Description of Playing Levels

Description of Playing Levels
Skill Evaluations
Player Commitment
Parent Commitment
Parents' Obligations
Communicating With Your Child's Coach
Coach Evaluation Checklist
Dealing With Unsatisfactory Coaching
Helping Your Child's Coach
Preseason Practice and Season Play
Field Decorum – Official Regulations XIV
Uniforms and Equipment
Safety
Injury and Insurance Coverage
Complaint Procedure

Instructional Levels (5 – 10 years old)

The Tee-Ball League is for beginning players 5 and 6 years old and is played upon a scaled-down diamond with 50-foot base paths. The instructional emphasis of this league addresses basic development skills: throwing, catching, running. A hitting "tee" is employed rather than pitching to put the ball in play. Only league-issued "safety" baseballs may be used for play at this level. Consistent with the introductory nature of the Tee-Ball League, win/loss standings are not kept and league trophies are not issued.

The Coach Pitch League is for players 7 years old and is played upon a 50-foot diamond. 6 year olds with a previous season of Tee Ball and 8 year olds may request to play in the league. Game play involves a coach pitching to his or her own players from a distance of about 15 feet. The level of play is intended to be more competitive than Tee-Ball. The parents of a 7 year-old player may request that the player play at the Tee-ball level if the player has no previous experience and/or they feel the player is not ready for Coach Pitch.

The AA League (formerly Pitching Machine) is for 8 year olds with a previous season of Coach Pitch progressing to additional basic instructional training and is played upon a 60-foot diamond. The AA League employs a mechanical pitching machine operated by an adult to deliver pitches to batters during game play.

The AAA (Kid Pitch) League is for 9 & 10 year olds progressing to additional basic instructional training and is played upon a 60-foot diamond. 9 year olds may request playing in AA. Players are placed in this league after attending a skills evaluation if they are not drafted to PCL or Majors. The AAA League introduces kids pitching to opponents and falling back to coaches pitching if necessary to maintain the pace of the game.

For each of these introductory leagues, special rules outlined in the Managers’ Handbook/Local Rulebook are used to maximize instruction and player participation.

Advanced Skill Levels (9 – 12 years old)
(Participation in a skills evaluation IS MANDATORY FOR ALL PLAYERS to be eligible for the PCL and Majors Divisions)

PCL (Pacific Coast League)
This is a more competitive division with an instructional goal of preparing the players for the Majors division. The majority of players in this division are 10 year olds and 11/12 year olds not drafted onto a Majors division team. There are also a few 9 year olds and, occasionally, an 8 year old with very advanced skills that play PCL at the discretion of the PCL Player Agents. PCL instruction focuses on more advanced fundamentals of pitching, hitting, throwing, fielding and base running. 12 years olds are not allowed to pitch in this division by National Little League rules (for safety reasons). Base stealing is allowed at the discretion of the PCL Player Agents. All players bat and must play a minimum of 3 innings in the field per game (assuming a 6 inning game). Players go through a pre-season tryout and are drafted and auto-selected onto teams by managers. Players aged 9-12 (that attended tryouts) but are not drafted onto a Majors team, then become eligible to be drafted to a PCL team. Players may be "called up" to the Majors prior to or during the season to fill vacancies. Scores and standings are kept. At the end of the regular season, all PCL teams participate in the Palo Alto city tournament that extends beyond the regular season. Teams have 1-2 practices per week, 1 to 2 hours per practice. There are two games per week. After the Palo Alto PCL city tournament has concluded, a subset of players are invited to represent the Palo Alto All-Star team in an All-Star tournament within District 52.

Major League
National & American
Majors is the most competitive divisions of Little League baseball. The majority of players in this division are 11 and 12 years old. 13 year olds are not eligible to play Majors regardless of experience level. Players aged 9-12 (that attended tryouts) are eligible to be drafted into Majors, however, only 10 year olds displaying advanced skills are likely to be selected. Occasionally, there is a 9 year old with very advanced skills that may play Majors, however, this requires both Parental and League approval (for safety reasons). Beginning in 2014, PALL instituted a re-draft format for its Major division, which requires that a new draft be conducted each year following January tryouts. Players remain on their respective Majors team for only that spring season with a high likelihood they will be drafted by a different Majors team the following spring.

Managers in the Majors Division draft for skill, attitude and team need and are not required to draft any specific age group. Players are required to play for the team they are drafted to (no exceptions will be accommodated). 11 and 12 year olds not drafted onto a Majors Division team will be drafted onto a PCL team. Additional, players initially drafted to a PCL team may be "called up" prior to or during the season to fill vacancies. At the end of the regular season, Majors teams participate in a Palo Alto Majors city tournament that extends beyond the regular season. Teams practice 2-3 times per week, 1 to 2 hours per practice during preseason. During the regular season teams will practice 1-2 times per week and play 2 games per week.

After the Palo Alto Majors city tournament has concluded, a subset of players are invited to represent the Palo Alto All-Star team in an All-Star tournament within District 52 and beyond depending upon their age level. Additionally, there will be a Post Season Superbowl Tournament and Tournament of Champions.

National/American Interleague play. While the PALL Majors division is split into two leagues (National/American), each team will play every other team, irrespective of which league they are in. Additionally, the City Playoff Tournament will include teams from both National/American leagues. The key distinction between the National/American league teams is for All-Star purposes, with each league required to field its All-Star team with players selected from their respective league only.

Programs for Older Players (12 & 13 years old)

50 / 70 League is a new league introduced by National Little League in 2013.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. 50 feet home to pitching mound, 70 feet basepaths
  2. Outfield fences 225 feet min. (home runs are still possible)
  3. 2 5/8 inch bats (no composite except for BBCOR — same as Babe Ruth)
  4. Metal cleats
  5. Balks, leading-off — real baseball
  6. Age appropriate pitching count limits (LL is the only organization that protects young arms; catchers and pitchers)
  7. Faster pitching, faster game vs. 6090 13 yr. old leagues

For further information:
Contact:
agent_5070@pabaseball.org
Also see: http://www.littleleague.org/Intermediate5070.htm

Special Program

Little League's fastest growing division, the Challenger League provides boys and girls with disabilities the opportunity to experience the emotional development and the fun of playing Little League Baseball. This groundbreaking program extends to every child an opportunity to participate in a structured athletic program regardless of their ability. Inaugurated in 1988 for the mentally and physically disabled and designed to give all children between 5 -18 years old a chance to play, regardless of limitations, the Challenger League also helps to establish strong bonds of friendship and understanding between Little Leaguers from other programs and Challenger children in an atmosphere of sharing and caring. In Challenger games, "buddies" help their challenged partners by acting as guides for blind children or pushing wheelchair-bound children around the base paths. This interaction has proven to be a positive experience for all the children involved as Challenger players enjoy the thrill of participation and their "buddies" experience first-hand, the challenges these children face in their daily lives.

The Challenger League is Little League's way of providing new opportunities for children with disabilities so that everyone can get into the game. The PALL Challenger League team will play a limited schedule of games on weekends only during the regular Little League season involving similar teams from other leagues within District 52.