Montgomery County Little League (MCLL) Operating Guidelines

Ratified December 15, 2019

Divisions

The division structure identified below shall be in place unless the number of players will not support such a break down. The Board of Directors reserves the right to change or modify the below structure to suit the needs of the league. The division structure is subject to available players. A full description of MCLL Divisions of Play can be found here.

Division Breakdown:

    1. Juniors/Seniors (league age 12-14/13-16; 60/90 ft diamond)
    2. Intermediate (league age 11-13; 50/70 ft diamond)
    3. Majors (league age 9-12; 46/60 ft diamond; assigned based on skill level)
    4. Minor League “AAA” (league age 9-11; 46/60 ft diamond; advanced kid pitch)
    5. Minor League “AA” (league age 8-10; 43/60 ft diamond; beginner kid pitch)
    6. Minor League High “A” (league age 6-8; 60 ft bases; advanced Coach Pitch)
    7. Minor League Low “A” (league age 6-8; 60 ft bases; beginner Coach Pitch (w/Tee Rescue)
    8. T-Ball (league age 4-6; 50 ft bases)
    9. Softball Juniors (league age 13-16; 43/60 ft diamond)
    10. Softball Majors (league age 11-12; 40/60 ft diamond)
    11. Softball Minors (league age 9-10; ; 35/60 ft diamond)
    12. Softball Coach Pitch (league age 6-8)

Fall Divisions:

    1. Depending on enrollment, Minors AA and AAA may be combined in the fall.
    2. Depending on enrollment Coach Pitch high/low may combined in the fall
    3. There is no Seniors league in the fall

Division Age:

    1. League Age for baseball is based on a child’s birthday as of August 31 of each calendar year. League Age for softball is based on a child’s birthday as of December 31 of each calendar year. A players League Age can be determined by visiting MCLL’s registration page for each season or Little League’s League Age Calculator.
    2. To the extent there is age overlap between Divisions the parent may choose a players age level, subject to the following guidance/exceptions for certain league ages:
      • League Age 5 - With concurrence of the parents, Division Commissioner, and Player Agent, those league age 5 who played Tee Ball in the prior season may be moved up to Minor League Division “A” (Coach Pitch, High A or Low A). The league may, at its discretion, require the player undergo a skills assessment.
      • League Age 6 - Parents of those league age 6 may choose, without prior league approval, whether to place their child in tee-ball or coach pitch (Minors “A”). The league encourages parents of players league age 6 who have played a season of tee-ball to place their child in Coach Pitch Low A. The league encourages players league age 6 who have never played organized baseball before to play tee-ball.
      • League Age 7 - With the concurrence of the parents, Division Commissioner and Player Agent, those league age 7 who played Coach Pitch (“A”) in the prior season may be moved up to Minor League Division “AA”. All league age 7 players that are permitted to sign-up for Minors “AA” or higher are required to undergo a skills assessment/evaluation. Following the evaluation the league, at its discretion, may require the player to play in the Coach Pitch level. A refund will be provided for any difference in registration cost.
      • League Age 8 - Parents may choose, without prior league approval, whether to place players league age 8 in Coach Pitch (Minors “A”) or Minors AA. The league encourages parents of players league age 8 who have played two seasons of Coach Pitch, or players who can catch a ball thrown to them 50% of the time and hit an adult pitched ball from 30 feet 75% of the time to play Minors “AA.” The league encourages players that never played organized baseball before to play Coach Pitch. All players league age 8 are required to attend a skills assessment/evaluation.
      • League Age 9 - Players with no prior player pitch experience are encouraged to play Minors AA. Players with a year of experience at Minors AA may register for Minors AAA and will be evaluated and placed in the proper Minor league division. Players league age 9 may be permitted following a skills assessment/evaluation to play in the Majors Division with the concurrence of the parents, Division Commissioner and Player Agent.
      • League Ages 10 to 11 - Will be evaluated and may be considered for Major Division teams. If not selected for a Major Division team, these players will be placed in a proper Minor League division.
      • League Ages 11 to 12 - May opt for the Little League Intermediate Division which utilizes 70 foot bases. This division (depending on participation) will run in conjunction with the player’s ordinary Majors/Juniors team and will play a majority of games on Sundays and Wednesdays. This Division will work with the other District 2 leagues so there will be some travel required.
      • League Players Age 12 - Will be assigned to the Major Division unless player registers for the Intermediate Division only. There is a maximum of 8 12-year olds per Major team.
      • League ages 12 to 14 - Will be evaluated and may play in the Juniors Division. This division uses 90 foot bases. This Division will work with the other District 2 leagues so there will be some travel required.
      • League ages 13 to 16- Will be evaluated and may play in the Seniors Division. This division uses 90 foot bases. This Division will work with the other District 2 leagues so there will be some travel required.
    3. 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 circumstances dictate that a 12 year-old player is not ready for play in the Majors, in conjunction with the parents, the MCLL Player Agent will 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.
    4. Other League Age Exceptions: Upon approval of the President, Player Agent, and Division Commissioner, and in consultation with the Safety Officer (and with proper waivers filed with D2 as necessary), MCLL may grant other age exceptions as otherwise permitted by Little League rules.

Rules

  1. A Rules Committee will be named by the Board of Directors.
  2. MCLL division play will be governed by the rules set forth by “Little League Baseball Official Regulations, Playing Rules, and Policies”, also known as “The Green Book” except as otherwise modified by the Board of Directors (i.e., Local Rules).
  3. Local Rules for each Division will be evaluated by the Rules Committee on an annual basis and adopted by the Board of Directors and posted on the MCLL website prior to the spring season (no later than February 15 of each calendar year) and any revisions prior to the start of the fall season (no later than August 15 of each calendar year).

Evaluations

Purpose of evaluations is to provide an objective assessment of players to provide proper placement of players into the correct division level and to aid in the creation of balanced teams.

  1. An Evaluation Committee will be named by the Board of Directors.
  2. Prior to each spring season the Evaluation Committee will adopt all processes by which players will be evaluated and will train all evaluators.
  3. During player evaluations, MCLL will utilize volunteers selected by the Evaluation Committee at each station to obtain a fair weighted average score for each player.
  4. All players league age 8 and above, regardless of the Division for which the player registers, and all players that registered for Minors and higher must attend player evaluations. Based on the evaluation the league may recommend the player be placed in a different Division from which they registered.
    • Upon the recommendation of the Evaluations Committee and approval of the Board of Directors, registered players in certain divisions (e.g., softball and divisions Intermediates and higher) that would otherwise be required to be evaluated under IV. may be deemed exempt from evaluations.

Majors Player Evaluations

    1. All Majors players must attend a player evaluation in order to be drafted. If an individual does not make the evaluations and has never played in the Majors division, he/she must apply for a waiver and will only be considered for the Majors Division at the discretion of the President and Player Agent.
    2. MCLL will use the same assessment scoring system for all players and provide an overall rating for each player to Majors 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.)

Division Formation Process

  1. Each Division Commissioner in consultation with the Board of Directors will determine the number of teams and the number of players per team that will be fielded in each Division before the team formation process begins. Team formation will be conducted as laid out below and consistent with the Draft/Team Formation Bylaw.

Majors Division Formation

    1. Majors teams return from the previous season as the basis for the following season.
    2. Little league dicates that there are no more than eight 12-year olds per team.
    3. The number of Majors teams will be determined by the League President and Player Agent based on the number of 12 year olds and the number of qualified candidates to choose from. As a general rule, the number of Major Division teams will be based on the number of registered 12 year-olds and divided by 8 (since that is the maximum number allowed per team.)
    4. Little League rules dictate that the number of players per Major League team must be at least 12 and no more than 15 players.
    5. If the number of teams for Majors differs from the previous season then teams will be folded or expanded as necessary.
    6. Coaches
      • The President, in conjunction with the league, will assign a Manager to each team. The Manager is generally responsible for all activities related to his/her team.
      • The President, in conjunction with the league, will assign two Assistant Coaches to each team.
    7. Children of the Manager and Assistant Coaches are automatically assigned to the team for which the Manager and Coaches are coaching.

Team Formation Process

  1. MCLL will draft teams within one week after final Player Evaluations are conducted or as otherwise set forth pursuant to the season schedule established by the League.
  2. See Team Draft/Formation document.

Regular Season

  1. The season will begin with an Opening Day celebration (typically first Saturday in April) consisting of an opening day ceremony and other events. Certain Divisions may begin play directly after the celebration that day.
  2. Game schedules will begin on or shortly after Opening Day and will end by school end (including league playoffs), unless otherwise approved by the Board of Directors..
  3. Practice fields will be provided by the league up to two weeks prior to the season, subject to permit availability.
    • Based on permit availability coaches select practice days/times.
    • Each team will be provided one practice field permit per week. Majors and AAA levels may request one additional practice field permit subject to availability and only after teams in all other Divisions have been assigned a practice field permit.
  4. No games will be played during MCPS Spring Break (Monday-Monday or as otherwise set by MCPS), Memorial Day weekend (Saturday-Monday), and Labor Day weekend (Saturday-Monday) unless otherwise approved by the Board of Directors, or agreed to by the competing teams.
  5. The first Saturday in June will be designated MCLL Day.
    • The League will hold divisional (internal) All-Star games for Majors and Minors (AAA, AA, and High A), and player competitions that day along with other family friendly events.
    • No regular season or playoff games will be played on MCLL Day except as needed to meet minimum games played requirements set forth by LLI.

Game Scheduling

Seniors Division

    1. Teams must play a minimum of 10 games in the spring for players to be tournament eligible.
    2. Game Makeups:
      • In spring all cancelled games games will be made up to the extent necessary to obtain the minimum required games to ensure players are tournament.
      • In fall while we strive to makeup all canceled games for weather and field closures. However, rescheduling games are based on the number of cancellations that occur, time left in the season, and field availability.
    3. Seniors schedule will be developed in conjunction with other District 2 and Maryland Little Leagues.

Juniors Division

    1. Teams must play a minimum of 12 games in the spring for players to be tournament eligible.
    2. Juniors schedule will be developed in conjunction with other District 2 Little Leagues.
    3. Typical schedule has 14-18 games with the intent that rainouts are not made up unless the 12 game minimum is in jeopardy.
    4. Game Makeups:
      • In spring all cancelled games games will be made up to the extent necessary to obtain the minimum required games to ensure players are tournament.
      • In fall while we strive to makeup all canceled games for weather and field closures. However, rescheduling games are based on the number of cancellations that occur, time left in the season, and field availability.
    5. There will be a District 2 Tournament of Champions at the end of the season.

Intermediate Division

    1. Teams must play a minimum of 12 games in the spring for players to be tournament eligible.
    2. Game schedules play on Wednesday and Sunday to avoid overlap with Majors. This allows players to play both.
    3. Most leagues only play Sunday as part of the Sunday Select program.
    4. Game Rescheduling:
      • In spring all cancelled games games will be made up to the extent necessary to obtain the minimum required games to ensure players are tournament.
      • In fall while we strive to reschedule all canceled games for weather and field closures. However, rescheduling games are based on the number of cancellations that occur, time left in the season, and field availability.
    5. Intermediate schedule will be developed in conjunction with other District 2 Little Leagues.

Majors Division

    1. Teams must play a minimum of 12 games in the spring for players to be tournament eligible. We will target 10 games in the fall.
    2. Two games per week, one Saturday and one weeknight (subject to daylight/availability of lighted facilities)
    3. Game Rescheduling:
      • In spring all cancelled games games will be made up to the extent necessary to obtain the minimum required games to ensure players are tournament.
      • In fall while we strive to reschedule all canceled games for weather and field closures. However, rescheduling are based on the number of cancellations that occur, time left in the season, and field availability.
    4. There will be a single or double elimination tournament (weather and schedule dependent) at the end of the Spring regular season to determine the team that will represent the league at the Maryland District 2 Tournament of Champions and the Dave Fogle Classic tournament.

Minors “AAA” Division

    1. Teams must play a minimum of 12 games in the spring for players to be tournament eligible. Will have a target of 10 games in the fall.
    2. Two games per week, one Saturday and one weeknight (subject to daylight/availability of lighted facilities)
    3. Game Rescheduling:
      • In spring all cancelled games games will be made up to the extent necessary to obtain the minimum required games to ensure players are tournament.
      • In fall while we strive to reschedule all canceled games for weather and field closures. However, rescheduling games are based on the number of cancellations that occur, time left in the season, and field availability.
    4. In the spring season there will be a single elimination tournament at the end of the regular season to determine the AAA Minors Champion..

Minors “AA” Division

    1. Will target 10-12 games in the spring season and 10 games in the fall season.
    2. Two games per week, one Saturday and one weeknight (subject to daylight/availability of lighted facilities)
    3. Game Rescheduling: We strive to reschedule all canceled games for weather and field closures. However, rescheduling games are based on the number of cancellations that occur, time left in the season, and field availability.
    4. In the spring season there will be a single elimination tournament at the end of the regular season to determine the AA Minors Champion.

Minors (Coach Pitch) “High A” Division

    1. Will target 10-12 games in spring and 8-10 games in the fall.
    2. At least one game per week (Saturday*) and occasional weeknight game (subject to daylight).
    3. We strive to reschedule all canceled games for weather and field closures. However, rescheduling games are based on the number of cancellations that occur, time left in the season, and field availability.
    4. Subject to weather and field availability there will be a single elimination tournament at the end of the Spring season to determine the Minors (Coach Pitch) High A Champion.

Minors (Coach Pitch) “Low A” Division

    1. Will target 10-12 games in the spring and 8-10 games in the fall.
    2. At least one game per week (Saturday*) and occasional weeknight game (subject to).
    3. Game Rescheduling: We strive to reschedule all canceled games for weather and field closures. However, rescheduling games are based on the number of cancellations that occur, time left in the season, and field availability.
    4. There will be no end of season tournament.

Tee-Ball Division

    1. Will target 8 games in both the spring and fall seasons.
    2. One game per week on Saturdays.
    3. Game Rescheduling: We strive to reschedule all canceled games for weather and field closures. However, rescheduling games are based on the number of cancellations, time left in the season, and field availability. In the event of frequent cancellations in order to meet the target number of games teams may have to play on weeknights There will be no end of season tournament.

MCLL will offer a Sabbath team in LC for all Divisions as able based on registration and request for such a team. This teams plays Sundays rather than Saturdays.

Little League Tournament Teams

  1. See Tournament Team Selection document