Updated Friday August 25, 2017 by Dr. Phillips Little League.

Is Dr. Phillips Little League part of the YMCA?

No. Although we do have a good working relationship with the Dr. Phillips YMCA and share a parking lot, we are a separate entity.

What does Dr. Phillips Little League Offer?

 We offer baseball for boys and girls, age 6 - 16. We also offer softball for girls age 8 - 16. We sometimes offer Big League Baseball for boys age 17 - 18. The majority of our league participation is in baseball. Girls’ softball is relatively new, but is growing in popularity. We need volunteers to help us grow our girls softball program. This is your chance! What are you waiting for, get in the game!

When does the season start?
Dr. Phillips Little League offers two seasons of baseball and softball, one in the spring and one in the fall. Registration for the spring season begins in mid-January, with tryouts the end of January, teams drafted around the first of February, then opening ceremonies around the first of March. The season is 10 weeks long, ending around mid- to late-May. Winning teams in each division will continue in a "Top Team" tournament, which can extend the spring season for some teams into June. The fall season begins with registration in mid-August, right around when school starts. Tryouts are toward the end of August, with teams drafted by the first of September. Opening ceremonies are mid-September. The season usually wraps up just before Thanksgiving. Rain delays and other unforeseen circumstances can extend the season a week or so after Thanksgiving. The dates for girls' softball may vary slightly from baseball.

Big League, when it is offered, is designed to work around High School Baseball. It usually only lasts a couple months, starting in April or May. Check the calendar on our web site for specific dates.

Players can sign up after a season has started, if room is available.

What must I purchase in order to participate?
All players must have their own glove. We can help with selection of the proper size and style of glove for your child. All male participants must also have an athletic supporter. Male catchers must also have an athletic cup, which is recommended for all players. There is a female athletic cup available, which is recommended, but not required. It is recommended all players wear cleats, which cannot be metal on the southern/minor/major fields and in softball. Many players like to purchase their own bat, helmet, batting gloves, and other accessories, but none of these are required. There are other items that can be purchased for additional safety, such as mouth guards and helmets with face guards. Helmets with face guards are required for the southern and minor divisions, and strongly recommended for the older divisions.

Why must my child try out?
ALL players will be placed on a team. The purpose of the tryout is to evaluate the child’s skill level and ability in order to place him or her in the proper division. Each team manager evaluates the players at the tryout, then based on those evaluations, each manager “drafts” his or her team.

What is the draft?
Each manager chooses his/her team.  This is called a “draft”.  Each team manager draws a number for the picking order.  Each manager chooses a player one at a time, in order until all the teams are filled with all the available players.

When will I be notified what team my child is on?
Once the teams are drafted, each team manager is in charge of calling all the players on his/her team and notifying them of the team they are on and when/where the first practice will be. This usually occurs the day after the draft for the level to which your child is assigned. Check the calendar on our web site for specific draft dates.

Can my child be on a team with a friend?
Other than siblings, we do not normally place children on specific teams. Although we do consider special requests, we discourage them. Because the teams are drafted, it is often difficult at draft time to guarantee all requests are honored. We do try to honor them if there is a compelling reason. Special request forms must be filled out at time of registration.

What are the various divisions and associated ages?
The age used for each player is called his/her “league age” and is determined by calculating the child’s age on April 30 of the current year (spring season) or next year (fall season). A child's league age goes up with the fall season, i.e. whatever league age a child is for the fall season, he/she will also be that league age for the following spring season.

- Southern – 7 and 8 year olds, with a handful of 9-year-olds. This is our “coach pitch” division. Games are purely instructional with no scores kept. There is no “Southern” division in softball.
- Minor – mainly 9 and 10 year olds, with a handful of 8-year-olds and 11-year-olds. This is still a developmental level of play but is more challenging than Southern. In softball, all 8-year-olds play in the minor division.
- Major – 11 and 12 year olds, with a few 10-year-olds. This is the competitive level, and the age level of the Little League World Series. This is the last level before advancing to the “big” field.
- Junior – 13 and 14 year olds. First level where games are played on the big field.
- Senior – 15 and 16 year olds. Due to the small number of teams at this level, inter-league games are common (games played between other leagues, sometimes at other locations; requires travel to other sites).
- Big League – 17 and 18 year olds. All games are played at other facilities, although practices are sometimes at our facility. The season is much different from our little league season.

Is my child is too small/big for their division?
Little League has rules concerning the ages of players for the various divisions. Dr. Phillips Little League observes those rules and then places children on teams according to their skills and abilities based on their try-out ratings at the beginning of the season. If for some reason you do not think your child belongs in a particular division, please contact the DPLL Player Agent and share your concerns with him or her. If you DO NOT want your child to play in the division he/she would normally be assigned, fill out a special request form at registration.

When do we get our uniforms and what is included?
The registration fee includes a full uniform. Uniforms are handed out prior to Opening Ceremonies and the first game. Uniforms consist of a shirt, hat, white pants (gray for juniors/seniors) or shorts (softball), belt (baseball juniors and above), and socks.

Players' names are usually placed on the back of the shirts. Many teams like to put players’ names on the back of the hats, but the league does not do that. There is usually a small fee (about $5) for putting names on hats and this is usually handled by the Team Parent.

Some teams like to purchase different pants for the team (pants with pinstripes, for example). This is fine as long as all players are wearing the same color and style of pants. There is an extra cost if your team purchases different pants (around $10 - $12 each).

How often will our team practice?
Whether and when your team will practice is totally up to the team manager. It is typical to practice 2 – 4 times per week before the season starts, then practice once or twice a week once games begin.

Where will our team practice?
This is a tough question sometimes! We are always open to suggestions for new places to practice! Before the season starts, the DPLL fields will be available on a limited basis. But once the season starts, practices will be at other locations. DPLL has insurance coverage for its teams to practice at any Orange County Public School, any Orange County Parks and Recreation park, the Bay Lakes Homeowner’s Association, and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.

What is expected of me as a little league parent?
First and foremost, during the season one concession shift PER PLAYER must be worked. Either parent/legal guardian can work this shift, or can split the shift with someone, or can coordinate other options with the team parent to cover the shift. Any teen working a shift must first be approved by the Concession Coordinator PRIOR to working the shift. If a teen shows up to work a shift, and is not on the approved list, that teen will be sent home and the parent called to work the shift.

Make sure transportation is provided to and from practices and games. Work out carpooling arrangements, if needed, or talk to the team’s manager if you need assistance. Watch the weather when you’ve dropped a player off for practice or a game--make sure the team’s manager has your cell phone number to call you in case a practice or game is cut short.

Inform the league and your team’s manager of any medical conditions pertinent to your child. This includes things like asthma and sensitivity to insect stings/bites. If medication is needed while at practice or a game, the player must bring that medication and must be capable of self-administering it or the parent/legal guardian must be present to administer it. DO NOT ADMINISTER ANY MEDICATION UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES to any child except your own. This includes aspirin and Tylenol®. Make sure players bring any potential “emergency” medication such as asthma inhalers or injections for severe reactions to stings/bites.

During a game, keep the trash picked up around the bleachers. Monitor activities of any siblings and keep them from climbing fences or trees, or doing any other potentially dangerous activities.

Encourage your player, especially if he or she is new to baseball/softball. We ALL make mistakes and your player will be no exception. Help them to understand making mistakes is a normal part of the learning process.

What is opening ceremonies and when is it?
Opening ceremonies is the first time all the teams gather together in full uniform. Each team is called, in order, and they parade onto the field. Board members are introduced, speakers come in, etc. This usually lasts about an hour. This is always the Friday evening before the beginning of the season (check the calendar). Sometimes a couple games are even played that night after opening ceremonies.

How many games will my child play?
You can usually count on having a game every Saturday and one other week-night. This can vary slightly, but two games per week is typical. There are no games on Sundays except for rain make-ups. Baseball is usually 20 games in a season. Softball and Big League may differ.

How do I know if a game is cancelled?
Just because it is raining, don’t simply assume your game is cancelled. The league has a storm and lightning procedure they follow. You can ask for a copy of it. Suffice it to say a game will not be cancelled until 30 minutes after a game has been halted or not started due to weather.

What is a DOD?
The League’s Board of Directors is responsible for running the league. They are all volunteers. A board member is required to be present at the field at all times while games are going on, and during practices held at our fields. This person is referred to as the Director On Duty. Each DOD is readily identified by a red or blue polo shirt with "Dr. Phillips Director" on the front.

Who do I talk to if I have a question/problem?
It depends on the question or problem. Usually your team manager can answer any questions you may have. If you have a team-related problem such as a conflict with the team manager or any other person on the team, contact the player agent for the division in which your child is participating. If the player agent cannot help or isn’t available, talk to any board member (look for the DOD in the red or blue shirt). Information on all the board members and their contact information is posted at the concession stand, and is also contained within the program booklet handed out at opening ceremonies.

What is a “player agent”?
A player agent is the league representative for your player’s division. There is usually one player agent per division, but is sometimes one person for several divisions. The player agent is responsible for evaluating players at the start of the season or after a season starts in order to determine in what division the player belongs. The player agent attends the draft. He/she also handles any issues between a player or parent and the manager or coaches. Any scheduling issues are handled by the player agent.

What are the “rules”?
Little League provides a specific set of rules for all aspects of a Little League game. Ask any board member if you’d like to purchase a Little League rule book. Many of the Little League rules have a basis in safety. A local league may choose to modify the Little League rules into what are called “Local rules”, so long as those rules further strengthen Little League’s rules and are not in direct conflict with those rules. Common local rules are limiting game duration, limiting runs per inning in lower divisions, and limiting the innings pitchers can pitch. It is important to understand which rules are local rules and which are not. When our league participates in tournaments, official Little League rules are followed.

Will we be required to participate in a fundraiser?

The money collected as part of registration only covers about 1/3 of the cost to run this league. Since the league is privately run, without subsidy from any form of government (city, state, federal), all costs, including field maintenance, are paid for by the league. The rest of the funds are raised through money made at the concession stand, and through various fund raising activities. Some funds are obtained through corporate sponsorships, which can be seen by the banners on the field fences. Individual sponsorships are also available. Other funds are obtained through special events such as a dinner dance, auction, or a special softball tournament. The rest is obtained through other forms of fundraising. We recently raised our registration fee so as to remove the requirement for people to participate in a fund raiser. There may be some optional fundraisers from time to time, but participation is not mandatory.

What are these "tournaments" I keep hearing about?
There are three types of tournaments. During the spring season most divisions keep win/loss records to determine the “top team” for their divisions. Those divisions that don’t keep these records (e.g. Southern) may play a small playoff at the end of the season (usually the last two weeks of regular season) to determine their “top team”. Each division usually has two “top team” winners – one for the “American” league and one for the “National” league. Once each “Top Team” is determined, there is a district Top Team tournament after the end of the spring season. Our top teams will compete against other teams in the district (the southern division competes in a district coach pitch tournament, but all teams are invited to participate). These tournaments may be held at other facilities within the district, and will last for about a week, starting around the first of June.

There are two sets of All-star tournaments. The players for these teams are chosen by their playing ability, eligibility, and availability. The divisions for these tournaments are:

  • 9-year-olds
  • minors (9 & 10 year-olds)
  • 10 & 11-year-olds
  • little league/major (11 & 12 year-olds)
  • 13-year-olds
  • juniors (13 & 14 year-olds)
  • seniors (15 & 16 year olds)
  • Big League (17 & 18 year olds)

The 9-year-old and 13-year-old brackets are district-only tournaments and are held at the end of June for about one week.   Teams are announced two weeks prior to the start date for the tournament.   These tournaments are referred to as “District-only" or sometimes "Single-Age" All-star tournaments. Usually, the 10/11 tournament is started at the same time as the 9s and 13s, but the winners of the 10/11 advance.

The multi-age start right after the fourth of July and can run all summer, depending on how far the team advances. The minor and 10/11-year-old divisions stop at the state level, but the rest can go on to the Little League World Series through these levels – district, sectional, state, regional, then world series. Teams are announced on June 15 which is a Little League rule. These tournaments are referred to as the International All-star tournaments.

Participation in these tournaments is a very rewarding experience for you and your player but can be time consuming and will require travel if the team continues to advance. Consider your players’ desire to participate in the All-star tournaments early, prior to making summer vacation plans.

Some divisions of these tournaments may be played at our fields. The league will need extra concession workers, field crews, umpires, and score keepers for these tournaments.

So why should I help?
It takes an enormous amount of resources – people – to make the little league program run smoothly. The numbers vary from season to season, but approximately 400 boys and girls participate. Each of the 30 – 40 teams needs a manager and at least two coaches. Each of the approximately 330 or so games each season requires two umpires. Concession workers, 3 per shift, are needed on the 50 or so nights and 10 or so Saturdays. A large amount of trash is generated which needs to be picked up and thrown away. There is a saying that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. If we all pitch in to help out, it won’t be a burden to the few who cover these enormous responsibilities. Please help out whenever you can.

How can I help?
Help is needed to keep the little league program running smoothly. We are all volunteers and none of us get paid for what we do. We all do this for the children of our community. There is a wide range of volunteer opportunities available. The various volunteer opportunities are listed under "Volunteers" (on the left). Please sign up for at least one volunteer activity at registration or contact a board member to let them know of your interest in helping out.

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