Stricter eligibility standards for Little League World Series after scandal

Tuesday, December 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) _ Teams in next year's Little League World Series will have to carry more detailed documentation of the eligibility of their players, including proof of age and residency, Little League officials said Tuesday.

The stricter guidelines were announced four months after the Rolando Paulino Little League team from New York City was stripped of its third-place finish because star pitcher Danny Almonte's family lied about his age.

``I must underscore that these new standards and procedures will still rely on the integrity and the honesty of the more than 1.25 million adult volunteers in our program,'' said Stephen D. Keener, president and CEO of Little League Baseball Inc.

Under the new rules, teams will be required to carry player documentation throughout the tournament and documents will be rechecked at the regional level, the last step before the World Series.

The Rolando Paulino Little League team was forced to forfeit its titles in August, less than two weeks after Almonte threw a perfect game _ the first in 44 years at the series. Almonte's family and team said he was 12, but Dominican officials said he was 14.