UK Little League Qualifier to be held at Farnham Park on 16 & 17 June

Wed 2 May 2018

BaseballSoftballUK will host the 2018 UK Little League Qualifiers (UKLLQ) over the weekend of 16-17 June at Farnham Park. 

With Little League revising the playing ages for several age divisions, the 2018 edition of the UKLLQ will have the following age groups playing:

  • U11/Coach Pitch - Ages 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 (players must be 10 or younger before 1 September 2018).
  • U11/Minors - Ages 7, 8, 9 or 10 (players must be 10 or younger before 1 September 2018)." U11/Minors - Ages 7, 8, 9 or 10 (players must be 10 or younger before 1 September 2018).
  • U13/Majors - Ages 10, 11 or 12 (players must be 12 or younger before 1 September 2018 for 10 and 11-year-olds and before 1 May 2018 for 12-year-olds)." U13/Majors - Ages 10, 11 or 12 (players must be 12 or younger before 1 September 2018 for 10 and 11-year-olds and before 1 May 2018 for 12-year-olds).
  • U15/Juniors - Ages 12, 13 or 14 (players must be 14 or younger before 1 September 2018 for 13 and 14-year-olds, and before 1 May 2018 for 12-year-olds)." U15/Juniors - Ages 12, 13 or 14 (players must be 14 or younger before 1 September 2018 for 13 and 14-year-olds, and before 1 May 2018 for 12-year-olds).
  • U17/Seniors - Ages 13, 14, 15 or 16 (players must be 16 or younger before 1 September 2018)." U17/Seniors - Ages 13, 14, 15 or 16 (players must be 16 or younger before 1 September 2018).

Following the success in recent years of Little League Baseball in the UK, we hope to increase the number of teams in each age category in the 2018 tournament to make this the biggest-ever UK Little League competition.  With the exception of the U11/Coach Pitch and U11/Minors tournaments, the winner in each age group will earn the right to represent the UK at the European Little League Qualifier this summer.

U11/Coach Pitch and U11/Minors


BaseballSoftballUK is encouraging as many clubs as possible to enter the UK Little League Tournament, especially at the U11 age level, which is why two tournaments will be hosted for this age group.

  • U11/Coach Pitch will feature modified rules, included a coach pitching to his own team, and is aimed at new and development teams and players." U11/Coach Pitch will feature modified rules, including a coach pitching to his own team, and is aimed at new and development teams and players.
  • U11/Minors will be played under Little League rules but may feature some modified rules to encourage participation and create a more even competition." U11/Minors will be played under Little League rules but may feature some modified rules to encourage participation and create a more even competition.

In an effort to encourage development and more competitive gameplay, the U11/Coach Pitch and U11/Minors tournaments will be considered open tournaments.   Any club with players who are aged 10 or under on 1 September 2018 may enter a team regardless of experience and/or games played.  If a club is unable to field a full team, BaseballSoftballUK will help recruit players from other clubs to ensure as many children get to play baseball as possible.

Qualification for Europe


The winner of each UK Little League Qualifier (except for U11 tournaments) will earn the right to represent the UK later this summer at the appropriate Europe and Africa Regional Little League Qualifier.  The eventual winner of each European Qualifier will then represent Europe and Africa at the Little League World Series in the USA.  Full details of the European Qualifiers can be found here.

Biggest UK Little League tournament in history


In 2013, the UK Little League Qualifier was contested between just two teams.  In 2014 there were 12 teams, and in 2015 the tournament expanded to 14.  In 2016, 17 teams participated with the addition of the U11/Coach Pitch division. In 2018 we are hoping to build on the success of 2017 and are expecting this year's event to be the biggest Little League tournament in British history. The event will not just be the biggest, but it will hopefully be one of the highlights of the summer in youth baseball.  "When I asked my son whether he thought this event reminded him of the Little League Tournaments in Europe, he said, 'No mum, it's like the baseball tournaments in the USA,'" said one parent at the 2015 UK Little League Qualifier. "Youth development is at the core of what we do and is at the heart of what BaseballSoftballUK is about," said former BaseballSoftballUK National Development Manager Will Lintern.  "I still remember fondly the trips I used to take to RAF Alconbury with the Tonbridge Bobcats to play in what was then the UK Little League Qualifier.  I hope these young players look back on their time at Farnham Park as I do on my time in Tonbridge and at RAF Alconbury playing 'British' Little League baseball."

Tournament Entry


Entry to this year's tournament will cost £120 per team.  Tournament registration will be open until Friday 18 May 2018. To express interest in playing in the UK Little League Qualifier, contact BaseballSoftballUK's Fastpitch Development Manager and UK Little League Assistant District Administrator Johanna Malisani or simply complete the tournament registration form that is available online here.
 

Final Details and Tournament Pack


Final details of the event, including schedules and tournament brackets, will be announced during the week of 28 May.
 

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