Tuesday, April 8, 2014

NEW Little League Rules: What they are, When they'll be implemented.


For most of us Little League fanatics, we knew what this weekend meant. There were some significant votes on the table this year. Without further ado... Here are the results.





NEW AGE RULE PASSES.... For 2018.


All you coaches and fathers out there nervous about your 9 or 10 year olds sons/daughters stacked powerhouse teams can rest easy. Little League amended the initial rule change. Instead of being implemented in 2015 (with a 1-year grandfather clause), it's now being implemented in the 2018 season.

Here's the rule:

Majors Division: Any candidate who will attain the age of 9 years on or before DECEMBER 31 and who will not attain the age of 12 on or before DECEMBER 31 shall be eligible to compete in Little League Baseball. This means that a child who will be 13 years old on December 31st or earlier will not be eligible for local league play or tournament play during that calendar year in question. EXCEPTION FOR 2015, 2016, and 2017 ONLY. A child who is league age 13 and who was born May 1st-December 31st of the current year is eligible for the Majors division in 2015, 2016, and 2017 including tournament play. This provides a three year transition.

Wow. Big move by Little League. It's obvious that an age change is a good idea. It matches up with International Baseball, it will shrink the kids a little bit on the small field, and it matches up with schools a lot better. The biggest thing is WHEN it's implemented. A lot...and I mean a lot... of people were upset that their 9 or 10 year old would in essence miss their 12-year old season and a chance at Williamsport. Now, the first age group that will face this issue is the current 8-year olds. Personally, I think it was a great decision and great timing. Whoever fought for the 3-year grandfather clause deserves a medal. Nobody should be upset at this rule change.

Okay, now onto the much smaller rule changes.

The three biggest ones failed. There were proposals to remove any pitcher who hit three batters in a game from the mound. That motion failed. There was another vote to eliminate "slashing" or fake bunting and swinging away. That motion also failed. The final one was such a farce it's not funny. They voted on automatically giving strikes to the batter if they left the batters box in between pitches. Obviously, baseball has no time limit and length of games are becoming a problem at different levels. It's NOT a problem in Little League, and to force kids to stay in the box is ridiculous. Thankfully, that also failed.

Some people are going to be upset about slashing. They think it shouldn't be allowed. I understand they're kids, but it's still baseball. If you're going to crash hard on the show of bunt, you're gonna have the possibility of being beat. Bunting is already going by the wayside. This would make it even harder. They made a good call.

Other rules also passed including 5-year olds being allowed in coach pitch after a year of T-ball if warranted. The rest of the rules involve softball, big league baseball, or the challenger division. You can read about them here as well as check out the percentages of how the votes went.


Little League Congress Voting Results

More thoughts on the Age Change ---


What this means is that there will be no grandfather clause. In 2017, the current LL 8's will be 11. In 2018, when this goes into effect, most of them will be 13. They do not get a 12-year old season. I'm fine with that because if league's are smart, they'll implement their own "wink-wink" age cutoffs for the current 6s, 7s, and 8s. Make them all play up with the teams they'll be on when the age change goes into effect. So I keep all the OLD 10s together on the 11-year old team in 2017, because they're going to be the 12-year olds in 2018. I hope I'm making sense with that.

Anyway, that's all for now. We may bring back Little League Insider Radio in the next week or two to talk about some of these big moves. We'll take calls and everything to hear your thoughts. In the meantime.

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60 comments:

LA Bakes said...

What's not clear but what appears to be assumed is that it is status quo until 2018. Though the way the rule is written as revised, it reads that the change goes into effect now except for the exceptions each year for the 13s. Otherwise, wouldn't it have made sense just to leave the rule as originally written except to amend and note that it is effective 1/1/18 and call it a day?

Highlighting exceptions each of the next 3 years confuses things. Does a 9 become an 11 next year and then play two years as a 12? It would seem to as written.

But it also seems that would not be the intent if they truly are delaying this til 2018. This is about as clear as an IRS ruling.

Anonymous said...

My son is born January 2005. He turned 9 this past January. Ideally he could play with ONLY kids born 2005, and not have to play "up" with kids born in 2004. It stinks that he's a 3rd grader playing with mostly 4th graders, while most of his 3rd grade friends (born after May 1) are playing a level down and with many 2nd graders from the first third of 2006. Where does this leave me?

Anonymous said...

The confusing part is they show they voted on item #2 with a 3 year grandfather 2015-2017. Many on other board discussions read it to believe the Dec 31 starts next year and no more grandfathering in 2018 for 13 year olds. Does anyone have factual data showing it starts in 2018 and no grandfather rule at all

Anonymous said...

This is what I think and someone give me there option please in 2015 ( tourney play only ) 9u will stay same with a warning of the age change 8u may stay also but at some time 2016 tourney play must have the new age change for 10U and 9U .Teams play in Tourneys with there future WP teams . It don't make any sense to keep teams together to break them up .

Anonymous said...

This age change rule implementation sucks. LL only recognizes 9-12 year olds and forget that in every city kids down to age 5 are already experiencing LL. The rule should roll up with 4 year olds starting now. This way, no one alreay in the mix will be affected. Terrible Terrible implementation.

tjenkins said...

Great, so my 8 year old who turns 9 this year and is already playing tournament ball through his little league will lose a year of little league. This is a terrible rule change and will decimate a lot of smaller little leagues in a few years by greatly shrinking them, making it difficult to even field a majors division. It also makes fathers like me consider Fed ball. Not sure why my son and many of the kids he's been playing ball with since they were 4 should lose a year of Little League so that ESPN doesn't have to flash a few 13 year olds up on the screen,... God forbid.

Anonymous said...

Intermediate (50/70) is where it's at. It's real baseball and what this rule change does is put 13 year olds on small fields (50/70 fields) playing true baseball rules. This will be more entertaining on ESPN when 50/70 championship is eventually moved to Williamsport.

Luconauts said...

Is this right?
Current rule: If you turn 13 on April 30th, not eligible for LL. If you turn 13 on May 1, you are eligible for LLWS.
2018:
If you turn 13 at any point in 2018 through Dec 31 2018 ... you cannot play LLWS

So ... in 2018, you need to be born in 2006

John Malone said...

Correct.

Anonymous said...

So if my boy turns 13 in feb but is 12 on december 31st. Wont he be playing ll as a 13yr old

John Malone said...

@Anonymous on September 6. No you can't turn 13 at any more during the year.

Anonymous said...

I agree no one should play as a 13 yr old in the major div. Little league world series. the cut off date tho..should be sept.1st not dec 31st... season ends Aug25th ish. We're talking a hand ful of 13 yr olds who weigh in at 165lbs+. Majority should rule here! and that is most kids can't pitch turning 9 in sept-dec. from 46 ft back who weigh in at 60-80lbs. In the minor division..don't forget about the majority of kids who love playing baseball!

Anonymous said...

"I think it was a great decision and great timing. Whoever fought for the 3-year grandfather clause deserves a medal. Nobody should be upset at this rule change."

You mean other than parents and current 8 year olds who who will lose a year of majors?

Why in God's name would they not just start the rule change with t-ball kids? Idiotic and short sightted if you ask me.

Cameron

rakroger said...

Putting the anxiety of the current 8 year old fathers (remember, everyone, baseball doesn't END when little league ends - your children will be more than ready for 50/70 or more for some at 12 yrs old), the issue for leagues it at the front end. Dealing with 4 year olds was hard enough, but now leagues will have half of their first year players being calendar age 3! Any child turning 4 from July to December will be 3, but 4 in LL years and signing up for TBall. The challenge, programmatically, is daunting.

Anonymous said...

We just eliminated 4 year olds from our Tball division. Not going to have 3 years old on my fields...not a daycare..

Anonymous said...

Next year's 9 year old division will span 20 months. That's not so good for kids born towards the end of 2006. They've been robbed a season and will be at a 12-20 month disadvantage for the remainder of their time in little league. I don't think they thought this through. Someone dropped the ball.

Anonymous said...

No one should be upset with this? My son born in 12/2006 would never play a single game, even fall ball, and actually be the age the league says he is. He will never get to play and develop at the premium positions because he will alway be the smallest and youngest kid on his team. If you haven't played a position by the time you're 12, you never will. These kids are screwed and any parent that keeps their kid in LL is an idiot. None of my sons will ever play LL again. It sucks anyway. Travel ball and the other local leagues for me from here on out. I won't even watch it on tv.

Dustin Peterson said...

This latest change from little league is a joke and is totally unfair to the group of kids that would have been league age 8 this year. They have essentially been lumped into the age group above them and will be competing against kids 1 to 1.5 years older than them for the rest of their little league careers. Total crap if you ask me. I found a petition on-line that has started. I would ask you to sign even if your son is not impacted as I am sure you would feel the same way if he was impacted.

https://www.change.org/p/little-league-baseball-inc-terminate-the-2018-little-league-age-determination?utm_campaign=responsive_friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&recruiter=185726311

Anonymous said...

The petition is not quite on point as it relates to next year's 8 year olds, but nonetheless, it makes a good point. Little League's last press release stating that this would allow everyone to play their two years in majors is a joke - my kid (born Dec 06) would have to play against kids up to 32 months older than him as an 11 year old. Both of the years ahead of him are grandfathered in under the old rules.

Anonymous said...

Everybody makes mistakes, this is a HUGE one. Please admit it as such and remedy it before this blows the experience we love completely out of the water. Are we not here for the kids? This hurts a lot of youngsters pouring their heart and soul into the game, and will create safety risks in the process. Come on guys, no harm is done yet, yet!!!! Fix it fast, please!!!

Coach Lonnie said...

LL keeps making mistakes with their baseball program, which is even more apparent when compared to other programs. The goal should be to create parity throughout the season, particularly through the world series. To do that, the age cutoff date should be August 31. That will insure that kids are no older than 12 through the entire season. Plus, it will keep kids in line with their school grade when it's time for them to play school ball (as early as 7th grade). In fact, travel baseball should do the same.

Coach Lonnie said...

And in order to prevent 13 year olds from being able to play in the World Series, the August 31 cutoff should be implemented for this 2015 season. Yes, some kids may be adversely affected by this change. But, this is best for LL -- as well as youth baseball -- as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Coach Lonnie - nicely said. As a HS experienced coach, and youth coach perspective: Kids should be playing with their grades. in HS they can play down. If the goal is to align with the grade (which makes sense) then this is a great decision and should be applauded by everyone. LL would also do well to make sure that a skilled 5th grader & older does not play on a 46/60 field. A player should get 2 years on 50/70 (5th and 6th) and 2 years on 60/90 (7th and 8th) before HS. When a player enters HS its 9th grade ball, you don't "play down" to 8th grade. The concept of being able to play down was always intended for the player who needed the extra year of development. Unfortunately the actual result has been to stack many all star, club and travel teams so that there a bunch of 7th graders playing at 12u. Playing with your grade is not playing up, it should be the norm. Playing 11u as a 6th grader has always been playing down, we all knew it, and LL has finally made the correction. Congrats to LL for making great steps forward.

Anonymous said...

My boy was born march 2008

Anonymous said...

what on earth makes you think that this rule keeps kids in the same grade together?

by the way, what happens to the may - dec 2005 birthdays when 2018 season rolls around ... won't they jump from 11 to 13 -- skipping their 12 year old year contrary to the stated purpose of the recent curve ball from LLOA ....

Anonymous said...

to anonymous who is a high school coach. This doesn't have kids in the same grade playing together. I don't get how you came to that conclusion. My son, who is an Oct.2006 kid, will be put in the same age bracket as kids that were born in May of 2005. He will be with kids 2 grades higher than him in some cases. What Lonnie was saying was LL has made a bad decision. The calendar year rule will not have the kids in the same grade playing together. School year age is based on August 31st. That's what LL should do. They either have to start it right now with no grandfather in clause or start it with kids who aren't in the system yet. By grandfathering in the current 8 to 11 year olds, you will be having the 7 year olds lumped into the same age group as kids that can be up to 22 months older than them. THAT IS RIDICULOUS! And in this day and age of lawsuits, don't be surprised Little League. You weren't thinking of EVERYONE and certain kids are really getting the screw job!

Anonymous said...

Grandfathering some ages, but not others is a hard notion to understand. Why not push the implementation out to the kids that aren't in LL yet?

Anonymous said...

The most ridiculous part of this rule is the current 9 year olds born between May and December of 2005 not being able to play as a 12 year old. They will be 11 in 2017 and 13 in 2018. Making a rule where kids are being left out is the biggest travesty. Why not wait until 2019 so that they only have to miss their 13 year old season. I know alot of people on here are upset that their child born in Dec of 2006 will be the same age as someone born in May of 2005, and I understand that part, but since they have decided to do it this way they have alienated two groups of kids, most importantly the ones who lose a year of their kids pitch years. All of it is just ridiculous. Just go to Dec. 31st for all ages starting in 2015(oh wait, they can't do that becasue a group of kids might [gasp] miss their 12 year old season whereby saying those kids are more important then the current 9 year olds and the "new" 9 year olds who will have birtdhays in late 2015.) I know that no matter what they did, someone would be negativley affected, but I think they found the one way to negatively affect the most amount of people.

Anonymous said...

We need to get this story out to our local medias. Contact your local paper sports editors. Call and complain to your local little league share this site with other parents. These rule changes impact our kids as 14 year olds too. My son born November 2007 will not be eligible for any little league senior division in 8th grade he will be 14 but considered 15 with new rule change. A year too young for high school. Not to mention he will have to play senior division on big field as a true 12 year old. That's insane.... Not to mention all the 8's that are now 9's....The lost generation if baseball.

OMac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OMac said...

My son was born 12/12/08 -- he turned six two weeks ago. When the LL season starts, he will be six. When the season ends, he will be six; however, LL says he has to play with the 7 year olds --- is this correct? Why?

Anonymous said...

My kid born in 2006 loses a year of little league, that is a problem. Would not be if this age change started with Tee-ball. Look forward to going to club baseball with the rest of 2006 players that are getting the shaft. Should destroy little league for a few years in my little town.

Wendy said...

I believe this is a terrible rule. I have an 8 year old, born in July 2006. If I am reading this correctly, he will have to play as a 9 year old, even though he will not be 9 during the season. (If he had a female twin however, she would still be an 8 year old??) Basically, he will totally lose his 8 year old season, which is his last year of coach pitch and the year when he may be able to make the 8 year old All Star team.

All the other sports (in our area anyway) have cutoff dates near the beginning of the season. August 1 age for football and soccer (so my child was barely 5 in a 5/6 league with kids that turned 7 in August) and November 1st for basketball. Baseball rolls around, and the cutoff is near the beginning of the season, 4/30, like the other sports. This absolutely makes sense. Finally, he gets to be "oldest" in the league for this sport. Why would you have a cutoff date that is 6 months AFTER most of the seasons have ended? It's bad enough once they are old enough for "school sports" that they have to compete against kids that are 18 months older than them because their dads deliberately held them back for sports!

Finally, all this does is make me want to move him to "travel" baseball since USSSA and BPA still have the 4/30 cut off date. I hope I can find a team.

Anonymous said...

dumb question here, any help appreciated. what does this do to kids in leagues using USA Baseball rules. Same implementation?? Son born 4/28/2005 that is "playing up" in his league currently a 4th grader playing with all 5th graders. Will he ever get a break or is he screwed?

Anonymous said...

Very unfortunate for LL. Bad decision to alienate the kids they claim to advocate for. It is clear that they are choosing potential expansion opportunities internationally, financial opportunities with ESPN, and financial opportunities with IBF and the Olympics instead of the thousands of 9yo kids born between May 05 and Dec 05 that will miss a year of LL. Nice choice LL. You should be ashamed, clearly you're not!

Michael Mayberry said...

I agree that this decision was a poor one. It appears that Little league is only considering those players that could ever potentially make it to LLWS and forgoes the thought of what it truly means to play recreational baseball with one's own peer group. Not everyone cares about winning championships. Most of us just want our children to enjoy the great game of baseball with their friends.

Anonymous said...

This rule doesn't provide a seamless transition, it completely and totally hoses kids born in the second half of 2006. They not only lose a year of little league with their 8 year old year vanishing but they will, for the rest of their little league experiences, be competing with kids 12-19 months older than them that are now considered "the same age". How is that for safety to go up against kids that much more physically developed? Good luck to those poor kids trying to make all stars the next four years.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Wendy ... my team is half born later 2006. I'll get half of our LL at the young age group to jump to Babe Ruth being I coached tee ball and MP last year and also coached a majority of kids within 5 different sports. Hopefully you have options. I view this as a selfish and financial move by LL in an attempt to protect their brand and disrupt coaches/players opportunities to explore play elsewhere by creating age breakdown conflicts with other opportunities. For the 2006, not only do they lose the current MP opportunities but I would have 2nd graders matched against 5th graders. Completely unsafe here as well as kindergartners playing machine pitch. Would not be surprised to see several law suits in the upcoming year due to LL forcing such change. LLWS - and the small outside chance of making it there - means nothing to most of us ... and if the player/team is that good ... guess what ... they can experience significant success elsewhere. I'm out!

victor caufield said...

My son has been on the short end of the age scale his whole LL career.... it has made him very very skilled at hitting and fielding... I find a lot of time the older bigger bid have poor mechanics and rely on there size and arm strength on fields that are obviously meant for children of a certain age and smaller stature... I think this leads to a lot of kids quitting baseball in HS school as they are no longer the biggest kids, that the smaller bits have nnow hit puberty and developed the proper skills to continue playing baseball.... I was fine with the age cut off, and I am fine with the new rule change... I see a lot of parents upset there son won't be able to dominate 11 and 12 year old boys when there 13....

Anonymous said...

This change is horrible for the kids born in 2006. Does anyone realize that league age 9 now covers kids born May 1, 2005 THROUGH December 31, 2006? That's a TWENTY MONTH age group. ABSURD!!!! Its one thing to ask kids to compete for accolades like all stars with kids 11 months older than them, its another thing altogether to have them compete against a kid 19-20 months older. I'd be stunned if any kid born between May 1, 2006 and December 31, 2006 ever plays in Williamsport.

Anonymous said...

My son was born Dec. 29, 2006, and is being rushed to kid pitch before he is ready and on the spur of the moment notice. How dare you be so short-sighted. He is not ready.

Anonymous said...

"I see a lot of parents upset there son won't be able to dominate 11 and 12 year old boys when there 13...."

I'm more worried about the safety of my eight-year-old playing against 10-year-olds who are 100 pounds heavier than my 50-pound son. It's not his fault - he's only 8 and slated for coach pitch before this rule severely impacts those born in 2006. Not only are true 9- and 10-year-olds playing minors, but also 8-year-olds.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, the local leagues are very confused about the rule as well. I registered my October '05 9 yr old today for his 9-10 yr old league. I asked if he is going to lose his 12 yr old season. They said absolutely not. He will be 12 for the entire season. I asked them to verify and they couldn't. They said it would make no sense for him to miss his 12 yo season. It boggles my mind that a kid who will be 12 for an entire season in ' 18 won't be able to play as a 12 yr old, unless I am the one confused??

jim burns said...

I also agree that a 13 yr shouldn't be allowed to dominate 11 and 12 yr olds. Same reason it would asinine to make a 12 yr old play up

Anonymous said...

can someone tell me if this age change applies to girls or is it just boys? we have co-ed TBall/PeeWee but then separate into baseball and softball....I have a 5 yr old born in Nov 2009. Is she "5" or "6" this summer?

Chrissy Goodick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

My son was born in December 2006, and I just recently learned about this age change. He is now considered a 9 year old by little league (even though he wont turn 9 for 11.5 months after he officially became "9"). Our district area has a 9 year old all star team. While he is as good a player as any kid within 12 months of his age, the reality is that he will be overlooked because of the number of kids playing that considered the same age that are up to 19.5 months older than he is. Because of this change, to play little league he has a future of being the youngest and smallest in his age group, playing backup positions, and never making an all-star team. Regardless of the reasons, for him this age change is terrible. I am a big supporter of little league, but sad to say that come fall he will be playing in the Cal Ripken league, where he will be placed in the appropriate age group. Very sad about this development.

Anonymous said...

This new rule change is completely screwing kids out of one year of little league if they are born after the year 2006. When reading the chart you will notice that someone born in July of 2005 is the same age as someone born in July of 2006. How is that fair?

Anonymous said...

They should go after little league officials for child abuse and endangerment just like they went after FIFA for corruption. This rule is not kid friendly, but then when is youth sports ever really about the kids. It's always pompous adults hurting the kids with egos to large to see the error of their ways. It's a shame to see.

Concerned Parent

Michael Griffin said...

In little league rules minor league is there a time limit and if so what's the rule ???

Anonymous said...

My son born in Dec 2005 will never play at his age.At age 5 today, was told he will play in the 7/8 year old kid pitch division next year. He will not be ready, he will fall behind, and lose his desire to play. Off to hockey for him, where he can still play in his age group.

Coach C in NY said...

I've been told that the International Board of LL Directors will meet this week in PA at the LLWS to vote on the amendment. Regardless of the decision, a percentage of kids will get screwed and players born between May 2005 and Dec 2005 are the most effected. I'm of the opinion that due to the backlash, the committee must now focus on reducing the number of impacted kids; and the best way to do that would be to make the age cutoff Aug 31st (as opposed to Dec 31st). This will align nicely with school year dates, as well as the LLWS dates to ensure that no 13 year olds are playing 12U majors.

Christine Anderson said...

After watching the LLWS and MOST kids were 13 i agree the date needs changed, but they went too far. Sept1 should be the max they should have moved the cut off so the LLWS was cleared of the 13 year olds. I think it is time to find the nearest Pony ball.

Anonymous said...

My son, who turns 8 in October of this year, ( he is a 2007 kid) will play with the 9 and 10 year old's in our divisions next spring (playing up). So if I'm reading this correctly, he will not get to play little league at all when he is actually 12? Can someone confirm my math please.

Steve H said...

My son was born in June 2005, played this year as a 9 year old. I'm now finding out he only has two seasons left?? I had to break the news to him last night and he is extremely upset... Nice job Little League.

This is completely unfair to kids born in 2005-2006. You're stealing their dreams of making it to Williamsport unless they can do it as an 11 year old against kids 12-13. Absolute travesty.

Change the rule to effective now and even the playing field or move it back to year 2020 so that the current group of Little League players are not affected..

#dotherightthinglittleleague said...

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Little-League-Fair-Implementation-of-New-Age-Determination-Date/244347079022898

Anonymous said...

This is awful for a lot of kids and particularly bad if the leagues don't communicate this to everyone and push the age changes down to the lower level right away! I have 3 boys. One born in May '05, one born in May '07 and one born in July '09. The way I see it, this is bad for all of them. There are 2 main bad things about it. First, my oldest will lose a year of little league. I either have to jump him now from 9 year old ball to 11 year old ball and he gets to play 11 this year and 12 next year. Or I keep him in 10 year old ball and then he plays 11 next year and doesn't get a 12 year old year. Second, my other two kids have to either jump up a league now and start with a new set of kids and jump up a level in 2018. Either way, they are forced to skip a level with no warning or ability for us to decide and get them on the better road earlier.

Part of it my issue with this stems from not even knowing about this rule change until late this summer even though it was decided prior to the 2015 season. How is this supposed to be getting communicated and implemented in leagues at all ages? My oldest has been playing with his proper age based on the April 30 cutoff. That put him in 9 year old this year (2015). This was his first year of kid pitch. If I had known prior tot he season, I may have tried to have him "play up", but that would have been very hard for him and bad too since he'd be very young and new to kid pitch in a league where most kids have had a year of kid pitch already. Now, next year, he'll be among the oldest in the 10 year old league - and presumably the league will have 33% more kids in it as they are 4 more months worth of kids that will be considered 10 year olds. Or I could have him play up where he'd be playing with 11 year olds who have had 2 years of kid pitch when he's only had one. He'd likely play little. Then the following year, he'd be 11, but it would be his last year of little league as the year after that he'll be considered a 13 year old. So he loses a year of kid pitch because I didn't choose to play him up years ago when this issue wasn't known. For my middle son, he essentially gets forced to skip his 8 year old season next summer and jump right to the 9 year olds. He'll be with an entirely new set of kids, and be in kid pitch before he's even played in a league that keeps game scores. My youngest was in T-ball this year. He'll miss a coach pitch year and jump right to a 7 year old (sling pitch) league. That's probably not too terrible, but had I known this before the season started in 2015, I surely would have had him play up and put him in coach pitch if the league would have let me. In fact they should have forced it to be this way. I agree with the notion of starting this from the bottom. It has to start at T-ball for kids not to get forced to skip a level at some point. There a general progress in rules and pitching methods for a reason and all the kids in the system and below the level of the required change are going to be forced to skip a level at some point. And how are leagues going to deal with 33% more kids in a given age group coming up through the system? Those kids that are in that part of the snake as the mouse moves through it will have a much larger set of kids and wider age range that they are playing with. I would think that may create field scheduling issues galore. The ones at the younger side of the age where they are forced to jump up a level will have little chance to stand out compared to the ones on the older side.

There's probably not a perfect solution, but it seems an easy one that only makes more kids eligible sooner is to start this at T-ball league age level and have it work its way up. No one would even know if was changed that way. But, yes it would take longer to reach the goal of having the age cutoff changed.

Anonymous said...

It's long overdue!!!! Huge advantage went to the May, June, July Birthday kids. Changing the date to Dec 31st will ensure that more boys will be playing with kids their own age/grade. Why wait so long until 2018? No one is going to miss a year. May, June, July B'day boys have been able to play against younger kids for years. Late Spring/Summer B'day parents know they won't have the age/size advantage anymore. Be grateful that your child has had a huge advantage being born in May, June or July.

Anonymous said...

It came to my attention yesterday that my 9 year old son will be competing with 11 year olds for the same spots on the 9/10 All-Star Team. I know that the league age chart is created by the national board, and underwent extensive changes last year to “allow Little Leaguers to play with their classmates” until 2019. As explained below, the changes to the system which allow for grandfathering of players born from May 2005 to August 2005 have unfairly put my son, and others like him, in a position where he will be forced to compete with other children that are up to 15 months older than him for his entire Little League career. He will never catch up. He will also lose his 12 year old season of Little League baseball due to the recent changes.

My son was born at the end of August 2006. He is 9, in the 4th grade, and won’t turn 10 until well after the 2016 spring season is over. However, under the current league age chart, he is considered league age 10 for the 2016 season. He was drafted up from AA to AAA, and as a result is over one year younger than the other youngest child on his team. I kept telling myself that it would be different next year, but then I checked the chart again and realized that the current 11 year olds on our team will still be the same league age as my son in the fall and next spring. I then thought, well at least he will be able to compete for the 9/10 all-star team while the rest of his team will be competing for the 10/11 all-star team. However, that dream crashed and burned when I overheard his coach telling our 11 year old players that if they are going to try out for the all-star team, that they should demand to play for the 9/10 team so they get more playing time. As I thought about this more last night, I realized my son is never going to have a fair opportunity to compete for the all-star team.

Given the current chart, players that are up to 15 months older than him will be playing at the same level as him until 2019. This means that when he is 11 years old and in the 6th grade, he will be playing against 13 year olds in the 7th grade. This doesn’t seem fair by any stretch of the imagination. Not only does he have to play against older children, he also has to compete against older players for spots on the same All Star team. According to Little League:

“This change will make the Little League Baseball Division, also known as the Major Division, truly a 12 and under program – ensuring that no child playing in the Little League/Major Division will turn 13 years old at any point during their final season in that division.”

Clearly, as set forth above, this is not true. Additionally, Little League claims that the decision to grandfather the four months of children born between May 1 and August 31, 2005, for the 2018 season, was “so that no child will lose their 12-year-old season of Little League Baseball.” My son turns 12 in August 2018, so even though he will be 11 during the 2018 spring season, he will still be considered league age 12. For the 2019 season he will only be 12 years old, but his league age will be 13. This will force him into the Juniors league, effectively stripping him of his opportunity to play in the Majors as a 12 year old.

I understand that the league age cut-off was changed to “allow Little Leaguers to play with their classmates,” but my son is the prime example as to why this does not work. Baseball is a spring sport, and the player’s age should be determined by their age as of opening day. This is the only way to ensure that players will be playing with other players of the same age, and in the same grade. The idea to “grandfather in” children born from May 2005 to August 2005 makes absolutely no sense because this allows them to compete with much younger children, giving them an unfair advantage during their prime growth years.

Anonymous said...

Whatever a child's age at registration or even when the baseball season starts is the child's age!!! Someone tell me how it's "fair" or in the children's "best" interest to change their age and make them play against kids who are actually older than them. My son just turned 9yr august 2016 but is now forced to play as a 10yrold and will be competing with kids who are grandfathered in "aka" playing their actual age. This creates a 2yr gap and honestly makes baseball dangerous and not fair for many kids in this same prediction. My closing thoughts.. what's worse? A few kids who turn 13 during the season or oddly changing someones real age. My son is and will continue to be forced to play with older kids his entire little league career. His last little league game will be played at 11 yrs old, WILL NEVER GET TO PLAY WHEN HE IS 12YRS OLD. THIS IS NOT FAIR!!!!!!!!l