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South Durham Little League

League Assignment Process

Each year one of the most time-consuming processes is determining Player/Division assignments. Many factors are considered in order to best satisfy our mission of providing a high quality, enjoyable baseball experience to every child. This is an explanation of the current ssignment process.
   

First, SDLL determines the number of divisions. While it is subject to change, the league has supported the following six divisions in recent years:

1. Tee Ball

2. Machine Pitch

3. Advanced Machine Pitch

4. Player

5. Advanced Player Pitch

6. Majors
            

Next, Little League International mandates include:
    

1. League age 12 participants must play in the Majors Division. Each Majors team must not have more than eight league age 12 players.
    

2. League age 8 (or older) participants may not play within the Tee-ball division. Little League modified the age determination rules this year. To determine the age of your player, click here.
    

Mandate #1 is SDLL’s primary factor in determining the number of Majors division teams. As a  general rule, the league will play with the fewest number of Majors teams possible.
    

After determining the size of the Majors division, a number of SDLL policies are considered, including:
    

● Players do not skip divisions. Each division introduces complexities and game-skills in a gradual manner for proper development. This policy is applied based on participation in the Spring. A first time player-pitch participant in the fall will not be eligible for Advanced player pitch in the Spring.
   

● Once players progress to Machine Pitch (Spring or Fall) they will not be eligible for Tee Ball. Once players progress to player-pitch (Spring or Fall), they will not be eligible for Machine Pitch.
  

● Players do not typically remain within the same division for more than two Springs. SDLL will attempt to accommodate a parental request to repeat a division, assuming it does not violate any policies/ limits.
   

● Each division has the following floor regarding age limits:

○ Players league age 12 must be in Majors

○ Players league age 11 must be in AAA or higher

○ Players league age 10 must be in AA or higher

○ Players league age 9 must be in A or higher

○ Players league age 8 must be in Rookie or higher

○ Players league age 7 may be in Tee Ball, Rookie or A

○ Players league age 6 or younger must be Tee Ball or Rookie
   

Most players are assigned to a division based on these factors. For the remaining players, the following inputs are considered:
    

● Player Evaluation Scores - Little League requires an annual evaluation. While SDLL recognizes it is an imperfect process, evaluations will continue to be relevant to the assignment process.
   

● Coach’s Postseason Evaluation - SDLL asks coaches to provide postseason feedback for each player including: baseball skills, sportsmanship, specific strengths and weaknesses, and a recommended division for the next season.
    

● Number of Teams per Division - There are typically twelve players on each player-pitch team and thirteen players for lower levels. As a result, players are assigned to divisions in multiples of twelve or thirteen.
   

This process generates a list of eligible players for each division’s draft. Teams are then selected based on the draft process.
   

The following factors are not taken into consideration:
   

● Coach Assignment - Coaching assignments are always determined based on the player’s assignment.
   

● Parental Request to “Play-up” - While SDLL recognizes parents want to be an advocate for their child, we firmly believe in the established process to set divisions.
   

● Sibling/ Carpool/ Practice Location/ Weeknight/ Coach Preferences - These requests hinder the integrity of the draft process and therefore are not considered.
Exception: Siblings assigned to the same division will be placed on the same team unless a parent submits a request to the player agent requesting separate teams.
    

Little League serves a number of purposes for its players; for some, it is a social activity, for others it’s the beginning of a lifelong commitment. Meshing these goals is a responsibility SDLL takes very seriously.

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