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The vast majority of RLL kids will play within the level of play designated for their age. However, there are some players who, due to their skill level or other individual circumstances, may be allowed to play at a different level than their age specifies. These exceptions are granted on an individual, year-to-year basis and must be approved by the RLL board. If a player believes he/she should play at a different level than his age designates then the player's parents must make a request to a RLL board member for review. The player must register in his designated age group and attend the skills assessment for that group.

"Play-up" requests are evaluated based primarily on roster space at the requested level and the skill level of the player.  In evaluating the skill level of the player RLL considers not only whether the player is sufficiently skilled to compete at the requested level, but also whether his or her skill level is such that participating in the level with his or her contemporaries would be unchallenging or present safety issues for other players.  Some of the other factors that RLL considers are the player's school grade and the proximity of his or her birthday to the April 30th age cutoff.  The fact that a player may have the skills necessary to play in the higher level is not sufficient reason alone to merit a "play-up" exception.  RLL typically permits only a small number of "play-up" requests each season.

Under Little League International rules, players are not allowed to play-up to Majors (Intermediate 50/70).