JUST STARTING OUT: A BYB Primer for New Families with Young Children
Instructional, AA and Minors (1st – 3rd Grades)
Welcome to Brookline Youth Baseball! We know that for first-time parents and kids, there are
always lots of questions about getting involved with baseball. We are proud of our league in
Brookline and look forward to having you and your kids spend many enjoyable years playing
BYB offers organized baseball in the spring and fall with an emphasis on coached learning and
the development of basic skills: throwing, catching and hitting. What we value most at these
early ages is sportsmanship, positive participation, and as some kids like to say:
In the spring, first and second graders are in their own leagues, Instructional League and AA
League respectively. Third graders who are ready to advance may move into the Minors League,
where they will also play with fourth graders. League advancement is almost always related to
school grade progression at this age.
Team play for Instructional and AA is non-competitive and coach pitch. There are no tryouts
required for Instructional or AA. In the Minor League, kids begin pitching and we keep scores
and standings, so in third grade we have them come for an evaluation before each season to help
us to build good team parity.
In the summer, there are “pick-up” games on two weekday evenings each week at Lawrence
Playground for kids of all ages. With two diamonds available, we put the younger kids on their
own field and let them play the game. Parents are encouraged to attend and help out.
We also have a Summer Minors program for outstanding 8-9 year old players to get summer experience in advance of later participation in the Bay State League.
In the Fall, we offer a Rookies League for 1st - 3rd graders, and a Veterans League for some 3rd, and 4th-6th graders. Both leagues are developmental in nature.
For more information about specific programs, please see the Programs tab along the top bar of
Who can play?
BYB is open to both boys and girls who live in or attend school in Brookline, or whose parents
work for the Town.
In the early years, we build teams that are school-centered, which means that kids from the same
public school will likely play on the same team. Kids from private schools will be placed on
those same teams with every attempt to group them together. (For example, a first grade team
of 14 players might have nine players from Baker School and five from Park School.) We work
hard to accommodate carpool needs, so please let us know about those things when you register.
Practices and Games
Practices are held on either M-W or T-Th, with games on Sundays. The field locations change
each year, but we’ll give you plenty of notice. We are able to keep to predictable schedules at
these ages because competition is not a serious factor (although your kids will see it differently!).
Every player needs a glove. Beyond that, BYB provides bats, helmets, baseballs and all other
equipment for the games. For each season, we provide jerseys and caps. Since kids love to
have their own equipment (and in some cases, it’s a good idea), we provide the following
Helmets: it’s a great idea to purchase a batting helmet for your child, one that fits correctly and is free of dirt and dust and lice and other fun stuff.
Pants: since baseball involves occasionally making contact with the ground, we recommend that no shorts be worn. Baseball pants are recommended and can be found at most all good sporting goods stores.
Bats: every kid wants a new bat, and that’s because they’re so cool. But we recommend waiting until the season begins, and let the coach and child experiment with different bat sizes and weights before you spend your money. Especially at the early ages, we see kids show up with bats that are too big for them, and they are unable to find success in the part of the game that is the most fun: hitting.
Leadership and Coaching
Each league is run by a League Commissioner -- a volunteer who likely has a child in the
program, and who has been (or is) a coach. If you have a specific question that isn’t answered
here or on the web site, please go to “Contacts”, find the league commissioner appropriate to
your child’s age, and send an email.
League Commissioners are also responsible for finding coaches, and for the younger years –
especially in first grade – it is an important (and sometimes challenging) task. If you have ever
coached baseball, or dreamed of being a coach for your child, this is a really terrific way to get
involved in BYB and Brookline’s community.
Coaching comes in many forms, including being a head coach (organizer, email correspondent
and hero to all the kids) or being an assistant who shows up with a glove and works with kids
on skills, or helps to run games. We can’t do it without you, so please plan to be involved and
let your League Commissioner know right away if you’d like to coach. Also, please read 10
Reasons to Become a Baseball Coach on the home page of the web site.
Our top priority is the well-being and safety of the kids. This holds true for all of our leagues, no
matter how old the kids are. For players in their early years, there are a few rules that we have
that will help insure a good time for everyone:
In the Instructional and AA Leagues, parents should plan to stay with their children during practices and games, or have a responsible adult designated to be present. We do not provide child-sitting! The coaches are there to help everyone learn.
Every coach needs help! Plan to find ways to “work in.”
BYB and the Town of Brookline have very clear Codes of Conduct for sports. Ours can be found HERE and the town's is here. We feel strongly that baseball should be a terrific family experience for everyone.