The end of summer doesn’t necessarily mark the end of the Little League baseball season for Little Neck-Douglaston Little League. The league is preparing to kick off its fall season on Sep. 10.
The fall season is expected to run for eight weeks, from Sep. 10 to Nov. 13, with doubleheaders being implemented to ensure each team plays at least 10 games. Games are scheduled to be played on Saturdays. In the event of a rainout, postponed games would be made up on Sundays. The age range for kids participating in the program is 5 to 12, with the kids being separated into age groups.
According to Little Neck-Douglaston Little League general manager Nicholas Singh, approximately 73 kids are registered for the fall league, representing a growth of 23 from last spring. He noted that there are enough kids for the 11 to 12 age group for three teams of up to 12 players. Singh believes the league’s growth is in large part due to its sense of community.
“The charm is this league promotes family,” Singh said. “We aspire for all the teams to represent the best quality of baseball. Word of mouth has helped get the league’s name out there and grow it. I’d like to continue to help grow the league and eventually have one of our teams go to the state championships.”
As the season draws to a close, Singh intends to set up a tournament for the 11- to 12-year-olds in this league. Additionally, he expressed interest in having the kids and coaches from his league to meet those from the Massapequa Little League team that made it to the 2022 Little League World Series. He believes they would have a lot to offer to his league’s kids in terms of understanding and enjoying the game.
In addition to seeing the league continue to grow, Singh also hopes to get enough kids in the near future to establish a senior circuit. This would allow for an age group of 13- to 15-year-olds to compete with each other. With so many 11 and 12-year-olds taking part in the fall league, he’s hopeful enough of them stick around next year for that senior circuit to form.
While enrollment for the season has since expired, Singh said the league is willing to accept those who missed the opportunity to enroll but are still interested in taking part. The cost of enrollment is $175 per kid. This helps to cover park permits, uniforms, balls and umpire fees. According to Singh, all the parents really need to pay for outside of enrollment are bats, gloves and cleats.
Even after the fall 2022 Little League season ends, Singh encourages the kids to continue playing and training in the sport over the winter at indoor sports complexes. Little Neck-Douglaston will be offering indoor clinics throughout the winter, providing kids the opportunity to enjoy playing the sport all year while also sharply honing their abilities. It also allows the kids to continue playing with the friends they have or will make.
“The kids [from the spring season] are very much friends with each other,” Singh said. “The closeness has also extended to the parents, who get along well too. That really showed during our end of season barbecue last spring on Father’s Day weekend. There were over 100 people from the community who attended it.”