Little League Baseball World Series Fences Moving Back 20 Feet
Construction began last week, by the Little League maintenance department, at the two stadiums in South Williamsport where the annual tournament for 11-12-year-old Little Leaguers is played. The project is expected to be completed in July. The 60th Little League Baseball World Series will be played Aug. 18-27.
The distance from home plate to all points at the fence at Lamade Stadium was 200 feet from its construction in 1959 until 1996, when it was moved to 205 feet. From 1947 until 1958, the Little League Baseball World Series was played at Original Field in Williamsport, where the distance varied, but was less than 200 feet.
The distance from home plate to all points at the Volunteer Stadium fence has been 205 feet since it was built in 2001.
“While home run production has remained fairly constant over the last several years, we have noticed there are few doubles and triples in the Little League Baseball World Series,” said Joseph W. Losch, senior vice president of Little League Baseball and Softball and director of the Little League International Tournament. “By the time teams get to the World Series, they are extremely talented, particularly on defense. This move, while probably decreasing home run production by a small fraction, will increase the possibilities for other extra-base hits.”
The recommended distance from home plate to the outfield fence at local Little League fields, as noted in the Little League Rules and Regulations, is 200 feet. The recommendation for tournament play also remains 200 feet. Local Little Leagues will continue to have the option to make this distance shorter or longer as they see fit.
Over the past 20 years in the Little League Baseball World Series, a total of 571 home runs have been hit -- about one home run in every 26 at-bats. During that same period, only 36 triples (one in every 406 at-bats) and 502 doubles (one every 29 at-bats) have been hit.
With the fences 20 feet farther back, outfielders will have more territory to cover, and will have longer throws from the warning track to the infield. This should result in more doubles and triples.
By comparison, none of the 30 current Major League Baseball franchises have hit more home runs than doubles in their entire histories.
Little League Baseball World Series
1986 to 2005 (20 years)
|Hits||3,798 (11.8 per game; one in every 3.85 at-bats; .260 batting average)|
|Singles||2,689 (8.35 per game; one in every 5.09 at-bats)|
|Doubles||502 (1.56 per game; one in every 29 at-bats)|
|Triples||36 (.11 per game; one in every 406 at-bats)|
|Home runs||571 (1.77 per game; one in every 26 at-bats)|
Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.7 million players and 1 million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.