(updated 2.21.24 for the 2024 season)

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 2024 season, a  child must be at least 5 yrs old by 4.30.24 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
  • U17 for 15, 16 & 17 yr olds

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 10 on April 30, he/she IS eligible to play in the U10 division for 9 & 10 yr olds; however, if he/she is 11 on April 30 he/she is NOT eligible to play in the U10 division but must register for the U12 division.

Can a child play in an older age division? Yes, we allow players to play up one division but the the Junior Saltdogs board of directors discourages parents from having 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.  Please consider the following before you make your decision…

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 13 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 mid-May. The U17 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 2024 season are:

  • 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
  • U17: 14 games plus end-of-season JSL tournament

How do I register my child? All U6-U17 registration is via our online system – see the registration button on our home page which will be added apx January 8.  The online system will accept payment by credit card and electronic check (from a checking or savings account).  JSL will cover the online processing fee during our regular registration period (January 8 – February 17, 2024).  During the late registration period (February 18 – March 2, 2024), a $25 late fee as well as the online processing fee will be charged to each player.

What is the player registration fee? For 2024, our all-inclusive player fee is $165 for U6, $195 for U8, and $205 for U10, U12, U14 & U17.  There is no charge for our Homer’s Heroes division which is for kids (ages 5-17) with intellectual or physical disabilities.

Will there be a fundraiser?  No, JSL will not have a fundraiser in 2024.  Please note that Junior Saltdogs does not allow individuals or teams to engage in any fundraising 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. (updated 2.21.24)

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 hear from coaches by late April. The U17 division starts in mid-June so U17 players will hear from coaches in very late May/early June.

When will I find out my child’s game schedule? Game schedules will be completed and posted in late April for U6-U14 divisions and in early June for the U17 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?  JSL does not own any fields.  We rent venues from the city, and other private entities in Lincoln.  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.  Some divisions may also play Sunday late afternoon or evening games.

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.  Team caps and shirts are also distributed to head coaches 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 head coach so chooses.  U17 coaches will receive their rosters and schedules from the U17 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?  With more parents and coaches taking team photos with their personal phones/cameras, JSL will not have a professional photographer taking photos.

How do I find out if a game has been cancelled due to weather? Register your email address or cell phones to receive rainout text alerts – see the “Rainout Info” page for more details and for how to sign up for text alerts.  Note: JSL will only send alerts and update the website if games are cancelled.   Please note that JSL does not cancel games due to heat.  Parents, please take appropriate actions to keep kids hydrated and bring plenty of water to the game for drinking and wet towels for the back of their neck between innings.  Of course parents always have the final decision on whether or not their kids will be at any game.  If your child will not be at a game, please let your coach know asap so they can plan accordingly.

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 at an additional cost assumed by each player).  Close-toed shoes are required for all divisions.  Baseball pants are required in U10-U17 and 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 U17 division.

How can I become a head coach?  If you have a child to register, there is an area on the player registration form for adults to indicate their willingness to be a head coach.  If you don’t have a child playing, email Deb at jslregistrations@jrsaltdogs.com and she will email you a coach registration form which must be returned prior to the March 4, 2023 final late registration deadline.   A mandatory background check will be completed each year on all individuals wanting to head coach.  These individuals will be contacted by JSL with a secure link and password to enter information for the background check to run.  Commissioners will notify all individuals selected to be a head coach (by early April for U6-U14 divisions and by late May for U17 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.  The city of Lincoln has 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:  level 1 (game quality) and level 2 (practice quality).  Reservations may be made up to 2 weeks in advance.

  • Level 1 Fields (agri-lime infields, irrigated outfields with maintenance scheduled two times a week):  Ballard, Cooper, Elks, Holmes, Lewis, Mahoney, Sawyer Snell, and UNI
  • Level 2 Fields (may have some agri-lime on infields, non-irrigated outfields with maintenance scheduled one time a week):  40th & Hwy 2, Airpark, Keech, Peterson, Pine Lake, Standing Bear, Tyrell, and UPCO.

To access their reservation site 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. The City recommends 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 are the batting helmet requirements?  JSL will provide each coach with 5 batting helmets which can be shared by the team.  If a player wishes to have/use his own helmet that is fine.  Our only requirement for batting helmets is that it must have a full face guard.  A helmet with a side bar/flap type style is not approved for use in JSL.

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
9-11 inches
9-10 inches
11-12 inches
High School/Adult
10 2 – 11 2 inches
High School/Adult
12 B 12 2 inches

What are the JSL bat rules?  Click here for JSL Bat Rules.  If you have additional questions, please email jslvicepresident@jrsaltdogs.com.

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)
Formula:  Height/4+4
Formula:  Height/3+5
Formula:  Weight/18+14