History of PONY Baseball/Softball
PONY Baseball/Softball, Inc., began with the organization of Pony League in Washington, Pennsylvania, in the summer of 1951. It was formed as a transition league, taking 13- and 14-year-old players who had graduated from Little League Baseball, to a regulation size diamond. There were six teams in 1951. By the end of the second season in 1952, those original six teams were joined by 505 teams in 106 leagues around the country. A national tournament was conducted and the first PONY League World Series was held that year. The new league was incorporated for national organization in 1953, under PONY Baseball/Softball, Inc.
PONY, by the way, is short for Protect Our Nation's Youth.
Currently, PONY Baseball has over 400,000 players in 2,500 leagues located across the United States, as well as in England, Japan, Australia, Korea, The Philippines, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, China, Russia, Taiwan, Dominican Republic and U.S. Military bases throughout the world.
When the board of PONY Baseball voted to permit base stealing in the 9-through-12-year-old programs, the reaction was, "Good, now we can play real baseball." This was a group who had tried playing under new rules, which permitted base stealing, on an experimental basis. The results were the same in a number of experimental groups across the United States. The opinions of the players were echoed by league officials, team managers and coaches, umpires, parents and other spectators.
In the earlier days of youth baseball programs, when youngsters began playing in organized leagues at 10 or 11 years of age, there was a need to keep the runners on base until the catcher had the ball or had dropped it. However, today, most young people become active in some type of league play when 8 or 9 years old, or even earlier. The result is that today's 11-year-old is generally playing the third or fourth year in an organized program and is far more capable and knowledgeable about the game than was their counterpart 15 or 20 years ago.
Anyone who does not think that 9- to 12-year-old players are capable of playing the complete game of baseball is urged to see a PONY League game.
PONY participation helps teach youngsters the value of teamwork, sportsmanship, self-reliance and sacrifice, and can instill a desire for improvement in personal performance.
Newbury Park Pony Baseball (NPPB) is run by a group of elected volunteers, all of whom donate time and effort to handle the various administrative tasks of operating NPPB, such as maintaining permits with the school and park districts, acquiring equipment, maintaining fields, managing finances, and even keeping this Web site up and running. (And lots more.) This stuff happens mostly behind the scenes, but...
You didn't think it all happened by itself, did you?
Meet the current NPPB Board of Directors, find out what all the Board positions are, and whom you can contact if you have questions or feedback about any particular aspect of NPPB.
Interested NPPB community members are welcome and encouraged to attend any of the Board meetings listed in our Event Calendar.
NPPB Board meetings generally occur once a month. Currently, this is usually the second Monday of the month, but can vary. The exact current schedule of meetings can be found in our Event Calendar.
Any and all members of the NPPB community — parents, managers, coaches, umpires, etc. — are invited and welcome to attend any Board meeting. It's a good way to find out what's going on, ask any questions, volunteer to help out, or just sit and listen.
What's on the Agenda?
Board meeting topics will, of course, vary from meeting to meeting, but usually involve the status of the current season or other projects, ongoing and future fundraisers and other events, and whatever else comes up. The atmosphere is mostly informal, but with some effort to be orderly and to follow the general parliamentary structure of Robert's Rules of Order, just so things don't get too out of hand.
But there's always someone with a gavel, just in case.