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Your Voice: Little League® answers your questions!

Volume 3 | Issue 3 | March 2015 | Archive
Your Voice: Little League® answers your questions!
For parents, grandparents, and guardians of Little Leaguers®, The Parent Connection is your newsletter and we encourage everyone to let us know what’s on your minds. Your Voice is a way for readers to share questions with us, and an opportunity for Little League® to provide some important information and guidance. We are excited about our continued conversations, and, as always, we invite you to share your thoughts, suggestions, and questions.

Bradley from Alabama – Why is the Little League field so much smaller than a regular baseball field?

The Parent Connection – The Little League field is two-thirds the size of a standard baseball field, with baselines measuring 60 feet, the pitching distance at 46 feet, and the outfield fence recommended to be 225 feet from home plate.

Carl Stotz, the founder of Little League, was a big Major League Baseball fan. In Little League’s first year, Mr. Stotz was motivated to give his nephews and other children in Williamsport, Pa., the opportunity to play baseball like the Major Leaguers of the day - circa 1939. He recognized that pre-teen children would not have fun playing on a full-size field. He decided to downsize the Major League-size 90-foot diamond and 60-foot, six inch pitching distance so that 12-year-olds could make plays on defense and batters had a chance for base hits. Originally, Little League pitchers threw from 40 feet. The distance was pushed back several years later to the current 46 feet.

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Rob from Louisiana – Is it important for the Little League patch be on each player’s uniform?

The Parent Connection – The decisions made about the look of a Little League uniform is a local league decision with the exception of the Little League patch. Whether the local Board of Directors decides to purchase hats and tee shirts, or go with full uniforms, the Little League patch is required to be placed on the left sleeve of the uniform shirt or jersey for the regular season and tournament play.

Rule 1.11 (a) 1 in the 2015 Little League Baseball® Rulebook reads: The Little League Official Shoulder Patch must be affixed to the upper left sleeve of the uniform. Patches are worn three inches below the left shoulder seam in a raglan sleeve; one inch below the seam on set-in sleeve; over the breast on sleeveless style.

Each baseball and softball division in the Little League program, Tee Ball through Big League, has a unique Little League patch. There are iron-on and stich-on versions that your local league purchases annually. Wearing the patch shows that your child is proud to be a Little Leaguer, and distinguishes Little League from others youth sports programs.

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Molly from California – Is the cost to play Little League the same for all leagues?

The Parent Connection – Local leagues cannot deny a child the opportunity to play Little League because of an inability to pay. Little League has rules (Regulation XIII (c)) protecting the ability of a child to participate in a local league. A reasonable Little League participation fee may be assessed as a parent’s obligation to assure the operational integrity of the local Little League. Local leagues have a budget in place, and know what it costs to operate each year. It’s up to the league to decide if it wants to ask parents to contribute some money through a registration or participation fee.

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Julie from Washington – If a person was a manager in the local Little League last season, does that person automatically get to manage that same team this season?

The Parent Connection – Each year, managers are appointed by the League President and voted on by the local league’s Board of Directors. Volunteers in the league (specifically managers, coaches, umpires) do not have tenure, regardless of their years of service. Prior service does not guarantee re-appointment.

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MaryBeth from Kentucky – Is Little League done after players turn 12?

The Parent Connection – Little League has opportunities for children of all ages. The Major Division of Little League is commonly referred to as the “Little League” Division because it has been around the longest. Players between the ages of 9-12 are eligible to play in the Major division. Over the years, Little League has become both younger and older and added six Softball divisions and the Little League Challenger Program and, this year, the Senior League Challenger Program. Today, Little League is operating in more than 7,000 leagues worldwide with divisions that provide the Little League experience to children as young as four and up through 18 in both baseball and softball. The Challenger Program for children and adults with physical and developmental challenges are available for children age four and older, with no upper age limit.
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The Parent Connection - March 2015 - Archive