Frequently Asked Questions
Lancaster Youth Baseball and Softball FAQS
Q – Do I have to live in Lancaster to play on a LYBS team?
A - During Spring seasons, players must either live or go to school in Lancaster. During Fall seasons, rules are relaxed regarding residence as not all youth leagues in Central MA offer Fall Baseball. Special exceptions would have to be approved by the Board of Directors.
Q – How old does a player need to be to qualify for Cal Ripken Baseball?
A – Players must be between the ages of 4 and 12 years old in accordance with the age guidelines defined by Cal Ripken Baseball prior to each season. Current Age Chart
Q – How Old does a player need to be to qualify for Softball?
A – Softballs age cut off is based off USA Softballs Age chart. The classification is split 8U/10U/12U a player born after December 31st of that age bracket.
Q – Does Cal Ripken Baseball sponsor a Championship tournament?
A – Yes! Following the Spring season, Tournament Teams are picked for the 8u, 10u, and 12u ages in cooperation with Bolton Youth Baseball and Softball. Tournament teams can compete in Districts, States, Regionals, and a World Series if they continue to win at each level.
Q - How is Lancaster Youth Baseball and Softball different from other youth baseball opportunities in Central MA?
A - At LYBS we are dedicated to providing our players a fun baseball and softball learning experience while teaching the fundamentals of the sport, promoting sportsmanship in a positive environment and developing players while respecting the rules of the game. Additionally, our mission is to ensure affordability and access for all players.
Q – How is Lancaster Youth Baseball and Softball governed?
A - LYBS is run by non-paid volunteers who make up the board of directors and donate their personal time to make the league happen. In return, we receive the personal satisfaction that comes with providing an opportunity to play the game we love to the kids of Lancaster. Please consider joining the board or volunteering in some capacity.
Q – As a parent, what can I do to help?
A – As parents, there are several ways you can assist, even if you are not inclined to volunteer as a coach or board-member.
- Support your coaches, as they are volunteering a great deal of time to ensure that your son or daughter enjoys the best possible season.
- Respect our umpires and be a role model for good behavior at our ball fields. Don't become one of those crazed "sports moms or dads" you read about in the news.
- Help out by raking or lining the fields before a game, or picking up trash when you see it lying on the ground.
- Practice with your child at home and reinforce the coach’s messages.
- Be supportive of your children as they learn this game and cheer for both sides during the games!
Q – I don’t foresee myself coaching or volunteering for the board. Do you need other volunteers?
A – Yes! At all levels, we need concessions volunteers on game days. Additionally, we also host a tournament each summer and need a number of volunteers to make the magic happen. If you have a special skill that we might find helpful, don’t be shy!
Q - Are there ways in which I (or my business/employer) can monetarily support Lancaster Youth Baseball and Softball?
A - Support from our community helps to cover a large proportion of our annual operating expenses. Individual donors and companies can support LYBS via one of the many advertising and sponsorship opportunities available.
Q - What is the structure of Lancaster Youth Baseball and Softball (LYBS)
A - LYBS provides recreational baseball and softball organized into the following divisions.
- Rookie 1 / Coach Pitch (ages 5-8)
- Rookie 2 / Kid Pitch (ages 5-8)
- Minors (ages 8-11)
- 60’ Majors (ages 9-12)
- 70’ Majors (ages 11-12)
- 8U (ages 5-8)
- 10U (ages 8-10)
- 12U (ages 10-12)
Q – How do each of the divisions differ from each other?
A – The playing rules evolve in accordance with the developmental skills associated with each playing age with the most visible difference being the pitching arrangement, however there are other subtle differences as well which are summarized below.
- Rookie 1 60’ Basepaths 46’ Pitching Coach Pitch & Tee No Scoring
- Rookie 2 60’ Basepaths 46’ Pitching Kids & Coach Pitch No Scoring
- Minors 60’ Basepaths 46’ Pitching Kid Pitch Scoring & Standings
- Majors 60 60’ Basepaths 46’ Pitching Kid Pitch Scoring & Standings
- Majors 70 70’ Basepaths 50’ Pitching Kid Pitch Scoring & Standings
- 8U Softball 60’ Basepaths 30’ Pitching Coach Pitch & Tee No Scoring
- 10U Softball 60’ Basepaths 35’ Pitching Kids & Coach Pitch No Scoring
- 12U Softball 60’ Basepaths 40’ Pitching Kid Pitch Scoring & Standings
Q – What is the typical time commitment for players and families?
A – At all levels, teams typically have 1-2 practices per week and 1-2 games per week, with most weeks having 2-3 total scheduled events. Game times are played according to time limits as outlined below.
- Rookie 1 4 Innings or 75 minutes
- Rookie 2 4 Innings or 75 minutes
- Minors 6 innings or 1.5 hours
- Majors 60 6 innings or 2 hours
- Majors 70 6 innings or 2 hours
- 8U Softball 4 Innings or 75 minutes
- 10U Softball 6 innings or 1.5 hours
- 12U Softball 6 innings or 2 hours
Q – How do I know which division is right for my child?
A – Each player, especially at these young ages, will fall on a spectrum of baseball and softball skills. For each age division, LYBS maintains a list of skill-based criteria to help parents determine which division is right for their child. Please visit our Level Descriptions page to read more.
Q – When can I register my player?
A – Spring season registration usually opens in January for the season beginning in April and registration for the Fall seasons typically begins late-July/early-August.
Q – What do registration fees cover?
A – Registration fees cover each player’s jersey, insurance and charter fees for the league, umpires, field & game equipment, field maintenance and other operating costs. The league is a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers. Operating costs are also offset by local business sponsorships, fundraisers, and individual donations.
Q – Is there any assistance available for families in need?
A - For those that need financial assistance, please email the league Registrar or President directly.
Q – How are players assigned to teams at the 8U, 10U, Rookie 1, Rookie 2 and Minors levels?
A – The LYBS Registrar creates the teams at this level. We strive for parity, so we mix up the returning players with first timers. We try to keep the teams with an even number of older and younger players. We are very flexible with requests at this age level and fulfill most requests for coaches/players/friends to be on the same team. This helps foster a love of the game when you can play with some of your friends from school.
Q – Can I request a specific coach for my player?
A – We do our best to honor coach requests at the lower levels. Please note any requests during the registration process in the space provided.
Q – When do the season(s) start and finish?
A – Spring seasons typically begin practice in March, play in April and finish by early June. Fall seasons begin in September and finish by the end of October.
Q – How do I know if a scheduled game or practice has been canceled?
A – Please follow LYBS on social media platforms for league wide announcements in addition to messages that will be broadcast through the League website.
Q – What kind of equipment does my player need?
A – Bats, batting helmets, baseballs and catcher’s equipment are available at all playing fields. Players will need a glove and solid footwear (Rubber-molded cleats are recommended, but sneakers are ok. No metal cleats are allowed). An athletic cup is strongly recommended for all players and is required for players at the position of catcher. Baseball/softball pants are required. Players opting to bring their own bats must adhere to the USA Baseball Bats requirements for baseball and USA Softball requirements for Softball.
Q – I don’t know what size equipment my child needs. Help!
A – We are lucky enough to have some great sporting goods providers in the area. Additionally, we periodically have a ‘Discount Day’ at one of the large-box sporting goods suppliers. Be on the lookout for details and patronize those businesses that support LYBS.