<November 2020>
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Frequently Asked Questions

Who can play?

Boys and girls ages pre-K thru 18.
The Leagues page describes our aged-based divisions.

When is the playing season?

Regular season In-House team schedules vary by age. Teams are selected in March, with games beginning in April. All regular season games, playoff games and Stars At Night games end in late June. (Weather can cause the end of the season to be delayed by a few days, but rarely is the season extended beyond July 3rd.)

Where are games and practices?

Games are held at fields in Flossmoor: Flossmoor Park, Highlands Park and Leavitt Park. Our Locations page has maps to all of these fields.
Practices are held at the above parks and other local parks. Practice fields are hard to come by, and coaches use whatever fields they can.

When are the games played?

Games are played every day of the week. Weekday games are scheduled at 5:30 or 6:00pm and 8:00pm. Weekend games are scheduled beginning at 8:00am, with the last game of the day being at 8:00pm.
Games are played on "school nights."
Games are played in the rain. If the weather is bad, check the Home page of the website for updates. Game decisions can be at the last minute, so you should be prepared to play, even if it's raining.

How are teams chosen? 
When will I know which team my child is on?

Filly and Shetland teams are assembled by their respective league commissioners, with an eye toward balance and placing players on teams with other players from the same school or who request to be teamed together. 

All other teams are formed through a draft. During evaluations each player is evaluated by experienced coaches and Flossmoor BBSB Board Members. As evaluations are completed, drafts are held for each league. Coaches select players from the pool of available players. The draft is designed to optimize the likelihood that teams will be roughly equivalent in terms of talent and experience.

After the drafts are complete, you will receive an email or a phone call from your child's coach. Be patient! The drafts take time. You should know which team your child is on by the first week in April.

What are evaluations and why are they mandatory?

Evaluations take place in March at the HF Field House. During evaluations, all of the coaches in the league being evaluated are present. Players are evaluated in different areas: fielding, throwing, batting, base running, etc.

Evaluations are mandatory because the coaches use the information to select their teams. Even if your child has played before, it is important they attend evaluations. Some coaches might not remember their name, but will remember them when they see him/her!

Are there "cuts" in the draft?

There are no "cuts" for In-House teams. Every player who registers before the deadline is normally guaranteed a spot on a team. Some leagues fill up quickly, so registering early/on time is important. Coaching is another concern- the number of people who volunteer to coach ultimately determines the numbers of teams in each league. Filly and Shetland players are assigned to teams by their league's commissioner. In all other leagues, evaluations and a draft are used to ensure that teams are balanced.

For travel teams, coaches will select players based on tryout results and all selected players are guaranteed a spot on the team. There are "cuts" for travel teams.

Are there residency boundaries?

Yes. Children from the community are welcome to register. This includes all children who live in the community, as well as children who attend any of the schools in the community.
There are some exceptions to this rule: Children who have played in the past and have moved to a different town are still eligible to play. Children who live in towns that do not have baseball or softball programs, or who just want to participate in our program, will be decided on a case by case basis.

I feel strongly that my child should play for a particular coach or with certain players- for friendship reasons/carpool reasons/other reasons. Will my desires be accommodated?

While we understand your concerns, it has proven extremely difficult to accommodate the myriad of requests from hundreds of parents.  Therefore we have put the following policies in place:

*For the Filly and Shetland leagues, you may request friends to be on the same team, but the request must be mutual. However, this is still a request and while we will make every effort to place children on teams with their friends, we can not guarantee it. For all other requests, including requesting a specific coach's team, you will have the opportunity to make them on your registration form. Again, there are no guarantees.

*For all of the upper divisions, the players are evaluated and drafted on to teams, so we cannot honor any requests for children to be placed on teams with friends or on the team of a specific coach, except in the case of families. Siblings will be placed on teams together and children will be placed on the team of their parent who coaches.

My child has very little experience and/or is small for his/her age. Can he/she be placed in a lower division?

As a general rule, we encourage players to play in the division that is appropriate for their age bracket. We do not allow children to play down a level. If you are concerned about this, please contact the commissioner of your child's league to discuss your concerns.

My child is more athletic and/or has more advanced skills than other kids his/her age. Can he/she be placed in a higher division?

Again, we encourage players to play in the appropriate division for their age. Each division tends to emphasize certain skills, and skipping divisions can result in the loss of opportunity to fully develop key skills. Advanced players often become leaders on their teams, and help improve everyone's skills. If you think your child should be playing at a higher level, register him/her in the appropriate league for his/her age bracket and indicate the requested division on your registration form. The commissioners of the leagues in question will combine evaluation results and observations from previous coaches to determine if it is appropriate for your child to play up a level.

My son or daughter is particularly well suited to play a particular position. How do I ensure that the coach plays him or her at that position?

You don't. Or you coach. The decision on who to play at what position is the coaches prerogative. Most coaches, particularly those at the lower levels, will move kids around to different positions during the season to round out their experience and generally seek to ensure that all kids have some opportunity to try most positions. At the higher levels, which are more competitive, coaches tend to slot players into a small number of positions they will play for the entire season.

If you want your son or daughter to play a particular position, please consult with the coach and make your desires known. Keep in mind, however, that the decision is ultimately the coach's to make.

What equipment does my son or daughter need to play?

The minimum equipment needed is a glove. You can expect to pay between $20-$40 for a relatively good quality beginner glove made of leather (not plastic.) Better quality gloves range from $40-$200. Most kids (virtually all at the Mustang/Junior level and above) also purchase baseball shoes that run about $30 for kids' sizes. Many players also purchase their own bats, which can range from $25- $250+.

The League provides each team with equipment, including bats, helmets and catcher's gear. Uniform shirts, pants, socks and hats are included in your registration fee.

What advice can you give me on how to buy the appropriate equipment?

The first rule is not to buy equipment that is too big for your child, especially gloves and bats. Most Pinto/Bantam players hit with bats that are 25 or 26 inches long and weigh 15 or 16 oz. Most Mustang/Junior players should use bats that are not longer than 30 inches and weigh 20 oz. or less.

If your child is young or small, buy a small glove. If the glove is too large, the player will not get a good "feel" for the glove and will tend to be somewhat clumsy fielding the ball.
Baseball cleats should have room enough to last 4-5 months through the season. Metal cleats are not allowed in any of Flossmoor's leagues.

Are there many girls in the league?

Yes! The League usually has about 20 girls teams. The Filly and Shetland leagues have many girl players on their co-ed teams. The first year for an "all girls" team in our league is in the Bantam league, which is 1st and 2nd grade.

My daughter was in the Junior League last year. This year she is nervous about moving up to the Senior League because of the age difference and the "college kids." Should she be concerned?

The Senior League is made up of girls in 7th grade through 18 years old. The reality is that more than 60% of the girls who play in the Senior League are 7th and 8th graders- the same group they've been playing with every other year for the past 5 or 6 years! Most seasons there are only 2-4 "college kids" who play. We have found that the older girls aren't scary or intimidating, in fact they are quite helpful and offer great advice to the younger girls, while acting as positive team leaders.

What is PONY?

PONY stands for "Protect Our Nation's Youth." More information can be found at www.pony.org. Briefly, from their site, "PONY Baseball and Softball began with the organization of the Pony League in Washington, PA in the summer of 1951. This was a transition league for 13 and 14 year old players designed for the graduates of Little League baseball. The growth of Pony League, primarily by word of mouth, was rapid. By the end of the second season, 1952, the original six teams in Pennsylvania were joined by 505 others in 106 leagues across the country. A national tournament was conducted, and the first Pony League World Series was held that year. PONY Baseball is the fastest growing youth baseball organization in the world today."

I have a question that was not covered here. How do I get more information?

If you have a question that was not answered here, please contact the VP of your league.