Cal Ripken

Baseball for Boys and Girls Age 9-12

Updated Friday January 18, 2019 by Ithaca Babe Ruth League.

Keeping baseball fun and accessible, especially in the early stages of youth baseball, is a primary concern of Ithaca's Cal Ripken program. Games feature players pitching, official umpires, and league-provided uniforms. Players are responsible for bats, glove, cleats, and safety equipment.


Cal Ripken consists of two divisions:

  • Minor/60 Division: For players aged 9-10, the Minors division features a 46-foot pitching distance and 60-foot base paths. Players build and refine their fundamental skills while beginning to understand game strategy and teamwork.
  • Major/70 Division: For players aged 11-12, the Majors division features a 50-foot pitching distance and 70-foot base paths. The game increases in complexity by adding lead-offs, stealing, and dropped third strikes. 

Spring Season

The spring season consists entirely of local league play, featuring a 10-game season plus a playoff/championship week. The Minors division typically plays games on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while the Majors division plays on Mondays and Wednesdays. Both divisions also play games on Saturdays. The season timeline:

Early February:  registration opens
Mid-to-late March:  player evaluation session, which is used to form balanced teams
Late March/early April:  practices begin
Third week of April:  games begin

First week of June:  playoff/championship week

Summer Season

Both divisions offer opportunities for summer baseball, which begins shortly after the spring season ends. Each division will field at least one All-Star/Travel team that competes on the Cal Ripken tournament trail, beginning at the District level and potentially advancing to State, Regional, and World Series play. The All-Star/Travel teams will also play in one or two travel tournaments during the summer.

In addition, one or more local summer teams are formed to play against teams from surrounding communities such as Lansing, Dryden, and Trumansburg. Local teams may also compete in tournaments held within one hour of Ithaca.