League Info Q & A

Learn more about SHJYL

UpdatedFriday December 27, 2019 bySouth Haven Junior Youth League .

New for 2020:

The South Haven Rams Boosters organization is retaining concessions stand operations during our season time. Because SHJYL will no longer be operating concessions, the volunteer requirement and deposit have been eliminated. In order to offset this change, an adjustment has been made to player registration fees. SHJYL will continue to offer the multi-player discount for households with more than one child participating. Thank you.


The South Haven Junior Youth League has many new board members for 2020.  Please take a look at the Contact Us page to familiarize yourself with your new SHJYL Board.  



New from 2019:

VOLUNTEER SIGN UP: Due to a significant increase in the cost of league background checks, SHJYL is asking that only those seeking to Head Coach or Assistant Coach register as volunteers and complete background checks during league registration.  Once Head Coaches are assigned, the Head Coaches will reach out to adults who are interested in assisting at the Head Coach's discretion and background checks will be processed at that time. 

If you are interested in helping, but not in signing up to Head Coach or Assistant Coach, please check the "Team Parent" box in the volunteer section of your player's registration sign up.  This will allow us to limit background checks to only those volunteers who are selected to help.

COACHES / PLAYER DRAFT CHANGE: Travel players will be considered as the equivalent of having participated in all-stars for the purpose of the draft.  i.e. A player who has participated or is participating on a travel team within the past or current calendar year is considered an all-star and must be drafted accordingly whether or not the player participated in all-stars the previous season.


Q: What does SHJYL registration cost?

A: Registration is $80 for the first player per-family.  Each additional player registered from within the same household will receive a $10 discount at checkout (must be on the same order to qualify). 


Q: What payment methods are accepted for SHJYL?


A: Credit or Debit Card payments are the only accepted payment methods. The online registration will take credit, debit, or prepaid credit cards (available at local stores). Sorry, but personal checks and cash cannot be accepted – no exceptions.


Q: How do we register players, coaches, umpires, and other volunteer positions?

A: You can register 24 hours a day / 7 days a week online at SouthHavenJYL.com.


Q: Do I have to register and pay for my entire family at the same time to receive the multi-player discount?

A: Yes. Multi-player discounts within the same household apply for the same order only. The discount will automatically be applied during the online checkout process.


Q: Why is registration so early?


A: We participate with an inter-community league. There is much coordination to plan schedules for so many cities and teams. We must know how many teams we will have by March 1st for the community league.  Also, uniforms must be ordered early enough to have in time for April games.



Q: What are the Season Dates?

A: The Regular Season begins mid-April for the older 14u and 12u divisions, and end of April or 1st of May for all other divisions.  Regular season games will conclude in mid-June. The All-Star season starts immediately after and ends in July.  These dates are subject to change.


Q: When are practices?

A: Scheduled league practices are Monday & Wednesday for Baseball and Tuesday & Thursday for Softball. Teams will be assigned one practice on a school field and one batting cage practice per week (other than Pee-Wee/T-ball). All other practices are at coach discretion.


Q: What locations are available for practices?

A: Scheduled practices occur Monday – Thursday on the school fields. Coaches may hold additional practices on a first come / first serve basis during the weekends or at any South Haven public park. Per league policy, these are the only locations where SHJYL practices may occur (no private property).


Q: When are the games scheduled?

A: In general, Baseball games are played Monday and Wednesday.  Softball games are played Tuesday and Thursday. 


Q: Are there background checks for our volunteers?

A: Yes, every volunteer working with children including our board and staff must submit to a background check. This will happen as a part of the volunteer registration process.


Q: How are positive background checks handled?

A: All flagged background checks are reviewed by the SHJYL Directors per SHJYL Bylaws and Policies.


Q: Why do we participate in the community league?

A: The community league allows us the ability to play more teams. Some of our older divisions may have only one or two South Haven teams. Also, by seeing competition from other communities, our teams can be better prepared for all-stars and high school competition.


Q: What other cities are participating in the community league with us?

A: As of 2017 the Community League included Allegan, Bangor, Bloomingdale, Gobles, Hartford, Lawrence, Lawton, South Haven, and Watervliet (not all towns participate for all age divisions).  


Q: Do our teams travel for games?

A: The 10u Minors and older divisions will travel for away games. The younger two divisions do not travel for games.  So typically, if a player is 8 years old or younger, he or she will not travel for games.  Travel is for 9 years and older.  We do take school nights into consideration and do our best to have all players home as early as scheduling will allow.


Q: Are there any refunds?

A: League policy is no refunds for any reason with the only exceptions being for:

1) Players who register but must quit due to being selected for high school athletics (tryouts may be after SHJYL sign ups).

2) If SHJYL does not have enough players for a team at the age level (every effort is made to field a team at every level, however it is not always possible).


Q: What do players need to wear?

A: All players must wear the provided team jersey and headware. The league recommends softball/baseball pants.  See your coach about any color recommendations.


Q: How old do I have to be to umpire?

A: Beginning umpires can be accepted at age 13. Umpires will be chosen at the discretion of our Director of Umpires on an as-needed basis.  Make sure to contact the Director of Umpires found at the Contact Us page of SouthHavenJYL.com if you are interested in officiating.  Training will be provided before season begins.



Q: How can I sign up to sponsor a team? Can I sign up for more than one team?


A: Sponsor Sign Up is in the website store at SouthHavenJYL.com. Absolutely! We will accept sponsors on a first come first serve basis and try to accommodate any special team or player requests. To sign up for more than one team, simply repeat the team sponsor sign up as many times as you wish.


Q: Why does SHJYL use live pitch at the Minor 10u level?

A: The community league decided to begin teaching pitching and catching skills for live pitch at the Minor 10u level. This is to help provide extra training for young athletes to prepare early for high school competition. It also helps our batters to develop a keen eye for facing live pitching at an earlier level. SHJYL tried this with Softball for 3 years and then added Baseball in 2015. Special rules apply for walks and pitch counts to accommodate young pitchers and prevent injury.  


Q: Why does SHJYL use portable pitching mounds / mats?

A: As of the 2015 season, the league is using portable pitching mounds / mats to help our young pitchers with incremental steps toward the older age levels and high school ball. We are all about developing our players to go as far with the sport as they desire. South Haven is leading the way with this step in the community leagues and we believe the others will soon follow. In addition to this helping our athletes progress, the portable mounds will also help us to take better care of our fields and not disrupt the high school teams who share the field space with us. 


6u T-BALL Player Age Information – In 2016, we began allowing 4 year olds to register for Pee-Wee T-Ball.  Beginning the 2017 season, our Pee-Wee T-Ball was changed to ages 4-6.  Families who wish to move their 6 year old players up to 8u Live Pitch will be given the option during registration.  Decisions regarding moving 6 year olds will be made individually by the baseball or softball committees.  Such decisions will be made based on the player's skill level and ability to play safely at a higher level.  This change was adopted in order to help players develop earlier at a pace we feel is safe and challenging. Please help us spread the word that 4 year olds can play!


Q: Where can I make a special request?

A: Special requests can be made in the “Comments” section during player registration. This might include wishing to have siblings/within household on the same team. It is not always possible to honor requests.


Q: How many games does each team have per season?

A: The short answer is: as many as physically possible with the amount of time we have and field availability. We have use of one full-sized field, one small field, partial use of another full-sized field, and full use of a T-ball field. Combined with away games for ages 9 and up, this allows SHJYL to offer between 10-15 games per team each season.


Q: How are make up games handled for rained out games?

A: SHJYL schedules games to keep our fields booked full for nearly the entire season. Any make ups must be scheduled by the coaches around the existing master schedule. It is the responsibility of head coaches to reschedule rained out games. This may not always be possible due to the busy schedule and limited field availability.  Make up games can be played on Fridays or weekends also as long as the SHJYL Board is contacted to arrange for umpires to officiate.


Q: I SHJYL affiliated with South Haven Public Schools or the City of South Haven?

A: No, SHJYL is it's own non-profit corporation entity.  However, these organizations communicate and cooperate to help the South Haven community. Please take the time to thank South Haven High School Athletic Director, Adam Verseput and his coaching staff when you see them. We share a common goal of training skilled athletes who appreciate good sportsmanship and community. Both programs need each other, our sponsors, and our families to be a success!


Q: What can I do for additional help?

A: The SHJYL Board and Staff are glad to assist with your questions. Please see the Contact Us page for additional contact information.


*The South Haven Junior Youth League Board reserves the right to change league rules and policies as needed.  Meetings are open for parents, coaches, and public to attend and offer input.*