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LL Proposed Age Change


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#1 B_Hanlon

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 12:17 AM

This was the hot topic on the LL Facebook Discussion Page when it shut down so I will carry it over to here and see if anyone wants to comment.

 

Item 1 – Affects Regulation IV – The Players – All Divisions of Baseball and Challenger
(a) Little League (Majors) Division:
Any candidate who will attain the age of 9 years on or before
December 31 and who will not attain the age of 13 on or before December 31 of the year in
question shall be eligible to compete in Little League Baseball (subject to the local league board
of directors alignment of this division). This means that a child who will be 12 years old on
December 31 or earlier, is eligible to play that year; a child who will be 13 years old on
December 31 or earlier will not be eligible for either local league play or tournament play at any
time during the calendar year in question. NOTE: League age 12 year olds may participate in
Minor Division under certain circumstances.

Minor League Division: Any candidate who will attain the age of 7 years on or before December
31 and who will not attain the age of 13 on or before December 31 of the year in question shall
be eligible to compete in the Minor League Division Baseball (subject to the local league board
of directors alignment of this division). This means that a child who will be 12 years old on
December 31 or earlier, is eligible to play that year; a child who will be 13 years old on
December 31 or earlier will not be eligible for either local league play or tournament play at any
time during the calendar year in question.

Synopsis: This would change the age determination date for all divisions of Baseball and Challenger.
There would be a one-year, transition plan established for the season in which this change was
implemented



#2 B_Hanlon

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Posted 28 November 2013 - 12:22 AM

Carrying forward my thoughts I think Little League will really have to sell this to get it approved. I have never been to the LL Congress but unless they can get someone dynamic and convincing to get up and explain why this is a good thing for Little League Baseball it's a tough sell.

 

At the same time if they grandfather this in for 3 years (similar to the American Legion age change) to allow additional ample time for field conversion/construction and make their case for the Intermediate Division being the bridge for the big diamond transition  they might just get it passed.



#3 Guest_CoachPaul_*

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Posted 02 December 2013 - 03:42 PM

The response I got from my email to WP on the subject was that the grandfathering was only going to insure that kids did not miss out on at least one year of eligibility within a division. Kids born May to December of 2002 would still lose the 2015 Majors season if this is implemented as planned. If anyone knows different, please let me know.



#4 B_Hanlon

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 12:21 PM

I am hoping that if this passes (it gets voted on in April) they give it a 2 year grandfather clause. Not only for the kids that will be effected by the new cutoff but to give leagues ample time to build intermediate fields. 



#5 gdavis

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 09:01 PM

For some leagues there is no option to build an intermediate field, lack of space money and people to get done.



#6 B_Hanlon

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Posted 03 December 2013 - 09:09 PM

I agree with that 100% and lack of space is why we can not get any traction with this Division in my District, But if we truly want to do something to bridge the 60' to the 90' and if LL does an age alignment we have to come up with a plan.

How do the Cal Ripken teams accomplish this? What is their secret?

#7 Guest_Little League Parent_*

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 07:33 PM

I believe that if this change is implemented then it should be done in such way as to minimize the impact to any specific group of players and to ensure that any current Little League players at the very least maintain their two years of eligibility in the Majors division. I would suggest that Little League consider implementing this change no sooner than 2016 and designating that year as a transition year allowing players to play in the Major Division under the current age eligibility rules. Implementing this change any earlier, such as in 2015 would mean that children born between May 1, 2003 and December 31, 2003 (10 year olds for the 2014 season) would likely only play one season of Little League in the Majors Division. The majority of these 10 year olds in 2014 will already have been committed to the Minors Division for the 2014 season before any announcement is possibly made next year. I believe the Majors Division is the pinnacle for most Little Leaguers and it would be unfortunate to have this group miss out on having their 2nd year in the Majors Division. Implementing these changes in 2016 and designating that as a transition year will also allow 10 year olds in the 2015 season to move up and play their first year of Majors and not lose a season in the Majors division.

#8 B_Hanlon

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 02:40 PM

Very well said, Guest Parent!

#9 stan.staziak

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 12:25 AM

I agree with that 100% and lack of space is why we can not get any traction with this Division in my District, But if we truly want to do something to bridge the 60' to the 90' and if LL does an age alignment we have to come up with a plan.

How do the Cal Ripken teams accomplish this? What is their secret?

 

My son who will be a league age 12 (in both LL and CR) this spring (2014) is playing Cal Ripken M70 (50/70).  This will be his 2nd spring in CR after two falls in CR.  The way that his CR league operates is that they have two fields. Both are ~200 foot fences. One "appears" that they can move the fence back quite a bit and the other, no more than five feet if they choose. That field has a second fence five feet behind the current OF fence.  The only thing that has changed is that the mound was made into a combination 46/50 foot mound and the bases were moved to 65/70 feet. the back of the infield was peeled back a bit of course.  The OF distance has stayed the same.

 

IIRC, last year we had six kids (out of 48) hit Home runs over the fence. What I'm getting at here is that just because the IF moves back, the OF doesn't really have to move back.  Are you really going to get more HR's at 50' pitching than 46' pitching?  I don't think so if you keep it to 12YO's. Our fields host numerous 50/70 CR tournaments and travel ball tournaments for 11U and 12U.  Our CR has 9-10's play 46/65 (M65) for the minors division.  I think we had one maybe two 10YO in M70 last year. the vast majority of 10's are in M65. 

 

The distance problem arises when LL makes the 50/70 game open to 13YO's. CR doesn't allow 13's to play CR. they play Babe Ruth which of course is 90'. I don't know about others but my son after two full years he's ready to move up to 90'. He actually asked to play babe ruth this spring but I said no.  He is not a big kid either.  The 50/70 game is a great transition.  If LL would make it for the 11/12 YO only, then those 13's should be ready for 90'.  I also think the prep at 45/65 in minors (using M70 rules) is a great stepping stone to the M70 game.  My two cents is that the 46/60 game has passed the 11/12 YO players.  It may be ok for 9-10 minors and even then I think the M65 game is better for them.   

 

Our CR league markets itself as the only house league offering 50/70 in the area. It has taken a few kids from the neighboring LL's.  I've recruited a couple of families from our old LL to play CR as well. I think if LL would make Int for 11/12's then there would not be any issue's regarding space.  Cost would be minimal and it could be done. Now why they need 13YO's I don't know. Yeah, they want to keep them in the game but if they would do Int at 11 then those kids should be fine for 90 foot at age 13



#10 DCBaseball

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 04:11 PM

Somewhat agree. Most of the Travel Leagues in this area go to 60/90 at 13U and those kids make the transition. I think some creative redesign of a standard field to accommodate softball, 46/60, 46/65 and 50/70 is needed to alleviate overcrowding and make the transition less abrupt. This will almost certainly require portable mounds and multiple base posts per field. It can certainly be done but the investment will not be minimal. Good bye grass infields.

 

-Paul



#11 Guest_Lou Barbieri_*

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 07:56 PM

Coach Paul - why goodby grass infields?

Why can't softball be played on grass infields?

A number of LL Softball Regionals and World Series are played on fields with grass infields.

I'm not saying that's "right" but that's the way it is.

 

Don't get me wrong, in a perfect world leagues would have baseball fields with grass infields and skinned softball fields.

That said, some leagues don't have both and around here, thpse leagues play softball on grass infields.



#12 Jeremy

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:37 PM

I have three girls...youngest is 9, the other two are to old for LL, as son as the 9 year old is out of LL I'm going to coach a major baseball team and teach the baseball coaches how it's really done on the 60' field.....If you ever see a team in the LL WS that has all left handed hitters slapping and bunting, that my team!....I did Softball AllStars on grass last year and I had girls who have never laid down a good bunt on our home skinned field beat bunts out by a good 10' on the grass, it's to easy to place a perfect softball bunt on grass.

#13 DCBaseball

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 01:40 AM

Softball does not have a mound. You can move the bases back and forth and you can even deal with the odd oblong 46/50 multi-use mound but to truly accommodate all comers you need to be able to remove the mound. Just my opinion based on my observation of the vast majority of 50/70 travel games we have played in the last couple years.

 

80% of the games are on skinned fields with portable mounds.



#14 stan.staziak

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Posted 11 December 2013 - 02:30 AM

I agree that the Skinned fields we play travel on are using portable mounds, however the grass IF's we use have the combo permanent mound with a place for the plate at 46 and 50.  there are holes with plugs for 60', 65' and 70' bases. The investment doesn't seem that great. The biggest investment on the grass at least is skinning the back side of the IF a bit more but thats a one time thing.  

 

If you have a skinned 46' field, it should be no additional cost regarding the portable mound as you need one anyway.  You just need a few guys to move it back. 

 

I'm still a bit baffled as to why there is so much of this "it cost too much" excuse to go 50/70.  The fences don't have to go back.



#15 kylejt

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Posted 14 December 2013 - 04:48 PM

13 year olds, unregulated 2 5/8" metal bats, and a 200' fence don't really mix well. We can't move our fences, but do have 50/70 mound and pegs. We just use wood bats when we do.

 

If INT was played with wood, the 200' fence will work. It would be a cool, safe and unique inovation.



#16 stan.staziak

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 01:20 AM

13 year olds, unregulated 2 5/8" metal bats, and a 200' fence don't really mix well. We can't move our fences, but do have 50/70 mound and pegs. We just use wood bats when we do.

 

If INT was played with wood, the 200' fence will work. It would be a cool, safe and unique inovation.

 

most of what I was saying is that if you made 50/70 for 11/12's - and sent 13 YO's to 90' where they would be better prepared for the bigger field after 2 years of 50/70.

 

 

However, I would agree on the wood but maybe they should have them use the 2 1/4" bats if they can't do that

If they want to make this work for the vast majority, they need to rethink this a bit


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#17 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 09:39 PM

In our league/district, we had 3 levels of Juniors...lowest level was 54/80 all season, upper was 60/90 and the middle one did a half season of each. This year we are moving that lower level back to 50/70 for half a season.

 

We have a little used field (grass IF) with a perm 250' fence that we are converting to 50/70. Est costs are $11K (mound and bases)....seems very high to me. Bad news is no lights and it still has tiny dugouts and an over, the top rounded backstop. Until the time change, we will have to do weeknight games on the road and weeknight practices will have to be on the lighted big field with temp bases.



#18 BBSG

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 03:50 AM

Hi - I'm a newbie to this forum and a somewhat newbie to LL.  So, excuse me if I ask the wrong thing or get my facts confused.

 

I heard about this potential rule change recently.  And, the person who mentioned it to me - who I assume heard it from a district source - said that this was LL's way to stop having 13-year olds play in the LL World Series.  If true, I think this is funny since I once read  that the change effective 2006, going from 7/31 to 4/30, was to give those who would have been moved up to the Junior Division another year of eligibility in the major division and be better prepared for the larger diamond.  And, a decade later, they're switching direction?

 

I suppose - and I may be totally incorrect here - that the Intermediate (50/70) Baseball Division, piloted in 2010, took away that concern about helping boys in that transition to the "larger diamond." 

 

Reading the comments here, it seems that some are thinking that a shift to 12/31 would require grandfathering or a deliberate transition since some LL do not have 50/70 diamonds.  But, I thought that LL graduated from the pilot phase for 50/70 in 2013?  If  that's true, and, if LL expects that leagues should be up and running with 50/70 fields for the last 3 to 4 years, why would LL think that they have to give leagues time to make sure they have fields for the 13-year olds who will be tossed from the Majors with the rule change?

 

As far as providing any accomodation or grandfather clause for players - such as those born between May 1, 2003 and December 31, 2003 - why?  These "summer" babies have had an extreme advantage up until this point in their LL career.  In some cases, they have taken advantage of the 4/30 cut-off and get to play against boys who are almost a full year younger than them. 

 

Player A was born on 4/15/2004.  His league age was 9 in 2013.  Player B was born on 5/15/2003.  His league age, under the current rule, is also 9 in 2013.  But, one month into the 2013 LL season, Player A still has some of the cake left from his 9th birthday party in  the freezer whereas Player B's mother is paying the baker for her son's 10th birthday cake.  And, yet, Player B is playing at the same level as Player A in 2013 because of the 4/30 cutoff.  And, for those scoring at home, it's a big difference between being nine and being ten.

 

I see no reason why these players should be allowed to continue to play against younger players.  Having a cutoff date that's after the baseball season to determine league age makes more sense.  That said, I believe LL will approve this change and roll it out effective in 2015.  However, again, I'm a newbie.  You tell me.  What am I missing?



#19 Guest_3up3down_*

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:12 AM

No matter what they move the date to you will have kids born right before and right after the date. So there will always be kids almost a full year older, allowed to play with younger players. I say leave it where it is as it is in line with every other youth baseball organization.



#20 Guest_kingsfn_*

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 10:28 AM

I totally agree they should change the date. I understand that no matter where you put the date some kids will always have that bad birthday and be the young one. But baseball has really changed over the past 10 years. There are tons of kids now playing travel ball year round. They are playing travel ball on bigger fields at 10u with professional training. Private hitting, pitching, and fielding coaches. Then you take those same kids who have may birthdays, are use to pitching from greater distance, playing on larger base paths, are almost 13 and put them on the small field to compete with kids who are still only 10 years old and when the season starts. Some of these 10 year olds only pick up a glove a week before each baseball season starts.
I really hope little league makes this change. Elite travel ball 13 year olds on a little league field is a mockery of the game.




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