Growing up, many kids are directly influenced by family, school and sports. Recognizing that families are most happy when the children are playing and having fun with their friends, Little League® Baseball and Softball decided to adjust its league eligibility requirements to allow them to play Little League® in the same area where they go to school.
As you consider registering your child, take note that for the first time there is the possibility for your Little Leaguer® to play in a local league, on a team with players who are classmates even though the school is not in the area, or inside the boundary of the local Little League® where you live.
To verify enrollment, parents will need to bring an official school document, such as a report card or school enrollment form, for the current academic year, dated before October 1, 2013. Read the full text of the new rule here.
Here are some important rule change questions and answers:
Why did Little League® change the rule?
With a changing educational landscape, this new rule (for the 2014 season) gives parents the option to register their children for the Little League® that is truly most convenient to the family, and further enhance the role of community with the classmates of Little Leaguers® and their families. We have been receiving requests from parents around the nation to allow their children to play for the league where they go to school and with their classmates. This gives that opportunity to all Little League® families.
What happens if I have kids in different schools?
If a player qualifies to participate in a Little League® program as a result of school attendance, a sibling may also participate in the same league for the duration of his/her Little League eligibility according to the Regulation II (d). Simply use this form located here.
Will my kids need to switch leagues as they go through elementary, middle school and high school if their new schools are outside the boundary of their current league?
No. If attending those schools qualifies a player to participate in a league, a player would be able to participate in that league even if they have not participated in that league previously. However, if a player wishes to stay in a league, even while not attending school within the boundaries, they are welcome to do so under Regulation II (d), as long as he/she has not broken service to with league.
If I would like to use this option, will I need to get a release from the league where my child currently plays?
No. The change to the regulation does not require the player to have a release from the home league where the child currently plays.
Do we have to participate in the league where my child goes to school?
No. Players have the ability to participate in a league where they reside or where they attend school.
Where can I find the school registration form?
The School Registration Form is available online at LittleLeague.org, on the Forms and Publications page.
When registering using the School Registration Form, do I still need to bring my child’s birth certificate?
Yes. The school registration form does not eliminate the requirement to prove age.
Does this rule include eligibility for all-stars?
Yes. A player who participates in a league as a result of school attendance would be eligible to participate in that league with full eligibility and be eligible for tournament team selection.
How do I register my child if he/she goes to school year-round?
Little League® has provided a number of methods for a player to show that they are eligible based on school attendance. A child that attends school year-round should still be able to meet the requirements to use the school attendance regulation as long as he/she was enrolled in the identified school as of October 1 of the current year.
My child attends a charter or private school away from where we live, is he/she eligible to play Little League® where the school is located?
Provided the school that your child attends is physically located within the boundaries of a local Little League®, he/she is eligible to participate in that league.
Mr. Pat Wilson, Senior Vice President, Operations and Program Development, offers additional explanation of the new boundary rule in the video available here.
You are encouraged to speak with a member of your league’s Board of Directors if you have specific questions, or to see if this opportunity applies to your family. Remember, this rule is not replacing the residency rule, it is just offering another option to families wanting to provide the best Little League® experience for their children and the entire family.