Rules Of Play
Principles and Intent
· The T- Ball League was established to provide children with a wholesome learning experience by teaching them to play as part of a team, to build character, and to learn baseball fundamentals.
· The pressures of competition should not be stressed at this level. Winning or losing a game, or the score of a game, should be secondary to providing your team a positive learning experience.
· Despite the best intentions of all involved, disagreements will occur. It is paramount that coaches and umpires address disagreements in an appropriate manner. Tone of voice is the key. If a question or disagreement must be addressed during a game, and some debate is needed, coaches and umpires should convene in a huddle and quietly resolve the situation.
1.0 General Rules
- All coaches, players, parents and spectators are expected to exhibit the highest level of sportsmanship at all times. Poor sportsmanship may result in the coach, player, parent or spectator being removed from the game, the field, or permanently barred from participation in the league. Ultimately, the head coach of each team will be held accountable for the sportsmanship exhibited or not exhibited by himself, his assistants, his players, his player’s parents, and his team’s spectators. If one of the above crosses the line, it will be expected that the head coach will take the necessary action to stop the behavior at the time, and in the future.
- It is a FELONY for anyone to strike an umpire in the state of North Carolina!
- Smoking and Alcohol
- No smoking is permitted by anyone, including head coaches, assistant coaches, umpires, or parents on the field, in the bench areas, or anywhere in the area immediately around the field. All Wake County School fields and the North Wake Complex prohibit smoking on the premises.
- No Alcohol is permitted. Alcohol may not be consumed on the field, in the bench area, anywhere near the field, or in the parking lot; prior to, during or after a game or practice. No one may be in any of the above areas under the influence of alcohol or drugs that was consumed prior to their arrival at the facility.
- Field Responsibilities
- The home team is responsible for the preparation of the field prior to the game, including but not limited to: dragging the field, putting out the game bases, chalking the field
- The visiting team is responsible for field cleanup after the game, including but not limited to: removing game bases and putting old bases out, locking tools/equipment in sheds, picking up of all trash lying anywhere in the field area.
- Each team is responsible for cleanup of their dugout.
- One umpire is provided by each team. Generally, the home team is responsible for the home plate umpire, and the visiting team is responsible for the base umpire. Coaches should ensure that the umpires are familiar with the rules of play, prior to the start of the game. An on field defensive coach, pitcher, or base coach shall not serve as an umpire for the game.
- The home team is responsible for keeping the official scorebook.
- Each team is to provide at least one new game ball per game.
- The visiting team is responsible for field cleanup after the game, including but not limited to: removing game bases and putting old bases out, locking of both sheds, picking up of all trash lying anywhere in the field area, removal of full trash bags to the schools trash dumpster.
- A minimum of nine (9) players will be required to start and continue a game. If one team has less than nine 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 nine players to start the game.
- Each team will consist of ten (10) defensive players, six (6) playing regular infield positions and four (4) outfielders equally spaced. All team players will be included in a consecutive batting order rotation for each game. Players arriving after the start of the game will be added to the end of the batting order. The opposing coach and official scorer shall be notified when such an addition has occurred.
- A game will consist of five (5) innings or one (1) hour and thirty (30) minutes (less time if schedule dictates), whichever comes first. No new inning will start after one (1) hour and fifteen (15) minutes from the time the game began nor ten (10) minutes before a scheduled start of a following game unless a delay is encountered due to weather. Games rained out prior to four (4) innings will be rescheduled.
- Players are required to wear their team caps and shirts provided to them by the league. They also must wear baseball pants and a protective cup during the course of a game. Plastic cleats are acceptable, metal cleats are not permitted. Mouth pieces are highly recommended.
- All players must wear a hard protective cup for their safety. No soft cups are permitted.
N. No protests will be allowed. Questions regarding rule interpretations and calls should be discussed between innings.
The pitcher will stand near the pitcher’s “rubber” or adjacent to the coach/pitcher inside the circle. The pitcher should be placed near the back of the circle when a “heavy” hitter is at the plate
The catcher will occupy the usual catcher’s position (safely) behind the plate and the batter. The catcher shall wear full protective catcher’s gear.
Outfielders will be positioned either as four outfielders roughly equally spaced from home plate or as three outfielders and one “rover” (like a softball team). Outfielders may not make a throw for a put out at 1st
base. Outfielders shall throw to a cut-off man or to any other infield player for “put outs” at other bases.
D. 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.
E. 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.
F. 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.
G. One (1) defensive coach may be allowed on the defensive field at a time (positioned in the outfield).
A. A team’s at bat will end when three (3) outs have occurred or when five (5) runs have been scored, whichever comes first.
B. 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”. Runners must slide feet first if there is a play at any base.
C. Head first slides are prohibited for player safety. Player will be called out for head first slides
D. COACH PITCH / BATTING TEE
1) A coach will either pitch the ball to players on his team or adjust the Tee for each player on his team.
2) Pitching will occur from a minimum distance of 20 feet from the plate. For more advanced hitters, the coach may choose to pitch from further back.
E. Any ball hit into fair territory is in play as long as it is hit out of the initial 12-foot arc. Refer to the field diagram. Any ball that does not get out of the 12-foot arc area will be considered a dead ball and replayed at no penalty to the batter.
F. Each batter will be allowed six (6) pitches from a coach or have the ball placed on the Tee to get the ball into play, there are no called strikes or swinging strikes. A foul ball on the last pitch will result in an additional pitch. The umpire behind the plate will count the pitches. After the fifth (5th
) pitch, he will advise the batter and pitcher that the following pitch is the last pitch. If the batter cannot hit a pitched ball, then use the Tee.
G. No player may be walked.
H. No bunting (obvious attempt).
I. If a hit ball comes in contact with the coach/pitcher, it is a dead ball and replayed and the pitch does not count as one of six pitches.
J. Batter, base runners and “on-deck” players must wear protective batting helmets. The third batter “in the hole” must stay back behind the fence.
K. The infield fly rule does not apply.
L. 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.
M. When no additional defensive play is being attempted, the field or plate umpire will call time and the play will cease. The umpire will raise his hands at this time and direct runners to the appropriate base. If the runner is more than halfway to the next base, he/she shall be awarded that base. If the runner is less than halfway to the next base, he/she shall return to the base he/she came from. In the event of non-agreement between umpires on the runners position (half-way or not), the home plate umpire’s call will have priority.
N. Automatic one (1) base is awarded on an overthrow, out of play, at first or third base. Out of play shall be beyond the fence on each baseline.
O. Players attempting to score must avoid a collision with the catcher by sliding feet first. Runners initiating contact with the catcher will be called “out”.
P. Batters throwing 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.