How the Little League All-star Process Works
Every Little League is eligible to send three all-star teams into postseason play. There’s officially a 10-year-old all-star team (comprised of 10 & 9-year-old players), an unofficial 11-year-old all-star team, comprised of 11 year olds), and an official 12-year-old all-star team (comprised of 12 & 11-year-old players). Only the 12-year-old all-star teams have the chance to go all the way to Williamsport. The 11 and 10-year-old teams only compete through Sectional or Division Championships. Each team must carry a minimum of 12 players but 13 players are preferred and on occasion a manager might carry 14 players, but rarely. Little League wants as many kids as possible to experience all-stars, so if a manager of an all-star team doesn’t carry 13 players, then they must drop a coach and only allow one coach to be part of the experience. If a team carries 13 players, then the manager is allowed two coaches.
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As a result, each league sends between 36 and 42 players into all-star competition. Is your child one of the 12-14 players in his or her age group that’s all-star material? If so, be prepared. It’s an awesome experience and one that you and your child will remember forever. Oh yeah…one more thing. Be prepared to turn over your original birth certificate along with three approved documents showing proof of residence within the Little League boundary in which your child has been playing.
These documents must be approved by the District Administrator prior to the start of all-star competition and kept by the manager in a binder throughout the all-star season. The manager must have this information with him at all games. If you can’t produce these documents then the dreams of your Little Leaguer to play in all-stars will go up in smoke. In other words, don’t play in a league in which you live outside the boundary and don’t register for a division for which you cannot produce the proper documents and birth certificate…it will catch up with you at all-star time.
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Whether you know it or not, the “2008 Road to All-Stars” has either started or is about to start for your league, so find out how your league handles all-stars now! Teams will be selected and announced on June 15, 2008 (leagues are not allowed to post, announce or practice with all-star players before that date), which officially marks the beginning of the “Road to Williamsport.” World-wide all-star games start on June 26 and District, Sectional, Division and Regional tournaments must be completed by August 10th, so that all Regional Champions can make the last leg of the long trip to Williamsport. The 2008 Little League World Series is August 15-24.
Fun Fact: Major League Baseball teams play 162 games each season. According to Larry Burch, California D31 Administrator, it would take 6 MLB seasons to schedule the number of games played by all-star teams on the Road to Williamsport from June 26 through the Championship game in Williamsport on August 24. That’s one awesome logistical feat, orchestrated by the all-volunteer organizations that make up Little League Baseball year after year.
Enjoy the year and cherish the memories!
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