Notes From the Travel Directors Meeting

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Baseball season is fast-approaching, and there is no greater sign of this than the annual MBL Travel Directors Meeting. (Well, maybe Major League pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training is a more significant marker, but our meeting is right behind!) We wanted to share some highlights from the meeting in the blog this month.

One special part of all our meetings is when representatives from the South Metro Miracle League give an overview of their amazing program. The Miracle League provides an opportunity for kids aged three and older with cognitive and/or physical disabilities to play baseball. The kids have an absolute blast! An important part of the Miracle League game nights is the Buddy Program, where each player is paired with an able-bodied friend to assist them on and off the field during the game. It is a great combination when an MBL team pairs up with a Miracle League team on a game night. We have had many MBL teams enroll in the program over the years and EVERYONE has a great experience. We will have this info on the MBL site, but teams or individuals who are interested in the Buddy Program can contact Kari Schmitz for more information or to sign-up. (

Pitch Count Violation Rule Change

Another highlight of the meeting centered around a rule change regarding the penalty for violating the pitch count in tournaments and league play. The main change being made in 2024 is that it will no longer be a game forfeit when a pitcher goes over the pitch count limit. The rational for this change came from the fact that most of these violations are occurring by accident or even clerical error. The MBL and MBT take pitch counts seriously, and so we will still enforce an ejection of the head coach of the team who violates this rule, as well as enforce the pitcher in violation being ineligible to pitch for the remainder of a tournament. Viewing this from above, we don’t want anyone violating pitch count limits and we hope teams can help each other in accomplishing this.

No Change to Game Time Limits

There was healthy discussion regarding game time limits. The MBL presented data regarding reported game times from the 2023 season, identifying certain age levels that tend to have longer games. It was generally agreed that long games – in the two hour + 30 minute range – are not good for youth baseball. A vote on lessening the league game time limits by 15 minutes, which would match common time limits in tournament pool play, did not pass, meaning we will use the same time limits for league games as last season. The group agreed that this topic is something everyone should continue to monitor.

Travel Times Discussed

Finally, there was good discussion on the topic of scheduling and region formation, particularly in terms of travel time. The MBL continues to work hard at limiting travel as much as possible, knowing there will be situations where some teams may travel longer distances for away games than others. It was very encouraging that the spirit of this goes back to player development – as opposed to being overly focused on winning. Put another way, associations are willing to sacrifice a balanced league schedule in order to assemble a better travel or a more competitive schedule.

Goal of the Meeting is to Make Programs Better

The reasoning behind the Travel Directors Meeting is to generate great discussion and to allow associations to have a voice. We encourage all our families to talk with their travel directors and board members when they have concerns, or ideas to make a program better. The MBL works to serve our communities; this can’t happen without listening to our communities. Please know, this is a priority for us!

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