In an effort to support our ball players development, the board of Medicine Hat Little League approved the policy below in regards to our Intermediate and Junior Divisions.
Intermediate & Junior Divisions of Little League To create viable divisions.
To help grow the Medicine Hat Little League baseball program and amateur baseball in Medicine Hat and area.
In the past few years, Medicine Hat Little League has noticed that the competitive level of baseball in the Junior Division has decreased. It has also been noticed that there is a noticeable regression from the Major Division to the Junior Division. Specifically from 12 yr. olds to 13 yr. olds.
A recurring theme when discussing with the baseball community has been 13 yr. olds having to play against 15 – 16 yr. old players while having to play on a larger diamond.
Little League International has an Intermediate Division which is a larger diamond than the Major Division, but smaller than the Junior Division. The mound is 50’ and base paths are 70’. The age group for the Intermediate Division is 12-13 yr. old athletes. This Division has been played in Medicine Hat, with mixed success. This level of play allows for leadoff, balks, etc. The advantage of the Intermediate Division is that it provides a transition from the Major (smaller diamond) to the regular sized baseball field.
Currently, there are not enough players in the 13 yr. old age group to have a competitive Intermediate Division. By allowing 12 yr. old athletes to play the Intermediate Division, MHLL would be able to field a competitive division which would allow 13 yr. old players a chance to play on a diamond that is equal to their abilities, and against players of equal level. All 13 yr. old players would play in the Intermediate Division, and any 12 yr. old will be evaluated by MHLL during assessments to determine which division their abilities are better suited for.
The Major Division has enjoyed immense success at both the Regular and Tournament seasons. There was a concern raised that MHLL may unintentionally upset the Major Division by allowing 12 yr. old players to move up to the Intermediate Division. It is intent of MHLL with this initiative the Major Division would benefit by having players which talents, and abilities are similar to theirs, and would allow them to flourish, and to continue playing baseball in the future.
One of the shortcomings for this change is that the Junior Division will be under pressure to find enough players to field a competitive division in the short term. Last year the Junior Division had 4 teams. This is hoped to be a short term problem, as the intention is for those players to find success, and want to play longer.
Selection for the All-Star teams will be organized so teams are selected fairly, and be presented with the best opportunity for success.
A change to the Major, Intermediate, and Junior Divisions will be as follows:
- Any athlete age 12 on or before August 31 could have the opportunity to play in the Intermediate Division, based on MHLL assessment.
- Any athlete age 13 on or before August 31 would play in the Intermediate Division.
- Any athlete age 14 or older on or before August 31 would play in the Junior Division.
- Major AAA team would select their team first
- Intermediate AAA team would select their team second
- Major AA team would select their team third
- Junior AAA team would select their team fourth
- Junior AA team would select their team fifth
This motion was approved and will take into effect for the 2019 season.