One of the most intriguing components of the Little League® program pertains to team selection with roster preparation in the various divisions offered by the local league. Preparing for this important aspect takes time and consideration on my levels within the league. The Player Agent will prepare the list of eligible candidates for each division, with approval of the Board of Directors which will lead to the placement of the players upon teams (Tee Ball and Minor Divisions) or the managers drafting for their specific team (Major and upper divisions). In solidifying team rosters, here are some important points to take into consideration when preparing.
Deciding and Determining your Local League Structure:
Prior to the season, the local league Board of Directors need to develop and implement the structure of each division within the Little League program that will be operated for the season. In preparing, Little League offers many opportunities and flexibility for children to participate in multiple levels of the program while even participating in different divisions of play for the regular season. Determination of placement by age and skill level should always be considered when structuring the division and rosters.
Dual Rostering and Multiple Participation:
Regulation I and Regulation IV state that any local league may allow a player to be on the roster of two teams during the same Little League regular season, provided the player is age-eligible to participate at the Major Division or above, and who is otherwise eligible under all conditions.
This provides participants at these levels of play the ability to participate in two divisions, provided they qualify under Residency/School Attendance Eligibility Requirements, programs, and divisions of play. It’s important to note that players may only be selected to one Tournament team.
Little League (Majors), Minor League, Tee Ball, Junior and Senior League participants may participate in other programs during the regular season provided such participation does not disrupt the Little League (Majors), Minor League, Tee Ball, Junior, Senior League season.
- A player may be on two rosters in a local Little League program; however, a player shall not register and participate in more than one local Little League program.
Determining Roster Size for Teams:
In creating team rosters, it is important to remember Little League Regulation III – The Teams. This Regulation provides the league with an outline in roster structure and formatting.
- Tee Ball and Minor Divisions: No minimum or maximum
- Major, Intermediate, Junior and Senior Divisions: Minimum of 10, Maximum of 15 (recommended roster size – 12)
- Major Division: Each league may set the maximum number of 12-year-olds that each team may have.
- All candidates who are league age twelve (12) must be drafted to a Major Division and/or Intermediate Division team. Exceptions can only be made with written approval form the District Administrator and only if approved by the league board and parent of the player.
Player Agent’s Role in Roster Management:
The Player Agent should record each team’s roster, keep them on file and submit them to Little League. (Player registration data or rosters are both accepted by Little League International.) Once teams are selected and set, the Player Agent must oversee all teams to ensure those selected to the team are the only ones participating in team activities and ensure players are routinely attending such activities.
During the season, should there be the need for replacements, the Player Agent, along with the team manager, must follow the established process for such replacement. The Player Agent must also provide proper notice to the individual being replaced.
It is the responsibility of the Player Agent to ensure no manager is mishandling his roster and that all players are being treated equal.
It certainly is exciting to prepare for the upcoming season and referencing the different opportunities that are available to the league for drafting and the flexibility that is available when structuring the team rosters will lead to a successful and enjoyable Little League season for all.