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South Orange Maplewood Baseball
South Orange, New Jersey
07079

League Descriptions


CAL RIPKEN T-BALL AMERICAN LEAGUE – AGE 5

The T-Ball American League division is for our youngest T-ballers, children age 5 (as of April 30th). The use of a stationary batting tee helps children develop the proper swing and build confidence.  Balls are softer to reduce the risk of injury. Each session will include some practice/instruction time and game time. Teams are formed by the Recreation Department.  Games are played in Maplewood and/or South Orange 1 night during the week at 6:00 pm and on Saturdays.  

CAL RIPKEN T-BALL NATIONAL LEAGUE – AGE 6

The T-Ball National League division is for children age 6 (as of April 30th). The use of a stationary batting tee helps children develop the proper swing and build confidence.  As the season progresses, coaches may begin to pitch to those players capable of hitting a pitched ball. Balls are softer to reduce the risk of injury. Each session will include some practice/instruction time and game time. Teams are formed by the Recreation Department. Games are played in Maplewood and/or South Orange 1 night during the week at 6:00 pm and on Saturdays.  

CAL RIPKEN ROOKIE AMERICAN LEAGUE – AGE 7

The Rookie American League division is for children age 7 (as of April 30th). The Rookie American program is designed for children who have a basic understanding of simple fielding techniques and the eye/hand coordination necessary to swing the bat at a ball pitched by their coach. Only coaches will pitch to ballplayers in this league. Teams are formed by the Recreation Department.  Games are played in Maplewood and/or South Orange 1 night during the week at 6:00 pm and on Saturdays.  

CAL RIPKEN ROOKIE NATIONAL LEAGUE – AGE 8

The Rookie National League division is for children age 8 (as of April 30th). The Rookie National program is designed for children who have a basic understanding of simple fielding techniques and the eye/hand coordination necessary to swing the bat at a pitched ball.  Coaches will pitch in the beginning of the season.  Depending on ability, players will have the opportunity to pitch in the final weeks of the season. Teams are formed by the Recreation Department.  Games are played in Maplewood and/or South Orange 1 night during the week at 6:00 pm and on Saturdays.  

CAL RIPKEN MINOR LEAGUE – AGE 9


The Minor League division is for all children age 9 (as of April 30th). Players pitch in the Minor League and teams play modified baseball rules. All players in the Minor League division attend tryouts to be evaluated before a draft, at which teams are selected (see details below). Teams play a round robin schedule, culminating in playoffs and a league championship. Games are played in Maplewood and/or South Orange 1 night during the week at 6:00 pm and on Saturdays.  

All players in the Minor League division must attend tryouts to be evaluated. EVERY PLAYER WILL BE ASSIGNED TO A TEAM. The purpose of tryouts is to ensure that the teams are competitively balanced. Tryout times and location are posted on the SOM Baseball website when available.

CAL RIPKEN MAJORS 60 – AGES 10 AND 11


All 10 and 11 year old players (ages as of April 30th) will be registered in the Majors 60 division. Modified Cal Ripken Major League and SOM Baseball rules are followed. All players in the Majors 60 division attend tryouts to be evaluated before a draft, at which teams are selected. Teams play a round robin schedule, culminating in playoffs and a league championship. Games are played in Maplewood and/or South Orange 1 night during the week at 6:00 pm and on Saturdays.

All players in the Majors 60 division must attend tryouts to be evaluated.  EVERY PLAYER WILL BE ASSIGNED TO A TEAM. The purpose of tryouts is to ensure that the teams are competitively balanced. Tryout times and location will be posted on the SOM Baseball website when available.

After registration is complete and tryouts/evaluations are over, a limited number of 11 year old players (based on tryout/evaluation results) will be offered the option (not required) to play in the Majors 70 division. Registration numbers will dictate how many teams will be in the Majors 70 division and how many 11 year old players are needed to “fill out” that division.  The majority of 11 year old players will remain in the Majors 60 division. The Majors 70 division has a smaller number of teams than the traditional Majors 60 division.


CAL RIPKEN MAJORS 70 – AGE 12

The “Majors 70” division includes all 12 year olds and a limited number of 11 year olds playing a format commonly referred to as 50/70 (explanation below). All 12 year old players (as of April 30th) will be registered in the Majors 70 division. All players in the Majors 70 division attend tryouts to be evaluated before a draft, at which teams are selected. Teams play a round robin schedule, culminating in playoffs and a league championship. Games are played in South Orange 1 night during the week at 6:00 pm or 8:00 pm and on Saturdays.

All players in the Majors 70 division must attend tryouts to be evaluated. EVERY PLAYER WILL BE ASSIGNED TO A TEAM. The purpose of tryouts is to ensure that the teams are competitively balanced. Tryout times and location will be posted on the SOM Baseball website when available.

What is 50/70?

Simply put, in this format, the pitcher pitches from 50 feet away and the bases are 70 feet apart. The current little league format has the pitcher at 46 feet and bases 60 feet apart. There are other differences as well. In 50/70, base runners can lead just like they can in regular baseball. Thus, the pitcher pitches from the stretch position with runners on base. So 50/70 is a great transition game to prepare our players for playing on the “big diamond” (60/90) when they turn 13 years old.

Why was the 50/70 format introduced?

There are several reasons for the addition of the50/70 format.

•    It’s fun for the players! Base runners get to lead and steal bases when the pitcher delivers the ball. No more waiting and judging (for umpires) when the pitch crosses home plate. Consequently, the pitchers will learn to pitch from the stretch (since they’ll want to keep those base runners from getting a big lead) a year earlier.

•    It’s safer. We are moving the fielders back about 10 feet, but not changing the bat size for the batter. Fielders will have that extra 10 feet to react to batted balls. And since the pitcher is also moved back 4 feet, the batter has more reaction time as well.

•    This is a great way to prepare our players for moving to the regular baseball diamond (60/90) when they turn 13. Anyone who has had a 13 year old will tell you that the first time they walk on that big field, it’s a bit overwhelming. What was once left field is now shortstop. And you’ve got to throw runners out at first base from there!  It takes some time for our 13 year olds to acclimate themselves to that big diamond. This new format gets them closer to it at an earlier age. We hope this shortens the learning/growing cycle for our players when they move to the Babe Ruth division. We also hope it reduces the number of player defections for those players who are not confident they can move to the big diamond, since they will have played this transition game as 12 year olds.

Why aren’t all of the 11 year olds in the 50/70 league?  

We believe it is too big a jump for most of these players to go from the Minors to  50/70 field. However, there are some 11 year olds who may be capable of playing the 50/70 game and, based on past registration numbers, some additional players will be needed to fill team rosters for the Majors 70 division.  Registration numbers will dictate how many teams will be in the Majors 70 division and how many 11 year old players are needed to “fill out” that division.  After registration is complete and tryouts/evaluations are over, a limited number of 11 year old players (based on tryout/evaluation results) will be offered the option (not required) to play in the Majors 70 division.  The majority of 11 year old players will participate in the Majors 60 division.

BABE RUTH LEAGUE – AGES 13 TO 15


The Babe Ruth division is for players ages 13-15 (age as of April 30th). Games are played on a regulation baseball diamond (60/90) and Cal Ripken Babe Ruth League and SOM Baseball rules are followed.  All players in the Babe Ruth division attend tryouts to be evaluated before a draft, at which teams are selected. Teams play a round robin schedule, culminating in playoffs and a league championship. Games will be played in Maplewood and/or South Orange 1-2 nights during the week and on Saturdays.  

All players in the Babe Ruth division must attend tryouts to be evaluated. EVERY PLAYER WILL BE ASSIGNED TO A TEAM. The purpose of tryouts is to ensure that the teams are competitively balanced. Tryout times and location will be posted on the SOM Baseball website (www.sombaseball.org) when available.


South Orange Maplewood Baseball
South Orange Maplewood Baseball


 
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