FCAA Frequently Asked Question


General
About the Game
Coaches
Equipment / Uniforms
Parents
Umpires


General:
- At what age can my child start playing?
- What age/grade levels play in what divisions?
- Can siblings be on the same team?
- Can my child and his/her friends be on the same team?
- Can the player choose what team to play on?
- What is the Draft? How does it work?
- What are "Divisions"?
- Do boys and girls play on the same team?
- Do boy and girl teams play against each other?
- Who sets the practice schedules?
- When do practices begin?
- Do teams practice throughout the season?
- What/Who is District 19?
- Is smoking allowed at games or practices?
- Is the drinking of adult beverages allowed at games or practices?
- Who determines what field games are played on?
- Who determines if and when make-up games are played?
- How are games cancelled due to inclement weather?
- Who cancels games due to inclement weather?
- How can I find out if a game is cancelled?
- If a game is cancelled how do I know if it is rescheduled?
- How many players are on a team?
- What is meant by "Coach Pitch"?
- At what age/grade/division does a coach start pitching to players?
- What is meant by "Kid Pitch"?
- At what age/grade/division do the players start pitching?
- Are Parents allowed on the field during games?
- How does my child get to a game?
- What do players need to bring to a game?
- At what age/grade/division do teams start traveling to other towns?
- Does the FCAA operate the Freeburg ballpark concession stand?
- Why do some ball parks sell adult beverages?
- How are Coaches/Parents notified of cancelled games due to weather?  Rainouts?


About the Game:
- Why do some fields have two first base pads?
- How many pitches does a player receive?
- Are balls and strikes called by the umpire?
- I see some T-Ball games where the Coach pitches, explain?
- What is the rule regarding lightening during a game?
- What is the 7 run rule?
- Does the 7 run rule apply in the last inning?
- How many innings do games last?


Coaching:
- How many Assistant Coaches can a team have?
- Can my child be on the team I Coach?
- Who can be a Coach?
- Are Coaches allowed on the field during games?
- Who do I contact regarding a Coaches behavior?


Equipment / Uniforms:
- What equipment does my child need to play?
- What team color will my child get?
- Do players need cleats?  If so what kind?
- Is there a difference between Baseball and Soccer cleats?
- Can soccer cleats be used for baseball games?
- Can my child use their own helmet?
- Can my child use their own bat?
- I hear the term "Drop-10" or "Drop Number" regarding bats, what is that?
- Can I purchase extra shirts/hats/visors?


Parents:
- Can I purchase adult size team gear, shirt or hat/visor?
- What is involved in working the "Hamburger Stand"?
- Are Parents allowed on the field during games?


Umpiring:
- At what age can you start as an Umpire?
- How many Umpires are at each game?
- Are Umpires trained?
- Can an Umpire eject a Coach or Parent?
- Are Umpires paid or volunteers?
- When and how are Umpires paid?


General Answers:

- At what age can my child start playing?
Players must be currently in kindergarten or above to participate.

- What age/grade levels play in what divisions?
District 19 divisions are set by grade:
                    PeeWee (boys & girls) - Grade K & 1
                    Atom (boys) & Petites (girls) - Grades 2 & 3
                    Bantam (boys) & Chic (girls) - Grades 4 & 5
                    Midget (boys) - Grades 6 & 7
                    Robins (girls) - Grades 6, 7, & 8
                    Juvenile (boys) - Grades 8 & 9

- Can siblings be on the same team?
Yes, if playing in the same division.

- Can my child and his/her friends be on the same team?
If there are multiple teams in a Division then a draft will determine if they are on the same team. In this situation, it is possible but not guaranteed.

Top            General Questions

- Can the player choose what team to play on?
No.  Players are limited by grade to specific divisions, they may not elect to move out of the division.  If a parent is a Coach on a team within their division, they will be on that team.  There is no option if there is only one team in a division.

- What is the Draft? How does it work?
If there are enough players to form multiple teams in a division then the team rosters are determined by a draft.  Each Teams Head Coach alternates selecting players until all players are assigned to a team.  The Coach's and Assistant Coach's children are the first selected for each team drafting, then they move to other players.

- What are "Divisions"?
Divisions are a way to group grade, gender and skill appropriate players.  This provides for fair competition and is determined by District 19 Regulations.

- Do boys and girls play on the same team?
Yes for the PeeWee (t-ball) division K and 1st grades.  Divisions above PeeWee, grades 2nd and above do not.

Top            General Questions

- Do boy and girl teams play against each other?
No with the exception of mixed gender PeeWee teams.

- Who sets the practice schedules?
The coaching staff for each team determines there own practice schedule.

- When do practices begin?
A teams coaching staff develops the practice schedule.  Team players will be notified by the coaching staff.  Practices usually begin sometime in April; it may be late or early.

- Do teams practice throughout the season?
Practices are determined by the coaching staff, they should keep you informed.

- What/Who is District 19?
They are the governing body for the ball league for our area.  The following towns/communities are currently members of District 19: Freeburg, Marissa, New Athens, Smithton, St. Libory, Waterloo and Valmeyer.

- Is smoking allowed at games or practices?
There are no restrictions on Parents and Adults attending games as spectators.  The Coaching staff is prohibited from tobacco use before or during games or practices.  There are no restrictions on the Coaches after the game or practice has concluded.

Top            General Questions

- Is the drinking of adult beverages allowed at games or practices?
There are no restrictions on Parents and Adults attending games as spectators unless prohibited by the park/ball complex rules.  The Coaching staff is strictly prohibited from drinking alcoholic beverages before or during games or practices.  There are no restrictions on the Coaches after the game or practice has concluded.

- Who determines what field the games are played on?
The FCAA Scheduling Committee Chair is responsible for assigning fields within Freeburg once the schedule has been released by District 19 for the season.

- Who determines if and when make-up games are played?
The two teams Head Coaches determine if and when make-up, rescheduled, games are played.

- How are games cancelled due to inclement weather?
The responsibility for canceling games due to inclement weather lies with the Home Team field maintenance staff.  Games are called by 5pm.  The home team notifies the away team as soon as possible.  The Coaches are then responsible for notifying their players.  If the game has started both coaching staff will make a joint decision.

- Who cancels games due to inclement weather?
The responsibility for canceling games due to inclement weather lies with the Home Team field maintenance staff.

Top            General Questions

- How can I find out if a game is cancelled?
It is the responsibility of the coaches to notify their teams as soon as they become aware of a cancellation.  For Freeburg home games, the weather phone line and/or web site will be updated if possible.

- If a game is cancelled how do I know if it is rescheduled?
It is the responsibility of the coaches to notify their teams of rescheduled games.  If a member of the coaching staff provides the information to the web administrator the on-line schedule will be updated.

- How many players are on a team?
Ideally, most teams have between 12 and 13 players.  This is dependent on how many players register for each division and how many coaches volunteer.

- What is meant by "Coach Pitch"?
A member of a teams coaching staff pitches to their players.

- At what age/grade/division does a coach start pitching to players?
The Coach, an adult, is required to pitch to players in the 2nd and 3rd grades.  If mutually agreed to by the coaches, some T-ball teams may offer a few pitches to players who want to try hitting without a tee.  The pitch count is limited, if they do not hit a pitch then the Tee is put in place and they hit from there.

Top            General Questions

- What is meant by "Kid Pitch"?
A player from one team pitches to players on the opposing team, like the big leagues.  Balls and Strikes are counted.

- At what age/grade/division do the players start pitching?
Grades 4 and above.

- Are Parents allowed on the field during games?
No.  There are occasions where volunteers or a child's parent may be needed on the field for T-Ball games; the coach will direct this if necessary.

- How does my child get to a game?
The players parent(s) are responsible to make arrangements for the player to attend games.

- What do players need to bring to a game?
The player should be in uniform with a ball glove.  A beverage is advised; most preferably water.  Batting and catcher equipment is provided to each team by the FCAA.

Top            General Questions

- At what age/grade/division do teams start traveling to other towns?
All divisions can have games outside of Freeburg.

- Does the FCAA operate the Freeburg ballpark concession stand?
No.  The concession stand is managed by the Village of Freeburg.

- Why do some ball parks sell adult beverages?
Many ball complexes are multi-purpose, adult softball and baseball are played at the same time.  The sale of adult beverages is at the sole discretion of the home team complex.

- How are Coaches/Parents notified of cancelled games due to weather?  Rainouts?
Freeburg games are called between 4:30 - 5:00 PM based on diamond conditions, Coaches will notify their team and opposing Coach. When possible game cancellations will be posted on the website with the day/teams/diamonds affected. Away games are dependent on notification from each towns away Coach; they are not usually posted on the web site so the Coach must notify their team. Coaches will reschedule cancelled games and notify their respective teams; the team schedule page will be updated to reflect the changes.

Top            General Questions


About the Game Answers:

- Why do some fields have two first base pads?
The extra base pad is called a "Safety Base".  It reduces the chance of the first base player and runner colliding.

- How many pitches does a player receive?
Petite & Atom receive 7 pitches from their respective coach.  Higher divisions follow routine baseball/softball rules with called balls and strikes.

- Are balls and strikes called by the umpire?
Yes.  

- I see some T-Ball games where the Coach pitches, explain?
If mutually agreed to by the coaches, some T-ball teams may offer a few pitches to players who want to try hitting without a tee.  The pitch count is limited to an agreed upon number by the two coaches before the start of the game. If they do not hit a pitch, then the Tee is put in place and they hit from there.

- What is the rule regarding lightening during a game?
District 19 rules state that you must wait 20 minutes after a lightning strike before the game can continue.

Top            About the Game Questions

- What is the 7 run rule?
There is no 7 run rule for PeeWee every player bats each inning.  For divisions above PeeWee; A team may not score more than seven (7) runs in any one inning with the exception, at the Chic level, where a team may not score more than five (5) runs per inning.  As soon as the seventh (or fifth) run crosses the plate, there are automatically three (3) outs for the team batting, and that half of the inning is over.  The seven (or five) run rule applies until the end of the sixth inning.  After the sixth inning, an unlimited number of runs may be scored.  A 15 run rule applies after the sixth inning.  This rule is in effect for ATOM, PETITE, BANTAM, and CHIC divisions.

- Does the 7 run rule apply in the last inning?
No, the seven (or five, CHIC) run rule applies until the end of the sixth inning.  After the sixth inning, an unlimited number of runs may be scored.  A 15 run rule applies after the sixth inning for ATOM, PETITE, BANTAM, and CHIC divisions.

- How many innings do the games last?
PeeWee games are to last 4 innings.  If both coaches agree to shorten the game because of weather or the time it is taking to complete innings, a game may be shortened to 3 innings.  For all other divisions games are seven (7) innings.

Top            About the Game Questions


Coaching Answers:

- How many Assistant Coaches can a team have?
Officially 3.  If an assistant Coach is not available for a game an adult volunteer is permissible to stand in.

- Can my child be on the team I Coach?
Yes.

- Who can be a Coach?
Any adult volunteer who registers and has an acceptable background check performed with the State of Illinois.

- Are Coaches allowed on the field during games?
In the Pee Wee division, grades K and 1st, Coaches are allowed on the field of play. From 2nd grade on, No, with the exception of Coach Pitch teams where the coach is at the pitchers position.

- Who do I contact regarding a Coaches behavior?
Contact any FCAA Board member or email the Board via the website immediately following the incident.

Top            Coaching Questions


Equipment / Uniforms Answers:

- What equipment does my child need to play?
The team uniform (shirt and hat/visor) and a ball glove is all that is required.  Baseball pants are required for T-ball players (PeeWee Division) and all boys divisions.  Girls divisions can wear shorts.   Baseball cleats are not required but are recommended beyond T-Ball.

- What team color will my child get?
Team colors are determined by the FCAA Team Committee with input from Coaches.

- Do players need cleats? If so what kind?
Cleats are not required; however, they are recommended.  Either type of cleat, baseball or soccer is permitted.

Top            Equipment / Uniform Questions

- Is there a difference between Baseball and Soccer cleats?
Yes, a baseball cleat is different from a soccer cleat.  The baseball cleat has a front "toe" cleat where a soccer cleat has a smooth toe.

- Can soccer cleats be used for baseball games?
Yes.

- Can my child use their own helmet?
Yes, if it is an approved little league helmet.

- Can my child use their own bat?
Yes, if it is an appropriate for the division or with the approval of the umpire.

- I hear the term "Drop-10" or "Drop Number" regarding bats, what is that?
The "Drop" value refers to the length to weight difference.  A drop 10 or -10 means the bat's (length - weight) = 10.  A 32 inch 22 ounce bat is a Drop 10.  A drop 8 means the difference equals 8.  District 19 rules limit the "drop" value in the Juvenile division to a maximum of 3.

- Can I purchase extra shirts/hats/visors?
Not at this time, contact an FCAA Board member for assistance.

Top            Equipment / Uniform Questions


Parents Answers:

- Can I purchase adult size team gear, shirt or hat/visor?
Not at this time, contact an FCAA Board member for assistance.

- What is involved in working the "Hamburger Stand"?
Voluntary three (3) hours preparing food and or serving customers...it's fun!

- Are Parents allowed on the field during games?
No.  There are occasions where volunteers or a child's parent may be needed on the field for T-Ball games; the coach will direct this if necessary.

Top            Parent Questions


Umpire Answers:

- At what age can you start as an Umpire?
Umpires must be 12 years old by January 1st of the year they participate.   12 years of age - Atoms/Petites, 14 years of age - Bantams/Chics, 16 years of age - Midgets/Juveniles/Robins.

- How many Umpires are at each game?
The Pee Wee division, grades K and 1st do not have Umpires.  A minimum of one umpire is required for Petite and Atom Divisions per District 19 Regulations; however, the goal is to have two umpires present at each game.  Two Umpires are required for all other divisions above that: one behind the plate and one between 1st and 2nd base for all other games.

- Are Umpires trained?
Yes, they are provided training on the rules and how to interact with players and coaches.

Top            Umpiring Questions

- Can an Umpire eject a Coach or Parent?
Yes, be on your best behavior!

- Are Umpires paid or volunteers?
Umpires are paid $$ for each game. To qualify as a "game" at least one batter must receive a pitch.

- When and how are Umpires paid?
The home team coach is responsible for paying the Umpires.  Prior to the first game each Head Coach receives the necessary Umpire funds based on the teams home game schedule.

Top            Umpiring Questions