Baseball and Softball Season Information
Smithville Diamonds Little League (SDLL) is a nonprofit youth baseball and softball organization and chartered member of Little League under the rules and regulations set forth by Little League International Baseball and Softball. SDLL is the only chartered Little League organization in Bloomington and Monroe County. SDLL is made possible by volunteers, sponsors, participation fees, and fundraisers.
Our focus is to encourage participation, develop character and discipline and promote teamwork. We will strive to provide quality instruction in the development of baseball and softball skills, sportsmanship, competitiveness and fair play. Smithville Diamonds Little League is committed to enriching the lives of our youth and fostering a love of the game.
While our actual season runs from April to June, we are preparing and planning year round; we will open our online player registrations in January, player evaluations take place in February, practices begin in March and gameplay starts in April. Our season concludes with a fun and competitive single elimination tournament in June. See our Important Dates section below.
Each league will have 12 to 14 regular season games scheduled per team plus a season ending single elimination tournament. An exception is with the 4 year olds, which will have 8 scheduled. Teams will usually play one or two games each week. It may be necessary for a team to play three games in a week due to scheduling constraints. All games will be played during the week with the exception of weekend rain-out make-up games which are played on Saturday (see dates below). Additionally, we will reserve one weekend in May for possible scheduled games, if necessary. PRACTICE: Each team will have one practice each week which will be held on the weekend.
We award trophies for both the regular season league and the season-ending tournament champions.
We rely on fundraising to fund significant projects at Smithville Diamonds. In previous years, we have used money from our fundraisers to purchase and install new sod, new dirt for our infields, new pitching mounds, and many other necessary upgrades. In 2017 we raised more money than ever due to the generosity of our parents, sponsors, and patrons of Smithivlle Diamonds. These efforts helped up afford the purchase of new bleachers for each field, the construction of "Field 5", and other important items. We are currently exploring our 2018 fundraising options. Stay tuned!!
2018 age cut-off dates are 8/31 (of 2018) for baseball and 12/31 (of 2017) for softball. Whatever the age of your child on the cut-off date determines League Age for division placement. Example 1: If your child is playing baseball and turns 9 on August 15th, 2018 (before the September 1st cut-off date), your child will be considered 9 for League Age, and would play in the 9-10 division. Example 2: If your child turns 9 on September 15, 2018 (after the September 1st cut-off date), your child would be considered 8 for League Age, and would play in the 7-8 division. Games played with an ineligible child on the team are subject to forfeit. Your coach may ask for a copy of your child's birth certificate as it is their responsibility to confirm correct ages on their team. League rules can be found on our website prior to the season and also available from your child's coach or a board member upon request. Please check out our handy youth baseball and softball League Age determination charts or email us if you have any eligibility questions or concerns.
Divisions (See Below)
4 Year Old Instructional Division(Co-ed) - Open to 4 Year Olds ONLY
** A few kids will qualify for both this age group and the next division up. For those qualfying for both, you may choose the division you feel your child would do best in after reading the division descriptions.
This is a very popular and successful division at Smithville. This is the time when kids (both girls and boys) get their first taste of baseball and begin to develop a love of the game. Every kid has an absolute blast while learning the very basics. The season will consist of eight, one-hour sessions. The first portion of the season will focus on the basics of hitting, throwing and catching. The second portion will combine the basics with things such as base running and positions. The last two to three weeks will be non-competitive "games". We keep the sessions moving and the kids never get bored. It is encouraged that parents participate. The kids love to have someone out there with them during the practices and games learning with them. Everyone will have a blast! The season will consist of eight scheduled sessions for each team, one per week, beginning on the Jamboree day, April 14th. Each session will last 1 hour.
In this division, we will continue to focus more on the fundamentals of youth baseball. The kids will get their first experience of competitive baseball. The games will have umpires and score will be kept. While we do keep score, we place much more emphasis on learning the game and having fun. We feel we have created a great environment for 5 and 6-year-olds to learn baseball. This division is "coach pitch" as we feel that it is very important for kids to learn to read the ball leaving a pitcher's hand at an early age. We use the "incredi-ball" baseball at this age which is a lighter and softer baseball. We continue to focus on the baseball fundamentals of hitting, throwing, catching and fielding. In addition, we will begin to develop an understanding of baserunning and situational plays, etc. All kids play each inning and each team will bat the full roster. Games are limited to 3 innings or 60 minutes.
This is a competitive division of youth baseball and is played on a 42/60 field. The objective of this division is to expand the players basic fundamentals of the game and to increase the understanding of the game. We will strive to promote teamwork, sportsmanship, and execution. This age group is "coach pitch" from 42'. We feel it is important for the player to continue to develop the skill of reading the ball from the pitcher's hand and learning to discern good from bad pitches. We will place emphasis on letting players learn several positions throughout the year. All kids will play each inning and each team will bat the full roster. Games are limited to 6 innings or 1 hour 30 minutes. USA Bat standard has been adopted by Smithville Diamonds.
This will be the player's first taste of "kid pitch" baseball. This is a competitive division with player pitchers. It provides the first opportunity for players to participate in a division requiring more advanced baseball skills. This division is played on a 46/60 field setup and base stealing is allowed. Player pitching restrictions are strictly enforced. Games are limited to 6 innings or 1 hour 45 minutes. USA Bat standard has been adopted by Smithville Diamonds.
11-13 Baseball - 50/70 (50' pitching distance and 70' basepaths)
Teams in this division will play on a field with a 50’ pitching mound distance and 70’ base paths. Baseball age kids 11-13 will be eligible. We are following suit of Little League this year by also granfathering those 13 year olds in to this league who otherwise would lose their last year in this Intermediate league due to the age cutoff change: Kids born on or after May 1, 2004 are eligible. This division offers a field size in between what they have played on since age 7 (46’ pitching distance and 60’ base paths 46/60) and what they will play on beyond age 13 (60’ pitching distance and 90’ base paths 60/90 also used by High School and Major League Baseball). This Intermediate division will "bridge the gap" for players who have "outgrown" 46/60 baseball and for those who wish to play baseball into high school or beyond. This division will follow "real" baseball rules by allowing base runners to lead off. In turn, this will require pitchers to learn to hold runners on base and attempt to pick them off. Games are limited 6 innings or 1 hour 45 minutes. USA Baseball approved bats and BBCOR bats are the only approved bats per Little League regulations. This will be enforced. See our home page for more details.
This division will focus on the fundamentals of youth softball. Players will get their first experience of competitive softball. The games have umpires and score will be kept. While we do keep score, we place much more emphasis on learning the game and having fun. We feel we have created a great environment for 5 through 8-year-olds to learn and enjoy softball. The division is "coach pitch." This helps players to learn to read the ball leaving the pitcher's hand at an early age. In addition, this league will address the fundamentals of hitting, throwing, catching and fielding. Developing the players understanding of baserunning, situational plays, etc will also be key components. All players will play each inning and each team will bat a full roster. Games are 6 innings or 1 hour 15 minutes. An 11-inch ball is used. Uniforms include: Jersey, Pants, and Socks. Due to the overwhelming majority of girls not wearing their visors in previous years, we are not providing visors as part of the uniform packages.
This division continues to build on fundamentals outlined in 8u while also introducing components of "real softball." The 10u division uses a combination of player pitchers and coach pitchers. 10u allows players the opportunity to further develop their skills and understanding of the game. This division will continue to address fundamentals (hitting, throwing, catching and fielding) while incorporating a more advanced understanding of baserunning, situational plays, etc. Base stealing is allowed. Games are 6 innings or 1 hour 30 minutes. An 11-inch ball is used. Pitching distance is 35'. Base paths are 60'. Uniforms include: Jersey, Pants, Belt, and Socks. Due to the overwhelming majority of girls not wearing their visors in previous years, we are not providing visors as part of the uniform packages.
The 12u division is the introduction to "real softball" 12u continues to build on the skill set outlined in 10u. Fundamental skills are honed and players are taught how to apply more advanced skills in a game scenario. Base stealing is allowed. Games are 6 innings or 1 hour 45 minutes. A 12-inch ball is used. Pitching distance is 40'. Base paths are 60'. Uniforms include: Jersey, Pants, Belt, and Socks. Due to the overwhelming majority of girls not wearing their visors in previous years, we are not providing visors as part of the uniform packages.
Cost - All Fees are Staying the Same in 2018.
Scholarships - Full and partial need-based scholarship applicatoins are available. An application is required and each case is reviewed by the Smithville Diamonds board of directors. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The 2018 player fee is $100.
The player fee includes a full baseball/softball uniform (shirt, pants and hat). This fee also goes toward trophies, a free drink after each game in which your child plays, umpires, and league equipment/supplies (balls, chalk, helmets, catchers gear, etc.).
4 Year Old Instructional League
The player fee for the 4-year-old instructional league is $50 for each child (fees calculated separately from other age divisions). Each 4-year-old participant will receive a team shirt and replica MiLB team hat. The player fee also goes toward a participation trophy/medal at the end of the season, a free drink after each game in which your child plays, and league equipment/supplies (baseballs, tees, chalk, helmets, etc.). We will also offer an Early Bird Discount of $5 for this league. Multi-child discounts will not apply.
Multi-Child Discount ($15)
We will continue to offer our Multi-Child Discount: the player fee is $100 for player one, $85 for player two, and $70 for each additional player. To receive the Multi-Child Discount, the participants must be in the same family registered at the same address. The discount will be combined with the $5 Early Bird Discount.
Early Bird Discount ($5)
Again this year, we will be offering an Early Bird Discount. Those who register and pay in full by the deadline will receive $5 off of each registration. The discount will be combined with the $15 Multi-Child Discount.
It is important that your child attends player evaluations unless they are returning to the baseball or softball league they played in last year. On occasion, even players returning to the same league will need to attend an evaluation; we will give plenty of notice in this event.
Evaluations is a skill assessment only, and all children will be selected for a team. The location for evaluations this year is listed in the Important Dates section below. Bring your child’s glove with you. Bats and balls will be furnished.
Concession duty is the one required parent/guardian activity of our season. In order to fully support our operating initiatives for the year, each family is required to provide at least one person to fulfill this duty for each team you have a child playing on. If the parent can't attend, another person may be sent in their place, ie, grandparent, relative, etc. Children age 15 and older can help too. Each team will be assigned a "concession duty" evening and it must be fully staffed. The concession duty schedule will be posted to our website sometime in March. Additional details will come from your coach or team parent. If there is rain during the day of your concession duty, please check our website for any cancelation or delays prior to arriving at the concession stand. All rainouts and delay information will be announced by 4:30 p.m. on the website.
Important Dates- to help you plan for your spring/summer baseball and softball activities, we have created a list of important dates.
November 29th - Early Bird Online Registration Begins - Save $5 per child
January 21st - Early Bird Discount Ends
Dates and times are listed below. It is important that your child attends player evaluations unless they are returning to the baseball or softball age division they played in last year. On occasion, even players returning to the same age division will need to attend evaluations. This year, Softball ages 10U and 12U will be redrafting and all players will need to attend, including returning players. The evaluation is a skill assessment only, and all children will be selected for a team. Bring your child’s glove with you. Bats and balls will be furnished.
This seasons evaluation schedule is as follows:
Evaluations - Saturday, February 24th - (Bloomington High School South auxiliary gym)
9 AM - 11 AM - Baseball 11-13 year olds (50/70 Modified High School Rules) - (only players new to this age group need to attend)
11 AM - 1PM - Baseball 9-10 year olds - (only players new to this age group need to attend)
1 PM - 3 PM - Baseball 7-8 year olds - (only players new to this age group need to attend)
3 PM - 5 PM - Baseball 5-6 year olds - (only players new to this age group need to attend)
Evaluations - Sunday, February 25th (Bloomington High School South auxiliary gym)
12 PM - 1 PM - Softball 8U - (only players new to this age group need to attend)
1 PM - 3 PM - Softball 10U - (All players, even returing players need to attend for a re-draft)
3 PM - 5 PM – Softball 12U - (All players, even returing players need to attend for a re-draft)
There is NO evaluation for the 4 year old instructional league.
We use these evaluations to assess player's current skill levels to help us create team parity. We understand that not all players will be able to attend. If your child can not attend, they will still be placed on a team.
Work Day - Saturday, March 3rd (rain makeup day on Sunday, March 4th).
Please plan to come out to the diamonds and help get the facility ready for the season. More to come on this later.
Player Notification - March 10th - March 16th
Coaches will call players/parents to notify them of their team assignments and any important details.
Practices Begin - Week of Monday, March 26th.
Your child's team will practice on either Saturday or Sunday, throughout the season. The team will also practice one time during the week until the season begins. Additional practices may be scheduled by your child’s coach.
NEW BASEBALL BAT DEMO DAY - Saturday, March 24th - Noon to 2 pm @ Diamond Dynamics (Old Smithville School Gym) - Take advantage of this time to demo a selection of the New Required USA Baseball Approved Bats. Little League adopted this new bat standard. We will allow only USA Baseball stamped bats for all baseball leagues from ages 7 to 13.
Dick's Sporting Goods - In-store Shop Day - Sunday, March 25th.
20% OFF ALL DAY - Smithville Diamonds has partnered with Dick's Sporting Goods again this year. On March 26th, DSG will offer a 20% discount to all families associated with Smithville Diamonds. You will receive a discount coupon via email prior to the 25th that will entitle you to 20% off your entire purchases during the day at DSG. (Exclusions Apply)
Jamboree & Pictures - Saturday, April 14th (Rain Date: Sunday, April 15th).
This is a big day for everyone at Smithville. Games will be going all day and we will have our full concession stand up and running. All but our oldest age divisions will play their first games during the Jamboree. Different than in years' past, these games will count toward the season standings.
An important part of this Jamboree day is pictures. Team pictures will be taken prior to your Jamboree game. Pictures will be taken on this date, rain or shine. If it rains, pictures will be taken at the Smithville Community Center. The scheduled time for your child’s team will be given to your child’s coach and will be published on our website. The coach will forward this information. Please make every effort to be on time for your pictures so we can keep everything on schedule. Payment is due at the time the pictures are taken. THERE WILL BE NO RETAKES!!
Season Games Begin - Monday, April 16th
Season Ending League Tourney - June 11th - June 22nd
Rain Dates - May 12/13 and/or June 9/10.
If necessary, rain dates will be on Saturday’s. Sunday will be used if the Saturday date is rained out.
Due to a large number of complaints and the very young children present on the property, “NO PETS” signs have been posted and this rule will be enforced. PLEASE DO NOT BRING PETS TO THE SMITHVILLE GROUNDS.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: It is the practice of Smithville Diamonds, Inc. to allow players from any county to play in the regular league scheduled games if a written statement of understanding is signed. If this applies to you please see a Board Member or email us. Ages 9-10 and 11-13 baseball, as well as 10U and 12U softball divisions are official Little League divisions. Participants in these leagues must live in Monroe County to participate in sanctioned after season Little League All-Star tournaments.
LITTLE LEAGUE APPROVED BATS: Little League has placed restrictions on the use of certain composite bats. If you have questions, please see your child's coach, league manager,or visit the official Little League Bat Page.