The Little League® International Tournament always begins with a special thrill and excitement for Little Leaguers® around the globe looking to travel the road to a World Series. The players diligently prepare and dream big, but for the coaching staffs, they typically begin all-star season by simply wishing for more time to get organized.
For all of the coaches out there, rookie or veteran, here is a checklist to help ease the stress leading up to your first tournament game.
- A bucket or smaller bag of practice balls
- Fungo or other bat to be used for infield-outfield practice
- One dozen (12) new game balls (for the appropriate division)
- Legal bats that have been pre-checked by your league’s Umpire-In-Chief and Safety Officer prior to arriving at game site
- Catcher’s equipment that has been pre-checked by your league’s Umpire-In-Chief and Safety Officer prior to arriving at game site
- Batting helmets that have been pre-checked by your league’s Umpire-In-Chief and Safety Officer prior to arriving at game site
- Inspection of each player’s fielding gloves and game shoes to see if each are in good shape
- First Aid kit and icepacks
- Cooler with ice, cool drinks, and damp towels
- Properly-completed team affidavit
- Tournament Verification Form for every player
- Medical Release forms
- Appropriate residency materials or school enrollment documentation
- Approved player waivers (if applicable)
- Approved and current league boundary map that has each player plotted.
- New scorebook
- Baseball or Softball Rulebook
- Lineup Cards
- Pitch Counter
- Clipboard displaying batting order and defensive positions
- Knowledge and understanding of pitch count, mandatory play, and substitution rules
- Plan for player rotation and substitution for current and next game(s)
- Player rotation for warming up the pitcher between innings
- Offensive and defensive signs and signals
- Designated volunteers to serve as scorekeeper and pitch counter
- Well-established lines of communication with players and parents for any last-minute changes or updates
- Defined and explained roles for each player
- Delegate tasks to coaches and Team Moms and/or Dads
Using these lists can help you organize your team while making the tournament experience easier to manage by relieving some of the stresses that come with the territory.