The District Administrator (D.A.) serves as director of the district tournament within the Little League International Tournament. To efficiently and effectively organize, manage, and operate the district tournament, it is imperative that the D.A. host a mandatory meeting for tournament managers and coaches where pertinent information is shared, expectations are explained, and questions can be answered.
The Coaches Meeting should highlight the following topics:
Tournament Eligibility MaterialsEach team is responsible for carrying a packet of information that confirms the eligibility of each player on the roster. This packet includes a completed and verified tournament affidavit, signed by the District Administrator; and other required player documentation (e.g. – tournament verification forms and eligibility information for each player, boundary map, medical releases, and waivers) to be carried with the team to each game.
New and Tournament-specific Playing RulesAll new tournament-specific rules are to be reviewed by the district Umpire-In-Chief. The U-I-C is to also remind the managers and coaches about mandatory play, pitch count, and the number of coaches permitted in the dugout.
Pitch Count (for baseball) and Official Scorer ResponsibilitiesOnce at the game site, the Game Director (Assistant District Administrator) will flip a coin to determine home team. The designated home team is responsible for having a volunteer keeping the official scorebook, while the visiting team will provide a volunteer to tally the official pitch count for baseball tournaments for both teams.
Mandatory Play Requirements Based on Roster SizeMandatory play is a tournament requirement. The number of players listed on a team’s lineup card that is handed by the manager to the home plate umpire, must be the same as the players in uniform. That number of players determines the mandatory play guidelines that will apply to that team, for that game. Any team lineup with 12 or fewer players must have each player participate for six consecutive defensive outs and receive one at-bat to satisfy mandatory play. A roster with 13 or more players is required to provide each player with one at-bat per game. Any manager who fails to meet mandatory play in a regulation game, is subject to a two-game suspension and any further action that the Little League International Tournament Committee feels is appropriate based on the circumstances of the violation. For tournament, there is no mandatory play in Senior League Baseball or Senior League Softball.
Equipment and Player SafetyPrior to each tournament game, the playing equipment (bats, batting helmets, and catcher’s equipment) for each team will be checked by the Game Director (Assistant District Administrator), and it is recommended that the home plate umpire also conduct an inspection. At the plate meeting with the umpire and A.D.A., each manager will be asked if each player is properly equipped. This question requires a verbal answer and covers each player’s personal safety equipment and playing equipment.
Pregame Procedures at Game SiteEach team is to report to the game site at least one hour prior to the first pitch. In that hour preceding the start of the game, the first 15 minutes are reserved for both teams to warm up. During the second 15 minutes, the home team will have the field for infield-outfield practice; and the third 15 minutes are for the visiting team to conduct infield-outfield practice. If there are batting cages at the game site, teams are allowed to use them during the time that the other team is on the field for infield-outfield practice. The final 15 minutes prior to the first pitch is when the final field preparations are made, and the Game Director gathers the team managers and umpires for the plate meeting.
In-game ResponsibilitiesWith the game under way, managers and coaches are responsible for their team, both on the field and in the dugout.
During “dead ball” situations, any player substitution(s) is to be communicated by the manager to the home plate umpire at the time when the changes will be in effect. For example, a defensive substitution is to be announced at the time when the team is taking its defensive positions, and before the ball is put in play by the home plate umpire.
A manager must ask and be granted “time” by the home plate umpire before he/she is permitted to walk on to the playing field.
It is the manager’s responsibility to assure that all players bat in the order outlined on the lineup card, remain in the dugout when the ball is in play, and are respectful and display proper sportsmanship toward the other team, game volunteers, and fans.