Since 1951, our flagship program offering is one of the premier recreational baseball and softball leagues in the Chicago area, providing competitive playing options for players beginning at age 4 all the way to age 18. Homewood Baseball and Softball is proud to have players participate from many surrounding communities and registration is not bounded by geographic residency. Our beautiful Izaak Walton facility provides a welcoming and friendly environment for games to be played, nestled among the cottonwood trees in a forest-like setting inside the beautiful Izaak Walton Preserve. Featuring three manicured fields with grass infield, batting cage, permanent restrooms, and a full service concession stand, our park is the jewel of the Chicago suburbs and a wonderful place to play or watch youth sports.
Registration opens in December and includes a 12-game season (10 games for T-Ball) and uniform (jersey, pants, socks, hat) with practices beginning in March. Each team receives an equipment bag that includes bats and helmets for players to share. Players are required to provide their own glove and cleats, and boys must wear a supportive cup beginning at age 7. Payment plans are available with registration so that all families can participate.
Teams are formed in late February and begin practicing about once a week after Spring Break. Older age groups may practice more often based on coaching availability. After Easter, teams begin playing their 12-game season which kicks off each year with team pictures and Saturday morning Opening Day Parade down Ridge Road, ending at the Izaak Walton Fields. Teams continue practicing after games begin, and players develop a love and understanding of the game as they progress through the season.
A typical Spring Season calendar looks like this:
December – Online Registration Opens
Late January – In-Person registration for Uniform sizing and season details
Mid-February – Player evaluations (ages 7+)
Late February – Teams Formed and Uniforms ordered. Late fee added to registration.
Late March – Practices begin
Early April – Schedule released, Mandatory field clean up days
Mid to Late April – Games begin, team photos and Opening Day Parade
Late May – All-Star teams selected
Late June – Regular Season ends, playoffs begin (ages 7+)
July 4 – Playoffs complete
July – Homewood Invitational Tournament (HIT) for All-Star Teams
Registration – $145 (T-Ball $125)
Volunteer Deposit - $70 (Refundable upon completion of duties)
Total - $225 (T-Ball $205)
All-Star teams are selected by league coaches (age 7-12) and recognized toward the end of the season. Players who are selected may also have the opportunity to participate in an All-Star season during the month of July and participate in additional games or tournaments including the Homewood Invitational Tournament (HIT). Most teams choose to participate in 2-3 tournaments during the month of July.
Fall Ball is a great way for players to keep in game shape after their summer vacations. Offered to players age 7-12, teams are formed in late August and begin games after Labor Day. Teams usually play about 8 games (1 per week) at our beautiful Izaak Walton facility and are done after Halloween. Practices are limited and not strongly encouraged by the league so that players can also participate in other fall sports and activities. There are no playoffs or all-stars for the Fall Ball season.
Winter Workouts are offered during the off-season to provide an opportunity for players to keep in baseball and softball rhythm while also preparing for the upcoming spring season. Offered to ages 7-12, sessions are 90 minutes long and are run like a regular practice focusing on both hitting and fielding. Typically offered on Sunday afternoons or evenings at the HF Fieldhouse and turf room, registration opens in late November or December and includes 5-7 sessions that start in late December or early January. Winter Workouts have a limited number of spots in each age division in order to maintain the proper ratio of coaches to players and ensure that participants receive the attention and instruction needed.
Players who desire additional baseball and softball competition at a more advanced level will want to consider trying out for our Part-time travel teams. Teams are formed at the 8U-12U levels and typically play an additional 12-30 games during the spring season. Tryouts begin in July or August and may continue into January or February depending on roster sizes. Costs vary by team depending on the number of games, practices or tournaments but typically range from $200-$300 per team and may be offset by fundraising opportunities should a team decide to pursue them.
T Ball is for boys and girls ages 4 & 5. The focus of T-Ball is to develop the foundation of baseball and softball skills which young players can build upon for the rest of their playing days. The league is focused on our players having the most positive experience possible! Homewood T-Ball is a 100% instructional league. Our goal is to develop the basic skills needed to play baseball and softball. We teach the basics of hitting, throwing, catching, and base running. We teach sportsmanship and introduce our participants to team play. T-Ball is a great way for kids to learn the game of and a way for parents to develop the skills they need to become great coaches. T-Ball plays 10 games. Games consist of 2 innings, 3 if time allows. All players bat through the entire lineup each inning and there are no outs. Practices and games are structured to teach fundamentals and make sure the kids are having fun. The last 2 games of the season we allow coach pitching. Teams consist of 10 to 12 players, 2 to 3 volunteer coaches, and a team parent.
Players must be 6 years old by April 30th for boys and 6 years old by Jan 1st for girls. Only 6-year-old players will participate in this league. League is focused on teaching basic fundamentals in the game of baseball while transitioning players from t-ball to competitive leagues. All games will be coach pitch until the last 2 weeks of the season. Consists of 6 inning games with a time limit. Games will be played with a soft-core safety baseball. There will be outs and a score will be kept but there are no playoffs or standings. 1 to 2 games per week along with a minimum of 1 practice each week.
Players Must be 7 or 8 years old based on leagues age date and cutoff of April 30th. This is a competitive division which is still focused on refining player skills in a positive learning environment. Games will be kid pitch and consist of 6 innings. Games will be played with a hard ball and will follow previous rookie A rules and guidelines. Players will participate in evaluations and are drafted by managers and coaches to create as much equity among teams as possible. Players are required to play both infield and outfield positions in every game. There is typically a 7- and 8-year-old all-star team chosen before the end of the season.
Players must be 9 or 10 years old by April 30th of the current season. League is focused on advancing the teaching of the basics of baseball skills and transitioning players to more competitive play with closer to standard rules. All games require a 9- and 10-year-old to pitch. Games consist of 6 innings. Stealing bases and advancing on passed balls is allowed. 1 to 2 games per week along with 1-2 practices each week. A post-season all-star team will be voted on by coaches during the season for post season play.
Ripken A Players must be 11 or 12 years old by April 30th of the current season. League is focused on advancing the teaching of the basics of baseball skills and transitioning players to more competitive play with closer to standard rules. Games consist of 6 innings, if time allows. Stealing bases and advancing on passed balls is allowed. 1 to 2 games per week along with 1-2 practices each week. A post-season all-star team will be voted on by coaches during the season for post season play.
Players must be 13-15 years old by April 30th of the current season. League is focused on fun, sportsmanship and advancing the teaching of the basics of baseball skills. Games consist of 7 innings. Regular baseball rules apply and the game is played with 90' bases and a 60'6" pitching distance. Two to three games per week starting in late May along with practice. Depending on number of teams, away games may be played against local communities. A post season playoff will culminate in a championship game played at the HF Varsity baseball field.
Bantam Softball is for Girls ages 7-10 and is separated into 2 divisions. Bantam A which is 9 and 10 year olds, and Bantam B which is 7 and 8 year olds. Bantam B is an instructional league and focuses on skills development along with instituting the flow of the game of Softball from a competitive standpoint. Girls are taught the basics skills of softball. Bantam B is a transitional league, with a mix of coach pitch and player pitch. Any player not ready for player pitching will always be "coach pitched." Bantam A continues to build on the skills learned in the Bantam B league and also incorporates a more competitive style of softball including stealing and player pitchers. In both divisions, instruction is paramount and all kids will play a relatively equal amount of time and have the opportunity to try most of the positions on the field.
Homewood Baseball and Softball Junior League is for softball players ages 11 and 12. This is a competitive league that will develop and teach some advanced skills of softball including stealing. Games will be six innings. All team members present will bat in rotation. The pitch will be a standard softball fast-pitch delivery with players pitching. Depending on number of teams, some away games may be played against local communities.
Homewood Softball Senior League is the most advanced of our in-house recreational leagues and is open to girls age 13 to 18. The league follows most official High School softball rules and has the great advantage of playing some games in the beautiful Izaak Walton facility. Depending on number of teams, some away games may be played against local communities.