During the Spring season, we offer four divisions of minor league play and two divisions of majors. Each division is unique and has its own goals. A brief description of each spring division follows. Divisions in the fall season are similar, though there are some minor differences.
T-Ball All kindergarteners are assigned to this division (Spring season only).
A Division All first graders are assigned to this division.
Primary purpose: To introduce the game to our youngest players and to teach the basic skills of baseball.
Competitiveness: To limit competitive influences, we do not keep score, each batter hits once per inning. We do not keep division standings and there are no playoffs.
Pitching: The coaches pitch from wherever is necessary to encourage batter contact and there are no strike outs.
Practices & Games: Each weekend, each team is scheduled to have one practice and one game. There is no required commitment during the week.
Team Placement: Players are placed on individual teams by the Board according to ratings for those that played in the preceding fall. New players are randomly assigned.
Season Goals: Players will have learned such skills as running through first base, sliding, the basic hitting, catching and throwing motions.
AA Division All second graders are assigned to this division.
Primary Purpose: To focus on skills development.
Competitiveness: Some aspects of competition are introduced. The score is kept during the games and teams are limited to three outs per time at bat. However, we do not keep standings or hold playoffs.
Pitching: Pitches are delivered by a pitching machine. Modified (swinging) strikeouts are introduced.
Practices & Games: Each weekend, each team is scheduled to have one practice and one game. There are no required activities during the week.
Team Placement: Players are placed on teams by the Board according to player ratings developed from past seasons. The objective is to create evenly balanced teams. Coaches are not involved in placing individual players on specific teams.
Season Goals: Players will have reinforced the skills learned in the A division along with watching the runner in front of you, understanding force outs and covering second base when the ball is hit to the left or right side.
AAA Division This league is for LL 9s and 10s (see LL Age description below) that are not yet ready for the Majors. AAA is the first competitive Little League division. In the spring all 3rd and 4th graders regardless of age and skill level will be placed in either this division or in the Majors.
Competitiveness: This division, while always emphasizing skill development, includes team records, standings and playoffs. With few exceptions (e.g., limitations on stealing bases), all Little League rules are observed.
Pitching: This level is the first at which players pitch. Walks and traditional strikeouts apply. Trained umpires officiate all games.
Practices & Games: There are usually two games and one practice scheduled each week (both weekday and weekend activities).
Team Placement: Players in this league are placed on teams by the Board according to prior coaching ratings and from review at the Evaluation Day (see below). Coaches are not involved in placing individual players on specific teams. Team placements are made by Board members that do not have children in AAA.
Season Goals: Players will have reinforced the skills learned in the A and AA divisions along with cut-off throws from the outfield, double play techniques, bunting and pitching mechanics.
American League This league is for players that are LL 10 (see LL Age description below) and older. Exceptional LL 9s may also participate if they are an Impact Player (see below). All 5th, 6th and 7th graders regardless of age and skill level will be placed in either the American or the National Leagues.
Competitiveness: This is a competitive, coach drafted division. American League coaches are free to select any age eligible player that is not drafted into the National League (see below) based upon personal knowledge, prior year evaluations and Evaluation Day (see below) performance. This league is a full competitive league using all Little League Majors rules.
Practice & Games: There is at least one scheduled practice and two or three games during the week (both weekday and weekend activities).
Team Placement: Our American League coaches are experienced Little League coaches who spend significant time assessing ballplayers as they prepare for their draft. In most cases they have coached for several seasons and are familiar with the players. Players are chosen by coaches based on skills and how a player can best contribute to a team.
Season Goals: Players will have reinforced the skills learned earlier along with advanced pitching mechanics and defensive strategies, batting strategies, outfield play and tagging up.
National League This league is for players that are LL 11 (see LL Age description below) and older. Exceptional LL 10s may also participate if they are an Impact Player (see below).
Competitiveness: This is a competitive, coach draft division and the highest level of play Weston Little League offers, using all Little League Majors rules. Coaches are free to select any age eligible player based upon personal knowledge, prior year evaluations and Evaluation Day (see below) performance.
Practice & Games: There are a minimum of one scheduled practice and two to three games during the week (weekday and weekend activities).
Team Placement: National League coaches are our most experienced Little League coaches and spend significant time assessing ballplayers to prepare for the draft. In most cases they have coached for several seasons and are familiar with the players. Players are chosen by coaches based on skills and how a player can best contribute to a team.
Season Goals: To complete the players’ Little League skill development and get all players ready to graduate to Babe Ruth baseball (which commences for players age 13)
Impact Player: An Impact Player is a player who is a year below typical eligibility for a Major League, but is an exceptional player and must be drafted in the first 6 rounds of either the American League or National League draft.
Eligibility: All Weston children from kindergarten through Little League age 12.
LL Age: Little League determines a player’s age as of his or her age on April 30, of the current year.
Evaluation Day (Spring season only):
Evaluation Day is for all players that are in the third grade or older. All AL and NL coaches are present and are provided the player evaluations from past fall and spring seasons. This is not a tryout as all players will be placed on a AAA, AL or NL teams. The number of teams in each division is based on the number of qualified players and, therefore, is subject to change every season. The evaluation is for the coaches to assess the player and determine a division appropriate for their age, grade and skill level. Because competitive balance across teams in a division is so important, it is mandatory for all eligible players to be assessed. If an eligible player cannot make it, they need to contact the Player Agent and arrange for a private evaluation by one or more Board members prior to Evaluation Day.
At the end of each season all head coaches are asked to submit detailed ratings on all of their players. These ratings are then double checked by one or more board members in order to assure a consistent rating basis. The finalized ratings become one of the criteria used to determine a player’s division placement and team assignment.
How Head Coaches are chosen:
WLL is always looking for quality head coaches. There is a set of attributes that the Board looks for in a coach and a Board representative meets individually with all new head coach candidates. Consistent with the philosophy of Weston Little League, we value coaches that emphasize player development rather than winning at all costs. One key part of the decision-making process is the coach evaluations that parents are asked to fill out at the end of the season. These questionnaires are very important. Another component is forms filled out by each head coach evaluating the other head coaches in their division. Coaches that consistently receive poor evaluations from parents or their peers may not be asked to coach in future seasons. If you are interested in being a Head Coach or you have a recommendation on a good Head Coach candidate, please notify the Board member in charge of coaching (Ed Bello).
What to do if you are concerned about your child’s Division placement:
If you have a concern about your child’s placement, you must alert the Player Agent prior to Evaluation Day. Some legitimate concerns include: the potential your child will be placed at a level above his skills; the potential your child will be placed in a division with few kids that are his age or grade; or your child’s ability may create a safety concern for other players.. If you let the Player Agent know this in advance and in writing, we will ensure that your concerns are addressed. It is absolutely imperative that you make your views known prior to Evaluation Day. Teams are formed very quickly thereafter and competitively balanced so subsequent changes are rarely accommodated. The Player Agent on the Board is Jason Wilder.
If you have a real concern after the teams have been formed you can contact the Player Agent, but first please take a deep breath and remember a lot of thought and effort have been given to your child’s placement. We believe it is more important that your child have a successful baseball experience rather than being placed in an overly challenging division so that he can be with his friends. In recent memory, no player has been moved to a higher division once teams were set.
What do you do if you are concerned about your child being placed with a particular coach or player:
Send a written note to the Player Agent before Evaluation Day and we will accommodate you with respect to one child and one coach.
Weston offers a summer “all star” program for spring season Little League players age 8 or older. While the number of teams varies from year to year based on the level of interest, we typically field 1-2 District (most competitive, the most skilled players, opportunity to advance to state or national tournaments) teams and 1-2 travel (still very competitive, play similar teams from other towns) teams at different ages. The summer season typically begins immediately after school ends and runs until the end of July. During that time period, players will have games or practices 5 or more days a week. While this is a significant time commitment, it is also the best possible opportunity for young players to improve their skills while representing their town. Playing on a summer all star team is often a young players’ most memorable baseball experience. More information specific to the summer season is available on our website.