Running A Youth Baseball Fall League
Marty Schupak Though he received a Bachelor's degree from Boston University in 1975, and in 1978 received a Masters degree in Physical Education from Arizona State University. he first got involved in youth sports by coaching both of his sons' youth baseball teams.
In addition to coaching baseball he has coached children in basketball and soccer. In the past 14 years Coach Marty has managed or coached over 1,200 kids in youth athletics.
Marty takes a proactive approach to coaching youth sports by observing as many practices as he can on the youth level all the way up to high school kids. He is an active member of the American Baseball Coaches Association and the New York Alliance For Youth Sports. He is of course also the well-known producer of the best selling baseball video 'The 59 Minute Baseball Practice' and is president of the Youth Sports Club. We thank Marty for granting us for permission to reprint a collection of his essays from the Youth Sports Club. (Click to close.)
The answer is yes.
More and more fall leagues are cropping up around the country. Even with the competition from football and soccer leagues, some baseball purists still can't get enough. How should a youth baseball organization run a fall league? The first thing the league has to do is see if their league insurance covers them for the whole year or just the baseball season. The league Board should look into this and determine the fee for the league. As for uniforms, nothing more than colored t-shirts from the league are really necessary.
The games themselves can be played a number of ways. I happen to think that the league should be as non competitive as possible. This is a great opportunity for players to play different positions that they didn't do during the season. Pitchers innings should be limited. For example, if it is a four game season a player can't pitch more than four innings the whole fall season. One inning per game per pitcher should be the average. This is forcing the manager to use different pitchers.
Also how about having a batting order comprised of the whole team, let's say one thru twelve. With this we have free fielding substitutions. The point here is to get each player up. You can add other rules to keep the game moving like nine players maximum at bat per inning or seven walks per inning.
There are a number of other creative rules a league can try. The league has to make sure if they have certain rule changes it is allowed by the League Board of Directors and the League Charter. The main point is some kids prefer playing baseball to soccer or football in the fall. If there is enough interest, it's a shame to keep these fields empty during the months of September and October and when timed correctly a youth baseball fall league can be run right up to league tryouts for the next Spring season.
Youth baseball seasons seem to be going longer and longer. Some leagues enter All Star tournaments all the way through August. Come the fall, do some of these players who have played the last six months really want to enter a Fall League?
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