Season Start/Practices/Games Questions
Updated Thursday December 6, 2018 by East Orange Babe Ruth.
When does the season begin?
- We play 2 seasons a year.
Spring registration opens in early December and the season starts mid to late February.
Fall registration opens in early July and the season starts mid to late August, usually right around the same time kids are going back to school.
- Please check the East Orange Babe Ruth calendar on the web page for exact league dates and events.
- Prospective managers should always register early to ensure a spot!
- Player Skills Assessments are held prior to season start for all players league age 7 and up.
When will the practices begin?
- East Orange Babe Ruth targets the beginning of February for all teams to start practicing for spring and mid-August for fall. The goal is for teams to be in a position to begin practices at least 3-4 weeks before Opening Day, which is the first or second week of March in spring and the second weekend in September in the fall. For Majors and above, practices typically begin the week after draft night. Actual first practices will depend upon weather and formation of teams. Managers who would like to add a practice or change their practice times should contact their player agent to facilitate this request.
How often and long will my child practice?
- Practice frequency and duration are up to the team manager and vary based on the division, but usually last from an hour to two hours.
- Practices are typically held on weeknights 1 - 2 nights a week.
Where will my child practice?
- East Orange Babe Ruth schedules field practice times at the Bithlo Community Park complex. However, due to weekday games in the spring, practice times at Bithlo are almost non-existent, so many teams are assigned a local park or other sports field to conduct practice. You will know where your child will practice once your child is placed on a team and your manager contacts you. Currently, community fields are used in Eastwood, Waterford and Wedgefield.
Are scrimmage games permitted during practice times?
- Yes, practice games between teams in the same division in the same league are encouraged.
Where will games be held?
- All baseball games are held at our home fields, which are at Bithlo Community Park at 18501 Washington Ave, Orlando, FL 32820. However, 18u baseball will have some away games at other leagues.
- Since softball interleague they will play home games at Bithlo but will also travel to other leagues for interleague games.
What days and times are the games played?
- Spring: Games are played each Saturday. For 12 and older divisions they will play 5 – 6 weeknight games, the 10 and under divisions will play 2 – 3 weeknight games.
Fall: Games are played each Saturday, with 2 - 3 weeknight games.
- Saturday games will generally start at 8 AM in the morning and the last games of the day usually start at 7 PM. Weekday games generally will begin at 6:00 or 6:30 PM. Games may begin earlier prior to Day Light Savings time. Managers will communicate their required arrival time for their own team.
How long will the season last?
- Spring: The regular game season usually lasts 13-14 weeks from February through mid-May, including division playoff games. The season is extended for players that are selected to the All-Star tournament teams. Please consider your vacation plans if you have a child that may be selected to these teams.
- Fall: The season starts in early September and ends in late November, usually the weekend prior to Thanksgiving.
When will I find out what team my child will play on?
- All teams should be formed by late January or the beginning of February for spring and in mid to late August in fall. Your child’s manager will notify you of the team’s first meeting and/or practice.
- If you don’t hear from a team manager by February 4/ contact your division Player Agent.
Do the teams play games or practice in the rain?
- Should it rain on a game day, first and foremost, the parks and recreation division will make a decision based on the fields status (whether they are playable or not).
- Once a game begins, the umpire makes decisions related to field conditions and the ability to play.
- Bithlo Park is equipped with a lightning predictor and any time the alarm sounds, whether a game or practice, everyone MUST leave the field area and go the parking lot. Should the lightning distance itself, an ‘all clear’ alarm will sound.
- Be sure to Opt-In for text messaging for important and timely field closure notices.
If my child is unable to attend practice, will he/she still get to play in the game?
- Local league rules require that all players play a minimum of two innings in the field and get a minimum of one (1) time at bat. However, it is very important that your child attend as many of the practices as possible so that he/she can continue to improve their skills while also working with the other players to learn to play as a team. Ultimately, play time, as well as position of play, is determined by each team’s manager.
Are there any rules around minimum playing time?
- Rules vary by division regarding playing time, please CLICK HERE for the local league ground rules that address this question. Note: any player who arrives after the start of the game is not required to get minimum play at the manager’s discretion.
Are there conduct rules that apply during games?
- Absolutely. East Orange Babe Ruth does not tolerate foul language or taunting at any level by the players, parents, managers, or coaches. Any spectator, player, manager or coach that is warned is subject to being ejected from the premises and banned from the complex for additional games.
What rules does Babe Ruth use to play?
- Babe Ruth plays under a rule set published by Babe Ruth League. The rules are based on the Official Baseball Rules (OBR) used by Major League Baseball (MLB) with some changes for the safety of younger players and adaptations to play the game on fields with bases 60 feet apart versus 90 feet apart. In addition, each league publishes their local ground rules. Most of these center on how the minor division and below will play their games. For example, some leagues use various combinations of machine pitch, coach pitch, and kid pitch in the younger divisions.
Are there time limits on games?
- Yes, the time limit varies by division. Shorter time limits also come into play on weeknights to prevent keeping kids out late on a school night. Please review our Ground Rules on the “Documents” page for more detail on this and other topics.