Prepare For Your Little League Season With These Equipment Reminders!

As you prepare for your organization’s next season, there’s no better time for a refresher course in the clear and comprehensive set of equipment specifications set forth by Little League Baseball.

Securing Your Helmet

Little League Helmet

A large majority of little league organizations take advantage of community equipment, where every players shares a universal set of helmets and other equipment, during the season.

Although convenient, when using community equipment the organization is responsible for ensuring each of their one-size-fits-all helmets actually fits every member of the team. If not, make sure different models are available for selection during game time.

Little League requires that each team must have six NOCSAE-approved helmets available for the team’s batters.

Chin Straps

Loose-fitting helmets are likely to fall off as a player runs the bases, leaving them vulnerable to injuries. Checking that chin straps on helmets have snaps or latches that hold the strap in the correct placement can prevent injury.

Discard Rules

Helmet manufacturers warn that once a baseball batting helmet has taken a hard hit, even just once, the helmet should be discarded and no longer used. Organizations should not wait for a crack to appear before assuming the shell has been compromised. A break can occur before an obvious crack appears.

Helmet Alterations

No organization should alter helmets with any unapproved paint or stickers. Any modification will void the warranty. Applying paint or stickers to the shell can cause an adverse chemical reaction which may negatively affect the helmet’s protective ability.

For more details regarding Little League helmet regulations, refer for the LittleLeague.org website.

Bat Specifications

Intermediate (50 -70) Division/Junior League

Bat SpecsBats used throughout the Intermediate/Junior League are not permitted to be longer than 34 inches in length, nor more than 2-5/8 inches in diameter.

Bats made of wood must be no less than fifteen-sixteenths (15/16) inches in diameter at its smallest part.

Senior/Big League

Bats used in older leagues are not to be more than 36 inches in length, nor over 2-5/8 inches in diameter.

Similar to the Intermediate Division, wood bats shall not be less than fifteen-sixteenths inches in diameter at its smallest part.

An additional regulation at this division involves the weight of the bat. No bat shall weight more than three ounces less than the length of the bat. For example, a 33-inch-long bat can not weight less than 30 ounces.

Softball League

All softball bats are required to be no more than 33 inches, or 34 inches for Junior, Senior, and Big League, in length. Softball bats are to be no more than two and one-quarter (2-1/4) inches in diameter.

Wooden softball bats are to be no less than fifteen-sixteenth (15/16) inches in diameter at its smallest part. Wooden bats less than 30 inches long are to be no less than 7/8 inch at its smallest diameter.

Bats are able to be taped of fitted with sleeves so long as the distance does not exceed 16 inches from the small end. Non-wooden bats must have a grip made from cork, tape, or other composition material. Grips must extend a minimum of ten inches from the small end.

Colored bats are acceptable.

For additional information on Little League bat regulations, reference the LittleLeague.org website.

Equipment Checklist

The Little League website also provides an Equipment Checklist and Guidelines for Appearance for all players preparing themselves for the upcoming season!

Using Your Registration

The registration process can act as the perfect time to collect information on the amount of equipment and sizes that your players may need for the upcoming season.

Demosphere’s RosterPro® Registration System allows for the creation of customized registration forms, unique to each program or season. With this feature, administrators can collect information ranging from uniform size to preference for helmet straps.

RosterPro Form

Customize your forms to collect information on bat dexterity – whether the players are right-handed, left-handed or switch hitters – and bat size so you can stock up on the appropriate gear and make sure each situation is covered before your very first practice.

Administrators can also take advantage of this customizable form as an opportunity to collect information about merchandise purchases. Specific items on the registration forms can be tied to custom fees/discounts.

For example, the “Buy Bat – $10” check box can be tied to a $10 fee. If a registrant were to check that box on their registration form, their account would be charged an additional $10 at the end of the registration process automatically.

custom-form

For more information on the RosterPro® Registration System or how your registration forms can be utilized to collect equipment information before your first practice even begins, reach out to Demosphere at support@blog.demosphere.com!

Little League Scandal Calls For Future Format Change

The 2015 Little League Softball World Series was rocked by controversy when a team out of Washington was accused of intentionally losing a game.

The girls softball team from South Snohomish, Washington was accused of intentionally losing during a semifinal-qualifying game in order to eliminate a tough competitor from Polk City, Iowa.

During the game in question, Washington benched its best players, frequently bunted, and eventually lost the game to their opposing team from Salisbury, North Carolina with a score of 8-0.

At the time of the controversial game, Washington had already secured their placement in the next round. However, a win for North Carolina would cause the U.S. division to end in a three-way tie that would eliminate the Iowa team.

Polk City’s Response

GloveIowa officials believe that the team was playing poorly against North Carolina in an attempt to avoid facing a rematch in the championship game. Washington won against Iowa in their preliminary game by only one run.

Iowa filed a protest to the Little League Softball World Series officials – where the outcome of the controversial game was not overturned. Iowa appealed again to the Little League International organization, which ruled in favor of a special tiebreaker game.

Snohomish, Washington eventually lost the tiebreaker game 3-2 against Polk City, Iowa.

Snohomish Defense

Although it may appear that Washington was trying to avoid a rematch, a deeper examination of the Little League rules reveals that the team may have been acting in the best interest of their own team rather than in spite of another.

Little League’s tiebreaker rules inherently placed the teams in a moral dilemma.

BatsThere are ten teams competing in the tournament, which are then divided into two groups, each containing five teams. The teams compete against the other four groups in their pool and the top two teams in each advance to the semifinals.

Before the controversial Washington-North Carolina game, Iowa had already finished it’s pool with a record of 3-1. Washington was 3-0 and North Carolina was 2-1.

A win for Washington against North Carolina would have earned them the first-place team from their pool.

However, if Washington scored more than one run against North Carolina and lost they would automatically have been eliminated from championship consideration.

North Carolina’s win would create a three-way tie between Iowa, North Carolina, and Washington. With no team being unbeaten against the other two, the guidelines determined the first place team by dividing the number of runs each team allowed by the number of innings they played defensively. The second place team was determined by the head-to-head result of the two remaining teams.

Washington would be unable to win the ratio tiebreaker had they made runs and still lost, making their safest option to ensure North Carolina won the ratio tiebreaker and then advancing as second-place team with their head-to-head win over Iowa. Scoring more than one run and losing against North Carolina would’ve left Washington as the third place group.

Little League SoftballThus, scoring zero runs against North Carolina, Snohomish ensured their second place win.

Future Results

The current tournament format presents coaches with a mathematical incentive to stray from the code of conduct presented by the Little League.

A possible change that may appear to eliminate this situation from surfacing again in the future is transitioning to a double-elimination bracket. The double-elimination format is currently used by the Little League Baseball World Series.

What do you think about the recent scandal? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!