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Sep 09, 2023

What is the structure of the NKCA Baseball League (NKCA)?

NKCA offers baseball in the following age groups:  6U, 7U, 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U, 13U, 14U, 16U, 18U.  6U players have 3 options:  T-ball, Coach Pitch, Machine Pitch.  7U-18U teams have the choice in participating in one of three divisions;  Open, Tournament and League.  The Open division is designed for coaches and players that are desiring a higher level of competition and participate heavily in tournament play, this division will play mid-week doubleheaders.  Teams must be approved to play in the division.  The Tournament Division is designed to meet the needs of teams and the league.  This division will have scheduled weekends off throughout the season to allow for tournaments.  This division will generally not play doubleheaders.  The League Division is our traditional league that offers a place to learn the game of baseball, sportsmanship, and having fun, while these teams may still be competitive, they don't generally participate in tournament play, if they do, not more than a couple of tournaments a year.  This division will play during the week and on weekends.

NKCA has established age cutoffs to ensure players develop appropriately in terms of skills, knowledge, and sportsmanship. While NKCA has established age brackets that players need to participate in, there are situations where some players may play up with approval of the Board of Directors.

Pitching distances are scaled to the ability of the players in proportion to the size of the diamonds. The scaled down diamonds in the lower divisions allow the players to make the same plays made by the upper division players on larger diamonds.

NKCA is managed by an elected Board of Directors that administer the league in line with established bylaws. The league is a volunteer, non-profit organization.

When is player registration?

Registration starts in December and will conclude on April 15 of the current season. The season will begin around May 1st and will run until late July. 

How do I find out about player registration?

NKCA utilizes several methods of getting the word out to parents about registration. The main source of information is by our e-mailed NKCA newsletter. Please make sure we have your current e-mail address in our database so you get the information in a timely manner. Our website will also have the announcement with a link to the on-line registration and directions for onsite registrations. Those parents that utilize RSS feeds can also subscribe to NKCA’s News.

NKCA also places notices in the area school newsletters and we supply printed notices for schools to send home. Those schools that do not permit the info to be sent out in folders will have the notices available in the office. We will also attempt to advertise the in-person registration on the local school signs and other business signs in the area that will allow it.  Several press releases are placed in the Kansas City Star newspaper as well. We also appreciate the word of mouth advertisement from parent to parent and player to player. Please let your friends know that registration is coming up in case they didn't see it.
How do I register my child?

There are two ways of registering for NKCA: 1) On-line registration through our website starting in December through the registration deadlines listed for each division. 2) In-person registrations are held two Saturdays in January/February from 9am to noon.  Check the webite for the exact date, times and location. 
I missed registration. Can I sign up late?

Late registrations will be accepted on a case by case basis, based on the number of players per team in that division at the end of registration.  All late registrations will be accepted online only and these players will be placed on a waiting list until the maximum number of players is determined. 

Please note that if your late registration is accepted, there is a $25 late registration fee.  

How do I know you received my registration online?

With online registration, you will receive an email from our website with a receipt and confirmation of your registration. If you do not get an email, something went wrong with the registration and you are not registered. You are able to log back into your personal account from the website homepage and this will tell you what division your child is registered for.

To minimize the errors before teams are created, you are encouraged to log into your personal information account. To do this, click on the Edit My Account button on the lower left menu button. All parents should verify that their child is in the correct division. If you notice that there is incorrect or missing information, change what you can.  If there is information such as birthdates or divisions you believe to be wrong, please email the League Director.  As registration ends, parents will also be able to verify what team their child is on and the contact information for the manager through the website.
Why do you need my email address?

NKCA is a non-profit organization. In order to save money, much of our communication is electronic through either our website or emails. All scheduling information will be made available through email.  If there is a change made to your schedule, this is how you will find out.  We also use email for rainout notifications and game reminders.  Your coach can also notify you about practices with the system as well.  We typically will send out a handful newsletters as well as numerous updates about the league throughout the year. Probably the most important of these emails is in regards to registration dates and locations. At registration time, please verify that we have your correct email listed so we can update it in our database. Also, you can click the registration button at the top of the homepage which will add you to our e-mail list. Please know that NKCA values your privacy and will never sell your address to anyone. 

Why is my child considered a year younger than he/she will be when the season starts?

The NKCA Baseball League Board of Directors, accepted a recommendation from USA Baseball to change the league age determination date for its players starting in the 2006 season.

The league age determination date is the age a player has attained as of a specific date, for the purpose of placing the player in a particular division. The old date of youth baseball was July 31.

Starting with the 2006 season, the date in all divisions of the NKCA Baseball League will be April 30 of the current year/season.

For example: Under the old regulation, a baseball player who turns 13 years old in May, June or July of 2006 would have been considered league-age 13 for the entire 2006 season. That would have been the case, despite the fact that such a player likely would have played most or all of the regular season without having actually reached his or her 13th birthday. Under the new regulation, such a player will have a league age of 12 throughout the 2006 season.

When does the season begin?

Please check the NKCA calendar on the homepage for exact league dates and events. Typically, the season begins on the last Saturday in April and runs through July.

If my child decides to quit, is it possible to get a refund?

Once a player pays their registration fee there are NO REFUNDS unless the league is unable to find a team to assign the player to a team.  A refund due to medical reasons is available upon request prior to the start of the division’s season.  All allowed refunds will be subject to a $25 processing fee.

Can I bring him/her up a division a year early?

NKCA strongly supports age appropriate competition and development. NKCA does allow players to move up a division, with the Board of Directors approval. 

How long will the season last?

The NKCA regular game season usually lasts for 8-10 weeks from May through early July, plus division playoff games.  Younger age groups start around May 1st and the High School age groups start after Memorial Day.

Where are NKCA games played?

NKCA utilizes the AJ Wilson Sports Complex, Waterwell Park, and Macken Park.

What days and times are the games played?

All teams in NKCA are scheduled for at least one game a week, and in some divisions teams are scheduled for games two or four times per week. Makeup games will be fit in where openings allow and may change the number of games per day/week that a player competes in. Game days are Monday through Sunday and will typically not be the same night every week. Exception being a set night doubleheader league.  Game times vary by division, but Saturday games will generally start around 11:00 am and weekday games generally will begin around 5:45 pm and 8:00 pm.  NKCA limits the number of 8pm games in the younger age brackets until school gets out.  It is recommended that players arrive at the field at least 30 minutes prior to game time so they can properly warm up, and managers can get the line-up cards ready prior to the start of the game, but please verify the exact time your manager wants the players at the field.

Who umpires NKCA games?

NKCA uses paid umpires.  These umpires are supplied by NKCA.  All umpires are required to attend training clinics.   

When will the practices begin?

NKCA targets early to middle March for teams to start practicing. The goal is for teams to be in a position to begin practices at least 4-6 weeks before Opening Day, which is the last weekend of April.  Actual first practices will depend upon weather and formation of teams.

How often and long will my child practice?

Practice frequency and duration are up to the team manager. Generally, it is recommended that 6U teams practice no more than one time per week for no more than one hour.  Older teams practice an average of one to two times a week for anywhere from 60-90 minutes prior to the season and a few throughout the season.  American League teams may practice 3-4 times a week prior to the season and 2-3 times per week after the season starts.  American League teams generally practice for two hours a session.

Where will my child practice?

NKCA Board of Directors assign practice fields and times.  Your manager will contact you with information regarding when and where your first practice will be.

What equipment will my child need before the first practice or game?

Players should arrive at their first practice with a glove, hat, baseball pants, and rubber molded cleats (except 13U and up, which allows metal cleats). A baseball bag is recommended to transport bats, batting gloves, water bottles, hats, and other items.

Are there any uniform supplies my child needs?

Each team in the NKCA provides their own uniforms.  Every team is different so please contact your coach to see how your team does it.

Are there any rules around minimum playing time?

Rules will vary per division regarding playing time. Full Lineup batting orders are used for the divisions through 14U; however, fielders are limited to 10 players in Tball and 9 players in 6U and up. There are minimums for innings played in all divisions.

Are there time limits on games?

Tball games are limited to 50 minutes, 6U-8U games are limited to 1 hour 20 minutes, 9U-14U games are 1 hour 45 minutes, 16U-18U games are 2 hours.  

What are NKCA’s guidelines regarding weather cancellations?

Click for link to Cancellation Policy page.

How many managers/coaches can be on a team?

Every team has a manager approved by the Board of Directors.  Each team's manager can have as many team parents as they can find for practices, but only three additional coaches are allowed in the dugout during games.   

What are the responsibilities of a manager and a coach?

The team manager oversees the management of the team throughout the season. They are responsible for setting a practice schedule, developing a practice format, creating a lineup card for every game, and ensuring kids get their minimum playing time in each game.  Managers are the focal point of the team and must be committed to following through with managing the team from mid-March through the regular season.  Time commitment is usually around 8-10 hours a week depending upon division.  Managers need to be able to commit to be at all practices and games.  Managers also must attend a pre-season coaching clinic provided by the league, and a manager's meeting with the League Rep.  As well, they must schedule and conduct a parent meeting prior to the first practice of the season.

Three coaches are allowed in the dugout during games.  However, a manager may elect to use more than three coaches during practice.  Coaches provide support during practice to ensure kids get enough attention while developing their skills.  Coaches are under the guidance and direction of the manager.  Typically, a manager will design a practice format and have assistants take care of coaching small groups of players, assisting with batting practice, hitting fungos, or other assistant duties.  Assistant coaches should commit to be at all practices and games, generally about 6-8 hours a week depending upon division.  Coaches need to attend a pre-season clinic provided by the league.  All actions of an assistant coach during games are the ultimate responsibility of the manager.

Are there conduct rules that apply during games?

Absolutely. NKCA does not tolerate foul language or taunting at any level by the players, parents, managers, or coaches.  Any spectator, player, manager or coach that is warned is subject to being ejected from the premises by an umpire or board member and banned from the complex for additional games.  If anyone observes any conduct that is inappropriate, please notify the concession stand and a field director will be notified. 

Do I have to participate in any fundraising?

NKCA believes that your families are already barraged with too many requests for your children to sell items.  Therefore, we use registration fees to cover the operating capital required for equipment, facilities maintenance and repairs, etc.  In the event someone wishes to donate to the program, please note that the NKCA Baseball League is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization and any donations/sponsorships will be tax deductible up to the extent allowed.

Who do I contact if I have a problem that needs to be resolved by the league?

If at any time you have a problem or just want information, you can e-mail the league at any time. However, please first discuss any concerns with your child's manager, then with the League Rep.   Contact information is on the NKCA web site under Contacts.  You are also welcome to attend a Board meeting and express your concerns directly to the Board with prior approval from the President.  The NKCA Board typically meets every first Tuesday of each month throughout the year, with meeting locations and times varying.  Please refer to the schedule on the homepage for exact dates and times.

I am interested in volunteering. How do I get involved?

NKCA is made up of people like you who want the best for our kids.  We are always looking for volunteers for managers, coaches, board members, team parents, etc.  The first step is to sign-up as a volunteer during the registration process or you can email the League Administrator with your name and how you would like to volunteer.
What is the typical schedule for the Spring and Fall seasons?
In our Spring program, we tend to play Monday through Saturday, using Sundays as overflow and rain out make ups.  In our Fall program, due to competing sports, we tend to play Sunday through Thursday with Friday and Saturday as our rain out make up days.
In each season, weekday games typically begin around 5:45pm and 7:30pm, 6U-8U.  5:45pm and 8:05pm, 9U to 12U.  6pm and 8:20pm, 14U to 19U.  Weekend game can start as early as 8am, with a last game start time of 7pm.