Frequently Asked Questions
As of the 2014 season, San Marino National Little League is open to all residents of the City of San Marino as well as residents of the unincorporated area of San Gabriel, which is part of the San Marino Unified School District. The area formerly part of Sunnyslope Little League is within SMNLL's boundaries. (Eligible addresses are on file with the registrar.) Children are also allowed to play in SMNLL if they attend school within SMNLL's boundaries simply by verifying enrollment. Families who move out of San Marino may be eligible for a waiver if they played in San Marino National Little League before they moved.
What are the age cut-off dates?
Starting in 2006, your child’s Little League’s age will be determined as of April 30 (for baseball) and as of December 31 (for softball). The old dates were as of July 31 for both baseball and softball. The new dates were adopted by the Little League International Board of Directors and USA Baseball. The new rule was adopted so that baseball players born in May, June and July will be allowed to play the majority of the season at their true age. The change was made in softball to reflect the fact that most national youth softball organizations use December 31 as the league age determination date.
How is SMNLL Organized?
The Executive Board is the primary policy making body for San Marino National Little League and oversees a volunteer group of nearly 40 board members and over 100 Managers and Coaches. A full list of Board Members and their positions is located on the main menu under "Contact Information".
The Executive Board of San Marino National Little League is comprised of the following positions:
Baseball Commissioner & Player Agent
Softball Commissioner & Player Agent
VP of Operations
VP of Communications
VP of Development (including T-Ball & Pitching Machine)
VP of Finance
VP of Safety
VP of Events
The Softball and Baseball Commissioners have a dual role as player agents for the Farm, Minors, Majors, Juniors and Seniors divisions. The VP of Development acts as player agent for T-Ball and Pitching Machine. The player agent is to act as an advocate to ensure that our league's policies are followed and that all players have a safe, constructive and pleasurable experience as a Little League player. If parents have any issues concerning their child or the Little League experience, please contact the appropriate SMNLL Player Agents. All discussions will be handled in a confidential manner.
How long is the season?
Skill evaluations are held on two Saturdays in January for all Farm, Minors and Majors baseball and Minor, Major and Junior softball players. Team placements are made shortly after the skill evaluations, and players usually receive calls or emails from their Manager by the end of January. Softball Prep, Pitching Machine and T-ball teams are formed (no skill evaluation required) in early February, and players usually receive a call or email from the Manager by the middle of the month.
Before the season officially begins on Opening Day, teams usually have several practices, and teams in Farm levels or above play one or more practice games on the non-holiday Saturdays in February.
Regular season play starts on Opening Day in early March and lasts until mid-to-late May. For Farm divisions and above, regular season records are then used to seed a double elimination tournament that runs until Championship Saturday (or Monday) in the first week of June.
How often do we practice and play?
For both softball and baseball, Farm, Minors, Majors and Juniors typically have two practices a week (one during the week and one on Sunday) and two games a week (one during the week and one on Saturday).
For Softball Prep, Pitching Machine and T-ball, teams typically have one practice per week, and one game on Saturday.
How do I find out if a game has been cancelled due to weather?
If weather or threatening weather could cause games to be cancelled a determination will be made by 2:00 p.m. for weekday games and 8:00 a.m. for Saturday games. The status will then be posted to the website.
Do we play by Little League rules?
We follow all Little League rules, but we also have a small number of "local" rules for regular season play that are more inclusive than Little League. For example, Little League regular season rules require that each player on a team play six outs in the field and one at-bat. During the regular season, SMNLL generally has all players bat, and each player is in the field three out of five innings or four out of six innings. A list of SMNLL local rules is posted elsewhere on our web site.
How are Managers and teams selected for the regular season?
A selection committee comprised of the VP of the respective division, Player Agent and League President select the Managers for each division. The Managers are then reviewed with the SMNLL Board.
For T-ball, Pitching Machine and Softball Prep, the division VP and Player Agent distribute the players amongst teams, attempting to match each player with at least one friend, if requested on the application.
Who do I contact if my child is having a problem with a Manager or Coach?
In addition the Softball and Baseball Commissioners have a dual role as player agent. The player agent is to act as an advocate to ensure that our league's policies are followed and that all players have a safe, construction and pleasurable experience as a Little League player. If parents have any issues concerning their child or the Little League experience, please contact SMNLL Player Agents/Commissioners for Softball or Baseball. All discussions will be handled in a confidential manner.
What is the Tournament of Champions (TOC)? How does TOC play differ from SMNLL local rules?
In Minors, Majors and Juniors play, the team winning the divisional playoffs represents San Marino in the district-level Tournament of Champions. TOC is a single elimination tournament lasting approximately one week during early June. Little League rules apply in the TOC. Therefore, the Manager of a team representing San Marino will need to make judgments about playing time for each player which likely will result in reduced playing time for certain players.
Which divisions have All-Stars?
Minors, Majors and Junior players have the opportunity for All-Star play in July. All-Star practices are held, typically daily, beginning on June 15th until All-Star competition begins in the second week of July. All-star tournaments at the district level are by pool play and games are played over a 10-day or two week period. Should a San Marino team continue to win, it will proceed to the sectional, then divisional, and Western region tournaments. The format of the tournament will vary. To date, we have had two teams proceed all the way to World Series play, Juniors softball (2001, finishing third in the world) and Seniors softball (2003).
Majors baseball also has a "graduation" series, one game in which players who are expected to advance to juniors play on two teams.
How are All-Stars managers and players selected? How many kids make All-Stars?
All-Star coaches are selected by a committee comprised of the division VP, Player Agent and League President after the end of the regular season. The teams are selected by the Managers in the division in mid-June in a process conducted by the division VP, Player Agent and League President. Typically, twelve to fourteen players are selected.
Selection to an All-Star team is an honor. Representing San Marino and winning tournaments is a part of the SMNLL tradition and the time commitment for players and parents is significant. Practices or games are daily, and can last from two to four hours a day from June 15th to the time the team is eliminated.