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Jun, 2023

Senior League Division Participation

As we move into uncharted territory and are learning to navigate Little League's rule changes regarding Senior League division participation, I feel the need to clarify a few things; yes I am still learning it! It is paramount that league officials and parents understand the reasons behind rule changes. In this case, Little League evaluated the Senior division program and noticed a trend of players at these ages moving away from a regular season style of play and more towards tournament and showcase styles of play. This benefits the players as they start moving into the years when being noticed is paramount for their futures in the sport. So what has changed and what is the bottom-line? Consider the following information pulled from the Little League rule-book, website and videos from

Who can play?
Players who are league age 12-16 with amateur status, who has/is registered with a local league in which they meet the residency or school enrollment requirements by the start of Tournament Play

So what if they were not rostered to a regular season team?
That's OK, as long as they are registered with the league by the start of tournament play (this is my learning point). Little League is encouraging local leagues to seek out players who were engaged in other forms of play and get them to come play in Little League tournaments. 

But what about tournament enrollment?
Yes, the local league must have enrolled a senior division for tournament play by June 1st. 

It is understandable how this rule change can be frustrating, but I encourage league officials and parents to see and understand the bigger picture. The bottom line is we need to grow this division on both the softball and baseball sides. We do this by expanding opportunities for players to participate as much as possible and provide them with the tournament and showcase style games that they are gravitating towards. I intend to work with the Presidents this off-season to see how we may expand opportunities and still acknowledge the players who played a regular season. For those of you voicing your opinion and thoughts, keep those ideas coming. Constructive input to your local President will help drive this conversation. 


 - Dan Velte talking about the 2023 tournament rule adjustments and focusing on enhancing player experience. 
Video (skip to 6:46 - 9:04 for the discussion on Senior Division Play)

 - 2023 Little League® Rulebook Significant Updates. Page 4 of this document clearly outlines and states the new rule. 

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