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Minors Baseball Rules

General

  • If lightning, game must be delayed for 30 minutes with all taking cover in their vehicles.  After 30 minutes, umpires and coaches decide if the game resumes.
  • Catchers are required to wear a protective cup.  It is recommended that all players wear a protective cup.
  • A player warming up a pitcher between innings must wear a catcher’s helmet and mask.
  • Shirts of all players should be tucked in.
  • Players are not allowed to wear jewelry.
  • Only team coaches and players are allowed in the dugout.
  • No player, coach or fan shall speak disrespectfully or with foul language toward another player, coach, fan or umpire.  Doing so may result in disciplinary action by the umpire and/or SPYBAS.

 

Batting

  • All players on the roster must bat.
  • Batting lineup rollover required.  Coaches are required to roll over lineups game to game.  For example, if the 5th batter in the lineup is the last batter to bat in the current game, the 6th batter in the current game becomes the lead-off batter in the next game (with the 7th batter from the current game then hitting 2nd in the next game, etc.).
  • On deck batters are not allowed.
  • Bats must have “USABASEBALL” stamp.  2 5/8” barrel max.  Wood bats are allowed.
  • Once the team has batted through the order, the team’s inning is over.  If one team has more players than the other, the team with fewer players may bat the same number of players that are on the larger team when batting through the order.
  • No bunting.  Any attempt at bunting will be considered a strike and will be a strikeout when bunting with 2 strikes.  No slash bunting.
  • No advancement to 1st base by the batter following a dropped 3rd strike.
  • After 4 balls, a coach overhand pitches to batter from the pitcher’s mound.  Coach throws the remaining strikes on the batter’s count at the time of ball 4.  Umpires are to call strikes on the batter if the coach throws a strike and batter doesn’t swing.  Hit by pitches with a coach pitching are considered a ball.  If the coach is hit by a batted ball, the ball is still considered live.
  • If a batter is hit by a pitch, the batter will have the choice to either take his/her base or have a coach pitch to him/her.  If batter chooses to hit, he/she is no longer entitled to 1st base and must reach via a batted ball.

 

Base running

  • Base runners must slide at all times when a play is being made on the runner or the potential exists for such a play.  If a player doesn’t slide, the umpire may call the runner out without warning.  Excessive contact with no slide may result in runner being called out and ejection from game.
  • Base runners may only leave the base after the ball crosses home, and must return to the base before the next pitch.  If the base runner leaves early, they will be warned and required to return to the base.  If the player leaves early a 2nd time in the same inning, they will be called out.  If the runner leaves early and the batter hits the ball, the play will stand and at the conclusion of the play, the runner should be warned or called out if 2nd infraction.
  • We use a double “safety” base for 1st base.  Batters use the orange “safety” base when there is a potential play at 1st base.  If the ball is hit beyond the infield, the runner may round first base using either base.  The orange base is considered foul territory.
  • Base runners may not slide head first unless they are diving back to base already touched.
  • A courtesy runner shall be used for the catcher (at any time).  Courtesy runner will be the player that made the last out.

Base stealing

  • Base Stealing is not permitted until communicated to the coaches by the minors director (advancing on a passed ball in not considered stealing).  Once stealing is allowed, players may only steal 2nd and 3rd base, never home. 
  • When a team is winning by 5+ runs, they may not steal again until the lead is less than 5 runs.  Runners may continue to advance on passed balls until the lead is 10+ runs.  Once a team has a lead of 10+ runs, the only way a player may advance is on a hit ball or hit by pitch.  Players may again advance on passed balls if the lead falls below 10 runs.
    • Stolen base:  Any time the base runner takes the next base on a pitch and the ball is not put in play and the catcher catches the ball cleanly.
    • Advancing on passed ball:  Anytime a base runner takes the next base because the pitched ball gets away from the catcher or was not caught cleanly. 
  • Delayed steals are not allowed.
  • Stealing / advancing on passed balls is not permitted when a coach is pitching.
  • Home plate is closed to passed balls, wild pitches, stealing, overthrows during a stolen base, etc.  The only way a base runner can score is on a play that began with a batted ball or by a bases loaded hit by pitch.

Defense

  • Mandatory play:  All rostered players present at the start of the game must play a minimum of 6 defensive outs in the first 4 innings and 9 outs if 5 or 6 innings are played.
  • No player may play the same defensive position in a game for more than 2 innings.  Each outfield position is considered unique.
  • Free defensive substitution is allowed.
  • 10 defensive players (10th player must play in outfield) may play with a minimum of 8 players to start and avoid forfeit.  If players show up late, they may be inserted into the lineup as the coach sees fit.  If multiple players are absent, replacement players may be added to team to get to 9 players.  Once a team has 9 players no more replacement players are allowed.  Replacement players will bat last in the lineup and should play only in the outfield.
  • There is no infield fly rule.

 

Pitching

  • A player may pitch 2 innings/game.  4 innings max per week, Mon- Sun, in May; increases to 5 in June, 6 in July.  1 pitch in an inning equals one inning.  A pitcher can’t pitch 2 innings on consecutive days during the regular season. 
  • Players in 3rd grade must pitch at least 2 innings (6 outs) in each game, prior to the 5th inning.  One or more same grade player exclusively pitching an entire inning in which 3 outs are not made, but the inning ends due to the offensive team batting around, would also constitute 1 inning.
  • If a team is scheduled for 2 games in 1 day, a pitcher may not pitch more than 3 innings that day (still 2 inning/game max).
  • A pitcher once removed from the mound may not pitch again in that same game.
  • A pitcher shall not wear any items on his/her hands, wrists, or arms that may distract the batter.  White long sleeve undershirts are not permitted for pitchers.
  • When a coach pitches, the pitcher must stand even with the rubber on the edge of the mound.  They must be positioned on the 1st base side for right-handed batters and the 3rd base side for left-handed batters.
  • A pitcher may take 5 warm up pitches or less per inning.
  • Coach may visit the pitcher 2 times/inning.  A 3rd trip will require a pitching change.  Keep mound visits quick.

 

Game Length

  • A regulation game is 6 innings.  If game is called by the umpire, it is a regulation game if 4 innings have been completed.
  • No new inning will begin after 75 minutes.  Home plate umpire is the official time keeper.
  • A new inning starts immediately after the 3rd out of the previous inning.
  • Tied games at established time limits shall result in a tie.
  • If after 4+ innings one team has a lead of 10+ runs, the game is final with that score.

 

Team Responsibilities

  • These will be joint responsibilities between the two teams.
    • Coaches for the 1st game of the day will be responsible for putting out the bases.
    • Coaches for the last game of the day will be responsible for putting bases back in the shed, locking the shed and putting the plugs in the base posts.
  • Head coaches from each team will be responsible for reporting final scores to the league.  Email scores to spyouthbbsbscores@gmail.com.
  • Offensive team will have a 1st base and 3rd base coach.  Defensive team coaches shall remain in or near the dugout.

Umpires

  • Umpires are to be treated with respect at all times.  Failure to comply with this rule can result in ejection from the game and possible dismissal from coaching at the discretion of SPYBAS.
  • Any umpire’s decision which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out, is final.  No coach or player shall object to any such judgment decision.  Coaches are required to stay in their dugouts or at their base on judgment calls.
  • If there is a reasonable doubt that any umpire’s decision may conflict with the rules, the coach may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made.  Such an appeal shall be made only to the umpire who made the protested decision.
  • Procedure for making an appeal:
    • The coach shall ask for a “time out”.  Coaches from both teams shall then approach the umpire calmly.  Discussion of appeal shall only start when both coaches are present with the umpire.
    • Coaches must not intimidate the umpire in any manner (e.g., shouting, finger pointing, invading personal space).
    • If the umpire chooses, he/she can consult with the other umpire prior to making a decision.
    • When the umpire makes a final decision, coaches must live with that decision and make no further protests about the call.

 

End of Season Tournament

  • All rules remain the same except:
    • Coaches may reset their batting order for each game in the tournament.
    • The only way an inning comes to an end is by the defensive team getting 3 outs.
    • Pitchers may pitch 2 innings on consecutive days, subject to coach and parent judgment.
    • No replacement players will be allowed. 
    • Time limits may be extended upon direction from the League Director.