Tips for District Administrators to Prepare A.D.A.s and Game Directors for Tournament Play
The District Administrator (D.A.) is the director of tournament play at the district level for the Little League International Tournament, but they certainly can’t do it alone. To efficiently and effectively organize, manage, and operate the district tournament, it is imperative that prior to the start of the tournament, the D.A. host a mandatory meeting to be attended by all Assistant District Administrators (A.D.A.). Here are some tips to help prepare A.D.A.s who are embracing the role as Game Directors during the Little League International Tournament.
The A.D.A Meeting should review the following topics:
Pregame Meeting with Managers and Umpires
It is recommended that the A.D.A. arrive at the game site one hour and fifteen minutes (1:15) before the scheduled first pitch of the game. He/she should oversee a coin flip one hour before the scheduled first pitch will decide the home team, which will always occupy the dugout along the first baseline. In the hour preceding the game, both teams are given the first 15 minutes to warm up. During the second 15 minutes, the home team will have the field for infield-outfield practice; and the third 15 minutes are for the visiting team to conduct infield-outfield practice. If there are batting cages at the game site, teams are allowed to use them during the time when the other team is on the field for infield-outfield practice. The final 15 minutes prior to the first pitch are for field preparation and the Game Director’s plate meeting with the team managers and umpires.
The game umpires must inspect the playing equipment for both teams. All bats to be used in the game must be inspected for physical damage or deformity, and to confirm that each is affixed with the USA Baseball logo, and adhere to the standards outlined in the current year’s rulebook. If any bat does not pass inspection, it is to be removed from the dugout for the duration of the game. The batting helmets must be NOCSAE-approved (stamped with branding on the back of the helmet); be free of cracks or other visible damage; have all padding intact and in good condition; and have no stickers or paint, except for that placed by the helmet manufacturer. The catcher’s equipment is to be checked for condition and fit. The helmet must fully cover the back of the head, and the facemask must be equipped with a dangling throat guard. All straps, clips, and snaps (on the helmet, shin guards, and chest protector) are to be inspected and deemed in good condition.
Review of Tournament Eligibility Documentation
Each team is responsible for carrying a packet of player eligibility documents, tournament player verification forms, boundary map, waivers, and a tournament affidavit. The A.D.A must review this information and work with the designated official scorekeeper and pitch counter (for baseball) to record the accurate information onto the affidavit and gather the necessary signatures before returning the packets to the managers at the conclusion of the game.
Game Operations Responsibilities
During the game, the A.D.A is responsible for coordinating with the official scorekeeper and pitch counter (for baseball) to properly chart the game, providing the public address announcer with the official lineup for both teams, identifying the umpires officiating the game, and confirming substitutions throughout the game.
Local collection of donations
Many districts collect donations during each tournament game. The total amount of the monies collected should be used to purchases pins, medallions, banners, and plaques that are given to the teams at the conclusion of the district tournament. It is common practice for the A.D.A to request that the public address announcer ask for a volunteer representing each league to take the district collection during the second inning. The money collected is returned to the Game Director, who counts the funds, records the amount on a bag or envelope, identifying the game and division. The money collected is to be delivered to the District Administrator.
Pitch Count Validation
At the conclusion of each Little League Baseball® tournament game, the A.D.A is required to confirm the pitch count for each player who pitched in the game. This information is recorded on the affidavit and requires the initials of the pitch counter and each manager. Pitch Count is not required in Little League Softball, but pitcher eligibility (based on innings pitched) is noted on the affidavit.
A coach may protest the application or interpretation of a playing rule, but the protest must be brought to the attention of the home plate umpire and Game Director before the next pitch is thrown. If the protest cannot be resolved at the game site, it is the responsibility of the Game Director to contact the regional headquarters for guidance.
Postponement, Suspension of Game Procedure
If the weather forces postponement of a game, or darkness prompts a game to be suspended, consult with your District Administrator. Attempt to set a make-up or continuation date and time, before either of the teams leave the game site.