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Western Springs Little League

Western Springs Little League Baseball & Softball

Team Formation

Little League International sets the boundaries for Western Springs Little League. There are three options set by Little League to determine where Little Leaguers can play.

  1. Kids whose primary residence is within the local league’s boundary can play for that hometown league.
  2. Kids can play for the league where their school is located.
  3. Kids from divided homes may choose to play in a league in whose boundaries either parent resides.

To determine if you reside in the Western Springs Little League boundary check your address at: LittleLeague.org/LeagueFinder.

To ensure a fun and competitive League, Western Springs Little League (WSLL) attempts to create parity in teams at all levels of play. In order to do so the following guidelines are used when creating teams.

Non Draft Level (T Ball, Coach Pitch, and C Ball)

Each team at the Non-Draft level is allowed one head coach (Manager) and two assistant coaches. The only guarantee in placement is the children of the team’s coaches. WSLL does not have a buddy system at the non-draft level. Teams are made up of a combination of kids from each school in the district. Note, because of greater numbers at some schools there may not be a completely equal balance. However, WSLL always has more than one student, typically at least three kids, from each school on a team to ensure they know someone on their team.

Draft Level (A Ball, B Major, B Minor)

At the draft level B Major and B Minor are allowed one Manager and one assistant coach. Additional assistant coaches can be pulled from the roster. Each team at the A Ball level is allowed one Manager and two assistant coaches.  WSLL compiles player evaluation data from previous season coaches to establish a player rating for most players. Coaches utilize the evaluation for the draft. Evaluation data is utilized strictly for draft purposes, remains confidential and is discarded immediately following the draft.

The draft is conducted by the WSLL Player Agent, who is responsible for ensuring a fair draft, the League Commissioner and two coaches from each team. Each team randomly draws a number to determine draft order and the draft is conducted based on the number drawn. Teams begin with their own children and conclude when each team has 12 players (or 13 if 13 was the pre-determined roster size) on their roster. Siblings are always placed on the same team unless otherwise requested. Therefore when a player is drafted their sibling automatically is placed on the same team.

Draft Process

  • WSLL uses “Little League Age” to drive the formation of teams. This is a Little League standard based on birth date and roughly approximates to Grade level in school.  
    • U12 is roughly 6th grade
    • U11 is roughly 5th grade
    • U10 is roughly 4th grade 
    • U9 is roughly 3rd grade
  • Those four cohorts from three draft leagues
    • A Ball (U12, U11)
    • B Major (U11, U10)
    • B Minor (U10, U9)
  • Drafts are held on three consecutive evenings in the following order: A Ball, B Major, B Minor. 
    • The coaches in the drafts are provided “Draft packets” that include the player evaluations from the previous season.   
    • In the A Ball draft, all U12 and U11 players are eligible.  All U12 players must be chosen, and some U11 players are chosen.  The U11 players not chosen in the A Ball draft are eligible for the B Major draft the following day.
    • In the B Major draft, all U11 not drafted in A Ball and all U10 players are eligible.  All U11 players must be chosen, and some U10 players are chosen.  The U10 players not chosen in the B Major draft are eligible for the B Minor draft the following day.

     In the B Minor draft, all U10 not drafted in B Major and all U9 players are eligible.  All players eligible for the B Minor draft are chosen.

Team Size

Optimal team size for maximum amount of play is 12 player rosters. Depending on the number of players signing up in a given season and number of available volunteer coaches, roster sizes at times reach 13 however are capped at 13 players. Players Grade level is determined by grade at the start of WSLL season. Age is set by Little League and a chart with Age Guidelines can be found below.

PLAY WITH CLASSMATES (Opt-down)

WSLL has a longstanding policy of not allowing players to play at a level higher than their designated age range. WSLL does allow families to opt for their kids to “play down.” WSLL definition of playing down is any player who’s birthdate places them in a higher division but is in a grade lower may play at their grade level. For example, a player currently in 2nd grade with a birthdate placing them in the B Minor is permitted to opt for C Ball. However, we do not allow players to switch back and forth between levels. WSLL does not allow players to opt to play down to make a player more competitive. The player MUST be in the grade level they opt to play in. Violation of the “opt-down” policy may result in removal of a player for the remainder of the season. Players opting to play at a lower level with their grade rather than their age may not be eligible for post season All-star play. Decision is based on the Board’s decision for all players never singling out individual players.

Coach Selections

Coaches are all volunteers. Preference is given to coaches who have coached in previous seasons and number of seasons as volunteer coaches. Start your tenure as early as possible.


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