LEARN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF OUR LEAGUE
WHAT IS YAVNEH YOUTH LEAGUE?
Yavneh Youth League (YYL) is a shomer shabbat league run for students (boys and girls) in the North Jersey area. It was originally started by Yavneh Academy for its students and since, has expanded to include students of many schools. In 2021, we had approximately 350 players, across 28 teams in 5 divisions (Sr. Boys, Sr. Girls, Jr. Boys, Jr. Girls, Instructional). Players attend all local schools, including Yavneh Academy, RYNJ, Yeshivat Noam, Solomon Schechter Bergen County, Gerrard Berman Day School, Moriah, Ramaz, Ben Porat Yosef, Yeshivat He’Atid, as well public schools and others.
WHY IS IT CALLED YAVNEH YOUTH LEAGUE?
Yavneh Academy has overseen the league since it’s inception and provides much of the behind the scene services that enable our league to function.
WHEN IS THE SEASON? WHEN ARE THE GAMES?
The Yavneh Youth League season begins around April and runs until the end of the school year. Games are on Sunday mornings (usually 9am or 11am), and a few weeknights (per team) during the evenings. Games are played in a convenient location in the center of Bergen County, a few minutes from the Bergenfield/Teaneck areas. There are no games on the Sunday of the Celebrate Israel Parade.
DO I HAVE TO PLAN MY SUNDAY'S AROUND THE LEAGUE?
No. All Sunday games are planned for the morning, at either 9am or 11am. By early afternoon, you’re free to enjoy your day (even more).
ARE DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE?
YYL is priced well below other local organizations in the area and provides (we believe) the best value of all. If a family has financial hardships, they can contact the Commissioner to arrange entrance to the league (while registration is still open). All matters are handled privately and respectfully – promise. Registration includes your child’s team jersey, hat, and a league bag for new players.
WHEN DOES REGISTRATION OPEN/CLOSE?
Registration opens in the winter, for returning players and their siblings first and then to the general public. When divisions are full, you are encouraged to add you child's name to the waiting list as we add teams when we can. Watch the website for more updates and/or add your name to mailing list from the home page.
Visit http://YavnehYouthLeague.com for details. The earlier a child is registered, the less expensive the registration fee.
THE DIVISON THAT MY CHILD WOULD BE IN IS CLOSED/FULL. I HAVE ADDED HIS/HER NAME TO THE WAITING LIST. HOW ARE SPOTS OFFERED & WHAT ARE OUR CHANCES?
Good question and complicated answer, so please read it carefully… We set initial targets for the number of teams (and as a result, the number of players) in each division, each year, based on a number of factors and constraints.. Read more >
CAN MY CHILD BE ON A TEAM WITH [NAME HERE]?
Especially for older children, sorry, no but.. Note that for carpooling purposes all teams in the Kindergarten, Instruction, Junior Girl and Senior Girl division have historically been scheduled to play at the same time and location as other teams in that division, so carpooling is easy to do for players in them. Specifically for teams, the primary goal when we make teams is to ensure, as best as possible, that teams are balanced, talent-wise, so that each team has a near equal shot of success. Another goal in team making is to distribute players from different schools across teams. We cannot take requests for teammate pairings, so please do not make them. (Carpool issues can usually be resolved after teams are announced.) Most of the children in our league are as wonderful as yours. That players both play with and become friends with children from other schools is one of the many nice qualities of our league.
For the players in Instructional and Kindergarten, team balance is less of an issue.
BASEBALL OR SOFTBALL, AND WHY?T
YYL plays softball and follows standard softball rules, modified for each division. Despite its name, a standard softball is quite hard, and Jr. Divisions (Grades 2-4) and Instructional (K & 1st Grade, seperately) play with a ball that is slightly softer. Senior divisions (Grades 5-8) play with a ‘hard’ softball. We find that playing softball makes the league more accessible to more children, and does not diminish the value of the play at all.
DO YOU PLAY REAL GAMES? WHAT IS THE COMPETITIVE LEVEL OF THE LEAGUE?
YYL games are very real. Junior and Senior divisions play standard games with standard rules (Jrs somewhat modified), umpired by a great crew of teens (many who are YYL grads). Scores and standings are maintained. There are playoffs, and championships (with trophies) awarded in each division. Teams play hard and play to win. However, we recognize the role that sports should play in our children’s lives, and good sportsmanship is expected from players and parents alike... Read more >
MY CHILD WANTS TO PLAY BASEBALL? WILL HE OR SHE ENJOY YYL?
Over the past few years, many players from local Baseball Organizations have joined YYL. The response has been very positive. Players find YYL to be as challenging as their previous league. Parents appreciate the hours (Sunday mornings) and the general temperament of the league. It is not ‘babyish’ in the least, and the games are hard fought and challenging for all. If you are banking on your child playing professional baseball, you may want to stick to a hardball league. If you would like your child to play good quality ball in an environment you can be proud to part of, YYL could be a good fit. But most importantly, do what works well for your family.
HOW IS THE LEAGUE STRUCTURED?
YYL is made up of five divisions: Instructional (Grade K and 1 are coed) which focuses on skill building and preparing children to enter the Junior divisions. Junior Boys, Junior Girls (Grades 2-4), Senior Boys and Senior Girls (Grades 5-8).
HOW DOES THE INSTRUCTIONAL DIVISION WORK ?
We are very proud of our Instructional Division which is led by Jenny Goldstein. Each week, there will be a focus on a specific skill (i.e. throwing, catching, hitting, baserunning, etc.). Coaches will demonstrate and discuss the skill with the children and then the squads will hold ‘games’ which will stress that particular skill. The intent is to help the Instructional players improve their fundamentals, enjoy the game, and prepare for the Junior Division the following year. If your child is in Instructional, a parent is expected to remain near the field throughout the session, and we are always seeking parents to help organize and/or coach the kids.
MY CHILD IS NOT IN THE REQUIRED GRADE FOR THE DIVISION, BUT THEY'RE A GREAT PLAYER. EXCEPTION?
Sorry, we make every effort to keep Instructional league to K & 1st graders, Junior divisions to Grades 2-4, and Senior Divisions for Grades 5-8. We believe this is the fairest thing not only for the player from a social perspective, but for the other players in the division who are in the prescribed grade or on the waiting list. If your child is not yet in Kindergarten and wants to join the Instructional league, please check with Commissioner@YavnehYouthLeague.com in early March to see if there is room. If there’s room, an exception might be made if a parent is willing to coach / assist.
AFTER REGISTERING MY CHILD, WE DECIDED TO PULL HIM/HER FROM YYL. CAN I GET A REFUND?
Thank you for letting us know your child will not be playing in YYL after all. If the notification comes before registration closes, we will usually offer a full refund (less $30), provided we can fill the spot with another child. If the notification comes after teams are made and announced (but before the season starts), we will refund the family upon request for 50% of the registration fee, provided we can fill the spot with another child. After the season starts, refunds are at the league’s discretion.
DOES YYL HOLD ANY FAMILY EVENTS?
Over most of the recent years, we’ve ended the YYL season with a family barbecues attended by Jewish former MLB players, or finished the year season with a family night out at a local minor league baseball game where players have thrown out first pitches, participated in on-field parades, taken tours of the players clubhouse, and participated in mid-inning contests in front of the entire stadium for prizes. Future plans are still pending, but these events are a great way to finish off the season and one of the things that makes our league special.
CAN I VOLUNTEER TO COACH/SPONSOR A TEAM?
We are always looking for parents who subscribe to our philosophy to help coach. If you can coach a team, or help as an assistant coach, please contact us at Commissioner@YavnehYouthLeague.com. If you would like to sponsor a team, please let us know as soon as possible (as we’ve had to turn sponsors away in the past due to demand). Sponsorship includes team naming rights including your organization’s name on team jerseys, a mounted team photo at season’s end, an adult size team jersey for the sponsor, and the satisfaction of supporting an organization with its priorities in the right place. Upon special and early request (i.e. prior to end January), we can order additional adult size jerseys for your organization. Sponsorship is $250.
What's the COVID Plan ?
No specific medical protocol is envisioned for the upcoming season. Should the need, g-d forbid, arise for them, YYL turns to medical advisors affiliated with Yavneh Academy (and Yavneh Academy itself) for guidance.
By participating in YYL, all YYL families without exception agree to hold to the protocols, which may change as more information is available.
Families that have specific medical circumstances for which these protocols are insufficient should contact the league Commissioner, as should families that believe that they cannot hold to the protocols as a result of their own research efforts or belief systems.