Why the change?
In 2011, Little League conducted very detailed participation research. As a result of that research, it learned that parents, players, and volunteers wanted to see Little League become, as a whole, a younger program, and give children an easier way to play Little League with their classmates. Since the research concluded, Little League revamped its Tee Ball program, established a Coach Pitch Program, and changed its residency requirements to allow children to play in the league where their school is located. Adjusting the Age Determination Date will help us achieve the goal of making Little League younger. And, making the date August 31, the same that many schools in many states use for student registration, allows Little Leaguers to play with their classmates.
This change will make the Little League Baseball Division, also known as the Major Division, truly a 12 and under program – ensuring that no child playing in the Little League/Major Division will turn 13 years old at any point during their final season in that division. The same will be true with the upper age limit at all teenage divisions of Little League Baseball.
What’s the difference?
In 2014, Little League District Administrators initially voted to move the age determination date from April 30 to December 31, effective with the 2018 season. That was amended by District Administrators and the Little League International Board of Directors in August 2015, moving the date from December 31 to August 31.
For players born on or before August 31, 2005: The new age determination date of August 31 will be effective starting with the 2018 Little League Baseball Season. For the 2016 and 2017 seasons, these players will use the April 30 age determination date.
For players born on or after September 1, 2005: The new age determination date will be effective immediately, starting with the 2016 season. This was the implementation used for the 2015 season, with players turning 4 to 9 years old during the 2015 calendar year to use the December 31 age determination date. That implementation remains in place, except instead of using December 31, you will use August 31.
What’s the impact of this new change to my child?
If your child was born between January 1 and April 30, there has been no impact in any of the Age Determination Date changes.
If your child was born between May 1 and August 31, there is no change from the previous age change and implementation.
If your child was born between September 1 and December 31, he or she essentially reverts back to where they were from a League Age standpoint prior to the 2015 season, and, like those born between January 1 and April 30, there is no impact on them.
“After announcing the new age determination date for our baseball divisions in 2014, we have received important feedback from many volunteers and parents,” said Stephen D. Keener, Little League President and CEO. “We continue to work with all our volunteers and our International Board of Directors toward the goal of making the Little League Baseball Division truly a 12 and under program, while also mitigating the impact to those currently participating in the Little League program.”