PlayBall Indiana—The Indianapolis RBI Program
Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) is a youth outreach program designed to increase participation and interest in baseball and softball, encourage academic participation and achievement, increase the number of talented athletes prepared to play in college and minor leagues, promote greater inclusion of minorities into the mainstream of the game and teach the value of teamwork.
To build good character, foster responsible behavior, encourage development of baseball and softball skills, encourage the enjoyment of healthy competition and teamwork, and build the values of honesty, fairness, integrity, inclusion and commitment to excellence.
- To give every youth who wants to play baseball, the opportunity to do so.
- To channel the athletic energies of at-risk inner city youth into organized supervised, wholesome baseball and softball programs.
- To provide strong role models for young baseball and softball players, and help them develop into responsible and productive adults.
- To prepare young players for college and professional baseball careers.
- To strengthen and expand the community of baseball enthusiasts in Indiana.
- To rebuild baseball in the inner city of Indianapolis.
- To organize and staff inner-city youth baseball clinics, camps, and leagues around Indiana.
- To send at-risk young players to area camps, clinics and tournaments.
- To provide year-round skills clinics and camps.
- To recruit and train coaches, umpires and participating parents.
- To educate coaches as well as parents about baseball, and provide mentoring opportunities for at-risk children.
- To manage a procurement program for new and used baseball equipment.
- To develop and coordinate area baseball tournaments.
- To conduct research into youth baseball issues and challenges.
- To secure and improve baseball facilities for wide usage.
- Jr. RBI – Recreational league play for boys and girls ages 3-12. Sites include Forest Manor Park, Rhodius Park, Garfield Park, St. Alban’s Church and Riverside Park. The season runs from late April through July and includes league play, all-star games and a season-ending tournament.
- League divisions:
- T-Ball for boys and girls ages 3-5.
- Pee Wee leagues for boys and girls ages 5-7.
- Minor leagues for boys ages 8-10.
- Minor leagues for girls ages 8-10.
- Major division league for boys ages 11-12.
- League divisions:
- Girls Softball – Competitive fast pitch leagues for girls ages 12U, 14U and 18U. Includes players from Indianapolis Public Schools, charter schools, Catholic schools and area township schools. An all-star team is selected each year to represent Indianapolis in the RBI Regional Tournament in July. This year the tournament will be Detroit, Michigan. The winner will advance to the RBI World Series in August in Cincinnati.
- Boys Junior Division Baseball – Competitive leagues for boys ages 13-15. Includes players from Indianapolis Public Schools, charter schools, Catholic schools and area townships. An all-star team is selected each year in the 15U and 18U divisions to represent Indianapolis in the RBI Regional Tournament in Detroit, Michigan. Winners advance to Cincinnati for the RBI World Series in August.
- Boys Senior Division Baseball – Competitive leagues for young men ages 16-18. Includes players from Indianapolis Public Schools, charter schools, Catholic schools and area townships. An all-star team is selected each year in the 15U and 18U divisions to represent Indianapolis in the RBI Regional Tournament in Detroit, Michigan. Winners advance to RBI World Series in Cincinnati in August.
- Pitch Hit & Run presented by Scott’s – The official skills competition of Major League Baseball. Includes dozens of local competitions throughout Central Indiana and three State Sectional competitions, including the Central Indiana Sectional at Victory Field in May. Winners from the Sectional have the opportunity to advance to the Team Championships in either Chicago or Cincinnati, and ultimately the finals during the MLB All-Star Game week of festivities.
- Jr. Home Run Derby – New in 2016, this competition is open to boys and girls ages 14 and under. Run in a similar fashion to the Pitch Hit & Run competition, the Jr. Derby will advance winners to Regional competitions at MLB ballparks around the country, with finals during the All-Star Break.
- Jr. RBI Rookie Camps – Basic skills clinics for boys and girls ages 3-8 to be held at Forest Manor Park, Garfield Park, Rhodius Park and Riverside Park in July.
- RBI Fall League – Baseball and softball leagues for boys and girls of all ages. Games are generally played on Saturdays from early September through mid-October.
- RBI Winter Academy – Off-season skill development and conditioning for boys and girls of all ages from late November through February at various locations.
- “Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life” – A character-building, educational program based on the life of Jackie Robinson and the nine values he used to break barriers in his life. Major League Baseball and the Jackie Robinson Foundation sponsor the program and coordinate a national essay contest for boys and girls ages 8-14.
Play Ball Indiana is governed by a volunteer board of up to 24 community and business leaders from throughout the state. Board members are selected by a nominating committee of the board and elected to a maximum of three consecutive three-year terms by the board. A Baseball Board of Advisors helps plan and evaluate the baseball and softball programs.
Staff includes an executive director, part-time fund development consultants, some summer interns and part-time seasonal contract staffers to assist with the programs and field maintenance. In addition, volunteer coaches and paid umpires work in the leagues and tournaments.
Programming is delivered through several Indianapolis city parks, IPS diamonds and at area high schools and colleges. Play Ball Indiana partners with the Reds Community Fund to renovate city diamonds.
Play Ball Indiana promotes baseball in Indiana and delivers its programming on an annual budget of about $275,000, of which most is raised through philanthropic means (grants, contributions, fund-raisers), with the remaining funds raised through individual, team, camp and tournament fees.
Funded in part by a grant from the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation under assistance from the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs National Solicited Juvenile Justice Programs, grant # 2007-JL-FX0014. www.ripkenfoundation.org
Funded in part by the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund – www.reds.com
Funded in part by the Lilly Endowment Inc. – www.lei.org
This site designed and maintained by the SosaGroup, Indianapolis, IN