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.
- Pinto will consist of ages 6, 7, and 8 years old.
- Each player of the roster will be required to play two consecutive innings (six defensive outs) in a game. Penalty for failure to comply with this rule is an automatic forfeit of the game.
- All players are required to bat in total rotation of the entire roster.
- A manager/coach cannot deliberately tell players to stay home.
- No more than eight players in the higher age bracket may play defensively at one time without prior consent of the opposing manager.
- No infield fly rule is used.
- 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. A normal Pinto line-up allows for ten players. The four outfield alignment will be used. Maximum six infielders will be used, two of whom shall be positioned as a pitcher and a catcher. If a team fields only nine players, the invisible player holding the batting position will be an automatic out. If a team only fields nine players, the team must field a pitcher and a catcher. All other positions are optional.
- Runners may not leave the base they are occupying until the ball is hit. When the pitcher/coach steps on the rubber, any runner leaving the base prematurely shall be automatically out. NO warning given. The pitch is a dead ball, no pitch, and no runners may advance.
- The only way a runner can advance or score is on a hit ball, force play or a hit ball overthrow.
- The five run rule per inning (maximum) is in effect with the exception of the last inning and in extra innings. In the last inning and in extra innings there is no limit to the number of runs you are allowed to score.
- No ten run rule is in effect.
- Manager/coach pitches to his team from the rubber or the center of the nine-foot diameter circle, with a maximum of five pitches per batter (unless the fifth pitch is a foul ball). Three strikes is an out. For safety reasons, the player/pitcher must stand to the side and behind the coach/pitcher. The player/pitcher must have both feet in the circle until the pitched ball has reached or passed the batter.
- If coach/pitcher touches a batted ball at any time, the ball will be considered a dead ball and the pitch will not be counted. If the act is deliberate the batter shall be called out.
- In order to stop play, the ball must be returned to the player/pitcher within the limits of the pitching circle. Once the ball is in control of the player/pitcher and both feet are inside the circle, play will be considered dead and the umpire will judge placement of the runners with regard to the “hash marks.” If the coach/pitcher catches a thrown ball that is still in play, the play shall be ruled dead and the umpire shall consider placement of the runners. If the coach/pitcher interferes with the player/pitcher, the play shall be ruled dead and the umpire shall rule on the placement of the runners.
- Play may also be stopped by stopping the momentum of the lead runner. If it is the judgment of the umpire that a defensive player has position in front of the lead runner and has successfully stopped the advancement of that runner, time may be called by the umpire and all play is dead before the ball is returned to the circle.
- No steel or hard plastic spikes are permitted.
- All games shall start at 6:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
- Any game that has not progressed through official game status (four complete innings) shall be considered a suspended game and must be completed. The completion date of the game MUST be agreed upon within 7 days. If the two managers cannot agree within 7 days, they must bring the issue to the attention of the commissioner.
- Any player throwing the bat is automatically out. NO warning given. The batted ball is considered a dead ball, no pitch, and no runners may advance.
- For safety reasons, any time a player loses his/her helmet while on the base paths, play will be stopped immediately and a dead ball will be called. Placement of the runners will be based on the last base safely touched prior to losing his/her helmet. If the player loses his/her helmet between home plate and first base, play will stop, a dead ball will be called and the pitch will not count. The penalty for a player intentionally losing his/her helmet is an automatic out.
- Player/Pitcher must wear a facemask and an internal or external chest protector.
- The coach/pitcher shall be permitted to coach base runners after the ball is in play from within the circle
- Games shall be played using a safety or double-wide base for first base.
- “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.”
- Hash marks are to be used at three-fourths (45 feet) of the distance between bases to identify the point the runner must achieve in order to be awarded the next base when play is stopped.