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Team Formation / Draft

Team Formation and Draft Procedure

This document defines the process for forming teams for Spring Seasons. It was ratified by the MCLL Board of Directors on Feb 19th, 2017.

Objectives:

The objectives of the team formation process is to:

  • Comply with Little League International rules

  • Create competitive parity among teams

  • Consider requests to play with friends or a particular coach

  • Be fair to players, parents and coaches

  • Result in a memorable and fun playing environment for players

  • Provide transparency of the process

  • Be consistent in its application across divisions.

Definitions:

Career Player  - Once a player is assigned to a team, the player will remain with that returning team for duration of the player's participation in that Division. For example, when a player transitions from Minor League to Major League (in the Spring), the player is no longer affiliated with the Minor League team and must enter the Major League draft pool to be considered for a Major League team.

Competitive Division - A division of teams in which the runs scored are recorded and games are won or loss. The League also determines a champion through an end of season tournament. MCLL has five competitive divisions: Juniors, Intermediate, Majors, Minors and Coach Pitch.

Draftee - A player who is placed in a draft pool and eligible for to be picked by a Coach during the draft process.

Player Evaluations - The evaluation process in which players are run through a series of drills to assess and evaluate the skills, athleticism, emotional and physical maturity, and baseball/softball knowledge of draftees.

Returning Team - A team in which a core of 3 players are returning from the previous Spring season to the same division. A returning team will stay together along with the coach. If the coach is not returning a new coach will be assigned to the returning team. In cases where a team is returning with fewer than 3 players, the players become draftees and are guaranteed placement within the same division of play.  The Player Agent may decide it is not in the best interest of players or league and dissolve a team and return its players to the draft pool.

Team Selection Process:

Team selection for competitive leagues will follow a modified "Plan A" as specified in the Little League Operations Manual.

  • The League Commissioners and the Player Agent will determine the number of teams and the number of players per team that will be fielded in each Division before the draft process begins.

  • All returning teams will be assigned a Coach.

  • A Coach may not request that a Career Player be dropped from his/her team roster. This is to prevent "dumping" of players.

  • A player becomes a Draftee and must enter a draft pool when:

    • Player moves up to the next Division.

    • Player is new to Montgomery County Little League.

    • Parent has requested to play for a different team in the same league.

  • Parents may request to play with a specific team or coach and the League will try to honor that request but MCLL cannot guarantee that request.

  • Each team will have one Manager, who is generally responsible for all activities related to his/her team. Each team may have two Assistant Coaches.

  • Children of the Manager and Assistant Coaches are automatically designated Career players for the team for which the Manager and Coaches are coaching.

  • The League will conduct Player Evaluations before teams are selected. All Managers and Coaches should attend Evaluations and evaluate the skills, athleticism, emotional and physical maturity, and baseball/softball knowledge of draftees.

  • Career players need not attend Player Evaluations.

  • All Minor and Major League draftees will participate in Player Evaluations. MCLL strongly encourages all draftees to attend the Player Evaluations.

  • If a draftee is unable to attend the Player Evaluations, he/she must inform the Player Agent of MCLL and complete an Evaluation Absentee form. The draftee (guardians) must provide an honest and frank opinion of the ability of the draftee. The information will be given to all Managers prior to the draft for consideration.

  • If a draftee does not attend the Player Evaluations or complete the Assessment Absentee form, the player will be placed on a waitlist and will be randomly assigned to a team by the Player Agent.

  • MCLL will use the same assessment scoring system for all players and provide an overall rating for each player that attended the event to Managers prior to the Player Draft. Managers should consider this to be confidential information and it should not be shared with anyone else (especially players.)

  • During the Player Evaluations, MCLL will utilize multiple volunteers at each station to obtain a fair weighted average score for each player.

  • MCLL will conduct a draft approximately one week after the Player Evaluations. Before the draft, MCLL Commissioners will reinforce to the Managers the objectives of balancing parent requests and parity.

  • A draft will be conducted for each Division (for both Baseball and Softball) in the following order:

  1. Majors

  2. Minors

  3. Coach Pitch

  4. Intermediate League

  5. Junior League

Major League Draft Procedures:

  • Little League rules indicate that the number of players per Major League team must be at least 12 and no more than 14 players. There is also a limit of no more than eight 12-year olds per team. If a Major League team has more than eight Career 12 year-olds, the Manager must work with the Player Agent to return 12 year-old players to the draft pool so the team has exactly eight 12-year olds.

  • Little League recommends that all 12 year-olds play in the Major Leagues. The League will attempt to place all 12 year-olds on a Major League team. If the consensus of the Major League Managers (based in part on the Evaluations score of the player in question) is that a 12 year-old player is not ready for play in the Majors, the Major League Commissioner will request the MCLL Player Agent to process a waiver with the District 2 Administrator to place the player on a Minor League team. This is something that is rarely granted due to player safety issues with a 12 year-old playing against nine year-olds.

  • Based on the number of 12 year-old draftees, Commissioner will determine the minimum number of 12 year-olds that must be drafted by each team.

  • The League Commissioner will provide a list of all Major league players to all Managers at least 24 hours before the draft meeting. The list will designate Career players by team and all draftees.

  • Order of draft picks will be reverse order of finish from the previous season. New teams will be placed at the end and ordered by coin toss or equivalent method if more than two new teams. e.g. draw straws

  • Draft will be conducted in a Straight order as outlined in the Little League Operating Policies Plan A. ie. The last-place team of the preceding season gets the first choice in every round of the draft, the next to last place team gets the second selection in every round and the remaining teams select in the reverse order of standing.

  • A draft matrix will be created showing who has the pick at each round. Prior to the draft the matrix will be filled with Career players for each team starting at the top. Assigned coaches players for new teams will be placed at rounds three for age 12, round four for age 11 and round five for ages 9/10. If kids have the same age the second bumps up to the lower numbered round.

  • The draft will begin on the Commissioner’s command and each Manager will have 3 minutes to name their draft pick(s).

  • The first team will draft the number of players that brings their roster up to the same number of players as the team with the second fewest Career players, at which point the draft process becomes a serpentine, single pick process.

  • The process is repeated for each team as the number of players on a roster become equal.

  • Each team must draft their designated number of 12 year-olds during the draft.

  • The selection process is then repeated until each team has a minimum roster count of 12 to 14 players.

  • If a parent requests siblings play together, the Manager must select the siblings together and will forfeit the next pick.

  • If friend requests pair two players together, the Manager must select the pair together and will forfeit the next pick.

  • MCLL will attempt to honor parent requests to play together. After each Manager's pick, the League Commissioner will evaluate the pick. If the draftee has requested another team, the Commissioner will facilitate discussion between the respective Managers to see if an alternate pick is available. Managers will have 24 hours after the draft meeting to trade players. All trades must be reviewed and approved by the League Commissioner and MCLL Player Agent.

  • Teams will be declared official 48 Hours after the draft meeting and rosters will be published online and Managers may contact their players.

  • Any draftee who is not selected onto a Major League team will be placed in the Minor League draft pool.

Minor League Draft Procedures:

  • The Minor League draft process will follow the same process as that described for the Major League with the following exceptions

    • Minor League teams may consist wholly of 11 year olds but are not required to do so.
    • Assigned coaches players for new teams will be placed at rounds three for age 11, round four for age 10 and round five for ages 8/9.
  • MCLL will attempt to honor parent requests to play together. After each Manager's pick, the Minor League Commissioner will evaluate the pick. If the draftee has requested another team, the Commissioner will facilitate discussion between the respective Managers to see if an alternate pick is available.

  • The selecting Manager has the right to refuse the alternate and keep the original pick.

Coach Pitch Draft Procedures:

The Coach Pitch League draft process will follow the same process as that described for the Minor League except that the age range for players will be limited to 6 to 8. A 5 year-old player that has experienced Tee-Ball previously and both the Parent and the assessment score indicate that the player is ready for player pitch may move up into Coach Pitch Ball.

Intermediate League Draft Procedures:

The Intermediate draft process will follow the same process as described in the Majors’ division except player ages are limited to a range of 11 to 13.

Juniors League Draft Procedures:

The Juniors draft process will follow the same process as described in the Majors’ division except player ages are limited to a range of 13 to 15.

Tee-Ball Team Formation:

The Commissioner for the Tee-Ball Division will form teams at his/her discretion taking into consideration a number of factors including parent requests, coaches requests, schools that players attend and where players live.

Every attempt will be made to honor requests but we try to keep the number of players on each Tee-Ball team to be no more than 10 players. This “limit” allows Managers and Coaches to spend more time teaching the basic fundamentals of the game individually and in a team setting while keeping practice and game time over a short duration of time.

There is no draft process for Tee-Ball teams. Score is not kept at games since this division is designed to be solely about player development.