Baseball All-Stars Principles
This process has been established based upon the collective past experience with the All-Stars in the Town of Yarmouth.
The All-Star competition involves playing a double elimination tournament with as many as three age brackets of teams (9-10, 10-11, 11-12). Tournament play starts at the District level, with the winner moving on the State tournament. The Yarmouth Program has covered the full spectrum – from some years during which there was not enough interest to field a team to other years where we have had successive State Championship teams. The reality is that Yarmouth is a small town, with limited population growth and therefore will always be a small program in comparison to many of the surrounding towns in District 6 who we compete against in post-season play. It is also recognized that the focus of the talent pool can change over time.
The premise that certain pre-determined age groups should be prioritized, potentially at the expense of another group, is not a guiding principle of the Yarmouth All-Star Program. In contrast, if any priorities are established, it ought to be toward recognition of where the talent pool exists in a given year and doing what we can not to dilute that talent pool but instead enhance it.
The purpose of All-Stars is to optimize participation, preferably by fielding three teams in the tournament while simultaneously attempting to field competitive teams, whenever possible. The goal is to win and advance.
- Keep age groups together, to the maximum extent possible.
- 12 year olds that express interest in participating and have the necessary skills to participate and contribute should not be displaced by a more talented 11 year old. Same logic for the other age groups.
- Any qualified Major League player who commits to the All-Stars will automatically be rostered before any minor league players are considered.
- The All-Star coaches, in coordination with the Player Agent and VP of Baseball, will discuss players “playing up” before extending the invitation to players.
- Coaches will have the ability to pull up as many qualified players as required to field a team. Players can either choose to accept or decline the spot they are offered. If a player declines the spot they are offered, they are declining the opportunity to participate in All-Stars.
- Teams will be established from a top-down approach, but not with a predetermined bias toward any age group. Once the pool is formulated, the 11-12’s roster will be established first by the All-Star Manager, then likewise for the All-Star Manager of the 10-11’s and then the 9-10’s.
- It should be made clear up front that submitting a commitment letter does not guarantee a player a spot on the roster.
- Establish a Pool of Players – this is initially done by finding out the interest level and getting commitments.
- Coach Selection – All-Star head coaches will be established by the pool of managers from the regular season and voted on by the Board of Directors. The All-Star Manager will select their coaching staff, subject to the approval of the Player Agent.
- Establish Team Sizes – This is historically done by the All-Star coaches, Player Agent and VP of Baseball.
Although Little League International suggests players vote to establish the teams, the following factors need to be considered in establishing the selection process:
- We don’t know which players are willing to commit in advance. A pool of players cannot be developed until dates for the tournaments are established.
- We don’t know how many Minor League players will be pulled up, as this is determined by first establishing the 11-12 and 10-11 teams.
- The fact that in some years we don’t have enough players to field a team, and are actually soliciting players to consider All-Stars.
- In a perfect world, if voting by players were to occur, it would need to happen fairly deep in the season so that players were being judged on a comprehensive body of work.
Several of the issues above are significant in that timing is relatively short to pull rosters together and submit the necessary paperwork. For these reasons, a direct vote by the players seems impractical. It is suggested that final rosters be established by the All-Star coaches in cooperation with the Player Agent, which is essentially how we have done it in the past.
Another option for post-season play is the extended Summer League. The emphasis in this league is on having fun and education without the strong emphasis on winning that the All-Star tournament has. Boys not playing All-Stars are given priority on these rosters and the extended league rosters will be determined after All-Stars.