SAYB is making changes for 2023! For decades we have been proud supporters of, and partners with, Little League baseball for IL/JM/AL/NL. As all things change with time, we have been monitoring a decline in Little League's participating associations throughout the state. As more communities move away from Little League governance, the opportunity for quality All-Star season experiences diminishes. Currently, only three (3) teams remain in our District, and only fifteen (15) communities statewide participate in the Little League program. Additionally, only a small portion of players aged 10-12 are offered the opportunity to take part in the Little League All-Star experience. The resulting consequence is that the majority of SAYB participants are not offered baseball opportunities after June each season.
So what are we doing? Here’s the exciting part. In pursuit of our goal to provide the best experience for all ball players, we have made the decision to modify our affiliation, starting in the 2023 season, away from the Little League brand. Currently, SAYB Big Leaguers, ages 13-15, play under MYAS (Gopher State) governance. Starting in 2023, we will be extending this MYAS travel offering down through age 10. This will provide travel baseball opportunities for players ages 10-15. In addition, we will be maintaining our recreational leagues as you know them today. These primarily “in-house” leagues (IL, JM, AL) do not require affiliation with any outside governance, allowing SAYB to have more control over league formats, rules, and the ability to make improvements that maximize the experience for the kids.
The important takeaway is that we will continue to deliver high quality recreational baseball programming for kids aged 6-12, much like we do today. The biggest change will be an extension of our traveling baseball offerings down to age 10. This will provide a traveling option for ball players ages 10-15, which will take the place of our current Little League All-Star team model.
While parting ways with Little League is certainly bittersweet, we believe that the best is yet to come. We are committed to serving our community well, and our guiding principles remain unchanged. Thank you for supporting youth baseball. We can’t wait to get back on the field!