Starting the 2017 Fall Ball season, NHBA will adopt the following Pony Baseball rule changes:
Change Birth Date cut-off to August 31 (from April 30). Please click here to view the new age chart.
Why: PONY national is changing their birthday cut-off from April 30th to August 31st. This rule change goes in effect January 1st of 2018. However, NHBA 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 such an influential body, many leagues have or will be followed 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 oldest ones.
BAT CHANGES STARTS JANUARY 1, 2018
Bats manufactured specifically for use in tee ball play, shall not be used when ball is pitched by a player, coach or pitching machine, unless using a safety ball. If using a tee ball bat manufactured prior to 2018, these bats must carry the USA Baseball mark accompanied by the following text: "Only for use with approved tee ball bat." If you already have a tee ball bat you would like to continue using, all you have to do is purchase a USA Bat sticker directly from USABB and place it on your bat.
In conjunction with USA Baseball and its other participating national member organizations, PONY Baseball 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.
To find out more about the USABat standard click here.
To find out the approved bat list for USABat, click here.
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.