Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is my child eligible to play at TLL?
A: Players who are league ages 4-13 and who reside in or attend school within our boundaries are eligible to play at TLL. Go to https://www.littleleague.org/play-little-league/league-finder/ to determine whether your child's home or school falls within the league boundaries. The communities of Thurmont, Emmitsburg, Sabillasville, Lewistown, Woodsboro, as well as parts of Taneytown, Union Bridge, and Libertytown lie with our boundaries. Little League requires documentation to show proof of age and residency in order to participate at TLL.
Q: Can girls play? Does TLL offer softball?
A: Girls are welcome to play baseball at any level. Beginning Spring 2022, we will be offering Girl's Softball. Softball will be offered beginning at the Coach Pitch level. We recommend all kids begin with Tee Ball Baseball to learn the fundamentals of the game while having fun. Kids may transition to Softball Coach Pitch or Baseball Coach Pitch when they are 5-6 years old and have played at least 1 season of Tee Ball. Coach Pitch is preferred beginning at age 7.
Q: What is my child's "league age?"
A: League age is different for baseball and softball. Baseball League Age is the age of the child on August 31 of that calendar year. Girl's Softball, their league age would be how old the child is on December 31 of the previous year. Please click the link to determine your child's league age. https://www.littleleague.org/play-little-league/determine-league-age/
Q: What equipment does my child need to in order to participate at TLL?
A: At a minimum, players will need a glove and for boys, a protective cup. Cleats are highly recommended. Most players prefer to use their own batting helmet. Each team is provided with catcher's gear that is available for players to use. Each player is provided with a uniform at the start of the season. If you have difficulty purchasing a glove, helmet, bat or any equipment, please contact the league at [email protected]. All emails will be confidential and only be seen by our Player Agent and League President.
Q: Are there certain types of equipment that are allowed/not allowed?
Bats - See https://www.littleleague.org/playing-rules/bat-rules/ for details.
Gloves - Gloves that are primarily white in color are discouraged because pitchers may not use a white glove.
Helmets/Catcher's Gear - Must be stamped with NOCSAE logo and be free of defects or alterations. Each team has a set of approved catcher's gear that players may use. See https://www.littleleague.org/playing-rules/modifying-helmets-with-additional-attachments/ for more information about helmet attachments and c-flaps.
Cleats - Must be rubber or plastic for Major level and below. Metal cleats are allowed at the Intermediate level.
Other - Jewelry and watches may NOT be worn, except for medical reasons (i.e. Medic Alert bracelet).
Q: When can I register?
A: Our registration period opens January 1st and closes in mid-February. Late registrations are only accepted on a case-by-case basis. Fall Ball registration typically takes place from early July through mid-August.
Q: How can I register my child?
A: The easiest way to register is by going to ThurmontLittleLeague.com and creating an account. Sometimes, we offer an opportunity for an in-person registration during the registration period. Contact [email protected] for any questions or assistance with registration.
Q: The age ranges for different levels overlap. How do I know which level is best for my child?
A: First, start by looking for levels that your child's age allows him/her to play. If your child is more experienced or skilled in comparison to the average player of his/her age, then you may consider a higher level. If your child is less experienced or less skilled, you should consider playing a lower level. Minor and Major players participate in an evaluation process during the spring to help assign players to the appropriate levels. It is a good idea to ask a coach's opinion if you are considering moving your child to the next level. **See the tables below for more guidance about which level to register for.**
Q: What do the registration fees cover?
A: TLL charges registration fees to help cover the cost of operating the league. Along with donations from sponsors and income from concessions, these fees help to pay for uniforms, equipment, field and facility maintenance, utilities, insurance, and more.
Q: What is the volunteer deposit?
A: TLL is a volunteer organization. During the spring season, there are games at our complex on a nearly daily basis for approximately 10 weeks. When the concession stand cannot open due to lack of volunteers, we are unable to sell food and drinks during the games, and TLL loses revenue from sales. We are asking each family to put down a $100 deposit as a commitment to volunteering a small number of concession stand shifts during the season. The exact number of shifts depends on the number of players and games, and will be determined prior to the start of the game schedule. Any family who fulfills their volunteer duties will receive their deposit back at the end of the season. Any family who does not complete their duties will forfeit the deposit to TLL to cover the loss of concession revenue. There will be no partial refunds. (Note: No volunteer deposits will be collected during the 2020 season).
Q: What are player evaluations? Does my child need to attend?
A: Prior to each spring season, player evaluations are held at the Minor, Major, and Intermediate levels. Coaches and managers will run players through a variety of drills to assess their skill levels. This helps managers select players during the upcoming drafts and helps to maintain fair team selections. All players registered for the Minor or Intermediate levels and any player who was not on a Major roster the previous spring season must attend at least 50% of the player evaluation sessions offered.
Q: Are any players "cut" after player evaluations?
A: Every player who registers and is eligible to play at TLL will be placed onto a team. There are some instances when a player may be placed at a level different from the one they have registered for. At the Major level, we have fixed roster sizes and only a certain number of spots available each season. Open roster spots are filled through the draft process. When the rosters are filled, the remaining players are put into the draft pool for the Minor division and will be selected on a team at that level. For example, if there are 22 open roster spots at the Major level, and 27 players who registered and attended player evaluations, then 5 players would be returned to the Minor level. At other levels, if a player demonstrates ability that is a clear mismatch for the level they are registered, a board member or manager will recommend placement at the appropriate level.
Q: I would like to request a specific team/coach/teammates.
A: At Intermediate, Major, and Minor divisions, we do not accept such requests. All players are eligible to be selected on any team in order to ensure fairness and comply with Little League rules. At the Instructional and Tee Ball levels, we will consider requests for justified reasons, but cannot make any guarantees. Players benefit from playing for different coaches and with different teammates as they grow.
Q: When will I know about my child's team, practice schedule, and game schedule?
A: After the registration period closes, there are player evaluations for the major and minor levels, followed by team drafts for all levels. Shortly after the draft, you should be contacted by your child's manager. This process often takes a couple weeks, so there is no need to be alarmed if you don't hear something right away. Practices typically begin in mid-March (weather permitting). If you haven't heard anything by mid-March, please email [email protected]. Games begin in early/mid April and end in June. The game schedule is typically sent out in late-March.
Q: Where are practices and games held?
A: All practices and the vast majority of games will be played on fields at the Thurmont Little League complex or Emmitsburg Memorial Park. Teams may play a small number of games at other nearby leagues within a short drive from Thurmont, such as Frederick, Gettysburg, Mountain Valley (Myersville), Brunswick, Valley (Smithsburg), and Pen Mar (Blue Ridge Summit).
TLL Complex: 275 Westview Drive Thurmont, MD 21788
Emmitsburg Memorial Park: Memorial Drive Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Q: Where can I find the rules?
A: Little League Baseball has designed a rule book app, that can be purchased for a one-time cost of $1.99. The app automatically updates if any rules are changed by Little League. Paper copies of the rulebook can be purchased at littleleague.org. In addition, there are some rules and options that may be determined at the local league level. The TLL Board of Directors approves local rules for the various divisions of play. For more information about the local TLL rules, you can go to "About Us" tab on this website to find rules for the various divisions.
Q: Do some players "sit the bench?"
A: At the Tee Ball, Instructional, and Minor levels, all players are in the batting lineup. Depending on the size of the roster, there may be a couple players who stay on the bench while the team is in the field. Coaches at these levels will rotate the players so that the same players are not sitting out repeatedly.
At the Major level, only 9 players can be in the lineup at a given time. The remaining players are substitutes. There are rules that managers must follow regarding substituting players. All players on the team are required to play at least 6 consecutive outs in the field and bat at least one time during the game. At this level, there may be players on a team who get more or less playing time.
Q: What All-Star opportunities are there?
A: TLL seeks to field all-star teams at as many age groups as possible, dependent on participation. Possible teams include: Intermediate (ages 11-13), 10-12, 9-11, 8-10, and Minor (8-11).
Q: How are All-Star teams selected?
A: The Board of Directors determines the selection process prior to the start of the season and outlines this process in the bylaws. Currently, the selection is done through a voting process that includes input from managers, coaches, and players.
Q: When are All-Star teams announced? What is the schedule?
A: All-Star teams are announced on/after June 1st. The all-star practices typically start in early/mid June. District tournaments generally start in late June or early July. If they continue to win, the 10-12 and Intermediate teams have the possibility of proceeding to the State (July), Regional (July/August), and Little League World Series (August). The 8-10 and 9-11 teams can progress to the Regional level.
Q: I would like to help, but I don't know where to start.
A: We are always looking for team managers, assistant coaches, umpires, Team Moms, field maintenance volunteers, and more. No matter how much or how little time you are able to devote, there are plenty of opportunities to help out. Please reach out to a member of the Board of Directors or email [email protected] to inquire about volunteering.
Q: Are TLL's umpires paid?
A: No, all TLL umpires are volunteers.
Q: What measures does TLL take to ensure safety of its players?
A: Safety is a priority for our players, volunteers, and spectators. Each year, TLL develops the ASAP Plan to outline measures taken to maintain a safe program. All volunteers are required to complete a background check in order to ensure that children are supervised by trusted adults. Managers receive training on first aid and concussion awareness. Little League rules and regulations are designed with safety in mind.
Q: What is Fall Ball? How is it different from the Spring season?
A: TLL offers a fall ball program to give players continued instruction and playing opportunities during the "off" season. Fall ball is described as more "relaxed" with a focus on learning and skill improvement. We generally do not keep scores or standings during fall ball. There are no all-star teams in the fall. It is a good time to try new things, such as playing a new position, or moving up to the next level. Fall Ball begins in late August and finishes in late October. (Note: Due to the cancellation of the Spring 2020 season during the coronavirus pandemic, Fall Ball 2020 was played more like the missed Spring season. We expect that Fall 2021 will be played more like our typical Fall Ball program. )
Q: Does TLL offer baseball activities during the winter?
A: Yes, TLL offers Winter Clinic sessions, typically during the months of January and February. In recent years, we have partnered with Mount St. Mary's baseball program to conduct the clinic. There is a fee for the clinic. (Note: TLL was unable to offer a Winter Clinic during Winter 2021 due to limitations on gatherings at indoor facilities during the pandemic).