Majors is the highest level of play for Little League baseball for players aged 11 and 12, plus some highly skilled 10 year olds. Players are selected based on their skill level, motivation, and commitment to play baseball. Dunbar Little League is special because once drafted to a team, the player remains on that same team as long as they remain age eligible to continue playing Little League. This can create fantastic and unique opportunities in the community, where kids (and parents) forge bonds that will last a lifetime.
The Majors division requires tremendous player & parental commitment to baseball. The season goes from mid-April to mid-June, with about 25 games per regular season. On average teams play 3 times and practice at least once per week. Concession, scoring, field preparation and other duties are also mandatory for Majors’ parents on a rotational basis all season.
Players can try out for Majors as 10, 11, or 12-year-olds (defined as age as of August 30 of the current season).
By Little League rules, the Majors division is limited to a maximum of 6 teams of 12 players each, so there are 72 kids in the Majors each year. Because the previously drafted 10 and 11-year old players stay on the same team to which they were drafted the previous year, the number of positions available for draft is equal to the number of 12-year old players who graduate. This is usually about 50%, or 36 positions each year.
Players wishing to be considered for Majors MUST attend the player evaluation session, usually held on a weekend in February (the date is posted on the registration page). During these player evaluations, the Majors coaches evaluate the players on fielding, catching, throwing, hitting and pitching. The evaluations are then tabulated and averaged, and this information is used by the coaches in drafting players to each Majors team. The teams draft in reverse order of standing from the previous season, with each team selecting one player in turn until all the available Majors positions are filled.
We recommend that players invest the time and energy to participate in offseason training. There are several training programs available for all ages, including UBC Baseball which offers indoor training during the Fall and Winter. You can also start warming up and throwing the ball with your friends or parents a few weeks before the Player Evaluation. At the Player Evaluation, make sure that you arrive early so that you have a chance to warm up properly. A trusted glove, cleats & cap also help. During the session, the coaches are watching all the time…they will be less impressed if kids are fooling around or not paying attention. Make sure that you show hustle. Coaches are always impressed by effort!
My child did not perform his/her best at the player evaluation. Does that mean that she/he won’t be selected in the draft?
Not necessarily. The player evaluation is the primary but not the only factor used in the draft. The coaches also have the ratings and narrative comments about the kids from their previous year’s coach (usually from Minor A), and they may have seen the players in previous years.
There is a Little League International requirement that all 12 year olds who meet the required skill set be drafted, which is based on the average scores of the six Majors teams doing the evaluations. This ensures that each year a number of 12-year old players will be selected in the draft. Also by LL rule, there can be no more than eight 12 year olds per team, so this does leave room for the 10 and 11 year olds to be drafted. It should be noted that each of the six Majors teams may only draft one 10-year old player in the draft, so only six 10 year olds will be drafted. Because of the size range of the players and the speed of the play (pitchers can pitch in excess of 60 miles per hour and balls are hit faster than that), safety in this division is a serious concern for all. The President has the right to ask a 12 year old player not to be considered for the draft if there is a deemed safety concern for an individual child.
The Majors draft usually occurs in early March. Once the draft is completed, the drafted players will be posted on the website.
Kids can have a rewarding experience, competitive play, and just plain fun in either the Majors or Minor A divisions. Players who are not selected for the Majors division are placed on a Minor A team.
Coaching in the Majors division requires a significant time and skill commitment. In general, Majors division coaches have previous baseball coaching experience and at least a Level 1 coaching certificate from Baseball BC. Some coaches in the Majors division do not have children in the League. The Board of Dunbar Little League appoints coaches based on interest, background, experience, and needs of the League. If you are interested in coaching, ensure to indicate your interest during registration, and you may also contact the Majors Coordinator and/or the President.
Little League International mandates a minimum of only two defensive innings (6 defensive outs) at this level. Although Little League International mandates a minimum of only 2 defensive innings (6 defensive outs) per player at this level, Dunbar local rules are that players will field at least 4 innings per game with at least 1 inning played in the infield. Note that this local rule does not guarantee that your child will play all positions. There is a range of strategies used by coaches in our league to meet these play time minimums and remain competitive. Teams must bat through the order, meaning that all players will get a chance to bat in every game.
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Because of the size range of the players and the speed of the play (pitchers can pitch in excess of 60 miles per hour and balls are hit faster than that), safety in the Majors division is a serious concern for all. If your child is drafted to Majors and your team’s coaching staff are uncomfortable with them playing in the infield with hard balls travelling at high speeds then it is likely most of your child’s play will be in the outfield until they are very comfortable with this situation through practice and skill development. The application of this safety concern is at the discretion of the coaching staff.
Rules unique to Dunbar Little League for Majors are available here.