The District Administrator (D.A.) typically serves as director of the district tournament within the Little League International Tournament. To efficiently and effectively organize, manage, and operate the district tournament, it is imperative that the D.A. must host a mandatory meeting for tournament managers, coaches, leagues, umpires and staff members where pertinent information is shared, expectations are explained, and questions can be answered.

The Meeting should highlight the following topics:

Tournament Eligibility Materials

Each team manager is responsible for carrying and presenting the tournament eligibility affidavit, that includes a packet of player eligibility documents, tournament player verification forms, boundary map, waivers, and other required and recommend documents. The tournament director or staff member must collect prior to each tournament game and ensure all required documentation is included. The documentation should be considered of the highest sensitivity and shall not be shared with teams, leagues, fellow tournament officials, parents and more. 

New and Tournament-specific Playing Rules

All new tournament-specific rules are to be reviewed by the district Umpire-In-Chief. The U-I-C is to also remind the managers and coaches about mandatory play, pitch count, and the number of coaches permitted in the dugout.

Coin Flips

Prior to each game, a member of the district staff or tournament director will flip a coin to determine home team.

Mandatory Play Requirements Based on Roster Size

Tournament Rule 9: Mandatory play–Continuous Batting Order (Junior Division and below) is not impacted by roster size. All Tournament Teams must adopt a policy of a continuous batting order that will include all players on the team affidavit present at the start of the game, to appear in the batting order. Each player is required to bat in his/her respective spot in the batting order. A player may be entered and/or re-entered defensively in the game at any time.

Equipment and Player Safety

Prior to each tournament game, the playing equipment (bats, batting helmets, and catcher’s equipment) for each team will be checked by the umpires. At the plate meeting with the umpire, each manager will be asked if each player is properly equipped. This question requires a verbal answer and covers each player’s personal safety equipment and playing equipment.

Recommended Pregame Procedures at Game Site

It is best that each team is to report to the game site at least one hour prior to the first pitch. In that hour preceding the start of the game, the first 15 minutes are reserved for both teams 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 that the other team is on the field for infield-outfield practice. The final 15 minutes prior to the first pitch is when the final field preparations are made, and the umpires gathers the team managers for the plate meeting.

In-Game Responsibilities

With the game under way, managers and coaches are responsible for their team, both on the field and in the dugout.

During “dead ball” situations, any player substitution(s) is to be communicated by the manager to the home plate umpire at the time when the changes will be in effect. For example, a defensive substitution is to be announced at the time when the team is taking its defensive positions, and before the ball is put in play by the home plate umpire.

A manager must ask and be granted “time” by the home plate umpire before he/she is permitted to walk on to the playing field.

It is the manager’s responsibility to assure that all players bat in the order outlined on the lineup card, remain in the dugout when the ball is in play, and are respectful and display proper sportsmanship toward the other team, game volunteers, and fans.

Coaches in Dugout

Regardless of roster size, only three adults (as named on the tournament affidavit or authorized replacements as noted on the affidavit) will be permitted to act as manager/coaches for that game, and allowed in the dugout during a game. If a team has a pitch counter, scorekeeper, team parent, etc., in addition to the three-person coaching staff, they are not permitted in the dugout at any time during a game.

Tournament Coach Replacement

If a team requires a permeant replacement for one of the three approved members of the coaching staff listed on the team affidavit, the change is permitted, but once a coach is removed, he/she may not return as an official coach. A temporary replacement is permitted, per game, but requires approval from the tournament director prior to each game. 

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.