League Play Overview
- Season dates – The MBA Minor season typically runs from late March through early June. You should start hearing from coaches in mid to late February and practice should begin in late February or early March.
- Objective – The MBA Minor 9 and 10 Leagues are for children 9 or 10 years of age on or before April 30th, 2017. This is the 5th league in our development program. Players in this league continue to learn the game of baseball while advancing into a more competitive environment. This is the first year that kids will pitch while learning more advanced baserunning, fielding, and throwing skills. Score is kept in this league, as well as league standings and there is a end of season tournament to determine the champion. The goal is to continue to teach the kids the fundamentals of the game while also introducing the competitive aspects that will continue when they advance to Minor 10. We will use two umpires in this league and innings are limited to 6 runs or 3 outs, whichever comes first. Games will be a maximum of 6 innings or 1:45 time limit.
Your team coaches and all of the league management are 100% volunteers. We do not have anyone coaching or managing this league that gets paid with your registration fees. We do have paid umpires beginning in the Prep league and above. These officials are paid by the registration fees for those leagues and that is why these leagues cost more per player. All of your head coaches and 1st assistants are required by the league to attend a coach’s certification class. In this class, they learn how to instruct players on baseball basics. They also learn how to manage teams, injuries, parents and many other league-related issues during this certification process. Please get involved with your team and your players. The coaches only get these players for a limited time each week and, if you truly want to see improvement in your child’s skills, you will have to put in some time at home reinforcing the techniques that they learn at practice. The coaches will look first to you when confronted with medical issues regarding your child so please advise your coach of any medical issues with your player prior to the season. As a general rule, please do not leave your child alone at the park. These teams can not become baby sitting services and our coaches are instructed to avoid any situation that puts them alone with someone else’s child.
It is a difficult task to order, sort, and distribute uniforms to 900+ players each year. Your coach will order your uniforms based on the sizes that you recorded on your registration form. The uniforms will be ordered and delivered as fast and as accurately as possible. This year registration fees will cover getting names on jerseys and numbers on hats for each player. For safety reasons, the coaches in the league will be discouraged from putting the player’s first name on their uniforms.
The MBA expects teams playing games to wear their uniform correctly. This means that shirts should be tucked in and hats should be worn correctly. The coaches will be in charge of handling these issues on their teams.
You do not have to buy your player a batting helmet to play in this league. The MBA has some used helmets that we can make available to the team coaches if they have players that do not have their own helmet. In most cases, the players in these leagues have their own batting helmets that they do not share with teammates. Most people find that owning your own helmet is safer – head lice and overall fit issues. Please let your coach know if you want to use one of the league helmets so that he can alert the league equipment manager of the need. All helmets must be league approved have a face guard to be used in league play.
There will be a team mom meeting prior to the season starting. The date of this meeting will be posted as soon as it is determined.
This is youth baseball and not the World Series. Have Fun! Don’t stress over the small things. At this age, our #1 goal is that these players want to play again next year. There is plenty of time to be serious in later leagues.
This information is not official MBA information. It is, however, information that might be useful based on our experience in the league. Please use this information as you see fit, but know that its only our opinion.
- Bats – First, three words about bats: “Lighter Is Better”! It’s a bad idea to get a baseball bat that’s too heavy for your child with the thought that he or she will “grow into it”. Instead, your kid will learn bad habits and develop swing flaws trying to swing a bat that is too heavy. When in doubt about two bats, go with the lighter one. The mass of the bat is important but swing speed is what we need to look for at this age. In general, if the player can not grip the bat with one hand and hold their arm straight out in front of them for more than 10 seconds without wobbling, the bat is too heavy. Manufacturers typically print the bat’s length in inches on the barrel or the handle. They also print the weight, either in ounces, or as “- something”. The “-” stands for weight in ounces less than length in inches. In other words, a 28 inch bat designated as “-10” weighs 18 ounces. The longer the barrel, generally, the larger the sweet spot for hitting the ball, but weight is much more important than length so get the longest bat you can that is the proper weight, but don’t go up in weight to get a longer bat. In general, buy a bat that is “-10” or lighter. Most Minor Leaguers will need a bat 17 ounces or less. There’s a lot of hype out there about the various alloys. Here’s why alloy grade really matters. Manufacturers use advanced alloys in order to be able to make the walls of the barrel of the bat thin while still allowing the bat to be strong enough to resist denting. Thin walls equal light weight. Thin walls are also claimed to contribute to a “trampoline” effect, or rebound, when the bat strikes the ball. The rebound effect enhances power, and therefore, distance, given the same swing speed. Think of throwing a baseball against a wall made of superball material, then against a wall made of concrete. Typically, the more expensive the bat, the better performance it will deliver, but may not be as durable. A bat made with the old 7050 alloy will be very durable and less expensive, but give less “pop”. In a recreational baseball league, the additional performance will likely not warrant the additional expense. You can expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $300 for a bat (yes! $300 for a kid’s bat!), so it pays to shop around, including on the Internet. As baseball bats become more and more of a status item, like skis, manufacturers come out with new designs, or at least new paint jobs, every year. Sometimes you can find last year’s model for a lot less than the current model, and sometimes last year’s model will actually be better. If you have not bought a bat, I’d suggest letting your child try some of the bats at practice before buying a new one. Per MBA rules, all bats in Minor league must be a 2 3/4 inches in diameter or less. Big Barrel bats are permitted in this league. Most of the players will have a bat or their own, but you do not have to go out and buy a bat. Borrowing a teammate’s bat is almost a tradition in baseball.
- Gloves – A number of factors are involved in choosing a baseball glove to meet your needs, including size, your position and your budget. Anyone looking to buy a baseball glove should make the following considerations: Your Position: Baseball Gloves come in different shapes and sizes based on the position they will be used for. For example, pitchers gloves and infield gloves are generally smaller than an outfielder’s glove, and first baseman’s gloves and catchers mitts are unique unto themselves. If you will be playing multiple positions, a utility glove (which is larger than an infielder’s glove) may be your best bet. Your Budget: Baseball gloves range in price from under $15 for base models, to over $200 for high end gloves from manufacturers such as Wilson, Nokona or Rawlings. Quality baseball gloves generally cost a bit more, but will likely last longer. If you expect to get heavy use out of your baseball glove, it may be less expensive in the long run to spend a few dollars more on a glove that will last. Additionally, younger players who may quickly outgrow their baseball glove may not want to invest in a high end model. The Feel: Make sure to choose a baseball glove that feels right for your player. If the glove is uncomfortable, it may affect their performance in the field. Your Age / Size of the Glove: Baseball gloves come in many different sizes made to fit different ages & positions. Gloves are measured by their “pattern size”, a measurement from the heel of the glove (by your wrist) to the top of the glove on the palm side (near your fingers). Youth gloves range from 8″ (very small) to about 12″. Adult gloves usually fall in the 12″-13″ range. Professional gloves are actually required by the rules to be no more than 12″, although the rule is rarely to never enforced: Rule 1.14 …”not more than twelve inches long, nor more than eight inches wide, measured from the base of the thumb crotch to the outer edge of the glove..” Youths: Youth baseball gloves should be chosen carefully – a common mistake is to buy a big glove for a little kid. This often results in a younger child with a huge glove on their hand that they can’t even close. 9 year olds can often use 11″ gloves, while teenagers often may fit into 12″ gloves. Types of Webs & Backs Open Web: Preferred by Outfielders and Third Basemen Closed Web: Preferred by Middle Infielders and Pitchers Open & Closed Back: Individual Preference, though middle infielders like open back. Gloves By Position: Catchers Gloves: More of a mitten than a glove, they are heavily padded (needed when catching fastballs all game long) and are not used at any other position. First Base Gloves: First basemen’s gloves resemble a catchers mitt in that they are heavily padded (as first basemen spend their days catching balls thrown very hard). They are also longer in order to help the first basemen more easily field balls. Infield Gloves: Infield gloves are smaller gloves (generally 10 1/2 ” – 12″) so that the fielder can easily pull the ball out of the glove and throw it. Too large of a glove would result in increased time needed to retrieve the ball and throw it to a base – very important when a game can be decided by a tenth of a second. Outfielders Gloves: Outfielders gloves are larger and longer (12″ +), to provide fielders with the greatest possible advantage at catching fly balls. Again, beware of buying a glove that is too big! For more detailed information on gloves, go to the following websites:
- For infield gloves:
- Breaking in your glove:
- Caring for your glove:
- History of gloves:
- Batting Gloves – Batting gloves protect the hands during batting practice when many swings are taken in a row. They also provide better grip to the bat and protection of the hands when sliding. Some gloves will also help the player grip the bat properly by getting it into the crease of where the fingers meet the hand and out of the crook of the thumb. Easton makes such gloves that are called “Turbo-Slots”. Some players prefer no batting gloves at all. That is fine, they are not required.
- Shoes – You will need BASEBALL cleats. They have a cleat at the toe that is vital to getting out of the batter’s box quickly. Soccer and football cleats do not have this and their pattern, as well as the shape of the cleat, is not good for the bare dirt of the batter’s box and base paths. Buy them so they fit NOW (athletic shoes are not something that you grow into). Please have your child wear the cleats around the back yard a few times prior to running for a full practice to break them in. Do not wear them anywhere but to the ball park and never walk on concrete in cleats if you can be walking on grass or dirt. This will help keep the cleats from getting worn down prematurely and no parent wants to buy new cleats at the end of the season because the old ones are worn down so that their child is slipping but they still fit. For the same reason, it is good not to wear them in the batting cages.