Baseball

Welcome to the Oak Park Youth Baseball Program! Since the early 1980’s, we have provided players, ages 5 through 12, the opportunity to learn and love the game of Baseball in and around Oak Park, IL. In 2023 we served almost 700 players and provided them with unparalleled instruction and fun!

Our critical partnerships with the Chicago White Sox, Oak Park River Forest High School and the Park District of Oak Park have elevated the level and quality of play in each of our House League programs.

Our army of volunteer coaches, fundraisers, and administrative personnel, lead the way as we strive for transparency and fairness in all we do. We seek positive experiences for all of our players which may mean striving for excellence in skills development; understanding the game we love at a greater level; or simply forming new friendships.

Baseball League Summary

OPYBS Baseball is a birthdate based league, thus all leagues are organized based upon the players league age and not school grade. OPYBS Baseball offers the following Leagues and Programs:

  • T-Ball
  • Pinto
  • Mustang/Junior Bronco
  • Shetland/Bronco
  • Pony - NEW FOR 20204!
  • Oak Park Eagles Travel Program


Baseball League Rules

Select the document below to view the OPYBS baseball rules.

T-Ball

Players born between 9/1/2016 and 8/31/2018; must be at least in kindergarten.

Overview

Baseball T-ball is approximately 14 regular season games, followed by a single elimination tournament. The teams are formed in mid-late March with the season typically lasting from early April until mid-June. On average, one game during the weeknights and one game on the weekend (primarily on Saturdays). The focus at this level is on learning the basics - hitting, catching, fielding, throwing, and running the bases.

Gameplay

Games are six innings with 5-run limits per inning. Games typically last between 90 and 120 minutes. Oak Park is a large community, so the skill level will be wide ranging, but coaches will focus on teaching fundamentals. We use RIF (Reduced Injury Factor) baseballs.

Time Commitment

Time commitment is approximately 4 to 6 hours/week between games and practices.

How Teams are Made

While we can’t promise honoring teammate requests, we try to do our best at this age level. Please don’t hesitate during registration to request a teammate or two as we try to make teams have a competitive balance of kindergarten and first graders, but also based on player teammate requests. We typically are able to honor over 80 percent of requests.


Pinto

Players born between 9/1/2015 and 8/31/2016.

Overview

Pinto Baseball is a hybrid kid/coach pitch league. Transitioning a player from t-ball to kid pitch can be very challenging. This league aims to make that challenge easier by gradually transitioning kids from hitting a baseball off a coach to kid pitch baseball. There are 14 regular season games, followed by a single elimination tournament. Teams will form mid-late March with the season approximately lasting from early April to mid-June.

Gameplay

Games are six innings with 5-run limits per inning. Games typically last between 90 and 120 minutes. Oak Park is a large community, so the skill level will be wide ranging, but coaches will focus on teaching fundamentals.

Time Commitment

Time commitment is approximately 4 to 6 hours/week between games and practices.

How Teams are Made

While we can’t promise honoring teammate requests, we try to do our best at this age level. Please don’t hesitate during registration to request a teammate or two as we try to make teams have a competitive balance, but also based on player teammate requests. We typically are able to honor over 80 percent of requests. This is the last baseball league where teammate requests are routinely honored.



Mustang/Junior Bronco

Players born between 9/1/2013 and 8/31/2015.

Overview

Due to the number of players, wide range of skill level, and player safety, we have two different leagues for this age level. Mustang - a league for beginners and lower skill level and Jr. Bronco - a league for players whose skills are more advanced. A player who wishes to play in the more advanced league, Jr. Bronco, must attend a Jr. Bronco evaluation and have their skill level evaluated. Any player that is not selected for a Jr. Bronco team will be automatically rostered on a Mustang team. A player who has no desire to play for a Jr. Bronco team does not need to attend evaluations, and will automatically be rostered on a Mustang team.

Jr. Bronco Evaluations

Evaluations take place in early March over two weekends. Your player must attend at least one evaluation, and we ask that they attend both to give your player the best opportunity of being placed on the team that will advance their development. They will be evaluated on the basic skills of catching, fielding, throwing, hitting and pitching.

Gameplay

Games are six innings and both leagues have per-inning run limits. Games typically last between 90 and 120 minutes. Mustang will have no lead-offs, no stealing until after the pitch has crossed home plate, no drop-third strikes, and no stealing of home plate (wild pitches and passed balls included.) Jr. Bronco game play tracks Major League Baseball rules.

Time Commitment

Time commitment is approximately 4 to 6 hours/week between games and practices.

How Teams are Made

Jr. Bronco teams are drafted by the Jr. Bronco coaches following the evaluations. Those players who are not selected for a Jr. Bronco team, and those players who choose not to tryout for Jr. Bronco, are automatically rostered on a Mustang team. Mustang teams are formed by taking into account age, skill level, school, and to a lesser extent, teammate requests.


Shetland/Bronco

Players born between 9/1/2011 and 8/31/2013.

Overview

Due to the number of players, wide range of skill level, and player safety, we have two different leagues for this age level. Shetland - a league for beginners and lower skill level and Bronco - a league for players whose skill is more advanced. A player who wishes to play in the more advanced league, Bronco, must attend a Bronco evaluation and have their skill level evaluated. Any player that is not selected for a Bronco team will be automatically rostered on a Shetland team. A player who has no desire to play for a Bronco team does not need to attend evaluations, and will automatically be rostered on a Shetland team.

Bronco Evaluations

Evaluations take place in early March over two weekends. Your player must attend at least one evaluation, and we ask that they attend both to give your player the best opportunity of being placed on the team that will advance their development. They will be evaluated on the basic skills of catching, fielding, throwing, hitting and pitching.

Gameplay

Games are six innings. Games typically last between 90 and 120 minutes. Gameplay tracks Major League Baseball rules.

Time Commitment

Time commitment is approximately 4 to 6 hours/week between games and practices.

How Teams are Made

Bronco teams are drafted by the Bronco coaches following the evaluations. Those players who are not selected for a Bronco team, and those players who choose not to tryout for Bronco, are automatically rostered on a Shetland team. Shetland teams are formed taking into account age, skill level, school, and to a lesser extent, teammate requests.

The Dierkes Award

This award is given to a Bronco player annually. View a list of past winners.


Pony

Players born between 9/1/2009 and 8/31/2011.

Overview

NEW FOR 2024! The Pony league is comprised of 7th and 8th graders that play local games primarily at Lindberg Park as well as intra-divisional games with other Pony teams from nearby communities. The intra-divisional games are with other Pony teams in the Chicago Suburban Youth Baseball Association. Learn more about the CSYBA at www.csyba.com. Practices begin in late April and games begin in early May.

Pony Evaluations

Mandatory evaluations take place in mid-April, typically over two weekends. Your player will only need to attend one evaluation, typically separate by age level. They will be evaluated on the basic skills of catching, fielding, throwing, hitting and pitching, and the results are only used to help promote league parity when selecting teams.

Gameplay

Games are seven innings. Games typically last between 120 and 150 minutes. Gameplay generally tracks Major League Baseball rules. For local rule details and exceptions, see Local Pony Rules.

Time Commitment

Time commitment is approximately 6 to 8 hours/week between games and practices.

How Teams are Made

Pony teams are drafted by the Pony coaches following the evaluations. Pony teams are formed taking into account age, skill level, school, and to a lesser extent, teammate requests. A primary goal for this league is competitive balance. If this is your player’s second year in the program, there is a good chance that they will not be on the same team that they were last year.


Coaches - Please Volunteer

Our entire baseball and softball organization is composed of volunteers. Last year, our organization had over 300 volunteer coaches. The skill level of our coaches ranges from “former professional player” to “never played.” All of our volunteer coaches must pass a background check and take a Safe Sport Certification. We offer help and guidance for coaches who have little-to-no experience. Some of our very best coaches have had no experience, but are great human beings who understand what it means to be a leader and make a fun and rewarding experience for their players. Contact the VP of Baseball for more information.

2024 Spring

VP of Baseball

Sean Hennessy

League Presidents

T-Ball: Michael Camacho
Pinto: Matt Hammer
Jr. Bronco: Jeff Mathis
Mustang: TBD
Bronco: Tim Senechalle
Shetland: Sean Flynn
Pony: John Milder
Colt/Palomino: Sam Roe

Use the button below to register for the 2024 Spring season!

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