Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Updated Sunday December 9, 2018 by Stephen Marrero.

Manatee Cal Ripken & Babe Ruth Baseball at Heritage Harbour 

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 7.16.18


We have compiled a list of answers to some of our most common questions.  New questions and answers are added all the time so check here first.

How do we register?

You can register online, print and mail, or in person during the walk-up registration.  Registration usually starts in late November or early December for the spring season.  For the fall season, registration usually starts in late June or early July.  Regular registration will run through the last “walk-up” registration date.  After that, late fees may apply.

What are the steps to register online?

First, go to http://manatee.baberuthonline.com.

Next, click the registration banner or “login” button to create a profile or login to your existing account.

Click the button, “Register to Play/Participate”.

Follow the screens to complete the registration and check out.

What payment forms are accepted?

You can pay with a credit card online.  You can also register online and mail a check.  Cash or checks are accepted in person.

Can I still walk-up and register?

Yes, walk-up registrations are posted each season.  Generally, for the spring season, walk-up registration is around the second weekend of January.  For the fall season, it is around the second or third weekend in August.  Dates and times are posted on the league site and on Facebook.

What are the boundaries?

Our boundaries are all of the zip codes in Manatee county and some that border our county.  There are other exceptions may apply as well.  There are also leagues in Sarasota, Hillsborough, and Pinellas counties.

Is this Little League?

No, Cal Ripken Baseball is a division of Babe Ruth Baseball.  We are similar in that we are both youth recreational leagues, but some rules may be slightly different.

What if I miss tryouts, does my child still make a team?

It is highly recommended that each player from Rookies on up to Babe Ruth attend a tryout (evaluation).  This allows coaches to form balanced teams for better competition.   However, if you cannot attend a tryout, your child will still be placed on a team.   Players requesting to “play up” a division are required to attend the tryout of the division they are requesting to play in (T-ball to Coach Pitch excluded) as well as have their prior coach write a letter of recommendation (playing up to Rookies, Minors, Majors, or Babe Ruth).  Tryouts are for the Rookies division on up.  Dates and times are posted on the league site and communicated on Facebook and through e-mail.

When will we be notified of the team we’re on?

A coach will contact you the week after tryouts (evaluations). Most coaches will try to call, text and/or e-mail, be sure you check your junk e-mail and voicemail.  If you have not heard from a coach by the end of that week, please e-mail us at manateecalripken@gmail.com .

Can we be on the same team as our friends?

In the younger divisions  ages 4-8, (T-ball, Coach Pitch, and Rookies)  we try to grant as many requests as we can.  For T-ball and Coach Pitch, simply enter the players names you would like to play with on your registration form and have them do the same.  For Rookies, we do a modified draft which means we will take requests as long as it does not create a gross imbalance in the skill level of the teams.  These requests we do as a courtesy.  We may not be able to grant all requests.  In the older divisions, ages 9-15 (Minors, Majors, and Babe Ruth), players are selected to a team through a draft.  Some requests are considered (siblings, for example), but others may not be based on the nature of the draft.

When are games and practices?

Most games are on Saturday mornings or early afternoon.  The younger divisions generally start earlier (around 9:00) and older divisions start later.  There are some weeknight games for each division except t-ball.  Practices will depend on the team you are on, but generally Coach Pitch and Rookies start around 5:00-5:30 and the Minors, Majors, and Babe Ruth start at about 7:00 (6:30 in some cases). T-ball generally only has pre-season practices before the games start.  Once the games start they meet only weekly for games unless the coach has specifically communicated otherwise.

How long is the season?

Games in the spring will go from around mid-February to the early part of May.  All-Stars will pick up from that point for those selected and will go as long as they continue winning.  The district tournament is generally around the second or third weekend in June.  The World Series is in early to mid-August.

The fall season games start around mid-September and will end the week before Thanksgiving.

How many are on a team?

In order to maximize the playing experience for each player we try to keep the number of players on each team at an optimal level.  In T-ball, we can have as few as 4 players on a team to as many as 8 or 9.  In Coach Pitch, we try to assemble teams with 7-12 players (depending on how many teams we can form).  In Rookies, Minors, and Majors, we like for teams to be between 10-12 players, however, in a few cases there may be one or two a couple fewer or one extra on a team.  In Babe Ruth, our goal would be to field teams of at least 12 to at most 15 players due to the extra pitching demand and likelihood of absences due to other activities as kids get to middle school and high school.

What if my child has an injury?

For minor injuries, a basic first aid kit is in the concession stand and in the light room.  Ice is available in the concession stand (when open).  For more serious injuries, first, be sure you have you child treated by a medical professional.  Claim forms are available from your coach or the concession stand.  Players who exhibit or diagnosed with concussion symptoms will be removed from play and will not be able to resume play until cleared to play by a physician.

What do we get for a uniform?

Each player receives a game hat and shirt.  For an additional fee, you can pre-pay for team pants if your team participates in the program. As there are many styles of pant that fit very differently, stopped including them in the price a few seasons back.  Instead, we work with Play-It-Again in Bradenton to order pants specific to your coach’s request.  These are new pants you or your coach will pick up in store (or if you need to try them on).  Play-it-Again will notify each coach when they are ready. 

What equipment do I need?

For the older divisions, players should have a glove, cleats, bat, helmet, and pants (belts for games).  Athletic cups are required starting in the Rookies.  Although the league does have a few extra helmets, bats, and catchers gear sets, these items are shared and may not be readily available or in the size you may need. 

In the younger divisions (T-ball and Coach Pitch), players can usually get away with having a glove.   We use a foam ball and foam bats in T-ball so no helmet or bat is necessary.  In Coach Pitch many players bring their own (T-ball) bat and helmet.  Again, we have extra equipment that can be borrowed.

For each age group, please check with your coach for any other uniform or equipment suggestions.

What size bat should I get? 

There are NEW bat requirements starting in 2018.  Click here for information on that.  Here is the link to the current bat requirements and the NEW bat requirement starting in 2018:


Here is a good article on selecting the right size bat:  http://spiderselite.com/2015/08/17/what-is-the-right-size-baseball-bat/

(note – this link takes you to an external site).

What goes into the cost of registration?

Many things have been factored into the cost of our league.  Here is a brief list of some of the items factored into the cost (uniforms, trophies, umpires, equipment, supplies, insurance, charters, and advertising among other things.

How do I become a coach?

Coaching a team is a volunteer job taken very seriously.  Understanding the time and energy involved as well as the needs of young players are very important to being a manager.  While managers are usually selected from those who have expressed interest and have already been an assistant in the league, many Managers will go into the season needing one or two coaches.  Please check with your manager if they need an assistant.

In order for coaches to be eligible to coach in for Manatee Cal Ripken and Babe Ruth Baseball, they must:

  • Be certified by Babe Ruth by passing the "Coaching Youth Baseball" at www.baberuthcoaching.org. (one time only, fee applies)
  • Complete a coaching application (found in the document center on our league site -http://manatee.baberuthonline.com) (one time only)
  • Complete the "apply to volunteer/coach" on the league site from your profile (each season).
  • Have a current background check completed also done through the league site from your profile. (periodic renewal, fee applies)

The coaching application and course certificate must be e-mailed to manateecalripken@gmail.com.  The other items are stored in the league site.

What if there is lightning?

Our rule of thumb for lightning is the 10-mile rule.  All league officials are asked to use caution when taking the field with an approaching storm.   If lightning is detected within 10 miles of the field (using a weather app, estimation using the flash to boom counting method, all should seek shelter within the concession stand or in cars.  Generally, coaches/officials will wait 30 minutes before resuming play when lightning is detected.

For game Rain out information, contact our rainout number at 745-5005.  This number will ONLY be updated when games are scheduled OR if severe weather completely closes the fields (tropical storms approaching, etc.).  It is important to be in contact with your coach for practices and games first before using the rain out number.  It may be storming in west Manatee, but dry and clear at the fields.

What are the rules for my division?

Local Rules and key information is posted in the Document Center of the league site.  When not posted in the local rules, we will defer to the Babe Ruth League rule book.  Each manager will receive one at the beginning of the season.

Who do I contact if we have questions my coach cannot answer or a conflict with our coach?

You do have a few avenues.  First try to resolve your concerns with your coach or assistant coach.  If a satisfactory answers/ resolution cannot be reached, you can contact your division commissioner, player agent, any board member, or if necessary, the president of the league.  A list of officials is located on the league site.