Any age reference is made in regard to a player's Little League age and not how old they are at the beginning or end of the season. Little League currently recognizes different dates for baseball and softball. Baseball age is based on April 30 of the current year while softball age is based on December 31 of the previous year. Teeball follows baseball dates.
Level of Play
One of the most common questions that parents ask is, "What is the correct level of play for my child?" The descriptions below are highly influenced by Little League International. SWPLL uses some local options to allow us to provide the best experience for all players. If this narrative doesn't answer your questions, please contact the League Player Agent or President. They will be happy to assist you in making the right choice for your child.
Triple A Baseball follows the general rules of baseball. Players pitch the entire game with official umpires (called balls and strikes with walks), sliding, stealing and the ability to advance bases on wild pitches. The is the usual emphasis on sportsmanship and fun, however, this level is competitive and scores are kept along with the win-loss records of each team. Triple A is primarily composed of 9, 10, and 11 year-old players, although there are occasional 8 and 12 year-olds. Note that Little League prevents 12 year olds from pitching at this level.
Players who are league age 8, 9, or 10 and who have not played at the Triple A or Major level in a prior season and wish to be considered to play at Triple A, MUST attend an evaluation/try-out session. All 11 year-old players who don't attend an evaluation for Majors or who aren't selected for a Major level team will be placed in Triple A unless the league has been requested to address special circumstances. If a player is unable to attend one of the evaluations and still wishes to play at this level, the parent must contact the President or Player Agent to determine if other accommodations can be made.
Majors Baseball is currently the highest level of little league play that Southwest Portland Little League supports. The rules of play are the same as for Triple A except for local league options such as limiting the number of runs per inning. Majors is comprised of almost exclusively 11 and 12 year-old players.
Players who are league age 10, 11, or 12 and who have not played at the Major level in a prior season and wish to be considered for a Majors team MUST attend an evaluation/try-out session. However, the league believes it is typically in the best interest of the league and player that 10 year-olds play at the Triple A level. Nevertheless, qualified 10 year-olds can play Majors under some circumstances, which include and are not limited to, filling an open roster spot and playing with a sibling. Little League requires that all 12 year-olds play at the Major level unless the league has been requested to address special circumstances.
All-Star Team Eligibility - Little League requires that all 11-12 year old players who wish to play on the 11-12 All-Star team must play at least 1/2 of the season's games at the Major's level of play.
The 9-10 All-Star tournaments are sponsored by the State of Oregon. All Honors level tournaments (a league may have more than one honors team) are sponsored by Oregon District 4. It is strongly recommended that all player participants play at least half of their season at the Triple A level but exceptions are possible to fill a roster.
For information on Tryouts, please see the Tryouts Page.
Creating Team Rosters
First, it is necessary to define a few key terms.
Little League International requires that all teams at the Major level and above be formed by use of a draft. Southwest Portland Little League opts to utilize roster preservation at these levels as well. The Majors draft pool is formed by Triple A players moving up and transfers from other leagues. Any player in the pool that is not selected for a Majors team will return to Triple A.
Triple A baseball also uses a draft with roster preservation. Players not selected to play for a Majors team return to the team they played for during the prior season. The draft pool for Triple A is formed by Double A players moving up and transfer from other leagues. Any player who played at the Triple A level in the prior season must be selected during the draft. Remaining players not selected for a Triple A team will return to Double A.
All remaining levels of play (Teeball through Double A plus Triple A softball) use assignment to roster teams. Players who were in the Triple A baseball pool and not selected will be rostered just like any other player at the Double A level.