How is PONY Baseball different from Little League Baseball?
The primary features that distinguish PONY Baseball from Little League Baseball are a two-year age bracket system and scaled diamonds.
In organizations such as Little League, players can differ by three years within a division. As a result, the younger players find it hard to communicate with the older players because of their lack of maturity, ability, and size. Generally, they find themselves spending a disproportionate amount of time on the bench and may feel disconnected from their team. With players of only two ages involved, as with PONY Baseball, it is far easier to permit every player to play more positions since the difference in skills within the age group is not that great.
The game of baseball cannot be played as it was intended to be played if the physical capability of the players does not match the physical achievements required for the game. For example, little League uses two diamond sizes. Up until age 12, players play on a 60-foot diamond. On the other hand, PONY Baseball scales the size of its diamonds to match the physical capabilities of the players within each division. The base dimensions for PONY Baseball are:
60-foot bases for Pinto (7-8 some 9 year-olds)
60-foot bases for Mustang (9-10 year-olds)
70-foot bases for Bronco (11-12 year-olds)
80-foot bases for Pony (13-14 year-olds)
These base dimensions result from extensive experimentation to determine the size on which players of each age group can properly play the game of Baseball. In addition, pitching distance is also scaled to the player's ability in proportion to the size of the diamond.
The scaled-down diamonds allow the players to make the plays made by the major leaguers. Home runs become a possibility. Outfielders can play in a position proportionately equal to that of a major leaguer, and the double play, squeeze play. Various strategy tactics, difficult for adults and nearly impossible for youngsters on a full-size diamond, become a probability rather than an impossibility.
Where are the games played?
The league plays all games at the Palisades Rec Center Field of Dreams, Diamonds numbered 1 through 4.
What are the field numbers, and where does my child play?
There are four beautiful fields at the Palisades Field of Dreams. Each division has its field.
Field 1 is the closest to the Rec Center Gym and has a dirt infield.
Field 2 which is directly opposite field 1, also has a dirt infield.
Field 3 is the closest field to the playground and has a grass infield.
Field 4 is directly opposite Field 3 and also has a grass infield.
Broncos will play on Field 1 or 2, only. Mustangs will play on all four fields and Pinto's will play on Fields 3 and 4 only. Shetland will play on all four fields. Check your schedule for the date and field you are scheduled to play on.
When are the games played?
Normally, our practice season begins in the first week of February, the regular season,
with Opening Day and the Pancake Breakfast in the middle of March, and the season finishes up after playoffs in the first week of June.
During the regular spring season, all divisions( with the exception of Shetland) play two games a week, one during the week, always Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, and one on Saturday. Weekday games typically start at 4:30 pm. Weekend games typically start at either 9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, or 3:00 p.m. The Pintos and Broncos play on Tuesdays or Thursdays, and Saturdays at 9:00 AM or 3:00 PM. The Mustangs will all play on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 12:00 PM. It is recommended players arrive at the field 45 minutes to 1 hour before game time, so managers can warm them up, get the fences out, and get the line-up cards ready before the start of the game.
When and what is a player evaluation session?
All children in the PPBA program must attend an Evaluation Day to be drafted onto a team. The players are required to field a few ground balls in the infield; a few fly balls in the outfield; then go to our hitting field to take some swings against a pitching machine. This day gives the Board of Directors and Division Heads within the league an opportunity to better evaluate each player's baseball skills and abilities before the draft. Please check the Evaluation tab or the calendar for the evaluation dates.
Does every child get to make a team at the PPBA?
The PPBA board would like every child to have the opportunity to play Baseball in our league. However, the reality is that there are certain field limitations, time constraints, and players' safety concerns, which just do not make this possible.
The PPBA is faced with certain realities we just can't change 1) field space and permitting access to city parks and recreation. Given our space limitations (which only allow us 4 baseball diamonds) and our need to share our Field of Dreams with the city parks and recreation department, we limit the maximum number of divisions in the lower league to 3 and the maximum number of teams per league to 8 ( 24 total teams) and we limit the number of players on each team. 2) Children’s safety; the safety of every child comes first at the PPBA. The reality is that not every child’s abilities allow them to be ready to safely play Baseball. This fact is extremely important to the Board of PPBA.
What equipment will my child need before the first practice or game?
The registration fee provides a jersey, cap, baseball pants, and sox to each child for use during league games. A uniform consists of a pair of baseball pants, sliding pants (highly recommended), a baseball jersey, a long sleeve baseball t-shirt for those cool spring nights at the park (highly recommended), a hat, a belt, an athletic supporter (highly recommended) and a pair of baseball socks. The pants are white. Be sure to check with your manager before buying new pants for the season. All divisions must wear rubber molded cleats.
Last but not least -- a quality leather glove is a must. Vinyl and simulated leather gloves may be cheaper but tend to cause the player a great deal of frustration. It's impossible to form a pocket in gloves made of vinyl or simulated leather. Therefore the ball tends to pop out when the player attempts to catch it.
All players should bring a windbreaker, jacket, or sweatshirt to every game and practice. Especially early in the season.
What kind of bats are allowed in each league?
Each team is provided with two bats by the league. If you wish to purchase a bat at your own discretion, you should know that we do not allow "big barrel bats" in the lower division. We use metal bats with barrels of 2 5/8" for all divisions (PINTO, MUSTANG, BRONCO & PONY) that must have the USABat stamp on the barrel.
Who do I call if I have a problem that needs to be resolved by the league?
If at any time you have a problem or just want information e-mail us at [email protected]; or call your organizational representative. When leaving a message, please provide us with both a day and evening phone number. In most cases, we'll get back to you within 48 hours.
Who is responsible for staffing the Bat and Grill?
You, the parents, are required to work your Bat and Grill shift (3 hours) during your team's established time. This allows you to meet other parents in the league and it's easy!! Each Team's Bat and Grill Parent will be provided a schedule of when it is your team's turn to work. We make it an organization's responsibility, so take the opportunity to get to know the parents in your organization. ie: the DODGERS (Pinto, Mustang, & Broncos). Please remember that your team will forfeit their game if the Bat and Grill work is not performed. And your child may risk suspension.
How much do team pictures cost?
During the spring season - $zero$ -- the basic package is included in your registration fee. Each child will receive a picture package consisting of 2 wallet pictures, a 5x7 team picture, and a button. Extra pictures can be ordered on Picture Day and special items like trading cards and pennants can be purchased on Picture Day directly from the Photographer. Extra pictures must be paid for at the time of the picture-taking.
Rich Schmitt also takes "Action Photos" (many of which are provided to this web site) for purchase and donates them back to the PPBA. Please check his photos out at his tent during the season.
How are children placed on teams?
All players are required to be evaluated before the draft. At these "Evaluation Days" both returning and new players are allowed to show their skills in front of all of the Division Heads and Board of Directors. Each Board member rates the player on a scale of 1 to 10 and all players are then given a draft score. During the draft - taking into consideration the confidential players' draft score and his or her performance the previous year, if possible, the board selects the teams. This method allows for the best possible parity for all teams. Due to field space and safety concerns, trying out does not guarantee placement on a team.
Can my child be placed on a team with one of their friends?
We try our best to achieve parity between teams. We do not place friends on teams. Your child will become friends with his teammates. Please understand that we are on a best efforts basis. Depending upon the skill level of the players involved, we try to create the fairest teams possible.
Do the children pitch in the Pinto division?
No, we use machine pitch.
What is the cost and refund policy?
The registration fee per player is as follows:
The price includes a uniform (jersey, baseball hat, socks and pants), a basic photo package, insurance, field maintenance and permits, umpire costs, and team equipment.
There is a discount for sibling registrations. The discount for a second child is $50.00 and $100.00 for the third.
The registration fee, less a $25 administration fee, will be refunded only if your child is not placed on a team. If your child is placed on a team at the player draft, there will be no refund. (Unless the child withdraws for a legitimate medical reason.) Once teams are formed and practices commence, your registration fee is non-refundable.