Website Manager

Northwest Little League of Illinois

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. What programs do you offer?
A.
T-Ball, Baseball, Softball, part-time and full time travel baseball (Outlaws) programs are offered. Northwest Little League programs are designed for boys and girls, ages 4 through 16 (based on Little League age charts different for baseball, softball and travel).

  • Spring season runs from April through mid-June*. Practices begin in March. 
  •  Fall season runs from mid-August through mid-October. Practices begin early August.
  •  The Outlaws travel program is based on tryouts held in July.
  •  All-Star Tournaments play mid-June, and dependent on success, may progress through August.


Additionally, off-season training is optional but encouraged, and offered for all ages.

Q: How do I register?
A: In efforts to be environmentally friendly, Northwest Little League has implemented a 100% online registration system. Active links will be available at northwest-ll.org during open registration. Early bird registration for Spring runs Nov 1- Dec 31. Spring registration continues through the end of February. Fall ball registration is July 1-31.

Q: How is a player's league age determined?
A:
Little League International defines a players age as the age they will be by a designated date. Cut offs dates include August 31 for baseball, December 31 for softball, and April 30 for travel.

Q. What do registration fees include?

A.  Uniforms including jersey, hat, and socks are provided for all players.  League fees are applied toward game, tournament, and umpire fees, team equipment, field maintenance, providing electricity, insurance and Little League membership dues. Spring registration includes raffle tickets, as part of our fundraising efforts.

Q. Are Tryouts required for Little League teams?

A. No* Every player who registers is assigned to a team, but the league holds evaluations prior to season start to build equitable teams. These are not meant to cause stress or pressure. It is simply a tool used to evaluate players for drafting team assignments.

  • Tball players are not required to participate. 
  • Players participating in Minors (Baseball and Softball), Majors (Baseball and Softball), Intermediate (50/70) and Junior’s MUST attend evaluation.
  • Team selection for 7 year-olds and up is based on skill. We try our best to distribute talent and build balanced teams; therefore your child may be placed on a team different from his usual group of friends. Generally, they know someone on their team, and if not, it is great opportunity to meet NEW friends and families. If you make a request for placement, that will be considered secondary to the drafting manager's chosen priorities.
  • At the tball level, effort is made to group these players by neighborhood and/or school. If special requests are collected during the registration process, we try to honor those during selection for ages 6 and below. T-Ball and Minor AA Players are encouraged to participate in any Instructional Clinics we may offer.
  • Players returning to a division they played previously will remain on the same team, but if not enough players return, evaluation scores will be used to draft players to new teams as needed. For more information on the League Draft Policy please refer to the Draft Policy document found on our website under Managers/Coaches
  • *Tryouts ARE required for the Northwest Outlaws Baseball Travel Program. Tryouts are typically completed in July the previous year, as Travel ball season practice begins earlier than Little League divisions.


Q: How are practice times and locations scheduled?
A: Practices are requested by the team Managers, but subject to field availability and assigned by the scheduling coordinator. Northwest Little League provides fields at both Cambridge Lakes and Tuscany, and attempts to distribute practice time equitably among divisions. At times, that may require sharing fields to accommodate requests.


Q. When will schedules come out?

A. Schedules come out at the beginning of April for Spring and mid-August for Fall. Your Team Manager will be able to provide you with a schedule as soon as they receive it.  As some of our divisions play Metro against other leagues in District 13, we need to receive these before completing our in house schedules. We'll typically play at least one game during the week and one game on Saturday. Once the season begins, make up games for rain outs can be mixed in though out the remaining weeks.

Q: Why do schedules come out so late?
A: Divisions within Northwest Little League have games scheduled by District 13. Those schedules are not made available until every Little League within the district submits team rosters and field availability. After those divisions are scheduled, the remaining in-house lower divisions (advanced ball, single A) are created with Northwest Little League based on field availability and teams. 

Q: Why do in-house divisions like t-ball start so late?
A: The earliest part of the season is the wettest, coldest, and most unpredictable. This can lead to considerable cancellations. Scheduling the lower levels to start in mid-May can help us avoid rainouts, and ease congestion with rescheduling and field availability. 

Q: Who determines if a game is rained out or canceled?
A: Home team coaches/managers are responsible for making game cancellations and reschedules. The league has guidelines to determine if games are playable. Midwest (specifically Chicagoland) weather, can be unpredictable. Every attempt is made to play a game as scheduled when possible. Rain may be on the radar, or present at your house, but doesn't necessarily mean it's present at the field. The presence of rain nearby or forecasted is not grounds for cancellation. The game can be played in light rain, without the presence of lightening or inclement weather. It may rain for hours but conclude prior to game start. Subsequently it could begin raining before the game has finished. Those games may be playable. Field conditions are an additional factor when determining whether or not to play. In some cases, the league will close the fields or cancel all games for inclement weather, but typically, games are canceled at the coaches discretion.

It is the coaches responsibility to notify players, the opposing team (2 hours notice against another league), concessions manager, and the umpire in chief. Team managers also work with the league scheduling coordinator to reschedule games. 

Q: When are make-up games rescheduled?
A: Games are scheduled for the first available open date, while attempting to limit an excess of games in one week. It may need to be rescheduled as early as the next day to maximize field availability. Every attempt is made to allow a week for a make-up limiting the affect on player/family schedules, but occasionally, a quick turn-around is required. If fields are unavailable on regular dates of play, Fridays and Sundays have fields allocated for make-ups.

Q: How are positions assigned? Should players be assigned to each position and get equal play time?
A:
Managers assign positions at their discretion. Team needs, player versatility, player specialization, sportsmanship, safety, and rules are all determining factors when coaches assign positions. 

  • Instructional divisions include Minors & lower. It is encouraged that managers give players opportunities to experience as many positions as possible.
  • Divisions that are shared coach/kid pitch, coach pitch, and t-ball should be exposed to all positions. In the 8/9 levels and each division thereafter, player specialization will increase and affect player assignments. (ie: a first basemen needs to demonstrate ability to catch a ball & a pitcher should be able to throw strikes).
  • Concerns should be addressed with team Managers. Managers and coaches will be able to offer player insight, expectations of certain positions, and suggestions at that time.
  • As players advance through divisions, it will become more common for position specialization and less rotation. 
  • Every position is important in softball/baseball. The outcome of the game is determined by plays at every position.

Q: What can I do to help my child become a better player?
A:
Practice at home. The amount a player learns is limited by practice time constraints and season length. For additional instruction, off-season training is offered through the league. Baseball camps and private training are also options outside the league. 


Q: Who is eligible for All-Stars?
A: Little League International establishes All Star eligibility rules.

  • Players must have proof of age AND residency or be a student within Northwest Little League Boundaries which include birth certificates, documentation of residence or a school voucher form. 
  • Players must play a minimum of 60% of regular season Little League games. 


Q. How does a player get picked to be on post-season All-Stars?

A.  Your child may have the opportunity to be selected for our post-season All-Star teams. Every year, we try to improve on the selection process for All-Stars. We are always interested in hearing constructive suggestions and encourage parents to share their thoughts with us. In the past, selections for the tournament (All-Star) teams have been made based on the following criteria:

  • The manager and coaches’ evaluations of the player’s skill, performance, and sportsmanship
  • Availability for tournament team practices and games
  • Specific skills needed to complement the team (for example - need for a fast and talented center fielder)

Q: When is the All-Star season?
A: All-Star tournaments begin in mid-June and dependent on success, can run through August.

Q: What are the Outlaw teams?
A: The Northwest Outlaws represent travel baseball for our league. Players are required to tryout for their age-specific team. The division is performance based. The Elite program is designed to create a high energy atmosphere to maximize a players ability and understanding of the game, while providing an elevated level of competition. Additional fees apply for the Elite program. What to know more? Please email [email protected]

Q: How do I become a coach?
A:
You can volunteer during player registration. Anyone with a player registered with the league is eligible to volunteer.
  • All volunteers are required to pass a background check. 
  • Coaches are selected by the Board of Directors including the President, Baseball & Softball Directors, Coaches Coordinators, and Player Agent.
  • In the event there is an abundance of volunteers, preference may be given to those with prior coaching, baseball or softball, or Little League experience. Availability may also be considered. 

Q. What do I do if I have an issue with my manager/coach?

A. You should first discuss the problem with your manager/coach to see if the problem can be resolved. If the problem persists or if you feel uncomfortable talking to your manager/coach, contact the Baseball or Softball Director to discuss the problem. Go to League Information/Our Board of Directors on our site for contact information. 

 

Q. Bats, bats, and more bats - I've got lots of questions about bats! Where can I find answers?

A. Little League International has put together a great web page of everything you ever wanted to know about bats. Click HERE to go to it.

Still have questions? Email [email protected] and ask our Information Officer!

Q: How to I become involved?
A: Northwest Little League is operated solely by volunteers and involvement is both welcomed and appreciated.
Opportunities to be involved include:

  • Volunteering for the role of Team Manager/Head Coach, Assistant Coach, or Team Parent
  • Fundraising
  • Working in concessions
  • Helping during field days
  • Volunteering during tournaments (scorekeeper & field prep)
  • Participating in field day
  • Helping NWLL acquire sponsors (email [email protected] for more info)
  • Joining the Northwest Little League Board of Directors (annual elections are held in July)

Q: Who can become a board member?
A: The board is simply made up of volunteers within the league. Any parent/guardian with a player registered in Northwest Little League, and in good standing, is eligible to run for a board position. Annual elections are held in July. 

Q: What does the Board of Directors do?
A: The board makes decisions for the league, and ensures it's operation during the season, but offers directives and preparations year round. This includes monthly board meetings, daily conversations via email, phone calls, face-to-face discussions, offering help at the fields and/or in concessions, participating in players evaluations, sizing, uniform distribution, opening day and closing ceremonies, family appreciation day, parades, fundraising, and fundraiser distribution. Topics decided by the board include but are not limited to budget, registration costs, field upgrades, uniforms, equipment, coaches selection and training, field designation, field maintenance, umpires, scheduling, tournaments, fundraising, sponsorships, marketing, and leadership.

Have another question? Please email [email protected]



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