Frequently Asked Questions
When is registration signup?
Registration for each season begins about December 1.
Are returning players guaranteed a roster spot?
Registration runs from December 1st through early March. We will make every accommodation to make sure returning players are on a team. After drafts take place it is very difficult to place players on teams.
Full refunds are granted to registered players until the player is drafted or placed on a team. Player drafts start in early March. No refunds are granted after a player is drafted or placed on a team.
If I sponsor a team am I guaranteed to sponsor my player's team?
We will make every effort to ensure that your sponsorship is for your child's team. In the event that a team has multiple sponsors, we will randomly select the sponsoring team and will offer the remaining sponsors multiple team sponsors in that division or a division of their choice.
How much is a sponsorship?
A 1/2 sponsorship is $250 and a full sponsorship is $500. 1/2 sponsorships share the ad space on the back of players' shirts. If you have players to register, you can make up the difference between the sponsorship cost and your registration cost to become a sponsor. For example, if you have one player in Intermediate softball, you would just need to pay an additional $350 to become a full sponsor (or $100 for a 1/2 sponsorship). If your registration costs are over $250, you do not automatically become a half sponsor (or $500 for a full sponsor).
Are there any sponsorship restrictions?
As a 501(c)(3) organization, we can not accept sponsors that promote any religious organization or belief. The Board, in it's sole discretion, reserves the right to reject any sponsor design or language. If the Board makes such an election, the sponsor donation will be fully refunded.
What are the basic rules for the divisions in ESAA?
See the attached worksheet for a summary of the rules for each division.
How do I choose the right Division for my child?
Baseball players are generally placed into leagues based on their birth date using a May 1st cutoff. Basebally players with a birthdate from May 1 thru Aug 31 may make a one time election to play 'up or down'; up using the May 1 cutoff or down to the next division. Softball players are automatically placed into leagues based on their grade in school. These cutoffs are based on official Little League and ASA guidelines. For the T-Ball leagues, we generally will extend the birth date cutoff to September 1st upon request.
Can my child play in a division other than the one that matches his/her age or grade?
Any deviations from the above policy needs to be approved by the League commissioner and Commissioner of Baseball or Softball. Exceptions are typically only granted for the 7yr old and younger leagues.
After I register, when will I know what team my son or daughter is on?
The T-Ball teams are formed early April, with practices starting shortly afterward. T-Ball teams are assigned based on stated preference and then by school. All other divisions form their teams via draft. Softball and baseball league drafts start around the first week in March and run through the first week in April. Coaches will contact their teams shortly after the drafts.
When and where are practices held?
Your child's coach will inform you when and where his/her practice will be held. Due to the limited availability of fields, coaches are encouraged to seek additional practice time wherever they can find a field. The Chicago Park District does not typically allow use of their fields before April 15th but this date depends on conditions.
What times are most games played?
During the regular season, you can expect your son or daughter to have one game during the week at either 5:30 or 6pm and one game on Saturday starting from 9am to 3pm.
How long will the season run?
Practices start April 15th. The Chicago Park District has traditionally not allowed use of their fields before that date. The season begins the end of April and runs through mid July.
Will my child get to play in every game?
All children must play a minimum of three or four defensive innings each game depending on the league and every child bats throughout the entire game. In T-Ball, all kids play every defensive inning.
Where are games played?
Typically the games are played at:
How do umpire assignments work in ESAA?
For 1st and 2nd year T-Ball, we have 5th and 6th graders that are currently playing in the league umpire the games. We provide basic training and view this as a stepping stone to umpiring older age groups. For Intermediate 7yr old baseball and Intermediate Softball, we have 7th and 8th graders that are currently in the league umpire the games. For T-Ball and Intermediate umpires, payment is made at the end of the season and sign up occurs during registration. For 8yr old through senior Baseball as well as Softball Minors through Seniors, outside umpire coordinators are hired to assign umpires and handle payroll. Our goal is to supply these coordinators with umpires that have come through ESAA.
Click here for an umpire game card: http://esaabb.org/docs/ump%20card.pdf
Will there be All Star games?
All divisions except T-Ball will have end of year All Star games, with activities taking place at Thillens Stadium, usually the 3rd or 4th week in July.
What do I do if I am interested in coaching?
On the registration form you will be given an opportunity to volunteer to coach. Or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Thunder and Storm?
Thunder and Storm are the names of our in house travel programs. Tryouts are held in late August thru mid September. Seasons run concurrent with the house schedule. These programs start at 8yrs old for baseball and 9yrs old for softball. See the websites for further details (Storm and Thunder).
Does ESAA have fall ball? Are they covered by ESAA Insurance?
We do not run a fall ball program but we do have teams that participate in neighboring fall ball leagues. This is organized by the volunteer coaches on an ad hoc basis. We will supply the coaches with an insurance certificate to cover their team in a league upon request. However, at that point, the team is considered affiliated with ESAA and all revenues and expenses must then be coordinated by the ESAA treasurer.
What equipment will I need?
Hat, shirt, pants, and socks are provided as part of the registration fee. You will need to supply cleats, a mitt, and a bat. Team batting helmets are available although many players prefer their own helmet. Most players also get a bat bag to carry their equipment. Boys must wear protective cups. Team catching gear is also provided.
When will we get our uniforms?
We try to get uniforms passed out at least 1 week before the first game, depending on the draft dates.
Are there bat size restrictions?
For baseball, all bats must be 2 ¼" or less in diameter and less than 33" in length. For senior baseball, the maximum diameter is 2 5/8", with a 36" maximum length, and must weigh no more than 3 ounces less than the length (a 33" bat must weigh at least 30 ounces). See website for additional senior baseball bat rules.
For softball, bats need to be ASA certified, i.e. not be more than 34.0 inches long, nor exceed 38.0 ounces in weight.
What is the right bat size for my child?
See attached document for bat sizing chart.
What is the right size mitt for my child?
Based upon information provided by Rawlings, for children under 8 years old, a 9 inch mitt is appropriate for infielding and a 10 - 11 inch mitt is for outfielding. So a 9 or 10 inch mitt would be suitable. For children 8 - 13 years old, a 9 - 10 inch mitt is appropriate for infielding and an 11 - 12 inch mitt is for outfielding. So a 10 or 11 inch mitt probably works for everything.
What does my fee pay for?
Registration fees cover the following major organizational expenses: Uniforms, umpires, field use fees, insurance, website, equipment, field maintenance, trophies and t-shirts, and the end of year picnic.
Does ESAA make any money?
ESAA is a not-for profit organized under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue code and as such is exempt from income tax. We operate on a break even basis. See our Federal exemption letter here: http://www.esaabb.org/docs/esaa_501c3.pdf and Il State here http://www.esaabb.org/docs/IL_Tax_Exemption.pdf
Are donations to ESAA tax deductible?
Donations to ESAA are tax deductible under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. Bequests and gifts to ESAA are also tax deductible. Copies of the tax letter are available upon request.
Does ESAA offer coaches training?
Yes, each spring a clinic is held for all coaches to learn how to teach the fundamental skills.
If I wanted to get involved in ESAA or serve on the board, who do I contact?
ESAA is as strong as the volunteers that commit their time. If you are interested in serving on the board or volunteering in any capacity, please contact us.
Are we affiliated with the official Little League Baseball organization?
ESAA is not part of the official Little League Baseball organization. Most neighboring baseball organizations are not affiliates, we prefer to construct league rules that are more responsive to player needs and are more flexible than those of the Little League, and we feel the best competition resides outside of the Little League organization.
Is ESAA part of the Chicago Park District?
No, we operate outside of the CPD but work very closely with them to secure field time and coordinate maintenance of the fields.
Is there an ESAA lost and found?
Not officially. First, check with your coach to see if anyone has reported any found items. Second, check in the Jobox at the field you think you lost the item. Your coach will have a key to this box as well as any commissioners.
What is ESAA’s policy on lightning?
The 30 minute rule will be utilized when lightning is sited or thunder is heard. All on field activity shall be automatically suspended for a minimum of 30 minutes and participants shall seek appropriate shelter. An assessment of conditions is to be made after the 30 minute wait period. On field activity shall resume when it is reasonably determined that additional threatening weather is not imminent. If lightning is sited or thunder after the 30 minute count, the 30 minute count shall be restarted. Games are resumed at the point at which play was postponed. If the game needs to be rescheduled, it will be resumed at the point at which play was postponed.
Have any further questions for us, please contact us.