Hillsborough Baseball League (HBL) The Hillsborough Baseball League (HBL) is an independent, non-profit youth organization serving the community of Hillsborough, NJ since 1955.
Sponsored By:   Pearl Vision
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2018 HBL Leagues

Cal Ripken Baseball Division

Babe Ruth Baseball Division

Bambino Buddy-Ball Division

NOTE:  Age / league requirements listed below for each league are not negotiable.  The league offers their Rookie Raiders baseball program for players who are not at least 5 years of age by May 1, 2018.  Players are not allowed to skip leagues without first taking part in a league run evaluation.

Rookie Raiders -- Players who are in pre-K; must be 4 years-old on May 1, 2018.
Farm League  --  Players who are enrolled in Kindergarten during the 2017-18 School Year.

  • Tee-ball for the entire season, coaches may decide to introduce coach pitch on a limited basis. 

  • The purpose of the Farm League is to introduce children to basic baseball fundamentals.  Managers and coaches of all teams are encouraged to work together to provide proper instruction and guidance while promoting teamwork and fun.

  • All games will be preceded by 30 minutes of team practice.  The two teams will divide the field and create stations to work on skills (throwing, hitting, running, catching) with their teams.  Upon completion, a two inning scrimmage will be played.  All play shall terminate approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes from the start of practice.


Pioneer League -- Players who are enrolled in 1st and 2nd Grades during the 2017-18 School Year.

  • Primarily Coach-pitch (some players may still occasionally need the tee).

  • The focus of the Pioneer League is to stress baseball fundamentals,  learning the rules and  playing correctly (for example, avoid taking advantage of the other players’ inability)

Rookie League --  Players who are enrolled in 2nd and 3rd Grades during the 2017-18 School Year.

  • Player pitch / coach pitch -- players pitch to each batter, but a coach will come in to pitch to the batter after four called balls.

  •  The focus of the league should still be on teaching baseball skills and rules to the players with level of competition is intoduced. 

Cactus League --  Players who are enrolled in 4th Grade OR are enrolled in 3rd Grade AND are 9 years old on May 1, 2018. Age eligible 5th graders may also be a part of this league.

The first year of competitive baseball -- the drafting of teams is based on the skill levels of the players.

  • Even though the Cactus League (and all older leagues) are competitive, good sportsmanship and a focus on learning baseball skills / rules is maintained.

  • The Cactus League introduces some additional baseball rules such as limited stealing of bases.

  • The last year on the the smaller (46' mound / 60' base paths) field.

Gulf Coast League -- Players who are 11 or 12 years old before May 1, 2018. 10-year old players are only eligible for Gulf Coast League if they have attend an evaluation and are selected by a Gulf Coast team.  All other 10-year olds will be placed in the Cactus League.

  • Gulf plays on an Intermediate-sized field (50' pitchers mound / 70' base paths) with all baseball rules (leading / stealing / balks)

  • The Gulf Coast League has a limited number of teams -- the intention of the league is to provide a more competitive level of play for players with above-average skills.

  • This league may also include Montgomery Baseball League teams. Games will be played in Hillsborough and Montgomery.

Junior/Senior League -- Players who are 13-15 years old on May 1, 2018.

  • Played on a Full-sized baseball field (60' pitchers mound / 90' base paths)

  • Games played by High School Federation Rules

  • This league will also include Montgomery Baseball League teams. Games will be played in Hillsborough and Montgomery.

Graduate League -- Players who are 16-18 years old (born between May 1, 1999 and April 30, 2000)

The Graduate League Hillsborough Teams play in the multi-town Somerset / Hunterdon Babe Ruth League.  Hillsborough traditionally fields 2 teams in this age group, but have formed 3 teams some years.  More information can be found on the Somerset / Hunterdon Babe Ruth League website.

Buddy League -- The Buddy League (formerly the Challenger League) 
The Hillsborough Baseball League believes that every child should be given the opportunity to participate in the game of baseball.  The Buddy League is for players ages 5-20 with physical, emotional or mental challenges which preclude them from participating in the other HBL Leagues. This League makes allowance for a volunteer buddy as-needed to help the player swing a bat, round the bases, catch a ball, etc. The Buddy League is designed so that everyone has the opportunity to have fun playing baseball.

Is the Buddy League the right league for my child?
Placement of players in the Buddy League is the decision of each individual player's parents.  If you would like to speak to someone about the appropriateness of this league for your child, please contact Connie Harbison ( ).  She can also put you in touch with the parents of a current or former participants in the Buddy League.

When / where / how much?
In past years the Buddy League meets on Saturday mornings and one weeknight evening.  The final schedule for 2018 will be based on the number of participants who register and the number of teams formed. And new to 2018, this program is Free!