FAQs

FAQs

Are there tryouts for Junior Saltdogs League? No, there are no tryouts. All players who register are placed on a team.

How are teams formed? Commissioners form the teams based on the information listed on the player registration form for (1) coach request, (2) friend request, (3) school, and zip code. They will attempt to match a coach request first. If unable to do that, they will use the friend request then the school. The last team sort is based on the player’s zip code. Placement on a specific team is not guaranteed; however, commissioners spend many hours forming the teams and attempt to honor players’ requests if at all possible.

Can girls play in JSL? Yes, girls can play in the League; however keep in mind that not many girls do so before you register your daughter, please make sure that she understands this and that she is ok with being the only girl on the team (as this will most likely be the case).

What age divisions does JSL offer? JSL offers t-ball through high school age divisions. See the question below for the age cut-off date.

  • U6 T-Ball for 5 & 6 year olds [For the 2017 season, a  child must be at least 5 yrs old by 4.30.17 in order to play in this division] 
  • U8 Machine Pitch  for 7 & 8 yr olds
  • U10 for 9 & 10 yr olds
  • U12 for 11 & 12 yr olds
  • U14 for 13 & 14 yr olds
  • U16 for 15 & 16 yr olds [Please note that effective with the 2017 season, we have changed our maximum age from 17 yrs old to 16 yrs old]

What is the age cut-off date? The player’s age as of April 30 determines the youngest age division that the child can play in. For example, if the child is 12 on April 30, they ARE eligible to play in the U12 division for 11 & 12 yr olds; however, if they are 13 on April 30 they are NOT eligible to play in the U12 division but must register for the U14 division.

Can a child play in an older age division? Yes, players are able to play up one division. The Junior Saltdogs board of directors discourages parents from asking to have their child “play up” an age group. Instead, we strongly feel your child will have a better experience if they play ball with kids their own age.

There are exceptions, but in most cases kids should be grouped with others of similar size, maturity, speed and strength.

The game is more fun (and less pressure-packed) if a child is among players of similar size and competitive experience. Imagine going to the plate and facing a pitcher who is a foot and a half taller than you, 50 pounds heavier, and throws the ball twice as fast as you have ever seen.

Age levels already range two years in our divisions. Playing up one level would often pit your child against kids up to three years older. Those kids will generally be bigger, stronger and faster, and will throw, hit and play harder. Your intent to speed the development of your child may in fact backfire when they become frustrated with their ability to keep up. Youth baseball is about helping players develop skills and confidence. This will be achieve when they hit, throw and run bases as well as their teammates or opponents.

Children learn better when coaches put together age-appropriate drills at practices. In addition, attention spans are already a “management issue” for coaches. It’s more difficult when little guys are plucking clover while the coach is teaching how to play defense situations. And it is unfair to all if the coach has to single out a youngster to teach them how to hold a bat while 15 older kids goof off. Similar aged kids let coaches give all the right level of instruction and equalize playing time.

Age not only affects their ability to absorb instruction on skills and mechanics, it also has a big impact on learning the mental aspects of the game. Baseball is a game with a lot of mistakes in it, and everyone is looking at you when you mess up. Even MLB’s best hitters strike out 60% to 70% of the time. Developing as a player means learning to “get over it” when you make a mistake or strike out. Baseball teaches kids how to win, lose, have sportsmanship, deal with pressure, gain confidence and show character. That maturing process is fostered by the teams’ group dynamics, and is part of youth baseball’s unwritten job description.

Finally, we get back to the idea of having fun. For that reason alone, your young baseball player belongs with players of their own age and interests. Sports are more fulfilling when you play well and feel that you are good at the game.

Can a child play in a younger age division?
No, see the “What is the age cut-off date” question above.

When do season games start and end? Each division begins and ends at a different time based on the number of teams in each division and game field availability.  The U6-U14 divisions may start games as early as May. The U16 division will start games in mid-June.  JSL guarantees that all divisions will complete their season by July 31.  We realize that other summer plans may cause your child to miss practices and/or games. If this should be the case, please let your coach know as soon as possible so so he/she can plan accordingly.

How many games are played? Based on the number of teams and available fields, we reserve the right to adjust the number of scheduled games. The projected number of games for the 2016 season:

  • U6 t-ball: 13 games plus 1 end-of-season JSL tournament game
  • U8 machine pitch: 13 games plus 1 end-of-season JSL tournament game
  • U10: 16 games plus end-of-season JSL tournament
  • U12: 18 games plus end-of-season JSL tournament
  • U14: 20 games plus end-of-season JSL tournament
  • U16: 14 games plus end-of-season JSL tournament

Do players need to be present during registration? No, but we encourage you to have them come so they can try on a sample shirt for sizing. Please note that we do not order any extra shirts and there is a $20 re-order charge if you need a different size other than the one you indicated during registration. It will also take extra time for the printer to complete any corrections.

What is the player registration fee? The registration and fundraiser fees for the 2017 season are $70 for U6; $85 for U8; $95 for U10 and U12, $105 for U14, and $90 for U16.  In addition, U6-U16 players must each participate in the fundraiser which for 2017 is either $55 or $60 per player depending on the option selected (see “what is the fundraiser” question below).

What is the fundraiser? In addition to the registration fee, all registrants are required to participate in the Fundraiser. You are given the option to either (1) purchase and resell Lincoln Saltdogs baseball tickets or (2) pay an “in lieu of/buy out” fee. Option 1 is a booklet of 12 Lincoln Saltdogs game vouchers that you buy at registration for $60. Each voucher can be resold for $5 each. You would keep the money you receive which covers the entire cost of the fundraiser. Or you can keep the tickets and use them for yourself and your family. The game vouchers can be exchanged at the Lincoln Saltdogs ticket office for General Admission tickets to any Saltdogs home game during their regular season. Tickets can also be upgraded (depending upon availability) to reserved seats at Haymarket Park. Option 2 is the “in lieu of buy out” option. If you choose this, it means you would like to pay the $55 fee to cover the fundraising cost and NOT receive the booklet of 12 Lincoln Saltdogs game vouchers.

Other than the above, Junior Saltdogs does not allow individuals or teams to engage in any fundraising using the Junior Saltdogs name, photos, logos, images or any other Junior Saltdogs identifier for their own team’s benefit or individual’s benefit.  Any individual or team that is determined to have engaged in such conduct will be ejected from the league for the remainder of the season and monies paid to play in the league will be forfeited.

Do we need to live in Lincoln to play in the Junior Saltdogs League? No, players who live in surrounding cities and towns are welcome to play in the League if they are comfortable with the travel involved to practice and play games in Lincoln.

When will my child find out their team/coach?  Commissioners will distribute the official U6-U14 team rosters to head coaches by mid-April.  Coaches will then be in charge of contacting all of their players.  Season start dates vary for each division so when players hear from their coaches will also vary. On average, U6-U14 players should begin hearing from coaches in early May. The U16 division starts in mid-June so U16 players should hear from coaches in early June.

When will I find out my child’s game schedule? Game schedules will not be completed until late April for U6-U14 divisions and very late May/early June for the U16 division. Links to the schedules will be added to the division pages at left as soon as they are finalized.

Where will games be played?  Our League does not own any fields.  We rent venues from the city, and other private entities.  Fields currently used are listed on the Game Field Locations page.

What days of the week are games played?  Each year, the number of teams and available fields vary. Until all schedules are finalized, we cannot commit to certain days for any division. All divisions should expect to play in May, June, and July on weekday evenings; and Saturday morning, afternoon, and evenings. Although we have not needed to schedule Sunday afternoon and evening games for our U6-U14 divisions in the past, it is a possibility if needed.

When can we start practices? There will be NO official team practices until after the equipment is distributed to U6-U14 head coaches at a mandatory coach meeting in late April.  Caps and shirts are also distributed at this time.  Team rosters will be distributed by commissioners via email to each coach in mid April so a team meeting can be held following receipt of the roster if the coach so chooses.  U16 coaches will receive their rosters and schedules from the U16 commissioner via email in late May or early June with equipment distributed shortly thereafter and can begin practices at that time.  All head coaches will be notified of the coach meeting dates when they are set.

How many players are on a team? Traditionally, each team will have 11-15 players per team. Roster sizes vary due to player preferences, available coaches, and proximity to your neighborhood. Not all teams will have the same number of players. Junior Saltdogs League reserves the right to add or delete players from any roster.

Are team pictures taken? Yes. The Junior Saltdogs League contracts with a professional photographer.  Like past seasons, a composite of each player will be used for the team photo so it is not necessary for the entire team to come at the same date/time.  So please come to whichever date below works best for your family schedule:

  • Tue, June 6 from 5:30pm-7:00pm at Modern Images’ studio (1942 A Street)
  • Sat, June 10 from 9am-3pm at Haymarket Park (403 Line Drive Circle) on the baseball concourse (NOTE:  There is a home Saltdogs game at 6:45 pm)
  • Sun, June 11 from 10:30am-2:00pm at Haymarket Park on the softball side (NOTE:  The Saltdogs will host the annual Jr Saltdogs Player’s Clinic for our U6-U14 divisions from 11:30am-12:30pm with player autographs from 12:30-1:00pm.  There is a Saltdogs game at 2:05pm – use your Saltdogs fundraiser ticket vouchers and stay for the game).
  • Thu, June 15 from 5:00pm-6:30pm at Haymarket Park on the baseball concourse

If you are not able to make it to one of the scheduled dates and still want to have your player’s photo taken, contact Modern Images at 402-991-7786.  Once photos are printed, Modern Images will mail all orders to head coaches for distribution to their players.

How do I find out if a game has been cancelled due to weather? Register your cell phones to receive rainout text alerts, call one of JSL’s two phone lines, or check the website — See the “Rainout Info” page for more details and for how to sign up for text alerts.  Note: JSL will only send text alerts and update the phone lines and website if games are cancelled.

What is the team uniform?  Your uniform consists of your JSL baseball cap and team dri-fit style shirt which are both included with your registration fee – both must be worn during every game.  The cap and shirt can not be altered in any way except for adding a player’s name on the back of the shirt (above the number) if your team desires to do so (this would be an additional cost assumed by each player).  Baseball pants are also worn (although not required for the U6 and U8 divisions).  They can be purchased at a local sporting goods store.  Before buying pants, you might wait for input from your head coach to see if there is a color preference for the entire team.

Can baseball cleats with metal spikes be worn in the Junior Saltdogs League? Yes, but only in the U16 division.

How can I become a head coach?  There is an area on the registration form for adults to indicate their willingness to be a head coach.  A mandatory background check will be completed each year on all individuals wanting to head coach.  These individuals will be contacted about the background check process.  Commissioners will notify all individuals selected to be a head coach (by early April for U6-U14 divisions and by late May for U16 division) with additional information about the mandatory coaches meeting.  Coaches are volunteers that show a desire to teach players the fundamentals and provide a fun and positive atmosphere.

When/where are the practices held? Practice schedules and locations are up to each team’s volunteer head coach.  Beginning May 1, 2009, the city of Lincoln started an online system to reserve practice times at many of the Lincoln Parks and Recreation softball/baseball fields. There are two levels of fields available: game quality and practice quality and reservations may be made up to 2 weeks in advance.

Game quality fields: Holmes Park, Lewis Fields, Mahoney Park, Sawyer Snell

Practice quality fields: 40th & Hwy 2, Peterson Park, Pine Lake fields, Roper Park, Tyrell Park

To access the website go to www.lincoln.ne.gov and use the keyword: fields. There is a fee associated with reserving a field so you will need a credit card to finish your reservation. Remember to print your receipt as proof of your reservation. It is recommended that you register with MyInterLinc. When you register with MyInterLinc it will speed up the process of making a reservation and you will be able to view your history and reprint you receipts should you lose or misplace the original. Although practice schedules are up to the coaches,once the season begins, we ask the coaches to limit the number of practices to one per week because they could be playing multiple games per week.

What is the proper size glove for my child? The glove should be small enough so the player can move their arm and wrist easily when the glove is on. The player should not bury their entire hand in the glove. When worn properly, the bottom of the palm, near the wrist, is exposed. Smaller gloves force the player to use two hands when catching. Use the chart below as a guide when selecting a glove size:

Age Position Glove Size
Under 8
All
9-11 inches
9-13
Infield
9-10 inches
9-13
Outfield
11-12 inches
High School/Adult
Infield
10 2 - 11 2 inches
High School/Adult
Outfield
12 B 12 2 inches

What are the JSL bat rules? Effective with the 2011 Season, composite-barreled bats are banned from the Junior Saltdogs League.  JSL uses both the Little League National and the NSAA high school guidelines for allowable bats during league play. It is possible that newer composite-barreled bats have been manufactured under these new guidelines. Any older composite bats that do not meet these standards, cannot be used. Consult these organizations websites to see if your bat is approved.

U14 can use either a Little League or high school approved bat. U16 is required to used a high school approved bat.

If you have additional questions, please contact the JSL Vice President at the link on the Board page at left.

Prior to a bat’s use in a JSL game, the bat must be inspected by a JSL board member or representative. If approved, the JSL will place a special sticker above the bat’s grip (white sticker for U8-U14; green sticker for U16.   Bats without a sticker are not eligible to be used in games. Please refer to the Composite Bat Flyer for more information on how to determine if your bat is aluminum or composite barreled. If you have a bat that you want to use and it has not previously been inspected/stickered by a JSL rep, please bring it to one of the in-person registration dates. A few other dates will be scheduled in early May to inspect bats.  They will be posted here when details are finalized.  Bat inspections can also be done on JSL game nights when a JSL site supervisor is present at Lewis, Fleming, Optimist, and Union fields – click the game schedule on any of the division pages at left the select “location schedules” for a list of JSL game dates at a particular field.

Please use the chart below as a guideline when selecting a bat:

Youth League (8-10 yrs)
Youth League (11-12 yrs)
High School/College
Player Height(inches)
Best Bat Weight (oz)
Player Weight(lbs)
Best Bat Weight (oz)
Player Height(inches)
Best Bat Weight (oz)
48
16
70
18
66
27
50
16.5
80
19
68
27.5
52
17
90
19.5
70
28
54
17.5
100
20
72
29
56
18
110
20.5
74
30
58
18.5
120
21
76
30.5
60
19
130
21.5
Formula:  Height/4+4
140
22
Formula:  Height/3+5
150
23
Formula:  Weight/18+14