Santa Barbara Pony Baseball operates a Fall Ball league for the Mustang and Bronco divisions, and a ‘Fall Ball workout’ for the Shetland and Pinto divisions. These programs run from approximately Labor Day until the week before Thanksgiving.
Each Fall Ball division is open to all players who will be playing in that same division in Spring. Thus, Fall Ball is a great opportunity for younger players who will be moving up to accustom themselves to the more demanding game, different rules, and larger diamond of the higher division.
Fall Ball is designed as a developmental league. For the Shetland and Pinto divisions, the Fall Ball workout is a series of practice sessions focusing on game fundamentals and skills instruction. For the Mustang and Bronco divisions, games are played but scores are not recorded and standings are not kept. Players are encouraged to try new and different positions. Particular emphasis is placed on developing prospective pitchers among the younger players. To that end, teams are required to use a large number of pitchers each game.
Unlike the spring league, there is no draft for Fall Ball. Teams are formed by the league in a way that talent, especially pitching talent, is evenly distributed. Players are informally evaluated at a ‘Week Zero’ of scheduled practice sessions under the supervision of Pony coaches.
Shetland / Pinto Fall Ball Workout
The Pinto Fall Ball workout is designed as an opportunity for young players to play and learn baseball in a structured and fun setting. There are no teams and no game schedule. The workouts introduce and reinforce key principles of the game, fundamentals and skills, and progress to game situations with fun and competitive play.
Ten 90 minute workout sessions begin the weekend following Labor Day through the weekend before Thanksgiving. Weekly workouts are on Sunday mornings, so there are no weekday practices and minimal conflict with other fall sports.
Boys and girls aged 5-8 are eligible for Shetland / Pinto Fall Ball. This is the ‘league age’ for the following Spring season in the Pinto division. Any local youth is eligible to register and participate. Prior baseball or Pony league experience is not required.