Q. What does PONY stand for?

A. PONY is an acronym for Protect Our Nation's Youth. The concept for the name originally came from boys at the local YMCA in Washington, Pennsylvania and stood for "Protect Our Neighborhood Youth," but when PONY became an international program in the early 1950's "Neighborhood" was switched to "Nation's."

Q. What are the age divisions for PONY Baseball?

A. PONY Baseball is organized with two-year age brackets. The age brackets for baseball are as follows:

  • Shetland League (ages 4, 5 and 6) - For players with no prior baseball experience and returning players who prefer to continue with a highly introductory level of play. Players learn the fundamentals of baseball. Players use a softer than usual baseball and start the season by hitting from a Batting-Tee and end the season with Coach-pitch. The diamond is 50 feet, and flexible rules expedite play. Play consists of three innings in which all team members bat and play the field each inning. No game score or standings are kept.
  • Pinto League (ages 7 and 8) - This division is a continuation of the development of baseball fundamentals and putting them to use. This division plays on the same sized field – 50-foot bases, 38-foot pitching distances, 6-inning games that are times, where no new inning can begin after 1 hour and 15 minutes and there is a drop dead time of 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Mustang League (ages 9 and 10) - This division is a continuation of the development of basic baseball fundamentals, while beginning to transition to more advanced baseball specifics and putting them to use. Specifically, this division will use the balk rule, leading off each base, and the dropped 3rd strike rule, will continue to bat the whole batting order, and rotate defensive positions. There is no bat size restriction and metal cleats are NOT allowed. This division plays on a 60-foot baseline, 44-foot pitching distance, 6-inning games that are timed, where no new inning can begin after 2 hours and runs per inning limits.
  • Bronco League (ages 11 and 12) - This division is a continuation of the development of advanced baseball fundamentals. We play the “real” game of baseball, including base stealing and dropped third strikes. The distance between bases is 70 feet, with a pitching distance of 48 feet. Metal cleats are allowed. Games are 7 innings or 2 hours in length.
  • Pony League (ages 13 and 14) - This division is a continuation of the development of more advanced baseball fundamentals, as with the Pinto and Mustang divisions, the Pony division is a transition league. Players are typically transitioning to high school baseball. This division will continue to use all of the major league baseball rules with the exception of the designated hitter rule, and will begin to use high school rules, such as must slide into 2nd base on double plays, must avoid contact, 2 trips to the mound before taking the pitcher out, the high school balk rule(s), etc.

Q. How is play governed in PONY Baseball?

A. Baseball play is governed by the Official Rules of Major League Baseball, and PONY Baseball rules and regulations, which contain those exceptions deemed necessary for a youth baseball program. The PONY rule book also contains regulations relative to league organization and administration.

Q. How is PONY Baseball different from other baseball programs in our area?

A. PONY Baseball has no boundaries. If you live anywhere in Rocklin, you can play PONY Baseball. This allows players that have had to move somewhere else in Rocklin, to continue to play with their friends.

* In PONY, your child will learn to lead off, steal, hold a runner, pick a runner off, and run on a dropped third strike. Just like the "Big League".

* PONY allows players as young as six years old to participate in "All-Stars", travel, and maybe even make it to the "World Series".

* All of our teams, across Shetland to PONY Divisions, play on baseball diamonds with break-away bases.

* We play Major League Baseball Rules; have two-year age span in each division and scaled playing fields to fit the physical capabilities of players in each division.

* Players in all divisions play a minimum number of innings per game

Q. Have any Major League Baseball players participated in PONY Baseball?

A. Yes. There are currently over 375 Major League Baseball players who are graduates of PONY Baseball. Mark McGwire, Tony Gwynn, Alex Rodriguez and J.T. Snow, and Tim Lincecum are just a few of the Major League players who participated in PONY Baseball.