How is OBA different from Little League Baseball?
The primary features that distinguish OBA from Little League Baseball are the use of a two-year age bracket system and scaled diamonds. In organizations such as Little League players can differ by as much as three years within a division. As a result, the younger players because of their lack of maturity, ability, and size find it hard to communicate with the older players. Generally they find themselves spending a disproportionate amount of time on the bench and may feel disconnected from their team. With players of only two ages involved, as is the case with OBA, it is far easier to permit every player to play more positions since the skill levels within the age group is not that wide. The game of baseball cannot be played if the physical capability of the players does not match the physical achievements required for the game. Little League uses two diamond sizes. Up until age 12 players play on a 60-foot diamond, then they jump to 90-foot. OBA, on the other hand, scales the size of their diamonds to match the physical capabilities of the players within each division.
The base dimensions for OBA are:
These base dimensions are the result of extensive experimentation to determine the size on which players of each age group can properly play the game of baseball. Pitching distance is also scaled to the ability of the player in proportion to the size of the diamond. The scaled down diamonds allow the players to make the plays made by the major leaguers.
Home runs become a possibility. Outfielders can play in a position proportionately equal to that played by a major leaguer, and the double play, squeeze play, and various strategy tactics, difficult for adults and nearly impossible for youngsters on a full size diamond, become a probability rather than impossibility.
* OBA offers youth baseball programs for children ages 7 through 14.
Spring Ball, 2017 Divisions
For more detailed information about the suggested skills at each level, click here.
Fall ball is a fun, instructional introduction to OBA's baseball programs. It's a great way for rising Mustang players to get used to pitching and facing kid pitching for the first time. For rising Bronco and Pony players it's a great opportunity to get used to the larger fields. There are no evaluations. Everyone who signs up gets to participate.
Three divisions are offered: Mustang, Bronco and Pony. Practices are once each week with games on weekends. There are no playoffs scheduled.
Mustang and Bronco teams will play in a modified Morindamont (Moraga and Piedmont) league. Scores are kept but standings are not.
Pony is largely an instructional season with a few scrimmages and/or games against local teams. For 2016 Pony Fall Ball, selected players will participate in local tournaments (for an additional fee), at the end of September and October.
At the conclusion of the Fall Ball season, a detailed evaluation of each player will be conducted and will be provided to players and parents. The evaluation will focus on the skills necessary for inclusion in the following Spring Ball season. In the spring, two evaluations will be held to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of players' skills level and potential. Given team limitations and the leagues desired level of play, there may be a number of players who need further development before playing OBA in the more competitive Spring League.
How is the Spring Season different?
Spring baseball is more competitive than Fall Ball. Scores, standings and stats are kept and the season is much longer (depending on division). Orinda intermingles with neighboring baseball leagues including Moraga and Piedmont. Finally, players and families alike should be willing to commit to - two 90 minute practices and two games per week. Managers tend to specialize positions by the end of the season because, from a safety perspective, when dramatically different skill levels are mingled at a young age, the risk of injury increases. This could lead to a future fear of the game, something everyone wants to avoid.
Should my child "play up" to the next division?
There are several OBA players who, because of their age (defined by published PONY birthdate ranges) are playing in divisions with children from lower grade levels. If these players continue to play with their age group, this would entitle them to play only one year in our Pony division (as 8th graders.) We consider the Pony division to possess very strong coaching/teaching capabilities. Therefore, we think it's in every OBA participant's best interest to have 2 years in the Pony division.
The question becomes, when is the best time for my child to play up with his grade? In general, OBA thinks the later, the better. For example, an 11 year old 6th grader is more likely to be physically and mentally ready "playing up" to Pony than a 7 year old 2nd grader thinking about "playing up" to Mustang. If you think your child has the physical and mental skill set to make the jump from one division to another to join his grade, please refer to the skill requirements for each division and submit a request to the OBA President. The OBA Board will then review each case individually after getting feedback from those who have seen the candidate's play. Candidates to play up in Mustang must be in third grade, candidates to play up to Bronco must be in 5th grade, candidates to play up to Pony must be in 7th grade.
The Colt level program was offered to graduating Pony players immediately following their 14yo season of Pony. It was designed to give incoming high school players an intensive introduction to play on a full size 60-90 field. Coaches have traditionally come from the Miramonte HS program and provide an introduction to the Miramonte program. Players should expect a fairly intense practice schedule and several games and/or tournaments during the approximately 5 week program. Other teams in the league include Campolindo, San Ramon, Alhambra, Ygnacio Valley, Northgate, Vacaville, Pittsburg, Pinole, and Rodeo.
The current OBA system continues the Pony program into the summer with participation in several tournaments. These summer tournaments are played on 60/90 fields, and should prepare players for the High School environment.
Can non-Orinda players play OBA?
OBA is designed to be a competitive, but inclusive community-based baseball program, serving the kids of Orinda. Residency guidelines are integral parts of the post-season PONY sanction all-star teams, as well as our Bronco 680 Diablo teams. OBA exists to serve the kids of Orinda first. However, non-Orinda residents who have previous continuous OBA experience and continue to attend Orinda public schools will be allowed to participate in the Spring Bronco 680 team tryouts. Players attending Orinda public schools, who do not live in Orinda or have not previously played in OBA are permitted to register and play in the OBA house Leagues (on a space available basis), but may not be able to participate on postseason Pinto, Mustang and Bronco teams. Non-Orinda kids, with no connection to the Orinda community, or OBA, are not permitted to tryout for the Bronco 680 teams.
On a space-available basis, players from outside Orinda, and with a connection to the Orinda community, can inquire about the ability to participate in our Pony program. Contact the Pony Commissioner or President for more information on space availability in Pony.
Registration for OBA typically opens in November for the following Spring season. The main page of this website will always have the most up-to-date information about registration for the upcoming season.
When and where are the tryouts?
Evaluations apply for Spring Ball only.
If I'm on a Waitlist, do I need to come to Evaluations?
At close of registration our Commissioner will review and sort the waitlist players per OBA guidelines. He will then contact the parents of those players who qualify as to their availability to play. If selected, those players will be invited to the evaluations. If you are on the waitlist and do not hear from the Commissioner before the new year, you do not need to come to evaluations and it's likely you will not be placed on a team for that year.
We have a ski team event, can we just miss Evals?
A player evaluation is a big step for families and players. It is important that your player attends this session. If a commitment to a ski program will conflict with this session or a reasonable number of weekends in February and March, we ask that you reconsider your participation as we have interested players on the waiting list. The Evaluation is the one time the coaches have to see your player for the purposes of the draft of teams. It is unfair to the coaches and the other families if your player is not participating. Please contact Pinto Commissioner Josh Aroner if you have questions about your participation.
When and where are the Tournaments and All-Star Games?
Tournament teams are formed in each division for Memorial Weekend tournaments. All-star games are played after the regular season is completed, beginning in mid- June. Tournament dates vary.
What is the registration cost per child?
2017 Spring Ball Registration Costs are:
For Spring Ball, OBA provides a team jersey and cap. For Fall Ball, jerseys are supplied. The team jersey supplied to each player must be returned to OBA at season end, or the family will be invoiced the replacement cost, which is minimum $65.
Players should have their own pants, belts, socks, baseball mitt and cleats. (Rubber cleats only for Pinto, Mustang, Bronco players. Metal cleats are permitted for Bronco 680 and Pony players, although many field use portable mounds and metal cleats are not allowed on portable mounds.)
OBA also provides each player a practice t-shirt unique to each team. Each team is sponsored by a local business, coach or OBA supporter. The 11u and 12u 680 Diablo teams and the Pony level teams may choose to order 'outside OBA travel gear'. Please contact your manager to understand how this impacts you.
Some OBA baseball caps will be available for purchase at Opening Day and the OBA Snack Shack during operational hours. (* Based on availability)
Parent volunteerism has always been a key part of the success of OBA. From coaching and field maintenance, to the snack bar and OBA Board of Directors, the first 30 years of OBA’s success is in large part due to parent volunteers. That said, while OBA has experienced tremendous growth over the last few years, our team of volunteers remained small.
In an effort to sustain the OBA experience for all of Orinda’s baseball players and families, OBA is introducing a new volunteer requirement for all OBA families. In doing so we have attempted to make our program fairly simple and straight forward – no point systems, substitutions, etc. Rather, each OBA family (regardless of how many players you have) must fulfill two obligations (can be either or each):
OBA families do have the option to “buy out” of their complete volunteer obligation for $200.00, payable during registration. However, the baseball community obligation is a requirement of all families. OBA Managers/Coaches, board members and committee chairpersons are automatically exempt from both requirements.
If, at the end of the regular season, both of your volunteer requirements have not been met, the child/children of that family will not be eligible for summer baseball, OBA tournament or post-season teams. While we hope not to have to enforce this, we wish to convey how much we feel OBA needs the help and the commitment.
Once the parent duties are assigned by your team's coordinator (aka, team parent), this information will be circulated to the parents.
The Snack Shack is located at Curtis field by Wagner Ranch, where the Mustang and Bronco teams play many of their games. It is open during the Spring Season. A variety of food items and OBA clothing is available for purchase, in addition to Team Snacks. Snack Shack is operated by paid personnel, primarily local high-school students.
Opening Day is scheduled for February 25, 2017, at Wagner Ranch.
It is a celebratory start to the season. Festivities include team pictures, team activities, an awards ceremony and much more. Bring the whole family and spend the day with friends! The day begins at 7:45 a.m.
The field for each game is identified on the game schedule page.
Click here for Field Locations and Directions.
Field maintenance is directed by the Baseball Operations Director and the Fields Director. Additionally, there will be large scale 'Field Day' activities designed as part of the parent volunteer program. These will occur monthly and online volunteer sign up information will be sent to all OBA families that do not opt to "buy out" of this volunteer obligation.
Field Preparation duties are performed by pre-assigned parents and are the responsibility of the Home team.
The OBA website and Facebook page will always have the most current league-wide information regarding field closures due to weather. The field usage for Wagner Ranch and Del Rey fields are determined by the Orinda Unified School District. OBA will update the website as soon as we are notified by OUSD. If there is no recent posting, that means that a decision has not been made. If you see no announcement, assume the fields are open and practices or games will be held as scheduled. In any event, always default to your Manager or Division Commissioner if you have a question about field closures. There is absolutely no use of fields when they are closed, regardless of an individuals opinion of the conditions.
Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month from 7:00pm, at various Orinda locations.
If you feel there is an issue that needs to be brought to the attention of the Board (as opposed to a Commissioner or the Director of Baseball Operations), please contact the current OBA President.
By Mail: OBA, P.O.Box 1822, Orinda, CA. 94563
By Email: Click Here