No, but it’s similar. The BPV Youth Baseball Association (BPV) is affiliated with PONY Baseball, which is youth baseball that covers all ages. We have divisions in BPV for kids from age 7 - 18.
Wait, I thought PONY was for teens?
Originally, that was so. Since the 1950’s PONY has expanded to cover all youth ages.
Since it covers a bunch of ages, what are the age divisions for BPV PONY Baseball?
We offer the following age brackets:
º Pinto Division - 8 and under (Coach Pitch)
º Mustang Division - 9 and 10 (Kid Pitch)
º Bronco Division - 11 and 12 (Lead-offs allowed)
º Pony Division - 13 and 14 (Play the dropped third strike rule, no metal spikes)
º Colt Division - 15 through 19 (Just like the Major Leagues)
Who is eligible?
Unless there's a special exception, you must live inside the Bettendorf or Pleasant Valley School District boundaries or attend a public or private school inside those boundaries in order to play in the BPV.
How much does this cost for a season?
$95: For all age divisions
$15: Late Fee
How do I sign up?
Registration forms are available:
º Through all Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley Schools
º At the Bettendorf Public Library, the Bettendorf Community Center, the Bettendorf Life Fitness Center and at Bettendorf City Hall
º On our website under Handouts
º Online registration is offered through a link on our Website
What makes BPV and PONY Baseball different from Little League Baseball and what are the key features in PONY Baseball?
º With the exception of the Colt Division, a two-year age bracket system is used in all other divisions.
º Scaled diamonds - we move the bases back 10 feet every two years.
º Little League plays 60 foot bases until kids turn 13.
º On-deck batters allowed at all levels.
º Full leading-off and stealing beginning in Bronco Division - requires pitchers to learn to pitch from the stretch.
º Batters can run on a dropped third strike beginning in Pony Division.
º In Little League, players can differ by as much as three years within a division resulting in younger players finding it hard to compete and communicate with the older players - they find themselves spending a disproportionate amount of time on the bench.
º All players bat throughout game (Pinto, Mustang, Bronco, and Pony) – free defensive substitution, except Pitchers.
º Except for the Colt Division, BPV's objective is to have all players see at least 3 innings of defensive play each game.
The base dimensions for PONY Baseball are:
Pitching distance also is scaled
Where are the games played?
The BPV plays all home games at the Bettendorf Community Parks. The physical condition of these Bettendorf Park and Recreation-maintained playing fields are superb. Each division has several field locations. Check Locations to find out more. Depending on which division you are playing, there also are easily-reachable games in LeClaire, East Moline, New Windsor and at the North Scott diamionds.
When are the games played?
Most Pinto, Mustang, and Bronco games start at 6 PM and we will play usually 2-3 games a week.
Typically weekends are reserved for rainout make-ups.
Players should arrive at the field by 45 minutes before gametime for warm-ups and to allow managers enough time to establish line-ups.
Pony and Colt play more games, with game times varying. Lights are available at those fields, so sometimes doubleheaders are scheduled, with a 10:30 PM out-of-the-park policy.
How often, and where, will the kids practice?
Prior to the beginning of the season, teams will usually practice a couple of times during the week and once on the weekend. However, this can vary due to the individual manager's particular schedule. You should expect practices to last a minimum of 1.5 hours. All practices are at one of each league's particular field. In addition to field practice, many managers will often schedule a batting cage practice. During the season, practices will likely not exceed once per week, but that choice is at the manager's discretion.
When will the practices begin?
Practices will begin around the second week in April.
How long will the season last?
Except for the Colt League, all divisions end their season with a postseason tournament by mid-July.
How many games will the kids play in a season?
º Pinto and Mustang Divisions generally play 15-20 regular season games.
º Bronco Division will play from 15-25 games.
º Pony/Colt Divisions will play from 20-30 games, including tournaments.
In all divisions, teams that progress through the end-of-season tournament will play a few more games.
What equipment does a player need before the first practice or game?
The registration fee provides:
Players must provide their own:
º Standard WHITE baseball pants or a color as directed by their teams' coach
º Belt (as necessary)
º Athletic supporter (protective cup required for Catchers)
º Baseball Shoes (Pinto, Mustang, Bronco, Pony must wear rubber molded cleats)
º Leather glove
Each team will supply:
º Batting helmets
º Specialized equipment, such as catcher's gear
Players may use personally owned gear providing it meets safety requirements for the intended level of play
Who do I call if I have a problem that the league should resolve?
º For general problems or information contact Bob Tappa at 563-499-4702 or firstname.lastname@example.org or your divisional representative: COLT (Steve Tappa at 563-676-8111 or email@example.com), PONY (Don Wendel at 563-271-7046 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or MUSTANG (Dan Escontrias at 563-210-3489 or Escontrias_Dan@xpac.com). Note: Bob Tappa also handles Bronco and Pinto.
º You are welcome to attend a board meeting and express your concerns directly to the board. We meet on a periodic basis as announced on our web page. Please leave a message on the phone number above if you wish to be added to the agenda for the next meeting. Additional volunteers for the Board and behind-the-scenes work are always needed.
I live in the Bettendorf School District between I-74 and 18th Street. This is part of the Southeast Davenport Little League. Can I play there, too?
Technically, yes. But take our advice; don’t try to do two leagues at once. Players that live in this geographic area are eligible to play in either organization. Although both PONY and Little League have rules prohibiting players from participating in more than one PONY or Little League at the same time, there is no official restriction prohibiting a player from “cross-playing” in both organizations at the same time. Although this happens, we do not encourage such practice, especially for youth pitchers because of potential for injury. Additionally, cross-playing invariably leads to game conflicts where a player has two games scheduled at the same time. Choosing between which game to attend is unfair to both the individual youth player involved and the other teammates and coaches from both teams. Further, although baseball is one of the very best of team games, too much baseball for a youngster, especially if he’s receiving excessive parental pressure to play, can result in baseball burn-out.
If this isn’t Little League, that means my son can’t go to the Little League World Series like the kids from Davenport have done before. Right?
Yes, that is correct. Realistically however, the chances for any particular youth, regardless of where he lives or how talented he is, to go to the Little League World Series is extremely remote and really has no bearing whether the youth will develop into a high school, college, or professional player. Some Little Leagues structure their entire season around the chance for a few of their best boys to attend the Little League World Series. The BPV is not about sending a select few players to a national tournament, but rather developing knowledge of baseball, good sportsmanship, character, a sense of competition, and fair play, while having fun.
What are “exempt” or “protected” players?
Before the player drafts for the Mustang, Bronco and Pony divisions, the manager for each team is allowed to protect his/her own children for that team, an assistant coach's children, and any sponsor's children. Each league director also will identify any "unprotected" brothers that need to play on the same team together.
How are kids placed on teams?
º Pinto teams are roughly-based on the child’s elementary school.
º Mustang, Bronco, and Pony teams are selected new each year with players chosen by coaches through a draft.
º The Colt Division allows teams to form, with friends and classmates encouraged to play together and continue building their relationships through high school.
Why are there "tryouts" and how does that figure into the draft?
At tryouts, players will display their skills in front of coaches for their particular division. Each player receives a total score and is rank-ordered to assist coaches in selecting players during the draft. Coaches kids are placed in the rank order as well and are selected via draft along with all other players. This method allows for relative parity for all teams so players (and their parents) are confident that the team they are selected upon will have an approximately equal chance of winning games as all other teams in their division.
If my child does poorly at tryouts will he/she be cut?
No. All players participating in the BPV player tryouts will be placed on a team during the draft. Sufficient numbers of teams are created each season to accommodate all player applicants, based upon a 12 player-per-team roster objective in all divisions except Colt.
Can I bring my child up a division a year early?
Yes. Players a year younger than the division are alowed to play "up" in that division. However, in most cases, we encourage children to remain in their age division until reaching high school.
º Example: A 12 year old that should play in the Bronco Division may elect to play up to the Pony Division if he desires.
My son’s birthday is on April 30, the cutoff date; can he play down at the lower level?
No. BPV does not allow players to remain at a lower division level if their age places them in a higher division; regardless of how close to the April 30 cutoff date the player’s birthday rests.
º Example: A player that turns 13 on April 30 is considered 13 and must play in the Pony Division or higher, but cannot play down to the Bronco Division, despite the fact that if he were born just one day later on May 1, he would be considered a 12 year old for the season and could play in the Bronco Division.
Regardless of where in the calendar year the cutoff date is established, there will be some players that just miss the cutoff date. The BPV selected the April 30 cutoff date beginning with the 2006 season to correspond with nearly all other national youth baseball leagues (Little League, Babe Ruth League, Cal Ripken League, etc).
Can my child switch teams if he is unhappy with his team?
Only in extreme cases do we allow children to switch teams after the teams have been formed. Such requests must be made in writing to the BPV Board of Directors.
If my child decides to quit, can I get a refund?
No. Registration fees are non-refundable.
Is the Pinto division an instructional or competitive division?
º Recreational, developmental, and instructional, with some competition thrown in. If you believe your child’s manager or coach is becoming too intense and demanding of the players on the team please call the league president. We'll have talk with that team's coaching staff to ensure the kids best interests are being looked after first and foremost.
º Conversely, we keep score in the Pinto Division and all teams are encouraged to try to win games, not simply “horse-around” during games.
Do the players pitch in the Pinto division?
No. Pinto Division is “Coach Pitch”. Mustang Division is the first season of “Kid Pitch” and is where the games really start to get interesting.
Does BPV have a girls Softball League?
No. Girls are always welcome and encouraged to play baseball in our association and we have numerous girls, especially at the Pinto levels. Please contact the Bettndorf Park Board for more information on their softball leagues.