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Rookie Overview

2017 Rookie Tournament at Lighted Field

Overview (Age 8)

Rookie is a developmental league that builds upon what was learned in Coach Pitch in an organized setting. At this level the players will be playing on a baseball diamond and use a pitching machine to hit from. Half of a player’s season will be practice and the other half will be spent playing games. The season ends with an in-house tournament between all Hamel Rookie teams as part of the Hamel Jamboree in late June. The season is considered a success if kids are enthusiastic to sign up for baseball next season. 

In addition to the year-end Jamboree, please plan on one weekend event as the Hamel Rookie teams do participate in an Interleague Rookie Day in late May (not Memorial Day Weekend) with teams from Robbinsdale, Crystal, St. Louis Park, and/or Plymouth-New Hope.

Season Information

DAYS Tuesdays and Thursdays (With one weekend events)
TIME: Two sessions starting at approximately 5:30 & 7:00.
DATES: April 24 – July 1

In the case of inclement weather, the league will continue as of the date listed on the schedule. The league may choose to make up games after the last week of the season if there are a higher than normal number of canceled games during the season.


Games and practices will be held at the Hamel Fields Complex (aka "The Quad") off of Brockton Lane North in Hamel.

Registration and Team Formation


$225 per player
$25 discount during early registration


Age Requirements: Rookie is for 8-year-old boys and girls as of August 31 of the current year or 7-year-olds who are in second grade.  Players with the necessary skills falling outside of this scope and have already played two years of Hamel coach pitch are encouraged to request a move to Rookie program.

7-year-olds in 2nd grade or who have completed two years of Hamel Coach Pitch wishing to play Rookie must formally request to do so by contacting the registrar.

It is possible that kids age 9 or in 3rd grade will be participants in the Rookie League to further their skill development and provide for equally matched competition.

Team Formation

Teams will be comprised of 10-12 kids.

Teams will be formed no later than two weeks before the season using 1) elementary school, 2) a single "friend request", and 3) an equal distribution of available coaches.

Player "Play with" request must be mutual (i.e. Player A must request Player B and Player B must request Player A on their individual registrations.  Due to the size of the league, we can only attempt to honor one "play with" request per player.

Game Play

Rookie players will bat against a pitching machine set at a consistent speed (35-40 mph) from game to game. There are no walks in machine pitch and strikeouts will only count when batters have seen 10 “good” pitches, as determined by the coach/“umpire.” A pitch that is not in the strike zone is not considered a good pitch regardless if a player swings. Teams will use a continuous lineup and players will play both infield and outfield equally throughout the season. All players will also have a chance to play catcher.

Emphasis will be placed on teaching kids the basic rules, learning proper fundamentals (playing catch, hitting, fielding, catching and throwing) and exhibiting a high level of sportsmanship. Teams will play 10 players in the field, with 4 outfielders. If teams have less than 3 outfielders for a game¸ a coach may stop the batted ball in the outfield in order for both the offense and defense to learn proper fundamentals and to help speed up the game. Defensive coaches may be in the outfield to help kids. The ½ inning is over after 3 outs (strikeouts do count as outs) or 5 runs scored.

This is a “hitter’s” league with the purpose of putting the ball in play so that the offensive team can learn proper hitting and base running skills and the defense can learn situational defense. Any batted ball that hits the pitching machine is deemed live. Games will be 4-5 innings. Little League approved baseballs will be used.

This is not a “run at your own risk” league. Players will stop advancing once the ball is returned to the infield and will be allowed one extra base on an over-throw. Proper baseball habits will be taught (i.e. players should not keep running simply because they could “make it” at this level as poor habits will more than likely lead to outs as the defensive abilities of players increase).

The batting team’s coach will serve as umpire for the ½ inning. Other coaches should not try to influence the call on the field unless the umpire asks for help, and there should not be any arguing of the calls. Scores may be kept, but there will be no standings. The Machine Pitch Rookie league will impose a 5-run rule per inning and will adhere to Little League Machine Pitch rules (no bunting, no stealing).

Regardless of outcome, coaches will focus on the things that players can control—showing up on time, running hard on the base paths, hustling onto and off the field, taking quality at-bats and giving their best effort.


At the Rookie League level, Hamel Baseball provides:

  • Baseballs
  • Bats (Please note: players bringing their own bat should expect to share it with others)
  • Catcher’s Gear
  • Team uniform top and hat

Players are required to supply their own:

  • Helmet (royal blue preferred)
  • Glove
  • Baseball pants (gray preferred)
  • Athletic Supporter and Protective Cup
  • Rubber cleated baseball shoes 


NOTE:  Please write your child’s name on all personal equipment.