Spring: Scheduling Games/Practices
The schedule at a well-run Little League is arranged so teams play each other twice a week. For instance, Team A plays Team B twice in the first week of the season. In the second week, Team A plays Team C twice, and so on.
Obviously, this works best with an even number of teams. The advantage is in preventing one team from always using the same pitcher against another. (Operating Manual - Sample Schedules.)
It also is recommended that the first-half winner plays the second-half winner for the league championship at the end of the season. This gives an advantage to a “quick start” team as well as a “late bloomer.”
Remember to allow for rain dates. At well-run Little Leagues, there are specific dates set up to replay games previously rained out, in the order in which they were rained out. That way, the schedule of “makeup” games is determined solely by the “luck of the draw.”
Here are some other points to remember when scheduling games:
- Little League Regulations do not prohibit or promote games or practices on any particular day of the week.
- Season must be at least half complete by June 15 (the day Tournament Teams are allowed to be announced) if the league intends to enter teams in Tournament Play.
- Curfews must be observed without exception.
A practice schedule is determined by the local Little League board of directors through individual division vice presidents. Practices may be off league property if the location is approved by the board of directors. (Regulation IX.)
Practice games/scrimmages may only be conducted before the season begins, and can only be between teams in the same division of the same league, out of uniform. Players from different teams should not be mixed during practice. (Regulation I c-5.)
A database of all of these Operations Tips can be found here: http://www.littleleague.org/leagueofficers/Tips_Successful_League
Next article: Ceremonies