Cape Coral American Little League is starting its fifth division for the upcoming spring Little League Baseball season at Koza-Saladino Park.
The new intermediate division is called 50/70, which indicates 50-foot pitching mound distance and 70-foot basepaths. It is hoped the division for 11- and 12-year-olds will help players prepare for higher level baseball, such as high school, junior and senior Little League programs.
"It's nationwide, but not all leagues do it," said Cape American president Jeff Koza. "Fort Myers American, Buckingham and Port Charlotte National are or have started the new division. It's more challenging for players to help them transition to the next level."
The 50/70 game is slightly modified from current league rules in that runners can take a lead off the bases, pitchers can make pickoffs of runners, and runners are allowed to steal bases.
Some players find it difficult when they start to play on the bigger field and 50/70 is designed to ease them into it. Those who struggle frequently quit the game and don't return.
Traditional Little League dimensions are 40-foot mound and 60-foot bases. Older divisions, such as junior and senior leagues, use the 60/90 field.
The Little League season runs January to May with All-Stars in June to August for 9- to 12-year-olds.
Cape American also offers the AAA division for 9-11 year-olds on a 40/60 field; Rookie division (pitching machine) for 7-8 year-olds; Tee-Ball for 5-6 year-olds and Biddy Tee Ball for players age 4.
There's also a Fall Ball program in September for ages 4-12.
For more information visit the website: www.ccalittleleague.com