2018 International Congress Voting Results Items 7-10

Today’s topic: Items 7, 8, 9, 10 of the Congressional Agenda.

Agenda

Item 7

Synopsis: This allows a local league to implement a 15-run rule after three (four innings for Intermediate (50-70) Division/Junior/Senior League). This would be mandatory during the International Tournament

ENACTED FOR 2018 TOURNAMENT SEASON

This item was voted Yes: 80% No: 20% and has been implemented for the 2018 tournament season. It is optional for regular season.

Little League did not have a 15-run rule in the past, and we’ve all sat there watching a lesser team struggle to make that last 3rd out. It is heart breaking, and it is frustrating. I’ve personally watched that frustration go after the opposing manager, who stopped stealing bases in the 2nd, but won’t take the bat out of his players hands; a mindset which I can relate and will agree. However, our own rules doom the losing team to emotional strain because for that game to count, we must play 4 innings.

Normally during tournament play the 15-run rule is not a factor. There will be some divisions in some leagues where the 15-run rule might be more cumbersome than playing all 4 innings (no example is coming to mind this second). But, this rule gives leagues more flexibility in games, more flexibility in scheduling, and they won’t have to place that emotional strain on the players, coaches, parents, or umpires any more.

NOTE: It is very important that the league decides before the regular season schedule is set whether they will follow the 15-run rule or not. You may be able to slip another minors game in per night, knowing that if it goes long, the 15-run rule is there to help.

Item 8

Synopsis: This reduces the number of visits to a pitcher to twice in one inning or three times in a game for the Major Division and above for Baseball and Softball.

ENACTED FOR THE 2018 SEASON

Voted in Yes: 86% No: 14%, and has been implemented for the 2018 season.

Our district has not had this problem nearly as much as many other leagues, so we aren’t very passionate about it. This rule change effectively reduces the allowed visits to a pitcher by 1. 2 per inning, 3 per game. Where this rule change becomes sticky is when coaches are charged a visit to the mound, but they didn’t visit the mound (umpires, don’t deny this happens). For the most part, every president in our district agreed that if you must visit the mound twice in an inning, you need to pull the pitcher, especially in the older divisions. It’s possible to go 3 times in a game and not need to remove a pitcher, however this rule forces you to. But even still, almost always the pitcher gets replaced within these visits.

In the spirit of the rule, the potential for this rule to speed the game up should not be overlooked. Managers and coaches will now need to think twice before calling time to go give their pitcher a breather.

FYI, the catcher can still visit the pitcher (without the coach) and those are not included in these counts. But the umpires are not under any obligation to grant the catcher or pitcher time under those circumstances.

Item 9

Synopsis: This allows players league age 11 and 12, who participated in 60% of their respective Intermediate (50-70) Division Regular Season games to be eligible for selection to the Little League Baseball (Major) Division tournament team. Special Games at the Intermediate (50-70) Baseball Division will NOT count towards Tournament eligibility.

ENACTED FOR THE 2018 SEASON

Voting results Yes: 75% No: 23% and will be in place for the 2018 tournament season.

This eligibility addition allows a player to play in the 50/70 program during the regular season and be eligible for selection to the Majors division for tournament. This rule is similar to the Junior/Senior eligibility, where 13/14-year old’s can participate in the seniors division and be eligible for the lower junior tournament.

This addition is gives players more flexibility in choice of division. Players who feel their skills are ready for the bigger fields can choose to play 50/70 without forfeiting their eligibility for the majors division. We, obviously, support this.

There is a side-effect: players who play 50/70 and only 50/70 during the regular season will be disadvantaged come tournament time. They will be required to play by the majors division rules.

Item 10

Synopsis: This allows players league age 12, who participated in 60% of their respective Junior Division Regular Season games to be eligible for selection to the Little League (Major) Division tournament team. Special Games at the Junior Softball Division will NOT count towards Tournament eligibility.

ENACTED FOR THE 2018 SEASON

Voting results Yes: 76% No: 21% and will be in place for the 2018 tournament season.

Same as item 9 but for softball. It will be easier for junior softball players to transition to majors softball since the rules are very similar. This also allows flexibility for leagues to build some of the older divisions in softball, something that our district needs to work on.

 

Stay tuned for the last of the items, Items 11-13!