Fall Ball is WMLL’s version of Little League’s Training & Development Program. Fall Ball focuses on the development of players (over competition) & emphasizes skill development during play (rather than at practices). Since player development is the priority, coaches are encouraged to give all players an opportunity to play a variety of positions & standings will not be kept.
There will be 61 teams (650+ players) in WMLL 2021 Fall Ball!
- Baseball (40 teams): 6 Rookie Lg, 11 Minor Lg, 12 Major Lg, 5 Junior 13 Lg & 6 Jr 14 / Sr Lg teams
- Softball (17 teams): 3 Rookie Lg SB, 4 Minor Lg SB, 5 Major Lg SB & 5 Jr / Sr Lg SB teams
- Challenger League: 4 teams
Fall Ball teams are formed by WMLL league coordinators who work hard to create balanced teams & competitive trying to accommodate buddy requests.
All WMLL coaches are volunteers who have submitted an application & undergone a background check. Before each season, WMLL seeks out & selects a head coach for each team based on experience & other qualifications. Once chosen, each head coach may select assistant coaches from among the parents of the team’s players.
The team coordinator is a volunteer who works closely with the coaches & performs a variety of tasks designed to ensure the smooth running of off field team business – including coordinating team volunteers.
All leagues will play a 10-12-game season over six weeks starting on Aug 21. Teams typically have one weeknight & one weekend game each week – excluding rainouts & makeup games. Over the course of their season, each team will likely play games on all weeknights. Week 7 is reserved for rainout makeups rescheduled on a priority basis. The season ends on Oct 10.
Practices, if held, will likely be infrequent. A team’s practice schedule & the location of their practices are determined by that team’s coaching staff.
- Pregame Warmups: Coaches also decide if their team will warm up prior to games. This must be done in designated areas adhering to WMLL rules. Teams can use a batting cage before most games from 30 to 10 minutes before game time.
The best source for the schedule is TeamSnap – which will include a team’s games & practices. Be sure to enter your player’s availability to help your coach & team be well-prepared! A master calendar-style schedule of ALL games is also available HERE & on the ballpark information board (but updates may lag behind the website)
Uniforms consist of a Dri-Fit style jersey & cap that players keep. Players need to provide their own pants (any color is acceptable) & socks. Cleats & batting gloves are not required, but many players use them (cleats must be plastic except for the Jr & Sr Lgs).
A list of the gear that WMLL provides teams & the equipment that players must provide themselves can be found HERE. Please review this list carefully so that your player is ready for the upcoming season with gear that complies with Little League International & WMLL requirements.
All Little League International rules, as described in the current season rulebook, apply unless specifically changed in WMLL’s local rules. Local rules for each league are available HERE. The WMLL Safety Plan contains further regulations which will be enforced as local rules.
INNING & TIME LIMITS
All Fall Ball games are limited to 6-innings with two types of time limits.
- “No New Inning” Time Limit: No new inning may begin after the “No New Inning” time limit is reached = 1 hr, 20 min for the Rookie, Minor & Minor Lgs & 1 hr, 40 min for the Major, Junior & Senior Lgs.
- “Hard Stop” Time Limit: When the “Hard Stop” time limit is reached (10 mins after the “No New Inning” time limit), the game ends immediately after the current batter finishes their at-bat.
- Special Weekday “Hard Stop” on Minor Field in Weeks 1-3: 1 hr, 20 min Hard Stop for all leagues
GAME DAY “CALL UPS”
Interested players in all WMLL leagues have the opportunity to be “called up” to play in some games in the league above their assigned league. “Call ups” occur when the coach of a team short on players for a game due to schedule conflicts, injuries, etc. seeks replacement players from the league below. Call ups provide players with the opportunity to experience play & test their skills at the next level.
To ensure adequate parking for those with special needs & coaches carrying heavy equipment bags, the use of WMLL’s parking lot is restricted to vehicles displaying either an official handicap permit or a valid WMLL parking pass. WMLL families may park anywhere on Forward Drive & in the northwest corner of the Madison Ice Arena parking lot.
- Player Drop-Off & Pick-Up: Please use the designated drop off / pick-up zone on Forward Drive just to the north of the main parking lot entrance. Do not pull into WMLL’s parking lot for drop-offs or pick-ups as there are many people in the area.
CHECKING FIELD CONDITIONS (will games be played?)
There are several ways to keep abreast of field conditions on game days.
- Check the field condition page on WMLL’s website HERE
- Call WMLL’s field condition hotline at 608-640-4855
- (Post cancellation) Check for TeamSnap cancellation notices that will be sent out and/or the TeamSnap schedule
MANAGING WEATHER DURING A GAME
- Lightning: When lighting is visible, the game will be suspended for 30 mins & everyone must take immediate shelter in the dugouts, near the concession stand or in private vehicles (NOT under trees!)
- Calling Games: When a game has been delayed by rain or lightning for 45 min, it will be called.
- Immediate Cancellations: These rules will not restrict play from being immediately cancelled for safety reasons.
After every game, players will receive a $2 post-game snack credit at the concession stand.