Baseball Age Changes 2017/2018
Change Birth Date cut-off to August 31 (from April 30).
Why: PONY National is changing the birthday cut-off from April 30th to August 31st. This rule change goes into effect January 1st of 2018. However, Santa Ana Pony will implement this change for the Fall 2017 season, as fall baseball is designed to be a developmental season that prepares players for the level and rules they intend to play in the spring season. That means, several players may skip a level within our league for one season. As PONY is the governing body, many leagues have or will be following suit and adjusting their age cutoff as well. This age cut off better aligns with the completion of the spring season (All-Stars) and the school cut-off ages as well. Simply said, those players with summer birthdays will become the younger players on the team vs. the older ones. Below is our age chart for Fall 2017 with reflected age changes.
Bat Changes 2018
In conjunction with USA Baseball and its other participating national member organizations, PONY NATIONAL has adopted the new USA Baseball bat standards (USABat). Effective January 1, 2018, with the exception of -3 (BBCOR certified), all other minus factor bats (-5,-7,-9, etc..), must be YBBCOR certified with the USABat licensing stamp on the bat in order to be used for league and all-star play. All bats without this stamp will be illegal and not be eligible to use during league play. The new YBBCOR bats bearing the USABat licensing mark are expected to be offered in retail stores in September.
Why: 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.
To find out more about the USABat standard click here.