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Balancing the League

Everyone involved in Little League wants what is in each child’s best interest:

  • Each child wants to have fun playing baseball.
  • Parents want their children to have a positive experience.
  • FCKLL wants the teams to be selected so that each child has a fair opportunity to participate and contribute. The skills assessment/tryout and draft is the Little League-approved method for achieving these goals.

Although FCKLL is sensitive to the wishes of parents regarding the level into which their child is drafted, it is Little League’s policy that a child will play at the level at which he/she is drafted. This rule means that by registering to play baseball, a child (and his/her parents) agree to play at whatever level the Managers determine is best, based on the child’s ability. If you wish an exemption, you may discuss your situation with the player agent; however, all exemptions, detailing the reasons for the exemption, must be submitted in writing to the player agent. Exemptions may be granted to have siblings playing together on a team. FCKLL’s job to ensure that each player is playing at an appropriate level. The draft is the method which most successfully:

  • Distributes talent into the appropriate level of play (i.e., Majors, AAA, AA), keeping the League strong and growing.
  • Distributes talent evenly throughout each level, making the games more competitive and fun.
  • Promotes the safety of the players (if a player is playing above his/her skill level, he/she could be hurt. If a player is playing below his/her skill level, he/she could hurt others).

The list of Major-eligible players (i.e. they earned the minimum required rating which indicates that they have the skills necessary to play in the Majors) is presented to the Board of Directors at a special meeting. Once the Board approves that list, only the players on it are eligible to be drafted into the Majors. Typically, there are more players on the Majors-eligible players list than there are available positions on Majors teams. Not every child on the list will be drafted to the Majors. The remaining players are included in the AAA draft and are available to be called up to the Majors to fill vacancies that may occur during the season. Once the Majors teams have completed their draft, a list of AAA-eligible players is prepared for that level’s draft. A similar process is used to prepare for the AA draft. Not every child who attends tryouts will be drafted onto a Majors, AAA, or AA team. Those not selected in the AA draft will be placed on A teams. For Single A, T-Ball Sluggers, and T-ball Rookies teams, a player’s parents may request the team for which he/she plays. If no request is made, players are assigned by home/school area. Every attempt is made for each team to have a similar number of each age group to balance the competitiveness of teams. Teams are formed by the Player Agent.

Once teams have been assigned in late February/early March, the Manager will contact each player’s family with the practice schedule.