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Tryouts: The Insider's Guide

By PVLL, 10/15/19, 3:00PM PDT


Tryouts for baseball can be scary.  What’s going to happen during the tryout?  What if I don’t get picked?  I haven’t played in so long – what if I mess up?  This guide is intended to explain the process so that both parents and players understand what’s to come and why.

Tryouts are Saturday, January 11, 2020 at Malaga Cove Field (375 Via Almar, Palos Verdes Estates).

Why do we have to tryout?

A key tenet of Palos Verdes Little League is promoting team equality and fair play.  This forms the foundation for a fun and successful season.  Tryouts provide managers with a forum to evaluate player abilities and assist with the drafting of balanced teams.  While the drafting process may not be perfect, we strive to provide managers with as much information as possible to understand the PVLL talent pool and select a competitive team.

Is there a chance that I don’t make it?

Absolutely not.  Regardless if you swing and miss at every ball or drop every fly ball, you are guaranteed a spot on a team in an age-appropriate division.

What do we do during tryouts?

Every player is evaluated on four things: Hitting, Running, Fielding and Throwing.  We believe that these four categories give the managers a concise overview – in other words, we don’t want tryouts to be an all-day event for each player.  We want to give a glimpse of ability across all aspects of the game.

Players are separated by age group for tryouts.  Then, typically, they are arranged by birthdate – oldest to youngest.  Each player will have a number affixed to the back of his or her shirt.  Then the tryout begins:

  1. First, the players hit.  They will get three or four machine-pitched balls pitched to them.  The speed of the machine will be based on the age group.  They will try and hit each ball.
  2. Once the fourth ball is pitched, regardless of whether the player connects, the player will run the bases.
  3. After all players in the group have completed this, we move on to fielding and throwing, done in two sequential components:
    • All players line up in the outfield.  The player will be hit two fly balls, and the player will throw each to second base.
    • Immediately after the two outfield balls, the player will move quickly to shorttop and field two ground balls, with each being thrown to first base.

And that is it.  It is quick and painless.  But fundamentally important to our goal of balanced teams.

When should I tryout?  What time should I arrive to the field?

Every player should do whatever they can to tryout with their age group or the age group they will be playing with throughout the season.  The schedule, while tentative, is currently:

Age Group



12 Year Olds

8:30 am

All 12 YO players will play Majors; there is NO need for 11 YO players interested in Majors to tryout now.

11 Year Olds

10:00 am

All 11 YO player will tryout together; the majority will play Intermediates and some will be selected into Majors.

10 Year Olds

11:30 am

All 10 YO players typically play Intermediates; any 10 YO player who will play Minors should tryout with the 9 YO group.  Any 9 YO interested in playing Intermediates should tryout with BOTH the 10 YO and 9 YO group.

9 Year Olds

1:00 pm

All 9 YO players typically play Minors.  Any 10 YO that will be playing Minors should tryout with the 9 YO group.  Any 9 YO interested in playing Intermediates should tryout with BOTH the 10 YO and 9 YO group.

8 Year Olds

2:30 pm

All 8 YO players will play Minors unless they request to play Farm.  Any 8 YO player interested (or even unsure) if they will play Minors should tryout with the 8 YO group.  Any 7 YO that wants to play Minors should tryout with the 8 YO group.


What should I bring?

At a minimum, please bring your glove and helmet.  It would also help to wear cleats and a hat.

You may only use approved USA bats for tryouts.  If you do not have one, the league will be providing league-approved bats for tryouts. Only USA Bats will be allowed on the fields this year.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at