NOLL/SOLL Seniors are 2017 Division 2 champions

Tonight the NOLL/SOLL Seniors All-Star team defeated Union City National 11-10, in a come from behind win in the bottom of the 7th, to clinch the Division 2 Northern CA championship. Congratulations to a great team and we’re looking forward to a great run in the Western Regionals.

The team plays Nevada to kick off the Western Regionals in Sacramento, game time Thursday July 20 at 1pm.

Little League Western Regionals

A’s Night Tickets are on sale now!

NOLL/SOLL A’s Night Friday May 5th

Come join us as the A’s take on the Detroit Tigers on Friday, May 5! This is a great NOLL/SOLL community event – don’t miss out.

Cost is $25 per person and includes game ticket and catered pregame tailgate with our league.

Order tickets now on Sportability! *
(Click Register Now to begin your order)

Cinco de Mayo celebration starts at 5:00pm, First pitch at 7:05pm.
Steak, Chicken and Vegetarian Burritos
Mexican Ceasar Salad
Homemade Tortilla Chips
Made from scratch red and green Salsas
Horchata and Agua de Jamaica drinks

* When ordering tickets, please make sure to select your team from the drop-down menu, this will ensure you are seated with your team. If you have players on multiple teams, please make a note in the Notes section.

Cal Game Day on Sunday March 19th

We have confirmed, Sunday March 19th as our Cal Game Day this year. Come out and join our league as we watch the Cal Bears take on the Oregon Ducks at Evans Stadium. Game time is 1pm and we will have a variety of fun activities for the players. Come dressed in your NOLL/SOLL uniform! Tickets are $12/person and available to purchase online.

Celebrating the life of Tom Leth

NOLL/SOLL community –

A Celebration of Tom Leth is this Friday night. Please consider bringing a memory to share. A memory that you consider “so Tom!” Sharing memories keeps our loved ones alive in our hearts. We need all kinds – silly, funny, serious, embarrassing, warm & fuzzy, examples of friendship, etc. Food and drink will be provided, and we all provide the memories to honor and celebrate our friend. If you rather not use the microphone, write it down and someone will share it for you. Thank you.
I am passing on a link to a GoFundMe page we are using to pay medical expenses and also start a fund for Tommy to use for his future.
Thanks, Sharon

Jan 8 2017 – In the space of just the last few weeks, long time volunteer, coach and umpire, Tom Leth was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. Please read more and consider a donation at the GoFundMe page set up by a NOLL/SOLL family.
Tom and Tommy Leth

2017 Division Realignment

With the goal of increasing competitive balance within divisions, the
NOLL/SOLL board approved a Division Realignment plan to take effect for
the Spring 2017 season. The major change of the plan emphasizes moving
younger players into the Intermediate and Juniors divisions. The plan
makes subtle changes that aim to create a consistent growth and
development path for all kids from AA thru Juniors.

RULES CHANGES
Under the previous alignment, there were only two playing differences
between the AA, AAA and Majors divisions: by national rule, the batter
is out on all dropped third strikes (D3K) in AA and AAA and by local
rule, curveballs are not allowed in AA and AAA. This means that many
kids play 5 years with essentially the same ruleset. After Majors, the
growth path steepens sharply. The Intermediate division (new to LL in
20013) lengthens the bases from 60′ to 70′ and adds
leads/steals/pickoffs/balks. From Intermediate to Juniors, the diamond
increases to 90′ bases.

Under the realignment, AA will use a 42′ pitching distance. This makes
pitching in AA a more reachable goal for more kids and creates a
significant difference between AA and AAA. By moving advanced 12s into
Intermediate division, we move those kids further along the growth path
by increasing the size of the diamond and adding the leads/pickoffs
ruleset instead of letting them stagnate for a second (and sometimes
third) year at Majors.

DRAFT CHANGES
Under the previous alignment, 9s (FarmB, AA, AAA) 10s (AA, AAA) and 11s
(AAA, Majors) are all drafted to multiple divisions based on talent. As
an example, an inexperienced 10 would play in AA (with good 9s and some
8s), an average 10 would play in AAA (with weaker 11s and some 9s).
This ‘talent striping’ effect has worked well in the minors. All 12s
play together at the Majors level and all 13s play together at the
Intermediate level. This exposes and emphasizes the differences between
the best and worst 12s and 13s.

Under the realignment, 10s may be drafted to Majors, 12s to Intermediate
and 13s to Juniors. By allowing teams in Majors, Intermediate and
Juniors to draft 10s, 12s and 13s respectively, we extend the ‘talent
striping’ across all these divisions which should create more
competitive balance across divisions. The Majors and Intermediate
divisions will get slightly younger as 12s are replaced by 10s in
Majors, 13s are replaced by 12s in Intermediate and 13s are added to
Juniors.

HOW WILL THIS AFFECT YOUR PLAYER
Many families asked us how this will affect their child. Let’s break it
out by 2016 age and skill. Note, rising 11s means 11 in 2017.

Players who were age 5-9 in TBall or Farm will not be affected. When
players are drafted into AA (as rising 8s, 9s or 10s) they will
experience the new pitching distance.

Players who were age 8-10 in AA will be drafted into AA or AAA. Some
rising 11s may be drafted up to Majors, but the league will proactively
contact those families in advance before forcing them to skip a division.

Players who were age 9 in AAA may be drafted into AAA or Majors as
rising 10s.

Players who were age 10 in AAA may be drafted into AAA or Majors as
rising 11s.

Players who were age 10 in Majors will be drafted into Majors as rising
11s unless they indicate that they want to be eligible for the
Intermediate draft.

Players who were age 11 in AAA will be drafted into Majors as rising 12s. The league will contact families where we think that a player should be considered to play up into Intermediates.

Players who were age 11 in Majors will be drafted into Majors or
Intermediates as rising 12s.

Players who were age 12 in Majors or Intermediates will be drafted into
Intermediates or Juniors as rising 13s.

WHAT IF WE HAVE SPECIAL REQUESTS for our PLAYER?
The Division page on our website has a simple graph of the ages and
divisions which should make it easier to see what the primary age group
at each division is. As part of the division realignment process we
determined that for players age 11 and up, the family will have to make
a request to the league for players in the lowest age bracket of a
division to play up a division. For example, a league age 11 player
will have to request to be available in the Intermediate draft if the
family thinks that player is ready to play at a higher level. If no
request is made, 11s would be drafted primarily into Majors and AAA. On
the other end of player requests, if your family believes that your
player belongs in the lowest division appropriate for that age group,
you may submit a request for that player to ‘play down’. We handle
requests to play down in the context of achieving competitive balance
for our divisions, if the player would be drafted in the top half of the
player draft, the play down request would be denied, however if they are
not selected in the top half of the draft, we will make sure they play
down in the lower division. Additionally we clarified that players will
not be forced to skip divisions without approval from the player and
family. A player who is a AA player may only be drafted into Majors if
the family and player requests or acknowledges a desire to be available
in the higher draft.

We hope this answers any questions you have. If not, please email us at
info@nollsoll.com!

General Membership Meeting – October 5th

NOLL/SOLL Community –

We will hold our annual general membership meeting on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016 at the community room at Sports Basement (2727 Milvia Street, Berkeley). At this meeting we will hold a general membership vote to confirm our League Constitution and approve the proposed slate of board members for the upcoming season. The board will meet immediately following the general membership meeting.

Please review the League Constitution here.

Email info@nollsoll.com if you have any questions. We would love to have you join us!

Proposal for Division Realignment

Proposal Survey

The NOLL/SOLL Board has received a proposal to realign the player divisions for the upcoming Spring 2017 season and will be voting on it at the November Board Meeting. The proposal comprises a significant change, and the Board is asking our community to review the draft proposal and provide feedback as we fine tune and eventually vote on the proposal. Please review the proposal and respond to this survey. If you feel strongly in either direction about the proposal, we are holding a public meeting on Wednesday, September 28th 7pm at Sports Basement community room to allow community input and answer questions in person.

For details: Division Realignment Proposal Link (with graph)

INTRODUCTION
The NOLL/SOLL mission is to provide a positive experience for local kids through the sport of baseball. The current division alignment allows for kids to play five years on the same size diamond (46/60) with the same ruleset and age boundaries which limited, for example, the majority 12s to the Majors division. At lower divisions, advanced players naturally play up through our draft process but at Majors games can be dominated by a small number of overpowering 12yo pitchers which devalues defense and other baseball fundamentals on the smaller diamond. In 2013, Little League introduced the Intermediate division for 11-13s which plays at a distance of 50/70 and introduces the full baseball ruleset (leads/steals/pickoffs/balks). Initially, NOLL/SOLL limited Intermediates to 13s, then in 2016 allowed 11-12s to request to be considered in the Intermediate draft.

PROPOSAL
Allow every age group to be drafted into multiple divisions (e.g. 10s can be drafted into Majors, AAA or AA) based on skill and experience to provide a better experience for all players. Moving kids along a gradual increase in both size of diamond and ruleset should be beneficial to their development as baseball players the experience they have with NOLL/SOLL. Specifically the proposal is that NOLL/SOLL immediately:
– Adopt a 42/60 sized diamond for AA
– Remove the upper bound on 10s, 12s and 13s. Specifically, 10s can be drafted into Majors, 12s into Intermediates, and 13s into Juniors without a player request to play up

ANTICIPATED EFFECTS
If these changes are adopted, it is expected that approximately 30% of 10s would be drafted into Majors, 10% of 11s and 60% of 12s into Intermediates and 50% of 13s into Juniors. Pushing advanced players up should allow for a more balanced and competitive regular season at both the Majors and Intermediate divisions. Starting with a smaller diamond at AA and then gradually increasing both field size and ruleset from AA through Juniors should give more kids a better regular season baseball experience while at the same time challenging advanced players earlier.

These changes would affect postseason play. NOLL/SOLL would not field a 12yo All Star team as the advanced 12s would be in Intermediate and ineligible for the Majors tournament. 12s in Intermediate would be eligible for Intermediate All Stars and NOLL/SOLL will provide an opportunity for a team of 12s to play in a local tournament. NOLL/SOLL would continue to participate in TOC at all divisions, but our level of play will be affected as our teams will likely be younger relative to other local leagues.

Proposal Survey

Fall Ball registration opens August 5th

We are getting ready for Fall Ball! Fall is the first program of the year, meaning kids are now considered their 2017 age. Fall Ball is for kids rising to AA, AAA or Majors (age 8-12 for the 2017 season). We do not offer a Fall program for T-Ball or coach pitch divisions. Due to a limited number of teams Fall Ball registration fills quickly and there will be a wait list available after we have reached the maximum number of registrations.

Fall Ball registration will open on Friday August 5th and can be accessed at the following link – Fall Ball registration

Fall Ball games will begin on September 10 and end on November 13. Teams will have one weekday afternoon practice and one weekend game each week.

Due to coverage limitations of our insurance policy, only players who participated in NOLL/SOLL during the 2016 regular season are eligible for Fall Ball.

Cost for Fall Ball is $100; players will receive a T-shirt jersey and a hat. Teams will be formed during the first week of September. Anyone interested in being a head or assistant coach should indicate that when registering their player. Teams will have larger roster sizes so kids with a primary commitment to another fall sport like soccer (or coaches) can miss a game here or there.

NOLL/SOLL Seniors win Section 1 Championship

For the second year in a row the NOLL/SOLL Seniors have brought home a Section 1 Championship. On Friday they will begin play again in the Northern California Division 2 championship round (in San Jose).

2016 NOLL/SOLL Seniors Section 1 Champions