Games are five innings and/or a new inning shall not start after 7:30pm.
All players should take the field (max 9). All teams are required to field a catcher except in cases where the team has 5 or fewer players in attendance. A parent or coach will assume catching duties in this case, but may not participate in any fielding plays.
Coaches should rotate player positions on a GAME-TO-GAME basis to try everyone at all positions during the season. It is not recommended that players rotate positions on an INNING-TO-INNING basis at this level.
Pitching will be “Coach Pitch” throughout most of the season. Coaches should pitch to the batters using an overhand throwing motion to allow the batter to become accustomed to the flight of a baseball from a pitcher. Coaches may want to pitch the baseball from their knees so that they are at a similar height with the batter. Coaches should use some discretion, pitching underhand to newer batters.
Each player receives a MAXIMUM of five (5) pitches. There are no extra pitches allowed for “bad” pitches. If, after the 5 pitches, the batter has not hit the ball then the coach can throw up to 2 (two) additional pitches OR the coach may allow the batter the option of hitting a ball off of the tee (one swing). If the coach has elected to throw the additional pitches to the batter, the tee cannot then be used.
Batters will always be allowed one (1) additional pitch after they have fouled off a pitch at or beyond the five pitch rule. This will continue until a pitch is missed, not swung at, or hit fair.
Players will want to start developing their pitching skills at this level and a guideline should be followed. “Coach Pitch” should be played for the first half of the season while the players develop pitching skills during practice. Players will pitch to their own team with the goal of throwing strikes that are easy to hit. As before, the five pitch rule still applies. A player cannot pitch more than 2 innings during a game. Coach pitch can resume at any time during the game (even in the middle of an at-bat) if the pitchers do not wish to continue or if the game is not progressing due to poor pitching.
All players are in a batting order and bat in that order throughout the entire game regardless if they sat out an inning or were not in the field.
Innings will end after 3 outs OR five runs. The team at bat will have two base coaches who act as umpires.
No leadoffs, stealing or bunting. Runners must return to base if caught leaving early. If the batter hits the ball fair and a runner has left early, all base runners must return to their bases and the batter must bat again. The fair-hit ball will count against the 5 pitch rule.
Runners can only advance on a fair hit ball and may advance one additional base on an overthrow whether the ball is in play or not. An example of this would be a play to second base, where the ball ends up in the outfield after being thrown from another infield position. Even if an outfielder fields the overthrow and throws it in, the play is considered dead from the point of the overthrow. Errors are not considered overthrows. If a thrown ball touches a fielder it is still in play. If a thrown ball was clearly “field-able” and was missed, the ball is still in play.
On a throw in from the outfield, the ball will be declared dead once an infielder has obtained possession of the ball and has made a play which deems the play to stop. This would include:
Throwing the runner out (double plays are permitted)
An overthrow (all base runners advance one base)
Returning the ball to the pitcher
If a runner is in motion when the ball is returned to the pitcher, the runner may advance to the next base if the runner is halfway to that base. Runners that attempt to advance during an action that stops the play will be required to return to his or her base.