NOTE! On-time registration ends on New Year's Eve and A $50 LATE-FEE will be added to any registrations occurring in January!

Novato Little League North provides our community's youth an opportunity to learn and compete in America's pastime. Kids ages 5-12 living within (or attending a school within) the league's boundaries are eligible to participate. Generally speaking, this encompasses families living within the Pleasant Valley, San Ramon and Rancho elementary school neighborhoods.

Players are separated into divisions based upon varying combinations of age and skill.

Tee Ball
Tee Ball is designed for 5-6 year-olds as an introduction to the sport of baseball, often times serving as a child's first foray into the world of organized sports. As its name implies, batters hit softer safety baseballs off a stationary tee to players more-or-less playing positions in the field. The only goal of Tee Ball is to have fun while learning the basics of the sport and, hence, games are purely for fun (and no scores are kept). Teams are built with great flexibility, which typically allows for reasonable pairing requests.

At the Rookies level, 7-8 year-olds focus on the fundamentals of throwing, catching and hitting a moving ball, while gaining an understanding of rules, base running and how to get outs. Coaches are allowed on the field during games, providing instruction before and after plays. A pitching machine, using regulation Little League baseballs, provides consistency for batters. No scores are kept during regular season games. While the competitive aspects of the sport are clearly secondary at this level, teams do compete in an end-of-season tournament to crown a division champion. Teams are formed by the Rookie Commissioner with assistance from the Rookies managers and the league’s Player Agent.

Players spend two to three seasons in the Minors Division building a solid set of fundamental skills, while focusing on teamwork and sportsmanship. It is also within Minors that our kids transition to fully-rounded athletes, ready to compete in the more challenging Majors environment. During this time, players learn what it takes to win baseball games as scores and standings are kept. Players typically spend their 9 and 10-year-old seasons in Minors, though exceptions are made for younger players who have advanced through Rookies with high levels of skill. It is also appropriate for older players who have not yet gained enough skill to compete at the Majors level.

Since the 2016 season, we have split Minors into two divisions.

AA Minors
This division receives those Rookies alums who have attained enough skill to advance to kid-pitch baseball. While team competition is introduced, there is a continued focus on instruction and development of baseball skills and knowledge. Rules such as coach-pitching after two walks and a limit on the number of runs scored in an inning are designed to quicken the pace of the game. While participation at this level is determined by a draft process, it is typically suitable for 8, 9 and 10-year-olds. The biggest transition occurring here is the introduction of kids pitching regulation Little League baseballs. Scores and standings are kept, umpires manage the game, and there are league playoffs. Players are also potentially eligible for selection to post-season All-Stars teams.

AAA Minors
As the last stop for players before heading into Majors, AAA Minors is intentionally more competitive. Players at this level are typically at least 9-years-old and to be eligible, the player must:
1.     have played at least one-year in AA Minors; and
2.     be drafted onto a AAA Minors team
Typically, this division is predominated by 10 and 11-year-olds, though younger players are occasionally drafted onto AAA teams. Scores and standings are kept while umpires manage games. There are league, city (against Novato South) and TOC playoffs (against other teams in Marin/SF). The league’s 9U and 10U All-Star teams are typically made up of players from this division.

Typically comprised of 11 and 12-year-olds, Majors is designed to continue the growth of each player in both baseball and life skills. While sportsmanship and teamwork are a top priority, this is a competitive league where scores and standings are kept. There are league, city and TOC playoffs and the league’s 11U and 12U All-Star teams are almost exclusively built from Majors players.

As noted above, many factors go into determining the appropriate division for each player. These include age, previous experience and, very importantly, the draft. The draft moves in stages from Majors to Minors AAA to Minors AA. At each level, managers and coaches select eligible players to fill out their teams and remaining players are then available for the next level, with the remaining players assigned to a Rookies team. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE that both objective (age, previous season’s division, etc.) AND subjective (attitude, hustle, speed, capabilities, etc.) factors are taken into account during the draft, which WILL result in players of the same age playing in different divisions (e.g. 10-year-olds playing in both AAA and AA Minors). That said, there are certain draft rules that help ensure reasonable placement:

* All 12-year-olds are placed on Majors teams, unless extenuating circumstances (e.g. brand new to baseball or safety concerns) warrant a waiver.
* All 11-year-old 6th graders are placed on a Majors team, unless safety concerns and/or parental preference warrants placement on a AAA Minors team.
* All 10-year-old 5th graders who are not drafted in Majors will be placed on a AAA Minors team, again, subject to safety concerns or parental preference.

Tryouts are a mandatory part of the placement process for EVERY 8-12 year-old. Certain rules are in place that limit the placement and season position options for those players who miss tryouts.

Registration and Fees
Because player placement occurs after the draft, initial registration and fees are based upon each player’s league age, rather than expectations of playing in a certain division. League age is simply determined by how old your player will be on August 31, 2019. Fees are charged as follows:

5 and 6 year-olds         $250
7 and 8 year-olds         $275
9 and 10 year-olds       $300
11 and 12 year-olds     $325

Equipment and Uniforms
* Uniform jerseys and hats will be supplied by the league.
* Practice dri-fit t-shirts will be provided for all AA/AAA and Majors players
* Each team will be provided:
* Bat(s) appropriate for the age of the players and level of play
* Pitcher’s safety “halo” hat insert
* Full set of catcher’s gear
* Practice and game balls
* Players will be required to supply their own:
* Helmets
* Gloves
* Uniform pants, belt and socks
* Sports Basement will be holding a two-week 20% off “kick-off” sale for us in the New Year. Because our league gets a rebate for everything purchased during the sale, this will be an excellent opportunity to help the league while outfitting your player.

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