Abu Dhabi Weather

Monday, June 4, 2012

Little League

From this past December to March, my son was part of a Little League Baseball team. While the practices were at the American Community School (ACS), a 10 minute walk from our apartment in Abu Dhabi, the games were all in Dubai. This meant about a three hour round trip drive for an hour and a half game each weekend (this time commitment was partially to blame for the suspension of my writing this blog). I mentioned this to a few friends and family in the U.S. and Japan and the reaction that I mostly got was along the lines of, "There's Little League Baseball in Dubai?" The answer is yes, and it is sanctioned by the Little League Association of America. In Dubai, there is a whole complex with four well-maintained diamonds.

I first heard about the league from a friend of mine who lived in my apartment building. His son was on a team and when I heard that being part of a team involved a trip to Dubai every Saturday, I figured that wasn't something that we would be getting involved with. At the time Lucas was too young, but I resolved to keep the idea of playing baseball out of his head.
Lucas was on the Dodgers. At least his team wasn't the Cardinals or Cubs.  For some unknown reason, no teams in Dubai were named the Brewers after Milwaukee's fine tradition of brewing beer.

Two years later in 2011, the Fukuoka baseball team, the SoftBank Hawks won the Japan series and the Milwaukee Brewers had one of their rare playoff appearances. Lucas had gotten really interested in baseball, but was still unaware that playing baseball in the U.A.E. was even an option. I pushed him towards the more conveniently scheduled and nearby Australian Rules Football, but could still tell he would rather be playing baseball (as he frankly told one of the members of the professional AFL team, Carlton Club). Because he is generally such a nice kid and genuinely loved baseball, I made some inquiries with a coworker whose son played in the league and got the information. As it turned out there was a team in which half of the kids lived in Dubai and half in Abu Dhabi.

The fields are really well maintained.

While I wasn't excited about driving to Dubai every weekend, my biggest worry was that he would lose interest halfway through the season after we had committed to a team. I needn't have worried, he was into it the whole season. He complained about going to practice once or twice early in the season, but other than that was enthusiastic throughout. In fact, he was a bit too enthusiastic. Because Lucas was so dedicated, he would get upset over blown calls and yell at teammates who weren't paying attention. I had to restrain myself from telling him that he was right in order to set an example of good sportsmanship (because that's what it's all about, right?).

Lucas's age group hits off pitching machines.
This year, there were only five kids my son's age from Abu Dhabi playing and two of them were the coach's kids. About four or five years ago, someone tried to get a league going in Abu Dhabi, but there wasn't enough interest. Part of the problem is that no one in Abu Dhabi knows about it. I only found out the information from my coworker. No one at the American School in Abu Dhabi (AISA), my son's school, knew about it. I have American friends with kids at the Canadian International School who were interested, but didn't know about it. Because we joined at the last minute, it was too late for the interested people we told about it to join.

This probably isn't the best time of the year to be promoting this, but I think it would be great if baseball became more widespread in Abu Dhabi. I don't envision the day when there is a full league anytime when I'm living here, but it might be nice to get at least a whole team going. Even better would be if we could get two teams so we could hold scrimmages.


  1. Registration for the 2012 / 2013 season will start late August. The cost is about $205 (700Dh) for early registration and $250 (850 Dh) after mid September.

    For more information, go to the website:


    Or you can email the organizer:


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Dear friend: What I loved most about it...outside the baseball, was going to the Dubai Mall afterwards for some Taco Bell.

      Little did I know that I'd soon live at a place where you can't swing a dead cat without nailin' a Taco merchant!

  3. The trip was there and back for us with no stops anywhere else in Dubai. While I enjoyed being a part of my son's games, I made it clear that we would be heading straight back to Abu Dhabi after the games with no exceptions.

    Also, thanks for giving us the heads up with regards to the existence of the Dubai Little League. Had we not known about your son being on a team, we would have likely been in the dark about the possibility for baseball like most parents in Abu Dhabi.

  4. Looks really good, Ron.
    See you guys later this summer.

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