The Boys of Summer was established in the late 1990’s with the goal of organizing community and recreation leagues in north central Indiana. Thereby providing an opportunity for their all-star teams to play each other under unified rules. Since then the league has grown with the number of teams playing and the addition of a junior high division that started in 2020. This division was a way for local high school coaches to develop players, team cohesion, and good spirited rivalries. In 2020 the Boys of Summer also sanctioned a state tournament for junior high teams. This tournament allowed for all the area junior high leagues to compete against each other.
The Boys of Summer has always been a cost effective, competitive league that prepares players for high school baseball. Since its start it has based its play on the National Federation of High School rules modified for 10 & under, 12 & under, and now junior high players. The 10U and 12U games are played on a 46’ pitching distance and 60’ base path field. This field size is proven to be an ideal sized field for players in these age groups. It’s small enough for players to make mechanically correct throws, make exciting plays, and have a fast hit to field tempo. It’s large enough that dangerous host-shots hit into the infield are rare and players are still challenged to make plays.
The junior high league is sanctioned on fields with a 54’ pitching distance and 80’ base path distance. This division provides teams a way to continue playing and working as a team until they get to the high school level. This level is normally a void for players that don’t play on travel teams but now gives another growing step between 12U play and high school. The 54/80 distances were selected as part of those growing steps. At this age there are very few modifications to high school rules.
The most important modification to all levels of play that the Boys of Summer made was pitching restrictions. Starting in 2022 the Boys of Summer adopted the Pitch Smart pitch counts for all sanctioned games. These rules help save the players’ arms and a secondary result is that coaches get to develop more pitchers rather than relying on a few. The Boys of Summer also encourage the member leagues to adopt the Pitch Smart rules in their in-house competitions and to carryover pitch counts from in-house games to our sanctioned games.
The Boys of Summer continues to monitor and research the best practices for youth baseball to make our league as safe as possible yet highly competitive. In addition to field safety and personal safety equipment, we provide remediations to the member leagues about best practices for weather concerns, injury protocols, and disease concerns. Our organization works hard to provide a safe environment to play, learn the game of baseball, and learn lessons that build character.