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2018 Pony Rule Changes


Please take note of the following three new PONY rules that affect ECYB:


Age Change:  PON

Y has changed the date for determining league age from April 30 to August 31. This change has been made in conjunction with USA Baseball, Little League, Inc. and most other youth baseball leagues to better align with school-age cutoffs.   Some current ECYB players might lose a year in a division in 2018 and have to skip to the next higher division. Players born May 1 to August 31 will be affected. For example, those first-year Pinto players (under the April 30 cut-off) in Spring 2017, would be a first year Mustang player in Spring 2018 under the new August 31 cut-off.The ultimate effect of this change is to make each Division younger.  


ECYB has implemented this rule beginning with our Spring 2018 baseball season.  

 

New Bat Standard:  PONY, along with some other youth baseball organizations, has adopted the new USA Baseball bat standard.  Effective January 1, 2018, all bats used in PONY play must satisfy this standard.  The only bats currently in use that satisfy the new standard are -3 (BBCOR certified) bats.  Bats with other drop weights (e.g., -5, -7, -8, -9, -10, -12) will be illegal and not permitted.  Bats complying with the new USA Baseball standard are expected to go on sale after September 1, 2017.   Read what PONY has to say here.  The USA Baseball standard is discussed here.  A good analysis from one of our members is here.

ECYB will implement this rule on January 1, 2018.   

As you make your purchasing decisions, note that USA Baseball and PONY's motivation for this rule change arises from the "goal of establishing a wood-like standard," because, of course, "a wood-like performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game." 

Pitch Smart:  PONY is adopting a program called Pitch Smart that is jointly presented by USA Baseball and Major League Baseball.  Rather than protect pitchers' arms based on the number of innings pitched, this program implements pitch count limits and rest periods based on pitch numbers.  

The danger, of course, is that players, parents, and coaches will treat these pitch count num

bers as minimums rather than ceilings (and the rest periods as maximums, not minimums) and have a child with a non- or under-conditioned arm "use up" all his/her pitches based on a one-size-fits-all chart.  We all need to learn and apply an understanding of each player's personal limit and a recognition of other stressors on an arm besides the number of pitches thrown.   



ECYB began implementing Pitch Smart guidelines in 2017 and will continue following them in 2018.

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