Little League RULES! New PSAs promote Little League’s Strengths
Three new Public Service Announcements (PSAs) currently airing on the ESPN family of networks are designed to promote some of the strengths of Little League, and the benefits of membership. The theme of the PSAs is “Little League RULES … for a reason.”
“There are some who believe that our rules – like those that help to protect pitcher’s arms, help to keep sex offenders out of our leagues, and ensure fairness among leagues – are somehow reasons not be chartered with Little League,” Lance Van Auken, Vice President of Communications for Little League International, said. “We could not disagree more. To the contrary, those rules are just a few of the benefits of membership in Little League.
“That’s why we say Little League Rules … for a reason”
The PSAs were produced by ESPN for Little League as part of an agreement that calls for ESPN to televise at least 49 Little League Baseball and Softball games worldwide each year. That agreement extends to 2014.
Here are details on the three PSAs:
Pitch Counts: Little League is still the only youth baseball organization to mandate using pitch counts to determine the eligibility of pitchers, despite the fact that medical experts say pitch counts are the most effective way to combat the biggest factor in arm injuries: fatigue. Little League began the program in 2007, and it has been implemented at all baseball levels. The PSA depicts world-renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews talking about his collaboration with Little League to produce the pitch count regulations. Dr. Andrews is a member of the Little League International Board of Directors, and is the Medical Director at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, Ala.
Background Checks: Little League also is still the only youth national baseball/softball organization to mandate background checks of managers, coaches and other volunteers at the local league and district level. These background checks are designed to root out child sex offenders. The PSA points out that Little League makes it even easier for local volunteers to perform the background checks by providing each league with 125 free national criminal background checks, and a $1 rate per check after that. (The normal price for these checks is $20 each.)
Little League Rules: Little League’s rules, such as the rules regarding league boundaries, are designed to ensure that leagues – whether they are in urban, suburban or rural areas – can compete on an “even playing field” with other leagues around the world. They also are designed so there is fairness within the local league, through draft policies that help to ensure that one team is not always the strongest – the detriment of other teams and players, for instance. Minimum mandatory play rules also help those players with lesser skills to learn the game and improve – while making it so managers and coaches provide training to all players on the team. The PSA features Little League Baseball World Series champion Chris Drury (Trumbull, Conn., 1989), and current Captain of the New York Rangers, Chris Drury.