The Upper Makefield Youth Baseball and Softball League is focused on creating a positive environment where every boy and every girl can learn the great games of baseball and softball. Our coaches are committed to teaching the kids the “right” way to play the game, creating life long skills and memories. As a league, we have resources available to parents who are interested in coaching or who just want to learn a little more about how to teach their kids at home. We have the best facilities in Bucks County, PA and we are committed to ensuring that the kids have a fun, friendly, positive, age-appropriate competitive atmosphere.
Below is a brief outline of our leagues and associated age groups. We work hard as a league to ensure that our kids are placed in a league that best meets their abilities and age group. Below are examples of our guidelines that you can use to see where your child might be best suited. Each child will be evaluated through our player placement process and will be assigned a team and age group appropriate to their individual skills.
Tee Ball – Pre-K and Kindergarten
Tee ball is our kids’ first introduction to “organized” baseball. We focus on fun, with some basic orientation to the fundamentals of baseball (and softball) and a socialization to the game. Games are once a week – on weekends only – and they last for about an hour. Our tee ball teams do not have a midweek practice.
Tee ball games focus on basic skills, such as how to hold and swing a bat, learning which way to run when you hit the ball, how to field a ground ball, how to throw (turn sideways, step with the foot opposite of your throwing hand) and how to catch an easy ball in the air. We do not keep score and we do not track outs.
In these games, every player bats each inning and every player goes into the field. We encourage coaches and parents to keep the kids who aren’t batting or who are in the outfield engaged and interested – we will teach everyone fun drills and activities to do that.
Instructional League – 1st grade
Instructional League (or I-League, as it is commonly known) returns this year. I-League is a transitional league for players between Tee Ball and Rookie League working toward a time where we begin kid-pitching. I-League has one game on Saturdays and one practice per week.
In I-League, the coaches pitch to the players. Players will get 5 or 6 swinging strikes before assistance from a tee is provided, or a strikeout is called as the season advances. With this approach, the kids gain confidence and will consistently make contact with the ball. Initially all kids will bat through the order and, as fielding improves, we will transition to three outs to end the inning. Coaches will use their discretion as the season progresses as to the how the game will be played. We continue to focus on building skills and knowledge of the game. We focus on teaching the proper techniques of throwing, catching and hitting and begin to expose the kids to game situations.
This age group is not designed to be a competitive league, although we recognize that kids this age will try to keep score.
Rookie Ball – 2nd and 3rd grade
Rookie League continues the progression and growth to “real” baseball. Players will have either one or two games per week and may have a practice as well. Players begin pitching in Rookie Ball and continue to develop their skills over the course of the season. We continue to focus on skill building and knowledge of the game. We expect that, as the season progresses, more and more kids will have the chance to pitch.
In Rookie League, we keep score of games and follow the traditional baseball format – three outs per inning, home team gets last at bat etc. We remain mindful of the variance in players’ skill sets and create teams that are balanced and equally skilled. Our coaches work with all players to have fun and to develop their skills.
American League – 4th and 5th grade
This is the more traditional youth baseball. Teams play three outs per inning, home team gets the last at bat and follow traditional Cal Ripken Baseball Rules. We continue to work with all kids to develop their skills and to have fun. There are one to two games per week, practices and early season clinics. Games are played on the 46”/60” baseball fields at Lookout Park.
National League –5th and 6th grade
This is the next progression in our age groups from the American League. We continue to focus on building skills and creating a more competitive environment while maintaining an atmosphere of fun. Teams generally play 2 games per week and may have a practice as well. In year’s past, we have included inter-league games with our neighboring baseball programs and conclude our season with a year end tournament. Games are played on a 50”/70” baseball field and serve a transition to the next level of baseball.