The Pinto Division is the entry-level division of CHPBA, and is made up of 7 through 8 year olds. If your child is interested in playing organized baseball before age 7, please reach out to the Cheviot Hills Rec Center as it runs both the T-Ball and Coach Pitch (Shetland) programs.
As the youngest division in our league, the emphasis of Pinto baseball is on teaching the fundamentals of the game. Your player can expect to learn: how to properly throw a baseball; catching a ball in the air (pop-ups and line drives); fielding ground balls; elementary knowledge of all nine defensive positions on the diamond; batting (proper stance and swing mechanics); pitching and catching basics; the essential rules of the game.
A typical season of Pinto baseball commences in late-Jan/early-Feb with several weeks of “spring training,” comprised of a minimum of two practices per week (usually one on a weekday evening and the other on either Sat or Sun). Sometime in late-Feb/early-March comes “Opening Day,” after which games against other CHPBA Pinto teams begin. A standard Pinto season consists of 14-18 regular season games followed by a weeklong postseason of playoffs and finals. During the regular season, Pinto players can expect to have one practice and two games per week (one weekday evening, one weekend day).
In the Pinto Division, the first half of the regular season games are played using a pitching machine, in order to better acclimate the kids and to teach hitting without the fear of being struck by the pitch. At the midpoint of the season, the switch is made to kid pitch for the remaining games (including postseason). In Pinto, there is limited base-stealing (only third base is open), no pre-pitch leadoffs, and a 4 run per inning mercy rule. The base paths in Pinto are 60 feet while the pitching mound is 38 feet from home plate.
In addition to the fundamentals of the game, CHPBA makes it a priority of the Pinto Division to teach proper baseball etiquette, strong teamwork, and sportsmanship as it is our belief that each player’s CHPBA experience should be as much about building character as it is about athletic achievement.
The coaches and managers in the Pinto Division are expected to understand the basic fundamentals of the game of baseball, and to be able to teach and communicate those skills to the players in a supportive manner.
The Mustang Division is generally made up of 9 through 10 year olds. This is a transitional division, which is intended for players who would like to take the next step in their baseball development after playing in the Pinto division or in coach-pitch.
Beginning in the Mustang Division, players play by full baseball rules. There is a 46 foot mound, but with the same 60 foot bases as in the Pinto Division. Mustangs play in a bit more competitive and fast-paced environment. Players can steal any base and rules such as “Dropped Third Strike” are in effect. The double play, the squeeze play, etc. all become possibilities. Mustang is a fun level for players as they continue to develop and refine their baseball abilities. Players will continue to work on the baseball skills they were taught in the Pinto division, as they also learn to "think" the game of baseball.
The coaches and managers in the Mustang Division are expected to understand the strategy of the game of baseball, and to be able to assist their players in the transition from the Pinto Division to a more sophisticated level of play, and to be able to communicate those skills to the players.
The Bronco Division is made up of 11 through 12 year olds. The focus of this level of Cheviot baseball is to take the next step in the players’ skill development and understanding of the game. The games in the Bronco Division will begin to look more like “real baseball” and players will more likely hone in on just 2-3 positions.
The Bronco Division plays full baseball rules, with 70 foot bases and a 50 foot mound. At this level, the pitchers are more capable of holding runners on and catchers can throw runners out stealing. The games tend to have fewer walks, fewer errors and are lower scoring. Practices focus more on building on existing skills than on teaching new ones. Players may occasionally be taught new positions, but there is an expectation at this level that they have a basic understanding of the rules of the game of baseball and how to play the game.
The coaches and managers in the Bronco Division are expected to understand the strategy of the game of baseball at a more sophisticated level than Mustang, and to be able to communicate those skills to the players.
The Pony Division is made up of 13 through 14 year olds. The focus of this level of Cheviot baseball is twofold: (1) to provide the kids with a lasting memory of their final year at CHPBA by spending it with friends they have been playing with since age 7, and (2) to prepare players for high school baseball.
The Pony Division plays full baseball rules, with 80 foot bases and a 54 foot mound. There is an expectation that the players will know in which positions they should be playing, and to know how to play those positions. The focus on the field is to refine those skills, and teach the nuances of each players’ role. Practices are geared around skill building and enhancing existing skills, but most players will not be taught new positions at this level.
There is a Pony spring All Star team which plays tournaments outside of Cheviot, and a Pony Division team. The Division team plays games against other leagues, including Santa Monica Pony Baseball and Pacific Palisades Pony Baseball.
The coaches and managers in the Pony Division are expected to understand the strategy of the game of baseball at a more sophisticated level, and to be able to communicate those skills to the players.