Getting started with sandlot baseball

John Harris, our 2023-2024 sandlot league commissioner, shared these notes to help parents and players make the most of their sandlot baseball experience.

Kings families,

We welcome both returning and new families to Kings baseball. Sandlot games begin today, 4:00 PM. Please check your field assignments if you have not already done so.

Please follow these guidelines to ensure a successful season:

1. If you leave the park, please return by no later than 5:15 PM.

2. Follow all posted park rules.

3. If during the season some players elect to play hardball, they must follow customary hardball safety requirements: batting helmets with C-flaps, protective cups for boys, and — if using a catcher — catchers must use full gear.

4. Do not bring a regular bat unless you will be playing hardball. If you have a regular bat, it can only be swung while at bat or -- during a game -- in the on-deck circle. We will enforce this rule strictly.

5. If during a game players need to use the restroom or leave the field for any reason, they must check out with a facilitator or coach. We will ask a parent to watch the comings and goings of young players.

6. Kings will provide balls and bats for wiffle ball and blitz ball. These will be on the field when players arrive, and should be left there when players leave.

7. Some young players will be inexperienced and need help with, e.g., how to hold or swing a bat. We will help them with those types of issues.

8. Especially with very young players (Field 6), we may sometimes ask parents to help on the field. The need for this should diminish as the season goes on and they learn to play.

9. Counsel your players that playing time is precious. The more time spent choosing teams, determining batting order, and arguing balls, strikes, fair, foul, etc., the less time to play.

10. We may from time to time ask players to move from one field to another, to balance out numbers and competition.

11. We will sometimes have absent players. We will not always have nine players per team. Sometimes roster counts may be mismatched. All of that is normal. This is sandlot ball.

12. Sometimes the teams will be competitively mismatched. They can re-shuffle the players and start a fresh game.

13. Games will end a little before 5:30 PM to allow for players to pack up and clean the dugout. We never leave anything behind in the dugouts.

Today, the facilitators will help get the action going by helping with division into teams and batting order. This is initial help only. Teams are not fixed. They can and should change from week to week.

Please call with any questions.

Thank you.

John Harris