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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

New Age Rule for Youth Baseball

Jan 04, 2006 12:00AM

Starting with the 2018 youth baseball season, your child's playing age is whatever age they'll be on August 31, 2018, which is the new "age determination date" for youth baseball. But, to ensure that no child will lose their 12 year old season, if your child was born in May, June, July or August of 2005 they will be "grandfathered in" as 12 year olds. 

This change to the rules was decided upon after a very detailed study of participation in the 2011 season. Overall, parents, players and volunteers indicated that they'd like Little League to become a younger program and give young kids more opportunity to play with their classmates. To help achieve this, August 31 was selected because it is the same date many schools use for their student registration. As a result of the surveys conducted, Little League has also revamped its Tee Ball program, established a Coach Pitch Program, and changed residency requirements so schools match up more closely with local leagues. 

For the 2016 and 2017 seasons, the age determination date is still April 30.

Players are frequently allowed to 'play-up,' so a player who is league-age 12 may try out for an older team like the Junior League Division team for players age 12 to 14. (Though local boards of directors can choose to not allow league-age 12 to try out for the Junior League Division.) It's also important to know that if a player participates in one or more regular season games on a Junior League team, he will be ineligible to participate in the Major Division from that point forward in regular season and/or tournament play (i.e. you can't go back down to a younger division).

Click here more information, and to view an age determination date chart.