Keeping baseball FUN, especially in the early stages of youth baseball, is a primary concern of Babe Ruth League's Cal Ripken Division which is comprised of Major, Minor, Rookie, and T-Ball Divisions.
Major: The most experienced level of Cal Ripken Baseball, recommended for 11 and 12 year old players. Cal Ripken Baseball is played under the Official Baseball Rules, but implements some special rules as necessary for the development and welfare of this young age group. The game is played on a 60-foot diamond with a pitching distance of 46 feet. In order to encourage the league to train more pitchers, there are rules that set the maximum number of innings a pitcher may pitch in a calendar week. Regulation games consist of six innings or four innings if a game is called. Special base running rules are also in effect.
Minor: Recommended for 9 and 10 year olds. Among teammates of their own age and experience level, players continue building and refining their fundamental skills while they begin to understand game strategy. It is at the minor league level that players first experience post-season tournament competition, with district, state, and regional levels of play.
Rookie: Designed primarily for 7, 8, and 9 year olds. Dr. Robert Brown, former president of the American League formulated the concept of the Rookie League, a pitching machine program. Babe Ruth League quickly embraced this concept and established the rookie league as a division. By controlling the pitches with a pitching machine, there is more action at the plate and in the field. Fear of being hit by a pitched ball is diminished. It makes the game safer and improves the playing confidence and ability of all participants. It removes the boredom - which is often the result of either overpowering or inadequate pitching - by throwing only strikes. Fewer errors and greater throwing accuracy are the result of increase in activity. The program receives high praise from coaches, players, parents, and league officials. The rookie league is an excellent way to continue teaching the fundamentals of the game and building player confidence.
T-Ball: A program recommended for 4, 5, and 6 year olds to teach the fundamentals of hitting and fielding. All batters will hit the ball from a batting tee which is adjusted to a height that allows the batter to swing level. All rostered players present for the game bat in order, whether playing defensively or not. Each player plays a minimum of two innings defensively. An adult coach is stationed beyond the infielders in order to provide instruction to all defensive players. The primary goal is to begin to instruct young players in the fundamentals of baseball in a supportive team environment.