SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — Changes to the Little League residency rule are likely, said the president and CEO of the world’s largest youth sports organization.
Boundaries would not be eliminated, but neither should they be barriers, Stephen D. Keener said Monday at the end of the four-day 28th International Little League Convention, which was attended by district administrators. volunteers.
As happens when congress meets every four years, a number of rule changes are discussed.
Over the next two weeks, the rules and operations committee will put the suggested rule changes into a form for district administrators around the world to vote on, Keener explained.
Those that receive enough support will be presented for approval to the Little League board and tournament committee in August, he said.
One of the proposals discussed would allow players to enroll in any Little League program and not be required to provide proof of residency or school enrollment.
Leagues would be responsible for verifying ages. A player should get a release to change leagues.
Little League provided this explanation for the possible change:
Local league boundaries were established to create a community program while maintaining a competitive balance.
Over time, the definition of community has changed, and the Little League Charter Committee has processed more than 4,083 cross-border waiver requests over the past two years, proving that families want more flexibility to select the program they feel is best for their family.
It has also been established through an electronic mapping system that the border population differs significantly from state to state and district to district and does not play such a significant role in creating a competitive equilibrium than originally expected.
One of the talking points was what the procedure would be if a league accepts an intact travel team of all 12s.
Another of the changes discussed concerned the teenage divisions which make up 7% of the Little League schedule.
The change would allow state organizations to create a new structure with fewer regulations and less oversight to reflect the shift from community leagues to tournament play.
Other Congress highlights include:
Kryl Kozhusko was announced as the recipient of the Assistant District Administrator Award for the Europe and Africa Region. He holds this position in Ukraine.
He did not attend the congress as he remained in Ukraine after his wife Anna and their children fled to the Czech Republic because of the war with Russia.
The couple were instrumental in establishing a championship of Ukraine in the major (11-12 years old) and junior divisions.
Kozhusko was cited for his dedication, leadership and support for the Little League program and what he represents throughout Ukraine.
Basil P. Tarasko, a New York math teacher and district administrator for Ukraine, accepted the award and said the war hadn’t stopped kids from playing baseball.
Tarasko, whose family is originally from Ukraine, said efforts will be made to get the award to Kozhusko.
Pairings for first round matches Little League baseball and softball series were tossed at Howard J. Lamade Stadium’s pitching mound.
The pairings for the baseball series at South Williamsport August 17-28 are:
Wednesday August 17:
1:00 p.m. – Latin America vs Caribbean (Volunteers Stadium)
3 p.m. – South East vs New England (Lamade Stadium)
5 p.m. – Australia v. Canada (voluntary)
7 p.m. – West vs North West (Lamade)
Thursday August 18:
1 p.m. – Europe and Africa vs. Asia-Pacific (Volunteering)
3:00 p.m. – Great Lakes vs. Midwest (Lamade)
5:00 p.m. – Puerto Rico vs Mexico (voluntary)
7:00 p.m. – Mid Atlantic vs. Southwest (Lamade)
Friday August 19:
1pm – Panama vs Winner G1 (Volunteer)
3 p.m. – Mountain vs Winner G2 (Lamade)
5pm – Japan vs Winner G3 (Volunteer)
7 p.m. – Metro vs Winner G4 (Lamade)
The World Series will have 20 teams for the first time, with two additional teams each in the American and International divisions.
This was accomplished by realigning regions of the United States and granting three foreign countries automatic berths, two per year on a rotational basis.
The new metropolitan area includes New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Pennsylvania remains in the mid-Atlantic. In the new mountain region are Montana, Nevada, Utah and Nevada.
Cuba, Panama and Puerto Rico secured spots in the series, with the latter two sending a team this year. Aguadulce will represent Panama.
According to the Australian Little League webpage, Brisbane North won that country’s championship on Monday. This has yet to be confirmed by international headquarters, spokesman Kevin Fountain said.
Gerry Davis, retired Major League referee was a recipient of the Little League President’s Award.
He has been active in Little League since officiating a 2017 Little League World Series game while at Williamsport working the MLB Little League Classic.
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