Developed Winter 2009
Updated April 2010 to reflect new one league status and provide clarity
The Lower Merion Little League (LMLL) Tournament Committee was formed to develop a flexible yet consistent process to select coaches and players for the District Tournament teams representing LMLL. It is important to note and understand that the process detailed below only applies to the formation of Lower Merion District teams that participate in Little League District tournaments (and perhaps beyond). Lower Merion District teams are a part of Pennsylvania District 27 and currently compete as 2 teams: Lower Merion American and Lower Merion National. If LMLL becomes one league, the outlined process would also apply to the formation of the District tournament team. (If there is sufficient interest, a second team could be formed for the 9s and 11s). This second team would be formed using the same procedures, but after the first team is selected. There will be one team for the 10s and 12s. The first team selected would be the “A” team, while the second team, if formed, would be the “B” team.
This process below does not pertain to any other outside baseball teams. As stated above, the committee stresses the importance of the distinction between Lower Merion District teams (District teams) and outside teams (Travel teams).The Tournament Committee also stressed the importance that the District Manager, Coaches and Players make the District tournament a priority as it relates to other activities, including other summer travel teams.
The Tournament Committee spent numerous hours meeting and discussing this process. Each action item was thoroughly discussed and debated. Committee members researched the processes of other Little Leagues around the region and country to incorporate best practices and ideas to create an equitable and transparent set of guidelines for LMLL to utilize in the formation on its District teams.
§ Selected Annually
Selection of District Manager
Þ Division Commissioners send a note to all spring coaches asking if they would like to be considered to be a District Team Manager (i.e. Head Coach). Interested coaches reply to their Division Commissioner.
Þ Commissioners compile all self-nominations and schedule a Coaches Meeting to discuss Manager Candidates. Only LMLL Head Coaches and 1 Assistant Coach from each team are invited. After a group discussion of the candidates, the coaches and commissioners select the District Manager. Manager candidates may be asked to provide details about their coaching background and experience to help in the selection process. Ideally, the selection of the District Manager will occur via this discussion and consensus agreement. If no agreement can be reached, then a vote will be taken with each coach and manager present casting a vote. Division Commissioner sends name of Manager to Tournament Committee Chairman.
Þ Tournament Committee approves District Manager selection. District Manager is notified. District Manager can then choose his/her Assistant Coaches. Assistant Coaches will likely be, but are not required to be, parents of one of the selected players (see player selection process below).
Process will have to be completed for both American and National leagues but should follow the same timeframe. Suggested dates for process can be found below. Dates can be modified to meet the needs of each Division.
Selection of Players for District Team
Þ Division Commissioners send a note to each spring league Head Coach asking each coach to nominate players from his team to be considered as players for the District team. Coaches are encouraged to submit at least 4 names, but can submit more if they feel there are additional worthy candidates. Since some Divisions can field 2 district teams and additional Special Games teams, each Division may need a sizeable pool of players.
Þ Head Coaches provide nominations to Division Commissioners.
Þ Division Commissioners compile a list of nominated names and send a note to the parents of each nominated player. Note will read, “Your son has been nominated as a possible participant for one of the Lower Merion Little League (Age) District Teams. The district tournament will be held between the dates of (Dates). If selected, your son will need to commit to being available for all days of the tournament as well as practices leading up to the tournament. Please respond back to (Division Commissioner Name) with an indication (Yes, still interested or No, thank you) of your son’s interest in being considered and any date conflicts you may have between (Date range)”. The note should emphasize that the player is being considered for the District Team but has not yet been selected and should also mention that he can be considered for a Special Games team, if not chosen for the Distict team. The note should request that parents respond back within the timeframe so that the Division Commissioner can compile a list of players that can participate.
Þ Division Commissioners schedule a coaches meeting to discuss list of potential players. (only those that are interested/available as compiled on the list developed by the Division Commissioner). Head coaches and 1 assistant coach from each team are invited to attend. The group will discuss the abilities of the players and coaches can answer questions about players with whom they are familiar. Following the discussion, a ballot of names will be provided and the following steps taken:
§ Coaches will submit a ballot with their choices of 10 players (marked Yes on the ballot)
§ If a coach cannot attend the meeting, he/she can submit a ballot in advance to the Division Commissioner in case the ballot process in needed.
§ A coach cannot vote for his/her own son.
§ Ballots must be signed by the coach.
§ Totals are compiled anonymously by the Division Commissioner and a member of the tournament committee (someone without a son in the age group or a son not on the ballot)
§ Top 10 players are chosen. District Manager can then select 2 other players to add to team. Additional players above 12 (up to roster maximum) can be added upon request by the District Manager, who must receive approval to do so from the Tournament Committee.
Þ Final selections are sent by Division Commissioner to the Tournament Committee Chairman and then confirmed by the Tournament Committee
Þ District Manager then selects assistant coaches and notifies team members
Addendum April 2010
LMLL received approval from Little League International to be one league effective March 2010. That means there will no longer be 2 leagues (American and National). The process above provides for the selection of Team Managers and Players, but here is some added clarity and details to apply to the process.
Types of Tournaments
There are 2 separate types of tournaments - Baseball Tournaments and Special Games Tournaments. Each tournament has a distinct schedule with varying start and end dates.
Baseball Tournaments – these are the “district” tournaments for various Age Groups. These teams can advance beyond the district level. The selection process outlined above applies to these tournaments. LMLL can enter a defined number of teams into each Age Group as noted below. Please note that LMLL may not necessarily field teams in every age group (e.g. we do not have a Big League Division).
· 9-10 Year Old Regional (Al Patton) – designed for our 10 y/o AAA Division – maximum 1 team
· 10-11 Year Old State – designed for our 11 y/o AAAA Division – maximum 2 teams; Allows for selection of “A” and “B” team
· Little League International – designed for our 12 y/o Majors Division – maximum 1 team
· Junior League International – designed for our Juniors – maximum 1 team
· Senior League International – designed for our Seniors – maximum 1 team
· Big League International – designed for our Big League – maximum 1 team
Special Games Tournaments – these tournaments allow for additional participation of LMLL teams/players. These teams do not advance beyond the district level. The selection process applies only to the 9 y/o team. A modified selection process applies to the other teams.
· 9 Year Old All Star Invitational – designed for our 9 y/o AA Division – maximum 2 teams; Allows for selection of “A” and “B” team
· D-27 Major League Championship – the top 2 teams in the 12 y/o Majors Division can enter as a team. Would depend on player and coach availability and interest.
· 9-10 Year Old All Star Invitational – designed for “non-district” AA and AAA players (i.e. those who were not selected for a District team) – maximum 2 teams. Coach and Players would be chosen using a modified selection process as outlined below, with AAA Coaches and Players given first priority. Number of teams (up to 2) would depend on interest and availability of Coaches and Players.
· 11-12 Year Old All Star Invitational (John Klein) - designed for “non-district” AAAA and Majors players (i.e. those who were not selected for a District team) – maximum 2 teams. Coach and Players would be chosen using a modified selection process as outlined below, with Majors Coaches and Players given first priority. Number of teams (up to 2) would depend on interest and availability of Coaches and Players.
· D-27 All Star Invitational – ad hoc tournament designed for Majors players – maximum 2 teams - contact LMLL President for more details
· D-27 Jr. League All Star Invitational – ad hoc tournament designed for Juniors players – maximum 2 teams – contact LMLL President for more details
Additional Selection Clarification – Voting Ties
· Managers – if there is a deadlock after discussion and voting (i.e. 2 or more candidates are tied) and no agreement can be reached, the Manager will be chosen among a vote by the LMLL President, One Designee of the LMLL President (e.g. past president) and the Tournament Committee Chairman
· Players – as detailed, the Top 10 players based on coaches voting are selected to be on the “A” team (or only team if maximum for that Division is 1 team). For voting results that end with equal votes for more than 10 players, the following steps will be taken:
o Pick the maximum number of players (up to 10) with the highest vote totals where there are no ties – if total is 10, then those are the 10 players selected
o If more than 10, take those players with tied votes and conduct a re-vote among the coaches present (cannot use votes from coaches not present)
o Repeat process until there are clearly 10 players selected
o Voting yields 7 players with 12 or more votes and 5 more tied at 11 votes.
o Those first 7 are selected and a re-vote is conducted among only those 5 who had 11 votes.
o Coaches present must select 3 names out of the 5 (since there are 3 spots).
o Votes are tallied again to determine remaining 3 spots
o Process is repeated until only 10 players are selected
o District Manager can use voting results as part of his/her decision to add additional players (up to 14)
Selection of Managers and Players for Special Games Teams
The 9 year old team should use the process detailed for selection of district teams to create the 1 team for the 9 year old invitational. The other Special Games Teams (9-10 and 11-12) can use the selection process outlined above but would be choosing from a pool of players who were not selected for a District team. It is recommended that the note sent by the Division Commissioners to nominated players contain verbiage that also asks whether that player would be interested in playing in the Special Games tournament if he is not chosen for the District Team. This letter should include the dates of both the District tournament and Special Games tournament to make players/parents aware of the schedule.
Managers should be chosen from the pool of those who self-nominated themselves to be a District Manager. The first candidate would be that person who finished second in the voting to be District Manager. If he/she is not interested, the next choice would be the third place finisher, etc. If there are not additional candidates, the Division Commissioners can seek a candidate among the Spring League coaches.
Players should be chosen from the pool of those nominated by the spring league coaches with priority given to those receiving the most votes in the district team voting. In other words, those outside the Top 10 should be asked in the order of votes received until the team(s) is comprised of the total number of players desired by the Manager (minimum 10 – maximum 14). Teams can be formed up to the maximum of 2 allowed if there is a sufficient number of players to form a team.
Timing – estimated date ranges for the selection of Managers and Players is below. This means that all steps involved in the respective selections (communication from Commissioners, self-nomination of coaches, meetings, voting, player nominations, etc.) should be completed within the date ranges below. Each Division can follow its own timetable, but should ensure that all teams are created on or before May 31.
· April 20 – May 10 – Selection of Managers
· May 10 - May 31 – Selection of Players