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Stow Youth Baseball I-League: Instructional Baseball for 6-7 year olds

I-League is advanced coach pitch, hybrid program that transitions kids from coach pitch to kid pitch.  The I-League is intended for advanced six year olds and seven year olds that could use another year of coach pitch before moving up to H-Gold (kid pitch for 7-8 year olds).  This league increases the focus on individual player skills and development, as well as increase exposure to game situations.

Main Features of I-League

  • Players ages 6 and 7 as of May 1st will be eligible for the league.
  • Score will be kept, but not posted.
  • No standings kept at this age level.
  • A complete game will be 6 innings.
  • A new inning will not start after 1.5 hours
  • 10-12 games per season
  • 1 week night practice and 1 game on Saturday in April.
  • 1 week night game and 1 game on Saturday in May and June
  • Field Dimensions will be the same as H-Gold
    • The base distance is 60 feet.  Home plate to second 84 feet 10 inches
    • Pitching distance is 40 feet.
  • On defense, a team can field 10 players consisting of 6 infielders and 4 outfielders.
  • The coach will not be a field player; they will only be to deliver the ball to the plate
  • Coaches will pitch overhand to their team, from 40 feet.
  • Each team will use a continuous batting order.
  • Each half inning will conclude after each batter has had one plate appearance, or 5 runs were scored or 3 defensive outs were made (whichever comes first).
  • As in H-Gold, there will be no stealing and runners are not permitted to lead off from a base.
  • Up to 2 coaches may be on the field for defensive instruction.  One coach in the outfield and one coach assisting the catcher.
  • There will be no All-Star game.
  • There will be no more than 13 players per team
  • No umpires at this age, coaches are umpires
  • Composite bats are not allowed.  There are no other bat restrictions.
  • All managers and coaches must have a background check and pass a concussion certification.

H-Gold rules will apply otherwise, with the following exceptions: Players will play no more than two innings at one position and every player will play a minimum of two innings.  It is imperative at this age that players be given the opportunity to try different positions and grow their interest in the game, and in SYB.  Play will stop once an infielder makes a play on the batter or baserunner and baserunners will not advance on overthrows.  Play also stops from the outfield once the ball is throw to a cut-off player in the infield, but the runner may advance to the base they were running to on the throw from the outfield.

Outs and Completed Innings:  A batter will be allowed 8 pitches to hit the ball.  Each batter will be permitted to have 5 swinging strikes or foul balls.  There are no walks and no hit by pitch base runners.  Eight pitches without a hit, or a combination of 5 swinging strikes and foul balls, will be considered a “personal” out.  An at bat will not finish on a foul ball.  If the coach is having difficulty getting a pitch into a reasonable area to hit the ball, up to 2 more pitches will be allowed (no more than 10 total for an at bat).  A tee will not be allowed.  Each team needs to get three defensive outs to consider it a completed inning, or the five-run rule, or a complete run through the batting order.  No batter shall bat twice in an inning.  Personal outs (strike-outs) are not considered defensive outs.  There will be no challenges of missed bases for defensive outs allowed.  Thrown bat will be a warning, second time will be considered a defensive out.

Coaches: Two defensive coaches may be on the field, in addition to the Offensive team’s pitcher, during the inning.  One defensive coach will assist the catcher and another defensive coach may be in the outfield.  Coaches may not interfere with the baseball or field of play at any time.  The offensive team should have a first and third base coach in addition to the pitcher.