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22 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

Just hope the new class of 7yr olds moving up are decent..

My professional opinion is 7, 8, and 9 years old is too young for structured, age-segregated, regimented, “hey, we need an umpire for this” baseball. It should start at 10 years old, be 50-70 in distances, and be rather simple and straightforward in its rule set. Perhaps a 4th foundational rule set could be drafted (YBR?). 

If a “gifted” 9 or 8 year old wants to participate, then he (or she) and the family can do so with the full knowledge of what they’re getting into. 

Thing is, when kids are (or were) left to their own devices, and start up a baseball / stickball / wiffleball game… they don’t care what ages and skill sets the teammates or opponents are. And, they make up rule judgements as they go. They pretty much don’t need adults. 

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2 minutes ago, MadMax said:

My professional opinion is 7, 8, and 9 years old is too young for structured, age-segregated, regimented, “hey, we need an umpire for this” baseball. It should start at 10 years old, be 50-70 in distances, and be rather simple and straightforward in its rule set. Perhaps a 4th foundational rule set could be drafted (YBR?). 

If a “gifted” 9 or 8 year old wants to participate, then he (or she) and the family can do so with the full knowledge of what they’re getting into. 

Thing is, when kids are (or were) left to their own devices, and start up a baseball / stickball / wiffleball game… they don’t care what ages and skill sets the teammates or opponents are. And, they make up rule judgements as they go. They pretty much don’t need adults. 

I agree at the beginning of the season for the 8-9 yr olds but the ones that really honestly like the game and get into it, by the end of the season No I disagree.  There are those typical kids that are tossed out there by parents to give the kids something to do but the kids themselves are not into it.  Those kids I wish would be weeded out and stuck into another system.  Or their parents would not stick them out there on the field when they know the kid has zero interest in being there.

To be honest this is one of the many downfalls of Little League.  Travel ball you do not see this as much because if a kid does not want to play a coach will tell the parent save your money if the parent cannot figure it out.

 

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5 hours ago, MadMax said:

My professional opinion is 7, 8, and 9 years old is too young for structured, age-segregated, regimented, “hey, we need an umpire for this” baseball. It should start at 10 years old, be 50-70 in distances, and be rather simple and straightforward in its rule set. Perhaps a 4th foundational rule set could be drafted (YBR?). 

Good God, Max!  Are you INSANE??!?

By 10 years old, all the good PAC-10 and SEC scholarships are gone!!  Do you really want MadMaxJr going to a ......

<shudder> 

Sun Belt Conference school??!??

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On 9/7/2021 at 7:44 AM, MadMax said:

My professional opinion is 7, 8, and 9 years old is too young for structured, age-segregated, regimented, “hey, we need an umpire for this” baseball. It should start at 10 years old, be 50-70 in distances, and be rather simple and straightforward in its rule set. Perhaps a 4th foundational rule set could be drafted (YBR?). 

If a “gifted” 9 or 8 year old wants to participate, then he (or she) and the family can do so with the full knowledge of what they’re getting into. 

Thing is, when kids are (or were) left to their own devices, and start up a baseball / stickball / wiffleball game… they don’t care what ages and skill sets the teammates or opponents are. And, they make up rule judgements as they go. They pretty much don’t need adults. 

Based on my experience as a player, parent and coach, I think 8 is about right to introduce the structured format, with rules, innings, and an umpire...and a strike zone.  I was 8 when I started and was probably somewhere right in the middle of my age as far as talent and attentiveness compared to the other players in the league.  I started playing "all star" (or club, or whatever) at 10.

Younger than that call it "Learn to play" - make first base a squeaky toy so the kids run and stomp on it.  Tees.  Drills.  Some scrimmages.  No umpires.   At these ages, when I was coaching it, it's a lot of herding cats...that would be very hard in a structured game/league format...by 8 years old most of them can follow some kind of structure/rule set.   And want to.  They're doing it in the school yard...this now makes it "official".   You could also make the Learning group available to 8 and even 9 year olds, who are new, or just not ready.

At 8, no outfield - no need to worry about bored kids in outfield, nor coaches making sure of equal time between outfield and infield.  Also lets you form 8-9 player team rosters instead of 12-14.  More playing time, more teams.  Everyone bats.  Kids get to do a home run trot if they hit it out of the infield.  Pitching limits of one or two innings to encourage development of more pitchers at a young age.

At 10, introduce outfield.  Introduce concept of subs (maybe).  Equal time between OF and IF.

At 12, introduce U3K and IFF.

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On 9/12/2021 at 9:21 AM, kylejt said:

Once you keep score and standing, you need umpires. It's really that simple.

Depends on how you define "umpire".

Impartial, probably paid, third party?

Volunteer parent from the home team (or each team)?

Self-governed by committee/vote...or biggest kid wins arguments?

I've played many a game in the school yard, with scores, standings, and even seasonal stats, without a defined umpire.  It's amazing how few times over 30 or 40 lunches and recesses you really come across a play close enough to warrant an impartial arbiter....the same was true for hockey, soccer and football.

It's pretty remarkable what kids will do when there are no adults in the way.

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My first year of Little League, I was working a 3-man game in high 30's low 40's early Spring weather. My other partner on the bases (a veteran already) had goofy ear muffs and thick fleece gloves on. I thought, "What a pussy!" By the 3rd inning, I was freezing my ass off and thinking, "I sure wish I had ear muffs and fleece gloves!"

That Fall I worked some games. I remember one two-game Saturday in particular. Same guy had the plate for the 1st game. He used a hand held old school balloon protector instead of a "much cooler" inside protector. I once again thought, "What a pussy!" By about the 3rd inning of my own game behind the plate, after serving as the actual backstop for 6 long half innings and nursing several shots to the arms and tummy, I was already thinking, "I sure wish I had a balloon protector!"

It should come as no surprise to anyone that my partner has now worked several Regionals and at least one World Series, and I have worked none.

Little League Fall Ball, where everyone AND their little brother gets to play catcher. Enjoy!!  🙂 🙂

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