Below are some of the frequently asked questions Medicine Hat Little League receives. Hopefully, some of the answers will shed a light on the questions you may have as a parent (guardian) of a Medicine Hat Little Leaguer.
1) How long does the season last?
House League runs approximately eight weeks from the first week of May to the middle of June.
The All-Star season is extended from June 15 to the long weekend in August.
2) How many times per week will my child play?
Teams typically play two games a week in each division. Some divisions will have a house league tournament with an additional two to four games, depending on the level of play.
3) What equipment am I responsible for my child?
Medicine Hat Little League provides a uniform top and cap. In addition, the league supplies all baseballs and limited bats. A family is responsible for a glove, batting helmet and baseball pants (black). Mandated by Little League International, all players shall wear a protective cup. It is optional for players to wear actual baseball cleats (plastic for Majors and under), steel for Juniors. At the conclusion of the house league season, the players will be able to keep their uniform top and cap. These do not need to be returned.
4) What nights will my child play and where?
To accommodate better scheduling for families with their children in other sports and activities, MHLL has designated two specific nights a week to play for all leagues from Minors and under. Majors and Juniors can play any night between Monday and Thursday. Diamonds for each specific league are also determined prior to the season.
5) Can I request my child play on the same team as their friend(s) or request a specific coach?
Requests for a child to play on the same team as a friend will, under most circumstances be granted for the three youngest leagues (Little Sluggers, Parent Pitch, Machine Pitch). All other leagues which involve player drafts, the request will be discussed at the coaches draft meeting and all efforts, in coordination with the respective league director will be addressed. As far as requesting a specific coach, those requests will be addressed by each respective league director on an individual basis. With the exception of the three youngest leagues, not all requests will be successful.
6) Does MHLL have an equal play rule?
We do not have an equal play rule, however, our league has incorporated a Fair Play rule. Our local rule states that NO player can sit more than two (2) innings in any one game. For example, in Majors and under with six (6) inning games, all players should be playing a minimum of four (4) innings. In the Junior division with seven (7) inning games, players should be playing a minimum of five (5). With generally smaller roster sizes, this provides coaches with a lot of flexibility and at the same, will provide ample playing time for all players involved, despite playing ability.
7) Can my child play up a league level?
It is Medicine Hat Little League policy not to let players advance one league in age. MHLL has structured their leagues on a one year age level so that kids are playing at a relatively competitive level. While at times, it may seem to parents that their child may be a little more advanced in talent level than others, MHLL feels it is important to have these stronger players participating in the division their age dictates.
8) If I feel my child is not strong enough to play in his/her age division, can he/she play down a league?
It is our policy to allow any child to play down in an age division if the parents feel their child is not able to advance in their respective age division for that season. These requests can only come from the parent (guardian) of the child. But because an older child may be playing down at an age level, that child would not necessarily be eligible for all-star play. For example, if an 11-year-old is playing in Minors, that child would not be eligible for the Minors all-star team. Or if a 13-year-old is playing in Majors, they would not be eligible for the Majors, nor the Junior all-star teams.
9) As a parent/guardian, if I have a concern about something, what is the protocol?
If the concern is with your child’s team, the first step is to have a meeting with the team’s head coach and address the issue. If there is not a satisfactory conclusion, you may approach the respective league director. If the league director then feels it is warranted, they will bring the concern to either the league president or the executive for a final resolution.
If the initial concern is with anything other than your child’s team, it can be directed to the respective league director. For the most part, MHLL has policy and procedures in place and they can be found on our website.
10) If my child is interested in All-Star ball, what is involved?
The All-Star season for all levels is a large commitment on behalf of the player and their families. The season generally runs from June 15 to the long weekend in August. During this time, teams are expected to practice four to five days a week, plus tournament games on the weekend, which at the time, can involve extensive travel. All-Star teams are open to all interested players that have participated in our house league season. Tryouts for all respective teams take place in June with roster announcements, in accordance with Little League International rules, anytime after June 15. Head coaches are appointed by the MHLL executive and head coaches are ultimately responsible for the operation of their respective teams on and off the field. MHLL will provide the opportunity for kids to play all-star with a AAA and AA team at the Minors, Majors and Juniors level. If there is an extraordinary amount of interest, MHLL will provide single-A All-stars teams with those levels.
11) Aside from the actual registration fees, is there any other additional fundraising required?
It is MHLL policy, that in-house league, there will not be any additional fundraising. House league teams are not permitted to have parents participate in any fundraising project. All-Star teams are permitted to have fundraising events, however, all of these must be pre-approved by the league president prior to the execution of the fundraising projects.
12 )Is there any area that I could assist Medicine Hat Little League?
MHLL is always looking for people to serve on our Executive. Our board meets generally once a month and terms on the executive are two years. Our Annual General Meeting is every October.
Our league can also always use energetic people as coaches for our teams. Each year, we struggle to fill our coaching spots for the house league season.
Another area we can always use additional assistance is umpiring. If people are interested, they can contact the Medicine Hat Little League Umpires Association.