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Clarifying Baseball Levels, Terms and League Needs

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Clarifying Baseball Levels, Terms and League Needs

2 replies. Most recent reply: Jul 25, 2011 11:27 AM by Switch Pitcher

On the left are the levels for Canadian Baseball, which are likely to be very close to the US level system. On the right we have the level system in Japan.

T-Ball (8 & under)------------------------Mini-Minor (9 & Under)
Junior Rookie Ball (8 & under)
Senior Rookie Ball (9 & under)
Minor Mosquito (10 & under)---------Minor (10-11)
Mosquito (11 & under)
Minor Peewee (12 & under)----------Mini-Junior (12-13)
Peewee (13 & under)-------------------Junior (12-13)
Minor Bantam (14 & under)-----------Mini-Senior (14-15)
Bantam (15 & under)-------------------Senior (14-15) or Junior High School (13, 14 & 15)
Minor Midget (16 & under)------------High School (16 yrs.)
Midget (18 & under)--------------------High School (17 & 18 yrs.)
Junior (21 & under)---------------------City Teams
US University Teams-------------------University
MLB Farm Teams-----------------------NPB Farm

I believe the MLB is stronger than the NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) because of the level and numbers of foreign players playing in the MLB from all over the world. I would place the NPB above all US triple A teams though, as the NPB is a much higher level of play. When the MLB and the NPB leagues play each other the games are all played in Japan, and not all the MLB players come overseas, and then many players (and their team management) are not keen to go all out for the games.

In the Baseball Classic the USA loses out because the Japanese team is just better and or plays better together, as all the very talented Latin American players play for their national teams and make it plain for all to see why the Japanese rightly deserve to be the best team in the world..
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Re: Clarifying Baseball Levels, Terms and League Needs

[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Jul 13, 2011 12:29 AM | Posts: 35252 | From: Yokohama, Japan | YBS Fan | Registered: Aug, 2001 ]
In my experience, Japan doesn't have such fine grained levels. There are:

Elementary Level Grades 1 through 4
Elementary Level Grades 5 through 6
Junior High School (Grades 7 through 9)
Senior High School (Grades 10 through 12)

T-Ball is not available in my area that I'm aware of.

On all levels, there is a variety of baseballs used. There is the koshiki (hard ball), nanshiki (a rubber ball approximately the same size), and the softball (which is a larger rubber ball). The rubber balls have slightly different sizes depending on the level of play.

Kids in all grade levels have to compete with each other in their respective age brackets for a spot on the starting roster. When my son was in first grade, there was one 1st grader on the team who was competing with the 4th graders. It's hard for a first year junior or senior high school kid to make the starting roster, but it is not unusual.

Re: Clarifying Baseball Levels, Terms and League Needs

[ Author: Switch Pitcher | Posted: Jul 25, 2011 11:27 AM | Posts: 28 | From: Edogawa-ku | LOT Fan | Registered: May, 2011 ]
Thanks for your input. I saw that there are two kinds of balls, and its good you bring it up. As for large softballs, that is purely a girls sport in Canada, though they will use a softball in PE classes and summer camp, which often had girls and boys mixed. T-ball is what the lowest level baseball is called in North America, here it my region it is called mini-minor.

In North America, to my understanding, at the lowest levels they try to have as many teams as kids to allow everyone a chance to have game time. In the movie "Bad News Bears" you can see this a bit, as the one team still tries to stack its roster with the best talent.

This is what is done with the teams my son will shortly be playing with at the Tokyo American Club, where they divide up the good players evenly so that no team has a dominant roster, and the less trained kids get a chance to play to get them to like the game and see how they need to work during practices to get better. Since not all the children turn up regularly they have more on each team than as is needed. Yet they don't have a line up of kids around the corner that are bench warmers, as I have seen on at least 10 beginner level teams in Japan.

In Japan the quality of coaching is much higher that I have seen, but being a Canadian that may not be able to be taken to the bank, but I feel fairly comfortable is saying Japan has the highest level of coaching at the lowest levels. Like Canada in Hockey and North America in Gridiron ball each country tends to have one sport they fixate on and have the coaching to prove it.

You are exactly right in the schools in Japan WestbayStars, as you can see the low school grade players sitting in the stands during the high school tournaments all cheering on their seniors.
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