Tournament Team Formation
Baseball & Softball
Updated March 2023
Procedure to guide the MCLL Little League tournament process for: creation of Tournament committee; determination of which tournament divisions to field a team; selection of head coaches; selection of players. Applies to:
Baseball and Softball: 8/9/10 (10u), 9/10/11 (11u) and 10/11/12 (12u), Intermediates, Juniors and Seniors Little League tournament teams.
- Tournament committee formation
A tournament committee shall be formed to oversee the tournament team formation process.
This committee shall be comprised of at least the following positions (President, Vice-President, Player Agent(s), and Majors Commissioner(s).)
President will notify the Board of Directors of the committee members for ratification at the April Board meeting.
- Determination of which tournament teams to field
Committee will review the player demographics, attend a number of games during April and early May, inquire of the other age commissioners as to what they think of the skill level in their division’s to then meet and assess all of that data prior to the May MCLL board meeting.
No later than April 30 of each year the Committee will send out an email to all eligible registered players providing them the opportunity to “opt-in” for consideration for tournament team consideration. Players will be provided no less than two weeks to “opt-in.”
Based on the population of registered players and availability and the Committees observations, the Tournament Committee shall recommend to the board the Little League divisions in which to field a team at the May board meeting.
- Selection of tournament team managers and assistant coaches
8- to 10- Division: The manager and coach(es) shall be regular season team managers and/or coaches from the Minor League Division or Little League Baseball (Major) Division.
9- to 11-Year Old Division: The manager and coach(es) shall be regular season team managers and/or coaches from the Minor League Division or Little League Baseball (Major) Division.
Little League: The manager and coach(es) shall be regular season team managers and/ or coaches from the Little League Baseball (Major) Division or Intermediate (50-70) Division.
Intermediate (50-70) Division: The manager and coach(es) shall be regular season team managers and/or coaches from the Little League Baseball (Major) Division or Intermediate (50-70) Division.
Junior League: The manager and coach(es) shall be regular season team managers and/ or coaches from the Junior Division or Senior Division.
Senior League: The manager and coach(es) shall be regular season team managers and/ or coaches from the Junior Division or Senior Division.
Using the following process the committee will recommend tournament team coaches to the board for affirmation.
No later than April 30 the Majors Commissioner(s) and as deemed necessary by the Tournament Committee, Minors AAA Commissioner(s), will ask for interested coaches to submit their name for consideration.
These candidates will be reviewed and, if necessary, interviews held.
The committee must believe that the individual would represent the league well and uphold the mission and ideals of LIttle League.
The committee will seek to place at least one Assistant Coach from a team other than the Manager’s (same division if required to do so) so that the Manager has more information of the strengths and experiences of players that are not from their team.
The Committee should first select a Manager and then, in consultation with the Manager select Assistant Coaches.
The Committee will use the information gathered to present to the Board at the May Board Meeting for approval, the slate of
Tournament team managers and assistant coaches for approval.
- Selection of tournament team players
Players are selected by a combination of a ballot system and tryouts, which is the recommended Little League method.
Tournament team candidates should be selected upon their playing ability and eligibility. The roster should include sufficient pitching strength to meet tournament schedules.
The playing rules for the LL Tournament are slightly different and when you are building each team you need to take into consideration many factors including your pitching and catching depth, speed, hitting capabilities (batting only 9 with substitutions, etc...) That said, the Manager needs to be able to balance out the roster to alleviate as many possible weaknesses as possible. This is the only time of the year that winning takes precedent, albeit in a sportsmanlike manner.
Rules also require that players can only be assigned to one tournament team, based on their league age, unless the team they are assigned is eliminated from play and they are eligible to play for another. If a player is selected to more than one team the player will determine which team the player plays on.
Players need to be available and eligible to play in the LL Tournament. Players must have played in 60% of their teams regular season games (or any other number designated by LLI) to be eligible to play in tournament games.
If there are sufficient quality players in Majors to field a team, then players in Majors get preference to players in the Minors since they have been exposed to a higher level of competition and thus should be in a better position to develop during the season. If there are not sufficient players at the Major's level to field a quality team then Minor's players will be considered.
The overall goal is for the process to be fair and as impartial as possible so that every player has an opportunity to be selected for the tournament team. The next goal is to build the best teams possible so that the league hopefully performs well in the tournaments.
The recommended process for building teams is the 10/11/12 team is constructed first, followed by the 8/9/10 team followed next by the the 9/10/11. This order is preferable since top 11's may be on the 10/11/12 team and the top 10's should stay at the lower age group when possible.
The tournament committee will adopt a process to build Intermediates, Juniors and Seniors teams (as applicable).
- Season Statistics
We recommend that all teams in Minors AAA and up use Game Changer (or another scoring app that MCLL may identify) so that statistics are available for consideration in the balloting process.
- Coaches Meeting
All Coaches at the Majors level (and if necessary minors level) and up should hold a meeting prior on a Division by Division basis prior to the coaches vote to discuss players and observations. This meeting is merely for exchanging information, it is not for the Commissioner or any other person to instruct coaches to vote for certain players.
- Coaches Vote
The League Administrator/Information Officer and/or Player Agent will assemble the player registration data to determine which players are eligible for which tournament based on those that opted-in for consideration, age and sorted by division. Once completed, the data will be sent out to the Manger and all registered assistant coaches in that division for them to select the top 9 players for each age grouping.
The coaches should receive guidance to select the players that they feel are the best players in that age group regardless of what team that they play on. This process should be repeated for each age group presented for that division.
Since the Manager for each team is typically there more than Assistant Coaches, the Mangervote counts double. Therefore, each team has up to 4 votes at each age group.
Votes will be tallied by League Administrator/Information Officer and/or Player Agent. The top 9 players with at least 50% of the vote will be reviewed by the Tournament Committee to verify that it accurately represents the top players for each age group. Upon a majority vote of the Tournament Committee, those players will be selected to the Tournament Team for their age level.
If more than 9 players receive 50% of the vote, the 9 players with the highest percentage will be selected.
In the event of a tie for the 9th player spot the Tournament Committee will conduct a majority vote to decide who gets the final spot(s).
The Tournament Committee will also request the top players for each age group selected through the voting process to attend tryouts to help the Committee confirm their selection accurately reflects their ability.
- Discretionary Players
The Manager of the Tournament team will then hold a tryout to select the remaining players for the team to balance out the capabilities of the team. A team will consist of at least 12 players. A team may have up to 15 players. The precise number of players on the team will vary from year to year depending on the skills of the individual players, needs of the team, and preference of the manager.
The Manager’s selections will then be provided to the Tournament Committee to make sure that the logic used in their selection makes sense and appears to be fair.
If the Committee feels that process has not been followed then they can reject some or all of the Manager’s choices. However, if the candidates are reasonable but there is a difference of opinion or a preference for one player over another then the Manager’s selections will stand.
If the Manager of that team is also a Tournament Committee member then that person will not vote on the fairness of his/her selections.
After the Committee has approved those selections, the Player Agent/Manager will contact the players to make sure that they are available for the LL tournament and gather all of the required paperwork. The Manager/Player Agent needs to be clear with the player's parents that the team has not been formed yet and that it is only a call to confirm a player's availability.
The Manager will not announce any Tournament selections until after the appropriate LL timeframe. If a player will not be available then the Manager needs to nominate an additional player through the Discretionary Players (4.10) process above.
- Vote Tallies
Final vote tallies will not be disclosed to anyone outside the Board of Directors or members of the Tournament Committee unless otherwise authorized by the Board of Directors.