LL vs. USSSA
WHY BLASTERS USES LITTLE LEAGUE AGE CALENDAR INSTEAD OF USSSA
Part of the Blasters charter, and in fact the reason that the Blasters began, is to help develop players from Belmont-Redwood Shores Little League to compete at the All-Star and Superbowl level for their age group. We feel that one of the most crucial characteristics of a successful team is chemistry. Without question, talent is a big part of being successful. However, being a part of a true team can help you to victory, even over teams with more “talent”.
To align with our charter, the Blasters forms its teams based on the Little League age calendar (September to August). By doing this, kids who potentially could develop into All-Star/Superbowl players have the opportunity to play together all summer long, year after year, helping to form a cohesive unit.
A very important point to understand here: Playing on a Blasters team is not in any way a guarantee of making a BRSLL All-Star team. What it does do is give these kids more exposure to tougher competition, more advanced practice reps during the summer, more live game reps, and more time to bond as a team.
The most recent Little League age calendar change was implemented specifically because the Little League World Series is held at the end of August each year, and as Little League is supposed to be for kids up to age 12, they want the competitors to be no older than 12 when their championships are held. The Little League age calendar also aligns with most school age cutoffs, giving kids in the same grade the opportunity to play with each other.
The USSSA age calendar goes from May to April, which is perfectly fine. The Blasters organization has chosen to not follow this particular calendar because doing so would mean that our teams would have a mix of two Little League aged players. This mix would be able to play together for summer tournaments. When it comes time for Little League All Star teams, however, they would not be on the same team. They would not be able to play with all of their classmates in their school grade.
Aligning our teams with the Little League age calendar has proven to be a successful formula. While at younger ages, our teams may face competitive challenges against USSSA teams with older kids, our teams are very competitive once they reach All-Star age groups. In tournaments all over the Bay Area and across the country, the Blasters can compete with anybody.