Southwestern Youth Association Sports

SYA Little League Baseball FAQs

Fall 2021

How is the Fall season different from the Spring season?

The fall is beginning of our league year that culminates with the spring season (2022). The focus in the fall is on development as we expect many kids to move up a level next spring (from the past spring) so fall is focused on skill development. No standings are kept and rules encourage players to be given an opportunity to expand their skill set.

Player Placement Guide

To assist you with choosing the appropriate level of play for your child, please use the following guidelines:
If your child is baseball age: Then choose:
5                                                         Tee-Ball
6 with no Tee-Ball experience            Tee-Ball or Coach Pitch
6 with Tee-Ball experience                 Coach Pitch
7 with Tee-Ball experience only         Coach Pitch
7 with Coach Pitch experience           Pitching Machine
8 with Pitching Machine experience   Draft Player Pitch
9 with Pitching Machine experience   Draft Player Pitch
9 with AA experience                         Draft Player Pitch

Baseball age 8 players that register for Draft Player Pitch must be selected to a player pitch team subject to the availability of team slots. The number of available team slots for age 8 players will be determined after all age 9 and 10 players have been assigned to a team.

Baseball age 9 players that register for Draft Player Pitch will be considered primarily for the National level. In exceptional cases where the player possesses the necessary skills based on prior experiences and experience to play at the American level as determined by the American coaches, he or she may be drafted into American.

Baseball age 10-12 players who did not play on a SYA Spring 2020 Majors team, should select Draft Player Pitch. The coaches evaluation of the player’s skills and the subsequent American and National drafts will determine what level the player will placed.

Please note that due to Covid restrictions, we are working with smaller team sizes, from 1-2 players smaller.

What size glove or bat should I buy?

While there is no specific science to selecting the right size glove or bat, many online baseball stores have various guidelines to choosing a glove or bat. Kids come in all different shapes and sizes, so here is one guide that provides guidelines in determining size.

How can I be sure my child resides within the SYA Little League boundaries?

Please check our boundary maps (EastWest) on the SYA Little League web site. If you are still unclear after viewing the map, try the text versions of each – EastWest. Live within the boundaries and trying to figure out which league, ask yourself – do I live East or West of Rt 28 as this serves as our boundary between the two leagues. Otherwise, please email us. Players that also attend school within our boundaries are also eligible to play with us, after some basic forms are completed in conjunction with the school the player attends.

How do I register for SYA Little League?

SYA Little League currently accepts online registration. You may register during open registration around May 1. Discount fees end at all levels on Auigust 1, 2021. While registration is open until late August for Machine Pitch, Coach Pitch and TBall, all kid pitch levels will go to a wait-list starting August 7.

What are the fees for the 2021 Fall Season?

See the Fees page for details.

Where will practices and games be held?

SYA is allocated by Fairfax County use of up to 20 fields located across the Centreville/Clifton area. SYA Sports also has two fields available for practices/games at SYA Sports Park. Games are scheduled by SYA for each level as are practices, which are allocated based on level and Managers’ requests.

How can I make a special request after I’ve gone through the registration process?

No problem. There are two ways we will get your special request entered into your registration information. Send an email with the request and it will also be captured in your registration information.

My son or daughter should be playing in a level that I am unable to register for, either in a higher level or lower level?

The best thing to do is complete the registration for the age appropriate level and select the mail-in option for payment. Then send an email with the request and we will respond to the request as well as make any updates on the registration.

When does the season start?

Practices will begin on or about August 7 for all levels. Games will begin around September 1st. The season usually ends by October 31. We are evaluating changes to the fall season to introduce more clinics that focus on player development. As information becomes available it will be shared.

How often will practices be held?

Practices vary by level, with Kid Pitch practicing several times per week prior to the start of games. TBall and Coach Pitch practice once during the week and on Saturdays. This varies based on Manager and field availability.

Will we be able to pick our practice night?

Practices will be limited to the number of fields accessible by the League. Managers make requests, and the League allocates practice times and fields. While every effort is made to honor requests, it is very difficult to meet every parent and manager request.

How often do teams play games?

A typical week would look like this for teams:

  • American - Advanced Kid Pitch: 1-2 practices and 2 games

  • National - Intermediate Kid Pitch: 1-2 practices and 2 games

  • A (Machine Pitch): 1 practice and 1 game

  • CP: 1 practice and 1 game

  • TB: 1 practice and 1 game

A second game during the week may occur at the lower levels depending on the total number of teams and how many Saturdays are in the season. Rainouts are also rescheduled during the week. If a manager has the energy and fields are available, teams may practice an additional night. SYA limits teams to four team events per week once the season starts, five prior to the season starting.

Why are the player pitch levels called American and National as opposed to Majors, AAA, and AA that are used in the spring?

The intent here is to ensure people understand that the fall levels are not the same as in the spring. Players go through tryouts and a draft in the spring. These fall names still relate to the spring however, American is not Majors; maybe a step below as many of the better players are off playing travel baseball or other sports in the fall. We collapse to two player pitch levels due to fewer players in the fall.

Can we request a specific coach or teammate during registration?

The League does its best to accommodate requests in the lower divisions (TBall, Coach Pitch, and Machine Pitch), although we cannot guarantee requests will be granted. In the upper divisions the player evaluations from the spring season and drafts will determine team placement.

How do I become a Manager?

Applicants – Volunteers – must apply online by July 1 or ASAP to be considered. For all levels, the League works with all candidates to select Managers and pair them up with assistant coaches. All applicants are notified shortly before August 1 once the numbers of teams are determined of their status. Please note that all applicants will go through a background check per Little League Baseball rules.

How do I become a Volunteer?

This is the easiest thing to do! Just say, “Yes!” when your team coach asks for help. Team Parents organize after-game snacks, team parties, and any other festivity the team dreams up. You can also support the league by volunteering as little as an hour a weekend to work the Snack Shack, umpire a game, work on fields or help out with other league activities. All league volunteers are subject to a background check as required by SYA Sports and Little League International.

What is the Volunteer Opt-Out Fee?

SYA Little League is a volunteer organization that needs the support of the community (especially parents) to operate and provide a great atmosphere for their kids to enjoy baseball. During the registration process, parents are asked if they would be willing to volunteer some of their time in support of SYA Little League. Adult volunteers are needed and expected to volunteer during the course of a season in any of the areas to include Snack Shack staffing (Shack shack is TBD for Fall 2021), field maintenance, fundraising, or many other areas were we need your help and support. Parents may choose to opt-out of this support by paying an additional $50 fee per family. This will get them out of volunteering their time as the league will avoid sending volunteer emails to all opt-out parents. For all those who said they would volunteer, expect to see various emails on opportunities on how you can support SYA Little League.

What equipment does the League provide?

The League will provide each player with a Washington Nationals team hat and team shirt. Teams are not provided with any further equipment as all players must have their own equipment - no sharing with other players (unless family). Each player is required to provide an athletic cup, baseball glove, baseball cleats (optional at lower levels), batting helmet, bat, and baseball pants. Catchers must have their own gear. Players also need to provide a water bottle and a strap for glasses. Glasses must have non-breakable lenses.

Does SYA Little League have insurance?

Yes. We purchase our insurance through Little League International to include accident and general liability. More information can be found in this article as well as on Little League International’s web site. Note: Paid umpires are not covered under the program.


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Office Location:
5950 Centreville Crest Lane
Centreville, VA 20121
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 471
Centreville, VA 20122
Phone: (703) 815-3362
Fax: (703) 815-2180