Special Games are defined as non-regular season games. These are not Little League® International Tournament games, but involve teams from chartered Little League programs and have been approved in writing by the regional office.
These events are typically tournament style and are used commonly for events such as Tournament of Champions, city or county-wide tournaments, etc., as well as any kind of tournament other than games to determine a league champion (See Regulation IX in the Little League Official Regulations, Playing Rules, and Policies). Playing Special Games can provide teams and players with an opportunity to participate in additional games, and even a tournament-like atmosphere and experience.
Special Games are different from Interleague play. A season-type schedule of games is used for Interleague play and would count towards regular-season game count. Special Games are used for a small or large tournament, or possibly a weekend round robin event.
While Special Games involving Little League, Minor League, and Tee Ball teams can count towards the regular-season schedule for those teams, and there is no maximum or minimum total of games. Intermediate (50-70) Baseball Division and Junior League teams may count up to six (6) games played under Special Games against Little League teams towards players’ Regular Season schedule. Senior League teams may count up to twelve (12) games played under Special Games against Little League teams towards players’ Regular Season schedule.
Special Games may be played between regular-season teams or tournament teams. Teams participating in Special Games during the regular season shall be regular-season teams only. Tournament teams may participate in Special Games after June 15 or two weeks prior to the start of tournament within their respective division, whichever is earlier.
Tournament teams, regular-season teams, and Minor League teams involving players below league age 11 may use 9- and 10-Year-Old Division Tournament rules. Only regular-season Tee Ball teams may participate in Special Games; however they are not recommended by Little League International. “All-Stars” are not authorized.
Some additional examples for using Special Games include:
- 8-year-old all-star district tournament
- 11/12-year-old district tournament for players not selected to a league’s International Tournament team
- Memorial Day regular-season tournament for Little League Baseball® teams
- Weekend round robin event for Little League Softball® teams from around the state
Softball teams have the ability to utilize expanded Special Games to enhance and encourage use of Special Games.
Additionally, non-Little League Special Games are available, which allows leagues and teams to participate against non-Little League programs and teams. All non-Little League Special Games must be played at local Little League facilities and the non-Little League group must submit a copy of its insurance, which must meet Little League requirements and have Little League Baseball, Inc. named as an additional insured. All previous conditions apply as well.
A Special Games application must be submitted to the Region Office in advance of the event to allow for ample time for review. Additional details, including a schedule should be included as well.