Instructional League is the second step in the sequence of baseball programs at IFPAA, leading the children through what is hopefully a long and rewarding involvement with organized sports for each of them. The goal for this year is to continue to present the basic skills of baseball (i.e., hitting, catching, throwing and running) to these young children in a relaxed, low-stress atmosphere, while simultaneously introducing them to a slightly more advanced level of skills that requires more thought and attention to the specific game situation on the field. Physical skills are naturally important and will develop over time with repetition, but the mental skills of preparation and awareness are critical to success in baseball and can be learned by children of ALL abilities.
Special rules for young children are still in effect which allow all of the basic skills to be utilized under real-game situations, but including provisions which guarantee equal playing time for everyone, provide experience by continuously putting the ball in play and encourage the kids to try their best by minimizing the risks and penalties possible on any play. These rules are structured in such a way so as to be flexible enough to allow all the kids to participate at their own pace: the most advanced will be able to hit a pitched ball and make putouts in the field, while others less experienced or physically mature can hit off the tee and still attempt to make fielding plays without severe penalties or potential for embarrassing errors. The major change at this level is the introduction of the Catcher position. Other changes from T-Ball include the elimination of the Rover and the more live action sequences that require the kids to complete each play a little further than before.
The purpose of this league is to further instruct players in the basic concepts of baseball that were introduced in T-Ball.
Players who are age 6 and have at least 1 year of T-Ball experience can request to 'play up' in the Instructional League. These players are evaluated to ensure that they can safely play with the 7 year olds prior to requests being granted.
Players are assigned to teams as much as possible according to neighborhoods and schools. Games are played at Ingomar Elementary and Orchard Hill Church fields.