Pennsylvania Connie Mack Baseball League
Connie Mack Baseball is a community baseball league set up for players age 13-16 and is played on a regulation, full-sized baseball field with 90' bases and a 60' 6" pitcher's mound. The league is administered by a Board of Directors that works to maintain the integrity of community baseball and sets rules that govern league play. Each organization has a defined territory from where it may draw players. Harleysville Connie Mack was started in 1953 and plays in the Bux-Mont Division of The Pennsylvania Connie Mack Baseball League. Pennsylvania Connie Mack was formed in 1953 and has two (2) divisions, the Bux-Mont Division and the Lehigh Valley Division. At the end of the year, Pennsylvania Connie Mack holds a year-end tournament with the top teams from each "A" League competing for the title of State Champion.
Currently there are approximately twenty-seven (27) organizations in the Bux-Mont Division which comprises Bucks and Montgomery Counties. The League maintains a website at www.bmcm.homestead.com. There you will find additional information on the teams in the league, directions to their fields, as well as rules governing the league. There is also a link to the Lehigh Valley Division, which is comprised of approximately thirty (30) organizations located throughout Lehigh, Northampton and Monroe County.
The Bux-Mont Division also sponsors play in a Senior Connie Mack League for young men between the ages of 17-39. This league is grouped into two (2) divisions; the Sullivan Division for young men ages 17-19 and the Hostelley Division for young men ages 19-39. There are no territorial restrictions in Senior Connie Mack and organizations are free to draw players from wherever they may find them.
A League – Our highest level, this division is comprised mainly of 15 and 16 year olds along with the potential for a highly skilled 14 year old or even a 13 year old in a rare instance. The "A" team typically plays a 20 to 22 game regular season schedule. League standings determine the teams that qualify to participate in an end of the year tournament to crown the League Champion and to qualify for the State Tournament. The goal of the "A" team is to compete for the Bux-Mont and Pennsylvania State Championship.
B1 League – This league, similar to “A", offers a high level of competition as well. The age group is basically the same as the "A" league with a higher number of 14 year olds or possibly a highly skilled 13 year old. B1 teams play an 18 to 20 game regular season schedule. Standings determine which teams qualify to participate in an end of year tournament to crown a League Champion. The goal of the "B1" team is to qualify for the end-of-season Bux-Mont "B1" Tournament playoffs.
B League – This league is also comprised of 13-16 year olds with mainly 14-16 year olds. Teams play a 16 to 20 game regular season schedule. Standings are kept within the "B" league but only serve to facilitate year-end tournament seeding. Organizations have the option of combining teams for the tournament if they field more than one team in the league. The winner of the year-end tournament is crowned Bux-Mont League Champion. The primary goal of the "B" team is to provide the players with a competitive baseball experience with a focus on player skill development and knowledge of the game.
C1 League – This league is comprised of mostly highly skilled 13 year olds, (with the potential for up to a maximum of four 14 year olds), who are considered to have successfully transitioned to the full-sized baseball field and are seeking a higher level of competition. As with the B1 League, standings determine which teams qualify for an end of year tournament that results in the crowning of a Bux-Mont League Champion. The goal of the "C1" team is to qualify for the end-of-season Bux-Mont "C1" Tournament playoffs.
C League– This league is set up to facilitate a transition from the smaller baseball field to the full-sized regulation field. The league is comprised of 13 and up to a maximum of four 14 year olds. Teams typically play a 15 to 18 game regular season schedule. BuxMont league holds an end of year tournament for all C teams. Standings are kept within the "C" league but only serve to facilitate year-end tournament seeding. Organizations have the option of combining teams for the tournament if they field more than one team in the league. The winner of the year-end tournament is crowned League Champion. The primary goal of the "C" team is to provide the players with a competitive baseball experience with a focus on player skill development and knowledge of the game.
TEAM SELECTION CRITERIA
There are several factors that go into determining to which team a player is selected or assigned. The following guidelines generally apply:
A Team - Player selection is based both on merit and the needs of assembling a complete and highly competitive team whose goal includes qualifying for both the end of year Bux-Mont Tournament and Pennsylvania State Tournament. Harleysville typically carries a roster of 11-12 players on the “A" team who are selected by the HBB approved "A" Head Coach (often in consultation with the members of the Connie Mack Committee) as the best qualified players to provide coverage for all positions on the baseball field. There have been occasions, however, where capable players have not been selected for the "A" team due to an overabundance of players at one or two field positions. There have been occasions when a "lesser skilled" player is selected for the “A" team due to the player's ability to play a specific position that the "more capable" player is unable to play. While talent and skill is certainly important, the “A" level requires players that know how to play certain positions in the field. Playing time is a secondary consideration as a 14 year old may have the talent to play at the "A" level but may not see the playing time to which they are accustomed. If we feel that this may be the case – we will often decide to keep a highly skilled younger player on a B1 team so they will be able to play a greater number of innings as they continue their development.
B1 Team - This is a team primarily comprised of future "A" level players. Similar to the “A" team, selection is based on merit and is made by the HBB approved "B1" Head Coach (often in consultation with the members of the Connie Mack Committee). Selection criteria is the same as the "A" team with the added consideration of selecting players that, based on individual skill level, will likely play at the "A" level the following season. Most, (but not all), highly skilled 16 year olds that are not selected for the "A" team will be selected to play “B1" as well.
B Team - The “B" level is an intermediate level within the Connie Mack league structure. All 15 year olds in the program are required to play at this level if they have not been selected to play at the “B1" or “A" team level. Usually this level is made up of mainly 14, 15 and 16 year olds. If there are enough players to form more than one team, players will be split as evenly as possible (by ability) between the squads.
C1 Team - The “C1" level is primarily for highly skilled 13 year olds that are accustomed to playing baseball at a higher competitive level. All 13 year olds will be evaluated for selection to this team. Selection is based upon merit and is made by the HBB approved "C1" Head Coach (often in consultation with the members of the Connie Mack Committee). A “C1" Team is permitted to roster up to four (4) 14 year olds. Highly skilled 14 year olds who are not yet prepared to play at the “B1" or “A" level will be considered for the “C1" team level.
C Team – 13 and 14 year olds either not desiring or not selected for the “C1" team will play at the “C" level. If there are enough players to form more than one team, players will be split as evenly as possible (by ability) between the squads.
The above listed criteria are all guidelines. The only hard and fast rules are that we take the best players that make up the best team for the "A" level, that all 15 year olds must play at the B level or higher, and that there is a maximum of four 14 year olds permitted on either a C or C1 team. Everything else is based on the "Needs of the Program" and what the Harleysville Connie Mack Baseball organization feels will be best for the development of every individual player. For example, 13 year olds play at the "C1" or "C" level. On occasion, we have had to have a 13 year old play at the "B" level because the "C" teams had an ample number of players, while the "B" teams were short certain position players, i.e. pitching. We have had other situations where players did not advance to the next level with some of their peers. While we certainly understand the desire to play with one's friends, the bottom line is that the player must have the skills to compete at that level. Baseball is a hard game and we try our very best to put players where they have the ability to succeed. We never want to see a player overmatched at the plate or unable to contribute to his or her team defensively.