Your Voice: How to Feel Welcome at a New League, Tournament Eligibility Requirements, and More

dads and players

Your Voice is a way for readers to share questions with us, and an opportunity for Little League® to provide some important information and guidance. We are excited about our continued conversations, and, as always, we invite you to share your thoughts, suggestions, and questions. We are excited about our continued conversations, and, as always, we invite you to share your thoughts, suggestions, and questions to [email protected].

This season, our league merged with a neighboring one. I’m not familiar with a lot of the new people involved. What’s the best way to get to know them?

Being part of an expanding Little League® community is exciting! One of the best ways to meet new people is to get involved. Volunteer to assist with concession stand duty, practices, or field maintenance. You’ll meet other volunteers who are committed to making the Little League experience enjoyable for everyone. Also, for games, don’t sit by yourself in a folding chair. Be part of the fun and support your team alongside others by sitting in the bleachers. Be sure to introduce yourself to fellow parents, coaches, and league officials.

Our family is taking a vacation over spring break, and will miss some games. What are the playing requirements to make him eligible for All Stars?

In order to be eligible for tournament play, Little Leaguers® must play in 60 percent of the regular season games by the start of tournament play in their respective District. Your league’s Board of Directors may permit a player to be eligible for tournament play if they do not meet this criteria as a result of an injury or illness. For this to be considered, parents must provide a physician’s note documenting an injury or illness prior to or during the current season prohibiting his/her participation and releasing the player to participate for All Stars.

Our season is going great. My son is too young for tournament play. Thinking ahead, what can I do to keep him playing?

If your Little Leaguer isn’t quite ready to put the bat and glove down after the season, Little League offers fun opportunities through its Second Season and Fall Ball programs for Little Leaguers ages 4 to 16. These options offer flexibility in scheduling both games and practices, and allow coaches to focus on training and development, particularly in younger players. Registration is easy, and there are no additional insurance needs or forms to fill out. Little League also offers Special Games, which allows your league to play games against teams from other local leagues in a tournament-like atmosphere outside of the Little League International Tournament. This is an exciting opportunity for players to travel and play in different surroundings.

For any of the programs listed above, Little League rules and regulations still apply. If you are interested in volunteering, simply get in touch with a local league official to receive the appropriate information. All volunteers need to fill out a volunteer application and undergo a background check.

Keep in mind, while these additional playing options will allow your Little Leaguer to continue playing in a structured program, there”’s nothing like some sandlot, backyard pick-up games with friends. Many of which can be facilitated at your local Little League fields. Encourage your Little Leaguer to get outside while the weather is still nice to play games without any adult instruction.