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   South KoreaPrint Page

Monthly <Sooncheon In> 2008 Aug

Taiwan won the Pony Asia Pacific Tournaments and made its way to the World Pony League Tournament

The Pony Asia Pacific Tournaments was held in Hyocheon high school baseball stadium in Sooncheon, South Jeonla province from July 19 to 24, 2008 for 4 days. There were 3 teams from Korea, Japan, and Taiwan matching each other as a full league.

The Korean team, which consists of the players from Seoul Isu middle school and Sooncheon Isu middle school, beat the Japan team by 9:6 but unfortunately the victory did not continue on the next match with Taiwan. The Taiwan team won the ticket to the World Pony League Tournament that will take place on August 2008 in the US and $2000 prize as well.

The Seoul Baseball Association has administrated Pony League in Korea so far. But when the World Pony baseball and softball on July 2008 authorized Korean Pony to initiate its business, Youngwoon Kim, a former diplomat in Gobe, Japan, became the new president.

The first official event that Korean Pony held ever since its commencement was the Soonchoen Tournaments this year Hyungbok Joeng, the vice president, also a teacher at Kangnam girlís highschool in Soonchoen played an important role in making the tournaments happen in Soonchoen.

San Kang, Hangyul Jeong, Dongwook Kim, Donghee Lee, Hyunsik Shin, Geonwoo Park were playing for the games with the coach Wanchae Jeong who is also a coach for Isu middle school basball team.

The World Pony League Tournament is unusual compared to other world tournaments in a sense that individual players and teams have to take care of expense for trips, which allows the economy of the country as well as the stadium to create revenue.

Pony League is broken down into 8 zones including Asia-Pacific, Caribbean, European, Mexican, East, West, North, South zone. The US has four zones; the East composed of North Carolina and South Carolina, New Jersey, Maryland, etc; the West, California, Arizona, Washington, etc; the South, Georgia, Florida, Texas, etc; the North, Illinois, Indiana, etc. Asia-Pacific zone includes Russia, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, and Singapore and so on. The 8 teams from each zone will be competing each other on August and the winner will be the champion.

Pony Baseball and Softball League

Little league is the best known youth baseball league in the US to Korean people; in fact, there are many different youth baseball leagues in the US. Pony league, Dizzy Dean baseball, USSSA, Babe Ruth League are famous.

Youth Baseball leagues modify and interpret the rules for adult professional baseball in accordance with age. For example, they have smaller stadium, put limit on scores, etc. These rules for youth still differ in leagues.

Pony League

Pony League (aka PONY Baseball and Softball) was established as a non-profit organization that pursues the mission of helping youth grow up healthy and happy through baseball and softball. Pony stands for Protect, Our, Nationís, Youth. The age of the members ranges from 5 to 18 and regardless of ethnicity and skills it welcomes whoever likes to join Pony League.

The root of Pony League was originally with YMCA in Washington, PA in early 1950s. More than 2000 youth baseball teams are now registered in Pony. It is also well known that around 380 Major league baseball players are from Pony.

Pony believes that it would be logical and effective to change the size of the stadium rather than the rules themselves. Pony lets the young players play baseball exactly the same way professional players do but only tries to adjust the size of the stadium according to the childrenís age. Pony regards that force play, double play, and squeeze play could happen in youth baseball. Pony tries to make the young players feel the real baseball.

Pony also emphasizes sportsmanship and ethics of the players and the parents as well as insurance that protects the players from unpredictable accidents in practices and competitions. Not only are baseball games provided, but also administrative staffs, umpires and coaches, baseball workshops and seminars for the parents are coordinated every year. In addition, Pony has scholarship programs for those who have played in Pony for more than 2 years. More importantly, everything for Pony league is performed and helped by thousands of volunteers.

The Structure of Pony League

Pony Baseball league is divided into 7 sub leagues, ranging from 5 to 18 with a 2 year gap. One of the interesting characters of Pony is that each sub league is named from types of horses: the one for 5 and 6 year-olds is Shetland, Pinto of 7 and 8 year-olds, Bronco for 11 and 12 year-olds, Pony for 13 and 14 year-olds, Colt for 15 and 16 year-olds, and Palomino for 17 and 18 years-old.

Pony strictly prohibits the members coming from different areas and playing in any other league and checks the addresses of the parents. Each league has 12 to 18 players. Since Shetland and Pinto are more of training basic baseball for little kids, the young players can not do leadoffs. However, any league over Mustang the game is done as real.

The Korea Pony Administration

President: Youngwoon Kim
Vice President: Cheolgyu Park, Hyunbok Jeong

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