This Rookie League program is primarily for 7 and 8 year old players. The Rookie League is a pitching machine program designed to develop the player’s defensive and offensive skills and understanding of baseball strategy from the perspective of different positions. A primary emphasis will be on the individual’s enjoyment of the sport. This league plays with 10 fielders (4 outfielders) to provide more playing time for each player. All players are in the batting order.
Alternate weekends off: WMLL will be continuing a trial program in which each league will have alternate weekends off. This schedule will allow families some time off every other weekend for other activities, vacations, tournament baseball, etc.
Philosophy and Implementation
Philosophy: Although competitive in nature, the Rookie League (along with the Minor League) is an instructional league intended to develop each player’s understanding of baseball strategy and her/his offensive and defensive skills. The primary emphasis is on the individual’s participation, their exposure to a range of defensive positions and the enjoyment of the game of baseball.
Implementation: The following are guidelines for coaches to use in implementing the WMLL philosophy of participation. In creating these guidelines it is recognized that coaches require and deserve latitude and flexibility to create an environment that achieves the WMLL philosophy. It is further recognized that player factors affecting teamwork and skill development, such as attendance, sportsmanship and effort. may affect the implementation of these guidelines.
- Defensive playing time rules are recognized as absolute minimums, not guidelines or suggestions. No player or groups of players should be singled out, either positively or negatively, by consistently receiving either the maximum or minimum amount of playing time and:
- • Generally when 10 or fewer players are present and six defensive innings are played, every player should play more than the minimum number of defensive innings.
- • Generally when 11 or more players are present, no player should be in the defensive lineup for six innings.
- Positions in the batting order should rotate. No player or groups of players should be singled out, either positively or negatively, by constant placement in the most desirable or least desirable positions in the batting order.
The instructional goals of this league is achieved by beginning to focus on a number of positions at which each player receives instruction and playing time in both practices and games. Instruction in the skills of all positions should be available to all players. Effort should be made to give game playing time at all positions which a player has the skills to handle safely and at which he/she, through their effort in practice, expresses a desire to play. As a minimum, over the course of the season, all players should receive significant playing time at both infield and outfield positions. Coaches should look for opportunities, such as in one-sided games, to rotate players to positions less familiar to them.