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Fall Ball Info

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Fall Ball

(formerly known as Winter Ball) (this page updated for 2017)

Rule set for 2017
Fall Ball Rules, Majors, Minors, Machine Pitch, T-Ball
Fall Ball Rules, Juniors

How is Fall Ball different from Spring Baseball?

Spring baseball is the Claremont Little League “regular” baseball season. In Spring baseball we have Juniors, Majors, Minors, JV, Farm and T-Ball divisions. The Juniors, Majors, Minors, and JV divisions are all “competitive” divisions where teams are drafted by managers, scores and standings are kept, and trophies are awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams. Farm and T-ball are non-competitive.

Fall Ball will become more competitive, while at the same time maintaining its previous instructional/learning program. Fall Ball will now be open to those league age (as of August 31st in the year that fall ball plays) 4 to 15. We will have four divisions: Juniors, AAA, AA and Rookie. A draft will be held for Juniors, AAA and AA and can include players league age 7 to 15. Players league age 4 to 8 can play in the Rookie Division with the option for 7 and 8 year olds to play in the Rookie Division depending on ability. AAA Division is typically made up of players league age 9, 10 and 11. AA Division is typically made up of players league age 7, 8 and 9. There will be some overlap in ages based on the ability of the player and where they played the previous spring. Juniors is made up of players league age 12, 13, 14 and 15. 12 year olds are included in juniors because it’s a great time for the player to get used to the bigger field that juniors play on.

Rookie League – New Intensely Instructional Baseball Development

For four consecutive Sundays from 1:00 – 4:00 PM, the participants at this level will be involved in a hands on developmental clinic with the managers and coaches who are signed up for Fall Ball.

These clinics will accomplish two objectives: 1) To improve the skill level, game play and baseball knowledge of each player. 2) To serve as Manager/Coach Training and Development in the proper drills, fundamentals and coaching of a 5-8 year old for how to execute the fundamentals of playing baseball.

The final six weeks of the program the players will be divided up into teams on a weekly basis and play a competitive game with ongoing instruction on the field.

When are the Fall Ball games played?

Fall Ball Games are on Sundays.  Depending on how many teams Claremont Little League can form, we may stay at College Park but may also utilize fields that are in our district.  Fields that are in our district includes fields in Pomona, San Dimas, La Verne and Glendora. Games are limited to 2 hours.  The games generally start in mid-September and the season ends in November.  Because Juniors, AA and AAA will interleague with other cities, their schedules varies.  Juniors home games will be played at Griffith Park. Juniors may play on Saturdays at some away games.

How are Fall Ball game rules different from Spring baseball games?

Many things about the games are the same as kids learn more about baseball by practicing and playing baseball. For example, base stealing is allowed, and three strikes and the batter is out. However, to keep the games moving we place a 5 run limit per inning (each half-inning is over when there are 3 outs made or when 5 runs score). The umpires generally will have generous strike zones to try to keep the games moving. This applies to AAA and AA Divisions only.

The official Little League pitch count rules remain in effect, but since one of the purposes of Fall Ball is to help develop pitchers, more kids are given the opportunity to learn to pitch.

How are “instructional” games different from “competitive” games?

Baseball is by its nature a competitive game. Whether it is a game in a fall ball instructional league or competitive spring league game, many things are the same: A batter going up to bat wants to get a hit, and the pitcher wants to get the batter out, so the kids play hard once the game starts. The largest difference is in how the games are managed. The difference between an instructional league and a competitive league is not in how hard the kids play, it is how the kids are utilized during the game.
During the regular spring season, the competitive upper divisions will utilize the more skilled players during most or all of the game and generally they will pitch and play in the infield. The less skilled players often sit out more and generally play in the outfield. This is necessary in competition because the team needs to put its "best" lineup on the field as often as possible to give it the best chance of winning. However, this limits the chances for the lesser skilled players to develop their skills. In the upper divisions, this is considered a necessary sacrifice in order to win games.

In Fall Ball, the emphasis is on learning skills. Thus, managers rotate players frequently and allow them to play different positions so that they can learn different positions and develop skills. A "star" pitcher may only pitch one inning per game (or two at the most) before yielding to one of the kids who is still learning to pitch. It also means that all players will get the opportunity to play the infield, and all players will also be required to play the outfield as long as it safe to do so.

We also use Fall Ball to develop new skills. A player who is an experienced catcher may catch only one inning and then get work at pitcher or first base or another desired position.

How are Fall Ball practices different from Spring baseball practices?

There is not much difference in how the actual practices are run. However, practices are limited to once per week, and sometimes a second “optional” practice is scheduled.

My child plays AYSO soccer. Can he/she still play Fall Ball?

Yes. Many players who play fall baseball also play AYSO soccer or other sports. If you already have your AYSO soccer practice schedule (or other sport/activity that may conflict) when you register, you can indicate the days that your child is not available for baseball practice and we will do our best to accommodate this in placing the child on a team. Claremont Fall Ball games are on Sundays so the games do not conflict with most other sports.

What equipment does my child need for Fall Ball?

Shirts and hats will be provided by the league. Players should have baseball pants, socks, cleats and a belt, and any safety equipment (cups) required by spring baseball.

Who Should Sign Up for Fall Ball?

Fall Ball is for those kids who simply cannot get enough baseball, Fall Ball gives them an additional 10 weeks of practices and games. Generally, kids who are moving from Farm (coach pitch) to JV or from Majors to Juniors are helped the most by Fall Ball as those can be very difficult transitions and the extra “season” in a learning and instruction environment really helps with the transition. Players who want to learn or work on a different position are often helped a great deal by Fall Ball.

Who Do I Contact if I have More Questions?

Board member contact information is available on our website. Feel free to contact us by email or telephone. www.claremontlittleleague.org

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