Website Manager

Home of the HARBOR SPRINGS RAMS!

New Parent Guidebook

NEW PARENT GUIDEBOOK FOR SURVIVING LITTLE LEAGUE

So you ran out and grabbed $140 Under Armor cleats, a $300 DeMarini composite bat, a $240.00 Wilson A 2000 glove, pants, that protective thingy that looks nothing like a BIKE, and a mouthpiece that will prevent concussions, Avian swine flu, tse-tse tse-tse virus, and cowlicks.    AWESOME.  Have you ever been warned about a carpenter that shows up to your house with all, brand-new equipment?

Listen, there are some things that REALLY make sense.  Some don't.  Here is the common sense approach, mixed in with some pros and cons.

FOOTWEAR

T-BALL and ROOKIE LEAGUE - Shoes are fine.  Cleats can help a bit, but only when its muddy.  The little people will only play six games.  If you find them on the cheap, or at the Little League equipment swap awesome.  If not, I'd pass.

MINOR and UP - This is the age when you need to start investing in some better equipment, and cleats are the first thing I strongly suggest.  Remember, two-three practices a week, then a 15 game season.  They will be put to use.

PANTS

In Harbor Springs, we wear white with our uniforms as a general rule.

T-BALL and ROOKIE LEAGUE - Yes.  (((REALLY???)))  I would get the elastic waist type.  Coaches can group together and order a bulk order for their team through www.bsn.com  This is the same company I order our equipment through.  Many times you can find these pants on sale for $3.99.  Let the kids wear to practice and games.  For four bucks, it keeps their school clothes clean and let's them feel like a big leaguer.

MINOR and UP - DEFINITELY.  Maybe two pair; a ratty pair for practice (or hand-me-downs) and a game pair.  And that's if you're lucky.  I have one player who ripped two pair of pants from sliding within a one month period.  Keep the receipts.  Sometimes they WILL take it back.

BATTING GLOVES

The tee is where ALL swings start.  Even for our Varsity guys.  Once players start getting steady about taking a lot of swings, it is time to invest.  If you are taking 50-100 swings a day, YES!  It is time to wear a pair.  That is when you need gloves.  In addition, it's a little bit of protection from getting a spike in the hand when running, sliding into a base and that fielder accidentally comes down on your hand. 

BATTING HELMETS

HSBC assigns six (6) helmets to each team.  All of the helmets assigned this year are 5 years old or less, from T-Ball to Juniors.  They are all safety checked prior to the season starting, and our coaches can get replacements if any helmet has an issue during the season.

CATCHER'S GEAR

HSCB assigns catcher's gear to a team.  Some teams may need a second set because of a size difference between two players.  Each team will have at least one set of brand new catcher's gear this year (through a grant received from the Harbor Springs-Petoskey Community Foundation grant).  The second set of gear is all less than four years old as well. 

BATS

Ask before you buy.  www.littleleague.org literally has a bat list of what IS and ISN'T acceptable for Little League players each season with THOUSANDS of bats on that list.  Each age level has different standards.  For T-Ball and Rookie League we would suggest nothing bigger than a 27 or 28 inch bat at the most.  Most 5 year olds will start with a 24" bat.   Many times we see the latest and greatest (and most expensive) bats pass approval, only to be put on the naughty list a few weeks later.

BALLS

The balls we use differ at each level.  For T Ball and Rookie we use "safety soft" balls.  They are a reduced impact ball that is suggested by almost all youth baseball groups.  T Ball should be using a Level 5.  It seems like a rubber ball wrapped in leather.  It has some bounce to it.  Rookie League uses a Level 10.  This is more consistent with a baseball, and when new, seems very similar to a regular baseball.  MINORS and UP use a normal baseball.  

Hopefully this helps before you go and invest half a paycheck into some unnecessary gear.