Divisions

T-Ball Division

Ages 5-7

This is our entry division for first- and second-year players. We introduce players to hitting, throwing and fielding. Batters hit the ball off of a ball stand (tee) and run the bases. There is no pitching to batters and the balls used at this level are softer than in higher divisions. Everyone plays, no scores are kept, and there are no tryouts. Players are randomly placed on teams, although we try to keep players from the same school and grade on the same team.

There is one practice and one game per week. Games take place on Saturday mornings, and practices may be either weekday afternoons or Sundays.

A Division

Ages 6-8

Players are introduced to more advanced practice drills and fundamental baseball strategy. Coaches pitch to the players, using the same (softer) ball used in T-Ball. Everyone plays, no scores are kept and there are no tryouts. Players are randomly placed on teams, although we try to keep players from the same school and grade on the same team.

There is one practice and one game per week. Games take place on Saturday mornings, and practices may be either weekday afternoons or Sundays.

AA Division

Ages 7-9

Players are focused on the fundamentals and mechanics of hitting, throwing and fielding, preparing them for play in the higher divisions. Batters hit off a pitching machine. A safety ball is used. It is harder than the ball used at the T-Ball and A levels, but slightly softer than the Minors and Majors ball. Everyone plays, no scores are kept and there are no tryouts. Players are randomly placed on teams, although we try to keep players from the same school and grade on the same team.

There are one or two practices and one or two games per week. Prior to spring break, there is one weekday afternoon practice, one Saturday game, and one Sunday practice. After spring break, this changes to one weekday afternoon game, one Saturday game, and one Sunday practice.

Upper Division (AAA, Minors and Majors)

All players interested in playing Upper Division Baseball must participate in our tryouts event in January. Following tryouts, Majors, Minors and AAA teams are formed via a draft process. Players who try out but are not drafted onto an Upper Division Baseball team will automatically be reassigned to AA.

AAA Division

Ages 8-10

AAA is the first division in which players pitch to hitters, utilizing pitch count limits according to age. The focus in AAA is on developing specialized skills for each position (especially pitching and catching), and on hitting live pitches. All players are in the batting order and must play a minimum of 3 innings in the field. Scores and standings are kept, and all AAA teams participate in a postseason playoff tournament.

There are two practices and two games per week. There is one weekday afternoon game and one weekend game, and also one weekday afternoon practice and one weekend practice.

Minors Division

Ages 9-11

Minors is a more competitive division. More advanced skills of pitching, hitting, throwing and fielding are emphasized with the goal of reaching a skill level that prepares them for the Majors division. Players pitch to hitters, utilizing pitch count limits according to age. All players are in the batting order and must play a minimum of 3 innings in the field. Scores and standings are kept, and all Minors teams participate in a postseason playoff tournament.

There are two practices and two games per week. There is one weekday afternoon game and one weekend game, and also one weekday afternoon practice and one weekend practice.

Majors Division

Ages 10-12

This is the most competitive division of Little League baseball. The majority of players in this division are 11 and 12 years old, along with 10-year-olds with advanced skills. A 9-year-old with very advanced skills may play in Majors if invited by a manager and ONLY with parental approval. All 12-year-olds that desire to play in the Majors division will be drafted onto a team.

Standings are kept and the season culminates with a postseason playoff tournament. Majors players are selected after the season to fill the 10, 11 and 12-year-old District All-Star Teams and the Majors Superbowl Team (mostly 12-year-olds).

There are two practices and two games per week. There is one weekday afternoon game and one weekend game, and also one weekday afternoon practice and one weekend practice.

50-70 Division

Age 13

This is continuation of Little League baseball for players who have aged out of Majors. Games are played on a larger field (home plate is 50 feet from the pitcher and 70 feet from 1st base, as opposed to 46 and 60 in Majors), and opponents are teams from neighboring leagues. Since HLL does not have a regulation 50-70 field in our territory, all games are played on neighboring leagues' fields.

All players interested in playing 50-70 Division must participate in our tryouts event in January and are subject to manager approval.

Challenger Division

Little League International established the Challenger Division in 1989 as a separate division of Little League Baseball to enable boys and girls with physical and mental disabilities, ages 5-18 or the completion of high school, to enjoy the game of baseball just like the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide. Today more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide.

The Challenger Division provides a non-competitive structured environment for kids with disabilities to enjoy baseball. Teams can include as many as 15-20 players. Each player gets a chance at bat and can use a tee or have a coach pitch depending on their capabilities. The side is retired when the offense has batted through the roster. Each game lasts two innings and no score is kept during games. The Challenger players wear the same uniform, shoulder patches and safety equipment as other Little League players.

One of the benefits of having a Challenger Division is that it encourages the use of "buddies" for the Challenger players. The buddies assist the Challenger players on the field and, whenever possible, encourage the players to bat and make plays themselves. However, the buddy player is always nearby to help when needed.

For more information on Hillsborough Little League's Challenger Program, contact Darrin Uecker at challenger@hllbaseball.org.