Home of Pacific Palisades PONY Baseball

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The Pacific Palisades Baseball Association was formed in 1954 to provide youth with the opportunity to learn baseball in a fun, safe manner.  We now play baseball as part of the Pony League of America. The PPBA's mission through its PONY affiliation is to offer quality baseball programs where individuals can build positive character through friendly competition.
 

Our organization is set up in three divisions (Bronco, Mustang, and Pinto) and 8 organizations (Cubs, Cards, Dodgers, Phillies in the National League and Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox and Tigers in the American).  Each organization has a head that sits on the PPBA Board of Directors and is responsible for all communication from the Board to the volunteers within their organization.  You can locate division heads and contact information for each on our Contact Us page.  Each division has a volunteer Head Coach and Assistants for each team within the organization.  All team communication should go through the coach in the division first then to the Organization Head.
 
The PPBA board would like every child to have the opportunity to play baseball in our league. However, the realty is that there are certain field limitations, time constraints and players safety concerns, which just do not make this possible.
 
The PPBA is faced with certain realities we just can't change 1) field space and permitting access to city parks and recreation.  Given our space limitations (which only allow us 4 baseball diamonds) and our need to share our Field of Dreams with the city parks and recreation department, we limit the maximum number of divisions in the lower league to 3 and the maximum number of teams to 8 and we limit the number of players on each team. 2) Children’s safety; the safety of every child comes first at the PPBA. The reality is not every child’s abilities allow them to be ready to safely play Baseball. This fact is extremely important to the Board of PPBA. Therefore, not every child who registers for the PPBA will be placed on a team

The primary features that distinguish PONY Baseball from Little League Baseball are the use of a two-year age bracket system and scaled diamonds.
 
In organizations such as Little League players can differ by as much as three years within a division. As a result, the younger players because of their lack of maturity, ability, and size find it hard to communicate with the older players. Generally they find themselves spending a disproportionate amount of time on the bench and may feel disconnected from their team. With players of only two ages involved, as is the case with PONY Baseball, it is far easier to permit every player to play more positions since the difference in skills within the age group is not that great.
 
The game of baseball cannot be played as it was intended to be played if the physical capability of the players does not match the physical achievements required for the game. Little League uses two diamond sizes. Up until age 12 players play on a 60-foot diamond. PONY Baseball, on the other hand, scales the size of their diamonds to match the physical capabilities of the players within each division. The base dimensions for PPPA Baseball are: 


         60 foot bases for Pinto (7-8 some 9 year-olds) 
         60-foot bases for Mustang (9-10 year-olds) 
         70-foot bases for Bronco (11-12 year-olds) 
         80-foot bases for Pony (13-14 year-olds) 

These base dimensions are the result of extensive experimentation to determine the size on which players of each age group can properly play the game of baseball. Pitching distance is also scaled to the ability of the player in proportion to the size of the diamond. 

The scaled down diamonds allow the players to make the plays made by the major leaguers. Home runs become a possibility. Outfielders can play in a position proportionately equal to that played by a major leaguer, and the double play, squeeze play, and various strategy tactics, difficult for adults and nearly impossible for youngsters on a full size diamond, become a probability rather than an impossibility.

Our Pinto division is an instructional division.  This is the player's first introduction to competitive baseball but the primary focus of the Pinto division is instructional. We do keep track of the standings.  We use machine pitch in Pinto and have found that it helps develop hitting as well as fielding skills.  We are considering introducing player pitch baseball by the end of the season so these players can also begin to develop their pitching ability.

The league plays all games at Palisades Field of Dreams. (Palisades Rec Center, 851 Alma Real Dr., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272)

 Each division has its own set of fields. 

There are four beautiful fields at the Palisades Rec Center Field of Dreams numbered 1 through 4. 

Field 1 is the closest to the Rec Center Gym and has a dirt infield.

Field 2 which is directly opposite field 1, also has a dirt infield. 

Field 3 is the closest field to the play ground and has a grass infield.

Field 4 is directly opposite Field 3 and also has a grass infield.

Bronco's will play on Field 1 or 2, only.  Mustang's will play on all four fields and Pinto's will play on Fields 3 and 4 only.  Check your schedule for the date and field you are scheduled to play on.

THE BASEBALL SEASON

Opening day of the spring 2018 season is scheduled for March 10 right after the Pancake Breakfast. 

The Spring Regular Season (17 games) usually lasts about 10 weeks long, and is extended for the playoffs and championship game.( Full Regular Season plus playoffs is normally from mid March to mid June )


Our regular spring season typically starts in mid March. During the  regular season all divisions play two games a week, one during the week, typically Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday and one on Saturday.  Weekday games typically start at 4:30 pm.  Weekend games typically start at either 9:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, or 3:00 p.m.   It is recommended players  arrive at the field 45 minutes to 1 hour prior to game time, so managers can warm them up and get the line up cards ready prior to the start of the game. 

Prior to the beginning of the regular season, we have a practice season. Teams will usually practice once during the week and once on the weekend. However, this can vary due to the individual manager's particular schedule.  You should expect practices to last a minimum of 2 hours. All scheduled practices are at each league's particular field at Palisades  Field of Dreams.  In addition to field practice, many managers will often schedule a "Batting Cage" practice. 

Depending upon the date of the league's drafting of the teams - we try to start practicing 5-6 weeks prior to the start of the regular season. (We normally have about 6 practices and 6 practice games before the start of the Regular Season). Typically practice starts the week after draft night (usually the first week of February), once the manager has his roster completed.   Check the Calendar for your practice times.
 
Please check the calendar, either in our newsletter or our web page for league dates and events.

WHAT YOU NEED

The registration fee provides a jersey, cap, baseball pants and sox to each child for use during league games. Not included, but a good idea for a better baseball experience, is an extra pair of baseball pants, sliding pants (highly recommended),  a long sleeve baseball undershirt (highly recommended for those cool evenings),  a belt, an athletic supporter (highly recommended) and an extra pair of  baseball socks.  The pants are white.  Be sure to check with your manager prior to buying new socks and l/s tees for your team's correct color.   All divisions must wear rubber molded cleats.

Last but not least -- a quality leather glove is a good idea. Vinyl and simulated leather gloves may be cheaper but tend to cause the player a great deal of frustration. It's impossible to form a pocket in gloves made of vinyl or simulated leather. Therefore the ball tends to pop out when the player attempts to catch it. 

All players should bring a windbreaker, jacket or sweatshirt to every game and practice. Especially early in the season.  There is a "Lost and Found" located in Bat and Grill. 

Each team is provided with two bats by the league.  If you wish to purchase a bat at your own discretion, you should know that the maximum barrel size allowed in the league is 2 5/8" (we do NOT allow for 2 3/4" bats).

If at any time you have a problem or just want information e-mail us at call your divisional representative. Your best bet for a quick response is by e-mail.  If possible, please provide us with both a day and evening phone number. In most cases we'll get back to you within 48 hours. 

Once your child has been placed on a team, registration fees are non-refundable.

We are a volunteer organization.  Each of us is required to work your Bat and Grill shift (3 hours) during your teams established time.  This gives you the opportunity to meet other parents in the league and it's easy!!  Each Team Bat and Grill Parent will be provided a schedule of when it is your team's turn to work.  We make a division responsibility so take the opportunity to get to know the parents in your divisions.  Please remember that your team will forfeit their game if the Bat and Grill work is not performed.  And your child may risk suspension.

Our fee also includes a basic picture package.  Each child will receive a picture package consisting of 2 wallet pictures, a 5x7 team picture, and a button. Extra pictures can be ordered on Picture Day and special items like trading cards and pennants can be purchased on Picture Day directly from the Photographer. Extra pictures must be paid for at the time of the picture-taking.

Rich Schmitt also takes "Action Photos" (many of which are provided to this web site) for purchase and he makes a donation back to the PPBA.  Please check his photos out at his tent during the season.  
 
All players are required to be evaluated prior to the draft.  Please check the calendar for tryout dates. At these "Evaluation Days" both returning and new players are given the opportunity to show their skills in front of all of the Division Heads and Board of Directors for their particular league.  Each Board member rates the player on a scale of 1 to 10 and all players are then given a draft score.  During the draft -  taking into consideration the confidential players draft score and his or her performance from the previous year if possible-- the division heads select the teams in a semi-blind draft. This method allows for as much parity as possible for all teams.

As we try our best to achieve parity between teams, we do not take requests to place friends on teams.  Your child will become friends with his teammates.  Please understand that we are on a best efforts basis.  Depending upon the skill level of the players involved we try to create the best teams possible. 

Please read the following important messages:
 

  1. Any player who fails to attend 2/3 of his team’s regular season games, for any reason other than injury or illness, shall not be considered eligible for PPBA playoffs or any post season all-star teams.  Any possible exceptions to this rule must be considered by the PPBA Commissioner or PPBA Board.

  2. Players registered to play in the PPBA shall not play any games for any club team during the PPBA Post Season Playoffs.  Failure of any player to adhere to this rule will mean that he is ineligible for PPBA Playoffs or Post Season All Star Play

Registration Fees:
The basic registration fee is $400.00 per player and $350.00 for 2nd child; $325.00 for 3rd and $300.00 for 4th child. Each player is required to buy $100.00 dollars of Pancake Breakfast tickets in advance of the actual breakfast on March 10, 2018. (See below)Therefore, our Total Fee Structure for first child is $500.00 (player fee + pancake breakfast tickets)
 Registration must be received by 12/31/17 or add a $25 non-refundable/late fee per player. Any player, new or returning, whose registration is received after 1/10/2018 will automatically be placed on a wait list.  The fee includes a uniform, basic photo package, trophy, insurance, field and umpire costs, and team equipment.
 
Since the basic registration fee does not cover all costs, the League asks that each player be responsible for $100 fee for Pancake Breakfast tickets and each member parent work a 3 hour shift in the Bat and Grill. Each player will receive 20 prepaid Pancake Breakfast tickets. The $100 for tickets is part of the Total Fee. If you elect to sell those tickets, the $100 is yours to keep. Most players go on to sell more than the original 20 tickets; and are eligible for exciting player and team prizes. All proceeds for all Pancake tickets sold go to the Field of Dreams Fund.