tryouts. The tryouts are simply a way to assure a fair distribution of talent among the teams in each division, as the coaches take notes and then conduct the draft. Please review the current league schedule for tryout dates.
2. What are tryouts? Tryouts is an event that the League holds in which a player's current baseball skills are evaluated and assessed by Little League division managers.
3. What happens at the tryouts? Players will be rated on the following skills: (1) Fielding fly balls (approximately 3) (2) Fielding ground balls (approximately 3) (3) Throwing (from second base or short stop to first base) (4) Batting (approximately 4 pitches each) (5) Running (home to third base)
4. How long do the tryouts last? It will vary depending on the number of players, but somewhere between 90 minutes to two hours. Tryouts are scheduled throughout the day in various groups, typically organized by divisions. Please check the schedule on our website for the appropriate time for your player(s).
5. Do I have to participate in tryouts? All players MUST attend a tryout based on the division they played last season, except players in T-Ball. Every manager must be able to evaluate all the eligible players in the draft pool. If a player does not attend a tryout then the player is not eligible to play in DLL. This is a Little League International rule. If your child cannot make any of the scheduled tryouts please contact the Player Agent or VP of your Division ASAP.
6. We have finished tryouts. How do I know what team my child is on?Check the DLL Calendar of Events for the scheduled draft days. The DLL Calendar is generally on the Home Page of the DLL Website (www.devinelittleleague.org). The draft is held 1–2 weeks after tryouts. DLL asks that all Managers contact their players within one week after the draft to set up their first meeting or practice. If you have not been contacted within that time, please contact the Player Agent.
7. Can players play "up"?Yes, providing that the proper paperwork and requirements are met. While it is generally not recommended, there are some children who have the skills and abilities where it would benefit them. Players wishing to play up must try out for their current age division and for the division they wish to play in. However, the decision to move the child up will be up to the managers of the division the child is requesting.
8. If my son or daughter is 6, should I move them from T-Ball to Coach Pitch?If your child has played at least one year in T-Ball then you may be able to move them up.Move up to Coach Pitch if your child can:
If your child struggles with any one of these fundamental skills, T-Ball will provide a better environment for improving.
9. If you are considering moving up from Coach Pitch to Minors here are a few questions to ask yourself and your son/daughter regarding last year’s experience.
If the answer is yes to these questions, they could probably move up to Minors and have a good experience. If not, they may want to get a bit more experience and be one of the more confident and stronger players in Coach Pitch.
10. Can I request a specific manager and/or that my child play with their friends on the same team? In the T-Ball division we will try to honor special play requests. However, we do not guarantee the request will be met. In Coach Pitch through Senior divisions we do not accept special play requests. Teams in these divisions are selected via the draft process.
11. What if I have an issue with my child's manager?Speak with the manager about your concerns. Ninety-nine percent of the time this will take care of the issue. If you still are not satisfied, your next contact would be the Player Agent. If you feel the issue is critical you are always free to contact the VP of Baseball or Softball or the President directly.
12. 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 Devine Little League for consideration by the Player Agent. Approval requires extenuating circumstances, so any request is highly unlikely to be approved, and in most cases we will ask that the player remain with their team. Team balance is established early on, and changes of this type are difficult, if not impossible, to implement without upsetting the balance that has been established.
13. When are team photos taken? Team and individual photos will be taken on opening day. A schedule will be posted on the homepage.
1. What equipment will my child need before the first practice or game?Players should arrive at their first practice, ready to play ball with a glove, hat, rubber molded cleats, and practice baseball pants for the older division boys. A baseball bag is recommended to transport bats, batting gloves, water bottles, hats, and other items.
2. Are there any uniform supplies my child needs?A uniform consists of a pair of baseball pants, belt, a baseball jersey, a hat, and a pair of all-in-one baseball socks. Devine Little League will provide each player a team jersey and a team hat. Players need to provide the baseball pants, belt, and socks. The jersey and hat are the player's to keep. Your manager will provide more specifics as for the color. Rubber cleats are highly recommended. Steel spikes are not allowed in the Major Divisions and below. In the early part of the season, players should bring a windbreaker, jacket, or sweatshirt to every game and practice if the weather is cool.
3. What kind of glove should I get my child?A quality leather glove is a must and 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. It is impossible to form a pocket in gloves made of vinyl or simulated leather. Therefore, the ball tends to pop out when the player attempts to catch it. Please see the Parent Resources page for more information.
4. What equipment does my child need to play Little League?At minimum, your child will need a baseball glove and boys also will need to wear an athletic supporter with a hard cup. The league will supply a team shirt and hat. Most children will also require uniform pants, belt, and (non-metal) cleats, which the league does not provide. The league provides each team with several bats, batting helmets, and catcher gear. Players can bring their own helmets and catchers equipment if they choose, but are not required to furnish these items themselves. We are working on establishing an equipment recycling program that will allow families to utilize cleats and gloves that have been outgrown and donated by other families (this will be on a first-come, first-served basis).
5. What size bat should I purchase for my child? This is a rather complicated question since kids come in all shapes and sizes. The basic concept is that first you pick the weight of the bat, and then you pick the length. A batter's power is determined by bat speed or how fast he can swing the bat through the strike zone. Therefore, the weight of the bat is the main determining factor in how fast a player can swing the bat. The rule of thumb is that your child should be able to hold the bat in one hand, extend his arm until the bat is at shoulder height, and then hold it for 20 seconds. Make sure the bat doesn't dip and that the child is not doing gyrations to keep the bat up. This will give you the weight of the bat that your child can effectively handle. Now find the longest bat with that weight. The longer the bat the more of the plate the batter can cover. When looking at bats you'll hear a term called "drop". Drop is the length of the bat (in inches) minus the weight of bat (in ounces). For example, a 30-inch bat that weighs 20 ounces has a drop of -10. The greater the drop, the more effective the bat. Grip is another important factor. Your child should be able to comfortably grip the bat. Other factors include the material used in the grip, the size of the butt, the construction of the bat, etc. The bottom line is: (1) the bat must not be too heavy for the child, (2) it should be long enough to cover the plate, and (3) it should be comfortable in your child's hands.
1. What rules does Little League use to play? Little League plays under a set of rules published by Little League International out of Williamsport, PA. The rules are based on the Official Baseball Rules (OBR) used by Major League Baseball (MLB) with some changes for the safety of younger players and adaptations to play the game on fields with bases 60 feet apart versus 90 feet apart.
In addition, each Little League publishes their local ground rules. Most of these center on how the minor division and below will play their games.
2. What are the differences between Little League rules and Ground rules?Little League rules are those rules to which we are strictly bound. Little League rules are strictly adhered to at the Majors level of play. Each year Little League publishes updated rules that are well founded in history and are focused at every kid getting a chance to play Little League. Ground rules are those rules adopted by the Devine Little League Board to enhance the game for the players. The ground rules generally apply to the Minors and lower levels. An example of a ground rule is a continuous batting order where all the kids attending the game bat in succession until all have batted. After all have batted, the batting order reverts to the top of the batting order. Ground rules are posted on the DLL website and are voted on each year.
3. What is inter-league play?Little League rules allow DLL to schedule games with adjoining leagues if this is mutually agreeable. In general, DLL will pursue inter-league play opportunities when possible in the upper divisions. At lower levels, where the number of teams is greater, we will probably not actively pursue inter-league play. The extent of inter-league play may vary from year to year.
4. Are there time limits on games? Yes, the time limit varies by division. Shorter time limits also come into play on weeknights to prevent keeping kids out late on a school night.
5. Who decides if a game is rained out? That depends greatly on when the rain comes. If you have lived in South Texas for any length of time, you know that it can rain at any time, regardless of the forecast. The League President or some other Board Member will make the call after inspecting the fields. Generally speaking, this is an easy call, because once the fields become soaked and slippery, it is a very time consuming project to make them playable again. If it continues to rain or threatens to rain, all scheduled games will be postponed and rescheduled. Once a game starts, all decision to play or continue a game is up to the Home Plate Umpire, who is the only person who can stop a game once it has begun. If play is halted due to rain, PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THE PARK. A “rain delay” is much different than a “rain out”. Parents will be allowed to take their children to their car, but please do not leave until directed to by the Manager. Lightning may also cut a game short without any rain present. Obviously, safety is a concern here and DLL will always err on the side of caution.
6. How can I find out if a game is rained out? This is the more difficult question. As noted above, if a decision is reached early enough, it will be posted on the Website (www.devinelittleleague.org). However, if the decision is later, there is not enough time to call everybody that might be playing that day. When possible, check with your Manager to see if they have been notified. Most Managers will attempt to contact their players once they know the game has been rained out, which is why it is important that Managers have as much contact information as possible. If you have not been contacted, then it is best to simply go to the field and find out. Don’t be fooled by the weather conditions at your house or office. Numerous times it is raining in one part of town and nothing at the field. If you don’t know, then continue to the field.
7. Are there any rules around minimum playing time? Rules vary by division regarding playing time.
T-ball—All players play in the field and all players bat each inning. Coach Pitch—Continuous batting order (no offensive substitutions, every player is on the batting lineup even if they don't play the field that inning) with 9 fieldersMinor—Continuous batting order with 9 fielders on defense Majors and above—9 players in the batting order with substitutions
Minimum play for Coach Pitch and above is one at bat and two innings in the field. Note: any player who arrives after the start of the game is not required to get minimum play at the manager's discretion.
8. If my child is unable to attend practice, will he/she still get to play in the game? As stated above, Little League requires that all players play a minimum of two innings in the field and get a minimum of one time at bat. However, it is very important that your child attend as many of the practices as possible so that he/she can continue to improve their skills while also working with the other players to learn to play as a team. In the Minor Division and above, the team’s discipline plan will decide the playing time for excessive missed practices. Ultimately, time of play, as well as position of play, is determined by each team's manager.
9. I think my son/daughter is a pretty good player. How does the league choose All-Stars? Prior to the last game of the season, teams in the Minors and above, for both baseball and softball, will have the opportunity to vote for whom they believe are the top players in their divisions. The players will vote to place the first six (6) players on each All-Star team and then the managers will complete the All-Star roster with their selections. Be sure to be cognizant of your family's summer vacation schedule if you believe your player might be picked to play for the DLL All-Star team. The district All-Star tournament is normally the first two weeks of July. The sectional and state tournaments are on the following weekends.
For Coach Pitch and T-Ball, the Board will decide if a team will be sent to a local tournament. If the Board decides that a team will be sent, then the managers will pick the All-Star team. Tournaments for this level are usually held the first or second week of June.
1. The umpires did a really bad job at umpiring our game, who can I complain to?Umpiring is one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of the Little League program. The volunteer umpire is as much a part of Little League as the volunteer manager, coach, or concession stand worker. If you feel the need to complain about a call, feel free to contact the Umpire-in-Chief and volunteer to umpire a few games. It will give you a different perspective on the game and make you appreciate that these volunteers are willing to give their time back to the game. Besides, by umpiring, you have the best seat in the house.
2. What if I am afraid of making the wrong call as an umpire?Most people seem to not be interested in being the umpire. Why? Because they may feel that they will make a mistake, or they do not want to cause issues with other parents, or that they just don't know what to do. Umpires make mistakes, they are human after all. But remember, when calling fair/foul, safe/out, balls and strikes; an umpire may make over 600 calls in a game. There are bound to be some mistakes. It is a judgment call and umpires call it like they see it.
The Umpire-in-Chief is there to help and provide instruction for anyone who asks and is willing to take the time to help out all the kids of Little League Baseball and Softball.
REMEMBER, Little League is about the kids learning the game and having fun.The umpires are there to help aid in the learning process by applying the rules. Without the rules, nobody learns or has fun.
3. OK, I will try it. How do I volunteer to be an umpire? Great! First, fill out a Volunteer Application and become a General Member of the League. The Umpire-in-Chief will get with you and go over the Little League Rules and Local Ground Rules. Your first few times to umpire will probably be in the field with a more experienced umpire behind the plate. Second, relax and go out there and just call it like you see it.
4. If I umpire, will I be umpiring baseball or softball? You will probably help in both divisions. The rules are pretty much the same for both, except for a few minor differences.
5. Can I get a Rule Book or more information on umpiring?The League is only supplied with a few Rule Books every season. Each Team Manager will receive one. You can purchase a Rule Book at Little League Online at a reduced rate for League Members. You can also check out the Umpire Resource Page on this website.
6. Do umpires get paid in Devine Little League? According to Little League Baseball, there is no sound reason for paying umpires, or any other person whose services should be provided on a volunteer basis. While the Board of Directors have agreed with Little League, after extensive discussion, that there may truly be no valid reason to pay umpires, there will be situations during the season to pay a reasonable fee to the home plate umpire. A reasonable fee may be paid for umpires when volunteer services cannot be met in the Major, Junior, and Senior Divisions only. Umpires will only be paid when they are in full uniform and have/use their personal equipment.
Members and Board of Directors
1. How do I become a General Member of the Local League?To become a General Member of the Local League, you must participate in the annual meeting to recruit new members, or you can become a General Member at any time thereafter. Membership dues are required and are determined by the Board of Directors. The current membership dues are $5.00 per year. Once you have become a General Member, you have voting rights at General Membership meetings (i.e., to elect the Officers) and you may also fill a position on the Board of Directors.
2. Can I become a DLL Board member?Each year in September, on the second Wednesday, the Board of Directors must be re-elected. Any adult resident living in the DLL boundaries can apply to become a board member. All applicants must undergo a background check.
3. If I am not a member, can I attend the Board of Directors Meeting?Yes. Non-members (i.e., parents) are encouraged to attend our monthly meetings. Although you will not be able to vote on matters, you can be recognized to state your opinion on different subjects. There are times that the Board of Directors will enter into Executive Session. During this time, all non-Board members will be asked to leave the meeting temporarily.
4. Do DLL Directors get paid? No. Unlike some other Youth Sports Organizations, the Board of Directors for Devine Little League is 100% volunteer. No Director receives any financial compensation for their services to the League. Additionally, Board members are required to pay the same registration fees for their children as everyone else.
5. I have a question/concern, who should I contact? Questions? Suggestions? Ideas? Concerns? Want to help? Check out the Board of Directors page to find the appropriate Board Member to contact. Email and phone numbers are provided for all Board Members. Call or email the appropriate Board Member to let them know your thoughts.
6. How often is the website updated?Devine Little League is a volunteer organization. The website is updated frequently by several volunteers; as such, the information on this website is subject to change without prior notice.