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Levels of Play

Levels of Play

Rhinelander Little League levels of play are broken out by age group below.  Parents are strongly encouraged to become involved in all levels of Little League. After completing a Little League volunteer application and passing a required national background check, parents may become involved in practices, and be eligible as coaches, managers, umpires, local league board members and other volunteer positions within the league.

Opening day is typically May 1st and the season runs until the end of June.

T-Ball

Tee Ball is generally the first introduction to organized baseball for most players. The primary objective by the end of the season is to ensure that each player has a "positive experience" with baseball, desires to play again the following year, and has successfully demonstrated the skills listed below.

  • Batting tee will be used
  • Warm up techniques
  • Names of defensive positions
  • How to execute a throw with the proper grip
  • Proper field position (down and ready)
  • How to hold a bat properly
  • What to do after a ball is hit as the batter and a runner
  • Know how, why and when to run to the next base

Practices and Games:

  • Rosters are composed of 10 players with 10 fielders
  • Practices/games are played one weeknight a week and Saturday mornings
  • Games will run for approximately 75 minutes; innings will change once all players have batted
  • No score is kept during games
  • Coaching staff also assist as umpires

Equipment:

Players will receive a shirt and hat with registration.

Players will require a glove for play.  Bats and helmets will be provided by the league but players are welcome to use their own.  Player bats must follow the 2018 Little League Bat Regulations which can be found here: http://www.littleleague.org/learn/equipment/baseballbatinfo/batrules.htm.

7-8 Year Old - Pitching Machine Baseball  "Minors"

The 7-8 Division builds upon T-Ball skills, or serves as an introduction for players deciding to play at this age.  At this level, pitching machines are utilized to give kids an understanding of a ball coming at them in motion.  As with T-Ball, the primary objective at this level is to ensure that each player has a "positive experience” with baseball, desires to play again the following year and has learned the skills listed below:

  • TEAM concept
  • Warm up techniques
  • Number of outs per inning
  • Fielding techniques (proper down and ready position)
  • Uses both hands to catch the ball vs one handed or trapped catches
  • Understands when to make the defensive play
  • Proper batting position
  • Proper bae running (on the ground vs in the air)
  • Good sportsmanship (end each game with a high-five)

Games and Practices:

  • Rosters will be composed of up to 13 players
  • Practices/games will be held 2 weeknights per week
    • Practices will be held 2 nights a week the first 2 weeks of May
    • 1 practice and 1 game will be held the second 2 weeks of May
    • 2 games will be held the month of June
  • Games run for 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • All teams will bat through the order each inning, but in the event 3 outs are not reached no player will bat twice
  • The diamond used is a 60-foot diamond and pitching distance is 46 feet

Equipment:

Players will receive a shirt and hat with registration.  Players will require a glove for play.  Bats and helmets will be provided by the league but players are welcome to use their own.  Player bats must follow the 2018 Little League Bat Regulations which can be found here: http://www.littleleague.org/learn/equipment/baseballbatinfo/batrules.htm.

9-10 Year Old Kid Pitch Baseball  "​Majors"

The primary objective at the Minors level is to build fundamentals with emphasis on preparing players for advancement to the Majors level. The Minors level is both competitive and instructional with more emphasis on instructional than competitive during the regular season. It is critical that the managers and coaches of this division provide sound training and good balance of playing time and position rotations for all players.  In this division, players will pitch, with an umpire calling balls and strikes.  Besides building upon the skills taught to them at the preceding levels, players should successfully demonstrate the below skills:

  • On time for all practices and games and prepared to play baseball
  • Competence in batter box positioning
  • Proper grip of the bat
  • Acceptable level of determining ball vs strike
  • Passing bat through the strike zone
  • Proper base running techniques
    • Stealing after the ball crosses the plate
    • When to tag up
    • How and when to slide
  • Correct pitching mechanics and baseball grips (fastball, change-up)
  • Proper footwork to field and throw quickly
  • How to go back on a fly all
  • Sacrifice situations
  • How to run down a base runner (pickle)
  • Covering bases and backup up positions after a hit
  • Always show good Sportsmanship on and off the field (no bad mouthing other players)

Games and Practices:

  • Rosters will be composed of up to 13 players
  • Practices/games will be held 2 weeknights per week
    • Practices will be held 2 nights a week the first 2 weeks of May
    • 1 practice and 1 game will be held the second 2 weeks of May
    • 2 games will be held the month of June
  • Games run for 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • All teams will bat through the order each inning, but in the event 3 outs are not reached no player will bat twice
  • The diamond used is a 60-foot diamond and pitching distance is 46 feet

Equipment:

Players will receive a shirt and hat with registration.  Players will require a glove for play.  Bats and helmets will be provided by the league but players are welcome to use their own.  Player bats must follow the 2018 Little League Bat Regulations which can be found here: http://www.littleleague.org/learn/equipment/baseballbatinfo/batrules.htm.

Coaches will inform parents of any other equipment requirements.

11-12 Year Old Kid Pitch Baseball "Majors"

The Majors level is both competitive and instructional with admittedly more emphasis on the competitive aspects of the game than at the Minors level. Managers focus on fielding a competitive team while also providing the players with a fun learning experience. Players should focus on refining their baseball skills with a strong emphasis on consistency. Often the difference between an average player and a good player is the ability to consistently execute the required skills.  In this division players will pitch with an umpire calling balls and strikes.  Players should successfully demonstrate the below skills:

  • On time and prepared for practice or games (including safety equipment)
  • Show proper batting stance, bat position and swing execution
  • Reasonable competence in contacting the ball
  • Know the difference between hunting for a base hit and a sacrifice bunt
  • Demonstrate proper base running techniques including
    • Exploding off the base after the ball crosses the page
    • When to tag up vs going half way
    • Proper sliding techniques
  • Execute proper pitching motion (can throw 50-70 pitches without experiencing noticeable are discomfort
  • Use catching skills
    • Blocking the plate with the ball
    • Blocking wild pitches
    • Throwing out runners
  • Cover bases correctly when receiving a throw or fielding a ball
  • Understand how to go back on a fly ball
  • Properly execute a double play
  • Execute a run down-both as a runner and as a fielder
  • Know what can happen after a ball is caught in foul territory
  • Use the relay man from outfield to throw home if needed
  • Cover all bases and back up other players on the field after a hit
  • Always show good Sportsmanship on and off the field (no bad mouthing other players)

Games and Practices:

  • Rosters will be composed of up to 13 players
  • Practices/games will be held 2 weeknights per week
    • Practices will be held 2 nights a week the first 2 weeks of May
    • 1 practice and 1 game will be held the second 2 weeks of May
    • 2 games will be held the month of June
  • Games run for 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • All teams will bat through the order each inning, but in the event 3 outs are not reached no player will bat twice
  • The diamond used is a 60-foot diamond and pitching distance is 46 feet

Equipment:

Players will receive a shirt and hat with registration.  Players will require a glove for play.  Bats and helmets will be provided by the league but players are welcome to use their own.  Player bats must follow the 2018 Little League Bat Regulations which can be found here: http://www.littleleague.org/learn/equipment/baseballbatinfo/batrules.htm.

Coaches will inform parents of any other equipment requirements.

Travel Ball
     Traveling baseball teams are separate from Little League.  Currently, there are separate travel teams for 9, 10, 11, and 12 year olds.  Travel team players are selected by the travel team coach at each age level and usually involve try outs.   All parents will be notified of upcoming tryouts and all boys at that age level are welcome to try out if they'd like to. Travel ball involves tournaments outside of Rhinelander and focuses on a more competitive level of baseball.   Questions?  Contact Kas Schoppe at (715)499-2168.

8U Softball

The 8U fastpitch softball division is a development level for girls between the ages of 7-8 years old. This level will be instructional to give the girls skills they need to progress in the sport.

  • Players will use a regulation size 11” softball
  • Machine pitch with goal of progressing into child pitch at 35’ in the second half of the season
  • Basics of base running including running through first
  • Basics of catching including use of 2 hands
  • Basics of hitting
  • Basic throwing techniques
  • Promote softball ready stance

Practices and Games:

The season typically runs from the beginning of May (weather permitting) through the first week of July.

  • Practices will be held at Pioneer or West Side parks
    • Some weekend practices may be required depending on field availability
  • Games will run for a total of 1.5 hours
  • Innings end after 5 runs or 3 outs
  • Equal playing time and position rotation with 10 fielders

Equipment:

Players will receive a shirt with registration, black athletic shorts or pants are recommended. 

Players will require a glove for play, bats and helmets will be provided by the league.  Girls can use their own bats and helmets, however, bats must follow the 2018 Little League Bat Regulations that can be found here:  http://www.littleleague.org/learn/equipment/baseballbatinfo/batrules.htm.

10U Softball

The 10U fastpitch softball division is a development level for girls between the ages of 9-10 years old.  This level will include advanced instruction to give the girls they need to progress in the sport.

  • Players will use a regulation size 11” softball
  • Player pitching at 35’; coach assisted after ball four
  • Basics of base running, running through and rounding first and leading off
  • Getting ball back into the circle of play
  • Basics of hitting
  • Softball ready stance
  • Advanced fielding including running toward the ball and play direction and force plays on bases
  • Basic pitching

Practices and Games:

The season typically runs from the beginning of May (weather permitting) through the first week of July.

  • Practices will be held at Pioneer or West Side parks
    • Some weekend practices may be required depending on field availability
  • Games will be played in the Northwoods league which will require team traveling to neighboring towns (weeknight games, schedule TBD)
  • Games will run for a total of 1.5 hours
  • Innings end after 5 runs or 3 outs
  • Equal playing time and position rotation with 10 fielders

Equipment:

Players will receive a shirt with registration, black athletic shorts or pants are recommended. 

Players will require a glove for play, bats and helmets will be provided by the league.  Girls can use their own bats and helmets, however, bats must follow the 2018 Little League Bat Regulations that can be found here:  http://www.littleleague.org/learn/equipment/baseballbatinfo/batrules.htm.

​12U Softball

The 12U fastpitch softball division is a development level for girls between the ages of 11-12 years old.  This level is a more advanced level of play to prepare girls for tournament play.

  • Players will use a regulation size 12” softball
  • Player pitching at 40’
  • Advanced base running including sliding, leading off and stealing
  • Advanced hitting including proficiency at bunting and drop 3rd strike
  • Advanced fielding to include cutoffs, double plays, defending the bunt
  • Softball ready stance
  • Advanced fielding including running toward the ball and play direction and force plays on bases
  • Advanced pitching, defense in the position and introduction to other pitches

Practices and Games:

The season typically runs from the beginning of May (weather permitting) through the first week of July.

  • Practices will be held at Pioneer or West Side parks
    • Some weekend practices may be required depending on field availability
  • Games will be played in the Northwoods league which will require team travelling to neighboring towns (weeknight games, schedule TBD)
  • Games will run for a total of 1.5 hours
  • Innings end after 5 runs or 3 outs
  • Equal playing time and position rotation with 10 fielders

Equipment:

Players will receive a shirt with registration, black athletic shorts or pants are recommended. 

Players will require a glove for play, bats and helmets will be provided by the league.  Girls can use their own bats and helmets, however, bats must follow the 2018 Little League Bat Regulations that can be found here:  http://www.littleleague.org/learn/equipment/baseballbatinfo/batrules.htm.

14U Softball

The 14U fastpitch softball division is a development level for girls between the ages of 11-12 years old.  This level is a more advanced level of play to prepare girls for transition to high school play.

  • Players will use a regulation size 12” softball
  • Player pitching at 40’
  • Advanced base running including sliding, leading off and stealing
  • Advanced hitting including proficiency at bunting and drop 3rd strike
  • Advanced fielding to include cutoffs, double plays, defending the bunt
  • Advanced fielding including running toward the ball and play direction and force plays on bases
  • Advanced pitching, defense in the position and proficiency in other pitches

Practices and Games:

The season typically runs from the beginning of May (weather permitting) through the first week of July.

  • Practices will be held at Pioneer or West Side parks
    • Some weekend practices may be required depending on field availability
  • Games will be played in the Northwoods league which will require team travelling to neighboring towns (weeknight games, schedule TBD)
  • Games will run for a total of 1.5 hours
  • Innings end after 5 runs or 3 outs
  • Equal playing time and position rotation with 10 fielders

Equipment:

Players will receive a shirt with registration, black athletic shorts or pants are recommended. 

Players will require a glove for play, bats and helmets will be provided by the league.  Girls can use their own bats and helmets, however, bats must follow the 2018 Little League Bat Regulations that can be found here:  http://www.littleleague.org/learn/equipment/baseballbatinfo/batrules.htm.

Travel Softball

Travel softball teams are separate from Little League.  Softball will have 12U, 14U and potentially 16U travel teams.  Travel team players are selected by the travel team coach and tryouts are typically required.  All parents will be notified of tryouts and all girls are encouraged to try out.   Travel ball will include tournament play outside of the Rhinelander.  Registration fees will be applicable and will need to be paid after the teams are selected.