Chelmsford Youth Baseball Frequently Asked Questions

For Managers, Coaches, Parents, Players

and Others of High Moral Fiber  

 

Sections:

Chelmsford Youth Baseball

Baseball Rules

Discipline

Injuries

Practices

Rain

Miscellaneous

 

Chelmsford Youth Baseball

What is Chelmsford Youth Baseball?

 

How old does my child need to be to start playing? What if s/he has never played before but wants to start playing?

 

Who owns and maintains the fields that CYB uses?

 

Who schedules the fields?

 

At the Route 110 CYB complex and around town, I see various fields and streets with names like Scully, Fitts, Lupien, Ayotte, Greenman, Donoghue, and Roberts. Who are/were these people and why do the fields bear these names?

 

The season is approaching. When will I hear what team my child is on, and about the schedule?

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Baseball Rules

What are the rules regarding batting order and playing time in the field?

 

Do we call the infield fly rule?

 

Do we call balks?

 

If one base runner passes another base runner, who is out?

 

If one base runner runs into or touches another base runner, who is out?

 

If two base runners occupy the same base, who is out?

 

May a fielder block a base?

 

If a base runner fails to slide on a close play, he is out, right?

 

Can a base runner run over the first baseman?

 

What are the rules regarding who can pitch and how much?

 

We have a player who is also playing for the high school freshman team or on an AAU team. Is this OK?

 

What is the rule regarding on-deck batters?  Can we have a player (or two) outside of the dugout warming up to hit?

 

Can my catcher wear his own equipment?

 

A tie goes to the runner, right?

 

What can one do if one thinks the umpire has made a bad call?

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Discipline

We have a player who has missed numerous practices and games. Do we have to play him?

 

We have a player who repeatedly has been disruptive on the bench. What can we do?

 

We have a player who is always talking with kids who are behind the bench during the game. What can we do?

 

Is it OK to have kids do push-ups or run laps when they misbehave or screw up during a practice or game?

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Injuries

We have a player who hurt his throwing arm. He can bat but cannot throw, so he can’t play in the field. Can we play him as a DH?

 

We have a player who has been out for several weeks with a serious injury [such as a broken arm]. He showed up last night and wants to play. Can we play him? Must we play him?

 

Practices

What fields do we use for practices and games? Where are they?

 

How frequently do we practice?

 

Where can we practice, and how can we schedule a field to practice?

 

We find that a few weeks into the season, the kids start to get bored with practice. What can we do to change that?

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Rain

What is the procedure for canceling games due to rain, snow, sleet and/or pestilence?

 

What’s the rule regarding stopping of play due to thunder and lightning?

 

What do we do to reschedule games that get rained out?

 

Can managers or the league reschedule a game if one or more teams cannot field a team?

 

What happens if a playoff game is stopped by bad weather?

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Miscellaneous

What awards and trophies are bestowed each year?

 

Can we add names to the back of shirts?

 

What’s the deal with CORI forms?

 

What do we do for play-offs?

 

What do we do for all-star games?

 

What is the criteria for selecting all-stars?

 

Where can we get bases, rakes, shovels, speedy-dry, and umpires' gear for games? Who is responsible to get them?

 

What do we do with these “Game Result” forms?

 

What are the responsibilities for the home team for each game? What about the visitors?

 

Do we have to cover the Refreshment Stand even if our game is canceled?

 

We showed up for a game at HS2 and the high school JV was playing. What’s going on?

 

In most divisions, kids get re-assigned to different teams each year. Why is this?

 

Can a manager or parent request placement of a given player to a given team?

 

What is the difference between Babe Ruth baseball and Cal Ripken baseball and Little League baseball?

 

My child is 15. Where can s/he play next year?

 

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Chelmsford Youth Baseball

What is Chelmsford Youth Baseball?

Chelmsford Youth Baseball, Inc., founded in 1952 as Chelmsford Little League, Inc., is a Massachusetts non-profit corporation managed and operated strictly by volunteers.  The objective of CYB is to implant in the youth of the community the ideals of good sportsmanship, honesty, loyalty, courage, and respect for moral authority, to help youths grow into well adjusted, strong, happy, decent, healthy and trustworthy adults. To achieve this objective, CYB provides supervised programs of competitive baseball games consistent with the rules and policies of Babe Ruth, Inc., baseball.  All adult participants in CYB are directed to bear in mind that stressing exceptional athletic skills or winning games is secondary, and that moral, fair leadership and the setting of a good example are our prime tasks.

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How old does my child need to be to start playing? What if s/he has never played before but wants to start playing?

CYB has divisions for children from ages 5 to 15, and for children with disabilities from ages 8 to 18. For details on which division your child should play in, click the Divisions by Age button on the left.

 

It is common for kids to join CYB at any age. Any child who is age-eligible can start playing at any age, whether that age is 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 (or, in the case of children with disabilities, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 or 18).

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Who owns and maintains the fields that CYB uses?

The main CYB complex on Route 110 is on ground that is owned by the Town of Chelmsford and leased to CYB. The fields and buildings at the complex are 100% owned and maintained by CYB.

 

Other fields that we use around town are owned by various Town of Chelmsford entities, including the School Department, the Recreation Department, the Parks Division, and Public Works. Maintenance on those fields is provided by various town agencies, with significant contributions in time and money by CYB.

 

Ayotte Field in North Chelmsford, which is used by the High School teams and occasionally by Senior Majors and Senior Farm teams, is privately owned but maintained by the town.

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Who schedules the fields?

The fields at the 110 CYB complex are scheduled by and used exclusively by CYB.

 

The town issues permits for use of the other fields. From approximately March 25 until the end of June, CYB has permits for most of the available time on most of the available fields.

 

If you wish to use a ball field during the spring season, check with CYB, although chances are good that no field will be available, because they really are used most of the time. During the rest of the year, check with Chelmsford Community Education (http://www.chelmsfordcommunityeducation.org), who issues the permits. 

 

At the Route 110 CYB complex and around town, I see various fields and streets with names like Scully, Fitts, Lupien, Ayotte, Greenman, Donoghue and Roberts. Who are/were these people and why do the fields bear these names?

In no particular order…

 

Shaun Scully was a Chelmsford resident and ex-Chelmsford Little League player who died in a construction accident while working as an engineering intern in college. The firm he was working for built Scully Field at the CYB Route 110 complex in his memory.

 

Fitts Field at the CYB Route 110 complex is named for local resident and police officer Peter Fitts,  who was heavily involved in Chelmsford youth baseball in the early days of the organization.

 

Lupien Field at the CYB Route 110 complex was named after Albert Lupien, a prominent local athlete who later played baseball professionally. His brother, Ulysses John “Tony” Lupien, also played Major League ball for several years.

 

Greenman Lane, inside the CYB complex on Route 110, is named for George Greenman, currently president of CYB, who has been working in many capacities for Chelmsford youth sports and CYB in particular since life first emerged from the primordial ooze.

 

Donoghue Way, inside the CYB complex on Route 110, is named for Robert Donoghue, who was a Vice President and driving force for Chelmsford Youth Baseball (and Chelmsford Little League before it) for approximately 1,000 years. He retired from official participation in CYB in 2008, although he is still active behind the scenes in many ways. Bob’s son, Mike, is the general manager of CYB, responsible for the facility maintenance and daily activities of CYB, and the individual who without question volunteers more time to CYB  year in and year out than any other person; some folks believe the street is named for him, and he certainly deserves a street or at least an alley, but the original Donoghue Way is in fact named for his Dad.

 

Ayotte Field, located in Varney Park in North Chelmsford, is named in honor Harry Ayotte for all he has done over the years to promote youth sports in town.

 

The Gorham Batting Cage, adjacent to Volunteer Field, is named for David Gorham, a long-time manager, coach and volunteer who was involved with Chelmsford’s youth baseball and basketball programs for many years.

 

The Clancy Batting Cage, adjacent to 110-Lupien Field, is named for John “Jack” Clancy, a long-time manager, coach and volunteer who was involved with Chelmsford’s youth baseball and basketball programs for many years.

 

Roberts Field is named in honor of somebody named Roberts who did something. (I have not been able to learn any more about this one.)

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The season is approaching. When will I hear what team my child is on, and about the schedule?

Before the season begins, each division has a Manager’s Meeting at which time the managers are given their team roster and schedule. Managers are asked to contact all the kids on their rosters within a few days of the meeting. If more than a week passes after the manager’s meeting for your division, feel free to contact your division VP to see what’s happening.

 

The schedule for the Manager’s Meetings can be found in the CYB calendar. Go to http://www.chelmsfordyouthbaseball.org and click the Events Calendar button on the left.

 

Contact information for the division VPs can be found in the Board of Director’s listing. Go to http://www.chelmsfordyouthbaseball.org and click the Board of Directors button on the left.

 

If you are not certain which division your child will be playing in, check the “Divisions by Age” page. Go to http://www.chelmsfordyouthbaseball.org and click the Divisions by Age button on the left.

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Baseball Rules

What are the rules regarding batting order and playing time in the field?

 

Batting order

Tee Ball

All players on a team bat each inning, regardless of the number of outs. After the last batter hits the ball, the half-inning ends when s/he is out on the bases, or the third out is made, or a defensive player tags home plate with the ball.

 

Minors and Farm Extension

All players on a team bat in rotation with no substitutions. A half-inning ends when three outs are made or five runs are scored.

 

Youth Farm AA and Youth Farm AAA

All players on a team bat in rotation with no substitutions. If a player arrives after the start of the game, he or she is immediately inserted LAST in the line-up. If a player shows up after that player, he or she is then immediately inserted LAST in the line-up.

 

A half-inning ends when:

(a)  three outs are made, or

(b)  five runs are scored, or

(c)   the final legal batter in an inning hits a home run out of the park. If this occurs, the hit is recorded as a home run, all base runners score, and all scores are counted, even if this brings the total number of runs scored in the inning to more than five. The inning is then considered complete.

 

Youth Majors

Teams will play with a batting order of 10, including a DH (designated hitter). See Local Rule YLM.3 for details. Every player present must have at least one at bat in each game.

 

Senior Farm

All players on a team bat in rotation with no substitutions. If a player arrives after the start of the game, he or she is immediately inserted LAST in the line-up. If a player shows up after that player, he or she is then immediately inserted LAST in the line-up.

 

A half-inning ends when:

(d)  three outs are made, or

(e)  five runs are scored, or

(f)    the final legal batter in an inning hits a home run out of the park (only applies on fields that have outfield fences). If this occurs, the hit is recorded as a home run, all base runners score, and all scores are counted, even if this brings the total number of runs scored in the inning to more than five.  The inning is then considered complete.

 

Senior Majors

Teams will play with a batting order of 10, including a DH (designated hitter). Every player present must have at least one at bat in each game. See Local Rules SLM.2 and SLM.3 for details.

 

Playing Time

Tee Ball

All team players should be positioned on the field during defensive innings. All coaches shall be positioned behind defensive players.

 

Minors and Farm Extension

Free defensive substitutions are permitted. Every player must play defensively at least every other inning; that is, no player may ever sit on the bench for two consecutive defensive innings. Managers are encouraged to play players at a variety of positions; every child should have at least one inning of play in the infield in each game.

 

Youth Farm AA and Youth Farm AAA

Free defensive substitutions are permitted. Every player must play defensively at least every other inning; that is, no player may ever sit on the bench for two consecutive defensive innings. All players must play 4 defensive innings in a 6 inning game for teams with 13 players or less on their roster. See Local Rule YLF.5 for details.

 

The job of each manager is to have the best record he can have within the constraints of developing all the players and balancing playing time. All assistants and parents need to understand this.

 

Youth Majors

Each player must play 3 full innings defensively, and must bat at least once per game. The only exception to this rule is for a 5 1/2-inning game or a game called for darkness or inclement weather.

 

Senior Farm

Local Rule SLF.2 provides that defensive playing time must be roughly balanced to insure the development and fair play of all participants. This includes provisions that

(a)  Free defensive substitutions are permitted.

(b)  Every player must play defensively at least every other inning; that is, no player may ever sit on the bench for two consecutive defensive innings.

See Local Rule SLF.2 for details.

 

CYB also recommends that in SLF, kids should be learning to specialize at one or maybe two infield positions, and one or maybe two outfield positions. You’re not doing a kid any favors by having him play different and unfamiliar positions in game after game.

 

The job of each manager is to have the best record he can have within the constraints of developing all the players and balancing playing time. All assistants and parents need to understand this.

 

Senior Majors

Each player must play 3 full innings defensively, and must bat at least once in games of 6 or 7 innings.  In games of 5 1/2 innings or less, particularly during April and May, each player must play 2 full innings and bat at least once.

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Do we call the infield fly?

Tee Ball, Minors, Farm Extension, Youth Farm AA and Youth Farm AAA

No.

 

Youth Majors, Senior Farm, Senior Majors

Yes -- and let’s review the rule. The idea of the infield fly rule is to eliminate easy double and triple plays that can result from infield pop-ups when there are players on 1st and 2nd, or 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, with fewer than two outs. If  a player intentionally drops an easy infield fly in such a situation, conscientious base runners will not have tried to advance, so the fielder will almost certainly be able to get force plays at home, 3rd and 2nd. The infield fly eliminates this possibility.

 

However, please remember that the infield fly is NOT an automatic call, as there is a judgment component. Here’s the rule.

 

Rule 2.00 - Definitions - Infield Fly:

"An Infield Fly is a fair ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by and infielder with ordinary effort [my emphasis], when first and second, or first, second, and third bases are occupied, before two are out."

 

There is more in the rule book about how and when the Infield Fly rule is invoked, but the key here is the phrase "with ordinary effort." If the umpire judges that a play cannot be made with an ordinary effort – if he thinks it’s going to take a pretty good play to make the catch – he will not call it an infield fly. This is a judgment call and may not be argued.

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Do we call balks?

Tee Ball, Minors, Farm Extension, Youth Farm AA and Youth Farm AAA

No.

 

Youth Majors and Senior Majors

Yes.

 

Senior Farm

Sort of. According to rule, we do call balks. As a matter of practicality, since none of the 13-year-olds have ever dealt with players leading, or with pitching from the stretch, or with all the balk rules that therefore come into play for the first time, we usually give warnings and explain infractions for the first several games of the year, and start enforcing the rules strictly towards the end of the year. Managers are advised to learn the balk rules and teach them, and to be sure they discuss whether and how balk rules will be enforced at the umpire’s conference before each game begins.

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If one base runner passes another base runner, who is out?

7.08: Any runner is out when he (h) passes a preceding runner before such runner is out.

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If one base runner runs into or touches another base runner, who is out?

If one base runner runs into or touches another base runner, neither is out or  penalized, unless one runner passes the preceding runner. If one base runner merely runs into or touches another base runner, play proceeds as if nothing happened.

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If two base runners occupy the same base, who is out?

Rule 7.03: Two runners may not occupy a base, but if, while the ball is alive, two runners are touching the base, the following runner shall be out when tagged. The preceding runner is entitled to the base.

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If a base runner fails to slide on a close play, he is out, right?

Wrong. The first thing to remember is, “slide or avoid contact.” If a runner fails to slide and there is a collision, the runner is out. However, the runner may also stop short to avoid a collision, and/or step around a fielder, as long as he does not leave the baseline to avoid a tag in so doing (in which case he is out), and as long as he does not “hinder” or “confuse” (2.00 INTERFERENCE (a) ) a fielder in the act of making a play on the ball, in which case he may adjudged guilty of interference and be called out. But the idea that the runner must slide or be automatically called out is incorrect.

 

If the runner fails to slide and there is a near collision, or if the runner fails to slide and the fielder is “hindered” or “confused”  by the runner’s actions, the runner may be called out if the umpire rules that the runner unnecessarily created a dangerous situation that should have been avoided with a slide.

 

Note: Little League rule 7.08 (a) (3) specifically states that on a close play, a runner must slide or avoid contact, or be ruled out if failure to do so results in a collision or hinders the ability of the defensive player to make the play. The Babe Ruth League rulebook does not include a rule 7.08 (a) (3), remaining strangely silent on this specific issue. However, even with this lack of specific language, the effect of the rule is the same, as explained in our Local Rule 25 and Babe Ruth League Rule 2.00 INTERFERENCE.

 

When in doubt, slide!

 

See Local Rule 25 and Babe Ruth League Rule 2.00 INTERFERENCE for details.

 

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May a fielder block a base?

If the fielder has the ball in his possession, he may block access to the base while attempting to tag a player out. If the fielder blocks a base or in any way impedes the progress of a runner while he does not have the ball in his possession and is not in the act of making a play on the ball, he is guilty of obstruction (Babe Ruth League Rule 2.0, OBSTRUCTION). If the fielder blocks a base while he does not have the ball in his possession, but while he is in the act of fielding a hit or thrown ball, and in the opinion of the umpire the fielder had no choice but to be in that location to attempt the play, he is not guilty of obstruction, and the runner must slide or avoid contact. Otherwise, he is guilty of interference (Babe Ruth League Rule 2.0, INTERFERENCE).

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Can a base runner advancing from the batter’s box run over the first baseman if the first baseman catches a throw from an infielder while standing on the middle of first base?

Generally, NO, but it depends. Let’s consider a typical infield play, such as a bases-empty ground ball to the second baseman, who throws to the first baseman in an attempt for an everyday 4-3 putout.

 

Some general guidelines:

 

 

With all these rules to consider, the umpire has a lot of leeway, and this is a 100% judgment call.  So:

 

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What are the rules regarding who can pitch and how much?

Tee Ball and Minors

The players don’t pitch.

 

Farm Extension

Pitchers may pitch up to 3 innings per game and 6 innings per week. For all the FEX pitching rules, see Local Rules FEX.11 through FEX.16.

 

Youth Farm AA and Youth Farm AAA

Pitchers may pitch up to 3 innings per game and 6 innings per week. Even a single pitch thrown in an inning constitutes an “inning pitched.” Having pitched up to three innings in a game, a player must have a day of rest before pitching again.

 

Regardless of innings pitched, for games 1 thru 6 of the season, a player may pitch a maximum of 65 pitches per game, and for the remainder of the season and playoffs, a player may pitch a maximum of 85 pitches per game. For all the Youth Farm pitching rules, see Local Rules YLF.6.

 

Youth Majors

Pitchers may pitch up to 6 innings per week. Even a single pitch thrown in an inning constitutes an “inning pitched.” A pitcher who pitches up to three innings in a game must have a day of rest before pitching again. A pitcher who pitches more than three innings in a game must have three days of rest before pitching again.

 

Regardless of innings pitched, for games 1 thru 6 of the season, a player may pitch a maximum of 65 pitches per game, and for the remainder of the season and playoffs, a player may pitch a maximum of 85 pitches per game.

 

For all the Youth Majors pitching rules, see Local Rules YLM.4, YLM.5 and YLM.6.

 

Senior Farm and Senior Majors

A pitcher may pitch a maximum of 7 innings in a given week. Even a single pitch thrown in an inning constitutes an “inning pitched.” A pitcher who pitches up to three innings in a game must have a day of rest before pitching again. A pitcher who pitches more than three innings in a game must have three days of rest before pitching again.

 

Regardless of innings pitched, a pitcher may pitch no more than 95 pitches in a day.

 

In Senior Farm, individual 15 year-old players may pitch up to 3 inning per week, and all 15 year-olds combined may pitch no more than four innings per week per team.

 

For all the Senior Farm and Senior Majors pitching rules, see Local Rules SL.2, SL.3, SL.4, SL.5, SL.6, and SLF.12.

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We have a player who is also playing for the high school freshman team or on an AAU team. Is this OK?

This is covered by Local Rules YLF.2, YLM.6, and SL.6:

 

Youth Farm

YLF.2

Any player who is on the roster for any other organized baseball team may play or continue to play in Youth Baseball, including playoffs, subject to the following conditions:

 

YLF.2.1 The player, regardless of playing position on the other organized team, may not pitch in Youth Baseball, including playoffs, until the season for the other organized team concludes or the player withdraws from the other organized team.

 

YLF.2.2 The player must, during schedule conflicts, make his/her participation in Youth Baseball the priority.

 

YLF.2.3 Any player missing three or more practices and/or games, due to scheduling conflicts with another organized team may be removed from the Youth Baseball roster upon the request of the team manager and approval of the Division Vice President.

 

Youth Majors

YLM.6

Any player rostered on any other organized baseball team may play or continue to play in Youth Baseball, including playoffs, subject to the following conditions:

(A) The player, regardless of playing position on the other organized team, may not pitch in Youth Baseball, including playoffs, until the season for the other organized team concludes or the player withdraws from the other organized team.

(B) The player must, during schedule conflicts, make his/her participation in Youth Baseball the priority.

(C) Any player missing three or more practices and/or games, due to scheduling conflicts with another organized team may be removed from the Youth Baseball roster upon the request of the team manager and approval of the Division Vice President.

 

Senior Farm and Senior Majors

SL.6

Any player rostered on any other organized baseball team may play or continue to play in Senior League, including playoffs, subject to the following conditions:

(A)  The player must submit the other team's schedule to his/her Senior League manager.

(B)  If the player throws one pitch in a game for the other team, he/she cannot pitch in the remainder of the Senior League games, including playoffs, until the organized team season is over or until a written notice is received from the team manager indicating the manager will no longer use this player as a pitcher for the organized team; thereafter the player may be used as a pitcher.

(C)  The Senior League team manager assumes responsibility for the player’s compliance with these conditions.  A violation will result in forfeiture of all applicable games.

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What is the rule regarding on-deck batters?  Can we have a player (or two) outside of the dugout warming up to hit?

Tee Ball, Minors, Farm Extension,

Youth Farm AA, Youth Farm AAA, Youth Majors

No on-deck batters are allowed.

 

Senior Farm and Senior Majors

You may have one on-deck batter, who must wear a helmet and stand well away from the plate.

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Can my catcher wear his own equipment?

Yes, as long as the equipment complies with the rules. The manager or a coach must bring any catcher’s equipment that is not supplied by the league to the CYB Equipment Manager and have it inspected and approved before using it in a game or at a practice.

 

For safety reasons, the CYB Board is adamant that we follow these regulations closely. The regulations in the rulebook state:

 

During the game, catchers must wear a catcher's helmet (with face mask and throat guard), supporter and protective cup, chest protector and shin pads.

 

At all times, when a player gets into a crouching position to catch a pitcher, the player must wear a catcher's helmet, face mask and throat guard. This applies between innings and in bullpen practice.

 

Important: Any time a player gets into a crouching position to catch a pitcher, whether at a game, during a warm-up, or in practice, on the mound, in a bullpen, or at any location on or near a field, s/he MUST have a catcher's mask on, as well as a throat guard. ALL catcher's masks need the dangling throat guards if they are to be used.

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A tie goes to the runner, right?

WRONG!  Rule 7.08(e) says, “Any runner is out when… he fails to reach the next base before the fielder tags him or the base, after he has been forced to advance by reason of the batter becoming a runner.” That’s right -- it says that the runner has to get to the base BEFORE the fielder tags the runner or the base. A play where the runner and the fielder get to a base EXACTLY at the same time is highly unlikely, but if it were to occur, the runner would be out for failing to get to the base BEFORE the ball.

 

By the way, this language is different from the language in the Little League rulebook, which is much more convoluted on this rule, but is consistent with MLB’s Major League Rule 7.08(e).

 

So you’ve been wrong for all these years.  :-)

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What can one do if one thinks the umpire has made a bad call?

There are a few things you should know.

  1. The most important thing is to maintain proper decorum at all times. No shouting, disrespectful speech, waving of arms, or disrespectful body language is ever appropriate. The very first words in Section 1 of the CYB Local Rules are, “The objective of Chelmsford Youth Baseball shall be to implant firmly in the youth of the community the ideals of good sportsmanship, honesty, loyalty, courage and respect for authority so that they may be well adjusted, stronger and happier children who will grow up to become decent, healthy and trustworthy adults.” So our main purpose in coaching is to teach good sportsmanship and respect. If you are angrily or flamboyantly complaining to or about an umpire or a call that you disagree with, you are failing at your primary task.
  2. Regardless of the umpires’ age or your view of their skills, you must treat the umpires with respect, and as your peers. The fact is, they have the ultimate authority over the game, even if they happen to be kids. You don’t. If you make their job easier, you’ll usually get a better performance.
  3. You may never argue judgment calls, such as safe/out, fair/foul, ball/strike. Don’t do it.
  4. While it is customary for an umpire to issue a warning before ejecting a player, coach or manager, s/he is not required to do so. This means that you do not necessarily get a free pass for your first infraction against proper game decorum.
  5. If you have a question about a rule interpretation, such as, “Was that interference?” or “Why wasn’t the infield fly rule called?” you may discuss it with the umpire consistent with CYB Local Rule Section 2 Rule 18: “Only the manager or acting manager from a team is permitted to discuss a play, question a rule interpretation, etc. with an umpire at any time. Additionally, any such discussion must be done in the presence of the manager/acting manager of the opposing team. Care must be taken by both managers to keep such discussions extremely low key, non-confrontational and non-intimidating to the umpire. No actions, verbal or otherwise shall be taken to intimidate or otherwise influence the umpires’ calls.”
    That means that if you have a question, only the MANAGER may speak to the umpire, and he must first call the other team’s manager over to join in the discussion.
  6. It is a myth that one umpire may overrule another. If you disagree with a safe/out call at second base, you may not ask the home plate umpire to overrule. The umpire who made a call or ruling may ask for help if he wishes. You may ask him to ask for help, but he does not have to do so. In any case, no umpire may overrule another umpire's call. (If two umpires make conflicting calls on the same play, the umpires confer privately -- no managers allowed! -- and make the call. If they disagree, the umpire-in-chief makes the call.)
  7. If you have a persistent problem with an umpire, you may discuss it with the league vice president. However, always first put your ducks in a row. That is, make sure you know the rule in question before complaining about the umpire.

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Discipline

We have a player who has missed numerous practices and games. Do we have to play him?

Unless you take certain steps, you must play every player who shows up for a given game as long as s/he is on your roster. CYB Local Rules Section 1 Rule 5 says:

Any player missing three or more practices and/or games without prior notification to the manager and without valid reason(s) may be suspended for a game subject to approval of the Division Vice President.  Any manager proposing such action shall inform the respective Division Vice President and provide him/her with the reason in writing.  Any subsequent absences shall be referred to the Board of Directors for appropriate action.

 

However, the Division VP is unlikely to approve any suspension unless the manager has been proactive about dealing with the problem. Managers are expected to make sure parents know that missing practices is a problem. If a player does miss a practice without explanation, the manager needs to tell the child that he needs to notify the manager when he is going to be absent. If the problem recurs, the manager must speak to the parents. Only if the parents know of the problem and know of the consequences, and still the player is having unexcused absences, will a suspension be approved. This is especially true during the playoffs, when a convenient suspension of a less-than-excellent player may give a team an advantage.

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We have a player who repeatedly has been disruptive on the bench. What can we do?

First, you need to understand what is required of you and your players, and what you can do if there are problems. Rules that govern player’s behavior are scattered all over the rule book, but include sections 3.02, 3.09, 3.14, 3.15, 4.05 - 4.08, 4.15, 8.02, 9.01, 9.05, and Local Rule Section 1, Rules 5 and 6. To summarize:

 

So, if a player is disruptive on the bench, you want to do something like this:

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We have a player who is always talking with kids who are behind the bench during the game. What can we do?

Explain that such behavior is specifically against the rules (Rule 3.09) and that such behavior can lead to disciplinary action. (See the item above.)

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Is it OK to have kids do push-ups or run laps when they misbehave or screw up during a practice or game?

Absolutely not. Physical punishment is not permitted in CYB.

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Injuries

We have a player who hurt his throwing arm. He can bat but cannot throw, so he can’t play in the field. Can we play him as a DH?

In Youth Majors and Senior Majors, rules allow for a DH, but limit how often a player can play that position. Any exception to this rule would have to be presented to the Division VP and Board of Directors for consideration.

 

For all other divisions, the rules make no allowance for a DH. However, in the spirit of letting kids play, and based on the advice of the president of CYB, Division VPs would probably allow a player to DH in this circumstance. It is likely that the Division VP would require a doctor’s note that specifically states that the player may bat but may not play in the field.

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We have a player who has been out for several weeks with a serious injury [such as a broken arm]. He showed up last night and wants to play. Can we play him? Must we play him?

As long as a parent gives the child permission to play, either verbally (to you) or in writing, you can and must play him/her. Of course, you need to exercise caution and minimize risk and stress to the injured area.

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Practices

What fields do we use for practices and games? Where are they?

Tee Ball

Practices are held before games at Roberts-Tee Ball, which is the Tee Ball field at Roberts Field on Old Westford Road. For directions, click the Facilities button on the left side of the screen.

 

Minors

Games are held on Roberts-Lupien and Roberts-Fitts fields. Practices are also held at Roberts-Lupien and Roberts-Fitts, and may also be held at the Parker Fields and the High School Fields. For directions, click the Facilities button on the left side of the screen.

 

Farm Extension

Games are held on Roberts-Lupien, Roberts-Fitts and Strawberry Hill fields. Each Farm Extension team also plays one night game under the lights on 110-Fitts or 110-Lupien. Practices are held on Roberts-Lupien, Roberts-Fitts, and Strawberry Hill, and may also be held on the Parker Fields and the High School Fields. For directions, click the Facilities button on the left side of the screen.

 

Youth Farm AA and Youth Farm AAA

Games are held on 110-Lupien and 110-Fitts fields. Practices are held on 110-Lupien and 110-Fitts, and may also be held at the Parker Fields and the High School Fields. For directions, click the Facilities button on the left side of the screen.

 

Youth Majors

Games are held on 110-Scully field. Practices are held on 110-Scully, 110-Lupien and 110-Fitts, and may also be held at the Parker Fields and the High School Fields. For directions, click the Facilities button on the left side of the screen.

 

Senior Farm and Senior Majors

Games are held on Volunteer field, High School 1 (HS1), High School 2 (HS2), and occasionally on Ayotte field. Practices are also held on those fields and sometimes on the wide open space at the High School fields. For directions, click the Facilities button on the left side of the screen.

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How frequently do we practice?

Tee Ball

These are little kids, so long and frequent practices and games are inappropriate and impractical. Practices that run for 30 to 45 minutes are conducted right before games; the games themselves last about an hour. There are practices/games twice a week (on Saturday and a weeknight) from late April until about the time school ends in June. The season ends with a Skills Day.

 

Minors and Farm Extension

Pre-season practices begin in early April. Teams will typically have five or six practices before the regular season begins. There are regular season games twice a week (on Saturday and a weeknight) from late April until about the time school ends in June. During the regular season, coaches are encouraged to have one practice a week. The season ends with a Skills Day.

 

Youth Farm AA and Youth Farm AAA

Pre-season practices begin in late March. Teams will typically have five or six practices before the regular season begins, and managers may schedule a pre-season scrimmage or two. The regular season runs from mid-April to early June, with (usually) two games a week (on Saturday and a weeknight). During the regular season, managers are encouraged to have one or more practices a week based on the schedule and the needs of the team. All teams make the playoffs, which run from early to late June. Managers usually schedule practices during the playoffs.

 

Youth Majors

Pre-season practices begin in late March. Teams will typically have six or more practices before the regular season begins, and managers usually schedule a pre-season scrimmage or two. The regular season runs from mid-April to early June, with (usually) two games a week (on Saturday and a weeknight). During the regular season, the league assigns a Sunday practice every week for every team,  and managers usually add a practice during the week based on the schedule and the needs of the team. Playoffs run from early to late June. Managers usually schedule practices during the playoffs.

 

Senior Farm and Senior Majors

Pre-season practices begin in late March. Teams will typically have six or more practices and a pre-season game or two before the regular season begins. The regular season runs from mid-April to early June, with (usually) two games a week (on Saturday and a weeknight). During the regular season, at least one practice per week is assigned by the league. Managers may add or subtract practices based on the schedule and the needs of the team. Playoffs run from early to late June. Managers may schedule practices during the playoffs.

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Where can we practice, and how can we schedule a field to practice?

Scheduled Practices: The various divisions assign practices. See your team’s schedule. To check for field availability, you may check with your division VP, or…

 

Guerilla Practices -- Weekdays: On weekdays, the usual case is that all fields are all in use by a Youth, Senior or High School team. Furthermore, even on the rare days when Youth League fields (110-Scully, 110-Fitts, 110-Lupien, Volunteer) are open, they are usually scheduled for grass cutting and other field maintenance. Therefore, the easiest way to go is to schedule a practice for the High School or Parker fields and then use whatever space is available. You may or may not get a field, but you can probably find some space where you can set up a diamond and get in some work.  Such a practice is sometimes called a “guerilla practice”.

 

Guerilla Practices -- Saturdays

Forget it. You have games every Saturday, and all the fields are fully utilized.

 

Guerilla Practices -- Sundays

Sundays are a great days for practices, with a few provisos. First of all, Sunday is often used for make-up games, so you may lose some practices because you have to make up a game. Second, you may have assigned practices on Sunday. And third, the 110 fields are almost always either fully scheduled or due for maintenance and grass cutting on Sundays.

 

But you always have the option of calling a guerilla practice on a Sunday. However, note that there is an adult league that has the permit for HS1 and HS2 on Sundays from 9 AM to noon. You can’t push them off the fields.

 

Note: Because there are so few full size diamonds in town, the Senior teams get priority on the large diamonds. If a Youth League (12 and under divisions) team is using any full size diamond, and a Senior team shows up for a practice, the Senior team may politely ask the Youth team to move off the field, explaining as necessary. (“Coach, the CYB Board of Directors has reserved use of the large diamonds for the older kids. I need to ask you to move to another location so we can conduct our scheduled practice.”) Indeed, the CYB does NOT want the smaller kids playing on the large fields, as they ruin the infield by playing at the shorter distance.

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We find that a few weeks into the season, the kids start to get bored with practice. What can we do to change that?

Mix it up! While you may have certain things that you want to work on in every practice, try to introduce new activities throughout the year.

 

One good technique is to break the kids into groups and have them compete against each other -- who can consecutively field the most ground balls cleanly and make the throws to first? Who can catch the most consecutive fly balls? Who can make the most consecutive relay throws?

 

You might also, on a completely unpredictable basis, surprise the kids now and then by supplying some reward to the winning team, such as ice cream novelties (ice cream sandwiches, popsicles, fugicles, Italian Ice, packaged Sundaes, and large things with complex names; everybody gets something, but the winners get first choice.)

 

Also, if you or any parents on the team happen to know a professional coach or any kind of baseball expert who might be willing to conduct a special clinic for your team, such guests are always well received by the kids.

 

Finally, make sure that the kids understand that practices are NOT just time to screw around. While we want the kids to have fun, and a certain amount of clowning and talking is expected, you need to keep things under control.

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Rain

What is the procedure for canceling games due to rain, snow, sleet and/or pestilence?

  1. If a game or practice is canceled by the league, you may not play or practice on any field, as doing so is a risk to players and is also likely to damage the field.

 

  1. If the league has not canceled a game, but conditions are such that there is a question as to whether you should play, see the rule book, Section 3.10, A and C. "A" says that if there is a question of whether to play before the game starts, the home team manager has “sole discretion” as to whether or not you play. Obviously, both managers and the umpire(s) should consult, but if they can't agree, it is up to the home team manager. "C" says that once the game begins, it's up to the senior umpire.

 

Advice: when in doubt, PLAY. We cannot always guarantee that postponed games will be made up.

Also: If it should start to rain during a game, keep playing until you deem the situation to be either dangerous (kids are slip-sliding all over the place, or no one can grip or see the ball) or destructive (play is really chewing up the infield to the degree where it will require serious work to make it playable once it dries). If you stop play, give it a good 30 minutes at least before you suspend or end a game, as even heavy downpours often stop and allow games to resume. Be patient. Again, do everything possible to play a game, as we cannot always guarantee that postponed games will be made up.

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What’s the rule regarding stopping of play due to thunder and lightning?

If an umpire sees any lightning (bolt or flash) at any distance, play must be immediately stopped and all players must leave the field. Play may only resume after fifteen consecutive minutes free from lightning. The umpire will keep the official time. If you stop play, give it a good 30 to 60 minutes at least before you suspend a game, as even nasty thunderstorms often pass quickly and allow games to resume. Be patient. Again, do everything possible to play a game, as we cannot always guarantee that postponed games will be made up.

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What do we do to reschedule games that get rained out?

Nothing. The Division VP will see to it that games are rescheduled. Per the CYB Board of Directors (this is in the “Manager’s Info” file on the CYB web site), “Games may be canceled and rescheduled by a league official only.”

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Can managers or the league reschedule a game if one or more teams cannot field a team?

The rule is that scheduled games must be played at the time they were scheduled to be played, and make-up games must be played at the time they were RE-scheduled to be played. Each year we try to create a schedule that evades known conflicts for players, avoiding days like the McCarthy and Parker 8th Grade Dances, Mother’s Day, and other days when we KNOW that many kids will not be able to attend games. We do our best with limited field availability and a short New England baseball season.

 

Past experience has taught the league that it's not workable to let teams reschedule on their own, as doing so often causes new scheduling conflicts with regard to field availability and umpiring staff, and almost always has a domino effect (“You moved THAT game, so now it’s only fair that you move THIS game, and THIS OTHER game…”).

 

Sometimes make-up games result in some tough situations, such as teams having to play three or four days in a row, which is not only a busy schedule for the team but also makes it difficult to manage a pitching staff. We recognize that this is inconvenient, but it happens sometimes and is unavoidable. When faced with several consecutive games, all we can recommend is that you limit your innings pitched so that pitchers are available after a single day off.

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What happens if a playoff game is stopped by bad weather?

A game may be suspended due to persistent lightning, field conditions that are deemed to be dangerous, or when conditions are such that continued play is likely to cause field damage that could make the field unusable for some time. Once a playoff game is suspended, we follow Local Rule 30, which states, All play-off games must be played to a conclusion.  After the first pitch of a play-off game, suspension rules apply.

 

This rule has two implications.

 

  1. Unlike regular season games, all playoff games will be played to completion (5 ˝ or 6 innings, or 6 ˝ or 7 innings for the Senior Majors), even if the game is an “official game” when play is halted.
  2. Once a playoff game has started, if it is suspended for any reason, it will not be re-started, it will be resumed exactly where it was suspended. (This supersedes Rule 4.10(e).)

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Miscellaneous

What awards and trophies are bestowed each year?

Tee Ball, Minors and Farm Extension

Skills days medals are presented. There are Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for the top three teams, and Participants medals for everyone who participates.

 

Youth Farm AA, Youth Farm AAA

Trophies are presented to all players who are on the championship teams and the runner-up teams.

 

Youth Majors, Senior Majors

Trophies are presented to all players who are on the championship teams, the runner-up teams, and all-star teams.

 

Senior Farm

Trophies are presented to all players who are on the championship teams, the runner-up teams, and all-star teams. A trophy is also awarded to the player who gets the most extra-base hits during the regular season, and to the pitcher with highest strike-out to walk differential (the number of strike outs minus the number of walks) during the regular season.

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Can we add names to the back of shirts?

Tee Ball, Minors, Farm Extension, Youth Farm AA and Youth Farm AAA

Many teams add names to shirts. Although kids generally like it, and the league takes no official position, one must be conscious that (1) it adds yet another expense, and (2) law enforcement authorities often discourage the placing of external IDs such as names on children’s clothes.

 

Youth Majors, Senior Farm and Senior Majors

They don’t generally do so.

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What’s the deal with CORI forms?

CORI stands for Criminal Offender Record Information. The Criminal History Systems Board (CHSB) provides criminal offender record information to board certified, non-criminal justice agencies such as schools, day care centers, home health aides, youth athletic coaches, and municipal government agencies.

 

In English: The CORI forms provide a mechanism for the league to do a background check so that we can find out if any prospective volunteers are criminals, especially sexual predators. Massachusetts law requires that we do a CORI check on all volunteers.

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What do we do for play-offs?

Tee Ball, Minors, and Farm Extension

There are no play-offs. There is a Skills Day at the end of the season.

 

Youth Farm AA and Youth Farm AAA

All teams make the playoffs, which consist of a single-elimination tournament, followed by a best-2-of-3 championship series.

 

Youth Majors

The winners of each division make the playoffs, and the two teams with the next best records, regardless of their division, make the playoffs. There are two playoff rounds, both best-2-of-3 series. The first seed (the team with the best regular season record) plays the fourth seed (the team with the 4th best regular season record) in round one of the playoffs, and the 2nd seed plays the 3rd seed. The series winners meet in the championship series.

 

Senior Farm

  1. All teams make the play-offs.
  2. There are two divisions. Each division has a round-robin double-elimination tournament. Seedings are assigned in such a way that teams with better regular season records have a slightly easier path than teams with worse records. In this way, all teams have a chance to win the play-offs, but higher placing teams are rewarded for their superior regular season record.
  3. The winners of the two playoff series then play a best-2-of-3 championship series.

 

Senior Majors

All teams make the playoffs, and all series are best-2-of-3. In the first round, the first seed (the team with the best regular season record) and the second seed (the team with the second best regular season record) have a bye, while the 3rd seed plays the 6th seed and the 4th seed plays the 5th seed. The winners of the first round play the 1st and 2nd seeds in the second round, and the winners of the second round play for the championship.

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What do we do for all-star games?

Tee Ball, Minors and Farm Extension

There are no all-star games in these divisions.

 

Youth Farm AA, Youth Farm AAA, Youth Majors, Senior Majors

All-stars are selected by managers and the division VPs, and an all-star game is played at or near the end of the playoffs.

 

Senior Farm

Senior Farm has two all-star games. Typically there is one for all 15-year-olds and one for selected 13- and 14-year-olds. In both games, the Fitts Division all-stars compete against the Lupien Division all-stars in nine inning games. All players, including 15-year-olds, may pitch.

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What is the criteria for selecting all-stars?

Tee Ball, Minors, Farm Extension

Not applicable.

 

Youth Farm AA, Youth Farm AAA, Youth Majors,

Senior Farm and Senior Majors

The league recommends that managers nominate players based not only on skill, but also on attendance and attitude. A player who is disruptive, or a negative force on the team, or who does not consistently show up for games and practices, should not be nominated regardless of his skills.

 

In Senior Farm, all 15-year olds participate in the 15-year-old All-Star game. If there are fewer than 30 15-year-olds, 14-year-olds may also play in the 15-year old All-Star game. 13- and 14-year-olds who are nominated by their managers and selected by the division VP participate in the other all-star game.

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Where can we get bases, rakes, shovels, speedy-dry, and umpires' gear for games? Who is responsible to get them?

All fields have some sort of shed in which these materials are stored. Coaches are responsible to see to it that the materials are removed and returned.

 

For games at the 110 fields, the equipment is in the shed that is in one of the dugouts. For games at Volunteer, the equipment is in the shed behind home plate at Volunteer. The keys for all are in the Snack Shack; just walk over and ask for them. Remember to put stuff away after the game (unless there is a game that follows yours) and return the key.

 

For games at the Roberts field and Strawberry Hill, there is an equipment shed.

 

For games at HS1 and HS2, the equipment is in a shed that is next to each field. For games at Ayotte, the equipment is in a shed that stands near the third base line.

 

The home team is responsible to get the equipment before the game. The home team is also responsible to return it after the game, and to lock up the shed, and to lock up Volunteer Field, unless another game follows yours.

 

Check with your division VP for details on how to access the sheds.

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What do we do with these “Game Result” forms?

There are Game Results forms for Youth Farm AA, Youth Farm AAA, Youth Majors, Senior Farm, and Senior Majors. Immediately after each game, the manager of the home team must complete the Game Results form, and have the visiting team’s manager add his team’s information. Both managers must confirm that the information is accurate. Both managers sign the form, representing that they agree to the accuracy of the information. Please be careful to accurately track all information the form asks for, especially pitch counts. For some divisions, information such as extra base hits, walks, and strikeouts is used to determine the winners of year-end awards.

 

Once the form is signed and submitted, the game results are official and final; if there is an error, there is no right to appeal.

 

Within a day of the game -- and preferably right after the game -- please take the completed and signed forms to the Chelmsford Youth Baseball complex at Route 110. On the small shed that is just across from the Snack Shack, there are mailboxes for each division. Place the Game Result forms in the appropriate mailbox.

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What are the responsibilities for the home team for each game? What about the visitors?

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Do we have to cover the Refreshment Stand even if our game is canceled?

Yes. It is possible that field conditions may require the cancellation of games in one location, such as the high school, while other games, like those at the 110 fields, go on. If you are scheduled to work at the refreshment stand, you need to show up unless you are explicitly notified that the stand is closed and your service will not be required. Your turn at the stand may be rescheduled.

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We showed up for a game at HS1 and the high school JV was playing. What’s going on?

By agreement between the involved parties, high school teams always have priority over Chelmsford Youth Baseball teams (including Cal Ripken League and Babe Ruth League) on fields that are owned by the school department (HS1 and HS2), as well as Ayotte Field. If a high school game (varsity, junior varsity, or freshman team) runs late, we must wait until the game is complete. If the high school reschedules a game for a time when a Senior League game is scheduled, we may even have to reschedule a game, although this is rare.

 

Generally, the worst thing that happens is that occasionally a Senior Farm game will get a late start and will have to be called because of darkness before 6 innings are complete. This is unfortunate, but out of our control.

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In most divisions, kids get re-assigned to different teams each year. Why is this?

There are several reasons.

1.      The quality of the managers and coaches varies, and it fairest to all kids if they experience different managers and coaches. It would be unfair for some to kids to experience only the best coaches while others might only experience only the least skilled coaches.

2.      For younger kids (Tee Ball, Minors, Farm Extension), there are so many changes each year, as the kids move to different divisions, and more kids join, and skills develop, that it makes sense for each division to assign new teams to assure good balance.

3.      By starting with a clean slate each year in the Youth Farm and Senior Farm divisions, we reduce the likelihood that one team will dominate year after year, which would be unfair to the rest of the kids.

4.      Basically, there are two ways to assign players to teams. You can either have a draft, where the managers choose players based on try-outs and other evaluations, or you can assign players to teams, to balance the competition as much as possible.  In the Majors, where there is little turnover in managers, we use the draft method. In the Farm and with the younger players, where the managerial turnover is great, we use the second method, which means that we try to assign players so as to have balanced teams.

 

In the Majors divisions, once a player is drafted by a team. s/he stays with that team as long as s/he is in that age division. This gives the players consistent instruction that is appropriate at this most competitive level.

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Can a manager or parent request placement of a given player to a given team?

In the Majors, there are rules that govern player placement to assure that a parent gets to manage his own child, and that siblings are likely to be placed on the same team. Other than that, players must play for the team that drafts them, and no other arrangement is permitted.

 

For the other divisions, we discourage parents from making placement requests. Placement requests inevitably create situations in which some teams are loaded with good players while other teams have few top players, and tend to make assigning players impossibly complicated, since when such requests are honored, many more such requests are made.

 

There are a few exceptions. (1) If a certain manager and a certain coach wish to work together, and combining their kids on the same team will not have an obvious effect on league balance, we will usually assign the coaches and kids to the same team. (Also, we bend over backwards to reward people like coaches who volunteer their time to CYB.) (2) If a child has a transportation problem, we’ll make every effort to assign him/her to a team if someone on that team can help solve the transportation problem. (3) If a child, through no fault of his/her own, has had a poor experience with a particular coach, we’ll certainly assure that he/she is not assigned to the same coach, and we’ll try to honor any request to assure that he/she has a better experience.

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What is the difference between Babe Ruth baseball and Cal Ripken baseball and Little League baseball?

Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken baseball are youth baseball programs that, according to the Babe Ruth League web site, “…serve players from ages 4­­-18 in Babe Ruth Baseball, Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Softball. The Babe Ruth Buddy Ball Division encompasses players ages 4-20.” The Cal Ripken division serves kids ages 4-12, and the Babe Ruth division serves kids 13-18. CYB does not cover quite so many ages, currently covering ages 5-15. Our Patriot division is for children with disabilities, ages 8 to 18.

 

Little League baseball is another youth baseball program that serves kids of about the same ages. CYB was affiliated with Little League baseball from our inception in 1952 until 2008, when we switched over to Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken because of radical rule changes and increasing micro-management of local leagues by Little League baseball.

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My child is 15. Where can s/he play next year?

CYB currently has no 16-18 division. The league has dabbled in a “Big League” or “18U” (18 and under) division in the past, but the division has never worked out for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was having someone to really take the bull by the horns and recruit and run the division.

 

But you do have some options. As a rule, neighboring towns will allow Chelmsford kids to participate in their league if that town has a division for an age group for which Chelmsford does not have a division. For example, the Westford Youth Baseball & Softball League (WYBSL, see http://www.wybsl.com) has in the past even gone so far as to have one Chelmsford team in their “18U” division.

 

So if you have a 16 year old who wants to keep playing, I’d make a call to the Westford league (see http://www.wybsl.com for contact information) or, if it is closer for you, the Billerica league (http://www.eteamz.com/billericalittleleague), and see how they are currently handling non-townie players.

 

One other options is AAU baseball. The AAU (“Amateur Athletic Union”) is an organization that provides a framework for people to put together teams and leagues for sports competition. There is AAU baseball, AAU basketball, AAU diving, and so on. As a practical matter, AAU sports tend to be for the extremely serious amateur athlete. One tries out for most AAU teams, and many kids get cut. One pays a lot of money to play on AAU teams. One expects excellent coaching from AAU coaches. Some AAU teams are extremely serious, and travel all over the country and even the world to seek the highest level of competition. The good thing about AAU teams is that they do provide a place to play. The bad thing is that at least sometimes they are EXTREMELY competitive, and expensive, and sometimes, all the parents involved are a bit crazed, hoping little Johnny is going to get a college scholarship and big league contract. Anyway, there are various AAU clubs around, like the New England Firebirds, who operate out of North Andover (http://www.eteamz.com/newenglandfirebirds/). You might consider AAU ball for a serious ballplayer.

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