For parents, grandparents, and guardians of Little Leaguers®, The Parent Connection is your newsletter and we encourage everyone to let us know what’s on your minds. 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 to parents@LittleLeague.org.
Contact your local Little League. Speak with the League President, Player Agent, or other Board member to see if registration for this season has closed. If the tryout dates have passed, and the player draft has already been completed, then ask if the league has any provisions or bylaws to allow your children to be placed on a team prior to the start of the regular season. To find your local Little League program visit our new League Finder.
Once a player has registered to play Little League Softball or Little League Baseball, the local league conducts a series of evaluation events (player tryouts). The volunteers who may be nominated as coaches for the coming season assess the skill level of the players and rate them according to several criteria, including personal safety to play in their age-eligible divisions. Once all of the tryout sessions are completed, the team managers approved by the league, will use their evaluations to rate and rank players that will eventually be drafted to teams according to one of Little League’s approved draft methods. Keep in mind, the term “tryout” does not mean that any player is “cut” from a team. All players trying out, will be drafted to a team.
Following the completion of the local league’s player tryouts, the next step is for the League President to gather the names of volunteers interested in managing a team during the regular season. Each local league may have several teams in different divisions, which means there are plenty of people to speak with before the League President can compile a list of volunteers to nominate as coaches. Typically, at the next scheduled Board of Directors meeting for local leagues, the League President presents the nominees, and the candidates are discussed. A vote takes place on each coaching candidate. Once the votes are tallied and a list of managers is selected, then the league moves on to the process of drafting players on to teams. After the draft is completed, the manager will notify you about what team your sons will be playing on this season. Always feel free to ask when a manager will be in touch at tryouts or contact your League President to find out the timeline for your league.
The league’s player draft is not open to the parents or other league volunteers. The only volunteers who attend the draft meeting are the league’s Player Agent, who oversees and manages the draft, and the team managers for each respective division. It is common for the draft to take place a short time after the managers have been approved by the Board of Directors. The Player Agent, in accordance with Little League’s policies, executes the draft using one of the various draft methods approved by Little League Baseball and Softball.
Detailed educational information on the topics above is available through Little League University. Visit LittleLeagueU.org to create your free account and find more information, get great resources, and help make your Little League season a successful one.