News and Announcements

“Why Don’t They…”

Have you ever found yourself saying that at a Little League game or function? C’mon admit it. You wondered why THEY didn’t have enough umpires. Why THEY didn’t have the field ready. Why THEY didn’t have the snack bar open yet. It’s only natural to wonder why things aren’t being done right (or at all).
But did you know that Clairemont Hilltoppers doesn’t have one paid employee? This entire league runs on the hard work of dedicated people like you. From coaching, to maintaining the fields, to working the snack bar, to scorekeeping, to being a board member… all of this is done by volunteers!
This makes our league great, but it’s more fun if everyone does their share. On Closing Day, we elected six officers for the 2012 season: President Bill Salonius, Vice President Mike Van Cleave, Secretary Robin Bechtel, Treasurer Adrienne El-Taeb, Player Agent Melanie David and Senior Player Agent Bob Faudoa.
That means all of the other board positions are currently open for the 2012 season, including Safety Officer, Sponsor Coordinator, Information Officer, Umpire-in-Chief, Director of Facilities and Division Reps for each of our league's divisions. If you have interest in helping in any of these areas (or have ideas for new positions to improve CHLL), please contact any of our current board members and make your interest known. If you’ve ever had ideas about how we could make Clairemont Hilltoppers better, this is the way to have your voice heard.
If we all step up and do a little, we can do a lot for our kids.

On Thursday, June 2nd, a handful of our Clairemont Hilltoppers volunteers were recognized by San Diego City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf at a monthly meeting of the Clairemont Town Council. Presented Certificates of Appreciation were France Granfors, Kim Bautista, Mike Van Cleave, Bill Salonius, Troy Keltner and Ken Cicalo. As merely representatives of the innumerable fine volunteers in our program, the six were pleased to accept on behalf of our league and its great members.



The CHLL 2014 Umpire Clinic for new and returning umpires is set for Saturday, February 22 at 12 noon.

This is a session for returning umpires, new umpires and even just those looking to fill the two umpiring assignments required from each team.  We have umpiring assignments all season for all skill levels, and with 34 teams, plenty of games and times to fit around your schedule.  The only ‘rules’ we follow are: you may not umpire your own child’s game, and team representatives may not umpire within their own division level. 

Our Umpire-in-Chief Roger Otterson and our veteran umpires will gather around Minor division practice games to get ready for the 2014 season.  Instead of just reading the rule book, we’ll rotate everyone through umpiring the bases and behind the plate (if you desire) and help each attendee understand and feel comfortable with the role and mechanics of being a CHLL umpire. 

We’ll help you get used to being an umpire during real game situations in a fun, no-pressure environment.  If you are interested in attending the session, please be at the score booth before noon and wear comfortable clothes and shoes. We’ll get in plenty of instruction and have lots of time for questions and answers.  We’ll also provide cold drinks for all who attend. If you have any questions, please email Roger at or call him at (858) 224-2687.  


Is there a minimum age or baseball experience required?
We generally start umpires at 14 years of age and only require that you have a ‘good’ knowledge of the game of baseball.  We’ll teach you the rules you’ll need to know and we expect umpires to put in some time reading the rules and asking enough questions of the veteran umpires to do the job right. 

Are umpires paid?
Beginning umpires work two games as a volunteer and then for any game above the initial two, your entire team can receive $1 CHLL snack bar tickets for the whole team (players only), or you can contribute your time as a volunteer (we really appreciate our volunteers!), or we pay umpires according to the level of game they umpire; starting at $17 a game.  Remember this is also a great opportunity for those in school that need to complete their hours of community service for graduation! 

How much time do I need to allow to umpire?
Weekday games start at 5PM. You should plan on arriving 20 minutes before the game, allow for about a two-hour game and then allow for about 20 minutes after the game to finish up and to sign out. We also provide all umpires with a basic meal (hot dog and a soda/beverage) after each game. Weekend Games will start anywhere between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.  Most games have a two-hour time limit.

How often will I work?
If you are a regular umpire, we will try to schedule you for one or two games (or more) a week, per your availability. If you are a team umpire volunteer, we’ll work with you to get your two game requirement in around your schedule.  Remember, the team umpire representatives do NOT need to be a manager or coach of the team. Also, umpires 18 or older that have not completed a volunteer application – must complete and turn one in (no cost) before they can be on the field.  

This year, we’ll need to fill 40-50 umpire positions a week.  It’s an important job that allows our 400 players to play Little League baseball all spring. We really do appreciate your volunteering and getting out of the stands and on to the field to help Clairemont Hilltoppers Little League in 2014!


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Serra High School - January 28

Posted by Ken Cicalo at Jan 8, 2011 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )

Coaches Clinic
January 28

Hilltoppers managers, coaches and parents will once again be participating in Little League's greatest clinic this year.

On Sunday, January 28, any interested Hilltoppers parent or coach may attend the famous "Big Al" clinic at Serrra High School in Tierrasanta. There will be a morning clinic for those involved in the Ball, Rookie and Farm divisions at 8:30 a.m. (sign in starts at 8:00), and an afternoon clinic for those in Minors, Intermediate or Juniors starting at 12:45 p.m. (sign in starts at 12:30. In between clinics, will be a safety training for anyone interested .

Each clinic lasts 3-3-1/2 hours in the school gymnasium, and features instruction from Big Al, the most popular trainer in all of Little League. The clinics will cover all aspects of coaching, from how to design practices, different drills and working with kids at each age level. For any parent whose children are new (or relatively new) to Little League, this is the ideal way to learn about the kinds of things we want to teach our youngest players, along with great tips and ideas for keeping their games and practices fun and beneficial. See the Handout at the end of this article for a flyer with more details.

These clinics are FREE if you say you are with Clairemont Hilltoppers. Wear comfortable clothes, tennis shows and bring a glove if you have one. Guaranteed that your kid(s)' season will be better for you attending!


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Saturday, April 13, Best Western Seven Seas

Posted by Ken Cicalo at Oct 17, 2010 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

Poker Tourney
Will Be Flush
With Fun!

Our 16th annual Hilltoppers Poker Tournament is Saturday, April 13, and promises to again be full of fun and a great night out with our Hilltoppers family.

Hosted once again by the fine folks at the Best Western Seven Seas in Hotel Circle, every year we have dozens of Hilltoppers parents, coaches, friends and alumni show up for this evening's entertainment. This is not about a search for the world's greatest poker player, but rather just a fun event with some free appetizers, good music, no-host cocktail service and some great prizes.

We start at 5:30 p.m., and if you've never played before (or want a refresher) you can come at 5 p.m. for a quick, easy poker tutorial. We're signing up players now, so you can either download the entry form in the Handout that follows and send it in, or simply contact Ken Cicalo ( • 619-889-9216) to put in your reservation and get onto our list. We may take entries at the door, but our space is limited to 80 and those with entries already in are guaranteed a spot.

We are also looking for dealers, so if you would like to help out that way, please contact Ken Cicalo above. This is also a way to satisfy volunteer hour requirements for our league. 

Invite your friends, neighbors and relatives. This is a great group that they wiull enjoy spending the evening with. If you've never attended one of our poker nights before, ask around and find someone who has. You'll hear this is tons of fun, and you DO NOT have to be a poker player to have a great time and maybe even win a prize. Get signed up today!