EJBSL uses all our field space at the pleasure of various town organizations. Please help us maintain positive relationships with all our hosts by helping with the following:
- Follow all posted rules.
- Keep all our field spaces litter free. Please place all trash in the proper receptacles. If you see trash on the ground, lend a hand and pick it up. There is no paid maintenance crew to do it.
- Park in designated areas only. Do not park on the access road between Main Street and Lincoln Street Schools.
- Do Not park on the grass in Kensington's Sawyer Park - use only deignated parking areas
- Do not pull your vehicle inside the back gate and park behind Currier Field. This is allowed by authorized vehicles or Board members in order to deliver or pick-up materials to/from the fields or snack shack.
- Curb your dog. Dogs are prohibited at Newfields.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Uniforms and Equipment
Uniforms & Equipment - In the spring, the league provides a hat and jersey to all players. Since a vast majority of all players wear the longer style pants, socks are not provided. Players must provide their own baseball pants. The league provides most equipment (bats, balls, helmets & catcher's gear). Players must provide the following: glove, cleats and protective cup. Many players bring their own bat and/or helmet and several have their own catcher's gear. That's OK.
How to Choose a Bat - There are two criteria we use to determine if the bat is the right size for the player; length and weight (or the ability of the hitter to control the bat.)
Test for length. Place the knob of the bat in the center of the chest and extend it straight out. If the player's fingers can reach the top of the bat the length is okay. If not, the bat is too long. Choose a shorter bat.
Test for weight. Extend arm out shoulder high and grip the bat on the knob. If the player can hold the bat for 20 seconds without wavering, he will be able to control the bat. If not, choose a lighter bat.
How to Choose a Glove - There are many good links to provide tips on choosing and caring for a glove. In general, avoid the temptation to buy a glove your child will "grow into". A general size guide:
- Ages 5-6 for General Use: 10in - 10.5in (youth model)
- Ages 7-8 for General Use: 10.5in - 11in (youth model)
- Ages 9-12 for General Use: 11in - 11.5in (youth model)
- High School/Adult for Infield: 11in - 12in
- High School/Adult for Outfield: 12in - 12.75in
Protecting Pitcher's Arms
Arm (shoulder and elbow) injuries are rising instead of decreasing. In fact it is seen as epidemic in certain parts of the medical community- those that track these things. The following is from ASMI's (American Sports Medical Institute) data collected by treating and rehabbing hundreds of pitchers.
- Lack of a long term throwing and conditioning program. There should be (at least a month) of progressive throwing before pitching in games. Preparing the arm to pitch is very important. A pre-season throwing program should include stretching, form running and throwing short to long; increasing the distance throughout the off-season. Long tossing is very important in terms of gaining arm strength and endurance.
- Over Use. This is caused by throwing too many pitches in one outing. This can cause throwing with arm fatigue. Pitching when the arm is "tired" exponentially adds risk to the pitcher. Several years ago ASMI presented evidence that for every pitch a fatigued arm threw, add three pitches to his count instead of one. Pitch counts are vital. You have heard us speak of this over the years and you ignore it at your pitchers’ peril. It is real.
- Overload. This is pitching without enough recovery time. Causes may be:
Playing for more than one team during a season. This is common but should be avoided.
Too many starts in one week. (Once again innings pitched should not be the measurement.) Pitchers must have rest to allow time for the arm to heal.
Too much pitching in the off-season. A kid pitches in 15 games in the spring, 15 games in the summer and 15 games in fall ball- too much.
Lack of an arm maintenance program between starts.
- Improper Pitching Mechanics. The body is not put in an optimum position during portions of the pitching delivery; poor arm or head alignment, landing too closed or too open, making changes in posture, flexing the trunk too early or too late, cutting off deceleration.
- Over-Exertion of the pitching arm. This comes from a pitcher attempting to throw 100% all the time. This practice is not healthy. A pitcher should find the point where he can throw hard and still throw strikes; somewhere around 90% effort. To go up on the mound and throw at full effort on every pitch will cause a pitcher to tire easily and early.
Source: Baseball Excellence.com
How can parents help?
Know the rules. EJBSL & Cal Ripken have many rules designed to protect our pitchers. These include a maximum number of innings pitched per game and per week and mandatory rest periods. However, if a player plays on another team such as the school or an EBL/Travel team, we cannot monitor that. We depend on parents to communicate with their coach regarding a player's pitching status. By working together with your coach, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable season.
Play catch often throughout the year. Building up arm strength is critical to avoiding throwing injuries. It is the most important and fundamental baseball activity your player can do.
At the present time, EJBSL takes no official stance on throwing curveballs. We generally discourage it and do not teach it. Evidence on the harm of throwing curveballs is inconclusive. Some experts and studies suggest the practice is harmful at the Cal Ripken level. However, other experts and evidence suggests that throwing curveballs is fine IF a player does so properly with good mechanics. EJBSL takes the stance that if a parent approves and encourages the throwing of curveballs, we defer to the parent. We presume the player has received the proper instruction through a third party source, and we allow it. Again, proper communication with your coach is key.
Lost & Found
Anything found at the fields usually ends up in the concession or equipment storage area of our various fields, or check with one of the game night coaches. There is a lost and found box in the Exeter Snack Shack. Many gloves, sweatshirts and jackets accumulate throughout the year.
Learn from your failures
The game of baseball is based on failure and anyone who plays it experiences failure many times. Rod Carew is in the Hall Of Fame and he made 7000 outs. Coaches should understand that fact and learn not to be so “results” oriented. Instead, teach the kids how to learn from failure. Tell them they are not going to win every game and they are not going to get a hit every time and the umpire is not going to make a call that goes their way every time.
We have all seen coaches who go “bananas” when a player strikes out. I have seen coaches give the “take” sign on a 3-1 or even a 3-2 pitch to a young player in the bottom of the order. I wonder if those coaches are helping players develop and go on to the next level.
Wouldn’t it be better if the coach let the players swing the bat? In fact, wouldn’t it be better if the coach instilled in his players to be aggressive at the plate?
We feel one of the best learning experiences is during a game when a player lets a fastball go by that was a good pitch to hit. He quite often will swing at a bad pitch in that at-bat, usually on the next pitch. If he fails, we use that as a teaching opportunity. We ask him at what pitch he should have swung and he thinks about it and usually comes up with the right answer. He has learned something from his failed attempt. Treat a failure as an opportunity, not a disaster. Have patience and keep an even temperament when your players are not successful.
Winning with class
In growing up and participating in sports, there is consistent emphasis placed on being a good loser. "Keep your head up… learn from your mistakes… get 'em next time!" All of these are common phrases associated with losing with dignity. While handling defeat is important, learning how to win is equally important.
With today's professional sports filled with egos and attitudes, showboating and taunting, you must understand how to win with class. Winning with class means respecting your opponent, being gracious and humble, and carrying yourself as if you have done this before. Celebration is okay. In fact, it's natural to feel good after you've won. But just as it feels great to win, it is very difficult to lose. Winning with class shows that you understand the pains of defeat and do not intend to step on another player when they are down. Your opponent will respect you much more if you control your emotions and show dignity, rather than rub their noses in it with brash behavior and self-glorifying gestures and dances.
Winning with class will help you to remain grounded and respectful of others, and it will help others to respect you and remember how fun it was to play against you.
So, the next time you see a basketball player talking trash after a dunk, or a football player dancing and shouting after a tackle, place yourself in the shoes of the loser and remember how it feels to have a game winning home run hit off of you. And when you strike out the final batter of a well-pitched victory, pump your fist in celebration, and then carry yourself as a mature person who has won before. Always shake your opponents hand, and be conscious of how a true winner is to act.
"Love the game and do your best - you’ll always be a winner." - Cal Ripken Jr., April 2007, to an EJBL player
“Cal (Ripken, Jr.) is a bridge, maybe the last bridge, back to the way the game was played. Hitting home runs and all that other good stuff is not enough. It’s how you handle yourself in all the good times and bad times that matters. That’s what Cal showed us. Being a star is not enough. He showed us how to be more.”
- Joe Torre