In hopes of keeping more children and teenagers involved in baseball, Little League is planning on adding a new age division this year, The Associated Press reported Monday.
The pilot program would be for 12- and 13-year-old players, and it will be designed to ease the transition to playing on professional-sized fields -- which includes pitching distances of 60 feet, 6 inches, and basepaths of 90 feet -- the AP added.
The new age division will use a 50-foot pitching distance and 70-foot basepaths, as Little League will gauge the level of interest in the new division this season to decide whether or not to continue it, according to the AP.
Currently, 11- and 12-year-olds mostly play on fields with a 46-foot pitching distance and 60-foot basepaths. The next level up is the regulation-sized fields, mainly for 13- and 14-year-olds.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.