In general, the term recreation or travel baseball/softball is used to describe the level of competitiveness.
In US, many townships offer recreation and travel* baseball and softball under the one of many national youth league organizations. Some of them are:
- American Legion Baseball – Based in Indianapolis, Indiana
- Babe Ruth League – Based in Hamilton, NJ
- Cal Ripken (2) – See Babe Ruth League
- Dixie Baseball – Based in Marshall, Texas
- Little League Baseball – Williamsport, PA
- Pony Baseball – Washington, PA
- Dizzy Dean Baseball – Based in Missississpi
- USSSA Baseball – headquartered in Kissimmee, FL
There are two different types of travel teams: town travel team and a club team
(2) Cal Ripken Baseball, a Division of the Babe Ruth League, is not affiliated with Ripken Baseball, Inc.
Ripken Baseball offers camps and tournaments (www.ripkenbaseball.com).
I will use Cal Ripken Baseball as my conversation examples since I am most familiar with it.
Recreation Baseball and Softball
Under Cal Ripken, the age groups are loosely broken into the following categories:
- T-Ball – For ages 4-6; learn hitting (off tee) and fielding fundamentals in a supportive team environment. The primary goal is to begin to instruct young players in the fundamentals of baseball
- Rookie – For ages 7-8; learn hitting off a pitching machine to allow for more hit-able balls at the plate and more action in the field as well as reduce the fear of getting hit
- Minor – For ages 9-10; build and refine players’ fundamental skills while beginning to understand game strategy and teamwork
- Major/60 – Play on a 46′ pitching distance and 60′ base paths
- Major/70 – Play on a 50′ pitching distance and 70′ base paths
- Major – The most experienced level of Cal Ripken Baseball, recommended for 11 and 12 year old players. Cal Ripken Baseball is played under the Official Baseball Rules, but implements some special rules as necessary for the development and welfare of this young age group. Under the Major Division, there are two formats, the Major/70 and Major/60 divisions. In both formats, games consist of six innings
You can read more about them in detail here
In my town, the above categories are broken down into smaller chunks:
- T-ball (pre kindergarten) – For ages 4-5
- T-ball (kindergarten) – For ages 5-6
- Farm A (1st grade) For ages 7-8
- Farm AA (2nd grade)– For 9 year olds
- Minors (3rd & 4th grades) – For 10 year olds
- Majors 5th (5th grades) – For 11 year olds
- Majors 6th (6th and 7th grades) – For 12-13 year olds
- Senior (7th, 8th and 9th grades) – For 13-15 year olds (3)
- Babe Ruth – 16-18 year olds (3)
(3) Plays on the 60’/90′ field
Recreation baseball league usually runs from second week in April to second week in June (coincides with end of school year).
Travel teams usually plays during Sundays during spring season but also plays during summer months (June/July).
In our town, we also offer both rec and travel baseball during fall. However, in my town, the season is shorter (Sept/October) because it gets dark at 4:30pm as we get closer to winter solstice and can get very cold. If you live in states like Florida, Georgia, Texas, Arizona and California, you probably play baseball year round.