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Making the Team: How the Little League® Draft Works


Making the Team: How the Little League® Draft Works

There are no television cameras and bright lights. ESPN won’t be reporting live, and it won’t be scrutinized by professional analysts, but your local league’s draft is one of the most important events in the Little League® experience.

Just like when professional athletes go through their draft, Little League’s version will determine what team your children will play on, what new friends they’ll have an opportunity to meet and who will be sitting in the stands with you, cheering the team on.

Soon after tryouts, the managers of all the divisions will come together to place the players on teams. The draft can happen in a few different ways. If you are curious as to how your league runs its draft, ask your local league officials for information.

Depending on what divisions of play your local league offers, there is likely going to be options to ensure your children have the best on-field experience possible based on their current skill level and age. The age ranges for Little League Baseball® and Little League Softball® divisions overlap, which allows players who need a little more time to develop to play down in a division, or play up in a division if they are ready to advance, and if approved by the local league. You can learn more about the divisions of Little League here.

If your children are playing the same division as they did last year, many leagues will place them on the same team unless you’ve requested them to play for another team.

Parents with multiple children who are playing in the same division can have them play on the same team, just be sure to have the request to the league’s Player Agent more than 48 hours before the draft. Also, if you or your spouse is the manager of the team, you have the option to automatically draft your own children.

Remember, the best source of information about the draft is your league officials, so ask them about the draft during registration or tryouts. There might not be any speeches from the podium, or a ceremonial presentation of a jersey, but once you have a team, then the real fun of the Little League season can begin.

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