League Structure and Levels of Play
The league is divided into six levels of play ensuring that children participate at a level commensurate with their age, maturity, and ability. FCKLL offers Tee-ball Rookies, Tee-ball Sluggers, Single A, AA, AAA, and Majors. All teams, except for those at Majors, are disbanded at the end of each season and new teams are formed the following year. Children who are 8 or older are required to participate in a skills assessment/tryout session that allows the managers to place them into the level where they will be most successful. The following is a brief description of the various levels:
Age Range: League age 4-year olds; any new 5 and 6-year olds.
Schedule: One game per week on Saturdays and one practice per week (typically on a weekday evening). Each lasts about one hour.
Team Formation: Teams are formed primarily by common neighborhoods and schools among the players. Requests to play with specific coaches or players are accommodated if possible. Players learn, develop, and practice fundamental baseball skills in a nurturing environment. The batter hits the ball from a batting tee, developing hand-eye coordination and the swing technique without fear of being hit by a pitched ball. Defensive players are encouraged to register outs, though base runners are not removed from the bases. Participation trophies are awarded to all players.
Age Range: Mostly league age 6-year olds; new 7-year olds.
Schedule: One game per week on Saturdays and one practice per week (typically on a weekday evening). Eash lasts about one hour.
Team Formation: Teams are formed primarily by common neighborhoods and schools among the players. Requests to play with specific coaches or players are accommodated if possible. This level is geared to older/returning players who are ready for more of a challenge. Batters hit pitches thrown by their coach. If a batter does not make contact with a pitched ball, the at bat is completed from a batting tee. There are no strikeouts, but outs are recorded on defensive plays, so an emphasis is placed on developing field and throwing skills. Participation trophies are awarded to all players.
Age Range: Mostly league age 7 and 8-year and some 9-year olds.
Schedule: Two games per week with one on Saturdays and the second on a weekday evening and one practice per week also on a weekday evening. Each lasts about one hour and 30 minutes.
Team Formation: Teams are formed primarily by common neighborhoods and schools among the players. Requests to play with specific coaches or players are accommodated if possible. In order to balance the competitiveness of teams, the age and experience level of players will be considered in assigning players to teams. Single A is focused completely on player development, but competition is introduced as a part of the game at this level. Teams keep score and win/loss records are kept. Outs can be made on batters and base runners, and batters can strike out. The strong developmental aspect of the level dictates a few unique rules and practices. Coaches pitch to the batters. Defensive coaches are positioned on the field during play. Teams use a continuous batting order. Playing time is divided evenly; the opportunity to play a variety of positions is afforded each child. Trophies are awarded to regular season and tournament champions; participation trophies are awarded to all players.
Age Range: Mostly league age 8 and 9-year olds with a very few advanced 7-year olds and 10-year olds who are determined to not be ready for AAA.
Team Formation: All players of league age 8 and older must participate in a skills assessment/tryout. Only players achieving a minimum score will be eligible for AA. Teams are formed by a player draft. Not all players eligible for AA will be selected in the draft to play at the AA level. If AA teams need to replace players during the season, AA eligible players will be selected from A level teams. At AA, the focus on player development is balanced with increased team competitiveness. This is the level where players first pitch in games and they are allowed to steal bases. A continuous batting order is used, playing time is distributed evenly and each player will play infield positions in every game. While all players should be encouraged and taught to play all positions, for reasons of competitiveness, managers may assign increased playing time at key positions based on player skills. Trophies are awarded to regular season and tournament champions, and participation trophies are awarded to all players.
Age Range: Mostly league age 9, 10 and 11-year olds with a very few advanced 8-year olds.
Team Formation: All players of league age 8 and older must participate in a skills assessment/tryout. Only players achieving a minimum score will be eligible for AAA. Teams are formed each year by a player draft. Not all players eligible for AAA will be selected in the draft to play at the AAA level. If AAA teams need to replace players during the season, AAA eligible players will be selected from AA level teams. While Little League Baseball is always focused on player development, AAA is a completely competitive level. Some special rules still apply to help managers even out playing time and assignment of positions. Specifically, teams use a continuous batting order and no player may sit out for consecutive innings. AAA players are beginning to develop advanced baseball skills and position specialization is beginning to take place. Trophies are awarded to regular season and tournament champions only.
Age Range: Mostly league age 11 and 12-year olds with a very few advanced 10-year olds.
Team Formation: Players not currently on a Majors team will participate in a skills assessment/tryout, and teams will be formed by a player draft. Once a player is assigned to a Majors team, that will be his/her team for future seasons through the remainder of their Little League eligibility. However, fluctuations in the size of the league and other factors may occasionally result in expansion drafts or player trades which result in players being moved to another team. These situations are the exception, and care is taken to consider the interests of the individual players as well as the needs of the league. While Little League baseball is always focused on player development, the Majors level is the most competitive level. The Majors level follows official Little League rules and regulations with no special rules such as the continuous batting order used at the lower levels. Following standard baseball rules regarding substitutions, etc. means game strategy and substitutions will be different than players and parents experienced at the lower levels. Majors level teams play “real” baseball at a competitive but supportive level. Trophies are awarded to regular season and tournament champions only.
Age Range: League age 5 to 18 year olds with physical or mental disabilities and special needs.
Description: The Challenger program allows those children with special needs to participate in a baseball program with the assistance of Majors teams. This enriching experience gives these players the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of Little League baseball in a suitable environment.
FCKLL Refund Policy
To qualify, a family must make to start the refund process. A full refund, less an administrative fee, will be processed if the request is made no later than one week prior to the draft (for AA, AAA, and Majors), or team formation (for Single A and Tee-Ball). After teams are drafted/formed, no refunds will be provided. Please consider that withdrawing a player once teams are formed is disruptive, can leave teams shorthanded, and may affect the balance of competition for the entire season.
Beyond Little League
Matriculating 12 year olds are given the opportunity to play transition ball during Fall Ball. This opportunity is jointly provided by FCKLL and Falls Church-Annandale (FCA) Babe Ruth. It introduces players to the 90’ game. The following spring, 13 year olds, may register with FCA or decide to play on travel teams, usually through Northern Virginia Travel Baseball League.