Welcome to DGYB Development Leagues (ages 6 - 8)

Introduction to the Leagues

Welcome to the Development Leagues of DGYB.  The purpose of these leagues is to introduce young players to game of baseball. These leagues offers age appropriate instruction and play to help young players learn baseball fundamentals that can be built upon for a life time of baseball.  The focus is on the fun of baseball and playing as a team.

The Development Leagues have two “age group” oriented leagues:

Instructional League (Ages 6 and 7) Approach

  • "Coach Pitch” with strong emphasis on tee work
  • DGYB divides the players in the league by age/grade where 6/K will start with tee orient ball and switched to coach pitch 25% of the way through their game schedule.  7/1st will start directly into coach pitch
  • Younger players focus on batting, catching, throwing and fielding.
  • DGYB’s version of baseball for this age group levers a practice we refer to as “speedball”.  Speedball is modified version of baseball intended to maintain the attention of young players.  Games consist of teams fielding a team of 6 players each, rotating play through the infield positions.  We find that we get players 4-5 at a bats each game and they get more time fielding baseballs than a more traditional approach.  The response by players, coaches and parents has been outstanding.  More information on speedball can be found in our rules section.

Rookie League (Age 8) Approach

  • Prepare player to begin playing baseball without adult field assistance
  • Focus to develop pitching fundamentals, outfield skills, situational fielding and advancing hitting skills
  • Introduction of pitching, augmented with coach assistance to ensure that young players developing proper pitching techniques, while maintaining the interest in the field and at the plate.  More information about Rookie ball can be found in out rules section.

Introduction to the Season

The Development Leagues try to schedule 11-13 games per season, weather and calendar permitting.

  • Practices start the week after Spring break of the Downers Grove Schools
  • Generally two practices a week until games start.  Those practices are generally held once during the week and the other on the weekend.  
  • Practice times are chosen by the volunteer managers and coaches of each team based on their availabil;ity and the fields availability.  
    • Practices are targeted to be 90 minutes long (varying by team manager)
    • Weekday practice time slots run from 5:30-7:00 pm and 6:30-8:00 pm.  
    • Weekend practices are generally 90 minute session, primarily on Saturdays, running between 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. 
    • This schedule helps DGYB best utilize the fields we are allocated.  
  • Once Saturday games start, practices fall to once during the week.
  • Games generally start the last Saturday of April / first Saturday of May and run through the last Saturday in June.
  • During the last week of school, first week of summer break, we start having weekday games to complement our Saturday games.

Other keys seasonal items to note:

  • We open up the season with a parade in Downtown Downers Grove that will precede the start of opening day games later that morning - this year it is schedule for  Saturday April 27, 2019 - 8 am sharp start - line up at 7:45am.
  • Picture day is generally the Monday evening the week after opening day.  This year we are targeting Monday, May 13, 2019, Herrick Middle School, times TBA
  • Memorial Day weekend is scheduled for no play.
  • The Chicago White Sox reserves a night in June for specifically for DGYB players.  This is truly is a great family and team event - this season night is Friday, June 28, 2019.

Team Approach

DGYB is purely a volunteer organization.  Managers, Coaches and other team assistants are parents and relatives of our players, serving as volunteers to lead and teaching these young players about baseball.  If you are interested in managing a team, coaching players or helping to organize the team needs, please let us know when you register.

  • At these age groups the Development Leagues attempt to place players with their classmates of the school they attend.  This is not always possible. 
  • Since we are scheduling approximately 500 players each season across 35-40 teams, we don't have the volunteer cycles to handle requests for car pool and best friend assignments.  If their is a truly special need, please raise it.
  • For schools that have more or less than a single roster of players registered we have approaches for roster assignments that we have utilized in the past and can be found on the documents tab in this section. 
  • Teams assignments are announced at the parents meeting held in late March.


The Development Leagues supply

  • team hats
  • jerseys
  • a significant amount of equipment 

Parents are expected to provide

  • a fielding glove
  • sliding shorts & protective cup
  • baseball pants

Equipment Specifics

  • Fielding glove: traditional baseball glove, preferably made of leather, 9 inch sized glove works best for most players hand size.  It is recommended not to go above a 10 inch glove for these age groups.
  • Sliding shorts and protective cup:  Sliding shorts help protect players from while sliding on rough surfaces and they provide better support cups for this age group.
  • Baseball pants:  Your coach will decide on the color of pants, and possibly socks, for the team.
  • Baseball bats are always a topic of discussion.  The Development League supplies age appropriate bats.  There is no need to purchase one for play in the league.  If you do choose to purchase a bat, please consider the following guidelines:‚Äč
    • No composite bats or big barrel bats (prohibited through Prep 13 age group). 
    • Bat should likely weigh between 13-17 ounces and between 24-26 inches long.
    •  A child should be able to easily hold a bat with their arm straight out to their throwing side of the body for 10 seconds.  Any sign of struggle means the bat is too heavy.

The league reserves the right of each coach to determine if players should be using their own bat or using team assigned bats.