The District Administrator (D.A.) is the director of tournament play in most cases at district, section and state levels for the Little League International Tournament, but they certainly can’t do it alone. To efficiently and effectively organize, manage, and operate the district tournament, it is imperative that prior to the start of the tournament, the D.A. must host a mandatory meeting for tournament managers, and coaches, leagues, umpires and staff members.

The Staff Meeting should review the following topics:

Pregame Meeting with Managers and Umpires

It is recommended that the staff member arrive at the game site one hour and fifteen minutes (1:15) before the scheduled first pitch of the game. He/she should oversee a coin flip one hour before the scheduled first pitch will decide the home team. In the hour preceding the game, both teams are given the first 15 minutes to warm up. During the second 15 minutes, the home team will have the field for infield-outfield practice; and the third 15 minutes are for the visiting team to conduct infield-outfield practice. If there are batting cages at the game site, teams are allowed to use them during the time when the other team is on the field for infield-outfield practice. The final 15 minutes prior to the first pitch are for field preparation and the plate meeting with the team managers and umpires.

Equipment Inspection

The game umpires must inspect the playing equipment for both teams. All bats to be used in the game must be inspected for physical damage or deformity, and to confirm that each is affixed with the proper logo/mark per sport and rule, and adhere to the standards outlined in the current year’s rulebook. If any bat does not pass inspection, it is to be removed from the dugout for the duration of the game. The batting helmets must be NOCSAE-approved (stamped with branding on the back of the helmet); be free of cracks or other visible damage; have all padding intact and in good condition; and have no stickers or paint, except for that placed by the helmet manufacturer. The catcher’s equipment is to be checked for condition and fit. The helmet must fully cover the back of the head, and the facemask must be equipped with a dangling throat guard. All straps, clips, and snaps (on the helmet, shin guards, and chest protector) are to be inspected and deemed in good condition.

Review of Tournament Eligibility Documentation

Each team manager is responsible for carrying and presenting the tournament eligibility affidavit, that includes player eligibility documents, tournament player verification forms, boundary map, waivers, and other required and recommend documents. The tournament director or staff member must collect this information and work with the designated official scorekeeper and/or pitch counter (for baseball) to record the accurate information onto the affidavit and gather the necessary signatures before returning the packets to the managers at the conclusion of the game. The documentation should be considered of the highest sensitivity and shall not be shared with teams, leagues, fellow tournament officials, parents and more. 

Game Operations Responsibilities

During the game, the staff member is responsible for coordinating with the official scorekeeper and pitch counter (for baseball) to properly chart the game, providing the public address announcer with the official lineup for both teams, identifying the umpires officiating the game, and confirming substitutions throughout the game. 

Local collection of donations

Many districts collect donations during each tournament game. The total amount of the monies collected should be used to purchases pins, medallions, banners, and plaques that are given to the teams at the conclusion of the district tournament. It is common practice for the staff member to request that the public address announcer ask for a volunteer representing each league to take the district collection during the second inning. The money collected is returned to the staff member, who counts the funds, records the amount on a bag or envelope, identifying the game and division. The money collected is to be delivered to the District Administrator. 

Pitch Count Validation

At the conclusion of each Little League Baseball® tournament game, the Tournament Director or assistant is required to confirm the pitch count for each player who pitched in the game. This information is recorded on the affidavit and requires the initials of the pitch counter and each manager. Pitch Count is not used in Little League Softball, but pitcher eligibility (based on innings pitched) is noted and tracked on the affidavit and must be reviewed by the Tournament Director or assistant.

Protest Procedure

A manager may protest a violation or interpretation of a playing rule during games, that does not include umpire judgement calls. The manager must make such protest to the umpires before the next pitch or play. If the umpires can’t agree on a decision or the manager does not accept their decision, he/she may then escalate the matter to the tournament director or district administrator. Staff members at game sites in which the tournament director or district administrator is not present must refer such protest to them. If the matter can’t be resolved by the tournament director or district administrator or to the manager’s satisfaction, then the matter is referred to the Region Headquarters.

Postponement, Suspension of Game Procedure

If the weather forces postponement of a game before it begins, or if weather or darkness does not allow a game to continue, the district staff member will need to work with tournament director or district administrator on options for the game. This needs to be done before teams leave the site. All efforts must be made to play and complete the game as scheduled. Games which have meet the requirements of a regulation game and winner can be determined can’t be resumed another day, unless meeting specific requirements.