P.L.A.Y. In-House Baseball 2016 Laker League Rules

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1 P.L.A.Y. In-House Baseball 2016 Laker League Rules This is a list of rules and regulations that will be in effect for the 2016 P.L.A.Y. In-House Baseball Season and Tournaments. The NFHS (National Federation of High Schools) Guide Book overrules this handout in case of any conflicting information. Any situations that are not covered by the NFHS, MSHL (Minnesota State High School League) or P.L.A.Y. rule modifications will be determined by the P.L.A.Y. In-House Baseball Director, P.L.A.Y. Tournament Director(s) and/or P.L.A.Y. In-House Baseball Board Member(s). Coaches are responsible for knowing the rules and if a rule is in question, they must provide a Rules Sheet, in order to discuss a call or rule with an umpire; in any case, the umpire s decision is final. ELIGIBILITY PLAYERS Players must have been registered in the registration system and assigned by the P.L.A.Y. Grade Coordinator. Players MUST participate on the team they have been placed on by P.L.A.Y. Directors and Coordinators. No trades are allowed, if this does takes place the Coaches will be removed, and players returned to their original teams. Players should be in uniform in order to participate in league or tournament play. TEAMS Intact teams only. No players may be added during the season or during the playoffs without the permission of the P.L.A.Y. In-House Baseball Director or the VP of Baseball. Any games played with an ineligible player will be considered a forfeit. All team players that attend the game in their uniform must be allowed to participate. Similar playing times and practice attention should be given to all players to allow them to develop their skills. DIVISIONS Grade is defined as the grade attended (or eligible to attend) by the player at time of registration. Pre-K T-Ball / Coach Pitch NOTE: (ALL Pre-K players must turn 5 by Aug. 31 of current year) Kindergarten Coach Pitch 1 st Grade Coach Pitch 2 nd Grade Machine Pitch 3 rd Grade Player Pitch Page 1 of 13

2 P.L.A.Y. GAME EQUIPMENT Unless modified here, all game equipment shall be in accordance with specifications listed in the National Federation of High Schools rule book. All decisions made by the P.L.A.Y. In-House Baseball Director regarding equipment are final. 1. Uniforms All teams must wear numbered jerseys of the identical color, illegally uniformed players must be withheld from competition until they become legal. Hats and shirts are supplied by P.L.A.Y. Baseball. Pants, socks, belts, helmets, gloves, shoes are not supplied. Gray pants are recommended for purposes of playing No shorts will be allowed in 2 nd 3rd T-Ball 1 st Grade players can wear pants (recommended) or shorts as they prefer 2. Spikes/Shoes Metal spikes ARE NOT allowed. Rubber or molded plastic spikes ARE allowed. It is recommended that Pre-K, Kindergarten and 1 st Grade only wear rubber soled shoes. 3. Helmets Each player is to provide their own helmet. Helmets must be NOCSAE approved and worn while batting, base running and catching in accordance with the NFHS guidelines. 4. Braces or Casts Any knee, elbow, hand, wrist, arm guard or brace made of plaster, metal or any other hard substance, even though covered or insulated with soft packing, is not allowed. A hinged knee brace, if properly covered and padded with no metal protruding is LEGAL. 5. First-Aid Kits Teams are given their own first-aid kits and should have a team parent notify the In-House Equipment Manager if they have replacement needs. 6. Equipment Bases and Home Plates are provided by P.L.A.Y. All teams have equipment bags for team specific equipment specific to their grade level. P.L.A.Y. PLAYING RULES National Federation of High Schools rules shall govern play, except where modified as follows. These rules will be used at P.L.A.Y. games and tournaments. Players First Winning Second Responsible adults must supervise teams and players at all times, on and off the field. Coaches Fans Consider the players welfare physically and mentally in all situations. The Official League Schedule Posted on the P.L.A.Y. website. The Official Tournament schedule is the bracket board posted at tournament headquarters. It is the team s responsibility to be aware of any changes and to be in the right place at the right time. Be aware of weather conditions and changes due to weather. Home Team Determined by a coin toss before the game (or other agreed method) for 3 rd grade and younger. Home teams in tournaments will be the highest seeded team for grade 3. Pitching / Base Distances PITCHING DISTANCE BASE PATHS Pre-K, K & 1 st Grade ft 55 ft 2 nd 3 rd Grade 42 ft 60 ft Page 2 of 13

3 Pitching Restrictions 3 rd Grade MAXIMUM INNINGS PITCHED RESTRICTIONS Regular Season 2 per game 4 per week Year End Tournament 2 per game No more than 3 per day No more than 9 per tournament NO CURVEBALLS, SLIDERS or similar breaking ball pitches are allowed. son. 1 pitch in an inning EQUALS 1 inning pitched. In third grade, once a pitcher has been removed from pitching, regardless of the reason, he may not return to pitch in the same game. This applies even if the pitcher has not reached his maximum innings for the game. One coaching trip to the mound allowed per pitcher in an inning. On the second trip (timeout) the pitcher must be removed from the pitcher position. A timeout called from the bench for anything other than an injury is considered a trip. This is a developmental league, which means we want to give all players the opportunity to develop as pitchers, hitters and fielders. Therefore, all players should be allowed to pitch at least once during the season as long as their safety is not in danger. However to be fair to all kids wanting to develop as hitters and fielders, players who struggle to throw strikes should be encouraged to practice at home if they want additional opportunities to pitch. This is at the coach s discretion, but the coach is required discuss this with the parents if a player will be restricted from pitching. The following rules apply only to 3 rd Grade: o o Any pitcher walking 3 batters in a row or 4 in an inning must be removed from pitching. Any pitcher hitting 2 batters in an inning with a pitched ball must be removed from pitching. A hit batter will also be considered a walk for the purpose of the previous rule (e.g. A pitcher walking a batter then hitting a batter and then walking a batter must be removed). Batting A bat may be swung during a game only while in the on-deck circle or in the batter s boxbat Size Restrictions Pre-K 1st Grade BAT SIZE RESTRICTION Bats MUST have a 2 ¼ barrel diameter no weight restrictions. Use P.L.A.Y. issued equipment if needed. 2 nd & 3rd Grade Bats MUST have a 2 ¼ barrel diameter no weight restrictions AND have the NEW USSSA Approved 1.15 BPF stamp on its taper, BBCOR stamp or old approved USSSA mark. While players may supply their own bat (including wood bats) P.L.A.Y. is not responsible for any damage to ANY personal equipment players may bring, regardless of the reason / cause of damage, including damage done by other players. Page 3 of 13

4 Grade Rules for Batting BATTING RULES Pre-K Kindergarten 1 st Grade All batters will hit off of a Tee for 1 st 4 games of the season. Coaches can pitch to batters starting in the 5 th game. Coaches should try to pitch on a flat plane, underhand, from one knee so that the pitch release point is appropriate for young players. Batter gets 3 pitches to hit, after 3 pitches, the ball is placed on the tee for the batter to hit. Any ball hitting the pitcher is a dead ball; redo the pitch (doesn t count as one of the 3 pitches). Each team hits throughout their entire lineup and runners stay on base even if they are out. The last batter of the inning gets a home run. Coaches pitch. Coaches should try to pitch on a flat plane, underhand, from one knee so that the pitch release point is appropriate for young players. Batter gets 5 pitches to hit, after 5 pitches, the ball is placed on the tee for the batter to hit. Any ball hitting the pitcher is a dead ball; redo the pitch (doesn t count as one of the 5 pitches). Each team hits throughout their entire lineup each inning. The last batter of the inning gets a home run. Coaches pitch. Coaches should try to pitch on a flat plane, preferably overhand from one knee so that the pitch release point is appropriate for young players. Batter gets 7 pitches to hit, after 7 pitches the batter is done batting and takes a spot on the bench. Any ball hitting the coach is a dead ball; redo the pitch (doesn t count as one of the 7 pitches). Each team hits throughout their entire lineup each inning. Players do go to bench if out. The last batter of the inning gets a home run unless put out. Page 4 of 13

5 2 nd Grade 2 nd & 3 rd Grade 3 rd Grade Machine pitch. BATTING RULES Both teams should agree to the speed of the machine (target of mph) for the game and keep it there, as machines do vary in speeds and accuracy. The machine should be positioned 42 feet from the back tip of home plate and the pitch should come in on a slight arc to home plate. Slight moving of the machine may occur and slight tapping left or right is allowed to re-center the pitches (not up and down once set). Bunting is not allowed. Before June 8th Batter gets a maximum of 7 pitches and is allowed to swing at all 7 pitches. After 7 pitches, if the batter has not hit a fair or foul ball he is out. The batter gets an additional pitch if the 7 th and subsequent pitches are foul balls (a swing and miss will end the at bat). June 8 th and after Batter gets 5 pitches (max of 3 swinging strikes, unless 3 rd swing is a foul ball) and should be ready to hit the 1 st best pitch available. After 5 pitches, if the batter has not hit a fair or foul ball he is out. The batter gets an additional pitch if the 5 th and subsequent pitches are foul balls (a swing and miss will end the at bat). An inning consists of 3 outs or 6 runs whichever comes first. During year end tournament, extra innings played with no runs limit. All players must be placed in the batting order. If someone is late attending the game they must be placed at the bottom of the batting order. They will get to hit when it is their turn. Teams must use the same and a continuous batting order throughout the season, meaning if the batter in the 6 th spot in the order makes the last out in a game, the batter in the 7 th spot leads off the next game. Coaches can occasionally change or tweak the batting order (no more than twice per season suggested after game #4 and #8). Continuous batting order does not apply to year end tournament. Each batter should come to the plate ready to swing. Strike zones will be liberal. Bunting is not allowed. Running Pre-K & Kindergarten BASE RUNNING RULES 1 base per hit. At this age that helps control the runners, without too much pressure on fielding. Runners can only leave the base or advance on a hit ball. Any ball hitting the pitcher is a redo. If a player is out they stay on the base. Page 5 of 13

6 1 st Grade 2 nd Grade 3 rd Grade BASE RUNNING RULES Max 2 bases per hit. Again, this helps control the runners and yet teaches them to score from 2 nd on a hit. Runners can only leave the base or advance when the ball is hit. Once the ball is fielded in the outfield or infield the runners cannot advance beyond the base to which they are running. Runners who are out leave the field and sit on the bench. Batters are allowed to run out all hits to their maximum. Once the ball has hit, or been touched within, the infield dirt area (doesn t have to be in control of a player) they can only advance to the next base if they have passed the previous base at the time the ball is in the infield. Runners can only leave the base or advance once the ball is hit. If a hit ball does not leave the infield via being hit, then the batter and base runners can only advance one total base even if there is an overthrow. If a hit ball strikes the pitching machine or adult pitcher, the ball is dead; redo the play (doesn t count as a pitch). Runners may not advance on overthrows this supports the once the ball enters the infield dirt area rule. For regular season and tournament play, umpires should take a liberal interpretation of base runners turning incorrectly into the field of play if they reach 1 st base. Players who inadvertently turn towards 2 nd base with the intent to return to 1 st base should not be called out if they are tagged before returning to 1 st base. Courtesy runner allowed for the next inning s catcher anytime. The courtesy runner will be the last player that made an out. The player run for must catch the next inning. No leading off and no base stealing. Runners can only leave the base or advance once the ball is hit or if the batter is walked or hit by a pitch. Once the ball is IN CONTROL of any fielder in the infield dirt the runners can only advance to the next base if they have passed the previous base. Any runner attempting to advance can be called out. Runners CAN advance on an overthrow. They must stop at the base they are attempting once the in control rule is back in play, or if the ball goes out of play. Dropped 3 rd strike Batter is out. No balks can be called, but a fake pitch will be considered a balk resulting in a dead ball and all runners advancing one base (umpire judgment). No Infield Fly Rule. Courtesy runner allowed for the next inning s catcher anytime. The courtesy runner will be the last player that made an out. The player run for must catch the next inning. Defensive Play / Fielding Fielders cannot block the base or baseline when they do not have the ball or if the ball is not approaching them. Page 6 of 13

7 A fielder always has the right-of-way when attempting to field a batted ball in the baseline. The runner must try to avoid contact with a fielder avoiding contact does not constitute going out of the baseline. No P.L.A.Y. player will sit on the bench more than 2 innings per game. In year-end tournaments this rule is waived if games go extra innings, however all players must still sit a comparable number of innings (e.g. no one can sit a 3 rd inning until all players have sat 2 innings). All players at all age levels must play a minimum of one inning in the Infield (does not include Catcher) and one inning in the Outfield in each game. Pre-K & Kindergarten 1 st Grade DEFENSIVE PLAY / FIELDING RULES All players will be in the field. P, 1B, 2B, SS & 3B are allowed in the infield. The remaining players will be in the outfield. The catcher position is not used. Players rotate to a new position each inning coaches should have a rotation chart they use. Players cannot be put in the outfield more than 2 innings in a row. All players should get the opportunity to play all positions on an equal basis throughout the season. For safety reasons some players may not be placed at Pitcher or 1B coach s discretion, but coach must discuss this decision with a parent. Team may field up to 10 players at a time, with the extra player being the 4 th outfielder. Players rotate to a new position each inning coaches should have a rotation chart they use. Players cannot be put in the outfield more than 2 innings in a row All players should get the opportunity to play all positions on an equal basis throughout the season. For safety reasons some players may not be placed at Pitcher, Catcher or 1B coach s discretion, but coach must discuss this decision with a parent. Page 7 of 13

8 2 nd Grade 3 rd Grade DEFENSIVE PLAY / FIELDING RULES Team may field up to 10 players at a time, with the extra player being the 4 th outfielder. All outfielders must be at least 2 feet onto the outfield grass at the start of each pitch All players should get the opportunity to play all positions on an equal basis throughout the season. For safety reasons some players may not be placed at Pitcher, Catcher or 1B coach s discretion, but coach must discuss this decision with a parent. If a team has 9 or more players present, they must field a catcher behind home plate in catcher s gear. For player rotation purposes, catcher and bench are not considered a position played. No player will be allowed to play more than 2 innings in a row in the infield or outfield. A player cannot play catcher more than 2 innings in a game. Any player playing catcher must also rotate through at least one infield position (P, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS) and one outfield position (LF, LCF, RCF, RF) in the game. No player will sit on the bench for 2 consecutive innings, or sit twice before each player has sat once, except if that player is injured. Players may not play the same position more than two innings in any one game, unless a bench player must enter the game due to injury of another player that was in the same position he was in earlier. Team may field up to 10 players at a time, with the extra player being the 4 th outfielder. Players who have difficulty catching a thrown baseball and as a result could hurt themselves or another player may be excluded from playing 1B or Catcher. This is at the coach s discretion, but coach must discuss this decision with a parent. Page 8 of 13

9 3 rd DEFENSIVE PLAY / FIELDING RULES All players must be given an opportunity to play every position at least twice at the beginning of the season. Afterwards coaches may narrow the number of positions each player plays so that the player can begin to become more familiar with the requirements of those positions (e.g. where to go in different situations). However, players must still rotate between the infield and the outfield. During the regular season, a team s player rotation requirements will carry over from one game to the next (e.g. a player cannot sit on the bench a 3 rd time until everyone has sat twice, they cannot sit on the bench a 5th time until everyone has sat four times, etc. if a player ends one game playing an inning in the outfield they can only play one more inning in the outfield before they play in the infield). For player rotation purposes, Catcher, and Bench are not considered as a position played. Players cannot play more than 2 innings at the same infield position during one game, with the exception of pitching changes (player can go back to position for remainder of inning if new pitcher is coming from that position). No player will be allowed to play more than 2 innings in a row in the infield or outfield. For this rule, the pitching position can be considered an IF position or as an open position (e.g. a player can play 2 innings at LF and then pitch 1, 2, 3 or 4 innings (depending on league) and then play 2 innings at RF OR they can play 2 innings at SS and then pitch 1, 2, 3 or 4 innings (depending on league)). A player cannot play catcher more than 3 innings in a game. Any player playing catcher must also rotate through at least one infield position (P, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS) and one outfield position (LF, CF, RF) in each game. No player will sit on the bench for more than 2 consecutive innings, or sit three times in one game before each player has sat twice, except if the player is injured. Player Rotation Examples 1 st and 2 nd Grade Legal Scenario Inning B B C CF C 2B 2B CF 2 P C B CF 2B 1B C C Players have 1 outfield and 1 infield position by the 6 th inning and are not in more than 2 infield or outfield or outfield positions in a row when catcher and bench are removed from consideration. Illegal Scenario Inning B 1B B 3B C CF CF 2B Page 9 of 13

10 2 3B C 1B 2B CF B 1B C Players have 1 outfield and 1 infield position by the 6 th inning, but have more than 2 infield positions in a row when catcher and bench are removed from consideration. Player Rotation Examples 3 rd Grade Legal Scenario Inning B B C CF C 2B 2B CF 2 P C B 2B 2B LF C C Players have 1 outfield and 1 infield position by the 6 th inning and are not in more than 2 infield or outfield or outfield positions in a row when catcher and bench are removed from consideration. Illegal Scenario Inning B 1B B 3B C CF CF 2B 2 3B C 1B 2B CF B 1B C Players have 1 outfield and 1 infield position by the 6 th inning, but have more than 2 infield positions in a row when catcher and bench are removed from consideration. Page 10 of 13

11 Tournament Play Defensive rotations reset after each game. Teams must start and play the game with a minimum of 8 players. Team starting with 8 players will have an out when the 9 th spot comes up in the batting order. If a player is injured, ejected or has to leave for other reasons and the team drops to 8 players, the spot in the batting order occupied by that player will be an out. Teams either starting the game or reduced to less than 8 players must forfeit the game (Teams must have 8 players by 5 minutes after scheduled game start). If a player joins their team after the game has begun, they will be placed in the last spot in the batting order. If the team had less than 9 players, that spot is no longer considered an out.. Regular Season and Tournament Play If a team starts a game with more than 9 players in the batting order, and is forced to remove a player from the game because of injury and the player cannot bat, their spot in the order is NOT an out if the team still has at least 9 other batters. That player may NOT return in that game to play in any capacity, to either hit or play in the field. Game Length / Time Limit Regular Season Time limits are based on SCHEDULED game start time, not ACTUAL start time if you delay the start of the game you lose game time. NO EXCEPTIONS if there is a game scheduled in a time slot following the game being played. Teams playing the first game of the night when there are two scheduled for the field must be OFF THE FIELD at the time the second game is scheduled to start. This holds true, even if an umpire is late arriving. If two or more games are cancelled due to weather, we will attempt to reschedule as many of these games as possible on the reserved Make-Up dates. Coaches may also coordinate among themselves in coordination with the Schedule Manager and Umpire Manager (if applicable) to reschedule games that are cancelled due to weather. Umpires have, at their discretion, the option to stop a game because of darkness, even if the game has not reached its targeted number of innings played or time slot allowance. Pre-K, K & 1 st Grade 2 nd and 3 rd Grade GAME LENGTH / TIME LIMIT minutes of practice before each game (e.g. ground ball fielding, base running, throwing, etc.) 3 inning game. A complete game is 5 innings, with no new inning to begin after 1 hour and 50 minutes from the scheduled start time. Year-End Tournaments GAME LENGTH / TIME LIMIT Page 11 of 13

12 2 nd & 3 rd Grades GAME LENGTH / TIME LIMIT A complete game is 5 innings No new inning to begin after 1 hour and 45 minutes from the start of the game If tied after 5 innings (or last inning per time rule), 6 th and subsequent innings are played with no run limit For 3 rd Grade 5 warm-up pitches between innings or pitching changes Umpires Pre-K 2 nd Grade 3 rd UMPIRES Coaches should recruit a parent or two to be their season umpires. Ask they volunteer, like coaches, but only have to attend games. Home team should provide a plate umpire and Visitors a base umpire. 2 nd grade will have umpires assigned for the last half of the season and the year-end tournament. Will have assigned umpires as they are available. Priority is given to older grades and then down to younger grades. Umpire decisions are final! The umpires, like the players playing, are developing their skills and while they are getting paid, it is not a large amount and they in no way should tolerate any verbal or physical abuse. Page 12 of 13

13 Coaches on the Field Pre-K 1 st Grade 2 nd Grade COACHES on the FIELD Coaches are encouraged to help out on the field, offensively and defensively. Coaches may help outfielders, infielders, batters and base runners. Before June 8 th Coaches are allowed on the field and are able to assist players. June 8 th and After Coaches are only allowed on the field to run the pitching machine, and as 1 st and 3 rd base coaches. No coaches allowed on the field to assist the defense. 3 rd Only 1 st and 3 rd base coaches are allowed. Weather Delays / Cancellations Before the Game If the Prior Lake City Hotline indicates that fields are closed that is true for ALL Prior Lake and Savage City and School fields used by Pre-K through 3 rd grade, therefore P.L.A.Y. will not be able to use those fields. Coaches will then need to contact their teams. Teams at 4 th through 7 th grade will need to follow BAC rainout rules/notifications. If there is a Severe Weather Warning in the area, please put SAFETY FIRST. During the Game The umpire is responsible for deciding if the weather becomes too severe or the field becomes unsafe to play on and will cancel the remainder of the game. Coaches need to work with the umpires on this decision. If it is a year-end tournament game the game will be resumed at the same point in the game when it is rescheduled. Field time is not extended due to weather. AT ANY SIGN OF LIGHTNING STOP GAME SEEK SHELTER GAUGE THE DANGER AND MAKE A SWIFT CALL ON THE GAME Ejections Player Ejected Must sit out remainder of that game and the next game. Coach Ejected Must leave the game area and will not be allowed to participate (or be in game area) in the next game. Page 13 of 13

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