California District 18: Welcome

Thursday, October 19
USA BASEBALL - NEW BAT STANDARD

With the Little League® International Board of Directors formally adopting USA Baseball’s new standard for bat performance testing, Little League International fully supports this program. For more than seventy-five years, Little League has used improvements in science, engineering, and technology to take the sport of baseball to higher levels. By utilizing the most current advancements available, manufacturers can now develop bats with a wood-like performance, which is important for the long-term success of the game. Developed by a USA Baseball committee of scientific experts, Little League Baseball® has decided to adopt the new bat standard for mandated use effective January 1, 2018.
 
Note: In preparation for the holidays and the 2018 season, the most popular Easton, Rawlings, Louisville Slugger, and DiMarini bats will retail for $159-$349. With all 2018 bats now having wood-like performance, another option would be to switch to a wood bat. The cost of three custom wood bats would cost you about the same or less than one 2018 USA Bat.
 
Milan Mrakich - District 18 Administrator
 



Thursday, October 19
WORLD BASEBALL BATS



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Have you ever picked up two different 33-inch, 30-ounce bats that have felt completely different when you swing them?  That is because just length and weight alone are not enough to truly determine the proper bat for a player.  World Baseball Bats has created a unique system for measuring the weight distribution of a bat.  The World Baseball Bats Ratio takes into account several factors, such as the wood density, volume, and center of gravity of each bat model.  Discerning players can actually find the bat that feels perfect and know that in their future orders they will receive identical bats.  Each swing a player takes must be made with the confidence they can get the barrel through the zone and make good contact with the ball. 


Our bats can be customized however you like. Hitters can choose any color for their bat and have their name, school, or team added to the logo. If you don't see a color you like from the options, please email us and we will make your bat look exactly how you want. 



Wednesday, January 10
Minutes November 7 and December 12, 2017

MINUTES
BOARD MEETING - November 7, 2017 & December 12, 2017

ATTENDANCE: 11-17-17:  Milan Mrakich, DA, Diane Bowen, Mike Goodrich, ADAs.  Hank Canale, Alhambra American, Eddie Martinez, El Monte National, Larry Lauria, South El Monte, Alberto Ocon, South Pasadena, Joshua Kelly, Temple City American, Carolyn Scott, Temple City National, Miguel Ruelas, Los Angeles.

ABSENT: East Alhambra, Northeast Los Angeles, El Monte Eastern.
 
ATTENDANCE: 12-12-17:  Milan Mrakich, DA, Mike Goodrich, Phil DiPrima, ADAs.  Larry Lauria, South El Monte, Sergio Villasenor, Northeast Los Angeles, Alberto Ocon, South Pasadena, Joshua Kelly, Temple City American, Carolyn Scott, Temple City National, Miguel Ruelas, Los Angeles.

ABSENT: Alhambra American, East Alhambra, El Monte National, El Monte Eastern.

The meetings were called to order.

VENDOR (at the December Meeting): Mark Poyar give a presentation for www.cdccard.com.  He can be reached at 562-761-0904.

DATA CENTER: The LL data center has been updated and is a new system.  League by now should have reset their password and entered their email address.  Leagues can assign data center privileges to other board members, i.e. ASAP officer, roster list coordinator, etc., to conduct the League’s business on line.  District staff has the same permissions.  This year waivers can be submitted on line.

REQUIRED SUBMITTALS: Milan went over the required submittals, and announced he will be emailing the agenda materials each month, he will not be making copies any more for the meetings.  Presidents should print them out.  Leagues were reminded they are not covered by insurance until the charter and insurance is in place, and cannot hold practice or tryouts.  As of 1-10-2018 Northeast Los Angeles is the only league not chartered and insured.

At the November meeting Milan explained the 2018 LL fees: Charter and Insurance fees are set by the LL International Division; Player Assessment $35 per team is set by District and pays for District operating costs; District TOC and All-Star fees pay basically for umpire costs (it was discussed that some games may operate with only one umpire) and pins and banners ($100 each), and baseballs.  This year Milan estimates the TOC fee will be $200 per team and All-Stars $350 per team.  TOCs are single elimination and All-Stars double elimination.  International Tournament Fees of $200 per team are paid directly to LL headquarters and are set by LL.  This money is used for regional and world series teams, transportation costs, out of state travel costs, etc.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Milan handed out a list of due dates and meeting dates.  Suggested Closing Date is June 2, 2018.  TOCs begins June 4, 2018, Softball All-Stars will begin June 15, 2019 and Baseball All-Star games will begin June 22, 2018 (dates based on the same amount of teams being entered as last season, and field availability).  This year D-18 will host a ten-team 9-10-11 Baseball Regional.

FALL BALL: Milan noted in November, Fall season was wrapping up.  He reminded leagues to submit any insurance/accident claims to LL before the season ends.  He explained dental injury insurance claims can cover players through age 19 for permanent teeth.

2018 BAT RULES: Milan handed out detailed information regarding the new bat rule 1.10 for Baseball requiring all bats in the 2018 season to bear the USA Baseball logo signifying that the bat meets the USABat performance standard.  Leagues should review the list of bats approved on the LittleLeague.org/batinfo website.

ELECTRONIC LEAGUE BOUNDARY MAPS: Milan explained the computer generated boundary map program, used last year for all-star certification by LL, is in litigation.  At this time is it not functional and consequently the Find My League website may not be correct. This is version #10 and hopefully it will be up and running soon.

Leagues will not lose players if the boundaries are adjusted for this year.  Anyone out of boundary who was in boundary, will be covered under a IId waiver.  It is noted players who have previously been certified should be double-checked at all-stars to make sure their address is still within boundaries, if not, a IId waiver should be applied for and signed off on by Milan prior to certification this season.  The same will apply for school waivers, if the player has moved residence or to a new school out of league boundaries but was certified already on a school waiver inside the league boundaries, a IId should be applied for and approved by Milan.

2018 REGULAR SEASON OPENING DAYS: The following dates were given as openings:

Alhambra American - To be decided
East Alhambra - To be decided
El Monte National - To be decided
Northeast LA - To be decided
South El Monte - To be decided
South Pasadena - March 9 @ 6:00 p.m. 65th year
March 10 @ 9:00 a.m. whole league
Temple City American - March 3 @ 10:00 a.m.
Temple City National - February 24 6:00 p.m.
El Monte Eastern - To be decided
Los Angeles - To be decided


UPPER LEAGUE DIVISIONS:  The following age breaks will apply in the 2018 season (same as in 2017): There will be no intermediate teams.

Baseball Upper Divisions
Juniors: 14U will be 12-14 year old players
Seniors: 16U will be 13-16 year old players


Softball Upper Divisions
Juniors: 14U will be 12-14 year old players
Seniors: 16U will be 13-16 year old players


Players can play on several teams during the regular season in the age group they qualify for, however in all-stars they can only play on one team in one division, and they must meet the 60% qualification to play on the all-star team.  See Tournament Rules and Guidelines, Player Eligibility.  Milan will talk more about this during the season.  Leagues do not have to balance ages on all-star teams, it will be strictly on age.  Note: Regular season major teams can only have eight 12-year olds.

LL CONGRESS: Milan, Diane and Tom (and Jane) will be attending the Congress in January.  The agenda was discussed at both meetings with Presidents invited to submit their opinions.

OPEN DISCUSSION: Milan handed out the Baseball Age chart at the November meeting and reminded leagues of the age breaks. 

FURTHER INFORMATION: Because of the January Congress, there will be no President’s meeting in January.  Milan will advise Presidents of the next meeting in February.  Leagues’ attention is drawn to an email received and forwarded to Leagues regarding their Tax Exempt Status requirements, specifically:

It is the local league’s responsibility to submit a federal tax return to the IRS.  Any non-profit organization that does not file the proper 990 form with the IRS for three consecutive years automatically loses its federal tax exemption resulting in the organization’s income becoming taxable and contributors being unable to report their contributions as tax deductions. 

All leagues with gross receipts in excess of $50,000 but less than $200,000 can file Form 990-EZ with Schedule A.  Leagues with gross receipts less than $50,000 must file an e-Postcard to retain their tax exempt status.  Additional information can be obtained at LL headquarters from Becky Bassett at 570-326-1921 ext. 2228 or bbassett@LittleLeague.org.

This is due by February 15, 2018.

The meetings were adjourned.  The next meeting will be announced by Milan.

 Diane Bowen, District 18 Secretary  



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Thursday, October 19
NEW USA BASEBALL BAT STANDARD - EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2018




USA BASEBALL BAT STANDARD
Effective January 1, 2018, all Little League Baseball programs will be governed under one umbrella bat standard of USA Baseball (i.e. “USA Bat”).

That means if you’re 14 and under, are currently swinging a youth bat, and/or have plans to swing a youth bat in the future, this affects you! Here’s what you need to know:

CAN I STILL USE MY CURRENT BAT?
All current league-approved bats can be used through 12.31.17. After that, you must use a bat with a USA Bat compliance mark. Bats regulated by the new USA Bat standard will be available to purchase 09.01.17.

WHAT THE NEW STANDARD WILL CHANGE AND WHY
The new USA Bat standard will create wood-like performance in youth baseball bats in order to make the game more uniform at the youth level and ensure the long-term integrity of the game. Similar to the BBCOR standard implemented in 2011, USA Bat regulates how much trampoline effect the barrel of a bat has on a ball. Unlike the -3 length-to-weight ratio restriction for BBCOR bats, USA Bat will not have a drop weight limit. Players within the affected organizations will also now be able to use a 2 1/4” or 2 5/8” barrel bat as long as it carries the USA Bat compliance mark.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A NEW BAT
New youth baseball bats under this standard will have less trampoline and consequently less ball exit speed. Balls fisted or in off the hands are much less likely to carry over the infield for hits. It will be more difficult to hit the ball far and with high velocity, but far from impossible.


HOW PLAYERS SHOULD PREPARE
Learn proper hitting mechanics! Be coachable and spend more time in the cage. Also, these bats are designed to perform more like wood, so a good way to prepare is by swinging a wood bat. Wood bats have smaller sweet spots, and to hit them effectively you must be more precise with your swing. They're also heavier, so every time you swing them, you’ll get stronger. A more precise swing combined with a stronger swing can help you make up that 10% in batted ball speed you lost under the USA Bat standard, so get cracking!

WHAT ABOUT TEE BALL BATS?
Tee ball bats are not required to undergo lab testing to receive approval under the USA Bat program. However, to be approved for play, tee ball bats must carry the USA Baseball mark accompanied by the following text: “Only For Use With Approved Tee Ball Bats.” If you already have a tee ball bat you would like to continue using, all you have to do is purchase a USA Bat sticker directly from the USABB and place it on your bat. Of course, tee ball bats manufactured after the new rule will already include the USA Bat Baseball mark.


Monday, October 23
District 18 Mourns the Passing of Dr. Creighton J. Hale



Little League® International is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Dr. Creighton J. Hale, a titan of the youth sports industry, accomplished safety innovator, and former President and CEO of Little League International. Dr. Hale (1924-2017), served as Little League President from 1973 to 1994, and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 1983.


Dr. Hale, 93, joined Little League as the Director of Research in 1955. His research efforts led to innovations that changed the way the game of baseball was played, and his vision helped make Little League a fabric of neighborhoods and communities around the world. He was the second full-time President in the history of the organization, succeeding Peter J. McGovern. From 1994 to 2001, Dr. Hale served as special advisor to current Little League President and CEO, Stephen D. Keener. He announced his retirement from the Little League International Board of Directors in 2014, after 60 years with the organization.


"Little League would not be what it is today without the unequaled leadership of Dr. Hale," said Mr. Keener. "Through his 60-year tenure with Little League, his legacy is arguably one of the most important in the history of sports. Personally, I could not have asked for a more dedicated mentor and kind, thoughtful friend, and I will miss him deeply. We are forever grateful for Dr. Hale's lasting impact on our program, and for his leadership and counsel over these many years. During this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Beverly, as well as his children, family, and many friends."

Prior to joining Little League, Dr. Hale was an Associate Professor of Physiology at Springfield (Mass.) College. He earned degrees from Colgate University, Springfield College, and New York University. Originally from Hardy, Neb., Dr. Hale's research and innovations in the games of baseball and softball led to the development of the double ear-flap batter's helmet, catcher's helmet, chest protector with throat guard, and the non-wood baseball bat. As Little League President and CEO, he oversaw vast expansion of the Little League program domestically and abroad, the inclusion of girls in the Little League program, the creation of Little League Softball® and the Little League Challenger Division®, and provided millions of children the opportunity to play baseball and softball.

 

"My father and I had the greatest admiration for Dr. Creighton Hale and we both served as Trustees on the Little League Foundation Board," said Peter O'Malley, former longtime Los Angeles Dodgers owner and President. "Dr. Hale was a pioneer and his vision to innovate equipment for safety was internationally recognized. His passion for growing inner-city baseball was instrumental in giving more children an opportunity to enjoy playing our national pastime. Our thoughts are with Mrs. Hale and their family." 
  

 In addition to his advances in safety equipment for baseball and softball, Dr. Hale served as chairman of the military committee that oversaw the development of the Kevlar helmet, as well as the lightweight bullet-proof vest. Through his accomplishments, Dr. Hale received countless honors both locally in the Williamsport community, and nationally, from USA Baseball, the White House, the American College of Sports Medicine, and more. Under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, Dr. Hale served on the President's Council for Youth Fitness.   

 

"Dr. Hale was an inspiration; he was the consummate gentleman and a leader in his field of science, youth sports and Little League in particular," said Davie Jane Gilmour, Ph.D., Little League International Board of Directors Chairman. "My life is more rich for the time we spent together laughing, thinking and looking to the future."

He was a Charter Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, and a Presidential Appointee to the White House Conference for a Drug-Free America. Dr. Hale was the published author of nearly 30 research articles.

Dr. Hale is survived by his wife, Beverly and his children, Tad (Jenny) Hale and Kathy Dumanis. Also surviving Dr. Hale are 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his son, Timothy, and parents, Russell and Anita.   




Friday, April 14
How District 18 Started



1952 - The first city to join Little League Baseball was South Pasadena National Little League.

1953 - California District 18 was established under the leadership of District Administrator Jim Hamilton. That year San Gabriel American, San Gabriel National, San Gabriel Eastern and Sunnyslope Little League established programs.

1954 - Was a big year as six more leagues including Temple City American and Temple City National joined District 18. In 1958 Roy Praisler took over as the District 18 Administrator.

I961 - Mr. Praisler decided he needed an assistant to help him with the operation of the fast growing District 18. He decided to appoint a young league president from Temple City National Little League to be the Assistant District 18 Administrator, that person was Al Millham. Al Millham held the position of Assistant District Administrator until 1966 when he was elected as the District Administrator for District 18, a position he held for 28 years.

At that time in 1966, the International Little League program had grown to include more than 1,600,000 players. In that same year a future District 18 Administrator, Milan Mrakich, was born in Temple City, California.

During Al Millhams administration, District 18 grew from having only Little League Baseball to include Junior, Senior and Big League Baseball as well as all divisions of softball.

1984 - Al Millham was elected for a three year term by his peers to the most prestigious honor of serving in the highest capacity a District Administrator can serve – as the representative of the Western Region on the Little League Baseball International Board of Directors in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Two years later in 1986 there were more than 2.5 million Little Leaguers playing worldwide.

1994 - Al Millham retired as District 18 Administrator  and appointed long time assistant Milan Mrakich to become District 18 Administrator.

Today, within District 18 there are 12 Little Leagues representing over five thousand youngsters in all divisions of baseball and softball annually and throughout the world there are over three million children on six continents playing in the Little League program.



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