DivisionsUpdated Tuesday February 23, 2016 by SLL.
The Challenger Division was established in 1989 as a separate division of Little League Baseball to enable boys and girls with physical and mental disabilities, ages 5-18 or the completion of high school, to enjoy the game of baseball along with millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide.
Teams are set up according to abilities, rather than age, and can include as many as 15-20 players. Challenger games can be played as tee ball games, coach pitch, player pitch, or a combination of the three.
Tee Ball Baseball is for boys and girls 5-6 years old who want to learn the fundamentals of hitting and fielding. In Tee Ball, players hit a ball off a batting tee. Rules of the game may be varied to accommodate the need for teaching.
The primary goals of Tee Ball are to instruct children in the fundamentals of baseball and to allow them to experience the value of teamwork while learning and enjoying baseball. Parents are strongly encouraged to become involved in this introduction level of Little League. After completing a Little League volunteer application and passing a required national background check, parents may become involved in practices, and be eligible as coaches, managers, umpires, local league board members and other volunteer positions within the league.
To ensure that each player is provided the best possible Tee Ball experience, Smithfield Little League sets rosters at 9-10 players for each team.
No live pitching is permitted in this division. Generally, the diamond used is a 60-foot diamond, but the league has the option to use a 50-foot diamond.
Following a year in the Blast Ball Division, many players play in the A Division. With rules similar to T-ball, the A Division introduces coach pitch, but also provides players the opportunity to hit off a Tee. Most players in the A Division are 6 and 7 years of age.
After a year in the A Division, players may be invited to play in the AA Division. Smithfield Little League's AA Division features coach pitch and also provides an opportunity for players to pitch in games. Players in the AA Division are traditionally between 7 and 8 years of age.
Smithfield Little League's AAA Division allows players to use the skills they have developed in Tee Ball, A and AA Division in real game situations. For many players, this is the first division in which a game score is tracked. Players in the AA Division are traditionally 8. 9 or 10 years old.
The Little League Baseball Division (sometimes known as the Major Division) is for boys and girls ages 9-12. A local league may choose to limit its Major Division to 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds, or 11-12-year-olds. The diamond used is a 60-foot diamond and the pitching distance is 46 feet. The local league has an option to choose a Tournament Team (or "All Stars") of 11-12-year-olds from within this division, and the team may enter the International Tournament. The culmination of the International Tournament is the Little League Baseball World Series, featuring teams from around the globe. All expenses for the teams advancing to the World Series (travel, meals and housing) are paid by Little League Baseball. Players in this division are traditionally between 10-12 years old.