There are many options – why MCLL may be the right one for you and your child. We are fortunate to have an abundance of youth sports programs that serve a wide range of expectations and objectives of parents, players, and coaches in the Montgomery County Little League (MCLL) area. So which program is best for your future Hall-of-Famer? Will MCLL meet your family's needs? Consider the following when choosing a youth baseball or softball program:
The first place to start is with your child. Ask your child what they want out of their baseball experience. You may be surprised at the answer. Responses range from "I want to win" to "I want to have fun and play with my friends." Understanding what your child would like is a first critical step in selecting the right program.
Are you looking for a program that will teach the fundamentals of the game? Maybe you know your child will never be that Cy-Young award winner, but you want to instill a love of the game or simply use sports as medium for teaching life lessons. Perhaps, your child does have exceptional athletic promise and you want him or her to be challenged at the highest level of competition. Most importantly, be honest with yourself. Make sure you are in this for the benefit of your child and not to relive the glory days!
Aligning your goals with your child's goals and selecting the right program will lay the foundation for a long, enjoyable and successful baseball or softball experience.
If you do need more information or have questions please contact one of the Board of Directors and discuss what MCLL has to offer and how we might meet your needs. From Tee-Ball to Softball to advance competition in Juniors and covering ages from 4 to 15, we probably have a team for you and your child.
"Little League Rules for a Reason" is not just a marketing tag line for Little League, it succinctly captures both the prominence of the organization as well as years of experience that resulted in a set of rules that are uniquely designed to protect player health, ensure a progressive skill development, create the appropriate level of competitiveness and most importantly to just have FUN.
Little League rules are slightly different from other leagues,the most notable differences are:
No Lead-offs for players in Divisions below the Majors level - base runners cannot lead off until the pitched ball crosses the plate. Without this rule, a youth baseball game can quickly turn in to a track meet -a walk is as good as a triple or double as runners/coaches take advantage of a pitcher's slow delivery and the catcher's inexperience. With the no-lead off constraint, young pitchers can concentrate on the batter and their delivery mechanics, not the runner, complicated pick-off move or balks (there will be plenty of time to master the pick-off later). The no-lead off rule also delays the runner attempting to steal and gives the defense a decent chance of picking off the runner at second or third. This in-turn forces the offense to duly consider their chances of stealing a base and are more likely to try and earn their runs through hitting and not through defensive errors.
No Stealing Home Plate – (except in Divisions above the Coach Pitch level) there is no stealing home plate on a passed ball. Learning to block a wild pitch is an advanced skill and the defense should not be penalized because a young catcher has yet to master it. In addition, this rule allows Coaches to put different players at catcher without putting his team at a significant disadvantage. The offense is also forced to earn their runs through hitting.
No Dropped Third Strike – (except in Divisions above the Minors)- For similar reasons for not allowing teams to steal home plate, there is no advancing to first on a dropped third strike.
Wider Strike Zone in the early Divisions - Our umpires are instructed to loosen the strike zone to encourage batters to swing. Young players quickly learn that a tight strike zone can be an easy pass to first base. We want kids swinging and hitting the ball and avoid those painful games where most runs come from walks.
Stricter Pitch Counts - Little League was the first youth sports program to research the impact of over pitching on a young athlete's arm. The research resulted in strict rules that limit the number of pitches a pitcher can throw and mandates a rest period based on the number of pitches thrown. Little League pitch count rules are stricter than most other leagues, ensuring the health and well-being of young pitchers. The strict pitch counts also forces coaches to develop more pitchers for depth on the mound. Coaches can not rely on just one or two pitchers to power their team to a championship. Coaches must develop a cadre of pitchers who can consistently get the ball across the plate. This in turn offers more opportunities for young athletes to try their hand at the mound.
Montgomery County Little League is part of Little League International - the same organization that brings you the Little League World Series, from Williamsport, Pennsylvania on ESPN and ABC as well as the Softball World Series, from Portland, Oregon.
Little League is the world's largest volunteer youth sports program with over 4 million volunteers worldwide. The program celebrated its 75th year of existence in 2014 and brings a wealth of experience and resources to our local chapter. See www.littleleague.org for more information.
MCLL is not a "feeder" program for other sports programs such as local schools or private clubs. We operate independently within the broader umbrella of the Little League International program. While we may partner with other programs to offer camps, clinics or leagues, we do not subordinate our activities to other programs.
If you think a "feeder" program is right for your young athlete, consider the following:
If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then a "feeder" program might be the right answer for your family. Otherwise, think about Little League as an alternative.
We are a values driven organization. We recognize that very few of our youths will grow up to make a living from baseball. Our youths are better served if we instill virtues that transcend the playing field and are necessary for success in life. Our mission statement declares:
"The mission of Montgomery County Little League is to provide the children of the Montgomery County area a place to play baseball and softball in an atmosphere that promotes fun, learning, cooperation, good sportsmanship, self-esteem, and a love of baseball and softball.”
We believe in developing the qualities of citizenship, discipline, teamwork and physical well-being in our youths by espousing the virtues of CHARACTER, COURAGE, and LOYALTY. MCLL is designed to develop superior citizens through athletics and the life lessons presented in the game of baseball and softball.
Winning a baseball or softball game is not our product. We believe that winning is the by-product of a program that produces young athletes of CHARACTER, COURAGE, and LOYALTY. So when the score is tied in the championship game, it is the bottom of the last inning with two outs and it is your child's turn to step to the plate to determine the fate of his or her team; it does not matter if he or she hits a home run or strikes out. What is important is that your child has the CHARACTER to accept the challenge, the COURAGE to step into the batter’s box and the LOYALTY to try his or her best for the team.
We value your input and are open to ideas to improve the League.
We are always open to different ideas to improve the programs and experiences that players have during the season. If something doesn’t seem right then we want our parents or coaches bringing the issue to the Board’s attention so that it may be reviewed and addressed if needed. We want to provide the best possible experience for each of our program participants and we need your input to let us know how things are going.