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DTQ_Blue Mon May 21, 2007 12:37am

Ripken with real baseball rules
I did my first Ripken games yesterday on the 70 foot field with real baseball rules. These kids were 11 and 12 y/o, i.e., "majors," in a house league.

I have done house league majors level games in CR and LL and usually see a decently played game under the classical LL type rules on the 60 feet bases.

Yesterday's games, all three of them, were awful. Almost all the pitchers couldn't handle the added distance and were, with few exceptions not equipped to hold on runners and pitch legally. The coaches were asking for a lot of leniency on balk calls in the pregame.

I know that kids as young as 9 y/o can play real baseball, quite well, on the travel level. I worked an early bird tournament with 10 y/o this year and saw good baseball.

However, I don't know if it can work in a house league setting based upon what I saw yesterday. It's a different breed of kid trying to play a much more demanding game. Granted, I believe that it's the first year of real baseball at the majors level in this league, so time will tell.

At least for now, some decent baseball under the LL type rules at the majors level has been traded for a game that these kids are not handling well. I do wonder why this is being done. Is it to keep the more talented kids from completely leaving the house leagues for travel ball?

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