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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1. What time are games? Games for most divisions typically start at 6:30 pm.  Players are asked by coaches to be there about 30 minutes early for warm ups but this can vary by division and coach. All games are scheduled on Sports Engine and can be viewed for the entire season with pertinent information including opponents, game times, and fields. Smart Start games start earlier and will also be scheduled in league toolbox.  Some inter-league games played with other parks are played in the older divisions (major and prep division) and start times can vary for these games depending on distance to the other parks. 

2.  What days of the week are games played on? Our games are scheduled on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  We do have a few younger division games scheduled on Saturday morning due to our high demand.  We also typically schedule makeup games on Saturday as well as occasionally on Wednesday.

3. What does registration fee include? The league provides a hat and shirt to the players from the registration fee.  The rest of the fee goes to the county for its fee to use the park, insurance for the league and umpires.  

4. What equipment does my child need to have? Each player should have baseball pants, belt and socks and cleats (for rookie division and up). Each player should also have a batting helmet, access to a stamped USA baseball bat and a glove.  The league has used equipment that has been donated for those families who may need assistance in this area. 

5. What color of pants, sock and belt should I buy? This information will depend on what team the child is on.  The league publishes this information each season once teams are determined. 

6. How long is the season? The spring season lasts for 7 weeks and then typically has a double elimination tournament for most divisions.  The fall season lasts 7 weeks and there is no post season tournament due to the holiday season.  

7. Do I need to provide a copy of my child's birth certificate? The league does not require birth certificates to be supplied unless the child participates in the all star program, then a scanned copy of the birth certificate is required to participate.

8. What is required to be a coach? Coaches need to obtain a youth coaching certificate from Babe Ruth (located here).  Coaches also will need to have concussion training (located here), Youth Safety Course (located here) and submit to a league background check as required by the State of Florida and Polk County. 

9. Can I make payments? Yes, you can make payments, but fees must be paid in full prior to uniform being given and player being allowed to participate in games unless obtaining prior approval. 

10. Is financial assistance available? Yes, assistance is available.  Proof of Medicaid coverage allows for a reduced player fee (email for discount code during checkout).  The league places a high importance on every child having an opportunity to participate regardless of their family financial situation. 

11. Can I sponsor a team? Yes.  Sponsorships are the lifeblood of our league. We appreciate sponsorships as this supports the league and allows for improvements to our park.  We take team sponsors on a first come (paid) , first serve basis. Sponsorship forms are available on the website for download. 

12. Is my child allowed to play up a division if he/she seems to be ready? Yes.  A child is allowed to play up a division.  If the child is not drafted in the division he/she desires, then the player will be placed in the age appropriate division.

13. Is my child allowed to play down a division if he/she doesn't seem to be ready to play in the age appropriate division? No. In most cases, the league will not allow a child to play down a division unless a special circumstance exists such as certain special needs such as high functioning autism or Asperger's Syndrome.

14. Can I request a player be placed on a team with another player? Requests are allowed and honored as much as possible in Smart Start and Coach Pitch Division. In Rookie Division through our Prep division, South Lakeland Baseball holds player evaluations and our coaches conduct a player draft. This is how players are placed on teams to keep parity in our league.

15. Can I request a coach for my child? We allow coach request in Smart Start and Coach Pitch Divisions.  In Rookie Division and higher, coach requests are not honored as we conduct a draft to allow for league parity. 

16. What does the player evaluation night involve? The player evaluation night is a night for the coaches to see the basic skills of the players that they will be drafting.  Evaluations are for Rookie (7-8 year old) Division on up through Prep (13-16 year old) Division. All players do make a team but this allows coaches to see the skills of all players and gives an opportunity for a fair draft of players. Evaluations are scheduled by age group. We now have implemented player evaluations in our fall season to help ensure parity.