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Little League Baseball International Statement

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (July 17, 2003) - The Little League Baseball International Tournament Committee has voted unanimously to uphold the protest of Inwood Manhattan Little League, and forfeit the last game won by the Next Millennium Little League Baseball tournament team, and to remove the team from the 2003 International Tournament. The Next Millennium team had defeated Inwood Manhattan Little League in the final game of the New York District 23 tournament, on Tuesday, July 15. The reasons for this action follow:

The protest, lodged immediately following the game by Inwood Manhattan Little League, alleged that Next Millennium used ineligible players. As in all such protests, the issue was brought before the Little League International Tournament Committee in Williamsport, Pa., for resolution.

Little League requires that all teams produce residency eligibility verification for each player once the team wins the district championship game. (See www.littleleague.org/tournaments/residence.htm.) Little League also requires that all tournament teams carry copies of proof of birth documents at all times. These documents are to be used by the Tournament Committee whenever a controversy arises regarding eligibility, or to expedite a resolution of a protest. All Little League tournament teams are required to have these documents available for inspection when required to do so by the Tournament Committee.

The Tournament Committee asked for the residency verifications for the Next Millennium Little League and Junior League for review as required. However, after several discussions with Next Millennium Little League officials and three formal requests for eligibility verification information, these requests were denied by Next Millennium Little League. As a result the Tournament Committee had no recourse but to uphold the protest, and remove both teams from further tournament eligibility.

Inwood Manhattan Little League and Kingsbridge Junior League will be declared the respective New York District 23 champions, provided the eligibility of all team members is established prior to the start of the New York sectional tournament.