The Little League® Tee Ball program is the first step in a player’s Little League career, and provides opportunities for league age 4 to 7 years old. And, how your Tee Ball program is chartered is important in how you determine your players’ league ages. Little League Baseball® and Little League Softball® both have age determination dates for their respective programs to establish players’ league age. Players league age is decided by which program they are registered within – baseball or softball. The age determination dates are not determined by gender.
Many leagues may register boys and girls for a Tee Ball program where all players participate together. If a league organizes in this fashion, they must charter the division as Tee Ball Baseball; however, they can create all boy teams, all girl teams, or co-ed teams. If a league is registers league age 4-year-olds for Tee Ball Baseball, this permits many females to sign-up a year early. As players age, and depending on league structure, the league may need to utilize Regulation I(a)3 NOTE 3 for females wishing to register for Softball in subsequent seasons. This allows players league age 5 and 6 with one year of Tee Ball to register for Coach Pitch or Machine Pitch Minor Division.
Starting in 2019, all divisions of Little League Baseball utilize an age determination date of August 31/September 1 where a player’s “league age” is the actual age as of August 31 of the current year. This date helps us achieve the goal of making the Little League Baseball program younger and coincides with the student registration for schools which will allow Little Leaguers to play with their classmates. Finally, this date makes the Little League (Major) Baseball Division truly a 12 and under program.
All divisions of Little League Softball (Boys and Girls divisions) utilize the age determination date of December 31/January 1 where a player’s “league age” is the actual age as of January 1 of the current year. The softball age determination date aligns with USA Softball, the International Softball Federation (ISF), and other youth softball programs throughout the United States. This date is well understood throughout the softball world and allows outside programs easy transition into the softball age divisions.
If a league has enough female players at the Tee Ball level, they can charter Tee Ball Girls Softball. These softball teams are required to play other Tee Ball Girls Softball teams within the league or with neighboring leagues through the interleague process. This method provides leagues and female softball players an easy path to move up through the divisions.
Regardless of the programs and divisions a league offers, the Little League structure provides leagues options for player registration and progress.