Spring 2018 registration is open. www.fairfaxll.com Register by 12/31/2017 for the early bird $25 savings. Registration will close for AA to Seniors on February 22nd. Evaluations for AA to Seniors will be Saturday and Sunday February 24th and 25th. Team drafts and placements will happen the first week of March and practices will start the 2nd week of March.
Opening day parade and ceremonies will be Saturday April 7th, 2018. Some teams may play their first games the week of April 2nd thru 6th.
Registration for 2018 has a few changes for the 4 to 8 year old players, Tball to Single A. The Board of Directors is working hard to develop training programs for players and coaches at the Tball to AA level. So we have added 2 new divisions to provide more age appropriate training and play: A pre-kindergarten Tball level for 4 and 5 year old’s and a Single A/machine pitch division for 1st graders. These new levels will allow the teams to be formed based on grade level to ensure 2nd graders aren’t playing against Kindergarten kids, etc.
To do these clinics right, teach the right skills and keep teams as evenly balanced as possible, we are going to try and keep players at 4 to 8 years old on teams by grade/age. With the new Little League age of 8/31 most players will be in the same grade/age together. Kindergarten should be mostly 6 years old, 1st grade mostly 7 years old, 2nd grade mostly 8 years old, etc.
Tball and Single A (Machine Pitch) divisions will look like this in 2018:
Tball – Pre-K (4 and 5 year olds) Players hit off a ‘T’
Tball – Kindergarten (6 year olds) Players hit off a ‘T’ or Coach Soft Toss.
Single A – 1stgrade (7 year olds) Machine Pitch.
Single A – 2nd grade (8 year olds) Machine Pitch (players can take more than 1 base on a hit and will learn to pitch)
Double AA – will be mostly 9 year old 3rd graders. Player Pitch with Coach Pitch after 2 walks per inning.
AA, AAA, and Majors will remain unchanged. Majors will draft first. All 10 year olds and 11 year olds not drafted to Majors will be drafted to a AAA team. AA will remain a draft to allow for the most even distribution of players/talent, but should be mostly 9 year old/ 3rd graders.
We realize that many players have already been playing up a division or two and 2018 we will be extra flexible with players placement by division this coming season.
Parents that truly believe their player (age 4 to 9) should play up a division (not with their grade) can ask the league Player Agent for an evaluation by coaches to see if playing up is best for the player.
League age: Your players league age is whatever age they will be on 8/31/2018. (changed from 4/30). There are a few players born in 2005 that are grandfathered in under this new rule. http://fairfaxll.com/#411976
Washington Nationals Uniforms: The Washington Nationals have invited all the leagues in District 10 (FXLL, Annandale, SYA, CYA, Bull Run, Manassas Park) to participate in a Nationals uniform program. The nationals will give each league uniforms for all teams/players thus saving each league the huge cost of purchasing them on their own. Each player will have a uniform that says Nationals on it. There will be many variations of the uniforms and hats in each division so all teams don’t look exactly alike. Over 400 families participated in the survey we sent out and had on the website. 80% agreed it was a good idea and deal for FXLL. The board of directors also voted to participate in this program for 2018 (Spring and Fall). This program should save FXLL between $40,000 and $50,000 Dollars in 2018. We have big plans for this savings. See field and grounds section below.
Fields and grounds projects: We hope you have noticed the projects we have done in the last few years. We have added 3 new batting cages, 1 at providence field 4 and 2 at Bonnie Brae elementary fields. We have completely redone the fields, sod, fences and dugouts and bleachers at Providence 1 and 2. The Infields at Thaiss 1 and 5 have been completely redone. The City of Fairfax has matched our investments in the Providence and Thaiss field upgrades dollar for dollar.
This Fall the City of Fairfax (at their cost) will add irrigation to Thaiss fields 1 and 5 and will redo the Outfield on Thaiss 1. This is a great investment in these fields by the city. There are plans in the next 2 years to redo the outfield on Thaiss 5 and replace the fencing on all the Thaiss fields and add a drainage system along the hill side to keep water off the fields.
With part of the savings from the Nationals Uniform deal, we (FXLL) will redo the infield at Chilcott this Fall and have asked the City of Fairfax for Lights on Thaiss field 2 (AA), which they have agreed to do. These 2 projects will cost FXLL about $60,000. We are also re-doing the infield at Eakin/Mantua park. The County of Fairfax is splitting the $12,000 cost for this project. This is very nice field but is unusable for days after any rain. This renovation will raise the infield and fix the drainage issues as much as possible.
Other projects in the works include a pavilion and new Snack Bar at Providence elementary, new batting cages nets at Burke and Chilcott and other safety nets at Chilcott and Bonnie Brae. We also have manual scoreboards going in at Bonnie Brae, this work is being done by a local boy scout troop.
Read Before you Buy a New Bat! New Bat Standards for 2018
New USABat Standard in 2018 for Little League
Important news for parents looking to purchase baseball bats for Fall Ball. Little League and USA baseball are implementing a new standard (USABat) for bats at the youth levels next year in 2018. This standard will create wood-like performance in youth bats, which is less than the performance of current bats on the market.
Please know all of the current legal composite / metal / aluminum bats available in the stores today will not be legal in 2018. Bats that are regulated by the new USABat standard will be available to purchase by September 1st, 2017.
Through 2017, Little League will require the use of a 2 1/4 inch diameter barrel on all of their bats for youth baseball players. Starting 2018 , the new USABat standard will allow for bats with either a 2 1/4 inch or 2 5/8 inch barrel diameter (as long as they carry the new USABat stamp). One thing to keep in mind, however, is the sweet spot will be much smaller on the new bats than the sweet spot on the current big barrel bats available on the market.