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Frequently Asked Questions
Spring 2024

Q: I'm not sure what division my child should be in. How do I decide what division to choose?
A: Northside assigns children to divisions based upon age automatically during registration. There is some overlap in the early divisions from T-Ball through Rookie. We recommend that our youngest players spend a season playing T-Ball as they begin to understand the concepts of throwing, catching and running the bases. Additionally, please note that there is big difference between game length for Tball (about 45-60 minutes) versus Rookie (90 to 110 minutes)!

If we have enough players, we may have both Junior Rookie and Rookie teams. Junior Rookie division is the transitional division between T-Ball and machine-pitch. Junior Rookie players will start on the Tee and graduate to the pitching machine on a slower speed after a few weeks. For the past 3 years, we have not offered Jr. Rookie due to number of rookie registrations overall.

The Rookie division still uses the pitching machine but the speed is faster than in the Junior Rookie Division. Players in the Rookie league ideally are more familiar with the fundamentals and the focus is on more strategic play.

In the Minor division, players graduate to kid-pitch baseball. Skills like stealing are taught but only after the ball crosses the plate. Fundamentals are still emphasized with a strong focus on smart base running and strategic fielding.

The Major division is the highest Cal Ripken age group. Base paths are now at 70 feet. Lead offs, pick-offs, balks, double-plays, steals and other advanced rules and plays are emphasized. Rules resemble adult league rules.

Interested in baseball for the 13-18 division? Visit the website for the Charlottesville Babe Ruth League for more information.  Players compete on a regulation, 90-foot base path field. Situational baseball is the emphasis in this division along with the continued development of individual and team skills.

We require that families register their children for their appropriate division based upon the birth date ranges that are specified.  Exceptions will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the league if you have questions about this process or want to register outside of your child's age bracket.   

Q: When does the season start? 
A: After teams are formed, families will receive their roster notification via SportsEngine. Practices will begin shortly after and games mid to end of March.

Q: When does the season end?

A: The season ends for all divisions the first weekend in June. We hold a playoff week during the first or second week of June.
Q: Do you offer post-season / All-Star tournament play?
A: Yes, only during the spring season. Towards the middle of the season, there will be a notification regarding All-Star Team tryouts for Rookie, Minor and Major divisions. Your player must attend school within the Northside geographical boundary to try out for All-Stars. If your child is offered a spot on the All-Star team, there are additional fees involved and an additional practice assigned, most often Sunday afternoons. The tournaments for the All-Star teams can extend until almost the 4th of July (and beyond if teams qualify for regional/state tournaments).

Q: How many practices and games are there per week?
A:   The number of practices and games per week are as follows by division:
Number of Practices
Number of
Jr Rookie
1 or 2
1 or 2
1 or 2
1 or 2

 Q: Where are  practices held?

A. The Cal Ripken Divisions (ages 4-12) will hold practices at Hollymead (Carson Raymond Field, Hollymead Lower Field and Lakeside Field), Baker Butler, & Woodbrook. Charlottesville Catholic School has been utilized if in the past when registration numbers are very high.

Q: Where are games held?

A. Games in the spring are tentatively scheduled at the  following locations:
Game Fields
Lakeside Field, 
Baker Butler, Woodbrook
Junior Rookie
Hollymead Fields, Baker Butler, Woodbrook
Hollymead Fields, Baker Butler
Hollymead Fields, 
occasionally at Baker Butler
Hollymead Fields

Exact locations will be determined based on number of players that end up registering.

Q: When will I find out about my child’s team?

A: All families should be notified of team assignments by mid-March. If you have not heard by then, please contact the league for assistance. Make sure to Download the Sportsengine App - communication will come through Sportsengine for all divisions.

Q: What is a typical game schedule and when are schedules set?

A: The league will finalize game schedules in early March.  All divisions will have games on Saturdays with games starting as early as 8:30am, and some divisions (Minor and Major) could also have weeknight games as well, starting no earlier than 5:15 pm.  We have time limits on all games to ensure they start and end on time, and that they don't go too late on weeknights.  Game times and nights will vary for all teams during the season.

Q: What equipment do I need?

A: For T-Ball, players normally like to have their own gloves. Sneakers are good; cleats are not needed at this level. Some kids like their own bats. Athletic pants are fine, baseball pants are not required. The league provides safe equipment, including batting helmets, but families are advised that lice outbreaks are common.

For all other divisions players will need a glove and cleats. Most players prefer to have their own helmet and bat and many like to have batting gloves.  As of 2018 there is a new standard for bats.  Please visit Babe Ruth League's website (click here) for more information on compliant bats.

More information about equipment fitting can be found here. For information on the baseball jersey sizing, see the size chart here.

Q: What are player evaluations and does my child have to attend?

A: Players are briefly evaluated on fielding ground balls, pop flies, and throwing accuracy. Some timed running drills are also conducted. Hitting is also evaluated if time permits. Northside evaluates all players who are in the Junior Rookie, Rookie, Minor, and Major divisions. The purpose of the evaluation is to attempt to build evenly-matched teams. 
T-Ball players do not attend player evaluations. The date for evaluations is typically a Saturday the last weekend in February.  More information on exact times for each division will be communicated in mid February.  Start times and location will depend upon the weather.  

Q: I am interested in coaching. What do I do?

A: When you register you must indicate your interest in coaching and submit information through Sportsengine for a background check. We also require coaches in all divisions to complete the Babe Ruth League Coaching Certification program.  The course information can be found by clicking here.

Q: I am interested in sponsorship. How can I get more information?

We would love for you to be a sponsor! Please contact: and we will be in touch soon. We offer varying levels of Tiered Sponsorship.

Q:  What if I have a practice night conflict, or want my child to be with a particular coach or friend, or have some other special request?  What should I do?
Please indicate a conflict night for practice on the registration form. However, with the exception of T-Ball and when possible Rookie, Northside will not be able to guarantee any special requests for one specific practice night, teammates or coaches. We strive to create balanced teams based on player evaluations.