Jr. Sabers Frequently Asked Questions

Updated Tuesday June 20, 2017 by Franklin Little League.

Why a tournament team?

Simply put, many Little League 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.  With that said, we also wanted to find 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 tournament team program is also designed to leave the possibility open to be selected to play All-Stars which would not be possible in a Select program.

What are the age ranges?

Franklin Little League will continue to follow the age ranges that are set forth during the regular season play.  For the purpose of the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team program we 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 official Little League 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. 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!  Being our first year we wanted to ensure we had the right grouping in place to start us off.  If interest is there we will explore expanding the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team options as early as next year. 

Please check out the Franklin Little League website often as that will be the best place to get the official notification in the future!

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

The guidance is to carry 12 players on a team; however, we strive for quality over quantity and this amount may vary slightly.

What is the expectation for practices and tournaments?

Being selected as part of a 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.

Practices will be determined by the manager and will be held at various locations during the early spring season and at the Franklin Little League Complex during the regular season!

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 and regular season league games, as well as participate in practice.  

The Jr. Sabers Tournament Team will also host separate practices at the Franklin Little League Complex between tournaments.  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 regular season Franklin Little League Team?

Franklin Little League will make every effort to try and avoid scheduling conflicts between regular season games and tournaments.  The manager for each Jr. Sabers Tournament Team will work with the Division VP practice and tournament dates.  The Division VP will then work with the scheduling coordinator to work around tournaments as much as reasonably possible.

It is important to note, there are very specific Little League rules as it pertains to players being required 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.  Tournament games do not count towards the percentage required to be selected to the All-Star Team for the season. 

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 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.

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 Tournaments?

All 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 within 24 hours to be included on the FLL website.

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

Franklin Little League 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 manager/coach serves?

Once 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, Franklin Little League 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 Franklin Little League opts not to field a tournament team for the season, all deposits will be refunded to the impacted parties.

What if I would like FLL apparel as a parent?

Franklin Little League will run our “Spirit Wear” online store right before the regular season starts.  A link will be posted online and an email annoucement made.  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 tournaments be held at?

Each season, the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team coordinator and the 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 FLL is only considering tournaments that are in Wisconsin only.  One of the tournaments will be hosted at the Franklin Little League Complex.

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

Research has indicated all tournament and outside teams have some form of fundraising.

In order to sustain the Jr. Sabers Tournament Team and help keep costs down, all athletes on the team will be responsible for a fundraiser that is separate from the Franklin Little League yearly 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 by the manager to the families at the start of the official season.

Parents of the Jr. Sabers Tournament team will also be obligated to sign up for one concession rotation 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; replacement helmet every other year for returning players)

•    1 bag (for new players)

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

•    Regular season Franklin Little League fees

As with the regular season play, athletes will still need to supply their own bat, glove, athletic protection (if applicable), and bring their batting helmet (included above for new players).

The team 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.

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 will be set at $525.00 for each Jr. Sabers athlete.  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 balance due will be required when the Franklin Little League regular season registration is opened, but no later than January 31.  Installment payments may also be made prior to January 31, if desired.

Please keep in mind that each family will have required fundraising obligations and volunteer requirements during the year.  Both the Franklin Little League regular season volunteer hours and tournament volunteer hours will still need to be completed in order to receive the volunteer fee back at the end of the regular season.  The volunteer fee continues to be separate for this reason.