Play in the Mountaineer Baseball Association is governed by Official Baseball Rules: “The Sporting News” edition and PONY Baseball. The rules contained in this section are only those exceptions to Official Baseball Rules and PONY Baseball, which are necessary to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all participants.
- Coaches cannot deliberately tell players to stay home.
- When a team arrives at a game with more than eight players in the higher age bracket, no more than eight players in the higher age bracket may be in the line-up at one time.
- NO AH will be used.
- A. Each player that arrives for the game will be required to play two innings of defense (six defensive outs). Penalty will be forfeiture of game. EXCEPTION: Unless late arrivals to the game arrive after the 4th inning.
- B. Teams that arrive at the game with 12 players or less: the team will bat their entire line-up in rotation with free defensive substitutions, i.e., the requirement of two innings of defense for each player does not have to be consecutive innings.
- C. Teams that arrive at the game with 13 or more players: the team will bat 10 positions in the line-up. Each player will be required to play two consecutive innings; six offensive outs and six defensive outs.
- A team must have a minimum of nine players to start the game. Late arrivals to the game will be inserted last in the team batting rotation. If a team fields only nine players, the invisible player holding the 10th batting position will be an automatic out.
- Pitching distance is 46 feet.
- No infield fly rule is used.
- No ten or twelve run rule is used.
8. In the first five innings, after a team has scored its fifth run, this shall complete that half-inning regardless of the number of outs to be made. EXCEPTION: If the last batter up hits a home run over the fence and the home run results in more than five runs scoring for the inning, then all runners scoring that inning will count. Otherwise, once the fifth run touches home plate the inning is over.
9. Pitchers may pitch a MAXIMUM of two innings per game, three innings per day, and nine innings per week. One pitch thrown in an inning constitutes an inning pitched. 40-hour rest required if a pitcher pitches three innings in one day.
10. Runner may steal bases. (Refer to PONY rulebook)
A. NO runner from third may steal home, or advance from third unless forced to advance because of a walk, the batter hits a fair ball or a foul ball is caught.
B. A player becomes “a runner at third base” when the defense prevents his advance.
11. The re-entry rule can be used.(Refer to PONY rulebook.)
12. No dropped third strike.
13. If there is “A Play at Home Plate” the runner MUST slide or he/she is out.
“Play at the Plate.” The purpose of this Rule is for the protection and safety of the runner and defensive player. A runner proceeding from third base to home must slide at home if the defensive player is over home plate or in close proximity to the plate (i.e., able to contact the plate with foot, hand or glove from his current location) and either possesses the ball or has a legitimate opportunity to catch the ball as the runner approaches home plate. If under these circumstances the runner fails to slide, he/she shall be “out.”
The above rule contemplates that the umpire will use proper discretion in interpreting the Rule. However, if in fact a collision occurs between a non-sliding runner and a defensive player in close proximity to home plate as described in the circumstances above, the runner is “out.”
- The defensive team MUST play 4 outfielders. EXCEPTION: A team that fields only 9 players MUST play 3 outfielders.
- If the home team is losing by 10 or more runs at the end of the bottom of the 5th inning, they will bat again in the top of the 6th inning.
- Courtesy Runner is allowed for pitchers and catchers. Courtesy Runner must be someone not in the current line-up. If no out-of-line-up player is available, then the player who made the last out may serve as the Courtesy Runner.
Two-hour time limit for all games. Must complete the inning. Game cannot finish in a tie. Two extra-inning limit. If game remains tied after two-hour time limit is reached and/or the two extra innings have been played, then teams proceed to a Texas Shootout. The inning starts with 0 outs. Player who made the last out in the previous inning is placed at 2nd base, and all batters start with a 1 Ball – 2 Strike count.