Policies & Procedures
This page provides information regarding the topics below. To see coach resources, go to the Coach’s Corner.
- Fee Payment
- Refund Policy
- Rain-Outs and Lightning
- Team Selection
- Protective Gear
- Umpiring and Questionable Calls
- Complaints and Decorum
- Playing Philosophy
- Volunteers and High School Community Service
Glebe Little League is a chartered member of Little League International and Little League Canada. We subscribe to the objectives, principles and rules of the Little League movement, including the playing rules for Baseball and Softball.
As a member of Little League Ontario District 6, covering the Leagues in the eastern half of the National Capital region, we also subscribe to local house rules, typically governing inter-league play and tournaments.
Ultimately, we are responsible for our own philosophy and operational practices, within the framework of the rules of Little League International, Little League Canada and Little League Ontario District 6. This section highlights some of the most significant policies and practices of Glebe Little League.
Our league believes firmly in offering a spot for any player that wishes to play, regardless of personal or family financial circumstances.
Fees are the single most important source of revenue for the League, and it is important that we collect as much as we can from those that can afford to pay. Receipt of payment – or approved acceptance for subsidy – is important, to ensure proper registration and inclusion in our League insurance coverage. Collection of fees should not be a burden for our Registrar or Team Coach/Manager, and indeed, with our generous subsidy program, there is no reason for any delay in payment.
Fees cover everything needed for participation, except personal equipment (e.g., glove and protective cup), and the occasional extraordinary tournament entry fees beyond those covered by basic fees:
- Baseball team equipment (e.g., bats, helmets, catcher gloves and gear, game and practice balls)
- Player registration and services with Little League Canada and Ontario District 6 Little League
- Umpires for baseball games
- City charges for baseball field rental
- Mandatory insurance coverage for the organization and for all players
- All Spring House League players are provided a team T-shirt and a Glebe baseball cap.
- Summer Competitive League players are loaned the team jersey which must be returned at the end of season. Players who have not returned their previous year’s Summer ball uniforms must do so prior to their Spring registration being accepted. Uniforms can be returned at registration.
- Coach jerseys
- League administration (e.g., mailing, medals/trophies, web site, advertising)
- Additional “Team fees” may be set and payable for players in the travel ball and summer competitive program. These fees cover additional tournaments, apparel, and access to the pitching machine and other specialized equipment/training. Team fees are not collected for Spring or Fall ball.
- For Fall Ball, because sessions are for skills and practice, jerseys/shirts/uniforms are not provided. Players should wear appropriate pants, protective cups (if playing catcher) and helmets.
All refund requests must be made in writing or by email to the Vice-President, Glebe Little League (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our basic policy is:
- Registration until 6 weeks before program start – 100% refund
- Between 4 and 6 weeks before program start – 100% less $25.00 administration fee
- Between one month and one week before program start – 50% refund
- Less than one week before program start – 0% refund
- For 2019 program start is Jan 12, 2019, the first day of Winterball Skills Training
Exceptions to this policy may be granted by the GLL Board based on additional information submitted by the parent, e.g. an injury to a player. In instances where requests for players to be on the same team are not accommodated, this policy still stands. While we do our best to accommodate these requests, they are never guaranteed and our refund policy will apply either way.
Baseball can continue in some rain. But heavy rain can be an issue for field conditions and safety, and may result in rain-outs. The rain-outs policy is:
- Check for an email from a coach or manager (it is unlikely, they will have time to call all players’ parents)
- If it is evident that it will be raining very heavily at game time, the game will NOT be held. Wait for news from your coach on any revised game date.
- If it has been raining but might stop, or looks like it might start raining, but you can’t really be sure, come on out anyway. Chances are that things will blow over before game time, or will clear up after only a brief rain delay.
The ultimate call about the playability of a field, including rain, rests with the Head Coach of the home team, until the game is underway. Thereafter, it is in the hands of the umpire.
The home Head Coach can always contact his/her counterpart on the “visiting” team in advance of game time to stay in close touch and make a timely decision on “go/delay/no-go” for any game in question. Please remember to notify the Umpires if you (as Home Head Coach) are cancelling or postponing a game due to inclement weather.
Most injuries and deaths from lightning strikes take place outside the heart of a storm precisely because people are not taking shelter, and falsely assume they are safe. In urban settings, a 15 km radius is about what can be seen on the horizon, meaning that if lightning is visible in the sky in the city, the centre of the storm is within the 15 km zone. Therefore, once any lightning is visible or any thunder is heard, everyone is to vacate the field immediately and take suitable shelter in a non-lightning-prone spot. Play may not resume, until a full fifteen minutes have passed since the last visible lightning or audible thunder. This is not negotiable, and can never be left solely to the discretion of any coach or umpire. Parents are asked to help, by keeping a storm watch.
Baseball coaches are the backbone of our program. Virtually all are parent or older-student player volunteers. Their baseball knowledge and skills vary somewhat, but they rank among the most knowledgeable and certainly the keenest baseball enthusiasts in our community. They deserve only respect, encouragement and support. All our coaches are required to have a Vulnerable Sector Check. Visit our Coaches’ Corner page, and scroll down to “Vulnerable Sector Check” for instructions on the PRC process.
Coaches are offered basic guidance on coaching, typically through occasional clinics. But mostly they learn through osmosis, by working with each other and sharing insights. That’s why we like to share the coaching wealth around, and keep coaching match-ups fluid to ensure coaches and players alike are exposed to many different perspectives over the course of their Little League careers.
Please never hesitate to offer coaches a helping hand passing out uniforms, collecting registrations, toting gear, assisting with practices, keeping score, counting pitchers’ pitches, bringing a refreshment treat. The coaches may not always ask for this kind of help, but they need it, and always welcome it.
Baseball Team Selection
Glebe Little League reserves the right to make player allocations and team adjustments to ensure that players are playing at a level in line with their ability and that teams are evenly balanced. Although we try to accommodate requests from players to play with one selected friend or ride partner, this usually only works in the Rookie and Softball Leagues where there are no player evaluations. Experience has shown that it is best for players and coaches alike to mix things up a lot, and NOT to stick with the same group year after year.
- For Spring House League and Fall Ball, players of all skill levels and experience – including absolute beginners at any age level – are welcome. Subject to overall availability of spaces, all interested players are accepted to a team. The teams are carefully selected to be as balanced as possible, to help avoid chronic lop-sided games and to provide a mixture of player skills and experience on each team for optimal group learning opportunities. Glebe LL does reserve the right to tier house leagues when the number and skill level of participants warrants.
- Evaluations are not held for Rookie-level or T-Ball level players.
- Evaluations are used in the baseball Minor, Major, Junior and Senior Baseball programs to give coaches an opportunity to assess the different sizes, skill levels and potential for new and returning players, and in so doing ensure a fair and well-balanced selection of team rosters before the season gets underway. We avoid splitting up teams partway through the season, so we emphasize a fair and “evidence-based” team draft, taking into account player history (where known) and the results of pre-season player assessments.
- For Summer Competitive League, team selections are by tryout, held in June.
Batting Helmets: Batters must wear NOCSAE-approved helmets (manufactured to safety standard approved by the National Organizing Committee for Sports and Athletic Equipment). Chin straps are not a part of the NOCSAE helmet standard, but if attached to the helmet, must be snapped in place (i.e., cannot dangle loosely). The batting helmets must be worn during batting practice and in games, from warm-up and at-bat until return to the dugout.
Catcher’s Gear: Catchers MUST wear catcher’s helmet and face mask with throat guard, chest protector, and shin guards whenever warming pitchers or practicing in the dugout; and in game situations.
Cleats: Cleats are NOT required at any level, and are not particularly encouraged until Junior level. Shoes with MOLDED CLEATS (but NOT spikes) are PERMITTED at any level. Shoes with METAL CLEATS or SPIKES are NOT allowed, except at Junior, Senior and Big League level.
Eyeglasses: Parents of players with corrective eyeglasses are ENCOURAGED – in the STRONGEST possible terms – to provide their children with glasses/sunglasses with “safety” lenses (i.e., the so-called “shatterproof” kind that pulverize on impact and do not produce large, dangerous shards). Sunglasses used as a matter of personal discretion (not corrective) are allowed ONLY if they have the shatter-proof lenses. The League is not in a position to test and verify whether lenses are of the shatterproof kind. It is therefore the parent’s and player’s responsibility to assure this.
Protective Cups for Catchers: MALE players are ENCOURAGED to wear an athletic supporter, and MUST wear a hard protective cup if they are serving as CATCHER. FEMALE players serving as a CATCHER are ENCOURAGED to wear a protective “Jill”.
Umpire Abuse – Zero Tolerance
Having well-trained umpires is vital to the safety, timely flow and enjoyment of all of our games, and umpiring offers a tremendous opportunity for young members of our community to develop their leadership skills. It also helps coaches understand the game better.
Training for Glebe umpires is provided by Little League. An umpiring clinic is held each spring. Attendance at this session is mandatory for those wishing to become umpires for the season. Adult umpires would be greatly appreciated. We are looking for adult umpires who are willing to make a multi-year commitment. This involves various levels of training and several years of experience leading to District Playoffs, Provincial and even National Championships.
There is zero tolerance for abuse of umpires, particularly when adult coaches, parents or spectators abuse a non-adult umpire by yelling at them or criticizing judgement calls. Notwithstanding the formal protest of a game, an option only available to coaches, complaints about the officiating should be made, in writing, to the umpire-in-chief. Any yelling at or criticizing of the umpires will result in the immediate enrollment of the abuser in a crash umpiring course in preparation for their umpiring of the next available game.
“Questionable” Umpire Calls
No player or coach may ever question the call of an umpire that involves a matter of judgement (e.g., fair/foul; ball/strike; tag/no tag). The umpire’s call is considered final. Any questioning or challenging of such calls will result in a warning from the umpire; persistence will result in ejection from the game.
Players and coaches may, however, question the interpretation of a rule and how it is applied (e.g., how many bases are awarded a runner, and from what point, if a live ball thrown by a fielder goes out of the playing area; the consequences of a foul tip on the second vs third strike; the consequences of a coach nudging his/her base runner to get running; etc.). While coaches and players are strongly encouraged to do their homework by reading and learning the rules, such inquiries are generally welcomed, provided they are civil and short, because they help build a better understanding of how the rules apply.
The routine for an inquiry of an umpire is as follows:
- Wait for play to stop.
- The coach requests “time” from the Umpire (often called “Blue”).
- When the umpire calls time and invites the coach or player to come onto the field, enter the field. (Note that the coach “requests” time; the umpire “calls” it.)
- The coach can go directly to the umpire and keep the conversation quiet and civil – i.e., no big public scene.
- The coach can ask the umpire what the rule was, how it applied, what he/she saw and why he/she thinks it applies.
- If the coach has a different interpretation/understanding, point that out and ask if the umpire agrees if it applies, and if not, why not.
- If the response does not seem adequate, the coach may ask if the umpire minds checking with his/her partner. (He/she may not always agree to do this, but often will, for maximum certainty.)
- Accept the umpire’s final decision.
Coaches or players are never to go onto the field without umpire’s permission
We recognize that sometimes parents and players have concerns they wish to express. The general procedure is to direct your concern, enquiry, or suggestion (compliments and offers of help are welcome too!) to the league contact who is “closest to the ground” and to work your way up the line only if needed, in this general order:
- Team Coach, Assistant Coach or Administrative Volunteer
- Division Convenor (e.g., Rookie Convenor, Minors Convenor, etc.)
- Registrar (if a registration or fee payment issue)
- Umpire in Chief (if more general issue, or if game-day issue not adequately addressed)
- President (if more general issue, or if issue not adequately addressed through the other channels)
- District 6 Administrator (if issue applies to other Leagues as well and/or if issue not adequately addressed within Glebe Little League)
Glebe Little League is a respectful and respected organization. While we are not often a powerhouse (ours is one of the smaller Leagues in the area), what distinguishes us most is that we profoundly respect our players, our coaches and our umpires, and they in turn respect the game itself. Below are some basic principles. For more detail, you can also review our Codes of Conduct page.
A few basic principles:
Coaches: your job is to bring out the best in the players. When player errors are made, remember that “doing the right thing comes from experience, and experience comes from doing the wrong thing.” And normally, when a player goofs up, he/she knows it better than anybody.
Players: you’re part of a team. Understand that your teammates have varying types and levels of talent and experience, but the only teams that succeed are those that support and encourage each other. And remember: this year’s opponent is easily next year’s teammate.
Parents: You’ve done your greatest job by signing up your child for baseball/softball and getting him/her to practices and games. General encouragement from the stands – for great plays and noble efforts on either side – are always welcome. However, “coaching” from the stands only adds anxiety and may contradict a coach’s instructions. Forget it. And if you’re ever thinking about sharing your views on those “questionable” umpire calls, just ask yourself: What’s your knowledge of the rules? What’s your view of the play? And how ready are you to suit up and make the calls?
Glebe Little League reserves the right to bench players who are exhibiting unsportsman-like behaviour or who are being disruptive to the team. If such behaviour continues, parents will be consulted and players could be temporarily suspended or permanently dismissed from the team.
Playing Philosophy by Division/Program
Spring House League: May, June – Everyone makes a team, the teams are as well-balanced as we human volunteers can make them, and the emphasis is on: safety, fun, skill development, and lifelong love of the game, in exactly that order of priority. Players are encouraged to try all sorts of positions, regardless of previous experience and innate ability. Coaches, in turn, are encouraged to let the players try out as many positions as they want, and to bring them along – emphasizing an understanding and appreciation of the different positions, and the nurturing of increasing levels of confidence and skill in those positions. Where safety and personal confidence are at greatest stake – i.e., pitching and catching – the only exceptions are that NO player is put into a game in those positions, until he/she has had adequate preparation in practice.
Spring Travel Ball: May, June – This program provides an opportunity for players to practice together and play exhibition games/tournaments in May/June. Travel ball players MUST play in the spring program (Travel ball is in addition to spring ball). The travel ball team is NOT our summer competitive team. Tryouts for summer competitive teams are held as usual in June (as per Little League rules). However, Travel Ball gives those most likely to play in summer an opportunity to play/practice together earlier giving the summer program a head start. Selection to teams is by tryout, but travel ball is developmental – fair play and encouraging all players to gain an understanding of playing all positions is the overriding theme.
Extended Spring Baseball: July, August – A strictly “fun with friends” experience with no sort outs, no team balancing, no fixed teams (pick up games), no practices, large numbers to allow for summer holiday absences, practicing skills learned in Spring Baseball. This is all about fun – parents might even join in for some of the games – or maybe all of them! This is a new experiment for GLL and, if it works, it will be a real hoot.
Summer Competitive League: July, August – Selection to teams is by tryout, the teams are reduced from multiple Spring teams to only one or more competitive teams, and the emphasis remains on safety, fun, skill development, and lifelong love of the game. But competition asserts a much more prominent place in the equation. Here, the “team concept” becomes important, as coaches work with the collective talent they have to find the best – sometimes specialized – positions for each player that results in a more cohesive and competitive team overall. Game decisions focus on the best positioning and deployment of players to work together to win the game. Practices remain places where players can try different positions and “earn” a spot elsewhere.
Fall Ball: September, October – Everyone makes a team, the teams are as well-balanced as we human volunteers can make them, and the emphasis is on: safety, fun, skill development, and lifelong love of the game, in exactly that order of priority. Players are encouraged to try all sorts of positions, regardless of previous experience and innate ability. Coaches, in turn, are encouraged to let the players try out as many positions as they want, and to bring them along – emphasizing an understanding and appreciation of the different positions, and the nurturing of increasing levels of confidence and skill in those positions. Where safety and personal confidence are at greatest stake – i.e., pitching and catching – the only exceptions are that NO player is put into a game in those positions, until he/she has had adequate preparation in practice.
Winter Skills: January, February, March & April – This program is offered free to all Spring Ball registrants, and like all GLL programs is volunteer run. It is an opportunity for players to learn basic skills at the lowest Division levels or to maintain their baseball skills and/or learn a few new ones at higher levels, over the winter season.
As a volunteer organization, Glebe Little League’s primary goal has always been to offer players an experience that is healthy, safe and fun. While the League makes efforts to ensure a secure environment, responsibility for the safety and security of the players is shared among parents, umpires, coaches and League Officials. Coaches must agree to undergo a Police Check each season.
A few key safety rules that deal with the prime risks of injury:
- Until Junior division, only one player may hold a bat during a game, and only when getting ready to take to the plate.
- Batting helmets are mandatory, as are protective cups for catchers.
- Close plays at any base require a runner to either slide or get around any fielder in his/her path, whether the fielder is there legally or not.
- To avoid collisions, rules governing obstruction and interference are rigorously enforced by the umpires. Fielders may not block a base or base path so as to impede a runner unless they actually have possession of the ball. Runners must avoid a collision with any fielder, regardless of the legal position of the fielder, or face a charge of “Interference”, and be called out. (“Obstruction” will be called on any fielder blocking the path without possession of the ball, and the runner will be awarded the number of bases the umpire deems he/she would have safely made had he/she not been obstructed.)
- Batters are obliged to move out of the way of a pitched ball, and are not awarded first base if they are hit by a wild pitch and did not make an effort to get out of the way.
- Bats are to be dropped instantly and cleanly upon a hit, and never thrown to the side.
- At least one adult coach/assistant coach must be in the dugout to supervise players at all times.
All Coaches are required to possess a police check record (PRC) for volunteers dealing with vulnerable adolescents indicating no record of past criminal abuse. PRCs remain valid for five years if service within GLL is uninterrupted.
Volunteers and High School Community Service
Glebe Little League is totally volunteer-run, and we look for everyone to pitch in as best they can. Please identify on your registration form the name of the individual and type of volunteer position you are selecting as your family contribution to the League.
We welcome high school students looking to complete their community service obligations in a worthwhile cause, including those who want to extend the overall depth and richness of their volunteer experience beyond the school minimum standards. Positions range from assistance with coaching and training to work at tournaments, BBQ and other fun events, and general support for baseball operations. Contact our volunteer coordinator to make arrangements.
Fill in your name and take the form to each of your volunteer activities.
For each volunteer activity, fill in one line of the form and have the supervisor (coach, BBQ coordinator, etc.) sign it as soon as practicable after the activity.
When you are ready to submit the form to your school, you and your parent/guardian sign and date the form, and have the form signed by the GLL President or other GLL executive member.
Here is a sample completed form that might help with the process: printable (PDF).