2018 Pony League baseball

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say_oww
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Re: 2018 Pony League baseball

Postby say_oww » August 23rd, 2017, 3:28 pm

All years are important for a kid in terms of their "development".  But if you want a good league, you spread out the talent.  Its just common sense and all kids can benefit.



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Re: 2018 Pony League baseball

Postby sowthpaw5 » August 23rd, 2017, 11:07 pm

say_oww wrote:All years are important for a kid in terms of their "development".  But if you want a good league, you spread out the talent.  Its just common sense and all kids can benefit.


All years are important but they are not all the same. The jump from Little League to PONY league is significant because so much is taught at that level. It's commendable that people are willing to giving up their time to coach kids, but not everyone puts forth the same level of effort or has the same knowledge base to pass on. I can't imagine being a parent and leaving whether my kid learns the game or not up to a draft.


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Re: 2018 Pony League baseball

Postby knowitall » August 24th, 2017, 11:01 am

What so special besides maybe a pickoff move is taught at the Pony League level? It's baseball.

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Re: 2018 Pony League baseball

Postby say_oww » August 24th, 2017, 11:51 am

It depends on what kind of  Kool-Aid you drink and what gives you satisfaction.  

Apparently an individual's perspective is based upon whether you want to develop all kids in a league, town, area etc, or just a select few and win as many games as you can.  Somerset used to dominate the area at all levels of play. However, since parents began taking the "good" kids up to Johnstown, the program has fallen off sharply at all levels.  When all of the kids played in the Sr League, and the talent was spread out through a draft, all of the kids got better and the program was always on top.  Things haven't been the same with the program since some of the parents took their best kids up to the Pony league and others left for travel ball.

Regardless, its a good debate.  If you want a good league, you spread out the talent.  If you just want to win, you have a wide open rosters.  There's politics surely involved either way.  However, the art of teaching a pickoff move is lost when every kid on one team dwarfs the rest of the league and all of the hits go over the fence.  The biggest change from little league to PONY isn't the field size, the rule changes, or the fact that there is so much to teach.  The biggest change is that the Jtown PONY teams aren't evenly composed.  
You are correct that all coaches aren't the same, and some bring more knowledge and can do more things.  But at the end of the day, when you have open leagues that allow teams to be stacked its the kids who suffer.  The only ones who really benefit are the coaches who like to thump their chests.  Its too bad that ERA doesn't have a league at that age group because they were always good at evenly splitting up the talent amongst all of their teams.  Like I said its a good debate.  

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Re: 2018 Pony League baseball

Postby sowthpaw5 » August 24th, 2017, 1:47 pm

knowitall wrote:What so special besides maybe a pickoff move is taught at the Pony League level? It's baseball.


Leadoffs at each base (they're not all the same), bunt defenses, cutoffs, double cuts, defending 1st and 3rd, rundowns, base running 1st and 3rd, sac bunts, bunting for hits, squeeze plays, and whatever offensive/defensive plays you want in addition.

Also, fielding, hitting, and pitching fundamentals and mechanics which are the foundation of everything else.


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Re: 2018 Pony League baseball

Postby knowitall » August 24th, 2017, 1:59 pm

Oh I see.  Rocket science.  Thank you.

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Re: 2018 Pony League baseball

Postby sowthpaw5 » August 24th, 2017, 2:33 pm

knowitall wrote:Oh I see.  Rocket science.  Thank you.


Great answer.


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Re: 2018 Pony League baseball

Postby sowthpaw5 » August 24th, 2017, 2:42 pm

say_oww wrote:It depends on what kind of  Kool-Aid you drink and what gives you satisfaction.  

Apparently an individual's perspective is based upon whether you want to develop all kids in a league, town, area etc, or just a select few and win as many games as you can.  Somerset used to dominate the area at all levels of play. However, since parents began taking the "good" kids up to Johnstown, the program has fallen off sharply at all levels.  When all of the kids played in the Sr League, and the talent was spread out through a draft, all of the kids got better and the program was always on top.  Things haven't been the same with the program since some of the parents took their best kids up to the Pony league and others left for travel ball.

Regardless, its a good debate.  If you want a good league, you spread out the talent.  If you just want to win, you have a wide open rosters.  There's politics surely involved either way.  However, the art of teaching a pickoff move is lost when every kid on one team dwarfs the rest of the league and all of the hits go over the fence.  The biggest change from little league to PONY isn't the field size, the rule changes, or the fact that there is so much to teach.  The biggest change is that the Jtown PONY teams aren't evenly composed.  
You are correct that all coaches aren't the same, and some bring more knowledge and can do more things.  But at the end of the day, when you have open leagues that allow teams to be stacked its the kids who suffer.  The only ones who really benefit are the coaches who like to thump their chests.  Its too bad that ERA doesn't have a league at that age group because they were always good at evenly splitting up the talent amongst all of their teams.  Like I said its a good debate.  


I agree there is room for good debate/discussion. Personalizing it with comments like "thump their chests" takes away from it, though.


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Re: 2018 Pony League baseball

Postby say_oww » August 24th, 2017, 3:26 pm

My bad... parents like to thump their chests too lol...  However, I feel that is a crucial point because can you name any other reason for not splitting up the talent evenly within a league at that age level?  Now I'm not talking against all-stars for postseason competition - thats what our Sr. League always took to the sanctioned tournament before the league folded when too many kids left - and thats appropriate.   But there really isn't another reason not to draft/split up kids within a local community youth league that is a good reason for the kids' development.  In open leagues, the best kids never have to face anyone as good as they are until it is too late. Where then is the impetus to work on their deficiencies? Deficiencies which eventually end their "careers".  For example, Johnny's long swing is fine against all the chump teams and he clobbers the ball when he is 13-15.  Then he gets to high school where everyone catches up and the talent is distributed by school and he is lucky to get a hit.  Truth be told, I actually believe this is a way bigger issue than any type of age gerrymandering.  

No matter how you flip-flop the age cutoff you are just switching out one group over the other.  The kids that are a few months behind in age in LL or PONY or Jr. Legion suddenly become the kids who are the oldest in the group.  Unless kids all start being born in the same month its a moot point because someone is always going to be a little older.  But in terms of splitting up the kids via a draft or ranking system, everyone then faces the same level of competition which encourages development.

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Re: 2018 Pony League baseball

Postby ERAChamp » October 16th, 2017, 11:19 am

PONY has decided to follow LL in its age determination guidelines starting with the 2018 season. This all but ends High School freshman from playing with true 13/14 year olds, which I think is a wise move. I do think that this rule should have either been grand-fathered in or implemented at an earlier date as many kids currently playing in the league for next year are now ineligible for any PONY sanctioned tournaments.

Also, PONY announced that they too will now have pitch counts. Another pretty major change!!


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