Jr. Sabers Frequently Asked Questions

Updated Tuesday June 19, 2018 by Franklin Little League.

Why a tournament team?

Simply put, many programs either have, or are starting to have, some form of tournament team.  We understand that athletes and families would like options for enhanced opportunities to grow outside the regular Franklin Little League program.  The Jr. Sabers Tournament Team partnership allows a healthy balance so athletes and families don’t get burned out or can’t financially afford it.  We feel the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team is the right fit, while still supporting advanced opportunities to keep our athletes loving baseball/softball without getting burned out.

Our Jr. Sabers Tournament Team partnership is also designed to leave the possibility open to be selected to play FLL All-Stars which would not be possible in a full Select program.

What are the age ranges?

The Jr. Sabers Tournament Team will follow the age ranges that are set forth by Franklin Little League to be consistent with their league play.  The Jr. Sabers Tournament Team program will operate under the “U program" to better align with tournament offerings. 

What is the U program?

U = Under… For example U10 is 10 and under, U11 is 11 and under and so on. This will be determined based on the age for the tournament season.

Note that all athletes must participate in FLL Minors Division, or higher.  There are no exceptions.

Do you allow athletes to “play up” in the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team?

For the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team, our first rule of guidance is for athletes to play at their age level. Only special circumstances on demonstrated athletic ability will considered and vetted.  Our tournament team will be playing against other tournament teams.  Both healthy competitiveness and a player's maturity is an important ingredient in their playing experience and success. 

Are there any plans to expand this program or offer additional age ranges?

Yes – that is our ultimate goal!  We want to ensure we have the right grouping in place to start us off.  If interest is there we will explore expanding the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team program options as appropriate. 

How many players are on the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team?

The guidance is to carry 12 players on the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team; however, we strive for quality over quantity and this amount may vary slightly.

What is the expectation for Jr. Sabers practices and tournaments?

Being selected as part of the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team is truly an honor.  It is important for the team to operate at it’s best, which includes practice being prioritized, as well as full attendance at tournaments. Missing one practice does not constitute disqualification; however, if you are not able to commit to practices and the tournaments this not only hurts the team and the objectives, but also is not fair to other athletes that may have been able to be selected.  Please take this into consideration before committing.

How much playing time will each player have?

The Jr. Sabers Tournament Team will compete in tournaments that are competitive.  Therefore, equal playing time and set positions are not guaranteed nor should be expected.  The manager will oversee all the team aspects and try to place athletes in the position he/she feels is in the best interest of the team to maximize team potential. 

Players must be available to play in weekend tournaments.  The Jr. Sabers Tournament Team will also host separate practices. These are necessary to enhance a player’s skill to keep up with his/her team members.

How does playing on the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team affect playing with my Franklin Little League Team?

We will make every effort to try and avoid scheduling conflicts between Franklin Little League regular season games and Jr. Sabers tournaments.  Jr. Sabers Tournament Teams typically hold practice on Thursdays during the Franklin Little League season in an effort to also avoid conflicts when possible.

It is also important to note, there are very specific Little League rules as it pertains to players being required to play 60% of their regular season games to be eligible to be selected for an All-Star Team.  Therefore, it is important for Jr. Sabers Tournament Team players to attend as many regular season practices and games as possible.  Jr. Sabers Tournament games do not count towards the percentage required to be selected to the All-Star Team for the season because they are two seperate programs. 

Please note that the players from the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team will be assigned to various regular season teams to avoid any unfair advantage during the FLL regular season games.

How does playing on the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team affect potential selection to Franklin Little League All-Star Team?

All-Star Team selection will continue with the existing proces and is not directly affected by participation on the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team.  Being selected for the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team as a player, manager or coach does not mean that you are automatically an All-Star player, manager or coach.  All eligible athletes will be given a fair evaluation based on performance during regular season play.  Statistics from the Jr. Sabers tournament games cannot be used for the purpose of All-Star selection as they are seperate programs.

If an athlete is fortunate to be selected for both the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team and selected as an All-Star player, they will be expected to participate in the All-Star Tournament.

How are team statistics handled for Jr. Sabers Tournaments?

All Jr. Sabers managers will utilize the Game Changer App for official stats.  This will allow for consistency and accurate record keeping.  Managers will continue to have the option to use other tools as well to assist them.

Managers will also be required to report tournament results to the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team coordinator.

Does an athlete have to try out each season or do they automatically make the team again?

The Jr. Sabers Tournament Team Program recognizes there is athlete growth from season to season.  Athletes must try out for the tournament team each season to promote fair and healthy competition.

What is the length of time a Jr. Sabers manager/coach serve?

Once Jr. Sabers managers/coaches are selected, they are required to commit for one full year to the program.  If a manager would like to continue the following season they will be given priority consideration; however, all interested applicants are encouraged to apply and will still have an opportunity to be considered.

What if there are not enough players for a tournament team?

In the event that happens, the Jr. Saber Tournament Team Program reserves the right to either combine a team, if possible, or not field a tournament team in that division for the season.  These decisions will be made within 2 weeks of the final skill assessment date and communicated to impacted athletes and families.  In the event Jr. Sabers opts not to field a tournament team for the season, all deposits will be refunded to the impacted parties.

What if I would like Jr. Saber apparel as a parent?

Jr. Sabers will offer our “Spirit Wear” right before the season starts.  An e-mail announcement and link will be provided.  Please consider ordering early to get your order in time.  Thanks for showing our athletes support at the tournament and at the regular season play!

Where will the Jr. Saber tournaments be held at?

Each season, the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team managers will go through available tournaments.  Tournament dates and locations will be communicated to the team as soon as possible for planning purposes.  At this time Jr. Sabers is only considering tournaments that are in Wisconsin or just accross the boarder of Illinois only.  One of the tournaments will be hosted at the Franklin Little League Complex as part of the partnership program.

Is there any fundraising or volunteer obligations with the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team?

In order to sustain the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team and help keep costs down, all athletes on the team will be responsible for a Jr. Saber Tournament Team fundraiser.  If you do not wish to participate in this separate fundraiser, you can choose the “buy-out” option.  All Jr. Sabers Tournament Team families are required to participate or utilize the “buy-out” option.  A fundraiser will be determined and communicated to the families at the start of the program season.

Parents of the Jr. Sabers Tournament team will also be obligated to sign up for one concession rotation or tournament duty at the Franklin Little League fields during one of our Jr. Sabers Tournaments.  This is in addition to the normal FLL volunteer requirements for the regular season.  Once the tournament dates have been established, a separate communication will go out.  The team manager will be in charge of ensuring sign up.

What is included in the Jr. Sabers Tournament program?

•    1 cap

•    1 uniform shirt

•    1 dry fit type shirt (for practice or backup uniform)

•    2 uniform pants

•    1 helmet (for new players)

•    1 backpack bag (for new players)

•    4 tournaments (possibly more, depending on funding and team availability)

•    Regular season Franklin Little League fees (league play is through FLL)

Athletes will still need to supply their own bat, glove, athletic protection (if applicable), and bring their batting helmet.  Families may purchase replacement items during Jr. Sabers Uniform Fitting Day if desired.

The Jr. Sabers Tournament Teams will also be supplied with a banner that they can proudly display by the dugout at the tournaments.  The manager will assign a team parent to be in charge of the sign during the season.

Jr. Saber Tournament Team managers and coaches will also be provided a cap and tournament team shirt.

What are the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team costs?

The Jr. Sabers Tournament Team cost is currently set at $525.00 for each Jr. Sabers athlete. A portion of that fee goes directly to Franklin Little League for league play.

Each athlete will be required to pay a $150.00 non-refundable deposit within one week of acceptance of selection to guarantee their spot.  The $150.00 non-refundable deposit will be applied to the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team fees.  The Jr. Sabers Tournament Team balance due will be required no later than January 31.  Installment payments may also be made prior to January 31, if desired.