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Little League Announcement?


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One of the guys I help out each year, training his new umpires for volunteer work in a local Little League Inc., forwarded an interesting e-mail to me today. I've copied (in part) it below:

January 8, 2010

Dear Little League Friends and Volunteers

For the first time since 1989, Little League International will be adding a new division of play in baseball.

The official announcement will be made on the Little League web site (www.LittleLeague.org) this Monday evening, January 11.

There's more to the e-mail dealing with getting the info earlier through facebook or twitter, but it started me wondering, what could it be? A New Division of Baseball? I believe they've got all the appropriate age divisions covered, so what new spin can they put on the game? I'm thinking they may be moving towards open bases with some longer base paths like Cal Ripken did a few years ago. Just wondering if anyone out there who is a little more "connected to the LL organization" might know more. My buddy does a good amount of work for them, and other stuff, but this seems to be a shock to their system.

PS, I posted this at the ABUA site also, so no many of you are not seeing double!

Tom

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They will create a division for 12/13 year olds that is a hybrid of majors and juniors. It will have a 50 foot pitching mound, 70 foot bases, and be played under juniors rules.

This year it will be run as a test program and 12 year olds will be able to play both majors and the 12/13 division and 13 year olds will be able to play both juniors and the 12/13 year old division. This ability to play in two divisions will not exist when the program is finished with its test phase

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Appreciate the update, I'll pass along the info. I Guess name brand LL is gonna try their hand at the expanded "open base" ideas used by some youth programs today. Can't hurt to give it a run and see what happens.

Tom

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That's something they have been needing to do for a while now. I'm just wondering what thier intentions are. If it works, do they plan to eventually replace the current 11-12 year old majors with this or do they plan to leave it as an option. If they decide to replace the current major division, then what do you do with the 11 and 14 year olds. It seems they would have to leave it as an option.

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I wonder why 12/13s. I would have replaced majors with 50/70 and Jrs with 54/80.

I totaly agree. The 60' diamond is too small for the majors and the 90' diamond is too big for the juniors. I hate working Junior games because most of the time the play is crappy due to the distances being too big for the 13/14 yo. kids. The problem would be as Brian noted, you would need too many fields to do this.

Edited by carolinablue
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Now we know the news. I can't see LL tinkering with anything that would relate Directly to their contract with ESPN, but it started me wondering.

Their probably the last "major" program to not have an open base path option for leagues, could it be that their maybe getting some added "pressure" from TV to open things up? Or are they appealing to ESPN's sense of expansion and maybe trying to line up the next thing to put on TV. If my memory serves the last couple of years, they've started to add a wider range of LL World Series events to their secondary channels, ala just like they've done with Poker.

:rollinglaugh:

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If my memory serves the last couple of years, they've started to add a wider range of LL World Series events to their secondary channels, ala just like they've done with Poker.

:question1:

This is correct. You now see stuff like the Big League LL world series finals on ESPN2 along with stuff like the Cal Ripkin and Babe Ruth championships.

Its going to be interesting to see what happens but I think the change to the more mid sized base paths is a good thing and will only help LL (I for one have always been worried that when I have a son and he goes from being a 12 yr old in LL to a 13 yr old with full sized bases, there will be problems and it might discourage him... when I have a son...)

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I hate saying this, but I went from 60 ft to 90 ft when I turned 13. Yes there was an adjustment, but you made it or didn't play.

The question here is really that no one gets left behind. Back in the stone age, if you were a truly bad ball player, you didn't make the little league team.

My son was awful, but he signed up (and it's all about the numbers) so he was picked for a team. He was smarter than me and said "Dad, I don't want to play baseball." Yeah I was pushing a little, but he opened my eyes.

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