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Season FAQ

What seasons of play are offered?

Northwood Little League offers play during two seasons each year - Spring and Fall.

The Spring Season begins in March and runs into May.  All divisions have a postseason championship tournament.  Towards the end of the Spring Season, upper divisions may participate in a city championship tournament with Irvine Ranch Little League. Upper division teams also have a chance to participate in the District 55 Tournament of Champions. Finally, after the conclusion of the spring season, upper division All-Star teams are formed to participate in the Little League District 55 All-Star tournaments.

Fall Ball begins in early September and runs into early November.  There is no postseason tournament in the Fall.

How does Fall Ball differ from the Spring Season?

Fall Ball is primarily focused on instruction and player development. Games are not scored and there are no season standings. Typically, teams practice once a week and play once a week during the Fall, so the time commitment is less than in the spring.

Teams play games on Friday evenings and/or Sunday afternoons, so as to not conflict with other sports traditionally played in the fall.  Instruction is stressed over gameplay and some of the formality of the Spring Season, such as team photos, trophies, and tournaments, are not included to keep the fees low. In general, Fall Ball has a more relaxed environment compared to the Spring Season.

When does the season begin?

Opening Day ceremonies for the Spring Season are normally scheduled in early March, with games to start the following week. Teams are usually announced by the end of January to allow for one month of practices before the start of the season.

Fall Ball typically starts in early September.

How long does the season last?

The Spring regular season usually runs through mid May, with the postseason tournaments concluding by late May. Fall Ball typically runs through mid November.

How many games and practices are there each week?

Tee Ball and Rookie teams practice once per week, usually for one hour. Upper divisions typically practice twice per week during the preseason (once on a weekday, once on a Saturday), and once per week during the regular season. Upper division teams typically practice for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. 

All teams should expect to play one weekday game and one Saturday game during the Spring Season, in addition to practice. Fall Ball teams typically play one game per week.  Following the regular season, teams participate in their division's postseason tournament in the Spring.

Practices and game schedules are determined after teams are formed. We are not able to honor requests to be placed on a team that only practices on Wednesdays, for example.

When and where will players practice?

Spring practices usually start in the beginning of February and run throughout the season. Practices occur on weekdays at local neighborhood grass fields. Practice field assignments are allocated by the City of Irvine, and are not determined until after teams are formed. The team manager will set the day and time for team practices, based on his practice field allocation and personal availability.

Fall practices will start in September and run throughout the season. The team manager will set the day and time for team practices, based on his practice field allocation and personal availability. The practice days will not be known until after the player has been placed on a team.  Coaches are aware that children may be playing other sports such as soccer, basketball or football during the fall along with baseball and will take that into consideration when designating practice slots.

When and where are games played?

All spring teams will have two games per week - one weeknight game and one Saturday game.  Weeknight games are typically played between 4:00 and 8:00 PM.  Saturday games typically occur between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Fields will be determined by the City of Irvine in February. A list of fields currently assigned to NWLL can be found on our fields page. The exact schedule will be released after all players have been registered and the teams have been formed.

Northwood Little League's home fields are at Hicks Canyon Park. 

For Fall Ball, games are played either Friday evenings, 4:30 PM or later, or on Sunday afternoons, typically between 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Fields will be determined by the City of Irvine in August/September. The exact schedule will be released after all players have been registered and the teams have been formed. Especially for Fall Ball, some inter-league games may be played in neighboring areas such as Lake Forest or south Irvine.

How long do games usually last?

The length of the game varies by division as follows:

  • Ice Cream Tee-Ball: 1 hour or 3 innings, whichever comes first.
  • Tee-Ball: 1.5 hours or 5 innings, whichever comes first.
  • Rookie: 1.5 hours or 6 innings, whichever comes first.
  • A Ball: 1 hour 45 min or 6 innings, whichever comes first. No new inning shall be started after 1 hour 45 minutes from the scheduled start time.
  • AA: 2 hours or 6 innings, whichever comes first. No new inning shall be started after 2 hours from official start time.
  • AAA: 2 hours or 6 innings, whichever comes first. No new inning shall start after 2 hours from the official start time or 15 minutes prior to the next scheduled game on that field, whichever is sooner.
  • Majors: 6 innings. There is no time limit on games unless a scheduled game follows. When a scheduled game follows, no new inning can start 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time of the following game.
  • Intermediate: 6 innings. There is no time limit on games unless a scheduled game follows. When a scheduled game follows, no new inning can start 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time of the following game.
  • Juniors: 7 innings. There is no time limit on games unless a scheduled game follows. When a scheduled game follows, no new inning can start 15 minutes prior to the scheduled time of the following game.

What happens if it is raining (or has been raining) on a day that I have practice or a game?

In case of inclement weather, the City of Irvine updates the status of all athletic fields by 3 p.m. for youth sports use. Weekend updates begin at 7:30 a.m. and as conditions change. If the city closes a field, all games or practices on that field are cancelled. Upper division games will be rescheduled. There are no makeup games for Tee Ball, Rookie or A Ball. Field conditions can be checked at the website.

Does NWLL keep score at games?

During the spring season, we do keep score at all games in the Intermediate/Majors/AAA/AA  divisions, to determine division champions and post-season tournament participants. Because the purpose of the Tee Ball, Rookie and A Ball divisions is to teach kids the fundamentals of baseball in a safe and fun environment, we do not keep score at these games, except during the Northwood end-of-season tournament. Game scores and summaries will be posted on the league’s web site and will occasionally be published in the Irvine World News.

No score is kept at any division during Fall Ball.

Do all players receive a trophy at the end of the season like they do in soccer?

All Tee Ball, Rookie, and A Ball players will receive a trophy at the end of the spring season. For all other divisions, only the division champions as determined by regular season record or Final Two playoffs will receive trophies. Winners of postseason tournaments will receive medals.