Hanover Diamond Sports FAQ

We have received some questions from parents in regards to our new recreational program. Unfortunately, there seems to be some confusion in regards to youth baseball in Hanover. Below are some of the most common questions we have received. Hopefully our answers to these questions will help in your understanding of our baseball program. We are very excited about what the future holds for our organization on our road to independence!

1. What is HDS (Hanover Diamond Sports)?
HDS is the parent 501C3 of our baseball and softball programs. HDS consists of our recreational spring and fall baseball programs, Hanover Baseball, our recreational softball program, Mustang Softball, our travel softball program, Xtreme and our travel baseball program, Rampage. When our recreational program was involved with Little League International we had to run two separate organizations, HLL and HDS. Little League International did not recognize HDS. One of the multiple reasons our board and membership decided to pursue a path away from an affiliation with Little League International was so that we could have one board and one organization to increase our efficiency and communication between all the programs. By working together as one organization we feel that we are better positioned to make baseball and softball better in Hanover.

2. What is going on with the transfer of HLL assets to Hanover Diamond Sports (HDS) and the dissolution of HLL?
The Hanover Little League membership voted to disassociate from Little League International, transfer all assets (including Eagle Park) to HDS and dissolve HLL. The result of that vote was overwhelmingly in favor to do so, 22-3.

The HLL board will continue in its responsibilities until the dissolution of HLL is complete. Statements from some folks in the community that there is a new HLL board and a new HLL organization are simply not true. These individuals that are attempting lack authority to operate HLL. HLL is not responsible for the return of any funds paid to these individuals.

3. What fields will Hanover Baseball be playing on next season?
We fully anticipate that we will be playing on the same fields as we did last season. There is also a very good possibility that we will have access to other fields in town as well. Stay tuned for more information on that as we get closer to the spring season.

We do want to note that it is true that a small group of individuals are threatening to legally challenge our rights to Eagle Park. We remain the owners of Eagle Park and are moving forward with our plans for the property for the 2018 season. It is extremely unfortunate that this group of individuals has put us in a position where we are being forced to use resources that normally would go to our kids and our program for our defense. We sincerely hope that this group of individuals will not follow through on their threats to sue us and will honor the HLL membership’s vote to dissolve HLL and transfer all assets. Pursuing legal action against us will only hurt the kids in our program and our families by draining further resources.

4. Since you are no longer affiliated with Little League is the recreational program going away? How is the recreational program going to be set up?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! We intend to provide a non-profit recreational program that will be similar but better to what you have seen in the past. With us no longer part of Little League International we now have the flexibility to tweak our program to make it better for our kids. The main reason why we made the move away from Little League was we felt that we could provide a better non-profit recreational program. Our baseball program is open to any child that wants to play baseball or softball ages 4-19. No other youth baseball/softball program in the area can make that claim.

Please note that our intention is to keep all of our divisions as in house as possible. T-ball and Rookie Coach Pitch will all be in house. Our RKP, Minors and Majors divisions may play some of their games against other leagues in York County. A lot of this will depend on how many teams we have in each division. The more teams we have registered in a division the less travel will be. Keep in mind though that the travel will be comparable to what our older divisions have seen in the past when we played interlock games. We will be playing surrounding organizations in York county and Adams county.

Our 16U teams will play in the York County baseball league. We have received a number of questions about having 13 year olds play against 16 year olds. This will not be the case. Our goal is to have a 13-14 team and a 15-16 team. The beauty of York County 16U Baseball is that each of our teams will be placed in a division that is representative of its age make up. For example, our 13/14 team will play against other teams that are 13 and 14 and so on.

5. Why was the decision made to leave Little League International?
In one word, flexibility. Little League International has not changed much in 79 years. The youth baseball landscape has changed significantly in the last 5 – 10 years due to the proliferation of travel baseball programs. There are currently 9 travel organizations that fill their rosters with kids from our area. Obviously this has hurt the numbers in our rec program the last couple of years. As a Little League International organization we were restricted to our boundaries in regards to where we could sign kids up. Our boundaries didn’t include Manchester, MD, Littlestown, or New Oxford. All of those areas are within a 10 minute drive of Hanover and we have had interest from families in all three areas. In the past we have had to turn those families away. As an independent organization we can now accept those kids into our program.

Our season has been limited under Little League International baseball due to the LL International All-Star tournaments. In order to get all of our games in we have had to start the first weekend in April and be done by the second weekend in June. Throw weather in there, especially in March, and it makes that season extremely tight. Often times we have teams only practicing a few times before they are thrown into games. We have received many complaints from parents in regards to that issue over the years. Since we will not be bound to the LL International tournament schedules any longer we will be able to start the season later and end later. This will allow for more practice time before games start and will also allow for the kids to play more baseball. We currently are looking to start games later in April and conclude with playoffs the third or last week of June. Our all star teams will then be able to play in tournaments in July. There are tons of opportunities to play tournaments outside of the LL International umbrella. In the past LL International has been very strict in that LL International organizations are not to sponsor any teams that play in tournaments outside of LL International. Now, we will be able to pick the tournaments our all stars play in as well as be able to sponsor them and cover some or all of their costs. One of our goals is to get our kids playing more baseball and make it more enjoyable, this schedule and new found flexibility will allow that.

We are planning on something totally new for our teams in Rookie Coach Pitch divisions and up. We are calling it Baseball Blast Weekends and we will be creating a special baseball experience our kids. Each division (RCP and older) will have a baseball blast weekend and each team will play abbreviated games in a competition that will lead up to Baseball Blast division champion. This will be in addition to the end of year playoffs (Rookie Coach Pitch does not have playoffs but will have their own baseball blast weekend). For those of you who have had kids play in the Hanover Soccer program, we are basing the Baseball blasts on their Super Soccer Saturdays/Sundays. An event like this was not allowed previously under Little League International rules and regulations, now we have the flexibility to think outside the box to provide opportunities like this for our kids to play more baseball and make it more fun.

We will be able to put 11 and 12 year olds on 70 foot fields (50 foot pitching distance). We have done this in the past in our intermediate division which was 11-13 year olds, however Little League International’s primary division for 11 and 12 year olds (Majors) is 60 foot bases and 46 foot pitching distance. We now will have all of our 11 and 12’s on 70 foot fields and our 13 year olds will move up to 90 foot fields. We feel that our 11 and 12 year olds should not be playing on the same size field they played rookie ball on when they were 6. They are ready for the bigger field and are able to learn about leading and balks. The 70 foot field is also safer for that age group as the extra distance gives them a little more reaction time to pitches and hit balls.

6. When will registration for Hanover Baseball be open?
Early bird on-line registration is open now! You can Click Here to register. We will be having a live registration sometime in January. Again, we have opportunities to play baseball for all kids ages 4-19. NO one else can say that! Keep in mind that space is limited so register early.

7. I want to be involved with the new organization, what do I need to do?
WE NEED MORE HELP AND INPUT FROM OUR FAMILIES!! If you would like to volunteer in our organization as a coach, board member, field maintenance, fundraising, etc. let us know. Click Here to contact us with any questions or concerns. We currently have three board positions to fill and are in need of umpires. All volunteers will need to pass all the applicable PA state background check requirements.
One of the major goals of HDS is to be as transparent as possible with our families. We are making strides in doing that by keeping you updated on the dissolution of HLL and the transfer of assets. We will continue to try to be as transparent as possible. If you have questions about HDS, the dissolution of HLL, the transfer of assets or the new rec program please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We do our best to respond to emails, phone calls and Facebook message in 24 hours. This is your organization and we want to hear from you!