Delegates to Little League International Congress Vote to Recommend Six Changes to Rules and Regulations
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (April 20, 2007) – Delegates from more than 70 countries attended the 24th Little League International Congress in Houston, Texas, and voted in favor of six non-tournament items that were approved by the Little League International Board of Directors.
Charlie Fox, district administrator for Texas District 16 and co-chairman of the 24th Little League International Congress recently concluded in Houston, casts his votes on the 16-item Congress agenda. Behind Mr. Fox is Barry Grove, programmer/analyst for Little League International. Mr. Grove oversaw the electronic voting procedures, which allowed instantaneous tabulation of the vote totals.
The recommendations presented to the board of directors were voted on by the delegates attending the triennial Congress. Members of the board reviewed the results and concurred with the voting totals, with two tournament-related items referred to the Little League International Tournament Committee for consideration.
Voting on the 16-item Congress agenda yielded six approved non-tournament rules, while two tournament-related items were approved by the Little League International Tournament Committee. The complete voting results, as well as approved dates of implementation, can be found here.
Items receiving enough votes to pass, and that will be implemented for the 2008 season, included a continuous batting order for Minor League and Tee Ball Baseball and Softball, the requirement that all league-age 12 year-olds be drafted into the Major Division, removal of the “automatic” intentional walk in the Minor Divisions, and a five-run limit per inning in all Minor Divisions.
Support for the continuous batting order for Minor League and Tee Ball players, guarantees that the batting order will be followed throughout the game. Prior to the Congress vote, a continuous batting order was optional in these divisions.
Another item approved, with the intent of reinforcing Little League’s longstanding position that the Minor League divisions are instructional, is that all players league-age 12 be drafted on to a Major Division team. This recommendation eliminates the potential for managers to overlook otherwise qualified 12-year-old players in favor of a younger draft choice.
The five-run limit per inning is intended to limit the length of innings and provide a better flow to games in the Minor Divisions. The automatic intentional walk also was removed from the Minor Divisions to encourage managers to pitch to players rather being “waived” to first base.
One item that narrowly missed attaining the 66.7 percent needed to be considered by the board would have allowed league-age four-year-olds to play in certain circumstances. The Charter Committee at Little League International has been routinely approving this waiver, and will continue to do so.
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.