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2018 International Congress Voting Results Items 11-13

The last three, Items 11, 12, & 13 of the Congressional Agenda.


Item 11

Synopsis: This would disqualify and remove any team from the Little League International Tournament who is found to have used an ineligible player during a game.


This item was voted Yes: 87% No: 13% and has been implemented for the 2018 tournament season. It is optional for regular season.

Before finally voting on this measure, Little League listened to feedback and removed the part that included Regulation I-XVII violations for this policy. The policy effectively puts in writing that teams will be removed from the tournament if they are found with an ineligible player, either by participation requirements, or residency and age requirements.

I’ve always told the District 8 leagues that they are subject to having their team disqualified, and possibly their charter revoked, for blatant violations such as these. By putting this in writing, league presidents and player agents are put on notice that their inability to verify player eligibility before the tournament will result in them losing at least a tournament team.

Item 12

Synopsis: This mandates a manager insert any player who has not met mandatory play in the top of the fourth inning for Tournament in the applicable divisions. A local league could adopt this rule for Regular Season.


Voted in Yes: 51% No: 49%, and has been implemented for the 2018 season.

This rule attracted a lot of comments, and a lot of attention.

The brainchild of Little League Baseball after a tournament coach was quoted on live television last year that he would take the gamble on a child not meeting mandatory play requirements before the end of the game in an attempt to tie/win the game. This rule was already in progress before the last pitch of that game was thrown.

Let’s be honest, there is absolutely no reason a child should not meet mandatory play requirements, especially with the reduction a few years ago if you carried 13 players. No reason.

During our district tournaments, we start alerting managers in the 4th inning of mandatory play requirements if we have not seen any substitutions. Usually our managers have started their substitution rounds well before the 4th.

This was a bad decision on that tournament managers part, and something needs to be laid out; but not rushed to the point the mandatory play requirement stifles a team ability to remain competitive.

Our district felt that the punishment require was very well merited, but the requirement to have the player in the game at the start of the 4th was too micromanaging. The managers/coaches are to be held responsible, but we shouldn’t be making the decision for them.

Here is Little Leagues response to the rule change nearly being voted down by the congressional delegates:

“After thorough discussion in the Roundtable and amendment process, the consensus of the Delegates, the Little League International Board of Directors, and the Little League International Tournament Committee is that Little League International needs to provide a structure that remains consistent with the spirit of Little League’s mandatory play rule. This item has been referred to the Tournament Committee for further review and due diligence in order to appropriately enhance the mandatory play rule for the benefit of all tournament participants in 2018.”

Item 13

Synopsis: This updates the Tournament Rules to provide a tie-breaker method for all divisions of play.


Voting results Yes: 55% No: 45%

This would have provided a tie-breaker solution for games that went further than 1 extra inning. In my own opinion I’m disappointed this measure did not meet the required 2/3’s vote. Little League does not seem to have further consideration plans in the near-future for this measure.

I agree, for 50/70, Juniors, and Seniors the tie-breaker measure was not necessary. They are playing, in effect, real baseball rules and the game should look as such (MLB continues to play until a clear winner). But the Minor League Baseball & Softball divisions could very well have benefited from this.

I get a lot of kickback from parents during 9, 10-year old game play when the game is tied, 8th inning starting, a team’s #8 pitcher on the mound, and its 11PM. Everyone in my district has heard me complain about the night the lights went off in Springs. Yes, they turned off the lights on me. We returned the next day, as required, to throw 3 pitches.


That wraps up all 13 items from the congressional agenda! What do you think? Let us know on our Facebook page at