Cal Ripken

Baseball for Boys and Girls Age 9-12

UpdatedThursday January 23, 2020 byIthaca 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.

Divisions

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 in 2 travel tournaments, one that reguires lodging and one close enough for driving.  The teams will also play a competitive schedule of local games during the summer agianst town all star teams and local baseball clubs.  The season ends in early August to take a break from baseball before school starts.

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.

Fall Season

Our players from our summer and spring teams have the opportunity to come back for fall baseball.  Depending on participation we will field both Travel and Local Teams.  The season starts in early September and goes into the middle of October.  Fall baseball is usually up to 1 practice a week and participation in a local tournament on Saturday for 5 weeks.  Coaches may schedule a few local weeknight games during season as well.  The weather during the fall season may be the best baseball weather of the year and interest in fall baseball has increased rapidly in recent years.