Baseball for 7-10 Year Olds

Parent Q&A

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  • Baseball for 10-year-old newbie

    (5 replies)

    My son who has never played baseball suddenly wants to sign up for little league next spring. I worry it won't be as fun as he thinks it will be given that he's never played before and isn't super athletic. Any suggestions for a camp, class, or very informal league that he could join to learn the basics? We live in San Leandro, but are willing to travel to surrounding towns. I've searched this site, but all posts on this topic seem to be pretty old. Thank you!

    North Oakland/South Oakland Little League (NOLL/SOLL) offers Fall Ball, which is usually more low-key than spring baseball and might be good for a beginner. I don't see a ton of info on their website, but you can sign up here through 8/20/21 (https://secure.sportability.com/spx/Leagues/League.asp?LgID=48594) or email info [at] nollsoll.com for details. Some Little League options are dependent on residency, so you might also want to check out what San Leandro Little League (sanleandrolittleleague.com) is offering if Oakland isn't available to you. Sometimes local park & rec departments will have classes, too. 

    Our kids are Albany Little League, so YMMV, but we've found that most of the surrounding LL's tend to be about the same.  I'd absolutely suggest going for it next spring....I coached my 10 year old this past year, of our 12 kids 6 had played multiple years, 3 hadn't played at all and 3 had played during the extremely short Covid shutdown year. As far as something before that starts, there aren't as many baseball camps over breaks until LL would start mostly because of the possibility of rain.  Skyhawk Sports has classes for older kids normally and I'd check there.  Lastly, your local LL may run something akin to spring training, which are stations, introductions to the game kinda stuff, starting in February or so. Hope that helps a little bit

    Have no worries at all.  I cannot say enough good about Albany Little League.  Sure, it has its politics just like every organization, but for the kids, it is a tremendous program.  There is absolutely no skills requirement or expectation.  All your child needs is a willingness to go out there and give it what they have, be a good sport and teammate, and always be learning.  The kids in the program form strong friendships and league play is all about the love of baseball.  Parents, form strong bonds too because we have all been around one another for many years.  There are other more competitive options, like the East Bay Cyclones, but you needn't worry about that now.  (Keep it in mind if it turns out your child loves baseball and wants to commit to more development.  Plus, until the kids are 13/14, ALL and Cyclones work to complement one another.)  When we joined ALL when my son was 7 or 8, there were about 800 kids in the program across all ages and levels.  There will be a place for your child.  Most of the practices are in or near UC Village in Albany (e.g. NW Berkeley), but it is very easy to get there off the highway.

    http://www.albanylittleleague.org/

    https://www.eastbaycyclones.org/

    El Cerrito Youth Baseball has a fall program called Fall Ball, which is all about skills building and learning the mechanics of the game. Kids are divided up into age-specific groups (based on the age groups they'd play in for the spring season). It's a great program; both of my kids have attended and plan on going again this year. There's a real range of experience amongst the kids who attend and everyone is treated equally. ECYB is a pretty relaxed league in general; it attracts families from around the area for that reason. Fall Ball tends to be at parks/fields in El Cerrito/Albany/Berkeley on Saturday or Sunday for a couple hours. More info will be available on their website soon, and registration opens soon as well. It's helpful to have some gear (glove, bat, cleats) but not required.

    From my husband’s perspective of 20 years coaching kids LL (girls and boys) you can’t do better than “playing catch” every day gradually increasing distance.  It’s a “father-son” thing, but with two mitts, it can be any family member or neighbor or friend.  It should be someone whose played the game tho.  (It’s social with running commentary)

  • Baseball league for 8 year old

    (2 replies)

    My 8-year-old son has been playing in NOLL/SOLL, but we are looking for a more racially-diverse league and one that is more competitive without overly-competitive coaches and parents. Any updated recommendations for spring baseball leagues such as Oakland Babe Ruth League or El Cerrito Youth Baseball among others? Thanks in advance!

    El Cerrito Youth Baseball is incredibly competitive, especially towards the end of the season. Game results and standings are posted on the website after each game so that every team knows exactly where it stands. There are playoffs at the end of the season that are taken very seriously. One coach had a scary angry outburst for no good reason during a playoff game that scared the kids on the other team and made them cry. That individual will not be coaching again but it is indicative of how ridiculously competitive things can get.

    Other than the end-of-season tension every year, we have enjoyed our time with ECYB. They are making some rule changes that will hopefully prevent future out-of-control behavior but I don't think that it will impact how competitive the league is. Having said that, kids of all levels are welcome and everyone gets a lot of playing time. The rules about playing time are great and all kids are part of the team and get to play. 

    Take a look at Tara Hills in the San Pablo area!

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Questions

Fall baseball for a newbie 8 year old

Aug 2013

Hi, I'm the parent of an enthusiastic, sports-geeky but sensitive and not very coordinated or experienced 3rd-grader who recently announced that he would like to join a baseball team or take a class. Summer is over and I'm looking for recommendations for a very low-pressure, relaxed and fun but still somewhat structured and instructional group for him to join this Fall. Positive coaching too. We live in North Berkeley and there or nearby would be most convenient as I already spend enough time driving. Okay, enough with the adjectives and qualifiers...does such a group exist? Many thanks! Love my sports geek


Hi, Please try Albany Little League Fall Ball. My son has done it for two years and it is great. It is non-competitive and skills-based. It is a wonderful introduction to the sport and it will prepare your son to play on a team in the spring, if he likes it. I believe the same coach who led the program last year is doing it this year too. He was very knowledgeable (former pro player), encouraging, and enthusiastic. Fall Ball is also a very manageable commitment - two hours on Sundays for several weeks. Have fun! Hannah


Last minute baseball League for 10 year old

March 2012

I would like to get my stepson participating in a baseball league in Berkeley, Oakland or vicinity. He is just a novice but loves the game. I know of the existence of Little League but don't know if that is for kids of all abilities, or how to go about getting him signed up. Any suggestions or info? Cody


The North Oakland South Oakland Little League website is nollsoll.com I think it's too late for spring. They have a fall season (called ''fall ball'') that is less formal than spring season. Check out their website and see about next fall. I don't know about other leagues. I recommend summerballcamp.com -- go to the website & contact the owners and see if they think it would be a good fit. It's a summer camp. My son went there for 3 years and had a great time. Good luck. anon


You're probably too late for the regular 2012 Little League season, but there are summer leagues and summer camps. For info, take a look at the North Oakland/South Oakland LLeague website www.nollsoll.com. On the left side of the home page, click on ''More Ball.'' You'll be able to find a place for your 10 year old to start, I'm sure. Good luck. Ball Dude


Baseball for a novice 10 yr old player

Feb 2012

My 10 yr old son has never played baseball before but is dying to play. Now I just need some recommendations for leagues/teams in Berkeley where he might play. All suggestions much appreciated.


I'm not sure about the Berkeley spring baseball date cut-offs, but I know it is getting late for the Oakland little leagues. In case spring doesn't work out for you, I want to recommend a summer camp for baseball, that emphasizes fun and skill development. It has really great high school age counselors, site director (Jared) and owners (the Bonzells). summerballcamp.com You could e-mail with Debbie Bonzell and see if it would be a good fit for your son. The camp is for ages 6-11 and is held at Caldecott Field near the intersection of Hwys 13 and 24. My son has gone the past 3 years when he was 7,8, and 9 years old and had a great time, and improved his skills. We found it to be a very inclusive camp. Good luck in having a fun time with baseball! anon


Not sure about good leagues for him in this area, but coming from someone who played lots of baseball, the best thing you can do for him to make sure he gets along well with a team is focus on fundamentals before signing up. If he doesn't know how to throw (relatively) properly, swing (relatively) properly and not be afraid of the ball, then getting him in a league with other, probably more experienced kids may not be as fun as he thinks it will be.

Lots of catch in the back yard, and play many games of pepper...focus on lots of fun with just the bare minmum of ''coaching''. At this age he needs just enough coaching to help him avoid developing poor mechanics habits. We're having such an amazing winter to prep him before the season starts. Good luck! Zack


North Oakland/South Oakland Little League territory includes about half of Berkeley. Their program is great. (Both my sons played up through the league over many years.) Single A ball probably would be right for a novice 10 year old. I know they put their teams together in January and February, so you're late. Still, at the lowest level, tryouts aren't necessary and they may have room on a team. Also, check their website. They offer web links to other baseball programs under ''More Ball.'' www.nollsoll.com Good luck.


Hello, check out Wheelhouse Academy of Baseball, they are a batting cage that has just opened on Jacuzzi St. right below 580 between Albany exit and Center St. exit. www.wheelhouseacademy.com Very friendly, no pressure, great fun! Your son can choose to take lessons from their batting instructor or he can just hang out and swing away. It's a non-profit org that wants to be a community resource. 510-525-2989 Love the founder, Shiva Gaskins (full disclosure, that's my husband) Robin


10 year old wants to learn to play baseball

Nov 2011

My ten year old son has never played sports and now wants to play baseball. I have checked out the little league, but it seems like he would have to end up playing with 7 year olds to get started. Is there an alternative to little league? Is little league welcoming to older kids without any experience? anon


If you live by El Cerrito, try ECYB. They are a Pony league who go by age, not skill, so he can play with other 10 year olds. Here is the website: http://www.eteamz.com/ecyb/index.cfm? Sarah


Fall baseball for 9 year old?

July 2011

My 9 year old son has decided he'd like to play baseball this fall, but I'm having a problem finding a place for him! We saw the recommendation in the archives for NOLL-SOLL, but their website does not mention anything about a fall league and they did not respond to my email inquiring about fall ball. We live in Berkeley and don't want to travel very far. Thanks! Trying to plan for fall


HI - stick with NOLLSOLL. They do have fallball and their website (which I just checked) said registration will be coming soon. All three of my boys have played NOLLSOLL and it is a good organization. The entire thing is run by volunteers so sometimes things take a bit longer. Baseball mom


Where can 7 year old play fall ball?

Sept 2010

My older son played fall ball (baseball) at the University village years ago. My youngest would now like to play but we can't seem to find the program. Does anyone know where my 7 year old can play baseball this fall?


It may be too late to sign up at this point, but NOLL/SOLL offers Fall Ball if you live in Oakland - www.nollsoll.com. My 7yo is playing. Baseball Mom


Earlier Recommendations


Baseball for a 3rd grader

Jan 2004

My 3rd grade son, who will be 9 in February, desperately wants to play baseball. Have we already missed the boat for the coming season? Are there any nearby baseball leagues/teams other than Albany Little League and El Cerrito Youth Baseball? (I'm looking into those but we may be too late -- and we're not E. Cerrito residents, so we won't have a high priority). I looked at previous recommendations on the site, but they're old. Orinda was mentioned but that's too far -- we're in Berkeley so I was hoping for something on this side of the tunnel. My son has some baseball skills but has never played on a team. He's also willing to consider touch football or basketball. For some reason he doesn't want to do soccer. --Dana


The Golden Gate Optimists have sponsored a little league in the Bay Area for over 40 years. There is a team based in Berkeley as well as the El Cerrito-Richmond area. Please contact me if you're interested in learning more. The league games start in March/April. s-yuesugi


I would strongly recommend Albany Little League if you are within the border. My son has had a very positive experience there, and I'm sure your son would be fine starting in 3rd grade as long as he's somewhat athletic and enthusiastic. Berkeley is actually divided into two parts--the southern half goes to N. Oakland LL and the northern to Albany LL. I checked the website and there's no mention of the deadline. I would suggest sending them an email. The website is albanylittleleague.org. Also, the University Village Recreation Center offers baseball clinics during the summer. The City of Berkeley offers a summer league but our experience with it has been mixed and I wouldn't personally recommend it (though it is the economical choice at only $35 for the season!). Maria


Hi! I was in a similar situation on the fall of 2002 regarding soccer. What I did was I went to the JLYSC league web site and sent a letter to the email or contact us section in the bottom of the page. I stated my situation and asked if there is still a way for my daughter to get in. Someone replied and then called me. My daughter got in and is very happy with her soccer team.

The main thing is to try and be put in the waiting list on the leagues that you are really interested in. Sometimes , people drop out and they need kids to replace them.

As for other baseball leagues, below is the web page for the NOLL_SOLL North Oakland and South Oakland Baseball league. I am not sure if you are in the boundaries but I would still try because they may have some possible solutions.

http://www.nollsoll.com/noll/default.asp

The other one I sent my son to was the BABE RUTH BASEBALL league in Oakland. Their signups usually end in end of JANUARY. You may still have a chance. Call them at 510-639-7792. The adminstration for this group has a very little budget so they have no web page. However, you will be surprised at how big the attendance is. They are more serious about baseball and have a beautiful parade for opening day. My son had no experience at all but was taken in by really nice coaches and were not requiring experienced kids (he was 6 and playing tball). The parents were more competitve during games and you had to put in some time helping the league. The games are held in south Oakland near the coliseum and near ST. Mary's college. Please feel free to call me if you have more questions. 510-450-7467. Annabelle


Babe Ruth in Oakland has looser deadlines, and a more relaxed attitude about the whole thing. My son participated last year as a brand new 4th grader and had an excellent experience with a truly kind coach and fun teammates. I think traditionally it is an African American League, and is very diverse, in all kinds of ways.They take their baseball seriously, but not the other stuff (i.e. uniforms and the like) The one downside is that the neighborhood that many of the games are played in isn't great (near Havenscourt Middle School in Oakland) Anon


There are several families who live in Pittsburg, El Cerrito, Berkely etc. that have signed up their kids in the Tara Hill baseball league (Pinole)Maybe a 15-20 minute drive from Berkeley. Tryouts was cancelled this past Saturday and have been rescheduled for next Saturday (1/17) Our son is also 9 and this is his second year, the coaches are great with the kids. If interested: Late sign ups on Saturday January 17th. >From 9-11am !!! Late sign ups during try-outs at Tara Hills Baseball fields. 2465 Dolan Way, San Pablo Ca 94806 http://www.tarahillsbaseball.com/ bring a glove and bat. Yolanda


Take a look at El Cerrito Youth Baseball, where our son has enjoyed playing for two years and is looking forward to the coming season. The Pinto League, for 7-8 year olds, really needs players and the evaluations will take place later this month. If your son is 9, the Mustang league just held evaluations this weekend, but he can probably still get in. You can find more information on the league web site at: www.ecyb.org. You can also call the league at (510) 215-2939 and leave a message. In short, the league is looking for players of all abilities and teams are just forming now, so you should contact the league promptly. Baseball Dad


Positive coaching groups for son?

May 2003

I'm looking for all available options for baseball (formal Little League or whatever else is out there) for my son. I've looked at the recommendations on the website already, and would like more current (and hopefully moe detailed) information. We live in South Berkeley, and in addition to knowing what's available, I'd like to know what kind of ''parent input'' from the stands my kid is likely to run into, and whether there are any ''positive coaching'' groups that he'd be eligible to play in. Thanks. Julie


My child had a very positive experience in the City of Berkeley's summer league. The practices are beginning next week, but it may not be too late to get on a team. The parents were all very supportive, and I never heard any negative comments from any parents or coaches. My son started last year without any real baseball skills and at the end of the season he was able to bat, catch and throw. Also, parents were encouraged to participate in practices, snacks, etc. I now have experience with this league and NOLL/SOLL, and I find Berkeley league to be more mellow. It is also one of the cheaper leagues around. I think that it was $34 this year. mizzbee


Little League with openings in February for 8yo

Feb 2003

Does anyone know of a Little League that still has openings for the Spring or Summer of 2003? Our 8 year old son is crazy about baseball and this would be his first year not playing if we can't find a team for him. Somehow, Noll Soll deleted him and others from his last team off of their list and they refuse to let them play since their registration date has passed. bz


The City of Berkeley Rec Department runs a wonderful, affordable summer league. The games for the younger children are very mellow - no scores, everybody gets to bat - and the older youth games are played with traditional Little League rules. The tryouts are generally in March but we had some kids on the team that did not try out at all. Check out the city of Berkeley website or call the department for more information. My son really learned the fundamentals of the game and he made some wonderful friends. They also do not ask parents to participate in fundraisers, such as Noll Soll. The program, including jersey, runs around $40.00. Bennett


League for 9-year-old

2001

Are there any baseball and/or softball leagues or groups in the Berkeley area (in addition to the Albany Little League) that may be suitable for an athletic nine year old boy with no previous league experience?


My son has spent the last four years in El Cerrito Youth Baseball. Unlike Albany, the leagues are assigned strictly by age and last for two years. It sounds as if your son would be the age for the second league, which is called Mustang, but you'll have to check with the league administrators to make sure about birthday cut-offs. The teams have already been assigned (everyone who signs up gets put on a team after a group evaluation session, usually in early January), but there is often room for latecomers. At the Mustang level, every child who shows up for a game plays at least 3 innings in the field and bats every time his turn comes up. With a good coach, your child will receive a lot of instruction since teams tend to run 12-13 players, and there are usually at least 2-3 coaches for practices. There is the occasional over-the-top type, but the league makes a serious effort to police and prevent egregious parental acting out. The league president is David Jung 527-6111. You should also consider University Village's baseball clinics in summer and fall, run by Brad, who is great with kids, emphasizes good spirit and basic skills. Phyllis


We haven't tried them, but both Berkeley and El Cerrito have little league or youth baseball. Unfortunately, I don't know the contact people, but probably you can find out by calling the recreation programs at each city hall. Charles


Baseball for a 9yo outside of Little League?

Does anyone know of any possibilities for a nine year old to enjoy the game of baseball outside of Little league? My son loves baseball, but it seems to be competitive in a major way and extremely serious. We just want him to be able to enjoy the game and have a good time. Seems a lot of parents get overly involved with the score! Jody


This option is more expensive, but still a bargain: Brad Gooding's summer camps at University Village. Very low-key, high emphasis on sportsmanship and the counselors are skilled ball players. I wouldn't rule out Little League entirely. Especially if you get lucky with the coach. If you'd like more info, email me directly. Phyllis