In past seasons McLean Little League has organized a team for competition in the Cooperstown Dreams Park series of tournaments in Cooperstown, New York. That team has typically consisted of the best 12-14 league age 12 year old players as voted by MLL's Majors team managers. Due to numerous organizational changes, as well as inherent dissonance between MLL and Cooperstown rules of play, it is no longer in MLL’s best interest to organize a team. The specific reasons for making this change are as follows:
Starting in 2018, the Little League International age change requirements will officially go into effect. As most of you know, the eligibility date for little league age determination has been moved to August 31. The eligibility date for the Dreams Park tournament is consistent with travel baseball and remains at May 1. Therefore, starting in Summer 2019, many of the players eligible to play in Cooperstown will have aged out of MLL’s Majors Division in June 2018 (a full 14+ months prior), would no longer be playing in MLL, and would be ineligible to be voted in by the Majors managers.
Previously there was a significant barrier to entry for teams that had not played in the prior year’s tournaments. Certificates to allow for team registration – which are good year after year - were limited and difficult to acquire. Due to the success of the event, the Dreams Park organizers have significantly increased their offerings to allow for a 50% increase in the number of participating teams. This increase in registration availability has eliminated the barrier to entry, as currently there is sufficient certificate availability for all interested teams.
This tournament is not governed by Little League International rules. The bases are 70 feet apart, vice 60, and the pitcher’s mound is 50 feet from home plate, vice 46. Base runners are allowed to take leads and balks are enforced on pitchers. These rules are incongruent with Little League specific strategies and styles of play.
Therefore, effective 9/24/17, McLean Little League will no longer have any direct affiliation with teams playing in the Cooperstown Dreams Park tournament. We continue to cheer on all of our MLL players who head to tournaments around the country. Read more about Cooperstown Dream Park at www.cooperstowndreamspark.com/thepark.