Update to Proposed National League Changes - 10-13-16
***Update to Proposed National League Changes - 10/13/16
The Board of Directors for WLL wanted to update everyone on its plans for the National League division for the upcoming 2017 season.
Last month, the Board announced that it had approved a move to transition the National League to a Little League International “Intermediate” format (also known as 50/70), which would have allowed League age 13 year olds to play National League ball. The Board saw – and continues to see – a number of positives in offering this new and enhanced baseball experience to its players. However, after reviewing the matter further, and soliciting/receiving feedback from a number of parents, the Board decided to table this transition and maintain the standard (46/60’) format for the National League that currently exists at Burchard Park and the satellite fields around town.
With all of that said, the Board strongly believes that offering a 50/70 diamond experience to our 11/12 year old players will be fun and engaging. Further, it will help those players who enjoy summer ball, as both the Bay State and Jimmy Fund leagues for this age group will be playing on 70’ diamonds moving forward. So with this in mind – and with a renewed focus on instruction and player development – the National League will be offering a dedicated weekly practice next Spring (day of the week TBD) at Burchard in which it will have coaches teach our players the new rules and strategy involved, as well as give them the experience of playing on the larger diamond. This dovetails nicely with the Board’s decision to reduce the number of weekly National League games from 3 to 2.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions (
The Board of Directors for Weston Little League has approved changes to our National League division for the upcoming 2017 Spring season. National League has historically been mainly for League Age 11 & 12 year old players. Starting in 2017, the National League will transition to a Little League International "Intermediate" format, also known as 50/70. For those unfamiliar with either term, it means that the base bath distance will increase from 60' to 70' and pitchers will now throw from 50' away, rather than 46'.
Some of the key factors behind this decision were:
1) Enhancing the player's experience. The larger infield comes with expanded rules, including leading, pick-offs, balks, and more strategic running and defensive plays. More fun!
2) Creating a bridge between 60' and 90' baseball. In the past, most players who graduate from Little League must make a jump from 60' base paths to full 90' diamonds in middle school or club baseball. For 13 year old players, this is a jump many are not quite ready for physically and it detracts from their enjoyment of the game. The new "Intermediate" format allows League age 13's to continue to play baseball with Weston Little League. They get exposure to the new rules and strategy on a manageable field size.
3) Enhanced Payer Safety. Between the newer composite bats, proliferation of private coaching, and general size increase of the average 12 year old, batted balls are coming through the infield with almost no time to react for defensive players. Moving the bases back 10' will provide extra time to react, including the pitcher.
4) Keeping pace with the regional league changes. - 2016 was the last year that the Bay State and Jimmy Fund summer leagues offered 60' diamond play for 12 year olds. (Jimmy Fund actually adopted 70' this past summer) Many neighboring towns have either already adopted 70' play or are doing so this coming year.
We realize this change will create a lot of questions about how your individual players may be affected. As such, we have planned two "Open House" nights over the next few weeks to answer your questions. On Tuesday 9/20 and Tues 9/27, beginning at 7:00 PM in the Weston Rec. Center, will hold open Q&A sessions for any parent who would like to learn more about the upcoming changes. Any email question received will be compiled and answers to the same general questions will be provided during the first meeting. The Q&A's will then be posted on our website between the two informational meetings.
The Board is excited about these changes and the chance to enhance the baseball experience for our players. We encourage everyone to participate in the Q&A's to alleviate any concerns you have.
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