Prepare header 1000

As play resumes in 2020, most leagues will need to make some adjustments to their teams due to players that are no longer available for the modified season schedule. In determining what adjustments are needed, there are several steps that leagues should follow.

Step 1: Determine Player Availability

Based on the modified schedule and ongoing recommendations in each community, it is likely some players who signed up at the start of the season may no longer be available to participate. After your league sets start and end dates for the 2020 season, reach out to parents and legal guardians to:

  • Communicate Schedule Updates
  • Confirm Availability to Participate
  • Provide guidance on season details – number of games, interleague play, non-regular season opportunities, tournament opportunities, etc. – and communicate with the following email template:

We are excited to announce that we are planning to resume Little League activities on {insert date here}. In advance of this resumption, we wanted to reach out to confirm that your Little Leaguer(s) are interested in participating in the resumption of our season. Please confirm your participation via email to {enter email address} by {enter date}. Below are a few highlights for the upcoming resumption of our season.

The season will run from {enter start and end dates}.

We will strive to provide each team with at least {insert number} games.

We will participate in games against the following other leagues in our areas: {list leagues}.

The following additional opportunities will be available to interested participants: {list here}.


Step 2: Evaluate Updated Registration Numbers

After availability of players has been confirmed, review the updated registration numbers to answer each of the following questions:

  • Are there divisions where the number of teams need to be reduced?
  • Are there any divisions that are no longer viable as originally planned due to a reduction in players?
  • Are there any divisions where the age structure needs to be modified, while adhering to Little League® International regulations, to facilitate offerings for 2020?

Step 3: Adjust Divisions/Teams

In divisions where the number of teams needs to be reduced, leagues should consider the following options:

  • Redraft all players registered for the current season.
  • Dissolve the team(s) with the fewest remaining players and redistribute those players amongst the other teams in the division.
  • Reduce the number of players on each regular season team (e.g. reduce roster size from 12 to 10 players per team).

In some cases, it may be necessary to adjust the structure of a division to facilitate offerings in the 2020 season. The age structure of Little League® provides flexibility in structuring all divisions of play. Sample adjustments may include, but are not limited to:

  • Allowing 9- and 10-year-olds to participate in the Major Division for 2020.
  • Realigning the Minor Division age structure to include broader age ranges.
  • Combining Junior and Senior Divisions for 2020.
  • Allowing players to participate in up to two Divisions (at the Major level and above) in which they are eligible to participate by league age.

Step 4: Consider the 2021 Draft

Team adjustments for 2020 may necessitate that leagues conduct a total redraft in all divisions of play for the 2021 season in order to establish parity as participation returns to normal levels. Communicate with parents regarding what to expect when registering with your league next season.

Once your league had determined its team numbers, you should contact Little League Support (LittleLeague.org/Support) for appropriate assistance.

NEXT: Interleague Play and Combined Teams