A hitter for Cuba swings at a pitch in the LLWS.
Screenshot from Twitter

Little League's New 'Continuous Batting Order' Rule is Ruining the Sport

A new rule at the Little League World Series requires every player to hit all the time, and fans aren't happy about the results.

For those that were wondering why two no-hitters were thrown and a total of 12 runs were scored across four games in the opening day of the Little League World Series, look no further than the league's newest, god-awful rule.

Introduced in 2023 is what is called a "continuous batting order." All that means is that a Little League team must bat every single player on the roster at all times as part of Little League's mandatory play. If you have 14 players on a roster, all of them bat. Previously, the rules stated every player on the roster had to receive at least one at-bat and play the field for "six defensive outs" every game, which gave headaches to coaches substituting players constantly.

The new rule, in theory, is to ease the burden of coaches while letting every kid bat seamlessly. And while that is what's happening, it's also taking away from the play on the field.

Case in point:

If it felt like almost every kid who came to the plate was striking out on Wednesday, that's because it's not that far off. Panama's Omar Vargas struck out 12 of the 13 Czech Republic batters he faced before he was lifted, and the only reason Panama scored was because he hit a grand slam. Japan held Cuba, a feel-good first-time participant story, to zero hits in a 1-0 snoozer.

The problem is this rule takes away at-bats from top-of-the-order hitters, like the leadoff and cleanup hitter, because teams have to now go through an extra three to five hitters. Imagine if MLB implemented a similar rule, and Aaron Judge or Shohei Ohtani received less at-bats.

The Little League World Series is in trouble if it keeps up this new batting order rule. We shouldn't be seeing multiple no-hitters take place in one day. These aren't "pitcher's duels," they're bullpens with hitters standing in waving at a curveball they've never seen before. This "everyone plays" mantra just means more unenjoyable at-bats for fans.

And it's not just me. Fans aren't happy with the rule:


I don't want to seem harsh, especially when it's a group of kids playing the sport. But here's the thing, this isn't just a bunch of 12-year-olds playing baseball on a sandlot while their parents hoot and holler. The LLWS is a marquee event, and one that ESPN has paid millions of dollars for the right to broadcast that is beloved by fans across the world. At the end of the day, if the product isn't good, eyeballs won't follow.

Little League is totally on the right path in wanting every kid to play, but it should go back to the old rules because these games in Williamsport are going to be far less interesting.

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