Needham Fall Ball offers a great opportunity for players to gain experience in the game outside of the traditional season. While Major League Baseball heads into the playoffs and World Series, Needham players from 1st grade to 10th grade can work on fundamentals, hone more advanced skills, play new positions, and learn more about the game. The fall league is enjoyed by players ranging from those who cannot get enough baseball to those simply interested in taking their game to the next level as they advance to higher tiers of competition. Many of our players participate simultaneously in other sports, with a special devotion to baseball.
Registration. Registration begins June 1st and closes on August 19th. Late sign-ups will only be permitted if room is available. Early registrations, before the school year ends, are recommended.
Season. The Fall season will begin with practices and games starting in early September (after Labor Day). Game and practice schedules will be ready in late August or early September, depending on the program.
Fall Development League for 1st and 2nd Graders
Overview. Needham Baseball offers a Fall Development League to give younger players training in the fundamentals of baseball and an additional season to try-out these skills. Establishing proper mechanics is critical at this age and the season will focus on skill development through drills, practices and intramural games. Players are encouraged to attend as many practices as possible and to try their skills in games.
Schedule. Practices are ONE HOUR in length and are expected to be held Tuesdays and Thursdays. Teams will practice once per week, with occasional weeks allowing for two practices. Practices are run by Frozen Ropes, with high school baseball and softball assistants. Games are 90 minutes in length and will be Sunday afternoons at 4:00pm.
Player expectations. Players are expected to bring a desire to learn, a willingness to practice and a commitment to having fun!
Fall Competitive Travel Leagues
9-12 year old Newton Southeast League
Overview. Needham Baseball provides a competitive travel baseball program in September and October for 9-12 year olds (grades 3-7 in the 2018-2019 school year). This program is for committed baseball players who want to fit in another season of baseball, get additional playing time and compete at a high level. This is not a "show up and play" league - players are expected to attend most practices and games. This program will stress skill development and competition.
Player expectations. Players will be expected to participate in most team practices and games. Rosters will be kept to 11-13 players (12 preferred), depending on availability at each level. Teams will be evenly balanced.
Schedule. The season typically consists of 9-10 games. Games are usually scheduled once during the week and once on weekends. Weeknight games begin as early as 5:00 to be completed prior to darkness.
The season culminates with play-offs for eligible teams in early to mid-October (the same time as MLB playoffs).
13-15 year old Fall Big Diamond Prep
Overview. This is a strictly developmental league with no standings and no playoffs. Games are scheduled for Friday night under the lights, Saturday and Sunday only). This program is designed to give players additional chances to learn and practice the new skills required of Babe Ruth players on the big (90') diamond in the following spring season and for current Babe Ruth players to get an additional season of competitive baseball. All games are on weekends, with practice during the week.
Player expectations. Players will be expected to participate in most team practices and games. Rosters will be kept to 12-14 players, depending on availability at each level. Teams will be evenly balanced.
Schedule. The season consists of 2 games per weekend for 6 weekends. Games are only scheduled on Friday nights and weekends. There are no playoffs, but season may be extended for earlier rain-outs.
Freshman and Sophomore Wood Bat League
Overview. Needham Baseball offers a fall program for wood bat play. One team is selected for this program and plays competitive travel baseball in Needham and surrounding towns. This is not a "show up and play" league - players are expected to attend most practices and games.
Season. The Fall season will begin with practices in late August and games beginning in early September (after Labor Day). The season typically consists of seven 9 inning games. All games are scheduled for Sundays; practices will be held on weekday evenings and/or Saturdays.
Player expectations. Players will be expected to participate in most team practices and games. The roster size will be based on the number of registrations but may be large to more closely match the high school experience. Consequently, it is not acceptable for players to attend occasionally or only when other conflicts do not arise. If registration numbers are high, tryouts may be held and cuts may be made. Only one team will be entered for the 2018 season.
How Teams are Formed
Teams are evenly balanced under the rules of the Fall League. For players aged 9-12, there are three leagues: AA, AAA and Majors. These leagues are organized by Newton Little League. Games are played in surrounding towns (in 2017 teams from Needham, Newton, Dedham, Waltham and Savin Hill participated).
U15 team: All players who will turn 13, 14 or 15 prior to May 1, 2019 will be assigned to a u15 (Norwood League) team, if not eligible for the Freshman/Sophomore team. This League is based in Norwood, all games are played in Norwood and practices are held in Needham.
Majors: 1) All players who will turn 12 prior to September 1, 2019 will be assigned to Majors; and 2) Any player who played in the Majors Division of Needham Little League in Spring 2017 will be assigned to Majors.
AAA: All players who will be 11 years old prior to September 1, 2019 will be placed in AAA, regardless of grade level, unless that player played Needham Majors level in Spring of 2018. All players who will turn 9 or 10 years old prior to September 1, 2019, are in 4th grade in Fall 2018 and have previous baseball experience will be placed in AAA. Note: AAA teams consist of multiple age groups and grade levels.
AA: All players who are in third or fourth grade for the 2018-2019 school year and do NOT fall into one of the above categories will be placed in AA.
Fall Development League for 1st/2nd graders: Players will be grouped according to grade and school, with a mix of 1st and 2nd graders on each team. Players should anticipate being placed with other players from their elementary school to the extent possible.
NOTE: Players in first or second grade should register for our Fall Development League as the Fall Travel League is not appropriate for players who have not experienced player-pitch baseball. On rare occasions, second graders with coach recommendations and demonstrable player-pitch experience can be considered for AA play, solely at the discretion of the Fall Placement Committee.
Any questions – please contact the Fall League Director.