Your Voice: Paperwork Needs, Rulebooks for Parents, Tryouts, Manager Selection, Softball-Specific Leagues


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 [email protected].

Barry from Nebraska – I registered my son and two daughters for the coming Little League season and was surprised at how much information was needed. Why is so much paperwork required to just sign my kids up?

Little League – When registering a child to participate in a local Little League program there are two options that may be used to establish eligibility. If you reside within in the league’s boundaries you have proof-of-residency documents that are needed to establish that you are eligible to be playing in that league. The other option to establish eligibility in a local league is the location of the school where the child/children attend. If the school is physically located inside a league boundary, then the child/children is/are eligible to play in that league. In each case, there is paperwork/documentation that must be completed and kept on file with the local league. If your child qualifies under both criteria, either may be used. Player registration can be done in a variety of ways, and it depends on the local league how it chooses to operate. Volunteer registration also requires forms to be signed, beginning with the Volunteer Application. Again, the paperwork helps local league officials manage the administration of a local league. Getting the paperwork in order is not meant to be an inconvenience, but it is necessary to help operate the league efficiently within Little League’s Official Regulations and help ensure children are participating in the appropriate local Little League program.

Miranda from California – My daughters both play softball and I am interested in learning the rules to help better understand the game. How does a parent get ahold of a copy of the Little League Softball rulebook?

Little League – For the 2020 season, Little League has made access to the playing rules and regulations simple by launching its first rules app for mobile devices. Whether you have and Apple or Android product, you can download the Little League Rules App through the Apple Store or Google Play. The one-time cost is $1.99 and includes the Little League Baseball®, Little League Softball®, and Little League Challenger Division® rulebooks. Once you have the app, it will automatically update on a yearly basis, meaning you will not need to download the app again in future. The app offers a “bookmark” feature, which allows the user to highlight certain rules, as well as a search functionality to find the specific rule you are interested in.

Paula from New York – I signed up my son and was told he had to try out to make a team. He’s nine this year, and has played minors the past two seasons, so why does he need to try out now?

Little League – Thanks for being a part of the local Little League program! Your son is league-age nine (9) and eligible to be drafted on to a Major Division team. For this reason, the league will organize player evaluations, also known as tryouts, to allow the Major Division team managers to see the players who will be included in the draft pool for the coming season. The managers will be assessing your son and the other players in the Major division. Some leagues hold evaluations for first-year eligible players, or re-draft the entire division each year. Players not selected to a Major Division team in the draft will be placed on a Minor Division team within the league. Every child that registers to play Little League must be afforded a place to participate. We encourage you to ask local league official for details on how the player evaluation is conducted for your son’s league if you are interested in finding out more information.

Mario from New Mexico – My kids have played Little League the last couple of years and had a good time playing with their friends, but I am a little curious about why there are different coaches each year?

Little League –The volunteers chosen to manage and coach in Little League are nominated by the League President and approved by the current season’s Board of Directors. In some instances, the managers and coaches choose to volunteer, and are approved annually to volunteer, over the course of multiple seasons. Local leagues are encouraged to seek out new volunteers to operate the league, and that includes recruiting coaches for the various divisions it operates. Each Little League is to have a Coaching Coordinator to assist with training managers and coaches to help provide the best possible experience for each child. If a league provides quality training and oversight for its adult volunteers, the children are likely to benefit from a well-rounded exposure to different personalities, coaching styles, and life lessons.

JoAnne from Virginia – We have so many girls playing softball in my area, and I want to know what it would take to have our own softball Little League?

Little League –You certainly have the option to charter a softball-only Little League, but you first would need to know if your area is currently being served by an existing Little League that offers softball. If there is a local Little League Softball® opportunity, approach the league’s leadership about volunteering to assist with the softball program. If you want to explore other softball play options, consult with the league president of the local program nearest to your residence or school where your daughter currently attends, and also speak with the District Administrator in your area.

If you have questions that can be answered in a future edition of Your Voice, please email: [email protected].