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Little League Age Change Impacts Players Born May 1, 2006 through August 31, 2006

By Mark Simser, 01/12/17, 11:00PM CST


As you may know, over the past few years Little League of America has twice changed the way a player’s age will be determined for competitive play.  The proposed changes take effect next season (2018) however, Little League is already using the changes in 2017 for determining ages.

The date used for determining a player’s age has been moved from April 30 to August 31.  Little League’s intention with the change is to lower the age of players at the Major League (age 11-12) level.  Once fully implemented, if a player turns 13 during the summer they will not be eligible to play Little League. 

The age change has created some confusion of how to treat ages in the interim.  The age-band of kids directly impacted are those players born between May 1, 2006 and August 31, 2006.  Under Little League’s prior age calculations, this group would have been included as part of the 10 year old age group.  Under the new age calculations these kids will be age 11 for 2017 and age 12 for 2018.

Traditionally, SAYB’s Junior Minor league is for players ages 9-10, and the Major Leagues (National and American) are for players ages 11-12.  Under the new age calculations, these impacted players are 11 this year.  However, for the 2017 season SAYB will allow kids in the 5/1/06-8/31/06 age band to continue to play in the Junior Minor league.  This allows your child the option to continue playing in Junior Minors with his/her classmates or if you feel he/she is not ready for the higher-level play in SAYB’s Major Leagues. 

The option for your child to play up with their new Little League age group in the Major Leagues is still available.  Your choice – whatever is best for your player.  Major League teams are divided between National League (players selected by tryout process in February) and American League (players not selected for National League).

In making the decision, there are a few things to understand if your child (born between 5/1/06 – 8/31/06) plays Junior Minors this year:

  • Your child will technically be an 11 year old for Little League purposes, and therefore is ineligible to play on a 10 year old tournament team.  Tournament teams are optional, selected by a tryout process in June and play in two additional tournaments in July.  Your child would still fully participate in the Junior Minors regular season and playoffs.
  • Your child will be a 12 year old for Little League purposes next year, so 2018 would be the only season that your child will be eligible to play on a Little League tournament team (not all kids are selected for the tournament team).
  • Moving forward to 2019, your child will be age 13 for Little League and ineligible to play in the National League or on tournament teams.  These kids would move into our Big League age 13 level or elect to play in the American League in 2019. 

If you have any questions, please contact Mark Simser ( or Merlin Misialek (