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A Parent’s Guide to Framingham Spring Baseball
 
This guide is provided to help parents understand our organization and some of the options and procedures that are used by Framingham Baseball. Framingham baseball provides baseball opportunities for children starting at age 6 and continuing until age 16. For Majors and AAA the season usually starts the second Saturday of school vacation (with pre-season games during vacation week); for AA the season usually starts the week after April vacation; for Merloni and Peanuts and A League the season usually starts around the first of May and all leagues continue into June (Competitive Leagues can have playoffs last until late June, Instructional Leagues end with exhibition games during Little League Day. The number of games and practices differs at the different levels. The season culminates with Little League Day in Mid-June. League age is determined by how old your child is on or before August 31st8 (*see further on for players turning 9 from May-->Aug)  and April 30th of that playing year for players age 9-12. NOTE: Players turning 9 from May 1st through August 31st will play in the AA league but are NOT eligible for AAA. AAA eligibility will ONLY be for 9-year-old players that turn 9 on or before April 30th.

NOTE: Players that were in Peanuts last year and will be 9 on or before August 31st will be in AA for 2014. Our AA league is a transition league where players pitch. We do not have standings and do not keep score. It is an instructional based league that starts to work in more baseball rules to ready players for AAA/Majors. The league is comprised of mostly 9 year old players and those coming from peanut are not eligible for AAA.

Instructional Leagues (league age for INSTRUCTIONAL Leagues is determined by the players age on or before August 31st of that playing year)

These teams are not formed until very close to the beginning of the season to allow as many children to play as possible. You will be contacted by your coach sometime in late April, depending on league and team set-up.

Merloni League: This league is for 6-year old children and is the beginning of our program. We try to assign children based on the elementary school they attend, but this will ultimately be determined by the number of children from each school and the number of coaches from each school. The league is for fun and instruction and focuses on teaching the basics of baseball and good sportsmanship. All children participate in all aspects of the game. No standings are kept and no score is kept during games. This is a coach-pitch league with a Tee used as needed. Each player will have an opportunity to hit a pitched ball (4 good pitches) and then the Tee will be used if necessary. Games are played Friday night (5:45 PM) and Saturday mornings (start times can range between 9:00 and 10:30 with most being 10:00)

Peanut League: This league is for 7-year old children and is the similar to the Merloni League but we apply more baseball rules (base-running is stressed, outs are called and so on) and focus on more in-depth fundamentals during organized practices. The pitching is the same as the Merloni league.

A League: This league is for 8-year old children and is similar to Peanut league except that there are even more baseball rules in play (children will have an opportunity to pitch - but it is a predominant coach pitch league still). Games are still played twice a week, but the schedule may change week to week. Games are played at 5:45 Monday through Thursday.

Transition League (AA) - This league helps players transition into our more competitive AAA/Majors leagues. There are more standard baseball rules in play and we have a playoffs and World Series.

AA: The AA league is for players ages **9-11. The teams are not formed until very close to the beginning of the season to allow as many children to play as possible. As many teams as necessary will be formed to allow as many children to play as possible. At this level, most baseball rules are in effect. Substitutions are used. Games are played at 5:45 on various weeknights through the season. Usually teams play two games a week.


Age cutoff: All players that will be 9 on or before August 31st of that playing year are eligible for AA.

*Players eligible for our A league may also tryout for AA. There are limited spots available for these players. Players will be selected via a draft process that happens in early spring. Tryouts for this level are usually done indoors in late winter.



Competitive Leagues

Starting at age 9, games are played at a slightly more competitive level. The teams are built via a draft process based on off-season tryouts and evaluations. Players at this age participate in fall and/or winter evaluations until they are on a major league roster. Fall tryouts (AAA and Majors) usually take place in late September or early October. Winter evaluations (AA) usually take place in Feb/March. The player needs to attend only one tryout/evaluation session. The tryouts/evaluations look at various baseball skills including throwing, hitting, speed, and defense. If a child does not participate in any tryouts/evaluations, the highest level the child may play is AA.

AAA: The AAA league (players age **9-12) plays 2-3 times a week for an 18 game season. There are playoffs for the top teams after Little League Day. The games are at the little league complex on Dudley Road. Two games are on weeknights (typically, either Mon/Wed or Tues/Thur at 5:45) and on Saturdays (either 1:00 or 3:00, typically). Practices are on Sunday.

The Major League: The Major league (players age **10-12) is the most competitive league for children 12 and under. 2-3 games per week are played with the weeknight games starting at 7:45 under the lights at the complex. The 3rd game for the week is on Saturday (either 9:00 or 11:00, typically). Practices are held on Sundays. Once a player is on a Major League roster, they remain with that team until they leave Little League.

**Age Restrictions
8 year olds are eligible for AA through the draft process (up to 2 per team)
9 year olds are eligible for AAA through the draft process (up to 2 per team)
10 year olds are eligible for Majors through the draft process (up to 2 per team)


The Draft
Each Majors team is allowed to “protect” a certain number of players from their AAA team each year. Meaning, they will automatically play on that Majors team the following spring – so no need to tryout in fall. Children who have not been previously drafted and children who are not protected (and participate in fall evaluations) are eligible for the draft. To play on a Major League team, the player must attend the previous year's evaluations if he/she was not protected. The draft usually happens in winter, but the results are not announced until 3-4 weeks before the season starts to allow for potential roster changes.

Leagues For Children 13 and over

Evaluations are typically held in October for children entering Ted Williams League

Ted Williams League: This League is for 13-15 year old Players. Players are drafted onto teams to balance rosters. Teams play 3 games a week (2 weeknights and Saturday). The season culminates with playoffs and a World Series.

Babe Ruth League: This league for *13-16 year old players and plays on weekends and one weeknight (approximately every other week). Children are drafted onto team based on their performance in the Ted Williams. Players return to the same team after each year until they age out. The season culminates with playoffs and a World Series.

*13 year olds are eligible for Babe Ruth through the draft process (up to 1 per team)