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Helpful Parent Tips

Parent Participation

Many responsibilities exist beyond the normal team level commitments that make East County Little League function smoothly. Parents are what make the program a quality experience for all our children. East County Little League can only be as good as we, the parents, make it. Following are some important volunteer areas that are required during the season.

  • Concessions
  • Field Preparation and Maintenance
  • Fundraising
  • Scorekeeping
  • Volunteer Umpiring Help

Parent Support

Parent support during both games and practices is critically important to the success of the league. Be supportive of the team by ensuring your child attends each practice on-time. Be a positive role model during games, whether you are a manager, an assistant coach or simply a spectator. Finally, please keep the following in mind:

  • Always be positive and enthusiastic
  • Show your child positive reinforcement
  • Observe practices and games to learn proper techniques to practice with your child
  • Encourage your child toward skill improvement and good sportsmanship in every game
  • Teach your child that hard work and an honest effort are often more important than a victory
  • Applaud good plays by your team and by members of the opposing team
  • Let the managers and coaches do the coaching
  • Let an umpire be the umpire

Recognize that the umpire is the closest to the play and that each umpire will "call them as they see them". The umpire is often a volunteer parent who has assumed a difficult, but necessary, role.

The Role of the Parent

Parents play a very important role in helping to shape a positive experience for the players, coaches, umpires and other parents! To help you understand the key role parents play in East County Little League, the following excerpt was taken from the Official Regulations and Playing Rules of National Little League Baseball: "The parents of millions of Little Leaguers, combined with their youngsters, league officials, umpires, managers, coaches, auxilliary members and countless volunteer agencies including sponsors, represent an imposing cross section of this nation. Parents should accept the fact that they must shoulder the responsibility and take initiative to make the local program successful. Little League is not a club in which membership implies baby-sitting benefits and entertainment privileges for your children. Practically speaking, Little League is an adult, volunteer work project constructed, supervised and assisted by parents who desire to make its benefits extend to their children. Each parent should join in the total effort. There is a place and a job to do for all. The burden of operating the League should not fall on a few. The parent who shirks this responsibility cannot, in turn, expect others to assume the burden."

Parent Concerns

If you have concerns about anything regarding your team or the league, first talk to your manager. If your concern is not resolved, then contact the Baseball Player Agent or Softball Player Agent or other appropriate board member.

Youth Sports Parent Code of Conduct Preamble

The essential elements of character building and ethics in sports are embodied in the concept of sportsmanship and six core principles: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. The highest potential of sports is achieved when competition reflects these "six pillars of character."

I therefore agree:

  1. I will not force my child to participate in sports.
  2. I will remember that children participate to have fun and that the game is for youth, not adults.
  3. I will inform the coach of any physical disability or ailment that may affect the safety of my child or the safety of others.
  4. I will learn the rules of the game and the policies of the league.
  5. I (and my guests) will be a positive role model for my child and encourage sportsmanship by showing respect and courtesy, and by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches, officials and spectators at every game, practice or sporting event.
  6. I (and my guests) will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, player, or parent such as booing and taunting, refusing to shake hands, or using profane language or gestures.
  7. I will not encourage any behaviors or practices that would endanger the health and well-being of the athletes.
  8. I will teach my child to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.
  9. I will demand that my child treat other players, coaches, officials and spectators with respect regardless of race, creed, color, sex or ability.
  10. I will teach my child that doing one's best is more important than winning, so that my child will never feel defeated by the outcome of a game or his/her performance.
  11. I will praise my child for competing fairly and trying hard, and make my child feel like a winner every time.
  12. I will never ridicule or yell at my child or other participants for making a mistake or losing a competition.
  13. I will emphasize skill development and practices and how they benefit my child over winning. I will also de-emphasize games and competition in the lower age groups.
  14. I will promote the emotional and physical well-being of the athletes ahead of any personal desire I may have for my child to win.
  15. I will respect the officials and their authority during games and will never question, discuss, or confront coaches at the game field, and will take time to speak with coaches at an agreed upon time and place.
  16. I will demand a sports environment for my child that is free from drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, and I will refrain from their use at all sports events.
  17. I will refrain from coaching my child or other players during games and practices, unless I am one of the official coaches of the team.

Parent FAQ's

Do I need to attend an in person event?

You only need to attend if you have never played at ECLL in the past or would like to try on the uniforms. Little League International requires that we verify birth certificates and residency of each player in our league.  Should your player make an All-Star team we will need to collect actual copies of forms, but we will do that at a later time.  This is just for us to confirm you live in the boundaries.

This also gives us time to answer questions parents may have about schedules, practices, coaching, volunteering, etc. We want to be open and allow a friendly, personable face to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.

When does the season start / end? When are the practices and games?

Baseball Divisions (ages 7 and up) have mandatory tryouts in early to mid-January, and begin practicing in late January or early February. Games begin in late February and end shortly after Memorial Day. In pre-season, teams will generally practice two days per week. Once the season starts, teams will have two games per week and one practice per week. Each week, all teams will have a Saturday game AND a weekday afternoon game (day will vary each week). Practice days and times are determined by your child's coach (we cannot guarantee a specific practice day for your child).

Tee Ball / Farm (ages 4 & 5) do not have tryouts and begin practice in mid-February. Players age 6 may require an evaluation. Games start in late February to early March and end in mid-May. Each team will have one Saturday game per week and one practice per week. Practice days and times are determined by your child's manager (we cannot guarantee a specific practice day for your child).

Do we need to live in the Oakley area to have our child play here?

Little League requires that each player either resides or attends school within our boundaries. 

We also understand that you may desire to have your child(ren) play out of the area so that your child(ren) can play with friends. However, any out-of-area player that plays at ECLL is ineligible for any postseason All-Star teams unless they attend an eligible school that is within our boundary. PRIOR TO REGISTERING TO PLAY, PARENTS MUST CONTACT THE REGISTRAR at [email protected] TO SEEK APPROVAL FOR AN OUT OF AREA WAIVER TO BE SUBMITTED BY THE LEAGUE. Waivers are not automatic and are subject to the League whose boundary you are in and District 4 Little League approvals with final approval determined by the Charter Committee of Little League International.

If you move from our area after the season begins, please notify us so we can submit a waiver request as a result of your change of address. This also applies to players who moved out of our area since last season and still want to play at ECLL.

In what age group or division will my child play? What does League Age mean?

Placement is all done by league age. League age is the age of a player as of a certain date in the calendar year. Little League International publishes a seperate league age schedule for boys and girls.

In answer to where your child will play, players are either placed on a team or drafted onto a team.

Players league age 7 and older will be place in a pool and drafted onto a team. There are no cuts. It is at the manager's discretion to elect to draft a player or not, within the guidelines of the ECLL Bylaws. The only exception to this rule is for those players who do not attend a skills assessment event. Please see our Rules & Policies/Bylaws for more information about the drafting process.

Players with a league age of 4, 5 or 6 will be placed onto a team by the Lower Division Coordinator.

Can my child "play up" a division? Can my child "play down" a division?

If your child is extremely gifted and/or experienced, there may be an opportunity for him/her to play up, beginning at League Age 6. The Player Agent and the Managers in the desired division will assess your child's skills at Tryouts. If he/she is deemed capable of playing up, AND there is space available in the division, then he/she may be drafted to a team in a higher division. We won't know how many spaces are available in each division until the drafts are held in late January.

Sometimes an athlete may benefit from playing down one division. If your child is new to baseball, small or young for his/her age group (Feb, Mar, Apr birthdays), or would just feel more confident with a slower pace, you may request for your child to play down. Simply email the Player Agent. Based on the same criteria described above, the League may recommend to the parents that a child play down in order for that child to improve and develop, though the final decision rests with the parents

When will we hear what team we're on? How are teams formed?

Competitive baseball and softball teams are formed by way of the Little League draft to ensure fair and balanced teams. Shortly after tryouts have concluded, a draft is held for each divisions, beginning with the Majors draft (ages 11-12) and working down to Single A baseball in mid-to-late-January. Following the draft, your player's team manager will contact you within a few days. The number of players registered for the league and the number of teams in each division will determine how many players may be eligible for a particular division. No decisions are made about the number of teams in each division until ECLL's registration period is complete.

For players in the T-Ball and Farm Divisions, there are no tryouts or draft, and teams are formed in early to mid-February. Some 6 year olds may require an evaluation. We do our best to accommodate "teammate" and/or "manager" requests, however, no guarantees are made or implied. However, such accommodations are impossible make for the competitive divisions of baseball or softball.

I'm concerned about time conflicts and/or transportation issues. Can I make a special request for my child?

(i.e., specific division, team or manager; tryout, practice or game schedule)

Unfortunately, NO. Each Spring, ECLL offers an organized program from January - June with approx. 850 players on more than 60 teams.

When enrolling your child for the upcoming season, you accept the structure of the league. We understand that children and families have commitments outside of ECLL. When enrolling, as would be done for any extracurricular activity, it is up to you, the parents, not ECLL, to adjust your child's schedule accordingly to allow them to attend and participate in tryouts and scheduled team practices and games. This should be carefully considered before enrolling. NO REFUNDS WILL BE ISSUED ON OR AFTER OPENING DAY.

How can I become a Team Manager or Coach? What is involved?

Little League relies solely on volunteers to serve as Team Managers and Coaches. To find out exactly what is required to coach baseball or softball at ECLL check out Resources/Manager. It's a lot easier than you might think!

What equipment do we need to participate?

ECLL provides each player with a full uniform consisting of a jersey, pants, jersey, socks and hat. We do not provide a glove (required) or cleats are highly recommended at age 7 and up. Batting gloves are optional.  Managers will have batting helmets and bats available for use, but many parents choose to purchase these for their kids. For bats, please see Rules & Policies for Little League Bat requirements.

Does ECLL have fundraising events?

Our registration fees do not cover all expenses needed to operate our League, so in addition to registration, the additional fundraising is as follows:  Team Sponsors, Ports Night and our Annual Crab Feed. We ask for your participation to help keep ECLL the best place for your children to play.

Our biggest fundraiser is our Snack Bar. Always open on game days, it's a wonderful gathering place for players and families before, during and after games. Please support ECLL by visiting our Snack Bar.

Where is the Lost and Found?

Lost and Found items from Oakley are stored in the Snack Shack. Items lost at Laurel may be stored in the equipment sheds. Please ask a League Official for assistance or inquire with the Snack Shack.

Still have a question?  Email us at [email protected]

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