Summer - Frequently Asked QuestionsUpdated Tuesday February 21, 2017 by Kanata Little League.
Summer Program – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: We would like to play Summer ball but only at the "Recreational" level. What is offered? We would like our child to play in the BlastBall or TeeBall divisions in the Summer?
A: We have found in the past that it is impossible to organize 'recreational' level programs in the summer, mainly due to the varying vacation schedules of families involved. To make games work, there needs to be a minimum number of players able to show up to each event..As a result, the ‘Summer Interlock’ is the primary program offered. This is particularly true of our younger age groups where parental involvement at the coaching level is intensified. Should anyone wish to undertake organizing such programs, the board will be happy to listen to proposals as long as they are made well in advance of the Summer season.
Q: My child would like to play baseball in the summer. We anticipate taking vacation and being away for a period.
A: We believe that ALL families should and will take some vacation time and be unavailable for a period. The only summer program that we are able to offer because of this is the “Summer Interlock” program. We will not have sufficient numbers to form an internal Kanata only “house league”, in any division. Further clarification on the “summer interlock” is below. As we expect families to take vacations, our target roster size in summer is larger (13 or 14 players per team) to allow for greater absences.
Q: How does the “Summer Interlock” work? What is the “All Star Team”
A: As there are fewer numbers of participants in summer in all local area Little Leagues, we have all decided to band together to offer a Summer program. There are 2 levels of play within this program “A” and “B”. Differences between “A” or “All Star” (also known as “Canadians”) and “B” or “Summer Interlock House” (also known as “Nationals”) are described below.
Each team in the “Summer Interlock” will play 2 games per week, one home and one away, over the 7 week period starting July 2 and ending by end of 2nd week of August. One week of playoffs will follow, so the summer interlock usually wraps up by end of 3rd week of August. All away games are at the sites of other Ottawa and area Little Leagues. Some travel is required; almost all participating leagues are within 45 minutes of Kanata. Where possible, an attempt is made to make travel requirements easier – for example if there are 12 teams in a division, you will play an unbalanced schedule favouring teams closer to you. If there are only 4 or 5 teams and one of them is distant (ie. Orleans), you will likely need to travel there, but generally it is arranged that the trip is at most once. Numbers of teams from each league in each division have varied widely over the years.
Each league is required to enter its first team in each age division in the “A” level. All leagues have adopted the philosophy that this will be their “All Star” or "Select/Travel Ball" team for that age division – essentially the same team that competes in the (age level) Little League World Series tournament playdown process, which generally begins with a “district” tournament in early to mid July. Generally, each of these teams will play and practice very extensively from the period of last week of June until they are eliminated from the Little League Tournament. By Little League regulation, “All Star” Tournament teams are not allowed to be formed until June 1 at the earliest. KBA implements a “tryout” process to select players for this team. The “All Star” coach is responsible for communicating this tryout process and selecting players for their team according to the teams needs. Players must have played 60% of their regular spring games to be considered a spot on the All-Star team. Another factor in the selection process will inevitably be the players ability to commit to being available for the tournament process, particularly in the 2 week period prior to the district tournament.
For players who do not wish to play “All Star” baseball, or who cannot commit to the schedule, Summer Interlock “B” is offered – we have chosen to label this level as “Summer Interlock House B”. Same schedule minus the “district play-down” component. This is in fact a city wide “House League”, the purpose of which is to allow players to play more baseball and develop. We have chosen to label this as “Summer Interlock House”, because that’s what it really is. Teams will be run with players generally playing equally. If your player loves the game and have developed some degree of competency, then they will thrive in Summer ball. Games are competitive, and teams play to win.
Summer teams tend to practice more than in the spring, that schedule is at the discretion of the team coach. Many summer teams also have additional “team fees” to cover incidentals and tournaments.
The KBA board recommends that 'All Star" teams have events (practices and games) at least 4 times per week, and "B" teams at least 3 times per week in order to develop and compete with teams in peer leagues
Q; When are Games played?
A: Unlike in Spring, there will NOT be regular nights every week. Games will be played 2 nights per week, usually 2 of Monday through Thursday. It could be Mon/Tues one week, and Wed/Thurs the next and Mon/Thurs the next. This is due to the many local leagues involved, who all have different local field arrangements. .
Q: What are the Registration requirements?
A: :This year we are requiring that all players register as soon as practical once summer registration is open. This is to allow proper planning of teams. If your player wishes to “try out” for the All Star team at that age group, or merely wishes to go through the “tryout” process, then they must register online, prior to the initial tryout sessions which are generally starting around June 1.
If players do not wish to try out or know they wish to play at the “Summer Interlock House B” level for the summer, then they do not need to attend try outs.
Q: How does the "Little League World Series Tournament" work?
A: The "Little League World Series Tournament" (distinct from other local mostly weekend based tournaments) is the Worlds largest baseball tournament. It is offered in the Major, Intermediate, Junior, and Senior divisions - each culminating in a "World" level final hosted in a USA location. At the Minor level the top level is currently the "Provincial" tournament. In each division each league enters an "All Star" team to compete, starting with a "District" level tournament which is played in July. Each league in our "District" will enter a team (Kanata, East Nepean, and Ottawa West (the merged Pinecrest, and CFR Little Leagues)) at "Districts". A round robin or double elimination tournament between those teams will take place (note the playing rules for this tournament differ - 9 man batting order), the winner of the District tournament advancing to Provincials, the winner of that to Canadians, the winner of that to Worlds. Travel costs for players and coaches to Provincials and above are subsidized by a "travel pool" accumulated for each representative team, contributed by entry fees from each league. Tournament sites and approximate dates are published on this website under "Summer Program - Little League Tournament Sites". Each "Provincial" and above Host league is required to publish a web site by mid June which indicates the local details of their tournament. Dates for these tournaments can vary, as the final dates depend on the number of teams competing, which is never fully decided until the completion of all predecessor "District" level tournaments (for example, if the Provincial host wins their own district tournament then there will be only 1 team from that district at the Provincial tournament; if a different team wins that district, then there will be 2 teams from that district as the "Host" team for each tournament gains an automatic entry).
Q: What players are eligible for Summer All Stars?
A: In order to be eligible for selection to any All Star team, players must have played in 60% or more of the regular season scheduled games in that same division of play (not including playoffs).
Q: What about weekend tournaments?
A: All summer teams are encouraged to also enter one or several weekend tournaments over the course of the summer. Again, it is expected that vacation scheduling will play a role in availability of players. See “extra players” below. One of these tournaments is hosted by Kanata on the long weekend in August – the Scott Tokessy Memorial tournament. Note these "weekend" tournaments are very different from the "World Series Tournament" that is described above.
Q: I’m not sure we can commit to 3-4x per week baseball through the summer, but my child still wants to play and/or be an “extra player”.
A: Please express your interest to the Age Division Convenor at the appropriate level. The “callup” process for occasions when teams are short is the following: - summer A/All Star teams may draw from any of the Summer “B” teams; Summer “B” teams may draw from anybody who played at least 50% of their Spring House league games. These are expected to be “occasional” callups.
There has been expression of interest to form some sort of program which continues baseball throughout the summer months but requires a lesser commitment. We encourage interested parties to volunteer to organize such programs in conjunction with our existing summer program in future years, you are always welcome to join the board in planning future operations – we are merely a small number of people with a passion for baseball, and not enough time to do everything for everybody. New programs require the better part of 6-8 months to develop, so WE CANNOT develop a new program in June which will be implemented in July. See also the answer to the first question in this Q and A.
Q: Why is the summer season so long?
A: By the Little League rulebook, section VII page 39 - paraphrased - a regular season shall not be less than 12 games per team per season excluding playoffs; AND the schedule shall provide for not less than 2 games per week per team. In Ottawa, field availability does not start until May 1 which dictates the Spring and Summer season format. Little Leagues on the Canadian west coast generally begin their Spring House seasons in April. Most other Canadian Little League organizations do not offer a second "Summer" program for all that want to play - only an "All Star" program which finishes when the teams eventually lose in the World Series Tournament. We strongly believe that the Ottawa areas Summer Interlock format, while not perfect, offers the best opportunity for ALL players to continue to enjoy baseball through the summer months and develop their skills.
Q: Travel to other local league home parks for 6pm games is taxing. Can we not do it some other way?
A: There are generally not enough teams or players to do this any other way. As most fields used do not have lights (City charges triple for lighted fields), 6pm, or weekends are the only viable alternative. We have found that weekends in the summer do not generally work for regular games - too many people make other social plans. We realize that travel, particularly for families with one or both parents working in other areas of the city is difficult. We encourage the teams that are formed to 'car pool' where practical. Travel to most of these diamonds, in Ottawa West and East Nepean should take under 20 minutes, to Glebe and South Ottawa approximately 30 minutes. Travel to farther diamonds should only occur once or twice per summer. And remember, they too are travelling to our diamonds.
Q: When will schedules be available?
A: Every year it works the same way. There is considerable uncertainty of the number of teams that will be formed in each division in each league, each league would like to maximize player participation. Final call on team numbers does not tend to occur until the last week of June. Schedules for the first week of the season will be drawn up and published on the July 1 long weekend for play to begin on the Tuesday following the long weekend. The second week of the schedule will be drawn up by the end of the first week, and the remainder of the schedule will be drawn up during the second week of the season. This is because occasionally there are teams that drop out due to poor participation rates/defaults or are re-seeded into a different division during the first week or two of the season. All schedules are published on the District 2 website here: http://d2llontario.ca/.