Chanhassen, Chaska, Eden Prairie, Edina, Shakopee Baseball Association’s
The National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) rules shall be followed, except for the following modifications and exceptions, which have been adopted by the SW Community League for the 4th and 5th Grade League. The rules shall also apply to practice games. Certain clarifications are shown only to emphasize a particular NFHS rule.
When a rule seems unclear, the decision of the umpire is final during the game. An unclear rule should first be interpreted in the best interest of safety, then in the interest of providing the best experience for the participants.
A. General vs. Age Specific Rules
1. All rules provided here will be considered to apply to all grades unless specifically noted.
B. Field Dimensions
1. Field dimensions for each age group are as follows:
Home to Pitcher’s Rubber Between Bases
(4th / 5th grade only) 46 feet 65 to 67.5 feet
C. General Rules
1. Games will start promptly at the times shown in the schedule.
2. There will be a two-hour time limit on ALL games if there are multiple games scheduled for the field. If possible, all attempts should be made to play the full length of the game The two-hour time limit, if imposed, will start at the first pitch of the game. For example, if the scheduled start time for a game is 6:15 PM, no inning may start after 8:15 PM, but any inning in progress may be completed. Before the first pitch the umpire is to acknowledge the time on his watch at the start of the game. The time during a game delay, due to weather or another reason such as an injury is not to be counted against the 2-hour time limit. For instance, the game is interrupted due to a brief rain shower for 15 minutes, 15 minutes is to be added to the clock time and the game duration would be 2 hours 15 minutes.
3. All evening games on non-lighted fields are to start by 6:30 PM.
4. The home team will take the field first, will keep the official score book and will be seated on the third base bench.
5. All field boundaries and out-of-bounds areas shall be agreed upon prior to the start of each game by both managers and the umpire.
6. Each team will provide one new game ball and the umpire will use his discretion in keeping the best ball in play without disrupting the flow or pace of the game.
D. The Game
1. A regulation game consists of 6 innings unless:
a. The score is tied after 6 complete innings, play shall continue until (I) the visiting team has scored more total runs than the home team at the end of a completed inning; or (2) the home team scores the winning run in an uncompleted inning, or (3) eight innings have been completed.
b. In the opinion of either (1) both coaches, or (2) the Umpire alone, the field of play is unsafe or unplayable, play must be either temporarily suspended or terminated.
Safety is the primary concern! If weather conditions, darkness or any other natural or man-made condition places the players at risk of injury the game must be called. Note: If any visible lightning activity is observed, no matter how distant the game must immediately be terminated or temporarily suspended until there has been no evidence of lightning activity for 20 minutes.
c. The decision to either temporarily suspend play or terminate the game is at the discretion of the Umpire alone.
2. A called game will be considered a complete game if:
a. At least 4 ½ innings have been completed:
b. The home team has scored more runs in 4 ½ than the visiting team has scored.
c. If at least 4 ½ innings have been completed and a game is called because of inclement weather or darkness, but the home team has not completed its at bat, the game will be considered a complete game and the score at the conclusion of the last fully completed inning will determine the final score.
3. If a called game is not a completed game as defined above, the umpire shall declare it 'No Game" and the game will, at the discretion of the Commissioner, be rescheduled and replayed in its entirety on a designated make-up day.
E. Forfeited Game
1. A team must field a minimum of eight (8) players and will be allowed 10 minutes after the scheduled start time to do so. Failure to do so shall result in a forfeiture recorded as a 10-0 score.
F. Run Rule
1. There is a 5 run limit per inning at all times regardless of the score. If a team is losing by more than 10 runs after the 4th inning the coach of the losing team shall decide if their team wants to continue play (if the coach chooses to continue play then the game shall be played out). There is to be a hard stop after the 5th run crosses the plate. (No further runs count)
Bunting is allowed at any time.
H. Number of Defensive Players and Defensive Positions
1. If both teams have ten (10) or more players, ten (10) players may be used on the field; however, four (4) of the ten (10) players must, be situated in the outfield.
2. The four (4) outfielders must be placed in the outfield at a uniform depth.
No rovers or additional infielders will be allowed.
4. If one team plays with nine (9) players, the other team will be allowed to play with ten (10) players on the field.
5. If a team plays with eight (8) players, the other team will be allowed to play with nine (9) players on the field.
I. Equal Defensive Playing Time for All Players
1. Each player must play in the field a minimum of 3 innings per a six inning complete game. In the case of a shortened game, or the home team not needing its last at bat (6th inning), it is possible that a player may play fewer innings. This situation should be avoided if at all possible.
It is the intent of this rule to assure that every player has an opportunity to play at least three innings in each game, but it is the philosophy of the Eden Prairie Baseball Association that to whatever extent possible innings played should be distributed equally among ALL players.
2. Defensive Substitutions
a. Pitchers may be freely substituted throughout the game subject to the restrictions listed in the section covering pitchers, but, except in the case of injury or a pitching change, defensive players may not be replaced during an inning.
J. Equal Defensive Playing Position Distribution.
1. Each player must play both infield and outfield in accordance with the following rules:
a. 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, shortstop and pitcher are considered infield positions.
b. All other positions are considered outfield positions.
c. A player may not play a fourth inning at any infield position unless every other player on the team has played at least three (3) innings at an infield position.
(1) Scheduling to meet this requirement is difficult and it is recommended that coaches plan their line-ups in advance of the game.
(2) It is possible that a situation may arise wherein a player with three infield innings played must play in the same inning as a player who is starting his third inning. While this situation could probably have been avoided (by pre-game planning) and should be avoided if possible, it is not a violation of this rule.
(3) If at any time before or during an inning, the umpire or an opposing team coach finds that a defensive player or players is/are playing in position(s) in violation of this rule, the umpire must require that the team’s defensive line-up be adjusted so as to comply with the rule.
d. There is no penalty for violation of this rule since a violation is not possible. If a violation is discovered, it simply must be corrected immediately.
K. Equal Offensive Playing Time for All Players - Continuous Batting
1. All players on the team must be assigned a position in the batting order.
2. Batting should be continuous through all players in the batting order for each game.
3. Positions in the batting order may never be changed during the game.
4. Batting out of Order
a. If an error in the batting order is discovered before the improper batter completes a legal at bat (out, hit, walk, ROE, etc.), the proper batter must take the place of the improper batter and assumes the then current ball/strike count accumulated by the improper batter.
b. If the error is discovered after the improper batter completes a legal at bat (out, hit, walk, ROE, etc.), but before the first legal pitch is thrown to the next batter, the play is reset to the state it was in at the completion of the last proper batter (i.e. prior to the improper batter’s at bat), the batter who should have been at bat is declared out and the next batter in the order will be the next proper batter.
c. If the error is discovered after the improper batter completes a legal at bat (out, hit, walk, ROE, etc.), and after the first legal pitch is thrown to the next batter, the at bat stands and the result of the at bat is credited to the proper batter, not to the improper batter.
L. Restrictions on Pitchers.
1. Limitations on the amount of pitching allowed. A calendar week is Sunday AM to Saturday PM.
a. A player may pitch a maximum of 4 innings during any calendar week.
b. A player may pitch a maximum of 2 innings in any day. This includes situations where more than one game is played in a day.
c. Delivery of a single pitch within an inning constitutes having pitched an entire inning.
d. The starting pitcher who has pitched less that two (2) innings may re-assume the position of pitcher one time during each game as long as they do not leave and return in the same inning.
e. Innings pitched in games declared "NO GAME' (e.g., suspended, tied, etc.) shall be charged against pitcher's eligibility for that week.
M. Pitching Rules
a. A legal pitch can only be thrown if the pitcher is properly on the pitching rubber, the batter is in the batter’s box and the ball is in play. If a pitch is made without all three conditions present it will be called a No Pitch by the umpire, the ball is dead and runners may not advance.
b. Any pitch striking the ground prior to the plate is a live ball and can be batted into play. A batter struck by a ball that hits the ground is considered a hit batter and shall be grated first base.
c. Since leading off is not allowed (see the section on base running), it is impossible to have a balk called except in the cases of a “fake” pitch which shall be called a balk in which case, the ball is dead and runners advance one base.
d. Illegal Pitches - Curve balls and sliders are not allowed.
(1) Any pitch in which an attempt is made to “turn the ball over“ will be considered a curve ball.
(2) The responsibility for enforcing this rule is vested in the Umpire alone and his decision as to the type of arm motion allowed or disallowed will be final.
The objective of this rule is to prevent injuries. Even a properly delivered curve or slider causes substantial stress on both the shoulder and elbow and is unsafe for players at this level of development.
(a) First offense:
i The Umpire will issue a warning to the player’s coach and require the coach to communicate the warning to the player.
ii The Umpire will declare the pitch a ball and the ball dead (runners may not advance) unless:
(i) the batter makes contact with the pitch and is safe, the hit will stand.
(ii) the batter makes contact with the pitch and is out, the pitch will be declared a ball and the batter will continue his turn at bat.
(b) Second offense at any time during the same game:
i The Umpire will award the batter a base on balls and the ball dead (runners may not advance unless forced to do so).
ii The umpire will declare the offending player ineligible from pitching for the remainder of the game.
N. Batting Rules.
1. Any batter who, after swinging at a pitch, whether the pitch is hit or not, releases the bat in an unsafe manner will be called out and the ball will be declared a dead ball and runners may not advance.
2. Balls and Strikes:
a. A pitch is a strike and the ball is a live ball if:
(1) it passes within the designated strike zone as defined by the umpire (the umpire shall advise both coaches prior to the beginning of the game as to the approximate limits of the umpire’s strike zone.)
(2) the batter swings the bat in an attempt to hit the ball (the umpire will decide if a swing was considered complete or was “checked”)
Note: An inadvertent swing which was made during an attempt to avoid being hit by a pitch and was obviously not an attempt to hit the ball is not a strike.
b. A pitch is a strike and the ball is dead and runners may not advance if:
(1) the ball passes within the designated strike zone as defined by the umpire and in doing so makes contact with the batter or the batter’s clothing
(2) the batter swings the bat in an attempt to hit the ball and the ball makes contact with the batter or the batter’s clothing
c. A pitch is a foul strike and the ball is dead and runners may not advance if:
Note: A foul strike requires that the batter makes an attempt to hit the ball, inadvertent contact with the bat made during an attempt to avoid being hit by a pitch or by a pitch which actually passes behind the batter hitting the bat or was otherwise obviously not caused by an attempt to hit the ball will be called a ball and the ball will be called dead.
(1) the batter swings the bat in an attempt to hit the ball and:
(a) the ball goes out of bounds
(b) the ball first contacts the ground, obstruction, umpire, coach or defensive player at a point past first or third base in foul territory without being caught on the fly by a defensive player
(c) the ball first contacts the ground in foul or fair territory and either
i comes to rest in foul territory
ii passes first or third base while in foul territory
iii touches any obstruction or is touched by any player, umpire or coach while the ball is in foul territory but before the ball has passed first or third base
Note: It is the fair/foul location of the ball when it is touched (not the fair/foul location of the player, coach or umpire touching the ball) that defines a ball as fair or foul.
d. A pitch is a foul strike and the ball is live and runners may advance at their own risk if:
(1) the batter hits a foul tip (a foul tip is defined as a foul ball that goes sharply and directly from the bat to the catchers glove) which is legally caught by the catcher.
e. A pitch is a ball and is a live ball and runners may advance at their own risk if:
(1) the ball passes the plate outside the designated strike zone as defined by the umpire
f. A pitch is a ball, is called dead and runners may not advance if:
(1) the pitcher attempts to throw an illegal pitch (see pitching section)
(2) the pitch is outside the strike zone and, in the judgment of the umpire the batter either made no attempt to avoid being struck, or willfully attempted to be struck by the ball, the pitch will be called a ball by the umpire, the ball will be dead and the batter will continue his at bat unless the pitch was ball four.
(3) the pitch is outside the strike zone and, in the judgment of the umpire, the batter’s bat made accidental contact with the ball. Even if the ball lands in fair territory, or is popped-up into fair territory and caught, the umpire will declare the pitch a ball and the ball dead at the time it struck the batter’s bat.
g. A pitch is a ball, the batter is awarded first base, the ball is live and runners may advance at their own risk if:
(1) after having accumulated a three ball count, while the batter is in a legal batting position, the pitch is a ball bringing the count to four balls. All base runners who are forced to advance may do so safely while all other base runners (including the batter after reaching first base) may advance at their own risk.
h. A pitch is a ball, the batter is awarded first base and the ball is dead and runners may not advance if:
(1) while the batter is in a legal batting position, the batter or the batter’s clothing is touched by a pitched ball which is outside of the designated strike zone. All base runners advance one base if and only if they are forced to do so.
i. A pitch is a strike, the batter is out and the ball is live and runners may advance at their own risk if:
(1) after having accumulated two strikes, the pitch is a called third strike or the batter swings at and cleanly misses a pitch for the third strike. (A foul strike does not count as a third strike.) Note: (7th grade only) The catcher must cleanly catch the pitch or the runner may attempt to advance to 1st base if it is unoccupied. (All other grades) If the catcher drops the third strike the batter is out, but the ball is live and runners may advance at their own risk.
(2) after having accumulated two strikes, a batter hits a foul tip (a foul tip is defined as a foul ball that goes sharply and directly from the bat to the catchers glove) which is legally caught by the catcher.
(3) after having accumulated two strikes, a batter attempts a bunt which is foul.
3. Balls hit into the field of play (fair or foul)
a. The batter is out and the ball is dead and runners may not advance:
(1) if the batter swings at the ball but does not have both feet within the designated batter’s box at the time that contact is made with the ball. This applies to both fair and foul balls.
(2) if a batter attempts to hit a third strike and is touched by the ball.
(3) if a fair ball touches the batter before touching any defensive player or an umpire after exiting the batters box.
(4) if while running the last half of the distance from home base to first base, the batter-runner runs outside (i.e. to the right of) the three-foot line, or inside (i.e. to the left of) the foul line, and, in the umpire's judgment, in so doing interferes with a defensive player making the throw to first base.
(5) if after hitting or bunting a fair or foul ball, the batter intentionally deflects the course of the ball in any manner while running to first base.
Note: If the batter-runner drops the bat and the ball rolls against the bat in fair territory and, in the umpire's judgment there was no intention to interfere with course of the ball, the ball is alive and in play.
b. A batter is out, the ball is live and runners may advance at their own risk:
(1) if a fair or foul ball is legally caught by a defensive player before the ball contacts the surface of the playing field.
(2) if the infield fly rule is invoked by the Umpire.
When can infield fly be called…Less than 2 outs. It's purpose is to prevent a double play.
An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.
When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly” for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare “Infield Fly, if Fair.”
The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same as on any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul.
If a declared Infield Fly is allowed to fall untouched to the ground, and bounces foul before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball. If a declared Infield Fly falls untouched to the ground outside the baseline, and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an Infield Fly. Note: On the infield fly rule the umpire is to rule whether the ball could ordinarily have been handled by an infielder—not by some arbitrary limitation such as the grass, or the base lines. The umpire must rule also that a ball is an infield fly, even if handled by an outfielder, if, in the umpire’s judgment, the ball could have been as easily handled by an infielder.
(3) if after hitting a fair ball, either the batter or first base is tagged before the batter touches first base.
NOTE: A batter may legally run outside of the three-foot line or inside the foul line to avoid a running into an Umpire or a defensive player attempting to field the batted ball.
O. Base Running Rules.
1. General rules
a. Unless two are out, the status of a following runner is not affected by a preceding runner's failure to safely touch or retouch a base.
b. If the third out is caused by any means other than a force play, any runners touching home plate before the actual time at which the third out is achieved will be counted as runs scored.
c. If the third out is the result of a force play, no runners shall score.
d. If the third out is the result of an appeal, no runners following the runner who was out on appeal shall score.
e. If the third out is the result of an appeal, if such third out is the result of a force play, neither preceding nor following runners shall score.
f. Runners are permitted to run at their own risk on overthrows that remain in-bounds except in the case that the catcher over throws second or third base in an attempt to catch a runner who is stealing. In this case the runner is awarded the base safely, but the ball is called dead and the runner may not advance past the base being attempted.
g. Runners are permitted to run at their own risk on overthrows that remain in-bounds. This rule is effective after the conditions of rule O.1.g are met,
2. Advancing on fair or foul balls
a. Any base runner may at his own risk attempt to advance on any fair ball or foul ball caught for an out or, unless forced as described below, may opt to stay at the currently occupied base.
3. A base runner is out:
a. if while attempting to achieve first base, either the runner or first base is tagged before the runner touches first base.
b. if after touching first base, the runner fails to return, at once, to the base, the runner is out if either the runner or first base is tagged. If, for example, the runner starts toward the dugout, or toward a fielding position, and thereby fails to return to first base at once, the runner is out when either the runner or the base is tagged.
c. if, after safely reaching first base, the runner attempts to run to second base the runner is out when tagged.
d. if while attempting to achieve first, second, third or home or retreat to first, second or third the runner is not touching the base and a defensive player tags the runner with the ball while the ball is live and in play.
e. if the runner has been forced to advance to the second, third or home by reason of the batter becoming a runner and fails to reach the base before the base is touched by a defensive player who is in possession of the ball.
(1) except if any following runner is put out, the force is removed and the runner must be tagged to be put out.
(2) and the force is removed as soon as the runner touches the base to which that runner is forced to advance, and if the runner over-slides or over-runs the base, the runner must be tagged to be put out.
(3) and if the forced runner, after touching the next base, retreats for any reason towards the base last occupied, the force play is reinstated and the runner can again be put out if the defensive player tags the base to which the runner is forced.
NOTE: If the impact of a runner breaks a base loose from its position, no play can be made on that runner at that base if the runner had reached the base safely.
f. if while running or sliding for home base, the runner fails to touch home base and makes no attempt to return to the base, and a defensive player holds the ball in hand while touching home base, and the defensive player appeals to the umpire for a decision.
g. if a runner passes a preceding runner before the preceding runner is out
h. if two runners occupy the same base while the ball is alive, the following runner is out when either the runner or the base is tagged and the preceding runner is entitled to the base.
i. if the runner fails to retouch the base after a fair or foul fly is legally caught and the runner or the base is tagged by a defensive player. This is not an automatic call, the coach (and only the coach) of the defensive team must appeal to the head umpire after the completion of the play, but before the first pitch to next batter, or any other play or attempted play. Once the first pitch to next batter, or any other play or attempted play is made, the play will stand and can no longer be appealed.
4. Rules for Stealing and Leaving Base
a. Base sealing is allowed at any time.
b. Runners may not leave their base before the pitch crosses home plate.
c. On the first occurrence of a runner leaving the base before legally allowed to do so:
(1) If the ball is not hit:
(a) the Umpire will issue a warning to the coach.
(b) the runner will be required to return to the base.
(c) the ball is dead and other runners may not advance.
(2) If the ball is hit:
(a) the runner is permitted to continue.
(b) if a play is made on the runner and the runner is out, the out stands.
(c) if not put out, the runner or runners leaving early must return to the base occupied before the pitch was made if that base is unoccupied or to the next base if forced to do so.
d. On the second team violation:
(1) The runner will be declared an out.
(2) The pitch will be declared a “No Pitch”
(3) The ball is dead and other runners may not advance.
e. There is no leading off base once the pitcher has possession of the ball and is on the pitcher's plate..
f. Stealing of any base is permitted from the time the runner is legally allowed to leave the base until either the ball is returned to the pitcher's possession and he is on the pitcher's plate, or until time-out is called by the Umpire. If a runner between bases does not return to the starting base, the umpire can not call a time-out until the runner retouches the starting base, likewise, the action of the pitcher receiving the ball and retreating to the rubber does not remove the runner’s right to continue the steal attempt until the runner retouches the starting base. In other words, it is the defensive team’s collective responsibility to “look” runners back to their starting bases before continuing the game.
NOTE: If, in the umpire’s opinion, runners are using the tactic of not returning to their starting base when it is obvious that stealing a base is not the purpose for the runners not returning to their starting base (for example, to delay the game or “rattle“ a pitcher or other defensive player or players) the umpire may warn the offending player’s coach that on the next occurrence of such a tactic, the base runner or runners will be called out.
5. Rules for Sliding.
a. The “No Contact Rule” in effect for all games states that at all times, runners should attempt to avoid contact which could result in injuries. A base runner will never be called out for a violation of this rule if the runner attempts to make a traditional feet first slide into the base as this is generally the safest approach, but a runner will not automatically be called out for failing to slide if the runner is able to avoid substantial contact by a means other than a slide.
b. Intentional bulldozing, taking out or lowering of the shoulder by the runner is a violation of the “No Contact Rule” rule and will result in the runner being called out, the ball being called dead and all other runners will be made to retreat to the base occupied at the start of the play, or the next available base if forced to do so.
c. Players should be taught that sliding into a base is the preferred option and that a defensive player who is blocking the base and is doing so while not in clear possession of the ball is guilty of defensive interference. So by sliding. even if the runner doesn’t get to the base, he could be called safe due to the defensive interference call.
6. Rules for Automatically Awarding Bases to Runners for Various Reasons.
a. Each runner including the batter-runner, without liability to be put out, may:
(1) advance to home base scoring a run:
(a) if a batted fair ball goes out of the playing field in flight.
(b) if a batted fair ball which, in the umpire's judgment, would have gone out of the playing field in flight, is deflected by a natural or man-made object or by the act of a defensive player throwing a glove, cap, mask, etc.
(2) advance three bases:
(a) if a defensive player deliberately touches a batted fair ball with a cap, mask, glove or any part of the defensive player's uniform that is detached from its proper place on the person of the defensive player. The ball is in play and the batter may advance to home plate at the batter's peril. The ball is not dead!
(3) advance two bases:
(a) if a batted fair ball bounces or is deflected into the stands outside the first or third base foul line. The ball is dead.
(b) if a batted fair ball goes through or under a scoreboard, fence or shrubbery or vines on the fence. The ball is dead.
(c) if a batted fair ball sticks in a scoreboard, fence, shrubbery, etc. The ball is dead.
(d) if a thrown ball goes into the stands, into a bench, or into any other area designated by the Umpire as out-of-bounds. The ball is dead.
(e) if a thrown ball lodges in a field fence, screen above the backstop, or the meshes of wire screen protecting spectators. The ball is dead.
(4) advance one base:
(a) if a ball pitched to the batter goes into a stand or a bench, or over or through a field fence or backstop. The ball is dead.
(b) if the batter becomes a runner on ball four when the pitch passes the catcher and lodges in the umpires mask or paraphernalia, passes underneath or sticks in the backstop or otherwise leaves the field of play. The batter will be awarded first base only, no additional bases may be taken. All other runners on base who are forced to advance will do so but other runners (not forced) will be awarded an additional base only if , in the umpire’s opinion, the runner was attempting to steal a base at the time of the passed ball. The ball is dead. (Example: Runners on first and third, passed ball on ball four; batter goes to first and must stop there, runner on first advances to second and must stop there, runner on third stay on third unless, in the umpire’s judgment, the runner on third was attempting to steal home on the pitch in which case the runner is awarded home.)
(c) if a pitched ball goes past catcher and passes underneath or sticks in the backstop while a runner is attempting to steal a base, only that base is awarded.
SPECIAL NOTE: In all cases of awarding bases on throwing errors, the Umpire will use the most recent base achieved at the time the throw left the fielder’s hand as the basis (starting point) for awarding additional bases. Following are specific examples of the application of this rule:
Example #1 - With no runners on base, the batter hits ball to short, the shortstop throws the ball to first, releasing the ball before the runner touches first base, and the ball goes past the first baseman and out of bounds. Rule N.6.a.(3).(d) applies, since the batter had not yet reached first base, the batter is awarded second base because, the award is two bases from the last base safely held (e.g. home) at the time the ball was thrown.
Example #2 - With a runner on first base, the batter hits ball to the outfield, the cut-off throws the ball to third, but overthrows third base and the ball goes out of bounds. Rule N.6.a.(3).(d) applies, the runner on first who had passed second and was going to third at the time the cut-off man released the ball is awarded home and the award to the batter runner is third base if the batter/runner had safely reached first base before the cut-off man released the ball (even if the batter/runner overran first base and was returning to first making no attempt to head to second base) or second if the batter/runner had not yet safely reached first base before the cut-off man released the ball.
Example #3 - The runner on first base leaves first base in a legal attempt to steal second, but decides to retreat to first, the catcher throws to first in an attempt to pick-off the runner but the ball is deflected out of bounds by the first basemen. Rule N.6.a.(3).(d) applies, the runner is awarded third base, two bases from the last safely occupied base (first) at the time the throw was made.
P. Time-in, Time-out and Dead Ball Calls
1. Only the home plate umpire can call a time-out.
2. On a time-out, the ball becomes dead when an umpire calls a time-out, runners must retreat to the last base achieved and may do so without the possibility of being tagged out.
3. Any player or manager may request the home plate umpire call a time-out, which request may not be unreasonably refused.
4. Certain time-outs are automatic and need not be requested or called.
a. If a foul ball is not caught, time is out, the ball is dead, all base runners must return to their original base and are allowed to do so without liability of being put out. The umpire shall not put the ball in play until all runners have retouched their original bases.
b. When an accident incapacitates a player, coach or umpire time is automatically out, the ball is immediately dead and play is suspended to allow attending to the injured individual. In the interest of safety, play must be stopped immediately.
(1) Once the emergency has been dealt with, the umpire, if available, may reestablish base runner’ positions and other attributes of the game using his best judgment as to the probable outcome of the play.
(2) If an accident to a runner is such as to prevent the runner from proceeding to an entitled base, a substitute runner shall be permitted to enter the game.
5. After a time out or when the ball is dead, play shall be resumed when the pitcher takes position on the pitcher's plate with a new ball or same ball in said pitcher's possession and the plate umpire calls "play" or otherwise signals the game to resume. The plate umpire shall call time in as soon as the pitcher takes position on the pitcher's plate in possession of the ball.
Q. Interference Calls
1. General concept for offensive/defensive interference
a. Specific interference rules listed below are specific applications or exceptions to the following general rules which establish precedence in who has the right of way:
(1) A runner may not intentionally or unintentionally interfere with a defensive player attempting to field a batted ball.
(2) A runner may not intentionally interfere with a defensive player attempting to make a throw or field a thrown ball.
(3) A defensive player may not intentionally or unintentionally interfere with a runner legally in the base path attempting to proceed to the next base unless that player is in clear possession of the ball and attempting to make a play on the runner. In other words, a defensive player may not occupy the base path while waiting for or attempting to field a thrown ball.
2. Offensive Interference should be called:
a. when a pitched or thrown ball touches a coach or an umpire in fair or foul territory, the ball is alive and in play. If, however, a base coach intentionally interferes with a thrown ball, the runner is out and the ball is dead and all other base runners must return to the last base achieved before the interference.
b. when a ball is batted in fair territory and touches a runner before it touches any defensive player, or before it has passed by or through an infielder other than the pitcher, the runner is out, the ball is dead and all other base runners must return to the last base achieved before the interference.
NOTE: If a fair ball goes through, or by an infielder and touches a runner immediately back of said infielder, or touches a runner after being deflected by an infielder, the ball is in play and the umpire shall not declare the runner out. In making such decision, the umpire must be convinced that all three of the following were true: a) the infielder was not interfered with by the runner; b) that the infielder had, or should have had a legitimate opportunity to make a play on the ball; c) and that no other infielder would have had an opportunity to make a play on the ball had it not been deflected by the runner.
c. when a runner, in the umpire's judgment, intentionally interferes with a defensive player who is attempting to catch a thrown ball or to throw a ball in an attempt to complete a play the runner is out, the ball is dead and all other base runners must return to the last base achieved before the interference.
3. Defensive Interference should be called:
a. when a defensive player who is not attempting to field a batted ball, or who is not in clear possession of the ball blocks the runner’s access to home plate or any other base or otherwise impedes the progress of a runner. A violation of this rule by a defensive player is considered interference and the runner will be awarded the base, the ball is dead and all other base runners will be awarded one base from the last base achieved before the interference.
4. Official Interference should be called:
a. when the plate umpire interferes with the catcher's throw attempting to prevent a stolen base and the runner(s) arrive safely, all base runners must return to their original base and are allowed to do so without liability of being put out. If, however, catcher's throw gets the runner out, there is no umpire interference, the out stands and other runners advancing on the play retain their new positions.
b. when a ball is batted in fair territory and touches an umpire while in fair territory before it touches any other defensive player and before it has passed an infielder other than the pitcher, all runners must return to their original base and are allowed to do so without liability of being put out. The pitch is declared “NO PITCH” and the count on the batter reverts to the count before the pitch.
1. Each team may have a first and third base coach on the field during their at bat. No other coaches are allowed on the field at any time during the game. Defensive coaches are not allowed!
2. A coach may call a time-out and enter the field of play in the case of an injury to a player.
3. A coach may also call a time-out and enter the field of play one (1) time per inning to visit the pitcher. The coach must go directly to the pitching mound and return within a reasonable time directly to the bench area. A second time-out and visit to the mound will require that the pitcher be replaced.
1. Safety Equipment:
a. All batters, on deck batters, base runners and player/coaches must wear an association approved protective batting helmet at all times.
b. All players in the catcher’s position during games or practice must wear association approved catchers gear including at a minimum, a face mask, throat protector, chest protector and shin pads.
c. All players catching to warm up a pitcher during a game or practice must wear association approved catchers gear including at a minimum, a face mask and throat protector.
d. All players must wear athletic cups at all times.
a. Uniform shirts must be worn tucked in to trousers.
b. No jewelry (except for medic-alert bracelets), watches, scarves or other non-essential items or adornments may be worn.
c. No patches, buttons or other adornments may be affixed to any part of the uniform unless specifically approved by the EPBA.
d. No item may be worn by a pitcher which, in the opinion of the umpire, could be distracting to a batter. If a batter complains to the umpire about a distracting item, the umpire will require that the item be removed.
e. Failure to comply with the uniform requirements will result in an initial warning and continued failure to comply will require the player’s removal from the game.
3. No steel cleats (spikes) will be allowed in games or practices.
4. Bat restrictions are as follows:
Maximum diameter 2 ¼” or less with unlimited weight differential with BPF rating of 1.15 or approved by USSSA or Babe Ruth with 1.15 BPF rating grade with the exception of Big Barrel bats those with a diameter greater than 2 ¼”. Big Barrel bats must have a minus 10 weight differential.
Wood bats are allowed for play, but must meet the barrel restrictions above with the exception of the BPF rating.
1. PROTESTS ARE NOT ALLOWED. Any disagreement regarding interpretations of the rules and regulations shall be discussed between both managers and the umpire. The umpire shall listen to the presented arguments and render a final, binding decision.
2. THERE ARE NO CHALLENGES OF CALLED STRIKES OR BALLS OR CALLS ON THE BASES. Any manager or coach disputing such a judgment call will receive a warning from the umpire for the first offense. A second offense will result in ejection from the game and notification to the Commissioner. If any manager or coach is ejected from two games the manager/coach will removed from any managerial and/or coaching position for the remainder of the season.
3. At no time, either before, during or after the game, will any coach engage an Umpire in any discussion regarding the rules, play of the game or the performance of umpire without the presence of the coach of the opposing team.
U. Rules Regarding Other Situations.
1. Pre-game discussions should be held between the two coaches and the umpire to define ground rules and other appropriate items.
2. The manager may enter the field of play during the game only to the pitcher's mound. For each pitcher, the manager may make one visit without being required to the remove the pitcher. The second visit will result in removal of this pitcher.
3. No throwing of bats, balls, helmets, gloves or other equipment in anger or in protest on or off the field of play! Violation requires an immediate expulsion from the game.
4. Coaches, assistants, players and spectators should be on their best behavior. No arguments or unsportsmanlike conduct or behavior will be tolerated.
5. Coaches are responsible for the behavior of their players and should take appropriate action.
6. Coaches should also take immediate action if any inappropriate spectator behavior is exhibited toward the players, coaches or umpire.
7. While the primary responsibility of dealing with players, assistant coaches and spectators belongs to the coaches, an Umpire may, for any exhibition of unsafe or unsportsmanlike conduct, at any time and without any warning, discussion or protest, eject a coach, assistant coach, player or spectator from a game and/or request that the ejected individual leave the area. Additionally, an Umpire may at any time request that coaches warn players and/or spectators about any unsafe or unsportsmanlike conduct.