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McCormick Ranch Little League - Serving the City of Scottsdale & the Town of Paradise Valley, AZ

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News Detail


Nov, 2018

MRLL and NSLL to Have Combined Teams Play in 2019

Beginning with the Spring 2019 season, the players and coaches that currently reside (or attend schools) within the North Scottsdale Little League (NSLL) boundaries will be included in the McCormick Ranch Little League (MRLL) pool of players and coaches for the regular season for all divisions (e.g. Tee, Farm, Minors, Majors and Juniors) of play under the “Combined Team” play rules. 

The two leagues' governing boards recently agreed that playing under the "Combined Team" rules for Spring 2019 would offer the participants the best experience for all involved.  We want to provide as many opportunities for children to play baseball as possible.  We believe by combining teams in 2019, and then expanding the MRLL boundaries in 2020, we can offer a better experience for all families involved.  We believe the level of coaching and competitive play will be better in a larger league.  We also believe a larger league can produce greater financial resources, which in turn will be invested in the programs the league offers.  In addition, a larger league with access to 4 lighted fields allows for more consistent scheduling of practices and games, while avoiding the need to play inter-league games far away from the neighborhoods we serve.

One of the options that local leagues have in creating those opportunities is through combined teams under Little League® rules. Combined teams allow two or more leagues to place registrants for a given division of play (e.g. Majors Baseball) into one pool and select teams from all players. One league must host the combination (e.g. MRLL), while other leagues involved participate in the combination. This option is often used by leagues in which there are not enough players to field enough teams to have fun and competitive experiences for the participants.

Background Information
Since the current league configurations within AZLL District 6 were re-established in 1987, NSLL and MRLL have both had strong success in terms of participants and volunteerism.  Their success has been evident on the field as well (e.g. the two leagues have the first and second most 12-yo District 6 titles and are the only D6 leagues to win state titles at the 12-yo LL level).

However, due to changing demographics, the number of eligible and participatory kids within the NSLL boundaries (which covers a great deal of the town Paradise Valley as well as a portion of Scottsdale contiguous with MRLL) has dropped off significantly.  MRLL has also seen the number of participants decrease from its highest participation levels, although not as significant as NSLL.

It is imperative that local Little Leagues be able to recruit a critical number of families to the league to fill out its governing board and stable of volunteers needed to run a viable league.

Due to the reduced number of teams each league has fielded in recent years, both leagues have turned to inter-league games to create more competitive and variable experiences for their players.  Often times those inter-league games have been difficult and burdensome to schedule.  The inter-league games require families to travel additional distances to get to "away" games, often on school nights.  The inter-league games have also created some confusion when it comes to which “local rules” under which the games are played. 

Field Access
MRLL plays all home games at either the lighted Chaparral Park or Cochise Elementary (no lights) fields.  NSLL plays all of their home games at Cocopah middle school (a school where many MRLL players attend or will attend) on two primary fields with lights.  Cocopah also has several other baseball practice fields.  The Cocopah facility has permanent restrooms and a snack stand run by league volunteers.  NSLL also installed 2 batting cages at Cocopah.

The access to these fields at Cocopah, along with Chaparral and Cochise, is becoming more in demand from other baseball & softball organizations/clubs, as well as soccer teams.  The higher participant numbers we have, the less risk we have of losing out on access to these neighborhood fields.

It will be the leagues’ intent to continue to utilize the Chaparral and Cocopah fields as our primary game fields for Majors and Minors divisions during the week and Saturday nights.  The Tee and Farm ball divisions will also have access to those fields for Saturday games, in addition to the fields at Cochise during the week.  The MRLL board is carefully considering how to take advantage of the fields we have access to for all divisions, for practices and games, in 2019.

All-Star Tournaments
In 2019, each league, MRLL & NSLL, will organize and field their own respective post-season All-Star teams from players and coaches from within their boundaries.  

2020 And Beyond
The leagues will pursue a permanent merger of the leagues' boundaries with Little League International in anticipation that MRLL will get approval to take over NSLL’s boundaries in time for the Spring 2020 season.  

For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions about this news on our website.

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Attn: Ward Huseth 
Scottsdale, Arizona  

Email Us: [email protected]
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