Using detailed participation research, interviews, and real-world common sense, Little League® International learned that parents, players, and volunteers wanted to see Little League become, as a whole, a younger program, and give children an easier way to play Little League with their friends and classmates.
Since the research concluded, Little League revamped its Tee Ball program, established a Coach Pitch Program, restructured its teenage divisions, and changed its residency requirements to allow children from four years old to 16 to play in the league where their school is located.
Within Little League Baseball® and Little League Challenger Division®, Little League also adjusted the League Age Determination Date helped to achieve the goal of making Little League younger. Beginning with the 2018 season, the league age of a Little Leaguer® is based on the player’s age as of August 31 of the current year, with players born between May 1 and August 31, 2005 grandfathered as 12-year-olds for the 2018 season. This date is the same that many schools in many states use for student registration, which allows Little Leaguers to play with their classmates.
All divisions of Little League Softball® will continue to use January 1 as its Age Determination Date
Age Charts and League-Age Calculator
Before players can put on their Little League uniform, they need to determine their league age.
Little League International publishes official age charts that are the best way to determine a player’s League Age. The Little League Softball age chart and the Little League Baseball age chart can be found on LittleLeague.org. This is a great, easy-to-use resource, but all League Ages should also be confirmed using the appropriate age chart.
Another way to find a child’s age for the upcoming season is to use the League-Age Calculator.
Players in the Little League Challenger Division® and Senior Challenger Division also are placed according to their League Age using the Little League Challenger Division age chart. The Senior Challenger Division offers any physically or developmentally challenged child over the age of 15 the opportunity to enjoy the Little League experience.
Divisions of Little League and League Finder
Little League’s baseball and softball divisions do have slight differences regarding the age classification of players that overlap, allowing players to play at the division of play based on their age and experience. Often, the number of players registering to play in a given season allows each local league to structure their offerings based on the age groupings of the players in their league, in accordance with Little League rules and regulations. This allows all participants, from Tee Ball and Coach Pitch through Majors and Senior League, to have the ability to create their own fun, meaningful memories.
Once you find out your Little Leaguer’s current league age, the next step is to find out if there is a Little League program near you home. To locate a local Little League, use the League Finder tool. A quick search of the League Finder can put you in contact with a League President or Administrator in your area.