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Why Play JBO

Why Play JBO

Junior Baseball Organization, Inc. (JBO) is a non-profit organization formed to provide an opportunity for Oregon youth from ages 9-14 to participate in an organized baseball experience. The JBO program revolves around local Associations creating community-based programs to meet local needs for summer baseball programs within the broader framework of JBO. The JBO organization is made up of separate Districts and local Associations (also known as Areas). Four elected officers, six Commissioners from the JBO Districts and one At-Large Commissioner administer JBO. These administrative members of JBO are responsible for the overall governance of the organization, including the establishment of rules for player participation, league formation and game play. Junior Baseball Organization, Inc. is independent of any of the other traditional, nation-wide youth baseball organizations.

JBO provides opportunities for players 9-14 years of age. Players are grouped into three distinct age divisions: Minor, Junior and Senior. The Minor Division is made up of players aged 9 and 10, Juniors are aged 11 and 12, and Seniors are aged 13 and 14. The age of the players is generally determined by their age as of August 1 of the year of the baseball season.

The goal of JBO is to provide each child, regardless of skill level, an ability to compete in baseball against other players of similar skill and age. As such, players are divided into separate divisions based on age and skill level, allowing players of similar skills to work together. JBO games are played according to the rules of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) with some modifications to tailor the rules to the age and skill level of the players. For example, JBO base lengths and pitching distances are reduced from the High School level to accommodate younger players, but increase progressively with the age of the players. The intent is to provide all players the opportunity to play the complete game of baseball (leading off, stealing, etc.), but to progressively increase playing distances as the age and skill of players increase.

JBO believes that the jump from 60-foot bases to a full-sized field is difficult for players. JBO fields start at 60 feet, move to 70 for Juniors, and 90 feet for Senior National, Senior Americans, and Senior Federal teams. This helps growing players compete on a field that is more suited to their size. This system is used by nearly all national leagues.

The primary difference between JBO and other leagues is that JBO plays by amended high school rules. One of the most prominent rule differences regards base stealing. In other traditional leagues, a player cannot steal a base on a pitched ball until the ball crosses home plate. In JBO, a player may take a lead off the base and steal at any time during the pitch. As players get older and more experienced, the "base stealing" rule makes for some very exciting baseball. The rule also teaches the kids smart base running techniques. They will need the techniques if they continue playing baseball as they get older.

Possibly the best thing about Junior Baseball is that when it comes to playoff time, a team goes as a unit. No "all-star" team is created. All teams, of every age and skill group, stay together throughout the entire season. We believe in the positive aspects of each team competing as a team and earning the right to be in the Northwest Championship. We do not subscribe to the model other leagues use in focusing their entire efforts on one selected all-star team. Our league efforts and funds go towards the success of every player and every team. Our player- and team-positive JBO program provides a way for every skilled player to be a champion.

JBO is played later in the year when the weather is better. For ages 9-14, practices begin within 2 weeks after tryouts and league games start in May and run through mid-July. For ages 4-8, the season begins in April and runs until the last week of school. This later season works well for multi-sport athletes, including those who play lacrosse or soccer.

JBO believes the team divisions, progressive field expansion and warmer weather make for a great program. The JBO system provides a natural ladder of development for those who aspire to play high school baseball, as well as a fun environment with lots of games for those with a strong desire to advance in baseball.

T-Ball (ages 4 to 6)

T-Ball is where it all begins! Focused on offering a fun and non-competitive environment, T-Ball focuses on teaching baseball at its most elementary level. Teams usually consist of 11-13 players with coaches pitching a set number of pitches to each player. If a hit ball does not result, players are allowed to hit from the tee. Outs are recorded, but no scores are kept and players focus on learning to hit, catch and throw the ball. Safe-T balls are used (softer baseballs) and most teams practice twice per week and play a total of 10-12 games per season. The season generally concludes with the end of the school year. We recommend players aged 4-6 who have NEVER played baseball play in this league first.

Rookie League (ages 6 to 8)

The Rookie League removes the tee and uses regular hard baseballs. Additionally, children pitch to each batter and a coach will pitch after 5 attempts have been made. Teams typically include 11-13 players. The Rookie League continues to focus on elementary-level baseball concepts (throwing, hitting and catching) and does not keep score during the regular season. However, the season ends with a championship tournament where scores are kept. The season generally concludes with the end of the school year. 6- and 7-year-olds moving up from T-Ball make up most of the league with 7- and 8-year-olds who have NEVER played baseball beginning here.

Minor League (ages 9 to 10)

Once players reach the Minor level of baseball, they begin to participate in competitive baseball and are required to attend tryouts. Aloha Baseball is an affiliate of Junior Baseball Organization (JBO) and tryouts determine at what level of baseball each player plays for the season.

The Minor level is a player's first foray into competitive baseball. Depending on the level at which your child plays for the season, baseball will be taught by coaches based on their skill level. Players exhibiting high level skills at tryouts focus on more advanced skills while first-time players or players working on fundamental knowledge of the game will work on improving basic skills.

All teams and games are competitive at this level of baseball and compete against teams of like size, age and skill. Games are played on 60-foot bases and pitching is from 45 feet.

Junior League (ages 11 to 12)

Like the Minor League, all Junior League teams are competitive and all prospective players are required to participate in tryouts. Games are played on 70-foot bases and pitching is from 50 feet.

Junior level baseball focuses on teaching advanced baseball skills at every level. 95% of the players in the Junior League have played baseball at some level prior to reaching Juniors. While first-time players are always welcome, the learning curve can be steep as many players have been playing baseball for 5-6 years by Juniors. Teams generally compete in the regular season until the first week of July and the post-season concludes by the third or fourth week of July.

Senior League (ages 13 to 14)

The Senior League is comprised of players aged 13-14 and is competitive. All prospective players are required to participate in tryouts. Games are played on 80- and 90-foot bases and pitching is from 55 and 60.6 feet, depending on the skill level.

Senior level baseball exclusively teaches advanced skills at all levels. 99% of players in the Senior League have played baseball at some level prior to playing in Seniors. As always, first-time players are welcome; however, the learning curve is very steep. Teams generally compete in the regular season until the second week of July and the post-season concludes the fourth week of July.