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2019 Spring Program Descriptions

T-Ball: Ballplayers ages 5-6 learn hitting and fielding fundamentals in a supportive team environment. Young athletes hit the ball from a batting tee which is height-adjusted for a level swing, batting in order through the line-up for the entire game. The primary goal is to begin to instruct young players in the fundamentals of baseball in a supportive team environment. Merrimack Youth Baseball suggests that players that are baseball age 5 or 6 complete at least 1 year of T-Ball. We have found that the experience of being a part of a team, learning to attend scheduled practices and games at this age is helpful in creating a baseline of experience as they progress through our program. The primary goal of T-Ball is achieved by players having positive experiences on a baseball diamond, both in the field and at bat.

Rookie: Designed primarily for ballplayers ages 6, 7, or 8, this division makes use of a pitching machine to allow for more hittable balls at the plate and more action in the field. Fear of actually being hit by a pitched ball is diminished. It makes the game safer and improves the playing confidence and ability of all participants. Merrimack Youth Baseball suggests that players that are baseball age 7 or 8 complete at least 2 years of Rookie level baseball. We have found that in addition to the experience of being a part of a team, learning to attend scheduled practices and games at this age is helpful in creating a baseline of experience. Further, the Rookie level introduces live “coach pitch” part of the way through the season. As a natural part of the programs’ progression, the use of a pitching machine and coach pitch supports the next step in the baseball players’ skills.

Minors: Recommended for ballplayers ages 9-10. Players build and refine their fundamental skills while beginning to understand game strategy and teamwork. In most regions, participants first experience post-season tournament competition in this level, leading to the 10 Year-Old World Series. Merrimack Youth Baseball suggests that players that are baseball age 8, 9 or 10 complete at least 2 years of Minors level baseball. Further, the Minors level introduces live “kid pitch”, some base stealing and other “real baseball” rules. As a natural part of the programs’ progression, the use of kid pitch supports the next step in the baseball players’ skills in all corners of game play from pitching, to batting to fielding ever more real baseball situations. In order to encourage the league to train more pitchers, there are rules that set the maximum number of innings a pitcher may pitch in a calendar week.

Major Division: The most experienced level of Cal Ripken Baseball, recommended for 10, 11 and 12 year old players. Cal Ripken Baseball is played under the Official Baseball Rules, but implements some special rules as necessary for the development and welfare of this young age group. Under the Major Division, there are two formats, the Major/70 and Major/60 divisions. In both formats, games consist of six innings. In order to encourage the league to train more pitchers, there are rules that set the maximum number of innings a pitcher may pitch in a calendar week. Merrimack Youth Baseball suggests that players that are baseball age 10, 11 or 12 complete at least 2 years of Majors level baseball. In Majors firmly grasp baseball rules and basic theory.

Babe Ruth Baseball: Babe Ruth Baseball League was created for ballplayers ages 13-15 who wished to continue their baseball playing experience beyond the age of 12. This is where players get their baseball cleats muddy for the first time on standard 90' diamonds under Official Baseball Rules used by Major League Baseball. In this division, teams are eligible to enter tournament competition and move along the tournament trail, culminating in a World Series. Three World Series are held in this division: one for 13 Year-Old players, one for 13 and 14 Year-Old Players, and the renowned 13-15 World Series. For most players within Merrimack Youth Baseball, these years are the culmination of up to 10 years of practice, competition and dedication to the sport of baseball.