Division Description (Baseball Age Information)

Updated Sunday January 20, 2019 by South Lakeland Baseball.

Division and Baseball Age Information

South Lakeland Babe Ruth League believes in a healthy balance of fundamental instruction and competitive play in all of our Divisions from 3-18 years of age.  Boys and girls are welcome to play.  All of our divisions are co-ed.

Baseball age is determined by the players age on May 1st. Spring season uses current year and Fall season uses the upcoming May 1st to determine baseball age.

Smart Start (Baseball age 3-4 years old)

Our earliest Training Division is a unique division which covers our earliest age ranges of 3 and 4 year olds.  This division is intended to introduce our little ones to the game of baseball in a fun, noncompetitive and nurturing environment.We introduce the most basic concepts of base running, swinging a bat and fielding a ball.  Players bat through the order and usually play a maximum of 2 innings.  The games typically last an hour or less.  This is a great way to introduce young children to the basic concepts of baseball and get them ready for our coach pitch division. Smart Start Division uses a soft level 1 training baseball. 

Cal Ripken Divisions:

Coach Pitch/T-Ball (Baseball age 5-6 years old) 

Our Coach Pitch Division is equivalent to most traditional Tee-ball divisions.  It continues to teach and build upon the fundamentals of baseball offense and defense that are introduced in the Smart Start Division.However, the difference from traditional Teeball is that we work to teach the player to learn to hit a moving ball prior to placing the ball on a tee for our less experienced players.  The ball is tossed by the coach (who is on a knee) from a short distance in front of home plate to the hitter. This helps to develop hand-eye coordination and trains the hitter to swing at a moving ball sooner and makes for a much easier transition to the Rookie Division with machine pitch baseball. This division uses a soft level 5 training baseball.  

Rookie (Baseball age 7-8 years old)

Rookie Division utilizes a Louisville Slugger pitching machine which provides consistent pitches in the strike zone for the hitter to hit.  We use an umpire in our rookie division because the game begins to become more competitive. Players develop and work on skills for specific positions. Base running becomes more intense and players are able to advance more than one base on appropriate hits.  Defense continues to develop and a play will be called dead once the ball has been returned to the infield and a play is possible to stop the runners.  (The play does not have to be made - just possible.)

BR Division (60 foot Closed bases - Baseball age 9-12 years old)

In BR Division, we introduce kids pitching to kids for the first time. We have pitch count and inning limits on pitchers to protect the arms of the kids and to encourage the development of multiple pitchers. Bases are closed and players are only allowed to steal after the pitched ball has crossed home plate.  Players are not allowed to steal home in BR division. This is to help to pitchers and catchers develop in these positions and grow to understand the game. This division is designed to teach the players the fundamentals of the game and get them ready for the next level.   

CR Division (70 foot open bases - Baseball age 10-12 years old)

In CR Division the base paths increase from 60 to 70 feet and the mound goes from 46 feet to 50 feet from home plate. In CR division, bases are open. Balks are called 1/2 way through the season. The umpire warns pitchers on their first balk.  Players steal home in our CR division. CR division is for the baseball players who have a more advanced ability and understanding of the game.  

Babe Ruth Divisions: 

High School Prep (Baseball age 13-15 years old) Our prep division is for 13-15 year old players. We move to the big field in our prep division. Players adjust to the 90 foot base paths and the pitcher's mound being 60' 6" from home plate.  Playing on the big field allows player to adjust to the full baseball field size and helps to prepare them for high school baseball.  

Senior (Baseball age 16-18 years old) We do not currently host a senior division of players.

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