Got Questions? We’ve got the answers
?Here are the answers to frequently asked questions about Russiaville Youth Baseball League(RYBL). RYBL is a youth sports experience that most families will be a part of for years. Each division presents new rules and regulations. Use the search bar to seek alternative information about specific topics and if you don’t find an answer to your question, be sure to use the contact form and email the league.
- What is the structure of Russiaville Youth Baseball League?
RYBL is comprised of multiple baseball divisions based on age of the player:
T-Ball ages 4-6, Rookie ages 7-8, Minor ages 9-10, Major ages 11-12 and Babe Ruth ages 13-15. Depending upon the age level of the players, the playing fields are slightly different in terms
of length of base paths, distance from pitching mound, and distance to the outfield fences from home plate. Cal Ripken has established age cutoffs to ensure players develop appropriately in
terms of skills, knowledge, and sportsmanship. RYBL has established age brackets in which players need to participate. Pitching distances are scaled to the ability of the players in
proportion to the size of the diamonds. The scaled down diamonds in the lower divisions allow the players to make the same plays made by the upper division players on larger diamonds.
RYBL is managed by an elected Board of Directors that administer the league in line with established bylaws. The league is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization.
- What equipment will my child need before the first practice or game?
Players should arrive at their first practice with a glove, hat, batting helmet and rubber molded cleats. A baseball bag is recommended to transport bats, batting gloves,
water bottles, hats, and other items. The league provides catching equipment for each team.
- Are there any uniform supplies my child needs?
A uniform consists of a pair of baseball pants, belt, a baseball jersey, a hat, and a pair of all-in-one baseball socks. RYBL will provide each player a team jersey and a team hat, which
the player will keep. Due to individual fittings, players need to provide the baseball pants, belt, and socks. Managers will provide more specifics as necessary. Rubber cleats are highly
recommended, and steel spikes are not allowed. A protective cup is recommended by all divisions for (male) players. A quality leather glove is a must – it is recommended to stay
away from vinyl and simulated leather gloves that may be less expensive, and tend to cause the player a great deal of frustration because it is impossible to form a pocket in gloves made
of vinyl or simulated leather. Therefore, the ball tends to pop out when the player attempts to catch it.
- Besides registration fee will playing cost any more money?
Typically yes. The registration fee covers the purchase of a hat and jersey for each player. Players are responsible for purchasing a matching set of pants, belt and socks to wear to the games. In addition, RYBL offers each player the option to buy a Treat Ticket which prepays several trips to the concession stand. It’s not required to be purchased, but it does offer food at a reduced rate. Finally, due to winter weather in Indiana many teams must use an indoor practice facility. It is up to each manager to arrange these practices, and most facilities require some form of payment.
- When do I pick up my uniform?
Uniforms will be given to the team managers for distribution. The manager will then figure out the best way to distribute the uniforms to the players.
- What are the appropriate ball sizes for baseball?
All baseball divisions use a 9 inch circumference baseball. In T-Ball a special T-Ball safety ball is used.
Season Start & Registration Questions
- Is it possible to register late?
RYBL encourages all players to sign up on time. We conduct signs ups for several weeks each year, and late sign ups impact development of draft matrices and team balance. In some extenuating circumstances, late sign ups are allowed. However, they are not guaranteed depending upon the exact time of year (season) a player attempts to sign up. Players interested in signing up after the registration period should contact a league official.
- When does the season begin?
Please check the RYBL calendar on the web page for exact league dates and events. Typically, the spring season begins at the end of April and extends through June. An Opening Day event marks
the first Saturday of play and is highlighted by a parade through the streets of Russiaville.
- How long will the season last?
In the spring the RYBL regular game season usually lasts approx. 10 weeks from April through June, including division playoff games. The season is extended for players that are selected to
the RYBL All-Star tournament teams. Please consider your vacation plans if you have a child that may be selected to these teams.
- When will I find out what team my child will play on?
All 8U, 10U, and 12U teams are formed through a draft process that usually occurs in early to mid-February. T-ball teams are assigned in late February or early March. Pre-season Babe Ruth teams are age based (13 year old team; 14 and 15 year old team) and are formed in late February or early March. If your child is signed up to play and you haven’t heard from a manager soon after the above time frames, contact a league official. Your child’s manager will notify you of the team’s first meeting and/or practice. If you
don’t hear from a team manager by mid-February in the spring please contact a league official.
- When will the practices begin?
8U, 10U, and 12U teams usually start practicing immediately following the draft (early to mid-February). The goal is for the teams to be in a position to begin practices at least 7 to 8 weeks before Opening Day. T-Ball and Babe Ruth usually do not start practicing until March.
- How often and long will my child practice?
Practice frequency and duration are up to the team manager and vary based on the division, but usually last from an hour to two hours.
- Where will my child practice?
RYBL typically schedules field practice times at the Lions Club complex. However, due to limited time slots most teams will practice at alternate locations. You will know where your child
will practice once your child is placed on a team and your manager contacts you.
- What days and times are the games played?
All teams in RYBL are scheduled for at least one game a week, and in some divisions teams are scheduled for games 2-3 times a week. Game days are played Monday through Saturday. Saturday
games will generally start at 8 AM in the morning and the last games of the day usually start at 7 PM. Weekday games generally will begin at 5:15PM and 7:15PM. It is recommended that
players arrive at the field 45-60 minutes prior to game time so they can properly warm up, and managers can get the line-up cards ready prior to the start of the game.
Division & Team Assignment Questions
- If my child is unhappy with the team they are placed on, can they switch teams?
Only in extreme cases does the league allow children to switch teams after the teams have been formed. Such requests must be made in writing to the player agent for consideration by the
Board of Directors. Approval requires extenuating circumstances, so any request is highly unlikely to be approved, and in most cases we will ask that the player remain with their team.
Team balance is established early on, and changes of this type are difficult, if not impossible, to implement without the balance that has been established.
- If my child decides to quit, is it possible to get a refund?
A refund is available upon request prior to the close of registration. After Opening Day, NO REFUNDS are permitted.
- What division will my child play in?
RYBL is an age division baseball league. T-ball is for players four, five, and six years of age. Rookie league (8U) is for players seven and eight years of age (and one six year old per team). Minor league (10U) is for players nine and ten years of age. Major league (12U) is for players eleven and twelve years of age. The Cal Ripken organization (RYBL chartering organization) determines a players age (playing age) by calculating the players age on May 1 of the current season (e.g., May 1, 2013 for the 2013 season). It is possible that a child’s actual age and his or her playing age could be slightly different for part of the season.
- Are teams assigned by drafts?
The Rookie/8U, Minor/10U, and Major/12U leagues are determined by draft. Players are asked to attend a player evaluation/tryout, which usually occurs in early to mid-February. All age eligible players for a league who are signed up and attend the player evaluation will be drafted to a team. RYBL uses an age parity draft matrix for these leagues to support competitive balance. T-Ball teams are assigned, with efforts made to honor ride share requests and balance ages among teams.
- Does my child have to try out to make a team?
Players who are not already on a roster (except for T-Ball and Babe Ruth) are required to attend a player evaluation, which is usually held on a Saturday in early to mid-February. Each age division will have specific time frames for players to participate in evaluations,usually lasting no more than two hours for each age group. Although the player evaluations are often called “tryouts,” no one is “cut.” All players trying out will be placed on a team. Player evaluations include opportunities for each player to run, throw, field and hit. Managers then “draft” players to teams using an age-parity matrix designed to support competitive balance in RYBL leagues.
- Can I keep my child down in a lower division or bring him/her up a division a year early?
RYBL strongly supports age appropriate competition and development. RYBL does not allow players to move up a division early or to play down a division to develop additional skills.
- My child has no experience. Can they still play?
Absolutely! RYBL is committed to making baseball fun for all ages and all levels of play.
- Can my child be placed on a team with one of their friends?
Atlhough RYBL attempts to honor rideshare requests in T-Ball, such requests are not guaranteed in draft-based leagues (8U and higher). Attempting to accommodate team placement requests in a large league (over 350 players) in which most teams are determined by drafts is overwhelming and usually impossible. Parents may indicate special requests when players are signed up, but managers are not required to honor those request when drafting players for their teams.
- Do girls play baseball?
Yes, girls can play baseball if they choose to do so. However, our sister softball league (RGSL) has age divisions that begins with age 4 all the way up through Middle School.
Games & Rules Questions
- Where are RYBL games played?
RYBL utilizes the baseball fields at Lions Club, 555 N Liberty St, Russiaville, IN 46979. Teams will occasionally play at surrounding parks when we have interleague play.
- Do the teams play games or practice in the rain?
Should it rain on a game day, first and foremost, the team managers along with the RYBL Board will make a decision based on the fields status (whether they are playable or not). Once the game begins, the game umpire makes the weather decisions. Regarding practice, if there isn’t a lightning issue, or a concern about the fields from the park’s staff, then your manager makes the final determination about practice if there is rain or the threat of rain.
- If my child is unable to attend practice, will he/she still get to play in the game?
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, RYBL requires that all players play a minimum of two innings in the field and recieve one (1) at bat in each game. Extenuating circumstances can include discipline or safety issues. Thus, it is important for your child to attend as many practices as possible so that s/he is prepared as much as possible for game play. Playing position and playing time issues are at the sole discretion of the team’s manager as long as the manager abides by RYBL minium play policies.
- Are there conduct rules that apply during games?
Absolutely. RYBL does not tolerate foul language or taunting at any level by the players, parents, managers, or coaches. Any spectator, player, manager or coach that is warned is subject to being ejected from the premises and banned from the complex for additional games. A code of conduct is included in the RYBL constitution and by-laws. All participants agree to the code of conduct by virtue of signing up or volunteering to participate in any function in RYBL.
- What rules does CalRipken use to play?
RYBL is chartered by Cal Ripken baseball. Accordingly, RYBL follows the Cal Ripken Rules of play as a subset of the Official Baseball Rules (OBR) used by Major League Baseball. Cal Ripken rules make adjustments for the safety and development of younger players (for example, bases are 60 feet apart instead of 90 feet apart). Additionally, some local adjustments to enhance game play are included in the RYBL constitution and bylaws. Rookie/8U plays under Town and Country rules (a chartering organization different from Cal Ripken) in preparation for All Star Play at that age division after the regular season.
- Are there time limits on games?
Yes, the time limit varies by division. Shorter time limits also come into play on weeknights to prevent keeping kids out late on a school night.
- Who umpires RYBL games?
Depending on the level of play umpires are paid officials or volunteers. In the lower divisions (rookie and minor), the umpires are typically volunteer parents and managers / coaches of RYBL players in those divisions, or players from the older divisions learning how to umpire. In the upper divisions (majors, baberuth), the umpires are typically paid and certified.
- What are the responsibilities of a manager and a coach?
The team manager oversees the management of the team throughout the season. They are responsible for setting a practice schedule, developing a practice format, creating a lineup card for every game, and ensuring kids get their minimum playing time in each game. Managers are the focal point of the team and must be committed to following through with managing the team from mid-February to start of July. Time commitment is usually around 8-10 hours a week depending upon division. Managers need to be able to commit to be at all practices and games. As well, they must schedule and conduct a parent meeting prior to the first game of the season. Managers are assisted by a volunteer team parent(Team Mom) that helps with things like concession stand scheduling, fundraising events, uniform distribution, and picture day. Two assistant coaches are allowed in the dugout during games. However, a manager may elect to use more than two coaches during practice. Coaches provide support during practice to ensure kids get enough attention while developing their skills. Coaches are under the guidance and direction of the manager. Typically, a manager will design a practice format and have assistants take care of coaching small groups of players, assisting with batting practice, hitting drills, or other assistant duties. Assistant coaches should commit to be at all practices and games, generally about 6-8 hours a week depending upon division. All actions of an assistant coach during games are the ultimate responsibility of the manager.
- How many managers/coaches can be on a team?
Every team has a manager approved by the Board of Director. Each team’s manager can have as many assistants as they can find for practices, but only two assistant coaches are allowed in the dugout during games. All managers and coaches MUST complete ???????????????????????????? prior to the start of practices, because they come into contact with players.
- I think my son / daughter is a pretty good player. How does the league choose All-Stars?
Prior to the last game of the season, teams in the Majors and above for both baseball and softball will have the opportunity to vote for whom they believe are the top players in their divisions. The coaches will vote to place the first nine (9) players on each All-Star team and then each manager chosen to coach an All-Star team will complete the All-Star roster with his own selections. Be sure to be cognizant of your family’s summer vacation schedule if you believe your player might be picked to play for the RYBL all-star team. The district All-Star tournament is normally the first two weeks of July. The sectional and state tournaments are on the following weekends.
- Do I have to participate in any fundraising?
RYBL relies on fundraising to help support the operations of the league. Player registration fees alone are not enough to cover the needed operating capital required for equipment, facilities maintenance and repairs, uniforms, etc. RYBL supplements player registration fees with league sponsors and fundraising. Each team is encouraged to take part in the league wide fundraising activities. Furthermore, league parents may choose to participate in the RYBL sponsorship program. Please visit sponsorship on the website for these opportunities.
- Who is responsible for staffing the Concessions Stand at RYBL?
Upon registering a player for participation in RYBL, the player’s parent(s) agree to serve a couple shifts in the concession stand when asked by the Team Mom. Each team must staff their shift as scheduled by the concessions manager. Each team typically has 1-2 shifts to fulfill at some point during the season. The RYBL concession volunteers are responsible for stocking, serving and assisting the concession manager during their shift. Children 13 years and older are able to volunteer in the concession stand. Please do your part in support of operating the concessions stand. Your team’s shift is purposely scheduled as not to interfere with your player’s game time.
- What does the league do with my email address?
RYBL feels strongly about communicating with our parents about all aspects of our league. Your email address will be used solely for communication from the league about league news, sponsor promotions or notification of special clinics held for your player.
- Is smoking permitted at Lions Club Park?
Smoking IS NOT permitted at Lions CLub Park. In addition, the RYBL do not allow the use of alcohol on the property.
- Who do I contact if I have a problem that needs to be resolved by the league?
If you have a problem or just want information, you can e-mail the league at any time. However, please first discuss any concerns with your child’s manager, then with the league director
or VP (who is a Board Member assigned to oversee that Division). Contact information is on the RYBL web site. You are also welcome to attend a Board meeting and express your concerns
directly to the Board. The RYBL Board meets monthly, at minimum, and the schedule of these meetings is posted on the web site.
- What is available on the website?
The league’s web site is www.rybl.org. The site offers all the information you need to stay informed about events, schedules, rules, board member contacts, sponsorship information,
baseball clinics, etc. If you have a question that is still unanswered, please contact any member of the board of directors.
- We're new to the RYBL. How can I ask questions and/or get answers that are not mentioned on here?
Contact any member of the board of directors and they can either answer your questions or point you to the proper person on the board who can.