Why should I host a local Jr. Home Run Derby event?

The Major League Baseball Jr. Home Run Derby events are a fun, accessible way to get kids interested in playing baseball and/or softball. Plus, they can be an exciting addition to existing leagues, events and other programs for athletes.

Even more, these high-profile events are affiliated with Major League Baseball. The winners of your local event have the opportunity to advance to and compete during MLB All-Star Week!

When should the local events be held?

All local events must be completed on or before PLAY BALL Weekend, June 11-12, 2022, to qualify for the 2022 Regional Qualifier.

Can I run an event after PLAY BALL Weekend?

Yes, you can! You can still run an event after PLAY BALL Weekend, but winners will be put into the pool to qualify for the 2023 Regional Qualifiers. If qualifying for 2023 events, the age cutoff is July 20, 2023.

Who can participate in the competition and what are the age groups?

The Jr. Home Run Derby local events are open to the following age groups:

  • 12U Baseball
  • 14U Baseball
  • 14U Softball
  • 16U Softball

The age cutoff for participants competing in 2022 events is July 20, 2022.

How does the age cut off work?

For the 2022 events, the age cutoff is July 20, 2022. Therefore, an athlete must be the appropriate age of the division in which they are participating as of July 20, 2022. For example, if an athlete turns 13 on July 1, 2022, they must compete in the 14U division -- not the 12U division -- since they turn 13 before the July 20 cutoff date.

Does the host have to confirm an athlete’s age?

Yes, the host is required to check birth certificates at the event and confirm the age of the participants. If a participant advances but is put into the wrong age division, they will be disqualified.

What should we do if our field does not have a fence, or the fence is too far?

Our handbook recommends distances for baseball (200 ft) and softball (170 ft). If possible, it's best to create a fence close to those distances, or even move up home plate into the infield to achieve the appropriate distances.

If your field doesn't have a fence, you can draw one with chalk or paint in the grass, or you can use a temporary fence/barrier as well.

Do we have to host all age groups? Do we have to host both baseball and softball?

We understand that all organizations are different and specialize in different sports and age groups. With that in mind, while we encourage you to host as many age groups/sports as you can, at the local level you are not required to host all age groups or both sports.

Can I run a private event for my organization, or does it need to be public and open to others to join?

Yes, you can run a private event for your organization, but we encourage you to open it up to participants outside of your organization when possible. This is also a great way to encourage new participation within your organization, and get other athletes interested!

Are there any requirements to be a host?

All hosts will have to register online here. All hosts will be vetted prior to receiving confirmation, so we encourage you to fill out the registration form as accurately and in-depth as possible.

Once approved, a representative will reach out to you to confirm your participation and provide you with all the materials you need.

Hosts must also use the designated registration platform for their events -- athletes who aren’t registered prior to competing won’t be able to advance.

Can I charge kids to participate in Jr. Home Run Derby?

No, Jr. Home Run Derby is a free event, and must remain free for all participants. However, we encourage local event operators to monetize in other ways through concessions, raffles, etc.

What is the best way to run this event to get maximum participation?

There are many different types of organizations and ways to encourage participation. You can decide what’s best for you, but here are some successful examples:

  • Part of PE classes
  • School field day
  • After-school activity
  • Picture day

Do I have to use the Jr. Home Run Derby registration platform for my event?

Yes, all participants must register online through the Jr. Home Run Derby, MLB-approved platform. Once you register to host an event and gain approval, you will be sent a unique URL for all participants to register. Participants MUST register through this platform to be permitted to advance.

Can participants register on-site prior to the event?

Yes, we will provide walk-up registration QR codes and links so that participants are able to register on-site, and therefore be eligible to advance.

How does a participant advance to the next round?

If the event is not an automatic qualifier, each local event host will submit their winners at the end of their event. The winners go into a larger pool within their region, where the highest performers are selected to advance to one of eight Regional Qualifiers. Then, the winners from each division of the Regional Qualifier (four people total) advance to the National Finals, which takes place during MLB All-Star Week.

What is an automatic qualifier?

This year we have added automatic qualifiers, where the winners at the local level will AUTOMATICALLY advance to a Regional Qualifier.

Below are some of the automatic qualifiers for 2022:

  • A local event that hosts 50 athletes overall
  • An event hosted by a Minor League Baseball Club
  • Other select events as indicated on the website

Can there be a tie at the event?

No, in order for us to determine who advances, you must have a winner in each age division to submit post-event. If there is a tie at the event, we ask that you run a tiebreaker to determine the winner.

When and where are the Regional Qualifiers?

The Regional Qualifiers will take place mostly in the month of June, with some potentially taking place in July. When finalized, the schedule will be available here.

What takes place at the Regional Qualifier?

The top performers from the local events advance to the Regional Qualifier, where they compete against other top performers within their region. You can find the complete Regional Qualifier guidelines in our handbook.

What happens if you win a Regional Qualifier?

If you win a Regional Qualifier, you will then advance to the National Finals, which is held during MLB All-Star Week. National Finals qualifiers receive an all-expenses paid trip for the participant and one guardian.

How do I promote my Local Competition?

Approved hosts have access to all the event marketing resources below:

  • Promotional flyers to print and distribute physically or digitally
  • Social media graphics to share via your social handles
  • Social media copy to share with your event promotional post
  • Website copy and banner ads to add on your website or community websites
  • Press release templates to use with your local community to get the word out

We recommend beginning promotion 6-8 weeks in advance of your event, and continuing your promotion up until 24 hours prior to the event date.

Can I use the Jr. Home Run Derby logo in my promotional material?

If you would like to use the Jr. Home Run Derby logo, please contact us at [email protected] and send along any materials with the logo for approval. Anything with the logo, outside of the materials provided, must be approved.

Who can host a local event?

Anyone who is involved in baseball/softball organizations and can gather a group of participants can apply to host an event. All applicants will be vetted prior to approval. In the past, local hosts have consisted of: coaches, league administrators, event operators etc. If you are interested in potentially running an event but want more information, please email to [email protected].

How do I find an event near me?

You can search for Jr. Home Run Derby events on our website.

Keep in mind that all athletes must be registered online in order to be eligible to participate and advance.

Are there any requirements for participants?

The only requirements for an athlete to participate are:

  • Must be registered online prior to competition
  • Must meet age requirements

Can an athlete try to qualify at more than one event?

Yes, participants are able to try and qualify for a Regional Qualifier at multiple local events. If an athlete is participating at a Regional Qualifier and does not advance to the National Finals, they may still try to qualify, but must attend a Regional Qualifier within their region.