PONY Baseball is changing some rules effective for the Spring 2018 season.
NEW AGE CHANGE RULE – Effective Jan. 2018
Change Birth Date to August 31 (from April 30).
Why? The age cut-off will be pushed back to August to better align with school cut-off ages. This also aligns with the Little League age cut-off.
RBA Impact: Some current RBA players might lose a year in a division in 2018 and have to skip to the next higher division. Players born May 1 to August 31 will be affected. For example, those first-year Pinto players (under the April 30 cut-off) in Spring 2017, would be a first year Mustang player in Spring 2018 under the new August 31 cut-off.
NEW BAT RULE – Effective Jan. 2018
All other minus factor bats (-5, -7, -9, etc.) must be YBBCOR Certified (USA Bat Licensing Stamp on bat).
Why? It is for Safety. USA Baseball's national member organizations believe that a wood-like performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game. These bats are made to mimic wood bats, lessening the "pop" factor and thus, reducing the potential injuries from hard hit balls, especially come-backers to pitchers.
RBA Impact: All players will have to use YBBCOR or BBCOR stamped bats. Bat manufacturers should start making these bats available in 2017. Non-YBBCOR and non-BBCOR stamped bats will NOT be permitted starting on January 1, 2018.
NEW PITCHING RULE – Effective Jan. 2018
Any team member may pitch, subject to restrictions of pitch count as recommended by PITCH SMART guidelines for that particular classification.
Why? PONY Baseball has never governed the number of pitches a pitcher could throw. They only governed the number of innings. This rule aligns them with the national standard in the effort to limit wear and tear on our young players' arms.
RBA Impact: RBA has always had rules around the number of innings pitched. Our rules will be tweaked to align with these new regulations.