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Playing Time and Position Statement

It is the goal of Sartell Youth Baseball that all levels of play provide

  •  a fun experience;
  • develop character through teamwork;  and
  • help players develop baseball skills. 

Additionally, Sartell Baseball believes a strong youth program includes maximized participation across all skill levels.

Volunteer coaches are the heart of Sartell Baseball.  The program could not run without the many hours they contribute.  Coaches should strive to keep all players engaged during the season and participating in baseball the following season. 

Equal playing time is encouraged at all levels, especially for ages 12U and below.  Players do become more specialized by position as they get older and play gets more competitive.  Coaches are encouraged to avoid sitting a player two innings in a row within the 10U – 13U leagues.   14U-15U teams begin setting lineups, but are encouraged to find multiple playing time opportunities for players throughout a season.

  At All Levels:

  • Coaches should provide practices that include:
  • Fundamental skill development in ALL aspects of the game of baseball
  • Infield, Outfield, Batting, Pitching, Catching, Base Running
  • ALL players should have the opportunity to take part in learning these skillsets in practices.
  • As players grow and develop pitching and catching become more specialized and/or some players may not wish to work at those positions.
  • Sartell Baseball will provide coaching resources to any seeking greater knowledge in some aspect of the game. 
  • Players earn playing time through hard work, continued skill development, and attitude.
  • Playing time can also be adversely affected by actions such as missing practices, failing to take direction, or being disrespectful to umpires, coaches, or teammates.  Coaches should communicate with players and/or parents as necessary in those situations.

The recommendations for position/playing time opportunities are outlined by league and age group below

 

FIRST & SECOND GRADE LEAGUE

These leagues focus on fun and skill development.  Players experience a variety of positions.  Games are played against other Sartell teams.

Score is not kept in games.  Every player bats before the teams switch sides.  As the season progresses, 2nd graders will begin switching sides after 3 outs are recorded

CMCBL LEAGUES

9 year olds (3rd Grade)

Coaches are encouraged to distribute defensive playing time evenly and mix up the batting order to provide an equal number of at bats (not accounting for missed games).

All players should experience a variety of positions and receive some playing time at those positions including infield and outfield.  Some players may need to focus on a single infield position while learning it.
If a coach feels a player cannot safely play some positions, this should be discussed with the parent(s).

Players may need to demonstrate the ability to throw strikes in practice before pitching in games.

10 & 11 year olds (4th & 5th Grade)

All players should experience a variety of positions and receive some playing time at those positions including infield and outfield.  Some players may need to focus on a single infield position while learning it.
Defensive playing time should be equal or nearly equal. 

Coaches may set the batting order based on skill, but should change the batting order game-to-game in order to make plate appearances nearly equal (not accounting for missed games).

Pitching and catching become more specialized.  Players may need to demonstrate skills in practice before playing those positions in games.

12 & 13 year olds (6th & 7th Grade)

Position play will begin to become more specialized.
All players should experience some time at infield and outfield positions.
Defensive playing time should be equal or nearly equal.  Players who are skilled at important positions may sit out less frequently, but all players should sit out some.

Coaches may set the batting order based on player skill and production, but should also seek to mix up the batting order in some games throughout the season.  

Pitching and catching become more specialized.  Players may need to demonstrate skills in practice before playing those positions in games.

14 & 15 year olds (8th & 9th Grade)

Position play will become more specialized.
All players should still experience some time at infield and outfield positions.  Players that demonstrate higher skills at positions, may see more playing time.   Pitchers may need to demonstrate success during games to earn additional innings.


Coaches may set the batting order based on player skill and production, but should also seek to mix up the batting order in some games throughout the season.

 

GOPHER STATE TRAVEL LEAGUES

Gopher State teams from Sartell have typically played at the AAA level, the highest competitive level in  Minnesota. In 2017 Sartell Baseball expanded its Gopher State teams adding teams at a AA level. We do not promote a“win at all costs” philosophy.  Coaches must balance equal playing time while providing a competitive experience for the team as a whole.   It can be more difficult for Gopher State coaches to balance competitive play with equal time at all positions.  If playing time at a specific position is important to a player or parent, they may be happier in the CMCBL leagues.

*Please note differences as age advances. Especially at 14U and 15U levels where lineups are set.

Offensively, Gopher State players typically earn their spot in the batting order.  The best hitters typically bat at the top of the lineup and therefore get more at bats during the season.

10U & 11U

  • All players should practice a variety of positions and receive some playing time at 1 or more infield positions.  Some players may need to focus on a single infield position while learning it. 
  • All players should experience some time at infield and outfield positions.
  • Defensive playing time should be equal or nearly equal.  Players who are skilled at important positions may sit out less frequently, but all players should sit out some.
  • Players may need to demonstrate the ability to pitch effectively in practice before pitching in games and the same would go for catchers.
  • Coaches may set the batting order based on player skill and production, but should still seek opportunity to mix up the order in some games.

12U & 13U

  • Position play begins to become more specialized.  All players should practice at least one infield position and receive some playing time at that position.
  • All players should experience some time at infield and outfield positions.
  • Players who are skilled at important positions may sit out less frequently, but all players should sit out some.
  • Players may need to demonstrate more effective skills at pitching and catching.  Players who are successful at these disciplines may experience more time in those positions.
  • Coaches may set the batting order based on player skill and production.

14U & 15U

  • Position play continues to advance and become more specialized.
  • 14U Teams declare a 9 or 10 man lineup with use of an extra hitter prior to start of game.
  • 15U Teams declare a 9 man lineup per NFHS rules prior to start of game.
  • Coaches are encouraged to seek multiple possibilities for substitution and/or lineup changes throughout the season to provide playing time opportunities.
  • Pitchers may need to demonstrate success in games to earn additional innings.
  • Coaches may set the batting order based on player skill and production.

Our travel teams participate in league play as well as a variety of tournaments.  A recommendation on providing more position play opportunities may be to mix things up more during league play vs. tournament play, or vice versa.