Frequently Asked Questions

Updated Friday October 27, 2017 by NBSL.

WHAT IS YOUR REFUND POLICY?

Participation fees refunds will be determined based on the following:

100% - Prior to player evaluations/spring training

50% - After player evaluations/spring training begins and prior to team formation 

0% - After team formations

 

HOW IS COMMUNICATION HANDLED WITH COACHES?

While each coach communicates in their own preference, the league recommends to its coaches that emails and phone calls are the best way to reach their players and parents.

Parents are encouraged to contact/reach out to their player's coaching staff to communicate individual player needs and/or health concerns.

 

HOW ARE TEAMS FORMED?

SOFTBALL DIVISIONS (all)

Teams are newly formed each spring and after spring training sessions are complete  

Players are evaluated over course of spring training (indoors & outdoors, weather permitting), then assigned a numerical value, with each team getting an equal amount of numerically rated players to ensure even competition across this division.

Attendance at spring training sessions is VERY important so all players are seen and properly evaluated. 

ROOKIES / COACHES PITCH

Teams are newly formed each spring and after spring training sessions are complete 

Players are evaluated over course of spring training (indoors & outdoors, weather permitting), then assigned a numerical value, with each team getting an equal amount of numerically rated players to ensure even competition across the division.

In addition and secondarily, other factors that are individualized to a player may be taken into account.

Attendance at spring training sessions is VERY important so all players are seen and properly evaluated .

MINORS & MAJORS DIVISION - 60' FIELD

Teams are newly formed each spring and after spring training sessions are complete.

Players are evaluated over course of spring training (indoors & outdoors, weather permitting), then assigned a numerical value, with each team getting an equal amount of numerically rated players to ensure even competition across the division.

Attendance at spring training sessions is VERY important so all players are seen and properly evaluated 

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION - 70' FIELD

Teams are newly formed each spring and after spring training sessions are complete 

Players are evaluated over course of spring training (indoors & outdoors, weather permitting), then assigned a numerical value, with each team getting an equal amount of numerically rated players to ensure even competition across the division.

Attendance at spring training sessions is VERY important so all players are seen and properly evaluated.

SENIOR DIVSION - 90' FIELD

Teams are newly formed each spring and after spring training sessions are complete  

Players are evaluated over course of spring training (indoors & outdoors, weather permitting), then assigned a numerical value, with each team getting an equal amount of numerically rated players to ensure even competition across the division.

Attendance at spring training sessions is VERY important so all players are seen and properly evaluated.

IMPORTANT NOTE  -  ALL DIVISIONS & ALL LEVELS

The league reserves the right to place children in a division based on their abilities and where they will best experience growth, success and confidence. No other metric will be used to determine a player’s divisional assignment.

The league has the final divisional decision for all children within its programs.

Across all divisions of play, every effort possible is made to ensure teams are even, thus ensuring fair/equal competition.

 

HOW ARE PLAYERS ASSIGNED POSITIONS DURING GAMES?

SOFTBALL DIVISIONS (all)

Players at this level play a minimum of three innings and before the 5th inning with all players batting in continuous batting order, regardless of their place in the field.

Coaches use their discretion as to where players are positioned in the field – generally players get moved around through all positions throughout the season; however safety and position specific abilities must be taken into consideration.

Example: player wants to play position of catcher but has difficult time functioning with catcher's gear and presents inability to catch the ball – this player will likely not be assigned to this position until practice time is completed and basic competence at the position is displayed.

ROOKIES / COACHES PITCH

Players move around throughout the game and season, all players will experience different locations within the infield each game and throughout the season.

We will field a FIVE-player infield for defensive innings with balance of the team behind the backstop or dugout practicing skills relevant to the game. These groups swap each defensive inning so playing and practicing time is near equal.

MINORS & MAJORS DIVISION

Players at this level play a minimum of three innings and before the 5th inning with all players batting in continuous batting order, regardless of their place in the field.

Coaches use their discretion as to where players are positioned in the field – generally players get moved around through all positions throughout the season; however safety and position specific abilities must be taken into consideration.

Example: player wants to play position of catcher but has difficult time functioning with catcher's gear and presents inability to catch the ball – this player will likely not be assigned to this position until practice time is completed and basic competence at the position is displayed.

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION:

Players at this level play a minimum of two innings and all players bat in a continuous batting order and regardless of their place in the field

Players are assigned positions in field based on coach’s evaluation of that player’s ability and what is best suited for competition of the team. 

Example: player wants to play third base but doesn’t have focus and/or abilities to field that position – coach is obligated to reassign that player for their own safety – as majority of players pull the ball, third base is often a hotbed of activity and if player doesn’t show signs of awareness, they could get hurt.

SENIOR DIVISION

Players at this level play a minimum of two innings and all players bat in a continuous batting order, regardless of their place in the field

Players are assigned positions in field based on coach’s evaluation of that player’s ability and what is best suited for competition of the team.

This level is to prepare players for high school play.

ACROSS ALL DIVISIONS:

In all divisions of play, the league encourages coaches to move children around to gain experience at all positions. The emphasis is on teaching positions in practice to ready the player for game play.

Safety is paramount in a coach’s decision on where to place a player – players and parents are encouraged to discuss with their coach where they'd like to play and the coaching staff will and within its ability, teach that player accordingly.

There is however no guarantee as to positional playing at any level. It is at the coaches' discretion.

Coaches are advised above all else, ENSURE THE CHILDREN ARE HAVING FUN !!

 

WHAT AREAS OF THE GAME ARE STRESSED DURING PRACTICE?

Coaches at different levels will determine what is best for practice routines and schedules.

SOFTBALL DIVISIONS (all)

Players should expect reinforcement of basic skills takes place along with more positional playing requirements with each level.

Pitching, catching clinics are not uncommon, coaches will conduct a great deal of batting skills and drills and some in-game scenarios are likely to be practiced middle/late into the season.

ROOKIES / COACHES PITCH

Player can expect a reinforcement of FUNdamentals of the game, special concentration is paid to players' ability to throw and catch to help reinforce this aspect of their game.

We also concentrate on an understanding of the game, for example, which base to run to after a hitting the ball, where to throw a ball after fielding along with time working on their ability to make contact with the baseball at bat.

MINORS DIVISION

Players should expect the same as Rookie / Farm at start of the season as reinforcement of basic skills takes place along with more positional playing requirements

Pitching, catching clinics are not uncommon, coaches will conduct a great deal of batting skills and drills and some in-game scenarios are likely to be practiced middle/late into the season.

MAJORS DIVISION

While the competitive feel increases from the minors divisions, this level represents when most players will first realize competitive baseball.

At this level, coaches continue to focus on refining and improving skills, team building and teaching the game.

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION

Players should expect practices to be reinforcement of skills to increase muscle memory routines combined with more in-game baseball scenarios similar to those found on the 90' diamond. Practices are held to ready the team for in-game situations and best prepare players for the advanced play of the 70' diamond.

Pitching, catching clinics should be expected and coaches will conduct a great deal of batting skills and drills. 

SENIORS DIVISION

Players should expect a great deal of in-game scenarios being emphasized along with reinforcement of skills to increase muscle memory routines. The purpose is to ready the player for the advanced play of the 90’ diamond.

 

HOW DO COACHES BUILD TEAM SPIRIT & SPORTSMANSHIP?

Coaches are advised to be direct with their approach to team rules – lay out at the first practice what the team structure and expectations will be.

Basic mandate to coaches is that teamwork and support of each other is paramount as there is no “I” in team.

We are LEAGUE FIRST, team second.

Coaches are advised to build their team in the group consensus mindset, meaning what is best for the group versus individual players.

Coaches have different philosophies with regards to team dynamics and the league believes it best to allow its coaches the discretion to choose what is best for their group of players once teams are in place.

 

HOW DO COACHES HANDLE PLAYERS BEING UNKIND?

Players who exhibit behavior that is unacceptable and/or detrimental to the team will be asked to leave the dugout/field until such time that they can return with the appropriate attitude to function as a member of a team

Coaches are asked to step in to confrontations with players and diffuse the matter quickly and fairly - Coaches ARE NOT a baby-sitting service.

 

SCHEDULE WISE, WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?

SOFTBALL DIVISIONS (all)

GAMES – Monday through Friday – begin at 5:45 and typically conclude by 7:45pm

GAMES – Saturday & Sunday – begin anywhere from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Travel to other communities is necessary at times and parents should be aware we may play communities such as: Easthampton, Southampton, Hadley and Hatfield – all subject to change each season

PRACTICES: Schedule for practices varies by team, practices are held throughout Northampton (see locations) and parents can expect generally 1-2 practices per calendar week

ROOKIES / COACHES PITCH

GAMES: will be Monday through Saturday with no specific assigned day of the week for games, typically parents can expect two games per calendar week. Games will begin at 5:45 during the evenings and be wrapped up by 7:40pm at the latest

PRACTICES: outside of the game setting, practices will be held based upon the coaches’ schedule of availability

MINORS & MAJORS DIVISION

GAMES – Monday through Friday – begin at 5:45 and typically conclude by 7:45pm

GAMES – Saturday & Sunday – begin anywhere from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Travel to other communities is necessary at times and parents should be aware we may play communities such as: Easthampton, Southampton, Amherst and Gateway – all subject to change each season

PRACTICES: Schedule for practices varies by team, practices are held throughout Northampton (see locations) and parents generally can expect 1-2 practices per calendar week

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION

GAMES – Monday through Friday – begin at 5:30 and typically conclude by 7:45pm

GAMES – Saturday & Sunday – begin anywhere from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Travel to other communities is necessary at times and parents should be aware we may play communities such as: Easthampton, Southampton, Amherst, Longmeadow, Agawam, Belchertown and Somers CT – all subject to change each season

PRACTICES: Schedule for practices varies by team, practices are held throughout Northampton (see locations) and parents generally can expect 1-2 practices per calendar week

SENIOR DIVISION

GAMES – Monday through Friday – begin at 5:30 and typically conclude by 7:45pm

GAMES – Saturday & Sunday – begin anywhere from 10:00am to 4:00pm

Travel to other communities is necessary at times and parents should be aware we may play communities such as: Easthampton, Southampton, Amherst, Longmeadow, Agawam, Belchertown and Somers CT – all subject to change each season

PRACTICES: Schedule for practices varies by team, practices are held throughout Northampton (see locations) and parents generally can expect 1-2 practices per calendar week

 

HOW CAN I SUPPORT COACHES AND MY PLAYERS TEAM?

Parental support and assistance is key to a properly operating team:

  • Ensure players arrive ON TIME for both practices and games
  • Ensure players arrive with ALL their gear…gloves, uniforms, hats etc…
  • Parents can bring coolers with water and Gatorades for those hot spring games
  • Pitch counting (with league supplied counter)
  • Scorekeepers (with league supplied score books)
  • Scoreboard operation & upkeep
  • Withhold “drive-home coaching" of your player – support your player and let coaches teach and correct actions on the field
  • Ask coaches if they need support in practices – often another adult body is needed to keep things moving efficiently (CORI PAPERWORK WILL BE REQUIRED)
  • Base coaches are always needed (CORI PAPERWORK WILL BE REQUIRED)
  • Advise your player to stay in dugout
  • Throw the ball around at home a few thousand times a season