Small Ball: A Little League StoryAbout the Film
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Although most people use the term "little league" generically to refer to any kind of organized baseball played by young people, Little League® legally refers only to the leagues and teams associated with Little League, Incorporated, founded in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in 1938.

Little League is in fact only one of several associations that promote youth softball and baseball. Other well-known leagues with long histories and national or international reach include PONY Baseball, Babe Ruth League and its subsidiary Cal Ripken Baseball, American Legion Baseball, and Dizzy Dean Baseball.

Although they may provide services for all ages of young people, many leagues are associated with a particular age group. Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball are mostly for over-13s, while Little League's flagship division is its "Majors", played by 11 and 12 year olds. This is the division, which is highlighted at the Little League World Series and shown in SMALL BALL.

Facts & Figures
1. The distance between the pitching mound and home plate is 46 feet. The distance between bases is 60 feet. This is 14 and 30 feet, respectively, shorter than a Major League Baseball diamond.

2. A regulation Little League game is six innings long. Of course, extra innings are possible to break ties. If one team gets ten runs ahead of the other after four innings, a "mercy rule" is invoked, and play ends.

3. A base runner is not allowed to leave the base before the pitched ball crosses home plate.

4. Little League umpires are officially unpaid, although they must go through extensive training.

5. Playing in Little League does not necessarily lead to a career in pro ball. Less than 1% of all Major Leaguers ever played Little League. Ex-Little League pros include Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Carl Yastrzemski, Mark McGwire and George Brett.

6. Danny DeVito was not small for his age when he played Little League. Other famous Little Leaguers include Tom Selleck, Bruce Springsteen, Kevin Costner, Huey Lewis, Dave Barry, Bill Bradley and George W. Bush.

7. The country that has won the most World Series is the US (27 championships), followed by Taiwan (17 wins). In 1997, Taiwan withdrew from Little League entirely because it disagreed with Little League recruitment rules. Non-US teams have been world champions 30 times.

8. An umpire can officiate only once in his lifetime at the World Series.

9. Because of its size, California is the only state divided into two halves, Northern and Southern, for the purposes of state tournament play. On the other hand, North Dakota and South Dakota are combined at the State level.

Historical Little League photos

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