Both my sons currently play in Little League, I also played in LL for years when I was young, it is all I have ever known. My husband and I recently overheard people talking about DYB and how it was so much better than LL, I am trying my best to find out what would be best for my family. ( I also have a daughter that will be starting t-ball within a couple of years) I am trying to get an unbiased opinion on what the differences are and why to choose one over the other.
There are a large number of national youth baseball leagues.
LL is the largest and best known and one of it's biggest draws is the Tournament (All Stars) at the end of the season that's Televised on National TV.
The VAST majrority of leagues never get that far but obviously someone has to.
Dixie, which is primarily in the Southern US, was actually formed by teams that left LL (it's a long story and you can look it up if you want).
Dixie is much smaller than LL but it too has an All Star Tournament / World Series at the end of the year.
PONY is another organization as is Cal Ripkin/Babe Ruth.
My position is that it's not as much the national organization that's important, what more important is the local people running the program.
That is, there are great LLs and there are poor LLs, just as there are great Dixie or Pony or Cal Ripken leagues as well as poor Dixie, Pony and Cal Ripken leagues.
So, my advice is to look around and talk to the people in your area and find out which is the better local program.
Any name with "Dixie" in it would have to be better! Ha, ha.
Southern gal from Columbia, SC
Here is what I have seen over 23 years of umpiring.
A lot of people start a groundswell to move out of Little League in order to get into something more "competitive" so that their "all star quality" kids get the best ball, make JV's, then Varsity, and then get a college scholarship! (Ever think of a text book?) That is ALL that's on their mind!
We lost girl's softball and 90' baseball from our league for just that reason! And the quality of character of some of the not-so-good players suffered.
The thing that LL offers is that ANY KID who wants to play ball CAN play! Yes, they might need a lot of work, and maybe they won't be as good as the others. But they get to play ball! Before Babe Ruth died of cancer he gave a farewell speech in Yankee Stadium that discussed kids who wanted to play ball! Support them! They learn life lessons that will out do a lot of what not playing sports can fulfill!
The competitive leagues are good, and I give them my props! But it is NOT always the case where anyone who wants to be part of a team can be. LL is all inclusive, even with the poorer players.
Please consider that when your sports leagues make decisions that may be a penny wise and a pound foolish!
Hey Mike, I don't know what kind of info you are looking for but i'll throw some info to ya. I live in west central FL. My kids have played in our local LL for a couple years and then shortly moved to Dixie ball. The Dixie here is a full step or 2 above the caliber of the LL. We have over 500 kids in our Dixie league. In our Dixie org, we only have the home plate umpire on the field for 12 year old and below. There are only a few blown calls because we have paid umpires. as far as the kids go, they like the on deck batter in Dixie that LL does no allow and they are allowed to have custom airbrush designs on their batting helmets. Of coarse a face cage and chin strap are required. There is no illegal pitch in Dixie as there is in LL for 12 and under. A player cannot show bunt and then swing away, player has to either bunt or pull back(safety issue). As of now, we still do not use break away bases and have not had any injuries. Our 13 and 14 year olds are still made to use molded cleats and we have no restrictions on composit bats yet. 1 last thing off the top of my head is that there are no geographical boundry lines for Dixie. It does not matter where you live, you can play. There are less politics, at least at the league I 'm at. Hope there's something here that helps.
The reason that Dixie exists is that it was formed in the southern part of the United States by people that did not want black children playing in their youth league. That is a historical fact. And I am not letting you know this to dissuade you I just wanted to let you know.
I think the real difference between Pony and LL are the rules. Pony is played under a rule set much closer the MLB, while LL has more steps (divisions) before you get to close to playing under MLB rules.