The division names in PONY Baseball and Softball are great, though they don’t really tell you much about what they actually are. Therefore, we shine a quick spotlight on our Bronco Division.
If you have more questions about Bronco or anything else West Seattle Baseball, please email the league at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based on League Age (the player’s age on April 30 of the coming season) the Bronco division consists primarily of players who are eleven and twelve years old. There may also be players who are qualified by age to play in the Mustang (10U) division, who qualify for Bronco play via the league procedures for “playing up.”
Bronco baseball has been developed to help players begin adjusting to the larger diamonds and different rules of high school baseball.
The pitching distance goes from 46 feet at the Pee Wee fields to 50 feet, while the distance between bases jumps from 60 feet to 70 feet.
Another adjustment for the players is the introduction of lead-offs and base-stealing, which brings with them the added mechanics for pitchers learning to hold runners without committing the nebulous balk.
The Bronco division is also the youngest division in which regular-season game results are reported for league standing, because it is also the lone division in which the post-season playoffs are seeded by season record.
Games and practices for Bronco teams are predominantly on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, though weather and other unavoidable factors (field availability, schedule conflicts, etc.) can contribute to teams occasionally moving to another day.
Ideally, we like to have all Bronco events at the (upper) Riverview Playfields, staying as close to our league base of the West Seattle PeeWee Fields as possible. Due to the climate of the Pacific Northwest, early season team activities are likely to be held on the artificial turf available to us at Southwest Athletic Complex (a.k.a. SWAC or Sealth High School) and Delridge Playfield. When available, however, we endeavor to keep our teams and league community at Riverview.
Because baseball is fun!
You mean, why should you play Bronco instead of Little League?
Well, that’s a good question! Fortunately, we have some answers.
First, you may not need to decide between the two. This season, West Seattle Baseball’s Bronco Division and West Seattle Little League’s Majors Division, which are essentially the same age groups, will be playing on alternating days. Again, there always will be exceptions, but the idea is to allow for players who desire to do so to be able to play in both programs. You know, because baseball is pretty fun & we live in a baseball-loving neighborhood!
(and West Seattle Baseball deliberately lowered registration fees for Bronco this season, in part to help make it easier for families to give baseball “after the PeeWees” a fair shot!)
Secondly, West Seattle Baseball beings teaching “big kid” baseball earlier, introducing the aforementioned base-running and pitching elements two years before Little League does. Hence, players who may wish to eventually play high school baseball have more time getting familiar with those concepts in their middle school years, speaking of which . . .
There is a dearth of baseball programs among local middle schools! Without our recreational leagues, players in this age range would be forced to either play select/travel baseball or just no longer play at all. And for players who find their love of the game later, that would mean there is virtually no option available to them.
So, if your seventh-grader caught Mariners fever last fall and now wants to start playing organized baseball for the first time, LET’S GOOOOO!!!!!