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.
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.
Colonial League -- Players who are enrolled in 1st Grade during the 2017-18 School Year.
- Tee-ball for most of the season. Some coach-pitch is introduced in the latter portion of the season.
- The purpose of the Colonial League is to continue to develop the basic understanding of 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 20-30 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 three inning scrimmage will be played.
Pioneer League -- Players who are enrolled in 2nd Grade 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 3rd Grade during the 2017-18 School Year AND are 9 years old on May 1, 2018
- Player pitch / coach pitch -- players pitch to each batter, but a coach will come in to pitch to the batter after four called balls.
- Still not a competitive league -- no scores or standings are kept. The focus of the league should still be on teaching baseball skills and rules to the players.
Cactus League -- Players who are enrolled in 4th Grade OR are enrolled in 3rd Grade AND are 9 years old on May 1, 2018
- 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 10, 11 or 12 years old on May 1, 2018
- 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)
- Full baseball 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. A new to 2018, this program is Free!