Monday, January 30, 2012

Questions about Junior and Senior Leagues

Q: My son or daughter is in 9th grade but only league age 14, so he or she will miss half of the Little League season, right?
A: No! A player who is league age 14 and is playing freshman baseball or softball can play Senior League baseball or softball at Southern. Senior League starts after the High School Season and they won’t miss any games. (Click here to determine your child's league age.)

Q: If Senior League starts after the high school season, they don’t play as many games, right?
A: Incorrect! Senior League plays just as many games in a more condensed season.

Q: Does Senior League have team tournaments and all-stars?
A: Yes, they do, just like they do in the younger leagues.

Q: If my 14 year old plays Senior League is he or she still eligible to play Junior League All-Stars?
A: Yes! Any player league age 14 is eligible for Junior All-Stars.

Q: Can my 14 year old son or daughter play Senior League even if he or she doesn’t play high school ball?
A: No. Only those who play high school ball and therefore would miss many of the Junior League games can play in the Senior League.

Southern has a strong tradition of running the best Junior and Senior League programs in the area. Click here to sign up now to keep the tradition going!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Sign Up for the Southern Leadoff Party!

The Southern Little League Leadoff Party is coming up next weekend! Be sure to buy your tickets right away. Just click here to read all the details and to buy your tickets online. You can also buy your tickets at the door by cash, debit or credit card.

Here's another great auction item to ponder: A 2 chair set of Stadium Chairs from Comerica Park, courtesy of American Seating. This and lots of other great items will be up for bids at the silent auction.

This is going to be an event you won't want to miss!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sign Up for the Southern Leadoff Party!

The Southern Little League Leadoff Party is less than two weeks away! Be sure to buy your tickets right away. Just click here to read all the details and to buy your tickets online.

Our area school systems have come up with incredible experiences to bid on at our silent auction. Here are a few examples:

  • Sideline passes to home East, Christian or Catholic football games with your child!
  • Varsity Eagle Gear!
  • Varsity Cougar Gear!
  • Varsity Pioneer Gear!
  • Bat Boy at a Game at Fifth Third Park for a Pioneers game!
  • Whitecaps Suite!
  • Bat Boy at Gainey for an Eagles game!
  • Southern Little League MLB Team choice for the season for 7/8ers and Minors!

Plus many, many other great things and experiences from the community!
Please pass the word and let's make this a GREAT NIGHT!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sign Up for the 2012 Season

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Time to start thinking about Southern Little League baseball and softball.

Here's what you need to know. Please take the time to read this information thoroughly.
  • Deadline: You must sign up online or in person no later than March 15. (Seniors baseball: the sign-up deadline is not until May, and your price is still $130.)
  • Cost: $130 per player before the deadline. $150 after the deadline based on availability. (No player will be denied based on inability to pay. Please see our sign-up staff for details.)
  • How to sign up: Online (click here) or at one of our in-person sign-up sessions at Berger Chevrolet (click here). The cost is the same either way. You cannot sign up by mail.
  • Age eligibility and divisions: Signup is for all divisions of baseball and softball. New for 2012: Girls 7 and 8 year old softball! Read more here.
  • Geographical boundary eligibility: See our official league boundaries here. You must reside within these boundaries or have played in Southern last year to be eligible.
  • Tryouts: After signing up, players in certain situations MUST attend their player evaluation (aka "tryout") session. Click here for details.
  • Umpiring: Anyone 13 years old or older who is reliable and passionate about baseball can earn some extra cash umpiring at Southern. Sign-ups for umpiring will be held after tryouts at 2:30 on Saturday, March 26, in the East Grand Rapids High School gym. Training will take place at a later date.
  • Volunteering: Southern depends on volunteers for a wide variety of roles. You'll have a chance to fill out volunteer information when you sign-up. Learn more here.
  • Important dates:
    • In-person sign-up sessions: February 8, 15, and 25
    • Sign-up deadline: Tuesday, March 15
    • Player evaluation/tryout day: Saturday, March 24
    • Clean-up day: TBA
    • Practices begin: After April 8 (depends on coach)
    • Games begin: Week of April 16
    • Family day: Saturday, June 2 (volunteers needed)
  • Our website: We make all our weather and schedule announcements and we keep all our schedules, results, standings and other information here on our website. Make sure to stay on top of all the latest news by signing up for automatic email updates here. It really is the simplest way to make sure you don't miss an important announcement. You can also follow all our announcements by liking us on Facebook here.
  • Questions? Call Mark Norton at 954-0504. Make your message only your name and clearly state your phone number twice.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Southern 2012 Leadoff Party

Click here to spread the word on Facebook.
Please buy your tickets in advance here. You can pay by credit card or PayPal.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Greeting from Southern Little League

Please read this important message from Bob Hams, Southern Little League President:

Hello Everyone,

With the holiday season coming to an end, it is time for us to begin planning for the next softball and baseball season at Southern. 2011 was a very successful season with over 650 softball and baseball games played at Southern. From Coach-Pitch thru Big League we would like to congratulate everyone on a great season.

In March we received a letter from the IRS to undergo a review of our books to determine our non-profit status along with over 500 Little Leagues around the country. The IRS reviewed 2008 thru 2010. Southern Little League has been declared exempt and is covered under the Little League blanket 501(c)3. Some changes were made following the review in the way Southern operates. It was declared by the IRS that our Concession managers and our grounds crew are employees and therefore we can’t issue them 1099’s. We would have to withhold taxes and insurance if we wanted to continue as usual. The decision was made based on recommendations from the IRS and also financial advisors to move away from employing people directly thru Southern. Starting with last season we hired Axios, Inc. to handle our staffing needs. This service provides Southern with the ability to have the manpower needed to operate without the management and liability that we would have to have if we were the employer. This service worked out extremely well for us and we plan on using them again in 2012.

With the declaration from the IRS came a 33% increase in the cost of the individuals needed to staff the Little League with taxes and insurance as well as a modest fee from Axios. This caused a complete review of our finances at the yearend meeting in November. While Southern continues to have no creditors and a small cash reserve, we had to use our rainy day fund to finance a portion of the overall cost of running the league in 2011. The overall cost of participation at Southern has risen to over $320.00 per player for the 760 plus participants. This cost reflects all aspects of running Southern from field maintenance, utilities, uniforms and equipment, staffing needs, accident insurance, liability insurance, umpires, tournament expenses and all-star expenses as well as many other small expenses. I am happy to report that again in 2011 the overall administration cost to run Southern Little League was less than 4% of the overall budget and that is due to the fantastic volunteers that make up 98% of the staffing needs at Southern. A big thank you to all of the volunteers at Southern.

In 2006 Southern Little League raised the player fees to $110.00 with a $15.00 late signup fee. This was the first increase in over 6 years. Now in 2012 we have had to make the difficult decision to raise the fees to play at Southern Little League to $130.00 with a late fee of $15.00. Our plan for the league is to be able to sustain the fees at this rate for several years.

Fundraising covers 66% of the cost of playing at Southern. What many of you probably don’t know is that Southern operates a bingo fundraiser every Friday night at the Britteny Bingo Hall. That bingo has provided Southern with a steady source of income for several years. With the opening of the Gun Lake Casino we have seen a 58% drop in revenues from bingo proceeds over the last year. Southern has always tried to be an inexpensive option for baseball and softball in the Southeast Grand Rapids and East Grand Rapids areas and has succeeded at that for 58 years. Southern is committed to continuing that tradition by keeping the player fees much lower than the actual cost of $320.00.

One new way Southern is trying to make up for lost bingo revenue while maintaining reasonable player fees is with the new annual “The Season Kickoff Dinner and Fundraiser” This will be a very fun event and will raise much needed revenue for the League. This year’s event will be held at Thousand Oaks Country Club on Saturday, February 4th, thanks to the coordination from Steve Boender, Patti Malewitz and Wendi Moore. You will see a separate email blast in the next few days with all of the particular information for this event. This is an event that all parents and friends of Southern Little League can participate in to make it a huge success. PLEASE HELP SOUTHERN AND THE COMMITTEE BY ATTENDING THIS EVENT AND HAVING A GREAT TIME.


Best Wishes,
Bob Hams
Southern Little League

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sign Up Online for the 2012 Season

  • DEADLINE IS MARCH 15! (Deadline for Seniors is May 10.) Online sign-up will close after the deadline.
  • The cost is $130. After the deadline, the cost increases to $150.
  • You can sign up and pay online by clicking here.
  • Please note: The online sign-up is hosted by a third party ( There have been reports of high volume on their site. Please keep trying. There is nothing the Southern webmaster can do about this.
  • There is no additional fee for online sign-up. The cost is the same as in-person sign-up.
  • We no longer need to see birth certificates.

Sign Up In Person for the 2012 Season

You can sign up in person for the 2012 season. This is for folks who do not want to use a credit card to register online. If you'd rather pay by cash or check, come to the in-person sign-up sessions where we'll be able to accept your payment and provide you with access to a laptop so you can fill out the rest of the registration information online. There are no paper sign-ups this year.

The in-person sign-ups will take place at Berger Chevrolet.
  • Where: Berger Chevrolet
  • When:
    • Wednesday, February 8th, 6-8pm
    • Wednesday, February 15th, 6-8pm
    • Saturday, February 25th, 10am-1pm
  • A parent or legal guardian must be present at sign-up.
  • The child need not be present.
  • We do not need to see birth certificates.
  • Cost is $130, payable by check, cash, or credit card.
  • You cannot sign up by mail.

2012 Tryout Schedule


First off, keep in mind that the term "tryout" here is a bit of a misnomer. It's actually more of an evaluation to help determine the appropriate league for each child. No one is omitted from participation based on this evaluation. We use the term "tryout" regardless, so bear with us.

To determine your child's official Little League Age, use their online age calculator here. Please use ONLY this official Little League age when considering which tryout session to attend.

All of the time slots listed below are for baseball only. There will not be a softball tryout session this year.

Please notice that only kids in certain situations need to come to tryouts. Read the conditions below carefully. If you find that your child does not fit into any of these situations, then there's no need to come to tryouts. Get it? If you're still not sure, you can contact the director.

Here is the schedule for tryouts:
  • Date: Saturday, March 24th
  • Location: East Grand Rapids High School Gym.
  • Please plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled time slot.
  • These times are subject to change. We will announce all changes on the website and email all subscribers. Sign up for email notification here.
  • 9:00am-10:00am: all 9 yr olds (baseball). No 8 yr olds will be allowed to play in the minors.
  • 10:30am-11:30am: all 10 yr olds (baseball) who were not in the majors last year and who wish to try out for majors this year. Also, any 10 yr olds (baseball) who are new to Southern this year must attend at this time. (For 10-yr-olds who were in minors last year and want to play in minors again this year, you do not need to attend the tryout.)
  • 12:00pm-1:00pm: all 11 and 12 yr olds (baseball) who were not in the majors last year
  • 1:30pm-2:30pm: all 13 and 14 yr olds (baseball) who were not in the juniors last year
  • 2:30pm-3:00pm: umpire sign-up and meeting
If you have any questions or concerns, or if you know your child will not be able to attend, please contact the director.