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International Tournament Tip of the Day – Tip 1

Choosing Tournament Teams

The participants on a Tournament Team (All Stars) must be eligible for the particular division of play based on all three of these criteria:
  • Eligibility
  • Availability
  • Ability

“Eligibility” refers to each of these elements:

  1. Age.
  2. Participation in at least one-half of the regular season, as of June 15, in the proper division. (Note: For Big League Baseball and Softball only, See Page T-6 in the Tournament Rules for exceptions. See also the exception for all divisions if the participant played on a school baseball or softball team.)
  3. Residence, as defined in the “Residence Eligibility Requirements” on Pages 14-15 of the current Rules and Regulations. If a participant does not qualify under these requirements, the Tournament Affidavit must be accompanied by a valid Regulation II (d) waiver, a valid Regulation IV (h) waiver, or a valid written waiver from the Charter Committee in Williamsport for that participant. (Deadline for submitting these waiver requests was June 1.)

“Availability” refers to whether the candidate will be able to practice and play with the team. Will the player be away on vacation during some or all practices/games? If so, the league may wish to disqualify the player from consideration. (Note: If a number of otherwise eligible players in the league do not wish to be considered for selection for a Tournament Team because of vacation or some other reason, it will NOT be automatic cause for allowing the team to combine with other teams in other leagues for the International Tournament.)

“Ability” is solely in the opinion of those making the selections. The local Little League Board of Directors decides the method for selection of eligible players. That decision cannot be overridden by the District Administrator, Regional Headquarters, or Little League International.

Many leagues have success in using a method similar to that recommended by Little League International. In that recommendation, the groups involved in voting are:

  • Players in that division
  • Managers in that division
  • Coaches in that division
  • Volunteer umpires
  • Board of Directors

Every person in every group gets one vote, selecting up to 14 (15 in Big League) players.

This method all but eliminates charges of favoritism by managers or the board. The players with the most total votes comprise the Tournament Team.

The selection of the manager and coaches for the Tournament Team is up to the board of directors. A Tournament Team manager or coach must have been a manager or coach in that division of the league during the regular season, and must have been eligible to do so while they held that position.

Another recommendation is to place those players who do not receive enough votes into a pool, should there be a vacancy on the Tournament Team. If a vacancy arises, and the Board of Directors decides to fill it, the player who received the next-most votes is automatically placed on the team after verification of birth date and residence. However, these players MUST NOT travel with the team and are not covered by Little League Accident Insurance when traveling to and from games.

Next tip: Announcement of and Practice by the Tournament Team

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