Little League
Overview
 

Little League Baseball and Softball (officially, Little League Baseball, Incorporated) is a non-profit organization
Organization
An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. The word itself is derived from the Greek word organon, itself derived from the better-known word ergon - as we know `organ` - and it means a compartment for a particular job.There are a variety of legal types of...

 in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania
South Williamsport, Pennsylvania
South Williamsport is a borough in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 6,412 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 which organizes local youth
Youth
Youth is the time of life between childhood and adulthood . Definitions of the specific age range that constitutes youth vary. An individual's actual maturity may not correspond to their chronological age, as immature individuals could exist at all ages.-Usage:Around the world, the terms "youth",...

 baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 and softball
Softball
Softball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of 10 to 14 players. It is a direct descendant of baseball although there are some key differences: softballs are larger than baseballs, and the pitches are thrown underhand rather than overhand...

 leagues
Sports league
League is a term commonly used to describe a group of sports teams or individual athletes that compete against each other in a specific sport. At its simplest, it may be a local group of amateur athletes who form teams among themselves and compete on weekends; at its most complex, it can be an...

 throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Founded by Carl Stotz
Carl Stotz
Carl E. Stotz is the American founder of Little League Baseball. He is honored in Williamsport by having the Carl E. Stotz Memorial Little League Bridge which carries U.S. Route 15 across the West Branch Susquehanna River between Williamsport and South WilliamsportStotz was born in Williamsport,...

 in 1939 as a three-team
Team
A team comprises a group of people or animals linked in a common purpose. Teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks.A group in itself does not necessarily constitute a team...

 league in Williamsport
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Williamsport is a city in and the county seat of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania in the United States. In 2009, the population was estimated at 29,304...

, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, Little League Baseball encourages local volunteers
Volunteering
Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life, but people also volunteer for their own skill development, to meet others, to make contacts for possible employment, to have fun, and a variety of other reasons that could be...

 to organize and operate Little League programs that are annually chartered through Little League International.
Encyclopedia

Little League Baseball and Softball (officially, Little League Baseball, Incorporated) is a non-profit organization
Organization
An organization is a social group which distributes tasks for a collective goal. The word itself is derived from the Greek word organon, itself derived from the better-known word ergon - as we know `organ` - and it means a compartment for a particular job.There are a variety of legal types of...

 in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania
South Williamsport, Pennsylvania
South Williamsport is a borough in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 6,412 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 which organizes local youth
Youth
Youth is the time of life between childhood and adulthood . Definitions of the specific age range that constitutes youth vary. An individual's actual maturity may not correspond to their chronological age, as immature individuals could exist at all ages.-Usage:Around the world, the terms "youth",...

 baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 and softball
Softball
Softball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of 10 to 14 players. It is a direct descendant of baseball although there are some key differences: softballs are larger than baseballs, and the pitches are thrown underhand rather than overhand...

 leagues
Sports league
League is a term commonly used to describe a group of sports teams or individual athletes that compete against each other in a specific sport. At its simplest, it may be a local group of amateur athletes who form teams among themselves and compete on weekends; at its most complex, it can be an...

 throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Founded by Carl Stotz
Carl Stotz
Carl E. Stotz is the American founder of Little League Baseball. He is honored in Williamsport by having the Carl E. Stotz Memorial Little League Bridge which carries U.S. Route 15 across the West Branch Susquehanna River between Williamsport and South WilliamsportStotz was born in Williamsport,...

 in 1939 as a three-team
Team
A team comprises a group of people or animals linked in a common purpose. Teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks.A group in itself does not necessarily constitute a team...

 league in Williamsport
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
Williamsport is a city in and the county seat of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania in the United States. In 2009, the population was estimated at 29,304...

, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, Little League Baseball encourages local volunteers
Volunteering
Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity, intended to promote good or improve human quality of life, but people also volunteer for their own skill development, to meet others, to make contacts for possible employment, to have fun, and a variety of other reasons that could be...

 to organize and operate Little League programs that are annually chartered through Little League International. Each league can structure itself to best serve the children in the area in which the league operates. Several specific divisions of Little League baseball and softball are available to children ages 5 to 18. The organization holds a congressional charter
Congressional charter
A congressional charter is a law passed by the United States Congress that states the mission, authority and activities of a group. Congress issued federal charters from 1791 until 1992 under Title 36 of the United States Code....

 under Title 36 of the United States Code
Title 36 of the United States Code
Title 36 of the United States Code outlines the role of Patriotic Societies and Observances in the United States Code.*Subtitle I—Patriotic and National Observances and Ceremonies*Subtitle II—Patriotic and National Organizations...

.

The organization's administrative office is located in South Williamsport. The first Little League Baseball World Series was played in Williamsport in 1947. The Little League International Complex hosts the annual Little League Baseball World Series at Howard J. Lamade Stadium
Howard J. Lamade Stadium
Howard J. Lamade Stadium is a baseball stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Each year, it hosts the Little League World Series, along with Little League Volunteer Stadium. Lamade Stadium was built in 1959 and holds 40,000 people, most of whom sit on the outfield berms...

 and Little League Volunteer Stadium
Little League Volunteer Stadium
Little League Volunteer Stadium is a baseball stadium in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Along with Howard J. Lamade Stadium, it annually hosts the Little League World Series, one of the few sports events where children 12 years old and younger take the center stage.Volunteer Stadium was built...

, and is also the site of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum, which provides a history of Little League Baseball and Softball through interactive exhibits for children.

History

Carl Stotz, a resident of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, founded Little League Baseball in 1939. He began experimenting with his idea in the summer of 1938 when he gathered his nephews, Jimmy and Major Gehron and their neighborhood friends. They tried different field
Baseball field
A baseball field, also called a ball field or a baseball diamond, is the field upon which the game of baseball is played. The terms "baseball field" and "ball field" are also often used as synonyms for ballpark.-Specifications:...

 dimensions over the course of the summer and played several informal games. The following summer Stotz felt that he was ready to establish what later became Little League Baseball. The first league in Williamsport had just three teams, each sponsored by a different business
Business
A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit...

. The first teams, Jumbo Pretzel, Lycoming Dairy, and Lundy Lumber were managed by Carl Stotz and two of his friends, George and Bert Bebble. The men, joined by their wives and another couple, formed the first-ever Little League Board of Directors
Board of directors
A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...

. Stotz' dream of establishing a baseball league for boys to teach fair play
Sportsmanship
Sportsmanship is an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect, and a sense of fellowship with one's competitors...

 and teamwork
Teamwork
Teamwork is action performed by a team towards a common goal. A team consists of more than one person, each of whom typically has different responsibilities....

 had come true.

The first League game took place on June 6, 1939
1939 in sports
1939 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.Note — many sporting events did not take place because of World War II-American football:NFL championship...

. Lundy Lumber defeated Lycoming Dairy, 23-8. Lycoming Dairy came back to claim the league championship
Championship
Championship is a term used in sport to refer to various forms of competition in which the aim is to decide which individual or team is the champion.- Title match system :...

. They, the first-half-season champion
Champion
A champion is the victor in a challenge, contest or competition.There can be a territorial pyramid of championships, e.g. local, regional / provincial, state, national, continental and world championships, and even further divisions at one or more of these levels, as in soccer. Their champions...

s, defeated Lundy Lumber, the second-half champs, in a best-of-three season-ending series
Playoff format
There are several different Playoff formats used in various levels of competition in sports and games to determine an overall champion. Some of the most common are the single elimination, the best-of- series, the total points series, and the round-robin tournament.-Single elimination:A Single...

. The following year a second league was formed in Williamsport, and from there Little League Baseball grew to become an international
International
----International mostly means something that involves more than one country. The term international as a word means involvement of, interaction between or encompassing more than one nation, or generally beyond national boundaries...

 organization of nearly 200,000 teams in every U.S. state and over 80 countries around the world.

From 1951 through 1974, Little League was for boys only. In 1974, Little League rules
Regulation of sport
The regulation of sport is usually done by a regulatory agency for each sport, resulting in a core of relatively invariant, agreed rules. People responsible for leisure activities often seek recognition and respectability as sports by joining sports federations such as the International Olympic...

 were revised to allow participation by girls in the baseball program following the result of a lawsuit filed by the National Organization for Women
National Organization for Women
The National Organization for Women is the largest feminist organization in the United States. It was founded in 1966 and has a membership of 500,000 contributing members. The organization consists of 550 chapters in all 50 U.S...

 on behalf of Maria Pepe
Maria Pepe
Maria Pepe is best known for being one of the first girls to play Little League baseball. In 1972, at age 12, she pitched three Little League games for a Young Democrats team in Hoboken, New Jersey....

.

According to the Little League Baseball and Softball participation statistics following the 2008 season, there were nearly 2.6 million players
Baseball positions
There are 9 fielding positions in baseball. Each position conventionally has an associated number which is used to score putouts...

 in Little League Baseball world
World
World is a common name for the whole of human civilization, specifically human experience, history, or the human condition in general, worldwide, i.e. anywhere on Earth....

wide, including both boys and girls, including 400,000 registered in Softball (also including both boys and girls). For tournament
Tournament
A tournament is a competition involving a relatively large number of competitors, all participating in a sport or game. More specifically, the term may be used in either of two overlapping senses:...

 purposes, Little League Baseball is divided into 16 geographic region
Region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

s; eight National and eight international. Each summer, Little League operates seven World Series tournaments at various locations throughout the U.S. (Little League softball and Junior, Senior, and Big League baseball and softball).

Early years

1939: Little League is established by Carl E. Stotz. The first season is played in a lot near Bowman Field. Lycoming Dairy is the first season champion.

1946: Little League has expanded to 12 leagues, all in Pennsylvania.

1947: The first league outside of Pennsylvania is founded in Hammonton, New Jersey
Hammonton, New Jersey
Hammonton is a town in Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town population was 14,791. It is located directly between Philadelphia and the resort town of Atlantic City, along a former route of the Pennsylvania Railroad currently used by New Jersey...

. Maynard League of Williamsport defeats a team from Lock Haven
Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
The city of Lock Haven is the county seat of Clinton County, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Located near the confluence of the West Branch Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Creek, it is the principal city of the Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, micropolitan statistical area, itself part of the...

, Pennsylvania to win the first Little League World Series. Allen Yearick is the first Little League graduate to play professional baseball when he is signed by the Boston Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

.

1948: Little League has grown to include 94 leagues. Lock Haven returns to the LLWS and defeats a league from St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Petersburg is a city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States. It is known as a vacation destination for both American and foreign tourists. As of 2008, the population estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau is 245,314, making St...

. The first corporate sponsor, U.S. Rubber, is announced, who donate Pro-Keds
Pro-Keds
In 1949, Keds introduced a line of athletic shoes called Pro-Keds, which were intended for more serious use, specifically for basketball. Over the years many basketball players and teams wore Pro-Keds shoes while playing...

 shoes to teams at the LLWS.

1949: Little League is featured in the Saturday Evening Post and on Newsreels. Carl Stotz gets hundreds of requests for information on how to form leagues at the local level from all over the United States. Little League incorporates in New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

.

1950: Kathryn Johnston became the first girl to play Little League baseball in 1950, when she tucked her hair under her hat, adopted the nickname "Tubby," and joined the Kings Dairy Little League team in Corning, N.Y., posing as a boy. After a few weeks, she told her coach she was a girl, but he said "That's O.K., you're a darned good player." Kathryn played at first base for the season, but then had to stop because of her age (she turned 13.) After that, a rule known as the Tubby Rule prohibited girls from playing in Little League; this was in force until 1974.

1951: Leagues are formed in British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and near the Panama Canal making them the first leagues outside the United States.

1953: The Little League World Series is televised for the first time. Jim McKay
Jim McKay
James Kenneth McManus , better known by his professional name of Jim McKay, was an American television sports journalist....

 provides the play by play for CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

. Howard Cosell
Howard Cosell
Howard William Cosell was an American sports journalist who was widely known for his blustery, cocksure personality. Cosell said of himself, "Arrogant, pompous, obnoxious, vain, cruel, verbose, a showoff. I have been called all of these...

 provides play by play for ABC Radio. Joey Jay
Joey Jay
Joseph Richard Jay is a former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball. From 1953 through 1966, Jay played for the Milwaukee Braves , Cincinnati Reds and Atlanta Braves...

 of Middletown, Connecticut
Middletown, Connecticut
Middletown is a city located in Middlesex County, Connecticut, along the Connecticut River, in the central part of the state, 16 miles south of Hartford. In 1650, it was incorporated as a town under its original Indian name, Mattabeseck. It received its present name in 1653. In 1784, the central...

 and the Milwaukee Braves is the first Little League graduate to play in the Major Leagues
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

.

1954: Boog Powell
Boog Powell
John Wesley Powell is a former major league first baseman who played for the Baltimore Orioles , Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers...

, who later played for the Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are a professional baseball team based in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. They are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's American League. One of the American League's eight charter franchises in 1901, it spent its first year as a major league...

 plays in the Little League World Series for Lakeland, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Lakeland is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States, located approximately midway between Tampa and Orlando along Interstate 4. According to the 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimate, the city had a population of 94,406...

. Ken Hubbs
Ken Hubbs
Kenneth Douglass Hubbs was an American second baseman who played from to for the Chicago Cubs in the National League. He was killed in a plane crash near Provo, Utah prior to the 1964 season....

, who later played for the Chicago Cubs
Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs are a professional baseball team located in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League. They are one of two Major League clubs based in Chicago . The Cubs are also one of the two remaining charter members of the National...

, plays in the LLWS for Colton
Colton, California
Colton is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The city is located in the Inland Empire region of the state and is approximately 57 miles east of Los Angeles. The population of Colton is 52,154 according to the 2010 census, up from 47,662 at the 2000 census.Colton is the...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

. Little League has expanded to more than 3,300 leagues.

1955: There is a Little League organization in each of the 48 U.S. States. George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 begins playing Little League as a catcher
Catcher
Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes his turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. This is a catcher's primary duty, but he is also called upon to master many other skills in order to...

 for the Cubs of the Central Little League in Midland
Midland, Texas
Midland is a city in and the county seat of Midland County, Texas, United States, on the Southern Plains of the state's western area. A small portion of the city extends into Martin County. As of 2010, the population of Midland was 111,147. It is the principal city of the Midland, Texas...

, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

. He is the first Little League graduate to be elected President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

.

1956: Carl Stotz severs his ties with Little League Baseball in a dispute over the direction and control of Little League. Stotz remains active in youth baseball with the "Original League" in Williamsport. Little League records its first on-field death in Garland, Texas
Garland, Texas
-Climate:* The average warmest month is July.* The highest recorded temperature was in 2000.* On average, the coolest month is January.* The lowest recorded temperature was in 1989.* The maximum average precipitation occurs in May....

 as 12-year-old Richard "Rick" Oden is hit in the head by a pitch thrown by Jerry Armstrong. The city park location of the incident is renamed "Rick Oden Field." As batting helmets are yet to be developed, Garland teams finish the season wearing youth football helmets over their baseball caps when batting. Later that year, Fred Shapiro throws a perfect game in the Little League World Series.

International era

1957: Angel Macias throws a perfect game and Monterrey, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 becomes the first team from outside the United States to win the Little League World Series.

1959: The Little League World Series moves from Williamsport to the newly built Little League Headquarters in South Williamsport
South Williamsport, Pennsylvania
South Williamsport is a borough in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 6,412 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

. The protective baseball helmet
Batting helmet
A batting helmet is the protective headgear worn by batters in the game of baseball or softball. It is meant to protect the batter's head from errant pitches thrown by the pitcher...

 is developed by Dr. Creighton J. Hale.

1960: A team from West Berlin
West Berlin
West Berlin was a political exclave that existed between 1949 and 1990. It comprised the western regions of Berlin, which were bordered by East Berlin and parts of East Germany. West Berlin consisted of the American, British, and French occupation sectors, which had been established in 1945...

, West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 is the first team from Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 to play in the Little League World Series. The series is broadcast live for the first time on ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

. Little League has grown to 27,400 teams in more than 5,500 leagues.

1961: Brian Sipe
Brian Sipe
Brian Winfield Sipe is a former professional American football quarterback who played in the National Football League from 1974 to 1983 and the United States Football League from 1984 to 1985....

, future quarterback
Quarterback
Quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line...

 for the Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns are a professional football team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are currently members of the North Division of the American Football Conference in the National Football League...

, plays for the series champions from El Cajon
El Cajon, California
-History:El Cajon is located on the Rancho El Cajon Mexican land grant made in 1845 to María Antonia Estudillo, wife of Miguel Pedrorena. In 1876 Amaziah Lord Knox , a New Englander who had recently moved to California, established a hotel there to serve the growing number of people traveling...

, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

.

1962: Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was the first black Major League Baseball player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947...

 attends the Little League World Series. President John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 proclaims National Little League Week.

1967: A team from West Tokyo
Tokyo
, ; officially , is one of the 47 prefectures of Japan. Tokyo is the capital of Japan, the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, and the largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 is the first team from Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 to win the Little League World Series.

1969: Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 begins a dominant era that would see them win 17 Little League World Series titles.

1971: The aluminum baseball bat is first used. It was partly developed by Little League Baseball. Lloyd McClendon
Lloyd McClendon
Lloyd Glenn McClendon is a former professional baseball player and manager, currently serving as the hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers under Jim Leyland...

 of Gary
Gary, Indiana
Gary is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The city is in the southeastern portion of the Chicago metropolitan area and is 25 miles from downtown Chicago. The population is 80,294 at the 2010 census, making it the seventh-largest city in the state. It borders Lake Michigan and is known...

, Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

 dominates the Little League World Series, hitting five home run
Home run
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process...

s in five at-bats. He later played in the Major Leagues and become the first Little League graduate to manage an MLB club with the Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They play in the Central Division of the National League, and are five-time World Series Champions...

.

1973: Ed Vosberg
Ed Vosberg
Edward John Vosberg is a former left-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who had a 10-year career...

 plays in the Little League World Series for Tucson
Tucson, Arizona
Tucson is a city in and the county seat of Pima County, Arizona, United States. The city is located 118 miles southeast of Phoenix and 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border. The 2010 United States Census puts the city's population at 520,116 with a metropolitan area population at 1,020,200...

, Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

. He later played in the College World Series
College World Series
The College World Series or CWS is an annual baseball tournament held in Omaha, Nebraska that is the culmination of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship, which determines the NCAA Division I college baseball champion. The eight teams are split into two, four-team, double-elimination brackets,...

 for the University of Arizona
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona is a land-grant and space-grant public institution of higher education and research located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The University of Arizona was the first university in the state of Arizona, founded in 1885...

 in 1980 and the World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 in 1997 for the Florida Marlins
Florida Marlins
The Miami Marlins are a professional baseball team based in Miami, Florida, United States. Established in 1993 as an expansion franchise called the Florida Marlins, the Marlins are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Marlins played their home games at...

. Vosberg is the first person to have played in all three world series.

1974: Girls are formally permitted to play in the Little League Baseball program, and a Little League Softball program for both boys and girls is created. Bunny Taylor becomes the first girl to pitch a no-hitter.

1975: In a controversial decision, all foreign teams are banned from the Little League World Series. International play is restored the following year.

1980: A team from Tampa
Tampa, Florida
Tampa is a city in the U.S. state of Florida. It serves as the county seat for Hillsborough County. Tampa is located on the west coast of Florida. The population of Tampa in 2010 was 335,709....

, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 representing Belmont Heights Little League is led by two future major leaguers Derek Bell
Derek Bell (baseball player)
Derek Nathaniel Bell is a former Major League Baseball player. Primarily a right fielder and center fielder, Bell batted from the right side and threw with his right hand. He is 6'2" tall, and during his playing career, he weighed 215 pounds.-Amateur and minor league career:Bell played amateur...

 and Gary Sheffield
Gary Sheffield
Gary Antonian Sheffield , nicknamed "Sheff", is an American retired Major League Baseball outfielder. He played for eight major league ball clubs from 1988 to 2009, primarily as an outfielder.-Biography:...

. Bell returns the following year and Belmont Heights again loses in the finals to a team from Taiwan.

1982: The Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum opens. Cody Webster leads a team from Kirkland, Washington
Kirkland, Washington
Kirkland is a city in King County, Washington, United States. It is a suburb of Seattle on the Eastside . The population was 48,787 at the 2010 census makes it the 9th largest city in King County and the 20th largest city in the state...

 in an upset victory of a powerful team from Taiwan. It was Taiwan's first loss in 31 games. This game was later featured on ESPN's 30 for 30
30 for 30
30 for 30 is the umbrella title for a series of documentaries airing on ESPN and its sister networks. The series, which premiered in October 2009 and concluded in December 2010, chronicles 30 stories from the "ESPN era," each of which detail the issues, trends, people, teams, or events that...

 series Little Big Men.

1984: Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

, South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 wins the first title for a South Korean team. They defeat a team from Altamonte Springs
Altamonte Springs, Florida
Altamonte Springs is a city in Seminole county in the U.S. state of Florida, which had a population of 41,496 at the 2010 census. Located primarily in Seminole County, the city is in the northern suburbs of the Orlando–Kissimmee-Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area, which the United States...

, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 led by future Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Founded in as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park since . The "Red Sox"...

 catcher, Jason Varitek
Jason Varitek
Jason Andrew Varitek is an American professional baseball catcher who is a free agent. After being traded as a minor league prospect by the Seattle Mariners, Varitek has played his entire major league career for the Boston Red Sox...

.

1988: Tom Seaver
Tom Seaver
George Thomas "Tom" Seaver , nicknamed "Tom Terrific" and "The Franchise", is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He pitched from 1967-1986 for four different teams in his career, but is noted primarily for his time with the New York Mets...

 is the first former Little Leaguer to be enshrined in the Peter J. McGovern Museum Hall of Excellence.

1989: Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 becomes the first former Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 nation to receive a Little League charter. Trumbull
Trumbull, Connecticut
Trumbull, a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut in the New England region of the United States, is bordered by the towns of Monroe, Shelton, Stratford, Bridgeport, Fairfield and Easton along Connecticut's Gold Coast. The population was 36,018 according to the 2010 census.Family Circle magazine...

, Connecticut, led by future NHL star Chris Drury
Chris Drury
Christopher Drury is an American retired professional ice hockey player. Drury is a Hobey Baker Award-winner with Boston University, a Calder Trophy winner with the Colorado Avalanche, a Stanley Cup champion with the Avalanche, a two-time Olympic silver medalist with the United States, and a...

, wins the Little League World Series.

1991: Future NL All Star Jason Marquis
Jason Marquis
Jason Scott Marquis is an American professional baseball pitcher who is a free agent. He previously pitched for the Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks....

 pitches the Staten Island South Shore Little League team to third place in the Little League World Series over Canada, throwing a no-hitter
No-hitter
A no-hitter is a baseball game in which one team has no hits. In Major League Baseball, the team must be without hits during the entire game, and the game must be at least nine innings. A pitcher who prevents the opposing team from achieving a hit is said to have "thrown a no-hitter"...

.

1992: Carl Stotz, the founder of Little League, dies. Lights are installed at Lamade Stadium allowing for the first night games to be played. The series is expanded from single elimination to round robin format. Long Beach
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

, California, managed by former Major Leaguer Jeff Burroughs
Jeff Burroughs
Jeffrey Alan Burroughs is a former player in Major League Baseball. From through , he played for the Washington Senators , Texas Rangers , Atlanta Braves , Seattle Mariners , Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays . Burroughs batted and threw right-handed...

 and led by his son, future Major Leaguer Sean Burroughs
Sean Burroughs
Sean Patrick Burroughs is an American professional baseball third baseman who is a free agent. He has previously played for the San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Devil Rays....

, is named series champion after Zamboanga City
Zamboanga City
The City of Zamboanga : is a highly urbanized, independent and a chartered city located in Mindanao, Philippines....

, Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 is forced to forfeit for playing with ineligible players.

1993: Long Beach repeats as champions, defeating Coquivacoa Little League of Maracaibo, Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

. They are the first U.S. team to successfully defend their title.

1997: ESPN2
ESPN2
ESPN2 is an American sports cable television network owned by ESPN. The channel debuted on October 1, 1993.Originally nicknamed "the deuce," ESPN2 was initially branded as a network for a younger generation of sports fans featuring edgier graphics as well as extreme sports like motocross,...

 broadcasts regional play for the first time. Taiwan's baseball association withdraws from Little League Baseball (they would rejoin in 2003). Bradenton, FL and Pottsville, PA play at Lamade Stadium before the largest crowd ever to attend a non-championship game. The crowd was estimated at over 35,000 fans.

1999: Burkina-Faso becomes the 100th nation with a Little League organization. Hirkata Little League of Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

, Japan becomes the first Japanese team to win a title since 1976.

2000: An expansion project begins at Little League International. Volunteer Stadium is built. This allows the pool of participants to be doubled from 8 to 16 the following year.

2001: The LLWS expands from 8 to 16 teams, with the following changes to regional lineups (post-2000 regions in bold):
  • US regions:
    • The East Region splits into the New England and Mid-Atlantic Regions.
    • The Central Region splits into the Great Lakes and Midwest Regions.
    • The South Region splits into the Southeast and Southwest Regions.
    • The West Region spins off the Northwest Region.
  • International regions:
    • Canada remains intact as a region.
    • The Latin America Region spins off new regions for the Caribbean and Mexico.
    • The Far East Region splits into the Asia and Pacific Regions.
    • The Europe Region spins off the TransAtlantic Region.
      • These two regions were geographically identical, differing in the required composition of playing rosters. Transatlantic teams were required to consist of a majority of players who were nationals of the USA, Canada, or Japan. Europe teams could have no more than three nationals of those countries.


In other news, Volunteer Stadium is opened. George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 becomes the first U.S. President to visit the Little League World Series. Led by phenom Danny Almonte
Danny Almonte
Danny Almonte Rojas is an assistant baseball coach at James Monroe High School in New York City. Almonte was born in Moca, Dominican Republic. A former Little League pitcher, he became the subject of considerable media attention in 2001...

, pitching the first perfect game since 1957, the Rolando Paulino All Stars (Bronx
The Bronx
The Bronx is the northernmost of the five boroughs of New York City. It is also known as Bronx County, the last of the 62 counties of New York State to be incorporated...

, NY
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

) finish third in the series. The team's entire postseason, however, is wiped from the books when it is found that Almonte was 14 years old.

2004: Effective with the 2004 LLWS, the Europe Region is renamed EMEA, for Europe, Middle East, Africa.

2007: Little League expands into Australia for the first time. Effective with the 2007 LLWS, the Asia and Pacific regions are merged to form the Asia-Pacific Region, with Japan being split into its own region.

2007: Little League expands into Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

 for the first time

2008: Effective with this year's LLWS, the Transatlantic and EMEA regions are reorganized into the Europe and MEA regions. The previous nationality restrictions for players from these regions are abolished. Hawai'i wins the 2008 Little League World Series beating Mexico in the Final.

2008: Little League International relocates the Southeast Region Headquarters From Gulfport, Fla., to Warner Robins, Ga. Little League International completes renovation of its Administration building in South Williamsport, Pa.

2010: The World Series tournament is reorganised, eliminating pool play and adopting double-elimination until the bracket winners are determined. Little League announces plans to add a "pilot" division in baseball for ages 12–13, to help baseball Little Leaguers make the transition to regulation-size fields in Junior League Baseball.Bartlett, Illinois becomes biggest little league.

2011: The World Series officially eliminates the two four-team brackets and puts all eight teams in the United States bracket and all eight teams in the International bracket, with a SEC Baseball Tournament
SEC Baseball Tournament
The SEC Baseball Tournament is the conference championship tournament in baseball for the Southeastern Conference . It is a double-elimination tournament and seeding is based on regular season records. The winner receives the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament...

 style flipped bracket on the loser's bracket to prevent rematches, but does not require the loser to defeat the winner's bracket team twice in either Saturday championship game where the winner advances to the Sunday final.

Regions

For the regions in the other age divisions, see Junior, Senior & Big League Baseball.

The national regions represented in the annual Little League Baseball World Series are: New England Great Lakes Mid-Atlantic Midwest Southeast Southwest Northwest (including Alaska) West (including Hawaii)

The international regions are: Canada Mexico Asia-Pacific Japan Europe Middle East and Africa (MEA) Latin America Caribbean

Little League World Series

The best-known event in the Little League calendar is the annual Little League Baseball World Series
Little League World Series
The Little League Baseball World Series is a baseball tournament for children aged 11 to 13 years old. It was originally called the National Little League Tournament and was later renamed for the World Series in Major League Baseball. It was first held in 1947 and is held every August in South...

, which is held every August in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania
South Williamsport, Pennsylvania
South Williamsport is a borough in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 6,412 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...

. Tournaments leading up to the World Series are held in the U.S. insular areas of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands
Northern Mariana Islands
The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands , is a commonwealth in political union with the United States, occupying a strategic region of the western Pacific Ocean. It consists of 15 islands about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines...

, and throughout the world. In 2003, for example, there were tournaments in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 (Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Aruba
Aruba
Aruba is a 33 km-long island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, located 27 km north of the coast of Venezuela and 130 km east of Guajira Peninsula...

, Curaçao
Curaçao
Curaçao is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. The Country of Curaçao , which includes the main island plus the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao , is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands...

, Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

 and Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

), Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 (Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

), and Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 (Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

).

Little, Junior, Senior, and Big League baseball & softball World Series

The Little League Baseball World Series is just one of eleven World Series every year, each one held in a different location.
  • Little League World Series
    Little League World Series
    The Little League Baseball World Series is a baseball tournament for children aged 11 to 13 years old. It was originally called the National Little League Tournament and was later renamed for the World Series in Major League Baseball. It was first held in 1947 and is held every August in South...

     (baseball)
  • Junior League World Series
    Junior League World Series
    The Junior League World Series is a baseball tournament for children aged 13, 14, and 15 years old. The tournament is held annually at Heritage Park in Taylor, Michigan...

     (baseball)
  • Senior League World Series
    Senior League World Series
    The Senior League World Series is a baseball tournament for children aged 14 to 16 years old. Since 2002, the tournament has been held annually in Bangor, Maine. It is patterned after the Little League World Series, which was named for the World Series in Major League Baseball.The Senior League...

     (baseball)
  • Big League World Series
    Big League World Series
    The Big League World Series is a baseball tournament for children aged 16 to 18 years old. It is patterned after the Little League World Series, which was named for the World Series in Major League Baseball. Currently the tournament is held in Easley, South Carolina.The Big League World Series is...

     (baseball)

  • Girls Little League Softball World Series (or the Major Division)
  • Girls Junior League Softball World Series
    Junior League World Series (softball)
    The Junior League Softball World Series is a softball tournament for girls aged between 13 and 14. The tournament is administered by Little League Baseball, Inc...

  • Girls Senior League Softball World Series
  • Girls Big League Softball World Series

  • Boys Little League Softball World Series
  • Boys Senior League Softball World Series
  • Boys Big League Softball World Series

Awards

For winners (by year), see footnote

  • Good Sport of the Year Award
  • Challenger Award
  • ASAP (A Safety Awareness Program) Award
  • Bill Shea Distinguished Little League Graduate Award
  • Mom of the Year Award
  • George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award
  • Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Howard and Gail Paster Little League Urban Initiative Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Howard Hartman Little League Friendship Award

Baseball divisions

Little League Baseball has several baseball divisions for boys and girls, based on age.

Tee-Ball

"Tee Ball Baseball is for boys and girls 5-6 years old (with a local option for 7- and/or 8-year-olds) who want to learn the fundamentals of hitting and fielding. In Tee Ball, players hit a ball off a batting tee. Rules of the game may be varied to accommodate the need for teaching. The primary goals of Tee Ball are to instruct children in the fundamentals of baseball and to allow them to experience the value of teamwork. Rosters may be composed of between 12 and 20 players, but most leagues have rosters in the 12-15 range. No live pitching is permitted in this division. Generally, the diamond used is a 60-foot diamond, but the league has the option to use a 50-foot diamond."

Minor Leagues

Minor League Baseball programs for boys and girls may be operated within each division for younger players with less experience. The minor league may be players ages 7-12. Divisions may be established within the Minor League targeting various age groups, and are typically named using terms like "Farm", "AA" or "AAA". Typically the lowest level is machine pitch, and the top level is player pitch. In-between may be a coach pitch level, or a level with a faster machines. The rules of baseball are increasingly complete as the play level advances.

Unlike other youth sports leagues, the levels are not strictly by age, but by try-outs. Advanced plays can "play up" if they can get selected. Similarly, less advanced players can petition to "play down". A local league target 9-year olds in a division, but some 8-year olds will be in the division playing up and some 10-year olds might be there playing down. In this system, playing down does not carry a stigma and many choose to play down and get more experience at key positions. This is entirely the choice of the local league board of directors. Rosters may be composed of between 12 and 20 players, but most leagues have rosters in the 12-15 range. The diamond used is a 60-foot diamond and the pitching distance is 46 feet."

9-10 Year Olds

"The 9-10 Year Old Baseball Division for boys and girls was established as a tournament program in 1994. It gives children of this age the opportunity to experience tournament competition, up to state level. Players on these teams can be chosen from among Major Division and/or Minor Division teams. The diamond used is a 60-foot diamond and the pitching distance is 46 feet."

Little League (or the Major Division)

"The Little League Baseball Division (sometimes known as the Major Division) is for boys and girls ages 9-12. A local league may choose to limit its Major Division to 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds, or 11-12-year-olds. The diamond used is a 60-foot diamond and the pitching distance is 46 feet. The local league has an option to choose a Tournament Team (or "All Stars") of 11-12-year-olds from within this division, and the team may enter the International Tournament. The culmination of the International Tournament is the Little League Baseball World Series, featuring teams from around the globe. All expenses for the teams advancing to the World Series (travel, meals and housing) are paid by Little League Baseball."

"Pilot" division for ages 12-13

In 2010, Little League announced plans to add a "pilot" division in baseball for ages 12–13, to help baseball Little Leaguers make the transition to regulation-size fields in Junior League Baseball.

Junior League

"The Junior League Baseball Division is a program for boys and girls ages 13-14, using a conventional 90-foot diamond with a pitching distance of 60 feet, 6 inches. (A modified diamond is available during the regular season.) The local league has an option to choose a Tournament Team (or "All Stars") of 13-14-year-olds from within this division (and/or from within the Senior League Division), and the team may enter the International Tournament. The culmination of the International Tournament is the Junior League Baseball World Series, featuring teams from around the globe. All expenses for the teams advancing to the World Series (travel, meals and housing) are paid by Little League Baseball."

Senior League

"The Senior League Baseball Division is for boys and girls 14-16 years old, using a conventional 90-foot diamond with a pitching distance of 60 feet, 6 inches. The local league has an option to choose a Tournament Team (or "All Stars") of 14-16-year-olds from within this division (and/or from within the Junior League or Big League divisions), and the team may enter the International Tournament. The culmination of the International Tournament is the Senior League Baseball World Series, featuring teams from around the globe. All expenses for the teams advancing to the World Series (travel, meals and housing) are paid by Little League Baseball."

Big League

"The Big League Baseball Division is for boys and girls ages 16-18, using a conventional 90-foot diamond with a pitching distance of 60 feet, 6 inches. The local league has an option to choose a Tournament Team (or "All Stars") of 16-18-year-olds from within this division (and/or from within the Senior League Division), and the team may enter the International Tournament. The culmination of the International Tournament is the Big League Baseball World Series, featuring teams from around the globe. All expenses for the teams advancing to the World Series (travel, meals and housing) are paid by Little League Baseball."

Softball divisions

Little League Baseball has several softball divisions for girls and several softball divisions for boys, based on age.

Boys softball

See footnote
  • Tee Ball Softball for Boys
  • Minor League Softball for Boys
  • Little League Softball (or the Major Division) for Boys
  • Senior League Softball for Boys
  • Big League Softball for Boys

Girls softball

See footnotes
  • Girls Tee Ball Softball
  • Girls Minor League Softball
  • Girls Little League Softball (or the Major Division)
  • Girls Junior League Softball

  • Girls Senior League Softball
  • Girls Big League Softball

Rules

The playing rules for the baseball divisions essentially follow the "Official Baseball Rules" (as defined by and used by Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 and published at Official Baseball Rules at MLB.com), especially with respect to the upper divisions (Junior, Senior, and Big League). Some major exceptions are outlined in the following sections, and these apply to Little League (Minor and Major, ages 7-12) except as otherwise noted.

Rulebooks and fees

Unlike Major League Baseball and most other sports such as football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

, soccer, and basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, the official rules of Little League Baseball are available to the general public only by online subscription ($20) or as a printed edition ($7 plus $3 for "shipping and handling" within the US via UPS
United Parcel Service
United Parcel Service, Inc. , typically referred to by the acronym UPS, is a package delivery company. Headquartered in Sandy Springs, Georgia, United States, UPS delivers more than 15 million packages a day to 6.1 million customers in more than 220 countries and territories around the...

). In Canada, rulebook orders requested through LittleLeague.ca are routed to the US website at the same prices, except that "shipping and handling" to Canada via UPS is US$15.51, for a total of US$22.51 for a single printed copy, a significant burden for some parents who wish to have their own copy of the rules.

Rulebooks are not available in sporting goods or other stores and must be ordered directly from Little League Baseball, Incorporated or one of its "Regional Centers". One paper copy is provided to each team that has sent in an "Application for Charter and Insurance", although previously two copies were provided.

Little League has been criticized for requiring payment to view its rules. However, the organization counters by claiming it has been exposed to lawsuits in the past in cases involving organizations not officially affiliated with Little League but which nonetheless use its rules.

Length of Game

A regulation game is six innings
Innings
An inning, or innings, is a fixed-length segment of a game in any of a variety of sports – most notably cricket and baseball during which one team attempts to score while the other team attempts to prevent the first from scoring. In cricket, the term innings is both singular and plural and is...

. If the game is called prior to the completion of six innings, it is considered an official game if four innings have been completed (three and a half, if the home team leads); otherwise, if at least one inning has been completed, it is a suspended game.

In the Junior, Senior, and Big League levels (ages 13–18), a game is seven innings and is official if five innings have been completed.

Mandatory Play Rule

In all divisions except Senior and Big League, every player on the team roster must have at least one plate appearance and play three consecutive outs on defense in each game. The penalty for a manager violating the rule is a two-game suspension. This rule is waived if the game is completed prior to the usual duration of the game (six innings in Little League and below, seven innings in Junior League).

Playing Field

The size of the field is dependent on the division of play.

Tee Ball
The distance between the bases is generally 50 feet.


Minor League and Little League
The distance between the bases is 60 feet and the distance from the pitcher’s mound to home plate is 46 feet. Outfield fences must be at least 165 feet from home plate
Home Plate
Home Plate is the fifth album by Bonnie Raitt, released in 1975 .-Track listing:#"What Do You Want the Boy to Do?" – 3:19#"Good Enough" – 2:56#"Run Like a Thief" – 3:02...

, but are usually 200 feet or more (the fields at the Williamsport complex have fences 225 feet away). The bases and pitching rubber are also slightly smaller than in standard baseball. Also, unlike fields at almost all levels of competitive baseball for teenagers and adults, the distance between home plate and the outfield fence is constant throughout fair territory.


Junior League, Senior League, and Big League
The distance between the bases is 90 feet, the same as for regulation Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 fields. The distance between the pitcher's mound to home plate is 60.5 feet, also identical to that of MLB. The minimum outfield distance in the upper divisions is 300 feet (compare with MLB's official but not strictly enforced minimum of 325 feet at the foul lines), while the maximum for Big League is 425 feet. (Base paths of 80 feet are optional for Junior League regular season play.)

Equipment

Bats
Baseball bat
A baseball bat is a smooth wooden or metal club used in the game of baseball to hit the ball after the ball is thrown by the pitcher. It is no more than 2.75 inches in diameter at the thickest part and no more than 42 inches in length. It typically weighs no more than 33 ounces , but it...

 (all levels) may be made from material other than wood (such as aluminum) and must be approved for use in Little League Baseball. The maximum bat length is thirty-three (33) inches and maximum barrel diameter may not exceed 2 1/4 inches. Beginning in 2009 all Little League bats must be labeled with a Bat Performance Factor (BPF) of 1.15 or lower.

Bats for the Junior League level may have a maximum length of thirty-four (34) inches and a maximum barrel diameter of 2 5/8 inches. Bats for the Big and Senior League levels may have a maximum length of thirty-six (36) inches and a maximum barrel diameter of 2 3/4 inches for wood bats and 2 5/8 inches for non-wood bats. Big and Senior League bats must meet the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) testing standards that are currently used in the NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a semi-voluntary association of 1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States...

 and NFHS
National Federation of State High School Associations
The National Federation of State High School Associations is the body that writes the rules of competition for most high school sports and activities in the United States. Most high schools, whether public or private, belong to their state's high school association; in turn, each state association...

 (high school).

Base running

When the pitcher is ready to pitch, a baserunner may not leave the bag until the pitch reaches the batter.

If a fielder is waiting at the base with the ball, an advancing runner must attempt to avoid contact. A runner may not slide head-first except when retreating to a previously held base.

In the upper levels, runners must still make an attempt to avoid contact if possible, and may not maliciously initiate contact with a fielder.

Batting

The upper limit of the strike zone
Strike zone
In baseball, the strike zone is a conceptual right pentagonal prism over home plate which defines the boundaries through which a pitch must pass in order to count as a strike when the batter does not swing.-Definition:...

 extends to the batter's armpits.

In Tee-Ball, Minor League, and Little League, the batter is out after the third strike
Strikeout
In baseball or softball, a strikeout or strike-out occurs when a batter receives three strikes during his time at bat. A strikeout is a statistic recorded for both pitchers and batters....

 regardless of whether the pitched ball is held by the catcher. In Junior, Senior, and Big League, a batter may attempt to advance to first base on a dropped third strike.

Substitution

Players who have been substituted for may return to the game under certain conditions, though a pitcher who has left the game may not return to pitch.

Pitchers

Pitcher
Pitcher
In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throwsthe baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the...

s in all divisions are limited to a specific pitch count per game and a mandatory rest period between outings. These vary with age and the rest period also depends on the number of pitches thrown.

Also, prior to 2008 a pitcher could intentionally walk a batter by simply announcing his intent to do so and not have to actually throw any pitches; however, beginning in 2008 the pitcher must now actually pitch the required four balls (which are counted against the pitch count).

Local options

Local leagues have a certain amount of flexibility. For example, a league may opt to use the "continuous batting order" rule (4.04), under which each player on the team’s roster bats, even when not in the defensive lineup. Leagues may also waive the "ten-run rule
Mercy rule
A mercy rule, also well known by the slightly less polite term slaughter rule , brings a sports event to an early end when one team has a very large and presumably insurmountable lead over the other team...

" (4.10(e)) which ends the game if one team is ahead by ten or more runs
Run (baseball)
In baseball, a run is scored when a player advances around first, second and third base and returns safely to home plate, touching the bases in that order, before three outs are recorded and all obligations to reach base safely on batted balls are met or assured...

 after four innings.

See also

  • Amateur baseball in the United States
    Amateur baseball in the United States
    Amateur baseball is a form of baseball in which the players either are not paid for playing, or receive only a modest stipend or employment arranged by the team's boosters...

  • Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

  • List of organized baseball leagues
  • Baseball awards#World
  • Baseball awards#U.S. youth baseball
  • Baseball clothing and equipment
    Baseball clothing and equipment
    Bat : A rounded, solid wooden or hollow aluminum bat. Wooden bats are traditionally made from ash wood, though maple and bamboo is also sometimes used. Aluminum bats are not permitted in professional leagues, but are frequently used in amateur leagues. Composite bats are also available,...

  • Going To Bat Foundation
    Going To Bat Foundation
    Going To Bat Foundation is a 501 non-profit organization conceived and created by three Southern California high school athletes to improve the lives of youths around the world. The mission is to provide any child who wishes to play baseball or softball with the means and the opportunity, providing...


General

  • Van Auken, Lance and Robin. Play Ball: The Story of Little League Baseball, Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-271-02118-7

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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