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Saratoga Little League, California

Divisions

Saratoga Little League is divided into five separate Divisions. A Divisional Competitive charter defines each Division to ensure players are appropriately placed depending upon their age and skill level. This is designed to increase playtime in our Minor's division, increase player rotation defensively and offensively throughout the league, and increase the development of pitching and establish competitive levels of play appropriate for the Divisional age groups.

The Board believes that these measures will improve the opportunity for skills development of the majority of our participating players by providing more of why we are here: Game Play Time.

Except for Mini/T-Ball, all other divisions have a game on Saturday, maybe a game during the week and one practice during the week. Weekday games and practices are in the evenings and Saturday games are typically in the morning and afternoon. Mini/T-ball have a game on Saturday that typically lasts an hour and one practice during the week. Other games typically last 2 to 2:30 hrs unless some games need to go into extra innings.

Specifically, we have implemented the following rules that far exceed the National Little League Policy of 6 defensive outs and 1 at-bat:

  • Minimum play in the Minors divisions is increased from 3 defensive innings of a 6 inning game to 4 innings of a 6 inning game. Recognizing that there are games shortened due to rain or darkness, minimum required play is 2 innings of 4, 3 innings of 5, and 4 innings of a complete 6 inning game. A player not meeting his minimum play requirement will start the next game
  • Require defensive player rotation in Farm and AA to ensure every player gains experience in both the infield and the outfield. Defensive player rotation is encouraged in AAA and Majors.
  • Retention of continuous batting order. In 2006 we adopted regulations that further improve batting rotation by limiting the number of times that a batter bats last in the order and for the Minor's division, providing player the opportunity to bat in the lead-off position.

Pitching rotation. Pitching is the key to successful post-season play and is a prime position that many players seek to try. Beginning this season we have established limits to the number of innings that a player can pitch in a given game.

This accomplishes three objectives:

  • Provides more opportunity for players to try and develop pitching skills,
  • Develops more pitchers throughout the course of the season, and
  • Protects the arms of young pitchers.

Elimination of Division standings in Farm and AA during the regular season. Post season tournaments remain competitive in all divisions, but will be established by random seeding rather than by Season standings, affording managers more latitude to develop players without the pressure to win at all costs in competitive environments.

We are hopeful that the institution of these measures will provide for a more enjoyable format for our players and their parents. We also expect that these measures will increase overall player development and skill, improving the level of competitiveness in post-season play.

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