Leagues: As there will be no tryouts or drafts in the fall, leagues and teams will be grouped primarily by age and the league in which they played in the spring 2017 season.
While we reserve the right to move players up or down based upon ability and the need to balance out the number of teams and players in each league, the groupings and times and locations of play should be roughly as follows (be sure to determine your child’s league age of April, 30, 2018:
Unfortunately without knowing the number of sign-ups, we will not be able to determine the exact schedule until early August. Please keep checking the web site for more details.
Depending on sign-up numbers, with a few exceptions as noted below, the current plan is that each age group will play within their age group (i.e no mixing of age ranges). We will continue to split up the rising 5’s and 6’s into two separate leagues, and split up the 11’s and 12’s into two separate leagues (i.e. 11’s and 12’s will be divided by age, such that the split between Bronco and Majors for these age groups will not be made until spring 2018, except as noted below). Rising 10’s will also play together, such that any split between Majors and International will not occur until spring 2018, except as noted below. We do expect that all Pony aged players (13’s and 14’s) will play in one combined league (such that the split between Pony American and Pony National will not be made until spring 2018). Finally, those players who have played up or down in an age group in the past may continue to do so.
There will be three important exceptions to age groupings and rules noted above which we are implementing again this fall:
First, players with a rising league age of 13 (i.e. moving up to the Pony league for Majors or Bronco) that wish to play in our 12 year old league (under Bronco rules and using 70 foot bases) may do so by simply checking the box to play down a league when registering. We have done this the past few years and this has been very popular for those looking to transition up to the bigger Pony field by playing on Wilkins in the fall. Since we do not split up the Pony league in the fall into two separate divisions as we do in the spring, we have found some families would prefer to play with the rising 12's rather than the rising 13's and 14's in Pony. Players selecting this option would then move up in spring 2018 and play in the Pony National league which is mostly a rising 13 year old league and a good fit for these players.
Second, for those players with rising league ages of 9, 10 and 11 (i.e. league age 8, 9 and 10 during spring 2017), we will allow you test the waters a bit by moving up an age group. You can do this by simply checking the box to move up a league when registering and we will leave this up to parents to make the decision. This option should not be chosen unless you feel your child is truly prepared for this challenge or he/she has played up in the past. The process in the spring for determining which players play in which leagues for those in the rising 9-12 year old age groups is an extremely thorough one, made after evaluating players at spring tryouts, reviewing prior year evaluations and conducting coach meetings so that we can be as objective as possible in player placement. The fall will be therefore be quite different as we will rely on parent requests. That said, you should only consider moving your child up if you think he/she is ready for that experience and you intend to request that they play up in spring 2018 as well. One important caveat: the fall league where a player plays will NOT have a factor in where they play in spring 2018; in other words, the slate will be wiped clean for spring 2018 and playing up in the fall will NOT mean that player would be automatically moved up in the spring should parents make a similar request. Our goal here is to allow players in the fall to be challenged but to not circumvent our thorough process in the spring. One word of caution – players who play in the 12U league will be allowed to use big barrel bats; however they will only be able to use a big barrel bat in the spring of 2018 if they are selected in the Bronco league (as big barrels are not allowed in the Majors).
In the AA rising 9 year old league (excluding any 9U players who have opted to play up), we will be making a significant fall only rule change to get games moving along (since the kids are transitioning up to kid pitch for the first time and we don't have the amount of practice time before and during the season as we do in the spring). Kid pitchers will pitch to batters as they normally would. However, there will be no walks (although players hit by a pitch will be awarded first base). When a batter gets to ball four, his coach will come in and coach pitch to that batter. The coach pitcher inherits the strike count (i.e. if the count was 3-2 when the kid pitcher threw ball four, the coach comes in with a two strike count on the batter) and the coach may only throw 3 pitches. If the batter does not put the ball in play by the third coach pitch, or strikes out on any of those three pitches, he is out. The goals here are two fold: encourage those looking to try pitching for the first time to do so but keep the game moving along and allow players in the field to have as many fielding opportunities as possible. This will nearly double the amount of innings played in each game. This will be a fall only rule; with the long pre-season practice schedule and greater opportunities to work with the kids in the spring, we're in good shape during the spring to play straight up. This rule has been a huge success and very well received by coaches and parents.
Activities: Activities will be considerably different from the spring league. Practice will be limited to 3-5 pre-season practices commencing on or around August 19. Games will be played on weekends only (see above for breakdown) starting on the weekend of September 8-10. Most games for the five kid pitch leagues (ages 9-14) and Shetland league will be played on Sunday afternoons, although some Friday night games may be necessary depending on the number of teams. 7 and 8 year old coach pitch games will be rotated between Saturday (all day) and Sunday afternoons. Games will continue through the weekend of November 3-5 (one week earlier for 5U Shetland Blue). Depending on the number of teams, we anticipate that each league will play an 8 game regular season schedule, with leagues from 7U Rookie and up finishing the last weekend with a shootout playoff tournament (with each team playing 1-3 additional games). Once games commence, practices will occur on either Saturday or during the week.
The fall league should not be confused with or treated as a substitute for the spring league. There will be no extended playoffs other than the last weekend shootout tournament, no make-up games if bad weather hits, no trophies, no pictures, limited concession stands, no red book, simple uniforms, etc.
Participation: Players are expected to be in attendance at all games. It is expected that the level of play will be high and competitive. However, your child is encouraged to participate in other activities during the fall and should not think of fall ball as a primary activity. Please be assured that the eligibility of any player to play in our spring league (and consideration for summer teams) will in no way be affected by whether a player elects to play fall baseball.
Conflicts with NYO Football Practice: FALL BALL IS NOT MEANT TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE OUTSTANDING NYO FALL FOOTBALL PROGRAM. ANY PLAYER CONSIDERING PLAYING NYO FOOTBALL IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO REGISTER TO PLAY FOOTBALL. THE FALL BASEBALL LEAGUE IS SCHEDULED TO WORK AROUND NYO FOOTBALL AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE (BUT NOT OTHER NON-NYO EVENTS); ALL BASEBALL COACHES WILL BE DIRECTED TO INSTRUCT PLAYERS THAT NYO FOOTBALL GAMES OR PRACTICES TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER FALL BASEBALL GAMES OR PRACTICES. Sunday games times will be moved up to as early as 12:30 to be sure that games are completed prior to late Sunday afternoon football practices, and some game dates for certain ages will rotate between Saturdays and Sundays to accommodate Sunday football practices.
Cost: The cost for each player will be $275, inclusive of the online processing fees. We will allow refunds (less a $10 processing fee) through July 28, 2017; after that date, we will not be able to provide a refund. The cost for the new 4U Fall Small Ball program will be $150.
Registration: All registrations will be handled by online registration though the web site www.nyosports.com beginning on May 27, 2017. Instructions regarding the sign up procedure will be on the web site. Applications will be accepted through July 28, 2017. In the event space remains open, we will keep registration open throughout the summer on a league-by-league basis. Spots will be assigned out in the order that applications are received after the July 28 deadline. Further details on scheduling and team assignments will be made available in early to mid August; you will receive a call or email directly from your coach.