Washington Park District Youth Athletics, Illinois

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2017 WPD/NTRA Joint House League Baseball Rules

 

Any questions or disputes should be directed to the individual league representative for clarification or resolution.

 

KINDERGARTEN LEAGUE (WRA ONLY)

 

WRA Pinto League is a kindergarten only league and acts as a bridge between T-ball and full-fledged coach pitch.  The rules for the WRA Pinto League are identical to WRA Farm rules below with the exception of eligibility (players must have just completed kindergarten in 2017), the base distance will be 50 feet and the following pitch rule: If the batter fails to hit a fair ball after 10 pitches or 3 swinging strikes (whichever comes first), he will then get up to 3 swings off the tee to put the ball in fair play.  If the batter still has not put the ball in fair play after 3 swings off the tee he shall be ruled out.

1ST & 2ND GRADE LEAGUE (REFERRED TO AS “FARM LEAGUE” BY WPD AND “PINTO LEAGUE” BY NTRA)

With the exception of the following age-specific rules, Farm League play will be outlined in the IHSA Baseball Rule Book.

 

  1. ELIGIBILITY: Players must have just completed 1st or 2nd grade in 2017.
  2. PLAYING FIELD: Base distance will be 60 feet (50 feet for the Pinto League); pitching rubber distance from home plate will be 38 feet.  The pitcher’s rubber shall be centrally located in the 10 foot diameter chalk circle.
  1. NUMBER OF PLAYERS: Each team must have a minimum of eight players to begin a game; if a team cannot field the minimum number of players, a forfeit will occur 10 minutes after the scheduled start time.  If the opposing team has more than 10 players, the opposing team’s coach may assign players to play for the team with less than 8 players to allow players a game.  The forfeit will be counted for standings.
  2. LENGTH OF GAMES: A new inning cannot begin 60 minutes after the start of the game and 6 innings are the maximum innings to be played during the 60 minute time limit.  Game times will be 5:30 and 7:00.  If there is not a following game and darkness is not a factor games should be played to completion whenever possible.  Time between innings should always be kept to a minimum to keep the game moving.  Post-season tournament time limits may be different and will be provided to coaches prior to the tournament.
  3. PRE-GAME WARM-UP: For 5:30 start times, the visiting team on the schedule has the field from 30 minutes prior to the start time to 15 minutes prior to the start time.  The home team follows until the start time.  For 7:00 start times, teams must split the in-between game time on the field. When necessary warm-ups should be performed in an adjacent (but safe) area to stay on schedule if the first game of the evening runs slightly past 60 minutes.  Coaches and umpires should work together to ensure “ready play” is adhered to in order to maximize available daylight.
  4. DEFENSIVE POSITIONS: All players on a team must be rotated in and out of the defensive line-up in order that defensive playing time is equal.  A defense consists of a player in the pitching circle, catcher, first base, second base, shortstop & third base, and four outfielders are to play 30 feet behind the baselines in equally spaced outfield positions.  Coaches are expected to rotate players around the positions as much as possible and each player must play an infield position at least two innings per game.
  5. BATTING ORDER: All players present at the game must be in the batting order; players who arrive after the game begins are added to the bottom of the order.
  6. OFFENSIVE INNING: All innings consists of three outs or the offensive team scoring five runs in the inning, whichever occurs first.  During the last inning of play the offensive team may score more than five runs but is limited to batting through the order once or making three outs, whichever occurs first.
  7. TEN PITCH RULE: A batter will be ruled out if he fails to hit a fair ball after 10 pitches.  A batter will be out if there are three strikes before the tenth pitch; a foul ball or tip on the third strike will not cause a batter to be out unless it occurs on the tenth pitch of the at-bat.
  8. RUNNERS’ PROGRESS: The ball is “dead” and play stops (i.e. base runners progress stops) when the batted ball is returned to the infield and is in control of the child playing the pitching position; the coach must make an honest attempt to position runners at their proper bases.  Coaches are strongly encouraged not to abuse this part of the game.
  9. MERCY RULE: This level will use a 15-run “mercy rule” (i.e. if at any point during the game a team is leading by 15 runs after any complete inning of play the game is over).
  10. OFFENSIVE COACHES: The team at bat will have its own coach pitch to his or her own players; base coaches will serve as umpires with runners receiving the benefit of the doubt on close plays.  The coach pitching can pitch from anywhere in the circle, (in front of or behind the rubber) but must be in the circle when delivering a pitch.  Pitches shall be thrown only overhand – not underhand.
  11. DEFENSIVE COACHES: The team in the field is allowed to have two coaches stand in the outfield to instruct players; they are not allowed to touch the ball or physically move the players to assist in catching a batted ball.
  12. COMEBACKER: If a batted or thrown ball hits a pitching-coach, the play is “dead”; the batter and runners are allowed to take the base they were advancing to.
  13. OVERTHROW: If the ball is thrown past the foul lines, the play is “dead” and all runners are allowed to take the base they were advancing to.
  14. INFIELD FLY RULE: There is no Infield Fly Rule at this level.
  15. LEADING OFF & BUNTING: Base runners must stay on the base until the ball is hit; no lead-offs or stealing are allowed.  Bunting is not allowed; batters must take a full swing.
  16. BAT LIMITATIONS:  There are no bat limitations at this level.
  17. CALL-UPS: Only 8-year-old players are allowed to be called up to the Mustang level; players cannot play in a Mustang game if it conflicts with his regularly-scheduled Farm game; Farm coaches should be notified when players are contacted for Mustang games.
  18. Official Game Scorecard: Both coaches are responsible for signing the Official Game Scorecard.  The Official Game Scorecard will be filled out by the home plate umpire, signed by both umpires and both head coaches, and turned into the concession stand immediately following the game.  The Official Game Scorecard will be used to track league standings, track player pitch counts, and used for documentation for umpire payment.  Once the Official Game Scorecard is signed changes to the documented information will not be permitted. In case of ties, the following tie-breakers will determine the final standings: 1) head-to-head competition,    2) fewest runs allowed in head-to-head competition, 3) most runs scored in head-to-head games, 4) fewest runs allowed in all games.

MISCELLANEOUS: Rain-outs or cancelled games will be rescheduled by the WPD scheduler; coaches will be notified as soon as possible.  A loss of a player should be reported to the league representative as soon as possible. Players are encouraged, but not required, to wear a protective cup.  Players must avoid contact by sliding when necessary.