USA Baseball Recommends Change in Age Determination DateClick here to see the related USA Baseball Release
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (January 11, 2005) –USA Baseball, the governing body for amateur baseball in the United States, has recommended that the league age determination date be changed from July 31 to April 30, for the 2006 season for all of its members.
USA Baseball represents amateur baseball in the U.S. as a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Baseball Association Federation (IBAF). Virtually every major national amateur baseball organization in the U.S., including Little League, is a USA Baseball National Member.
In Little League Baseball and Softball, for the remainder of the 2005 season and 2005 tournament play, a player’s league age remains his/her age as of July 31, 2005. The move by USA Baseball at its Jan. 8 meeting in Nashville, Tenn., recommends that the new date be implemented not later than 2007.
“Little League applauds USA Baseball for taking this progressive step,” said Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, and a Director of USA Baseball. “The Little League International Board of Directors had previously reviewed the April 30 league age determination date, and had authorized Little League to move forward with the April 30 date if other members of USA Baseball were in agreement. This spring, the April 30 date will go before the Little League International Board of Directors for formal approval to implement the change in 2006.”
In 2003, the Little League International Board of Directors expressed support for the April 30 date. This spring, the board will meet to formally consider making the change to Little League regulations for the 2006 season.
The July 31 date has been used in Little League for nearly 60 years. In the 1950s, most baseball organizations followed Little League’s lead in adopting the date, so that there would be a seamless transition if players moved from one program to another.
“We have been examining and discussing this important issue for some time now,” said Paul Seiler, executive director/CEO of USA Baseball. “As an organization we feel as though this will be a positive change for our sport that will promote continued participation at critical junctures in an athlete’s development.”
The chief reason for the April 30 date is so that most players on a team will spend the majority of the regular season at the same chronological age as their league age. Currently, players with May, June or July birth dates spend most or all of the season at a specific league age, even though they have not yet reached that age chronologically.