Tournament Teams

PURPOSE:  The purpose of this page is to provide a clear understanding of the Birmingham Bulldog program, which is often misconstrued to be the District team.  

TEAM FORMATION:  Each August, the following age levels, 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U and 12U (and, more recently, 13U or 14U) will conduct a tryout in August to determine that season's Bulldogs team.  These teams will consist of players who are (a) age-eligible (see explanation below) (b) committed to play BLL regular season and (c) have sufficient commitment/talent/interest in baseball.  Most roster sizes for Bulldog teams are roughly 10-13 players.  Inclusion on the Bulldogs team will likely help a player make the District team in July (see separate "All Star Teams/Tournament Teams" tab), but the District team is subject to a separate tryout in June of each season once the BLL regular season is complete.  The BLL Board of Directors also strongly encourages two (2) Bulldog teams at each age level to provide more opportunities for players in our league to supplement their baseball.  

The term "age eligible," means a player can't be older than the team's age classification by September 1st.  So, for example, if a child will turn 9 on August 31, 2023, he cannot play 8U during 2023 Districts.  If it's helpful, consider August 31st as the "WORST" Little League birthday and September 1st as the "BEST."  As many know, travel baseball uses a different date for cutoffs (May 1st).  

GENERAL TEAM GOALS:  While each coaching staff can craft its own set of goals, teams will usually work to improve players' skills, determine player-roles for the District Tournaments and promote a healthy/enjoyable atmosphere.  While Bulldog teams will play in many tournaments before Districts (and want to win them), the paramount competitive goal is to win the District 4 tournament in July (and then advance as far as the team can go).  

FRAMEWORK FOR BULLDOGS SCHEDULE:  While each coaching staff will set it's own schedule, it's expected teams will practice in the fall (perhaps play in a tournament or scrimmages), conduct winter hitting training, participate in the Oakland Yard Saturday morning weekly sessions starting after the holidays, practice outdoors in the spring and play in at least a half dozen tournaments before Districts (including many tournaments designed specifically to prepare for Districts with Little League Rules).   Coaching staffs encourage athletes to play other sports and, in general, have well rounded childhoods but, when it comes to spring, Bulldog baseball is expected to by the child's primary sport (and, availability for Districts is non-negotiable).  

For any questions about the Bulldog program, please contact Andy Harris, BLL President, [email protected]; 248.709.3369.

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