KENNETT — Registration for KAU Little League baseball and softball will continue through January 2012. KAU Little League is open to residents/students ages four through 18 in both the Unionville-Chadds Ford and Kennett Consolidated School Districts.
For the 2013 season, Little League International has created a baseball “Intermediate Division” for 11-, 12- and 13-year-olds. All games are played on a 50/70’ diamond instead of the traditional Little League 46/60’ field. Experience on the larger field prepares the players for the transition to the 60/90’ dimensions of middle school and high school fields. Tournament and Little League World Series’ play will be offered in the new Intermediate Division.
In both KAU recreational baseball and softball, divisions are organized to introduce increasingly competitive play for each age group. For the youngest players, day games are scheduled…and as they move up in the league, they experience the thrill of playing games “under the lights!” For KAU players who participate on middle school and high school teams, KAU schedules its games so they do not conflict with the school teams’ schedules. Players can play both KAU and school ball!
Each season, KAU conducts player drafts to attempt to give every team an equal chance of succeeding in the regular season. Division commissioners, team managers, and the player agent all are involved in each division’s draft. Pre-season evaluations help determine the skill level of each player; and players of different skill levels are divided as equally as possible among the teams during the draft. Each season, every team is a “new” team.
In KAU baseball, players compete in eight different divisions. For KAU’s youngest players, all games are played on the traditional 46/60’ field.
T-ball is offered for 4, 5 and 6-year old boys and girls who are first-year players.
In Minor D, 7-year-olds play “machine pitch. Six-year-olds who have had at least one year of T-ball experience may also play in the Minor D Division. In Minor C, 8-year-olds begin to “kid pitch. Seven-year-olds can qualify for this Division if they demonstrate required pitching skills. All 9-year-olds play in the Minor B Division, which also is “kid pitch.”
Beginning in 2013, players in the Minor A Division will have the chance to experience both 46/60’ and 50/70’ baseball. All 10-year olds and some 11-year olds who do not play in the Intermediate Division compete in this “kid pitch” division.
The50/70’ Intermediate Division will be comprised of some 13-year-olds, all 12-year-olds and some 11-year-olds. Thirteen-year-olds will have the choice to register for the new Intermediate Division or they can register for the Juniors Division. The Juniors Division includes certain 13-, 14- and 15-year-old players and is played on a larger 60/90 foot field. The Juniors Division is for more advanced 13-year-old players. All 13-year-old players must decide which division they want to play. Due to the difference in season start dates for the Intermediate and Junior Divisions, there is not the option of registering for the Intermediate Division and then deciding to move to the Juniors 90 foot program and vice versa.
The pre-season annual evaluation will be used to determine whether an 11-year old plays in the Inter-mediate Division or in the Minor A Division. It is estimated that roughly one-third to one-half of the 11-year-olds will play in the Intermediate Division.
Big League Baseball is open to players ages 16-18. Again, the Junior Division and Big League Baseball Division schedule their seasons so as not to conflict with local middle school and high school teams’ schedules.
KAU also offers a Challenger Division for children and youth ages 6-21 with special needs. The Chal-lenger Division plays its games on Sunday afternoons.
In KAU softball , competition is offered in five different divisions.
The Rookie and Minor Divisions (ages 7-8 and 9-10) emphasize fundamental softball skills and understanding of the rules.
In the Majors (ages 11-12), Juniors (13-14), and Seniors (15-16), the emphasis is on playing games against other District 28 teams and preparing for independent tournaments.
All KAU coaches in every Division nominate and vote for All-Star Teams for baseball and softball. These teams are selected based on demonstration of outstanding play and sportsmanship during the KAU regular season. They will play post-season tournaments after the KAU regular season ends in June.
KAU also offers the chance for its more advanced players to participate in travel baseball and softball on both KAU-affiliated baseball and softball teams and independent softball teams. Some teams play on Sundays during the recrea-tional season and participate in local and regional tournaments into the summer. Due to limited roster sizes, tryouts are necessary; and, again, a committee of coaches selects the travel teams.
For more information and to register, visit www.kaulittleleague.org and click on the registration link.