For the majority of young children, Tee ball (a.k.a. t-ball) is where it all begins.
Regardless of the league affiliations (i.e. Little League, Cal Ripken, etc.), this league is open to girls and boys in the pre-kindergarten (pre-K) and kindergarten (usually 4 to 5 years old).
This T-ball Division article is intended for “newbie” parents who have never played baseball or softball at any level to review what you need to know to ensure that your child has fun learning about baseball/softball.
Table of Contents
- Key Concepts You Need to Know
- Required/Optional Equipment
- Positions Explained
The whole purpose of t-ball is to introduce some key baseball concepts in a fun environment.
It is important to stress that T-ball is non-competitive so scores and standings should not be kept.
The number one goal is to have fun and teach the fundamentals of baseball (running, throwing, catching, batting and becoming a teammate).
Skilled learned in T-ball will set the foundation for fun and exciting future in baseball or softball:
- Each player will begin to throw and catch a baseball from a distance of about 7 yards
- Each player will be able to consistently hit a ball off of a tee using the correct swing and stance
- Each Player will be able to hit a ball pitched by the coach by the end of the season (preferably overhand, underhand if necessary)
- Each player will understand the basics of base running and know every position
- Each player will begin to learn the vocabulary of the game
- Each player will learn the proper conduct both on and off the field. This includes staying on the bench while the team is at bat, being a good sport, and learning about being a teammate
Typically, t-ball games are played on any local dirt fields, commonly referred to as sandlots.
In my town, our rec department operates 10 or so small fields that can accommodate t-ball/Farm A/Farm AA games
Games are usually played on small dirt fields with throw down bases.
Usually 2 games per week, during weekdays
first three games are used for practice
1. Pitching or the Tee: Look at the individual player’s skill level and use the Tee if necessary. You should assess the overall team skills and use the Tee for the first few games to build confidence.
2. The full roster should be used in the batting order.
3. Runs are not counted.
4. Scores are not kept.
5. Wins and losses are not recorded.
6. The Manager will set the lineup for the game and the players should sit on the bench in the correct batting order. The manager will change the order each game to allow all players to “lead off” and to have the opportunity to clear the bases (last batter).
7. All players will bat each inning.
8. Have the player run to first base after they hit the ball fairly. They can only go one base at a time
9. Close plays or ties go to the runner. Please DO NOT make a big deal about this. Let them have fun!
10. If the runner is out at first, DO NOT send him/her back to the bench. Let them continue to run the bases as if they were safe.
Our goal is to pitch to every player by the end of the season. The date for this fundamental change will be determined by the commissioner, but usually starts with the first games in June.
• Every team will have a 5 gallon team bucket with only Tee-Balls in it. Try to pitch overhand if possible.
• The coach may have to pitch from one knee.
• Pitch 6-8 balls per batter ONLY. This is intended to keep the game moving and fun. If they need it, use the Tee.
• If the batter misses by the 8th ball, the Tee must be used.
• Keep the game moving!
• Only managers and coaches can play the catcher position.
• A mask will be provided for your safety. Use it at all times.
• Positions: 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF, RF, BP (Behind Pitcher – glove side), use RC and LC as needed for players 9 and 10. The teams are small enough so that every player plays the field each inning.
• If more than 10 players, have them on the bench or instruct them with coaches on the side.
• Important: Rotate the players in the field every inning unless there is a Safety Issue. Always use your best judgment … Safety first!!
• A player should not play the same position for more than two innings. Playing different positions will broaden the players understanding of the game. Use your best judgment.
• Outs: Even if the out is recorded, the player will stay and play in the game (will NOT be sent to the bench).
• Two defensive coaches are allowed on the field to monitor the players and one must be assigned to the bench. If there are not enough coaches for the game, designate a parent to watch the bench.
1. Players should wear their full uniforms (pants, shirt, socks, and hat) during games. Shorts are not acceptable.
2. Players must bring their own glove and are welcomed to bring a bat.
3. We strongly urge parents to write the players name and phone number on all equipment.
6. Players should wear plastic spikes. Soccer spikes are fine. Opened-toed foot apparel is not permitted.
7. Players should dress appropriately based on weather conditions, cold, heat, rain, etc.
8. Players should bring their own water on hot days.
9. Plyers should not bring balls from home. The league uses a special ball (#5) which is different from the standard hard baseball.