Please take a moment to review this page. We hope that most questions parents have can be answered here.
1. What is Mission San Jose Little League?
The Mission San Jose 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 Mission San Jose Little League charter for baseball was in 1965. We are in District 14 of California, Section 3, Division 2.
2. What are the MSJLL boundaries?
Little League Baseball requires that your personal residence is used to establish which league your child plays in. The boundary for the MSJLL follows the same boundary as the Fremont Unified School District boundaries for Mission San Jose High School. A child must reside within this boundary to be eligible for All-Star teams. If a child wants to play at MSJLL but resides out of boundaries, they may apply for a waiver.
If the waiver is approved by Little League, Inc. (and they rarely are), that child will not be eligible for any All-Star team. 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(d) or Regulation IV(h) exception, please contact our League President.
3. How many players and teams are there at MSJLL?
MSJLL offers T-Ball for boys and girls from ages 4–6 and baseball for boys and girls from ages 6–18. Our league generally has between 200 and 250 players each season. We generally field 20 to 25 teams in various divisions. 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 community’s 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!
4. How is the league organized?
MSJLL is chartered by Little League Baseball and must follow their rules, regulations, and guidelines. There are 9 divisions based on age and skill level. Please refer to Levels of Play for more details about various divisions.
5. Why are there overlapping ages for the divisions?
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 MSJLL officials can place players in divisions that fit better into their level of play.
6. What is the normal timing for the season?
The usual time period for the season is:
- November through January — Spring season registrations
- January — Player tryouts and draft (Players age 8 and up)
- February — Teams are formed and practices begin
- March — Opening day and games begin
- June — Regular season ends and tournaments begin
7. My child has lots of activities. What are the typical dates & times for baseball?
Specific schedules will not be available until late February when the teams are formed. A safe assumption for understanding the time commitment for the players might be to assume baseball activities four (4) days a week (2 days of games and 2 days of practice) for about two to three hours each day. T-ball level has only 1 game a week and one or two practice days - practice and game times are about and hour for this division. This would basically be from February when practices start until early June when the season ends.
8. I have a question/concern, who should I contact?
Questions? Suggestions? Ideas? Concerns? Want to help? Click on Contact Us or 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.
9. How often is the website updated?
Mission San Jose 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.
Registration and Fees
10. When is Registration ?
Registration typically takes place online between November and January. Please check the Registration link for information on walk-in registrations. We will post the date when it is time.
11. What are the registration fees for Mission San Jose Little League?
This information will be posted on the Registration page. The League Board of Directors reviews the registration fees each year. In addition to general league operations and field maintenance, your registration fees are also used to provide team equipment as well as a uniform shirt and cap to each player. You will have to provide all other equipment including pants, socks, belt, shoes, etc. Additional details are available in the Equipment section of this FAQ.
12. Can I register my child online and is it safe?
MSJLL began offering online registration during the 2013 season. MSJLL’s online presence and your documents are hosted in a secure server environment that uses a firewall and other advanced technology to prevent interference or access from outside intruders.
13. Are credit and debit cards accepted at walk-in registration sessions?
For walk-in registrations, we currently accept payments by cash or check only. Online registrations have the option to pay registration fees by credit card or PayPal.
14. Is there a refund policy?
Our registration refund policy for Minors through Juniors is as follows:
- $25 cancellation fee is applied if cancellation is requested before second tryout.
- 50% refund if requested between second tryout through Opening Day.
- No refund after Opening Day.
Refunds for T-Ball and Seniors players are decided on a case-by-case basis. Players who live outside the MSJLL borders and incorrectly register are subject to the refund policy.
15. Why do I need to provide a birth certificate and proofs of residency for registration?
These documents are needed for the Age and Address Verification process as required by Little League International. 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. 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)
16. What documents do I need to verify age?
We need to see the original birth certificates during registration. This is the only acceptable form of proof of birth.
17. 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 MSJLL's boundaries. The documents will be reviewed and returned to you at registration. You can find more details here.
18. Are scholarships available?
It is MSJLL's goal to include every eligible child who wishes to play Little League. We understand that families come into hard times and need financial assistance at times. To receive a scholarship, please contact the firstname.lastname@example.org. MSJLL does require that parents make a commitment to volunteer in exchange for the financial commitment we've made with your family.
19. How are other revenues generated for Mission San Jose Little League?
As you know, operating such a program requires a lot of volunteer time and costs a great deal of money. In order to keep the registration fees affordable for all, MSJLL must turn to corporate and community sponsorships for much of our financial support to make up the difference needed to provide uniforms, upgrade equipment, pay for upkeep of the facilities, insurance, and other direct expenses of running the league. In addition to registration fees and corporate sponsorships, MSJLL usually has several small fundraisers throughout the year. Also, in our snack shack we try hard to provide affordable food and drinks and brings in some profit so please patronize the snack shack often.
Teams and Tryouts
20. How are teams formed?
All teams from T-ball division through Senior division will be drafted. The higher divisions, Minor American 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 managers take notes and then conduct the draft. Please review the current league schedule for tryout dates.
21. Can I request a specific manager and/or that my child play with their friends on the same team?
In the T-Ball and Farm divisions we will try to honor special requests. However, we do not guarantee the request will be met. In Minor American through Senior divisions, we do not accept special play requests. Teams in these divisions are selected via the draft process.
22. What are tryouts?
A tryout is an event that the League holds in which a player's current baseball skills are evaluated and assessed by Little League division managers. Players will be rated on the following skills:
(1) Fielding fly balls
(2) Fielding ground balls
and (5) Running. Depending on the number of players, tryouts will generally run somewhere between 90 minutes to two hours. Tryouts are scheduled throughout the day in various groups, typically organized by league age.
All players with League Age of 8 or higher MUST attend at least 50% of tryouts for his/her age group and are strongly encouraged to attend all tryouts. Players who cannot meet such a requirement, must notify the league and provide a reason to the Chief Player Agent in order to be considered as part of the draft or placed on a team. High school players are the only exception.
23. We have finished tryouts. How do I know what team my child is on?
The draft is typically held 1–2 weeks after tryouts. MSJLL 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.
24. Can players play "up"?
MSJLL strongly believes in its draft procedure’s ability to appropriately place players. Players with concerns regarding their assignment to a certain Division should discuss those concerns with the Player Agent, the Chief Player Agent, and/or the President prior to the draft so that those concerns can be adequately communicated to the drafting managers. Ultimately, the decision to move the child up will be made by the managers during the draft or in conjunction with recommendations from the Player Agents and Board.
25. How are teams drafted?
For Minor National and higher divisions, provided there is more than one team in the division, MSJLL employs a draft process to determine teams based on the Little League operating manual, plan B, “Methods for Existing Leagues”. All divisions will redraft in Majors and above following guidelines in the current Little League operating manual, plan B under “Methods for Existing Leagues”. Minor American and lower divisions, teams will be selected by player agent with input from division managers.
26. If there is a need for additional players at a higher level, what is the “call-up” process?
In the event a Major or Minor National division player is unable to continue playing with MSJLL, a player may be called up from the lower division. The player agent for each division will maintain a list of eligible players and provide the names to the manager requesting a new player. The requesting manager decides which eligible player to approach, if the player decides not to move up, then the manager continues to his/her next choice. It is the Little League philosophy to encourage players to move up, however MSJLL recognizes that it is the player’s choice and therefore no player will be forced to move up.
27. What if I have an issue with my child's manager or my child is unhappy with the team they are placed on?
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 for that Division. Only in extreme cases does the league allow children to switch teams after the teams have been formed. 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. If you feel the issue is critical you are always free to contact the President/VP/CPA directly.
28. When are team photos taken?
The manager or Team Parent will communicate specific dates for Team and individual photos to parents. Team pictures are typically taken within the first month of the season at MSJLL. Makeup day tends to be in May if you missed picture day for your individual picture or you want it retaken because you don't like the one taken in March.
29. 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 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. Each year the League hosts a “Swap Meet” which allows families to utilize cleats and used baseball clothing that have been outgrown and donated by other families (this will be on a first-come, first-served basis).
30. 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. Boys will also need to wear an athletic supporter with a hard cup. A baseball bag is recommended to transport bats, batting gloves, water bottles, hats, and other items. Intermediate Division through Big League are allowed to wear metal cleats; however, Majors and below cannot.
31. 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. MSJLL will provide each player a team jersey and a team hat. All players need to provide their own pant, belt and socks as specified by the manager. Unless instructed by the manager, at the end of the season, players are expected to return team jerseys provided by the league.
32. 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. check with your manager for the size of the baseball glove.
33. What size bat should I purchase for my child?
This is a rather complicated question since kids come in all shapes and sizes. 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. Be sure to check http://www.littleleague.org/learn/equipment/baseballbatinfo.htm to view the list of legal bats that can still be used for games.
34. What rules does Little League use to play?
MSJLL 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.
35. What are the differences between Little League rules and Divisional 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. Divisional rules are those rules adopted by the MSJLL Board to enhance the game for the players. The divisional rules generally apply to the Minors and lower levels. Divisional rules are posted on the MSJLL website and are voted on each year.
36. Are there time limits on games?
Majors and above do not have a time limit for games. Minors and below have recommended time limits. However, an official shortened game can be called on account of darkness if 4 innings are completed in Majors and below and 5 innings are completed in Intermediate and above (if tied, it should be continued another day). Your manager can provide more specifics once the season starts.
37. 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.
- Farm—Continuous batting order (no offensive substitutions, every player is on the batting lineup even if they don't play the field that inning) with 10 fielders.
Each player gets at least one at bat and three defensive innings where at least one inning is in the infield and one inning in the outfield.
- Minor—Continuous batting order with 9 fielders on defense. Each player gets at least one at bat and three defensive innings where at least one inning is in the infield and one inning in the outfield.
- Majors--Continuous batting order with 9 fielders on defense. Each player gets at least one at bat and three innings in the field.
- Intermediate and above—9 players in the batting order with substitutions and 9 fielders on defense. Each player gets at least one at bat and two defensive innings.
Note: Any player who arrives after the start of the game is not required to get minimum play at the manager's discretion. MSJLL has the rules printed and displayed in each score booth as well as in the clubhouse.
38. 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 three 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.
39. What happens during pre-game warm ups?
Pre-game warm up periods for players will vary by manager but generally players are expected to arrive anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes prior to game start times. Managers are expected to complete the safety checklist and provide their lineup prior to the game start time. Half an hour before game time, the visiting team may take the infield for official warm-ups for 10 minutes. Then the home team takes the field for 10 minutes. Approximately 10 minutes prior to start time, the home plate meeting with umpire and managers takes place so the game can start on time.
Inter-League and the Post Season
40. What is inter-league play?
Little League rules allow MSJLL to schedule games with adjoining leagues if this is mutually agreeable. In general, MSJLL 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.
41. What is the Tournament of Champions post season play about?
District 14 hosts the Tournament of Champions (TOC) each year right after regular season ends. Minor National teams and above have playoffs to determine who goes to this District 14 tournament. All teams in Minor National and Majors do a double elimination playoff to see which team gets to go on to Tournament of Champions to play other teams in Fremont and Newark in a single elimination tournament. The winner brings home the championship flag.
42. How does the league choose All-Stars?
Being selected to play on an all-star team is an honor and recognition of the player’s talent, sportsmanship and dedication to the game. To be considered for all-stars, the player must meet an eligibility criterion that includes playing 60% of the games for the division the player is being considered. The only exception to this rule is for high school players whom must play at least 60% of the games once released from high school. A player playing in one division may be considered for an all-star team for a lower division provided they are age eligible, however may only play on one all-star team. For example, a Senior division player may be considered for a Junior division all-star team. Selection of all-star players is based a eligibility, availability, voting by peer players and manager recommendations. Prior to the last game of the season, teams in the Minors and above 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 eight (8) players on each All-Star team and then the managers, with Player Agent and President approval, 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 MSJLL All-Star team. The district All-Star tournament normally can run from the last week of June through mid July. Success in district tournaments can lead to participating in the sectional and state tournaments thereafter.
Rainouts and Field Care
43. Who decides if a game is rained out?
The League President or some other Board Member will make the decision after inspecting the fields. Generally speaking, this is an easy decision because once the fields become soaked and slippery, it is a very time consuming project to make them playable again. 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. Lightning will also cut a game short without any rain present. Obviously, safety is a concern here and MSJLL will always err on the side of caution.
44. 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.MSJLL.com). 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.
45. During game days, is there someone on duty to respond to issues and ensure operations run smoothly?
Yes. There will always be a Field Director on duty during games. Field Directors are available to respond to issues that may arise during the day. Additional duties that Field Directors have include:
- Unlocking & locking field house, bathrooms, score booths, etc.
- Setting up & putting away cones used for no parking areas
- Monitor and address restroom cleanliness, trash levels, and supplies
- Raise flags
- Ensuring fields are prepared on time and monitoring field conditions
- Report any safety/maintenance issues to League Safety Officer and President
46. What is the normal process to care for and maintain the fields?
Managers and coaches are responsible to ensure the fields at MSJLL receive routine care after all games and practices. This includes but is not limited to the following activities:
- Water grass edges
- Rake, level holes, low spots around bases and pitching mound
- Remove bases, install plugs and put bases away correctly
- Remove any pitching screens or any other equipment used from infield
- Cover pitching mound
- Remove all trash from fields and dugouts
- Lock up field
- Place key into score booth and lock booth
- Check to make sure bathrooms and field house are locked up.
47. Does MSJLL require parents / guardians to volunteer?
MSJLL is an all-volunteer non-profit organization. To cover all the necessary activities to run the league, we require a minimal amount of volunteer time from adults for each registered player. There will be volunteer opportunities to work in the concession stand, keep score, umpire, coach, and other important activities. For all volunteer roles, no experience is required and the league provides training as needed. Understanding that not everyone’s schedule can accommodate volunteer time, the league does provide volunteer buy-out options for families (amount varies each year).
48. 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. We use a national database such as Lexis Nexis to check for registered sex offenders and all volunteers must be cleared before volunteering.
49. What if I just want to be the “Team Parent” or just help with practice?
We require at least one parent 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 Parent, 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.
50. Can high-school students get community service hours credit for volunteering with MSJLL?
Absolutely. We welcome teenagers to come and help us. We have had teen volunteers in the concession stand and have had them keep official scorebooks. We have even had some high school students as umpires before. Some high school students with baseball experience have even officially served as an assistant coach in T-ball or Farm the entire season to get all their required hours for high school in a four-month period. We can sign off on community service hours for you.
Managers & Coaches
51. 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 February to the beginning of June. Time commitment is usually at least 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. In addition, 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 snack shack 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. Typically, a manager will design a practice format and have assistants take care of coaching small groups of players, assisting with batting practice, 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.
52. Do managers and coaches get paid?
All managers and coaches at MSJLL are volunteers and do not receive compensation from the league.
53. How are managers selected?
MSJLL actively seeks 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 experience is necessary. It is the MSJLL Board of Director’s decision to approve persons recommended by the President or Player Agents 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 or Player Agent, 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.
54. Do umpires get paid?
All umpires at MSJLL are volunteers and do not receive compensation from the league.
55. How do I volunteer to be an umpire?
Great! First, fill out a Volunteer Application and alert the manager of the team so he/she can advise the Umpire-in-Chief. The Umpire-in-Chief will alert you about planned rules clinics where you can learn more about the Little League Rules and Divisional 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.
56. I don’t agree with an umpire’s call – What can I do?
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 dispute an umpire’s call, please discuss with the manager. You can also 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.
57. How can I sponsor a team?
The Sponsorship form can be found in the Library section of the MSJLL web site. In addition, you can contact the League President or a Board Member and ask for a Sponsorship Form. We offer sponsorship levels for teams, divisions, and the entire league. MSJLL will make every attempt to honor the sponsor’s request. Again, please discuss any specific requests with the League President or Sponsorship Chairperson.
58. If I am not able to sponsor a team, are there other ways to sponsor MSJLL?
Yes, there is. You can sponsor MSJLL in several ways. One is through a team sponsorship, or your business can donate other forms of goods & services. Finally, you can also sponsor through the Player Scholarship or just by giving a donation.
59. I do not have a business, can I still sponsor?
Yes, you can. We accept non-business sponsors as well.
60. 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.
61. Are my charitable contributions and donations tax deductible?
Yes, the Mission San Jose Little League is operated as a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Charity. One hundred percent (100%) of all contributions go directly to Mission San Jose Little League! MSJLL can provide official receipts for you to use for tax purposes. You will have to check with a treasurer and/or the IRS to see how it would apply to you.
Members and Board of Directors
62. Can I become a MSJLL Board member?
Each year in September, the Board of Directors must be re-elected. Any adult can apply to become a board member. All applicants must undergo a background check.
63. 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.
64. Do MSJLL Directors get paid?
No. Unlike some other Youth Sports Organizations, the Board of Directors for Mission San Jose 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.