About 40 something years ago, my parents registered me for a baseball program in North Kingstown, RI. This program was for kids 4 to 6 and it was run through our church, St. Bernard’s of Wickford. The program, also known as Tee Ball, served as a developmental program to learn the game of baseball and to interact with other kids their age. It was during those Tee Ball days that I started my passion for the game of baseball. It all started in the corner of this field, at Hamilton Elementary School, with a glove, a bat, and a dream of becoming Yaz.
For most youth baseball leagues in Rhode Island, registration for the spring season has already begun. For others, January 1st is the official start date. With the tremendous marketing tools we have – social media, email marketing, sports websites – registering your child for their own Rhode Island Baseball Experience has never been easier. Here are some tips for those parents who are looking to sign their youth athlete up for the first time.
If you are new to Rhode Island or have recently moved in Rhode Island, there is a League Finder on the official website of Little League® baseball. You can enter “baseball” or “softball” or “challenger division” into the spot that says “I’d like to play.” And then enter your home address into the “near” section and click “find your league.” Because Little League® has set up territory boundaries for leagues, you will be directed to the nearest league that matches your zip code and address. Some cities like Cranston and Warwick have multiple teams, so the League Finder is really handy.
There are new age guidelines for Little League® baseball this year that you need to be aware of. The actual year of age of your child maybe different than the “league age” of your child. The League Age will determine which division your child would fall into. There are other factors including divisional tryouts, playing up, or lack of participation numbers which may influence which division your child plays in as well. Each Little League® organization has a player agent who can assist with this League Age calculation as well.
Once you have found a local league, determined the League Age of your child, then you can register. Registration has never been easier. Most leagues have an online resource like Barrington Little League (see photo) where you can:
- Learn about the various divisions from Tee Ball to Coach Pitch to Kid Pitch
- Find the fields your child will be practicing at and playing games at. Some websites even show the fields of their respective divisional opponents. For example, Barrington plays in District 2 with Newport, Middletown, King Philip and they may show where those other cities play their home games.
- There are volunteer forms for parents who want to help out with their local league as a coach, concession stand manager, equipment manager, and more.
- There is contact information for the board of directors for each league, should you need to contact them with questions.
- Create an account for one child or a family of baseball players so you can easily register for the next season, receive league notifications, and more.
Winter is just starting here in Rhode Island. The ground is frozen in some areas and the baseball fields are all but unplayable at this time of year. But baseball is alive and well in the hearts and minds of parents and youth athletes year round. Registration for the Spring season of baseball is here for some leagues and just around the corner for others. Registering your child for baseball has never been easier through online resources like league websites. And if you have any questions about availability of leagues, league age, or what division your child should be, use the Little League® website as a trusted resource.
Feel free to email me any questions about registering your child for baseball at firstname.lastname@example.org.