SPYBAS Majors Baseball Rules
- This league generally follows Little League Official Regulations & Playing Rules. Refer to the official publication for the complete set of regulations and rules (aka, “The Little Green Book”). This document emphasizes the main points of the official publication and describes our local league interpretations.
- If lightning, game must be delayed 30 minutes with all taking cover. After 30 minutes, umpires and coaches decide if game resumes.
- On-deck batters are not allowed at the Complex.
- Catchers are required to wear a protective cup. It is highly recommended that every player wears a protective cup.
- Coaches may warm up the pitcher between innings. A player warming up the pitcher must wear the catcher's helmet and mask.
- Runners must slide at all times when a play is being made on the runner or the potential exists for such a play. The umpire may call the offending runner out without warning. Excessive contact with no slide may result in “out” and immediate ejection.
- Player may not slide "head first" unless they are diving back to a base already touched. The Umpire will warn both teams on the first occurrence of a “head first” slide. Each subsequent “head first” slide will result in that player being called out.
- 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 batter may round 1st base using the "white" base. If the runner gets confused and touches the "safety" base, he/she will not be called “out” for missing the base. The orange base is considered foul territory. The runner is not out of the defensive player touches the orange base in place of the white base.
- The League: Majors Baseball is an extension to accommodate league participants in grades 5 and 6.
- Mandatory Play, 3 Inning Max at Any Defensive Position in a Game and Batting Lineup Rollover Required in regular season.
- 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. All rostered players will bat no matter if they played, or did not play a defensive position in the field. There are no exceptions unless the game is shortened by weather or nightfall.
- 3 Inning Max at Any Defensive Position in a Game: To give kids opportunities to play and develop at multiple positions and to align closely with inning rules for Pitching (see below), no player may play the same defensive position in a game (other than Pitcher) for more than 3 innings. Each outfield position is considered unique. 2021 Exception - One player may play catcher the entire game if desired to allow for less shared use of equipment.
- Batting Lineup Rollover Required: To give kids about the same number of at-bats in the regular season to help all develop, 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.). Exception: Coaches may reset their batting order for the end of season tournament.
- Replacement Players: If a team is below the allowed number in the field (less than 9), that team may have a player or players from another team in the same league fill in and play, to get the team to the minimum. Any replacement players needed are only allowed to play in the outfield and must bat last, and those players should just wear his/her own league jersey so everyone knows the players are from another team and are just filling in (so it's known that player can only play outfield and bat last). Replacement players not allowed in the end of season tournament. If a team should need a player and gets one, and then one of its own missing players surprisingly shows up, the player "borrowed from another team" would then not be needed and would not play.
- Players may pitch 2 innings per game; 5 innings max per week. One pitch in an inning equals an inning pitched. There is no limit to the number of pitchers used in a single game. Cannot pitch 2 innings on consecutive days in regular season play, but may do so in the end of season tournament (arm readiness subject to coach and parent judgment).
- A pitcher once removed from the mound may not pitch again in that same game (i.e., a pitcher cannot pitch an inning, play elsewhere, then come back in and pitch later in the game).
- More than 1 game/day won’t be regularly scheduled. If in June/July, a team gets rescheduled with 2 games in one day, a player may not pitch more than 3 innings total in a day (i.e., can pitch 2 innings in 1st game, 1 inning in 2nd game).
- Players younger than age 12 must pitch at least 2 innings (6 outs) total in each game, prior to the 5th inning of each game. One or more same-age players exclusively pitching an entire inning where 3 defensive outs are not made, and the inning instead ends due to the offensive team batting around to the number of the larger roster of the 2 teams playing, would also constitute 1 inning pitched.
- Rained-out games not made up unless 2/3 of originally scheduled games are in jeopardy of not being played.
Official Playing Rules
- For the 2021 season, SPYBAS has decided to use the following guidelines for our baseball leagues:
- Shirts of all players must be tucked in.
- All bats must have the USA Baseball stamp to be eligible for use in league play.
- 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.
- Players not allowed to wear jewelry at any time, with “jewelry” including the soft “Lance Armstrong” bands and soft necklaces.
- A cast may not be worn during the game. Persons wearing casts, including coaches, must remain in the dugout.
- Home team for the first game is responsible for putting out the bases. Both teams in the last game of the day are collectively responsible for storing the bases, covering the field & mound, locking storage and returning scoreboard controls. Each team will clean their dugout and spectator areas after the game. Head coaches from both teams must report the score after each game. Conflicting scores will be resolved by SPYBAS.
- Free substitution is allowed.
- Only team coaches and bench players are allowed in the bench area.
Starting/Ending the Game, Ends to Innings
- All players on the roster must bat. A player that leaves the game must be reported to the umpire and opposing coach.
- The offensive team shall station 2 base coaches on the field during its time at-bat, one near first base and one near third base. The defensive team’s coaches shall remain in the dugout or adjacent to the dugout door at all times.
- No manager, coach, or player, shall use language which will in any manner refer to or reflect upon opposing players, manager, coach, an umpire, or spectators. Doing so may result in disciplinary action by the umpire and/or SPYBAS.
- 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 starts and hard stops (if hard stops are applicable) to end of games will be communicated before season. Times may change as the season moves along to reflect later sunsets.
- A new inning begins immediately after the third out of the prior inning.
- Home umpire shall be the official timekeeper.
- 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.
- 9 defensive players may play with minimum of 7 players to start and avoid forfeit. Players may be added to team and batting order if they arrive late. Coaches must place these players at end of batting order and report these new players to the opposing team and umpire.
- The inning ends on the third out or when the play that scores the 5th run occurs. This play can score more than 5 runs (example, Home Run with the bases loaded and four runs already scored would total 8 runs for that half inning).
- Dropped 3rd strike by catcher is a live ball and the defense is required to “secure the out” when 1st base is unoccupied with less than 2 outs and when 1st base is occupied with 2 outs. Failure by the defense to successfully secure the out results in the batter being safe at 1st base and no out will be recorded. Base runners may advance at their own risk.
- No infield fly rule is applied.
- To speed up games, use a courtesy runner for a catcher on base. Courtesy runner is player that made the last out. Base stealing is allowed for all games. Runners on 3rd base not permitted to steal home after catcher throws ball back to pitcher. No limits on stealing, but good judgment and etiquette is expected.
- Lead offs from all bases are allowed and baserunners may attempt to steal at their own risk
- Advancing/No Advancing: Once pitcher controls the ball (does not need to be on the mound/rubber) and runners are not already actively advancing to next base, the play is dead – no more advancing is allowed. Defense should ask for time-out to end the play. Asking for time-out does not mean umpire must grant it; if umpire deems play is still live (runners still potentially advancing), ball is still live. Umpires have also been encouraged to call “Time!” to communicate the play is dead, but responsibility for calling time-out rests first and foremost with the defense. Particular situations where this rule may be encountered (this is not the entire universe of examples where a ruling on advancing an extra base may be needed, merely the anticipated most common examples); umpire judgment will still apply:
- Runner on 3rd base: Pitch thrown, catcher catches and remains in catcher/batter box area. On throw back to pitcher, runner on 3rd base steals home. Ruling: Allowed to steal in this case, runner assumed to be actively advancing to home (would not have retreated to 3rd base in any meaningful way) on the throw back to pitcher.
- Batter proceeds to go to 2nd base after walk or hit when pitcher has the ball: Batter goes to 1st base after a walk or a hit, proceeds to go to 2nd base even though pitcher has the ball (this usually happens when there is also a runner on third base at the time of the walk). Ruling: Runner must go back to 1st base if pitcher has the ball; if pitcher does not have the ball when runner gets to 1st base, runner may attempt to advance to 2nd base at runner’s risk.
- Pitchers must be removed if 2 batters are hit by pitches in same inning. They cannot return to pitch in the same game. Intentional walks are not permitted.
- Pace of play; pitcher may take 4 warm-up pitches or less per inning. New pitchers get 6 warm up pitches.
- Visits to the pitcher; foul line only. Only pitcher and catcher can visit with the coach. 2 visits are permitted per inning and only one visit per batter. A 2nd visit during a single at-bat or a 3rd visit in an inning and the pitcher must be replaced.
- 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 player, manager, coach, or substitute shall object to any such judgment decisions. 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 manager 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 manager shall ask for a “time-out” with the umpire. Managers from both teams shall then approach the umpire calmly. Discussion of appeal shall only start when both managers are present with the umpire.
- Managers must not intimidate the umpire in any manner (e.g., shouting, finger pointing, invading personal space).
- When the umpire makes a final decision, managers must live with that decision and make no further protests about the call.
- If decision is appealed, umpire making the decision may ask another umpire for information before making the final decision.
- 2 umpires will be scheduled for all games. If only one umpire shows up, that umpire shall have complete jurisdiction in administering the rules. This umpire may take any position on the playing field, including behind the pitcher, to discharge all duties.