WMLL offers five Little League age (LL age) based leagues for both baseball and softball in accordance with Little League International regulations.
Fall Ball is WMLL’s version of Little League’s Training & Development Program. Fall Ball focuses on the development of players (over competition) & emphasizes skill development during play (rather than at practices). Since player development is the priority, coaches are encouraged to give all players an opportunity to play a variety of positions & standings will not be kept.
LITTLE LEAGUE AGE
“Little League Age” is used as the basis for WMLL league assignments. Since Fall Ball has a developmental focus, players are placed into Fall Ball leagues based upon what their Little League age will be for the NEXT spring/summer season. For baseball a player’s Little League Age (LL Age) for the 2022 spring/summer season & thus the 2021 fall season is their age as of August 31, 2022 and for softball it is the player’s age as of December 31, 2021. Click HERE for a summary table of birth dates & LL ages.
Rookie League (LL Ages 7-8): An introductory league focused on having fun, learning key skills/rules & trying out different positions. Games are on a Little League sized field using a pitching machine.
Minor League (LL Ages 9-10): A developmental league focused on improving overall skills and game knowledge, while having fun. Games are on a Little League sized field with pitching by players.
Major League (LL Ages 11-12): This is WMLL’s most advanced league that still plays on a Little League sized field. It is focused on expanding skills at positions of interest during more competitive play.
Junior League (LL Ages 13-14): This is a transformative league focused on further developing skills at positions of interest and adapting to a new environment. For baseball, this involves playing on a full-sized field. For softball, it involves pitching from 43’ and playing against non-WMLL opponents in a competitive regional league.
– Note: LL age 14 baseball players that are in high school will be assigned to the Senior League.
Senior League (LL Ages 15-16): This is WMLL’s highest level of play. It is focused on using and refining specialized skills during competitive play.
– Note: Softball players still in high school, regardless of their age, are eligible for Senior softball.
Note on Softball Field Dimensions: The only softball field dimension that changes between age divisions is the pitching distance which is 35’ in the Rookie and Minor Leagues, 40’ in the Major League, and 43’ in the Junior and Senior Leagues.
PLAYER ASSIGNMENT TO LEAGUES
WMLL assigns players into leagues based upon their LL age. WMLL strongly believes that in almost all cases it is best for players to play in the league designated for their LL age in order to:
– Allow skilled players to play key positions & grow as leaders
– Preserve a logical, fair & consistent age-based league structure
– Maintain balanced leagues & teams at all levels of play
– Provide an opportunity for players of all abilities to develop their skills
– Keep age cohorts together that will play on the same WMLL tournament teams
SPECIAL PLACEMENT REQUESTS
WMLL is only able to accommodate requests to place players on the same team as follows:
Siblings: Siblings in the same league will be placed on the same team unless a parent/guardian requests otherwise during the regular registration period.
Buddy Pairs: In the fall season, players in all leagues who register during the regular registration period are able to take advantage of WMLL’s buddy system. The buddy system allows a pair of friends to request that they be placed on the same team. For this to happen, both halves of the buddy pair must identify one another as their ONE buddy during registration. Please coordinate in advance as needed. While WMLL will attempt to pair buddies that register BEFORE the late period, it is not guaranteed.
PLAYING UP/DOWN FROM A LL-AGE BASED LEAGUE ASSIGNMENT
WMLL’s Play Up/Down Policy: In very limited instances, the WMLL Board of Directors may allow a player to play in a league above (‘play up’) or below (‘play down’) the level designated for the player’s Little League age. The WMLL Board of Directors grants very few of these exceptions and does so only on an individual, year-to-year basis.
- Baseball “play up” requests will be considered only for a player to participate in the league matching his/her school grade level, be on the same team with a sibling within one year in age, or address hardship situations.
- Baseball “play down” requests will be considered only in cases of physical or developmental disability or delay.
- A players skill level alone is not a valid reason to merit a ‘play up’ or ‘play down’ exception.
If the Board approves a play-up / play-down request for a player in a given year, it does not mean that player will be allowed to play-up / play-down in future years.
Parent / Guardian Petitions: If the parent/guardian of a player who satisfies one of the limited valid play up/down requirements would like to request that WMLL allow their player to play up/down, the parent/guardian must make a formal petition to WMLL’s VP-Baseball for review by the WMLL Board of Directors. The Board will review & decide on the play-up / play-down petition in as timely a fashion as possible. In some instances, a decision may be delayed by the Board’s need to await registration information for the relevant leagues.
RECURRING PLAY UP OPPORTUNITY
Game Day “Call Ups”
Interested players in all WMLL leagues have the opportunity to be “called up” to play in some games in the league above the level designated for their Little League age. “Call ups” occur when the coach of a team short on players for a game due to schedule conflicts, injuries, etc. seeks replacement players from the league below. Call ups provide players with the opportunity to experience play & test their skills at the next level.
QUESTIONS / ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
If you have questions about anything related to WMLL’s age-based leagues or player league assignments, please contact the appropriate league coordinator.
Rookie baseball: Robb Vogel (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Sean Michael Dargan (email@example.com)
Minor baseball: Mark Schauder (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Todd Conkey (email@example.com)
Major baseball: Mark Newburg (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Harry Miller (email@example.com)
Junior baseball: Jerry Schmitt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Senior baseball: Joan Farrell (email@example.com)
Rookie softball: Nate Judnic (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Minor softball: Katie Johnson (email@example.com)
Major softball: Barry Vredenbregt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Junior & Senior softball: Scott Fossum (email@example.com)