Creating and coordinating a local league schedule often requires a great dealing of planning and organization in a short period of time.
Local leagues with multiple teams in a division, leagues that play neighboring leagues, use the combined team option and special games, or divisions that are operated by the district, all have unique characteristics to the schedule building process.
Each season is different. The league volunteers responsible for developing the schedule base many of their decisions on player participation, which, in large part, determines the numbers of teams that are chartered and eventually placed into a schedule.
From player registration, to tryouts, the draft, schedulers keep a close eye on how the league will take shape. Once all of the pieces are in place, it is often a quick turnaround to complete the schedule in order to get the season started.
In the current edition of the Little League® Rules, Regulations, and Policies, Regulation VII provides direction on what you need to know when making a schedule based on divisions of play, tournament eligibility, fairness, and competitive play.
Regulation VII – Schedules
(a) The schedule of games for the regular season shall be prepared by the Board of Directors of the league and must provide for not less than twelve (12) games per team per regular season against other Little League teams within their respective division, exclusive of playoff and tournament games. Tee Ball: It is recommended that no more than twelve (12) games be scheduled per team per season.
(b) The schedule should provide for not less than two (2) games per week per team. Any facility used for practices and/or games must be approved by the local league Board of Directors. Intermediate (50-70) Division, Junior League, and Senior League: Interleague play is permitted provided the proper form is submitted to the District Administrator for approval.
(c) Where there are two (2) or more leagues in one locality, teams of one league shall not play teams of another league, without approval of the District Administrator, and Regional Director, when necessary as noted in Regulation I(c)(5).
(d) Little League (Major) Division: A team may play one (1) doubleheader in a calendar week. No team shall play three games in a day. (Exception under condition of Rule 4.12.)
Tee Ball and Minor League: No team shall be scheduled to play two games in one day. (See Rule 4.12).
Intermediate (50-70) Division/Junior/Senior League: Doubleheaders are permitted.
If two games involving four teams are played on the same day and on the same field, the first game must be completed before the second game starts. (Exception under condition of Rule 4.12.)
When league size and limited field availability require leagues to schedule more than one game on the same night and on the same field, the league may be permitted to impose time limits on the games. However, the game must meet the requirements of Rule 4.10 or 4.11 to be official.
(e) The schedule should be arranged so that at least one-half of the games are scheduled prior to June 15.
(f) Majors/Intermediate (50-70) Division/Junior/Senior League: It is recommended that a split season schedule be arranged with a playoff between the winners of the first and second halves to determine the league champion. Intermediate (50-70) Division/ Junior/Senior: When approval is granted for two or more leagues – comprising not more than 40,000 population – to form one Intermediate (50-70) Division, Junior League, or Senior League, as provided for in Regulation I(h), one regular season schedule will be prepared by a joint committee from the two or more leagues.
(g) All play must be terminated by the opening date of school for the fall term but no later than September 1st unless participating in the Training and Development Program.
(h) Little League (Major) Division: There should be no time limits on games unless necessary, based on field limitations. [See Regulation X(c)].
Tee Ball and Minor League: A local league may impose a time limit on games regardless of the number of innings played. It is recommended that no league standings be kept, and no championship games be played.