A-Ball Rules (Pitching Machine)

All rules and said references to the “Minor League” shown in the Little League baseball Official Regulations and Playing Rules handbook apply to the A-Ball divisions for South Hill Little League.The following is added for SHLL Boys A-Ball.

PLAYER ELIGIBILITY

1. Age requirements: Boys must be league age 8.

2. The batting order shall constitute all present players on the team roster at the beginning of the game. Late arrivals shall be inserted at the bottom of the batting order.

 3. Rosters are limited in general to a minimum of 12 players and a maximum of 14 players.

SETUP

1. Pitching machine speed must be set between 35 MPH at 46 feet from home plate (front legs of pitching machine).

2. Bases will be 60 feet apart.

3. No infield practice before the game. Outfields may be used for warm-ups.

4. Batting practice/warmup: All players near or in use of baseball bats are required to wear a helmet.

4. Home Team occupies 1st Base Dugout.

5. Catchers must be in full catcher's gear with throat guard. (In the event to help a struggling catcher and speed up the game, catchers may throw passed balls off to the side, out of play, (preferably in a bucket) instead of returning to the coach pitcher. Umpire Parent may assist

GAME REQUIREMENTS

1. Six (6) innings constitute a regulation game.

2. A game called for rain or darkness only shall be declared a regulation game after 4 innings, 3 ½ innings if the home team is ahead.

3. No new inning will start on 1 HOUR and 30 minutes at SCHEDULED start time.

4. Each team is limited to five (5) runs per inning, except the last inning, which will be unlimited and three outs still apply. (See rule 5)

5. LAST INNING may be declared by any coach with both head coach's and Umpires agreeing to it. This is to allow a losing team that is down by more than 5 runs the option to tie or take the lead WHEN the 1.5 HOUR time limit is approaching. (Ideally when about 10 minutes of playing time is left). LAST INNING must be declared and started before the 1.5 HOUR playing time limit has been reached.

6. A manager whose team is ten (10) runs or more behind once the game becomes an Official Game (4 INNINGS) shall concede in accordance with the Ten Run Rule.

7. Home Team Rule (FLIP RULE): The team behind in the score entering the last inning, regardless of home or visitor, will bat FIRST in the 6th inning or when LAST INNING has been declared.  (This rule also applies to a DECLARED LAST INNING per rule 5.)

8. In the event of a tie game after 6 innings, OR LAST INNING declared, the game ends as a tie and is scored accordingly.

9. All players must wear jerseys issued by the league.(Hoodies or sweatshirts, if used, must be worn under game jersey.)

10. One coach selected at the start of the game is the only one allowed talking to the umpire on a disputed play.

UMPIRES

1. One parent from each team will umpire the game - one as the base ump and the other as the home plate ump and then switching positions each inning.

2. Complaints lodged against an umpire will have no bearing on games already completed.

3. In the event of the umpire forgetting or losing track of ball and strike count, the home team score book will be used.

4. UMPIRES and COACHES must agree on what is considered boundary lines for each field. This is to enforce OVERTHROWS and extra bases awarded, (IE: Fence line of dugout) See OFFENSE (BASE RUNNING) Rule 10


DEFENSE (PLAYING THE FIELD)

1. Ten (10) players will be used on the field in a league game; however a team can play with eight (8) if they are short players.

2. 4 infielders, 4 outfielders, 1 catcher, and 1 pitcher constitute a full team on the field of play. (Outfielders "must" play "at least" 25 feet behind the base line).

3. All players in attendance shall play at least 2 defensive innings.

4. Rotation of players: All team members play every position at some point in the season to determine where they are best suited.No player may play the same position more than TWICE in a game

5. Catcher must wear catcher’s equipment: catcher’s helmet with dangling throat protector, chest protector, shin guards, and protective cup.

6. A team on defense shall be allowed no more than 2 time-outs per inning. Exception: Injury to a player or other emergency.

7. One coach may stay in a coach’s lane in front of the dugout; one may assist players from outside the playing area (on own team side only). The remainder must stay in the bench area.

8. The defense pitcher may stand on either side of the pitching machine within 8 FEET of the pitchers plate.

9. The infield fly rule (Little League rule 6.05d) does not apply at this level.

10. IF a batted ball hits the pitching machine, pitching equipment, OR pitching coach, INTERFERENCE is called, THE BALL WILL BE DECLARED DEAD, the pitch does not count against the batter. ALL RUNNERS MUST RETURN TO THEIR ORIGINAL BASE.

11. The pitching coach may not intentionally interfere with a thrown ball in an attempt to make a play at a base. If umpire deemed INTENTIONAL, interference is called the runner closest to home is out and all runners must return to their original base.

12. . Play is stopped once the ball makes contact to the ground or a defensive player in the INFIELD. Runners more than halfway may continue to the next base. (See OFFENSE: Base running Rule 7.)

OFFENSE (BATTING)

1. Every player in attendance shall bat even though they may not be an active defensive player for that inning. The batting order shall consist of all eligible team members. Each player must come to bat before the first batter bats a second time.

2. All players must bat in correct order according to the lineup card presented to home team’s official scorekeeper. If the batter bats out of batting order and reaches first base the batter is out. If the batter doesn’t reach first base, he/she returns to home plate to bat again.

3. Late arriving players may only be added to the bottom of the official line up, without penalty.

4. A maximum of 5 pitches per batter.  If the batter does not put the ball in play after 5 pitches, he is OUT.

5. Three swinging strikes is an out (a foul ball on the third strike is not an out). If the batter does not put the ball in play in 5 pitches, the batter is out, with the following exception. If the batter fouls the 5th pitch or successive pitches after the 5th pitch, he/she will continue to bat until the batter does not swing, swings and misses, or puts the ball in play.

6. There are no walks.

7. There is “NO” free base given for a batter hit by a pitch.

8. No bunting is allowed.

9. Batter is out if they throw the bat and it hits the backstop or beyond the imaginary line from the wings of the backstop. This does not mean a bat slowly rolls into the backstop, or if the batter carriers the bat down the first base line. The rule shall be enforced by the umpire when in their opinion the action is unsafe. ONE WARNING PER TEAM. PENALTY: The batter is out.

10. One coach may coach first base and on may coach third base in the coach’s boxes. Coaches are not allowed on the field of play.

11. ABSOLUTELY NO ON-DECK BATTERS at any time!  Bats must be kept within the dugout. There is no on-deck area. Under no circumstances, should the players be swinging the bats near the dugout or inside the dugout.

12. A courtesy runner for the catcher is recommended when there are 2 outs. The player making the last out will be the runner. This allows you to get your catcher ready for your next defensive inning.

OFFENSE (BASE RUNNING)

1. A player may advance only when the ball is hit.

2. Under no circumstances is a runner permitted to steal a base when a ball has not been hit fairly by a batter. The runner must return to their base.

3. No Stealing bases.

4. No leading off. The base runner cannot leave their base until the ball is batted. PENALTY: The runner must return to previous base. Umpire judgement.

5. No sliding into first base.

6. FEET FIRST SLIDE ONLY. Head first sliding is an OUT.

7. On a hit ball that is in fair territory, runners cannot advance to another base once the ball makes contact to the ground or a defensive player in the INFIELD.This rule is enforced as the Spirit of the Game. (Think: Would a real major league player advance once the ball is returned to the infield and they are near their current base?)

8. A runner that is more than halfway toward the next base will be awarded that base. This halfway rule will be the judgment of the umpire.

9. Two base runners may not occupy the same base simultaneously. PENALTY: The base runner that first legally occupied the base shall be entitled to it. The second base runner maybe put out by being touched with the ball unless they make it back to the preceding base. (THIS IS NOT AUTOMATIC OUT.)

10. If a base runner fails to touch a base and the runner enters team’s bench area or play is over and the ball is thrown back to the base that runner missed to make an appeal, the runner will be declared out according to judgment of umpire.

11. No runner may return to a missed base or one they had left illegally once they entered the team’s bench area, or a following runner has scored. First runner automatically out.

12. When the ball is in play and is overthrown beyond the boundary lines, awarded bases shall be determined by the position of the base runners at the time of the throw. If 2 runners are between the same base, the award is based on the position of the lead runner.

13. When a base runner is struck with a fair-batted ball in fair territory while off the base and before it passed an infielder, and in the judgment of the umpire, no other infielder had a chance to play the ball, the base runner is out. The batter is entitled to first base and the ball is dead.

14. When the base runner is on base and is struck by a fair-batted ball, the runner is safe. The batter is entitled to first base and the ball is dead.

15. When a player loses possession of the ball, such as an attempted tag, and the ball enters the dead ball area or becomes blocked, all base runners are awarded one base from the last base touched at the time the ball entered the dead ball area or became dead.

16. If in the judgment of the umpire, a fielder intentionally carries a live ball from the playable territory into the dead ball territory, the ball becomes dead and all base runners are awarded one base from the last base touched at the time they entered dead ball territory.

17. When a defensive player has the ball and is waiting for the runner and the runner remains on their feet and deliberately, with great force, crashes into a defensive player, the runner is declared out. The runner is out, the ball is dead, and all other runners must return to the last base touched at the time of the collision. NOTE: IF THE ACT IS DETERMINED TO BE FLAGRANT THE OFFENDER SHALL BE EJECTED FROM THE GAME.

18. If the catcher is going for the ball, the catcher has the right to be in the baseline. If the catcher does not have or is not going for the ball, the catcher cannot block the baseline.

19. When a base runner abandons a base, does not attempt to advance to next base, and enters the team area or leaves the field of play, the base runner shall be declared out immediately.

20. When a base runner runs behind or in front of the fielder and outside the baseline in order to avoid interfering with a fielder attempting to field the ball in the base path it will not be considered an automatic out.

21. A base runner is not out when they do not run in a direct line to the base, providing the fielder in the direct line does not have the ball in their possession.

22. When a batter/base runner overruns first base after touching it and turns to the right with no attempt to advance to second base, the runner is considered safe.

23. When a batter/base runner overruns first base after touching it and turns to the left this may be considered an attempt to advance to second and the base runner may be tagged out. The attempt is a judgment call by the umpire.

24. In a "tag-up" situation (less than two outs), a base runner may advance on a caught fly ball, as long as the runner does not leave his/her base until the fielder catches the ball.

25. If a runner slides and the base becomes dislodged, he/she shall not be declared out if he/she is judged to be safe by the umpire, and he/she stays at the position where the b

 

EQUIPMENT AND PLAYING FIELD

1. No metal cleat shoes are allowed.

2. Catchers must wear catcher’s equipment: catcher’s helmet with dangling throat protector, chest protector, shin guards, and protective cup.

3. All batters and runners must wear batting helmets.

4.  Athletic cups recommended.

5. Base distance – 60’

6. Regulation HARD BALL baseballs are used. The ball used for Games and Practices should be a BAIDEN: 2BBLLG-03 Baseball or AD Starr LL Approved.

7. Pitching distance – 46’ from home plate.

8. Bats must have a USA Baseball Stamp on them


PROTESTS

There are no protests allowed at the Machine / A-Ball level. All games will be played as scheduled. Any complaints are to be addressed with the South Hill Little League Board of Directors, beginning with the specific division director.

Misc Rules:

1. Tobacco products, vaping, and marijuana are not allowed and are forbidden on school grounds, any recreational fields and includes all playing fields at any practice or game - period. This applies to coaches, parents, and all volunteers and spectators. This rule is strictly enforced as violations of the No Tobacco Products rule can cause SHLL to forfeit school and recreational field permits.

2. Unless amended above, rules will be played as stated. Managers are not permitted to agree to any rule changes and the umpires shall not allow any such changes.

 

  Updated 11/7/2023 -JM

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