News and Announcements
Updated Tournament Rule 9. Click on header above to link to Little League website.
At the conclusion of the Little League® International Congress in January, we shared with you the full voting results of the Congress Voting Agenda. The final two items, Item 12 (tournament mandatory play) and Item 13 (tournament tie-breaker scenario), both received a majority vote. Item 13 will be referred to the Regional Roundtable agenda in 2020.
Regarding mandatory play for tournament play, the Little League International Tournament Committee was directed to further review and provide due diligence in order to appropriately enhance the mandatory play rule for the benefit of all tournament participants in 2018.
Following this directive, the Tournament Committee worked with the Little League International Board of Directors Operations Committee and the Advisory Board to develop a new mandatory play rule for tournament play effective with the 2018 Little League International Tournament. Please note that the mandatory play regulation is for tournament season play only.
Beginning this year, a manager's failure/refusal to insert players into the line-up as outlined in the new rule shall result in immediate ejection of the manager and removal for the remainder of the International Tournament, without replacement. The umpire-in-chief or other individual designated by the game Tournament Director in consultation with the official scorekeeper, shall advise both team managers, at the appropriate time as outlined in the new rule, of their obligation to insert all players who have not completed their mandatory play requirement.
The full text of the updated Tournament Rule 9, which pertains to baseball and softball 8- to 10-Year Old Division, 9- to 11-Year-Old Division, Little League, Intermediate (50-70) Division, and Junior League can be reviewed at LittleLeague.org/Rules. The full text is also available for download and can be found at the bottom of this email.
You can download a copy of the new rule via the handouts below.
Here is the text of the rule:
TOURNAMENT PLAYING RULES
9. MANDATORY PLAY 8- to 10-Year Old Division, 9- to 11-Year-Old Division, Little League, Intermediate (50-70) Division, and Junior League: If a tournament team has thirteen (13) or more eligible players in uniform at a game, then every player on a team roster shall participate in each game for a minimum of one (1) at bat. If a tournament team has twelve (12) or fewer eligible players in uniform at a game, then every player on a team roster shall participate in each game for a minimum of six (6) consecutive defensive outs and bat at least one (1) time.
a) Prior to the start of play in the top of the fourth inning (Intermediate/Junior Divisions: fifth inning), the umpire-in-chief or other individual designated by the game Tournament Director in consultation with the official scorekeeper, shall advise both team managers of their obligation to insert all players who have not completed their mandatory play requirement into the line-up as outlined below. A manager’s failure/refusal to insert players into the line-up as outlined below shall result in immediate ejection of the manager and removal for the remainder of the International Tournament.
1. If a team has 12 or fewer players in uniform at the start of a game, and is:
a. Visiting Team: Any player(s) who has yet to enter the game to meet the defensive requirement of mandatory play must be inserted prior to the first pitch or play in the bottom half of the fourth inning (Intermediate/Junior: fifth inning) into a position in the line-up that will ensure all requirements of mandatory play will be satisfied, absent a shortened game, including one at-bat.
b. Home Team: Any player(s) who has yet to enter the game to meet the defensive requirement of mandatory play must be inserted prior to the first pitch or play in the top half of the fifth inning (Intermediate/Junior: sixth inning) into a position in the line-up that will ensure all requirements of mandatory play will be satisfied, absent a shortened game, including one at-bat.
2. If a team has 13 or more players in uniform at the start of a game, players must be inserted into the line-up to bat offensively during the:
a. Visiting Team: fourth or fifth inning, or as one of the first three batters in the sixth inning (Intermediate/Junior: fifth or sixth inning, or as one of the first three batters in the seventh inning), that will allow their one at-bat to be satisfied.
b. Home Team: fourth inning or as one of the first three batters in the fifth inning (Intermediate/Junior: fifth inning or as one of the first three batters in sixth inning), that will allow their one at-bat to be satisfied.
b) Managers are solely responsible for ensuring that all players fulfill the requirements of mandatory play, even if notification is not made.
c) There is no exception to this rule unless the game is shortened for any reason. NOTE: A game is not considered shortened if the home team does not complete the offensive half of the sixth or seventh inning (or any extra inning) due to winning the game.
d) Failure to meet the mandatory play requirements in this rule is a basis for protest. If one or more players on a roster do not meet this requirement, and if protested or brought to the Tournament Committee’s attention, it shall result (by action of the Tournament Committee) in the removal of the team’s manager, without replacement, for the remainder of the International Tournament. Additional penalties (including but not limited to forfeiture of a game, additional mandatory play requirements for players who failed to meet mandatory play, and/or disqualification of the team or coaches from further tournament participation) may be imposed if, in the opinion of the Tournament Committee:
1. a manager or coach takes any action that results in making a travesty of the game, causing players to intentionally perform poorly for the purpose of extending or shortening a game, or;
2. a team fails to meet the requirements of this rule more than once during the International Tournament, which begins with District play and ends at the World Series level (State level for 8- to 10- and 9- to 11-Year-Old Divisions), or;
3. a manager willfully and knowingly disregards the requirements of this rule. A manager or coach suspended for any reason is not permitted to be at the game site and must not take any part in the game(s), nor have any communications whatsoever with any persons at the game site. This includes pregame and postgame activities. Violation may result, by action of the Tournament Committee, in further suspension; forfeiture of a game; and/or disqualification of the team, managers, or coaches from further tournament participation.
e) For the purpose of this rule, “six (6) consecutive defensive outs” is defined as: A player enters the field in one of the nine defensive positions when his/her team is on defense and occupies such position while six consecutive outs are made; “bat at least one (1) time” is defined as: A player enters the batter’s box with no count and completes that time at bat by being retired or by reaching base safely.
Updated: April 9, 2018
As you know, this year marks the first year in the adoption of the USABat Standard by many youth baseball organizations, including Little League® International. We greatly appreciate your understanding over the past three years as we've worked with USA Baseball to transition to this new standard.
Recently, USA Baseball has provided Little League and other youth organizations with some additional guidance on how organizing bodies, like Little League International, can make it easier for local leagues, volunteers, and players to use bats within our programs. We encourage you to review their FAQs at USABat.com, as well as the information on LittleLeague.org/BatInfo.
Effective immediately (Thursday, February 15, 2018), Little League has amended Rule 1.10 for Little League Baseball for the Coach Pitch/Machine Pitch Divisions and the Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division and Junior League, to reflect this guidance from USA Baseball. Read the fully updated Rule 1.10 on LittleLeague.org.
Updated as of February 15, 2018
Rule 1.10 – Baseball
The bat must be a baseball bat which meets the USA Baseball Bat standard (USABat) as adopted by Little League. It shall be a smooth, rounded stick, and made of wood or of material and color tested and proved acceptable to the USA Baseball Bat standard (USABat).
Beginning with the 2018 season, non-wood and laminated bats used in the Little League (Majors) and below, Intermediate (50-70) Division, Junior League divisions, and Challenger division shall bear the USA Baseball logo signifying that the bat meets the USABat – USA Baseball’s Youth Bat Performance Standard. All BPF – 1.15 bats will be prohibited beginning with the 2018 season. Additionally, starting in 2018, the bat diameter shall not exceed 2? inches for these divisions of play. Bats meeting the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) standard may also be used in the Intermediate (50-70) Division and Junior League divisions. Additional information is available at LittleLeague.org/batinfo.
Under the USABat standard, certified Tee Ball bats (26″ and shorter) will feature the USA Baseball mark and text which reads ONLY FOR USE WITH APPROVED TEE BALLS. All Tee Ball bats must feature the USA Baseball mark and accompanying text. Tee Ball bats that were produced and/or purchased prior to the implementation of the new standard can be certified using an Approved Tee Ball Sticker via the USA Baseball Tee Ball Sticker Program (USABaseballShop.com) beginning September 1, 2017.
NOTE: Approved Tee Ball bats may also be used for Coach Pitch/Machine Pitch Minor Divisions only with the use of approved Tee Balls.
It shall not be more than 33 inches in length; nor more than 2? inches in diameter, and if wood, not less than fifteen-sixteenths (15/16) inches in diameter (7/8 inch for bats less than 30″) at its smallest part. Wood bats taped or fitted with a sleeve may not exceed sixteen (16) inches from the small end.
NOTE 1: Solid one-piece wood barrel bats do not require a USA Baseball logo.
NOTE 2: Approved Tee Ball bats may also be used for Coach Pitch/Machine Pitch Minor Divisions only with the use of approved Tee Balls.
Intermediate (50-70) Division and Junior League:
It shall not be more than 34″ inches in length; nor more than 2? inches in diameter, and if wood, not less than fifteen-sixteenths (15/16) inches in diameter (7/8 inch for bats less than 30″) at its smallest part. Wood bats taped or fitted with a sleeve may not exceed eighteen (18) inches from the small end.
NOTE 1: Solid one-piece wood barrel bats do not require a USA Baseball logo.
NOTE 2: Also, permitted for the Intermediate (50-70) Division and Junior League Division are bats meeting the BBCOR performance standard, and so labeled with a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark. The certification mark shall be rectangular, a minimum of a half-inch on each side and located on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting color. Aluminum/alloy and composite bats shall be marked as to their material makeup being aluminum/alloy or composite. This marking shall be silkscreen or other permanent certification mark, a minimum of one-half-inch on each side, and located on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting color.
If local league plans are approved by Monday, April 2, 2018, that District will receive a cash award as a result of the ASAP participation incentive ($350 for having 88-100 percent of league plans approved; $150 for 70-87 percent).
For a local league to receive the credit award, the submission deadline is April 16, 2018. Note: In order to access the field survey, an ASAP must be uploaded to the Data Center.
Dear District Administrators and League Officials,
As of today (March 1, 2018), Little League® International will provide its local leagues and districts with 125 free background checks exclusively through J.D. Palatine (JDP).
The JDP system has access to more than 450 million records, and includes criminal records and sex offender registry records across 50 states and the District of Columbia. If a league or district wishes to continue to use First Advantage to satisfy Little League® Background Check regulation I (c) 8 and 9, it will cost $1.20 per check.
The JDP system also allows local or district board members responsible for conducting the background checks to send an electronic link to individual volunteers in order to complete the Little League Volunteer Application online. A league board member can enter the volunteer's information, name, and email address, on the JDP website by using the "Quick App" navigation. The Quick App allows the league volunteer to personally and securely complete the volunteer application, including the social security number. The Little League Volunteer Application is tied with the background check and can be viewed on the leagues JDP Portal. Leagues must still verify the volunteer's application with a government-issued photo ID.
Free online JDP tutorials are available to help local league and district officials become familiar with completion of the background check process, and offers user support (855-799-8753; firstname.lastname@example.org). Other background check resources and information will also be available on the LittleLeague.org website's Child Protection page.
Little League's background check regulations will remain unchanged for the 2018 season, as JDP is comparable to First Advantage. However, expect the regulation to change prior to 2019. More information will be available on the new regulation following the 2018 season. If you have any additional questions, please contact Little League Support at support@LittleLeague.org.
Senior Vice President, Operations and Program Development
Concussions in Youth Athletes
Fifty (50) states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws which address concussions and protect the health and safety of young athletes. Little League Baseball, Incorporated (LLB) has complied a summary of all currently existing state laws regarding concussions in youth athletes.
Some laws are only applicable to school-sponsored athletics or to activities taking place on school-owned property. Some laws are applicable to all youth sports organizations, whether affiliated or not with a school district. It is strongly recommended that local leagues consult with legal counsel in its jurisdiction to determine the applicability, if any, of state laws to its program regarding concussions.
In keeping with its focus on protecting the health, safety and welfare of children, LLB requires all leagues and teams to comply with all applicable laws and recommends the review of the information and training materials on concussions which are available free of charge on the Centers for Disease Control website at: cdc.gov/headsup/