1. Official Game – a minimum of eight (8) players will be required to start and continue a game. If one team has less than eight players, they must forfeit the game; or attempt a reschedule if their opposing team is willing, and fields are available. Each team will have ten (10) minutes after the scheduled start time of a game, to see if they can get the minimum of eight players to start the game.
GAME TIME LIMITS
6 innings with 1 hour 45 mins drop-dead limit.
NO new innings to begin after 1 hour 30 mins.
2. Length of Game– a game will consist of six (6) innings with a 1-hour and 45-minute drop dead time limit. If the home team is ahead entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the game is complete. No inning may start after one (1) hour and Thirty (30) minutes from the time the game began, nor fifteen (15) minutes before the start of a following game, unless a delay is encountered due to weather. Extra innings in case of a tie will be allowed as long as the time limit rule is not exceeded. The official starting time shall be the originally scheduled start time or 15 minutes after the end of the preceding game, whichever is later. Games rained out prior to four (4) complete innings or three and one half (3 1/2) innings if the home team is ahead, will be rescheduled as a new game.
3. Baseballs – each team is to provide at least one new game ball per game.
4. Baselines – no player may be positioned on a baseline. Defensive infield players shall not stay on a base nor stand in the path of runners. Defensive infield players shall play in front of or behind the base so as not to cause a collision between offensive and defensive players.
5. Baseline Collisions – all base runners must attempt to avoid a collision with defensive players. If a defensive player is standing in the baseline, the offensive player must go around. Base runners may not intentionally collide with defensive players, when taking a base. Runners must avoid contact and slide into a base to do so. Base runners that intentionally collide with a defensive player will be called out.
6. Throwing the Bat – any batter who throws the bat will be issued one warning from the plate umpire. If the same batter throws the bat a second time, he shall be called out for the second and each additional occurrence of throwing the bat.
7. Closed Bases – runners cannot leave the base until the batter has hit the ball. Any runner leaving the base before the ball is hit will be called “out” by the umpire having authority over the particular base. No stealing, no advancing on a passed ball or on a ball returned to the “pitcher/coach”.
8. Ball Hitting Pitcher/Coach – if a ball comes into contact with the pitcher/coach, the ball is dead, and replayed. All runners will return to their bases. A pitcher/coach is responsible for getting out of the defensive players way, after the making of his pitch.
9. Base Coaches – each team should have a base coach at first and third base. The coaches shall not physically touch the base runners (push or direct to the next base) while the ball is in play. Base coaches should not allow runners to advance after play is complete.
10. Continuous Batting Order – a continuous batting order will be used and all players attending a game must take their regular turn at bat during the game. The batting order will remain fixed during the game with defensive fielding assignments having no effect on the batting order. Late arrivals will enter the batting order at the bottom of the lineup card. Should a player leave the game (e.g., due to injury), all players below that player in the batting order will move up one slot and maintain their same batting order. If the player who left the game returns and is re-inserted into the game, he/she must enter in the same batting position as he/she originally occupied, with the players below him/her in the batting order moving down one slot into their original positions in the batting order. If a batter leaves the game due to injury, the next batter in the lineup starts with a 0-0 count. No player may change positions in the batting order during a game. Any player who bats out of turn (receives one pitch) is automatically out and all base runners must return to the bases they occupied before the offending batter came to the plate, provided a defensive coach or player calls time out and appeals the player batting out of turn prior to the next batter receiving one pitch. Without such appeal, the result of the out of turn at bat stands.
11. Defense – the defensive alignment will include 10 players, 6 in the infield (pitcher, catcher, third base, shortstop, second base and first base), and 4 in the outfield (left field, left center field, right center field, right field). Each team is to make defensive substitutions and changes each inning. The other team does not need to be notified of these changes.
12. Protests – no protests will be allowed. Questions regarding rule interpretations and calls should be discussed between innings and settled on the spot.
13. Catchers – catchers will occupy the usual catching position, wearing full gear (mask and helmet, chest protector, and shin guards, cup). It is strongly suggested that you teach your catcher proper techniques: set up behind the plate, crouching on both feet, provide a target, bare hand behind the back.
14. Pitchers – the pitcher should stand within the white circle near the pitching rubber or adjacent to the coach/pitcher inside the circle. Pitcher may leave the white circle, to make a play on a hit ball. The pitcher should be placed near the back of the circle when a stronger hitter is at the plate.
15. Infielders – infielders should play in the standard positions for their infield spot. No infielder may stand directly in the baseline. Teach your infielders to stand in front of or behind the baseline. All infielders should be taught to not block the base runner’s path, either at the base, or in the baseline, when not in the action of receiving the ball. Intentionally interfering with a base runner, will result in the umpire awarding the runner the base.
15a. INFIELD Playing Time – Each player must play in the infield within the first 3 innings.
16. Outfielders (Rookie A)– outfielders should be positioned 4 across in the outfield, evenly spaced - Left, Left Center, Right Center, Right.
17. Outfielders (Rookie B) – outfielders should be positioned 4 across in the outfield, evenly spaced - Left, Left Center, Right Center, Right. No outfielder may throw to first base on a ground ball in an attempt to retire the hitter. Throws should go to the cutoff man, or to defenders occupying other bases. An outfielder MAY throw to first base, after catching a fly ball, in an effort to double up a runner who left first base without tagging up. This is the ONLY exception.
18. Minimum Playing Time – if a team has 12 or more players in attendance at a game, all players are required to “sit out” a minimum of one inning (i.e., no player can be in the field every inning) and all players shall be in the field at least four (4) innings during the game, as well as take his or her regular turn at bat.
19. Maximum Defensive Time – no player shall occupy a defensive position for more than two (2) innings per game and no player shall “sit out” for two (2) consecutive innings. In addition, all players shall occupy both infield and outfield positions in each game.
20. No Walks
21. Bunting – (Allowed during Machine Pitch)
22. No Infield Fly Rule
23. 5-Run Rule – a team’s at-bat will end at the earlier of three (3) defensive putouts or five (5) offensive runs scored. In the sixth inning, the run limit becomes 10 for both teams. If the home team is leading, entering the bottom of the sixth inning, they will bat, only if the visiting team wants them to.
24. Additional Field Coaches – one (1) fielding/defensive coach can stand in outfield to help keep players focused. Coach cannot touch his players and shall not interfere with any live ball. If a live ball comes in contact with the fielding coach, the ball is considered dead. The batter will be given second base.
25. Umpire – The league will arrange to have (1) umpire present for all scheduled games. An umpire will be rescheduled for games that are cancelled due to weather.
26. Coach Pitch – a coach will pitch to his own team. Blue Flame pitching machine. pitching machine could also be used in some games. For Rookie A league the pitcher will pitch from 40 to 46 feet. For Rookie B League the pitcher will pitch from 35 to 46 feet. Each batter will be allowed 8 pitches, or 3 swinging strikes (there are no called strikes), whichever comes first. If the batter does not swing at the 8th pitch, he is out no exceptions. If the batter fouls off his third strike, or his 8th pitch, he gets another pitch. The umpire behind the plate is responsible for keeping track of the pitch count.
27. Minimum Playing Time – if a team has 12 players at a game, each player is required to sit out one inning. If a team has 13 players (or more) at a game, then some players will need to sit out 2 innings. No player should ever sit out more than 2 innings. Note: Do not penalize players who come to practice, show up on time, have good attitudes and work hard, by making them sit out more than others just because they are weak players.
28. Defense – all players must play a minimum of 2 innings at any of the five (5) primary infield positions (P, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B). All players must play a minimum of 1 inning at any of the four outfield positions. No player may play more than 2 innings at any one position, over the course of the game, regardless of whether those innings are consecutive or separated.
29. Lineups – Coaches will exchange lineup cards prior to the start of every game (which should include positions to be played each inning).
30. Overthrows (Rookie B League ONLY) – When the ball is in the fence line, Maximum of 1 base advance on an overthrow.
31. Base Running (Rookie B league ONLY) – On Balls hit to the outfield, runners can move up bases until the ball is in possession of an infielder that is in the infield dirt (baseline area and in). Has to be an infielder in possession of the ball.
32. Cal Ripken 8U Tournaments – Blue Flame pitching machine. is set at 46 feet. Front legs against the front of the 46 feet rubber. The speed will be set to 43 mph and that is based on when the ball crosses home plate.
33. Replacement Players – if a player moves from the area or is injured, he/she may be replaced. The Commissioner's decision to choose replacement players is final. An injured player, upon recovery, may rejoin the team provided that the total number of players does not exceed the player limit. There will be no outs issued for a sick or injured player. Adding substitute players will not be allowed under any circumstances.
34. CALL Up List – Create a list of the top ranked Rookie B players from evaluations for playing in Rookie A games when teams have less than 10 players.
End-of-Season Tournament – following the completion of the Spring or Fall seasons, there may be a league tournament in which all teams will compete.
Rookie Playoff Rules:
1. Championship Game
a. No new inning after 1 hour and 45 minutes.
b. No Drop-dead time.
2. Non-Championship Game
a. No new inning after 1 Hour and 30 minutes.
b. No drop-dead time.
3. Playoff Game Tie breaker after time is up and inning is completed.
a. Each team shall begin their offensive half of the inning with the bases loaded and one out. The last hitter from the team’s prior offensive inning shall go to 1st base, the hitter before him shall go to 2nd base, and the hitter before him shall go to 3rd base.
b. This rule shall be used for each inning from this point forward until a winning team can be declared.
c. Teams may NOT use a courtesy runner when the game is being contested under tie-breaker rules.