Seven and eight year olds play in the Intermediate league. Practice and game schedules are similar to T Ball. Teams play 10 players in the field and teams, therefore, consist of 10 to 12 players. In order to keep the teams as even as possible, players new to the Intermediate league attend an indoor tryout and draft. Coaches select the teams. All age appropriate players are selected. Player fees include a hat, uniform shirt and baseball pants. Beginning at the Intermediate league, actual team selections are up to the coaches. Requests to play with friends are, therefore, not always able to be accommodated. Again, the objective is to select fair teams. No records or team standings are kept. Parents of the players provide coaching.
In a step towards regular baseball, Intermediate batters no longer use a batting tee. A RIF ball is used. The fielding team plays all the normal positions, including catcher, with the addition of a fourth outfielder. The team at bat continues to hit until all players have hit or the defensive team makes three outs. A unique feature of the league is the use of a spring-loaded pitching machine. These machines “throw” a very consistent, hittable pitch that keeps the games moving along. Strikeouts do occur, but only foul balls and swings and misses are counted as strikes. There are no called third strikes. Base runners cannot leadoff or steal. They can only run on a batted ball. Games consist of four innings or two hours, whichever comes first. As the season progresses, usually about the halfway point, limited player pitching is introduced. After four balls, the batter’s coach pitches until the batter hits the ball or strikes out swinging.
The Intermediate league offers the first chance for players to tryout for a travel team that plays in our league tournament in early July as well as several other weekend tournaments in neighboring towns through the month of July. Tryouts for the team are usually held on a weekend near the end of the regular season. See “TRAVEL TEAMS” for more information.