Pony Baseball is an organized youth baseball league that gives an opportunity for children ages 7 to 18 to play the game. Pony Baseball encourages all of those who want to play a chance to compete, including youngsters with disabilities. Pony Baseball can be competitive, but the league's top priority is to teach youngsters the skills needed to play the game.
Pony Baseball allows bats to reach 42 inches in length and 2 3/4 inches in diameter. The 42-inch limit means that any player can use any bat that he or she can come up with because there are very few professional players that will use a bat of that length. Some youth leagues have reduced the barrel diameter to 2 1/2 inches because baseballs hit by larger-barreled bats rebound off the bat with much greater velocity and can put the pitcher (and other fielders) in jeopardy.
Batting helmets and catchers equipment
All batters and base runners must wear helmets that cover the head and both ears. Batters and base runners are also encouraged to wear helmets that have face masks attached, although the face mask is not a requirement.
All catchers must wear catcher's masks with throat protectors, chest protectors and shin guards. Any player who comes out to warm up a pitcher must also wear a catcher's mask.
Metal cleats are allowed in Pony Baseball. Rubber-soled shoes with rubber cleats are also allowed. Metal cleats have been outlawed in other baseball leagues, but Pony Baseball officials continue to allow them because metal cleats allow the batter to have greater traction in the batter's box and the base runners to have more security. Metal cleats are not allowed to be sharpened or altered in any way.
The 17- and 18-year-olds in Pony Baseball play on fields with major league dimensions. The pitcher's mound is 60 feet, 6 inches from home plate, and the distance between bases is 90 feet. In younger leagues, the distances vary. The 15- and 16-year-olds pitch from 54 feet, and the distance between the bases is 80 feet. The 13- and 14-year-olds pitch from 48 feet with 70 feet between the bases. The 10-, 11- and 12-year-olds pitch from 44 feet with 60 feet between the bases. The 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds pitch from 38 feet with 50 feet between the bases.
Length of games
The 7- through 12-year-olds play six-inning games that cannot exceed nine innings if the game is tied and extra innings must be played. The 13- through 18-year-olds play seven-inning games. If those games go to extra innings, they are played to conclusion or when the umpire deems the game is over (in the case of darkness). If the game is called because of darkness, it will be called a suspended game and will be resumed at that point at a later date.
Uniformed managers and coaches
Unlike other organized youth leagues, Pony Baseball coaches and managers are required to be in full uniform if they are going to take the field to coach the bases, change pitchers or discuss calls with umpire. An adult who is not in full uniform cannot be on the field.
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