VIENNA LITTLE LEAGUE INFORMATION
Welcome to Vienna Little League (VLL)! Vienna Little League is a growing organization serving more than 1,100 boys and girls annually and has the largest membership of any little league organization in District 4. In order to help place your child in the proper league and level, we ask that you review the information below.
- You will learn about the age designations for each league
- How players are selected
- The frequency of practices and games
- The duration of the season and post-season play
We will do our best to accommodate your individual requests while balancing the needs of all of our teams and players. Players can participate in VLL from age 4 through age 12; in those 9 years, we can offer them 6 levels of play, so everyone should anticipate playing on the same level at least four times during their years with us.
Little League International (LLI) in Williamsport, Pennsylvania mandates most of the rules that govern how Vienna Little League operates. When the rules allow a little leeway, Vienna Little League is empowered to formulate local rules, provided that they do not contravene a LLI rule. A listing of local rules is available on VLL.org.
LLI segments its members geographically, primarily for ease of administration and post-season tournament purposes. There are 15 districts in the Commonwealth of Virginia. VLL is in District 4, which consists of McLean, Reston, Great Falls, Arlington, Falls Church, and Alexandria.
A Board of Directors (BOD) is elected each year and governs VLL. There is no prerequisite that a board member have a child participating in VLL, although many do. Many of these members have participated in our league for years and each brings particular expertise, willingness, and dedication for the good of the league. The board approves all team managers. All managers, coaches, and board members are volunteers.
All players must be registered with VLL, have paid the appropriate fees, and have submitted certain other forms (e.g., birth certificate, proof of residency, etc.) to complete their eligibility for any VLL team. Little League is for players between the ages of 4-12. League age is determined by Little League International (http://www.littleleague.org/Assets/forms_pubs/age-chart-baseball.pdf). Registration fees are based on a graduated scale based on your child’s age. Scholarships are available (contact the League Chairman). There is no fee for the Challenger Program.
Please note that all players who wish to be draft-eligible (Ages 8 – 12) must tryout each year unless they are already on a major league team. The exact dates, times, and venues will be published on the VLL web site (www.vll.org) on the ‘Registration’ page listed in the left hand column. Failure to tryout means that the player will be ineligible to play in the majors or to play on an all-star team. Because there are always extenuating circumstances, the Board of Directors of Vienna Little League may grant a waiver on the above.
During the registration period, there is no administrative fee for refund requests. For draft leagues, there is no refund after registration closes. For non-draft leagues after the close of registration, there is a $25 administrative fee for refunds. The BOD may grant exceptions to the above.
VLL has two leagues: American and National, with both Major and Minor league teams in each. All play on LLI regulation size fields (e.g., 60’ base paths). VLL’s major league teams are historically competitive at the district and state levels. They are comprised of players who have demonstrated skills commensurate with this quality of play, however, ours is a program of inclusion – we want all our players to participate. The Minor leagues (T-Ball through AAA) are equally inclusive and provide a positive environment that promotes progressive skill and game strategy instruction to prepare players for the Majors.
At the Major League level, players are provided a complete uniform; the players must provide a glove and shoes.
At the Minor league level, the players receive a shirt and cap (which they keep); the parents must provide baseball pants, gloves, and shoes.
The baseball that is used varies from level to level. At the major and AAA level, the ball is a regulation Little League approved ball that is almost like a regulation baseball except that the seams are smaller. It is as hard as a regulation baseball.
AA begins with a ball that is called an S-5. This ball is a hybrid between a regulation baseball and a safety ball. It is not as hard as a regulation ball but not nearly as soft as a safety ball. Midway through the season, AA then adopts the regulation baseball for the remainder of the season and throughout the tournaments.
Single A uses the S-5 ball for the entire season. Rookie and T-Ball utilize the S-1 ball, which is a soft safety ball for practice and games. The league also supplies each team at all levels commensurate catcher’s gear and two catcher’s mitts.
Practice fields and times are rotated to allow the maximum number of teams to practice on the best available fields. Field Permits are issued to us by Fairfax County and we do not get to use these fields every day of the week. The League Scheduler coordinates with League Directors to assign fields for practices and games.
There are 16 major league teams, eight in the American league and eight the National league. Each team must have 12 players on the roster. The age spread is League Age 10-12. Nine year olds are ineligible to play in the majors in Vienna Little League. Players are selected in a draft. No special requests may be honored at the major league level such as car pools, playing with friends, or playing within a neighborhood. The draft order is the inverse of the previous year’s standings; first pick alternates between leagues each year.
Major league teams practice two to four times a week. There is at least one weekday game and one game on Saturday. No games are scheduled for Sunday, but in the event of games being rained out, the makeup games are played on Sunday. Practice typically starts in March, and games begin in April. The regular season ends in early to mid June. At the Major League level, the league provides two or more umpires for each game. These are usually the most experienced umpires. The Umpire in Chief coordinates all umpires. He is in charge of training, equipping, and assigning umpires to Major League games. He is the official arbiter of protests and rule interpretations. The Umpire in Chief’s phone number and email address are listed on VLL.org. A complete set of local rules is available on the Vienna Little League web site.
If a parent does not wish his or her child to play in the Majors, the parent must write a letter (email is acceptable) addressed to one of the player agents stating why the parent wishes the player to remain in the minor leagues. The Player Agents are listed on VLL.org. The Board of Directors votes on each request and decides whether or not to honor the request.
The Spring Season concludes with the George C Yeonas Championship Series (also known as the town tournament) and is followed by the All Star season.
Vienna Little League has six all-star teams, three in each league for the following age groups: 11/12 All Stars; 10/11-year-old All Stars; and 9/10 All Stars.
Selection for the 9/10 all-star teams varies among the two leagues, but each has a tryout period for all eligible 9 and 10 year olds, including those playing in AA and AAA. The managers in each league determine selection for the 11-year-old all-star team. Please note that only 10 and 11 year olds on a Major League team are eligible for 10/11 or 11/12 all star play. This is a LLI rule.
Selection for the 11/12 all-stars is consistent within the two leagues. The players vote on the first five players for the team the last Saturday of the regular season. The five players who receive the most votes are automatically on the all-star team. The league managers meet the following day and decide on the remaining seven to ten players.
The number of available players remaining after the major league draft determines the number of AAA teams. There are usually between 12 and 16 AAA teams. The age spread is 9-12. A limited number of 9 year olds may play, provided all qualified 11 & 12 year olds are accommodated, provided all returning 10 year olds from AAA are accommodated, and provided the rising 9 year old has played AA during the previous spring. The precise number of 9 year olds and 10 year olds available to be drafted into AAA will be announced by the AAA Director just prior to the AAA Draft, after he has determined in conjunction with the Player Agents how many 9 year olds are required to round out an even number of teams.
Players are assigned to teams by a draft. Teams play two games a week, once during the week and once on Saturday. There are one or two field practices a week (or more – depending on the manager) and they are spread out among all the fields and on different days of the week. There is also usually one batting practice per week. Practice typically in March and the season runs from April thru June.
There are typically 12 players on the roster. There are certain rules specific to AAA. A complete set of local rules pertaining to the minor leagues is available on the Vienna Little League web site. The league assigns two umpires for each AAA game. The scheduler for the minor league is the Umpire in Chief; his phone and email address are listed on the web page.
AAA teams usually play a 13 or 14-game season. Teams qualify for the George C. Yeonas Championship at the end of the regular season. All 12-year olds in AAA are invited to the 12-Year Old Banquet at the end of the season. 12-year olds and 11-year olds in AAA are not eligible for the 11/12 or the 11-All Star teams. All 9-year olds and 10-year olds are eligible for the 9/10 All-Star teams within their respective leagues.
The AAA Director is in charge of all facets of AAA play, administration, and communication.
AA is the first level where the players pitch and catch the ball behind the plate. Play is consistent with almost all the rules of LL International. Notable exceptions include: no stealing home either on a wild pitch or a passed ball—although a player may advance from third if the defensive team makes a play on a base runner. A complete set of local rules is available on the Vienna Little League web page.
There are usually 12-14 AA teams; each team typically has 12 players. The remaining eligible players after the AAA and Major League drafts take place determine the number of AA teams. Teams are formed through a draft.
The age spread for AA is 9-10 years old. A few 11-year olds may play AA if the parents request it. A few 8 year olds may play, provided they played Single A during the previous Spring season, and provided all of the older players can be accommodated. The number of 8 year olds taken into AA is determined by the AA Director in conjunction with the Player Agent and is announced just prior to the AA Draft. Teams typically play a 14-game season. Practice typically starts in March and the season will run from April thru June. There is typically a game or scrimmage during the week, and a game on Saturday.
Teams qualify for the George C. Yeonas Championship Series at the end of the regular season. This tournament determines the Town of Vienna AA champion. Depending on the league, some AA 9-year olds and 10-year olds are eligible to try out for the 9/10 all-star teams.
The AA Director is in charge of all facets of AA play, administration, and communication.
Single A is sometimes called “coach-pitch.” At this level, the players do not pitch the ball to the batter; the coach or manager does this (from a standing or kneeling position and from within a few feet of the pitching mound). Scores and standings are not kept, as Single A is still considered developmental. Teams change each half inning after three outs (no more batting through the entire order as in Rookie League). There are typically 12-16 teams with up to 12 players on each team. Single A teams usually play 14 games, once during the week and once on Saturday. Teams are formed through a combination of parent requests and placement by the League Director. All requests for placement of players are given the utmost consideration (please include these requests in the ‘comments’ section of your player’s registration). This level is primarily for 8 year olds, although a 9 year old may play if their parents request it, and each team may include up to two 7-year olds (the precise number to be determined each year by the A Director in conjunction with the Player Agents). No 6-year old may play Single A. Practice typically starts in March, and the season runs from April thru June.
Teams play once during the week and once on Saturday. Teams practice once or twice a week depending on the manager. Practice fields and practice days vary from week to week. At the end of the season, there is a Field Day with each Single A team competing against other Single A teams in competition involving running, hitting, fielding, and throwing.
There are numerous rules specific to Single A and parents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the unique rules of Single A. A complete list of Single A-specific rules are available on VLL.org.
The Director of Single A is in charge of all facets of Single A play, administration, and communication.
Rookie League is primarily for League Age 7’s with some 6 year olds (depending on the experience level of the player), plus a few novice 8 year olds. No 5-year old may play in Rookie League. No scores or standings are kept and there is no post-season tournament. Teams are formed by neighborhood and school and parents requests (please include these requests in the ‘comments’ section of your player’s registration). Every attempt is made to honor all requests.
This league is considered instructional. No scores or standings are kept. Every player bats every inning. Rookie League is primarily coach pitch, from about 8-10’ inside the pitcher’s mound. After 5 strikes, a player may hit off the tee. When the defensive team makes three outs, the bases are cleared; however, the offensive team continues to bat until all players have had one opportunity. Games are of one hour and fifteen minute duration. Guidelines are provided to managers to ensure equitable playing time for all players.
Practice typically begins in late March, then the season runs from April to June. The season begins with a practice during the week and a game on Saturday. Starting mid season, a weekday scrimmage may be added (in lieu of practice at manager’s discretion).
The league does not provide umpires at the Rookie level. Coaches and parents from both teams serve as umpires.
The Rookie Director is in charge of all facets of Rookie League play, administration, and communication.
Tee Ball is for players League Ages 4-6. Teams are formed by neighborhood or parents’ requests (please include these requests in the ‘comments’ section of your player’s registration). Every effort is made to honor all requests. A 6-year old may skip Tee Ball and go directly to the Rookie League if the player is currently in the 1st grade.
This league is considered instructional. No scores or standings are kept. No coach pitch is allowed during games. The players hit off a tee. Players bat through the batting order once each inning. Game length is not determined by innings but rather a one hour time limit. Guidelines are provided to managers to ensure equitable playing time for all players.
Practice typically begins in late March, then the season runs from April to June. A typical week will include a 1-hour weekday practice, and a 1-hour game on Saturday. Starting mid season, a weekday scrimmage may be added (in lieu of practice at manager’s discretion).
The T-Ball Directors is in charge of all facets of T-Ball play, administration, and communication.
Fred Crabtree initiated the VLL Challenger Program in 1989 for children with disabilities to play baseball in a supportive environment at no cost to their families. Vienna’s two Challenger teams are composed of up to 15 players; each has a wide range of disabilities, and experiences. No prior experience is necessary and equipment is provided.
Players participate in the game to complement their particular needs and interests. Basic adaptations are implemented as needed. Parents can watch from the stands or participate on the field. In accordance with our tradition, the first game of the season will immediately follow the Vienna Little League opening day ceremonies at Yeonas Park. Subsequent games are typically played on Sundays through mid-June, except when the teams are hosted by neighboring Challenger or local high school teams. The VLL Challenger program director’s phone number and email address are listed on the VLL home page, www.vll.org.
FALL BALL SEASON
Fall Ball is a supplemental season where children might play VLL for the first time, repeat at a level, or possibly ‘play up’ at the level they aspire to for the following Spring season. The goal of Fall Ball is player development and the rules are modified to encourage development for both pitchers and position players. VLL offers Juniors, Single A, AA, AAA, and Majors in the Fall. Single A thru Majors are primarily for players who were League Ages 6 thru 11 for the previous Spring season. Juniors is primarily for players who were League Age 4 or 5 for previous season.
Single A is coach pitch, while AA thru Majors are kid pitch. These levels offer twice-weekly games, and scheduled practice days/times – typically a practice during the week, a weekday game, and a Saturday game (Majors will play games twice during the week in lieu of Saturdays). The season typically runs from late August to late October.
The “Fall Juniors” program is primarily for “veteran” returning VLL players who will be League Ages 5 and 6 the following Spring (no rising League Age 4). The program operates in a “weekend-only” format, with a 90-minute session on Sunday afternoons – consisting of a 30-minute practice, then a 60-minute game. The rules are a hybrid of traditional T-Ball and Rookie rules to best accommodate the abilities of all players. Teams will be formed giving consideration to player, school, and/or neighborhood requests.
Since Fall Ball is considered a supplemental season, it has no bearing on a player’s Spring placement.
Example 1: A player who was League Age 6 in Spring 2019 may participate in Single A in Fall 2019. The following spring, in this case Spring 2020, Vienna Little League offers two levels for this age - Rookie Ball and Single A. The majority of players will play Rookie Ball, while a limited number may play Single A - the latter is strictly limited to 2-3 players per team.
Example 2: A player who was League Age 7 in Spring 2019 may request to participate
VIENNA BASEBALL FOUNDATION
The Vienna Baseball Foundation (VBF) is an integral part of VLL. While it is a separate organization with its own Board of Directors and by-laws, it was formed by VLL to manage funds intended for the League. The VBF tries to think of the long-range needs of VLL and how to obtain the necessary funds to undertake these projects. VBF and VLL work closely together to ensure coordination and efficacy when undertaking any fundraising.