Bronco — Ages 11-12
Bronco is when teams begin to follow the rules of Major League baseball. Players are allowed to leadoff and steal from all bases. Paid coaches run practices and manage games, including setting lineups and determining substitution patterns. A parent manager handles administrative duties and serves as an assistant coach, as required by the pro coach. Coaches teach players the finer tactics of advanced baseball. Teams field 9 players and a batting order consists of 9 or 10 players (if the Extra Hitter rule is followed).
Regular Season: Teams participate in the Morindamont league which comprises teams from Piedmont, Moraga and Orinda. A league playoff is held at the end of the season.
Postseason: PBSF will assemble 11U and 12U tournament teams at the end of the season to play in a Memorial Day tournament and other summer tournaments which may include the official PONY tournament that culminates in the PONY World Series. The Commissioner appoints a head coach for this team. Players will be selected based on December player evaluations, coaches evaluation of player progression through the season, and player availability through the PONY tournament.
Expected Skill Level at Beginning of Season - At this level, players are expected to have a basic working understanding of the Mustang skills and an appropriate level of enthusiasm and commitment for which some success at this level demands. Previous baseball experience is not required, so long as the player demonstrates a reasonable chance of some success through either athleticism or enthusiasm and commitment.
- Practice - Two 90-minute practices per week.
- Games - One or two 7 inning games per week consisting of a 60-minute pre-game warm-up and approximately two-hours of game time.
Playing Time and Position Rotation – Our goal is to find each player ample opportunities throughout the season to play both infield and outfield positions, provided the coach determines that the player can safely play and reasonably execute the position’s responsibilities and the player demonstrates sufficient effort and commitment to the team (e.g., excellent attendance and good practice habits).
Players are expected to take practice and game start times seriously. Punctuality shows respect for coaches and teammates. A player is "on time" when suited up and ready to practice, not when dropped off at the parking lot with cleats in hand. A 90-minute practice should consist of 90 minutes of actual practice. Unexcused tardiness may affect playing time during games. If baseball is the player’s primary sport, we expect attendance at all games and practices.
Per the PBSF mission statement, an important coaching objective is to provide ample opportunities for each player to grow and succeed. It is for this reason that each division has playing time and position rotation guidelines. Playing time guidelines are designed to be fair, but not equal. As players move to the Bronco division, playing time is based on skill, commitment to baseball, attendance at games and practices, and effort. Players who play other spring sports and miss baseball practices and games receive less playing time. Players who are more "recreational" may also receive less playing time. Players who are dedicated, focus on baseball, and fully participate in practices and games are rewarded with more playing time.
Every player shall play a minimum of 2 defensive innings in a 7-inning game. The goal, however, is to have every player average at least 4 defensive innings per game throughout the season. Minimum playing time is based on player attendance. Players who miss practices or games may play less than these minimums.
Skill Building Goals - The ultimate goal of Bronco is to prepare the player for the next division (Pony). This includes:
- Mastering all skills from previous level.
- Showing advanced hitting skills, including an ability to hit pitches in the 50 to 60mph range in a batting cage and reasonable success at hitting during league games.
- Demonstrating advanced base running skills, including understanding and applying signs from coaches.
- Understanding advanced situational defensive skills, including defensive pick-off plays and player alignment for specific situations.