Recreation B League Rules

Schedule: Goal is provide in the neighborhood of 14 regular season games. All teams will play each other one time. After that, second games will be against teams with similar won/loss records whenever possible. The first three weeks of the season will only have one game scheduled, with the extra practice time allotted to the development of pitchers & catchers.

Several open dates during the course of the season will be made available for make-up games. If possible, games also can be made up on Sunday evenings during the regularly scheduled practice times.

Team record (winning percentage) is used only for playoff seeding so make up games are not required. The tie breakers for playoff seeding will be as follows:

1. Best record.

2. Head-to-head.

3. Least runs allowed.

4. Run differential.

5. Coin flip.

If a three-way tie exists, best record is eliminated and items 2, 3, 4, & 5 would then come into play. Once the three way tie is broken, it reverts to head-to-head.

Field Dimensions: Length of base paths is 60’. Pitching distance is 46’.

Equipment: Helmets must be worn at all times when batting and running the bases. The ondeck circle is behind the back of the player batting (on third base side for right-handed batters; on first base side for left-handed batters). Helmets for catchers will cover the ears and will have a facemask and throat guard built into the helmet or attached. Equipment should be in good repair. Play should be stopped immediately while damaged equipment is replaced. Players will wear hats on the field because they are part of the uniform. Shirts should be tucked in. An athletic supporter with a protective cup is required for boys. No metal cleats can be worn. No metal jewelry can be worn.

Starting/Ending the game: All games start at 6:15p.m. A new inning can’t be started after 8:00p.m.

Teams must have at least 7 players present to play: If neither team has 7 players present and ready to play at the scheduled starting time, both teams will be charged with a loss. If only one team does not have 7 players, the team with less than enough players will be charged with a forfeit.

Official game: All games are scheduled for 6 innings. A game is official after the team which is behind in the score has batted at least 4 complete innings (subject to the time limit above). An umpire has the authority to call a game due to darkness, weather, unsafe conditions, or time limit. Extra innings are at the discretion of the umpire and the consensus of the coaches if a game ends in a tie. Playing a game to resolution is encouraged.

If final inning is not completed: If the visiting team completes its at bats and the home team is leading, the home team is the winner. If the visitors are leading and the home team does not get to bat, then you must disregard the inning and use the results of the last completed inning.

Complete ½ inning: A ½ inning is complete when a team records 3 outs or scores 5 runs, whichever occurs first. This rule applies throughout the game. If the leading team has more than 6 runs over the opposing team in the last inning, the game is won. But if time permits and the coaches agree, the teams can continue to play until the end of 6 innings or the time limit.

Player participation: Each player present at the start of the game must play a minimum of 3 innings. No one may play more than one additional inning more than any other player. All players will be included in the batting order and bat in sequence regardless of whether the  player is in the field (roster batting). The batting order for each game starts where the batting order left off in the previous game. For example, if the 5th batter was last up in the last game, the batting order for the next game starts with the 6th batter. Each player must play in the infield and the outfield in each game. Generally, no player may play any position more than 2 innings in any game (see catcher exception below). The objective is for each player to have the chance to play and learn several positions. Every player should sit once before any other player sits twice. Fielding changes should not be made during an inning unless there is an injury or a pitching change is made. Use the player rotation chart to plan your line-up before the game.

Pitching and catching: Use players who can throw strikes. Encourage and teach others to pitch and use them when they are ready and can throw strikes. A pitcher can pitch a maximum of 2 innings per game and a maximum of six innings per week. One pitch equals one inning. A week is defined as the days Sunday through Saturday. Innings pitched are to be consecutive innings. A player may not pitch in more than one game per day during the regular season. During the playoffs, a player will be limited to pitching 2 innings per game (per our league rules) and 6 innings for the entire week. In situations which require 2 games in one day, pitchers will be allowed to pitch 3 innings total for the day. A player may play catcher 3 innings per game. Do not risk hurting a young player’s arm. Fastballs and change-ups only. No altered pitches: curves, sliders, etc. Pitcher will be removed from game at umpire’s decision and play called to hitting team’s advantage if pitcher tries altered pitches.

Strike zone: For our league play, the width of the strike zone will be the width of the plate, but the height of the strike zone is slightly expanded to include one ball width on the bottom of the kneecaps on the low end and chest high or below armpits on the high side. Stealing/base advancement: No leading off. Runners may steal after the ball crosses the plate. No stealing shall be allowed on a passed ball or a wild pitch. A passed ball is a ball that goes behind the catcher’s feet. If the catcher catches a pitch and then drops it, it is a passed ball if it goes behind the catcher's feet. If the catcher catches a pitch and then drops it but the ball stays in front of the catcher's feet, it is not a passed ball. In this situation, the runner can steal. Whether the ball has gone behind the catcher's feet will often be a judgment call that must be made by the umpire. Please respect the umpire's decision.

There is no advancement/stealing home. Players may steal 2nd and 3rd as long as it is not a passed ball or a wild pitch. If a runner steals and the ball gets behind the catcher, simply send the runner back to the base. It will be ruled a dead ball. If there is an overthrow to first or second, the runner may advance at his/her own risk. The runners may only go home if the play starts with a batted or bunted ball or the runner is forced in with a walk. The runner cannot score on a play that starts with a steal no matter how many overthrows there are or whether or not the overthrows go out of bounds. Batters cannot advance on a 3rd strike but runners can advance at their own risk as long as the ball was not a passed ball. The throw from the catcher to the pitcher is a dead ball.

For overthrows that go out of play in the infield, the runners will be awarded 2 bases from the start of the play. For overthrows from the outfield that go out of play, runners will be awarded 2 bases from the point of release. “Out of play” is defined as being over/outside the field fence. When a runner is returning to a base to tag up after a caught ball and the ball is thrown out of play, the awarded bases include the base that he/she is returning to and one additional base. On overthrows that remain in the field of play, runners may advance unlimited bases at their own risk.

Leaving the base early: Coaches please keep a close eye on your own players so that they do not leave the base prior to the ball crossing the plate. With one umpire, it is too tough to call strikes and watch the runners too. If the player leaves early and gets put out on the steal, the player is out. If the player leaves early and gets to the next base safely on a steal or the ball is hit, the ball will be considered dead and the runner will be returned to the original base. This means that if the runner leaves early and the ball is hit, the umpire will let the play continue until  it is done. When the play is over, if the player who left early is out at the base that that player tried to steal, that player is out and the player who hit the ball can stay wherever he/she ended up. But if the player who left early is not out at the base that the player tried to steal, the stealing player goes back to the original base, the player who hit the ball goes back to the plate, and the game continues as if that play had never happened. Basically, if the stealing player is not out at the next base, the play is a "do over." Police your own team. Help the umps out on this.

Base Running/Sliding: A runner is out if he/she does not slide or attempt to slide around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag. A player sliding head first into any base will be called out. Players should be called out if they run into a defensive player at any base, even if the defensive player does not have the ball but is in the act of receiving a throw. A player will be ejected from the game if the player deliberately tries to run over or hit a defensive player.

Obstruction: A defensive player can be called for obstruction if they block the base path and do not have the ball, even if it unintentional. Coaches will work with first basemen to make sure they allow players who have hit the ball to the outfield the ability to round first base.

Legal Bats: The official bat for league play shall not measure more than thirty six inches long and not more than 2 ¼ inches in diameter for small barrel bats or 2 ¾ inches for large barrel bats. All bats should have the USSSA 1.15 BPF fingerprint. To view, click here.

Official protest: No protests allowed. If there is a controversial call or a question on the rules, the coaches will calmly meet with the ump to resolve the issue. If no resolution can be found to satisfy both coaches, then the ump’s decision, after the meeting, is final. Remember that this is an in-house developmental league. Keep it fun and friendly for the players, parents, and even the umpires.

Miscellaneous rules:

  • The infield fly rule applies. The little league website has a good description of the rule:
  • Balls that roll under or become stuck under an outfield fence will be ground rule doubles.
  • Bunting is allowed
  • If the ball hits the ground and then hits the batter, this is considered a hit batter and the batter is awarded first base.
  • The on-deck circle is behind the batter on the third base side when a right-handed hitter is up. The on-deck circle is behind the batter on the first base side when a left-handed hitter is up.
  • Coaches should not hold up play to instruct players. Coaching instructions should be done on the bench or before or after the game and at practice.
  • No hitting balls against fencing.
  • Winning coach should email game results to Commissioner after game.

Coach’s conduct:

  • No smoking on field or in dugout area.
  • No cursing.
  • No arguing an umpire’s judgment call. A coach may call a time out to go over a ruling call. Once a call has been made, the game continues. A coach may ask for a clarification between innings. If an umpire makes a call, do not use body language as a form of protest.
  • Coaches are expected to help out when unruly spectators are arguing a call. Call time out and ask that person to stop. Remind them that the game is for the ballplayers.
  • Coaches are expected to step in immediately and at all times when one player is making fun of another player.
  • At no time should a coach touch a player in a threatening manner.
  • Remember that this game is for the kids. Make sure it stays that way. Remember to keep the game fun. The more fun it is, the more the kids will learn. We do not want to burn out a ballplayer. This is a competitive league but a fun league.

Field maintenance: The visiting team is responsible for picking up field area, dugout, and bleacher area. The home team is responsible for raking the infield, home plate area, and mound at the end of each game. This is a good volunteer job for parents. Do not rake ag-lime on to the grass for any reason. Rake parallel with the grass line. If ag-lime is pulled out of a low wet spot, pile it on the ag-lime on the infield only. After the game, be sure to completely fill in the low area with what was taken out plus additional ag-lime from high areas. Holes on the mound, in the batter’s box, and in front of base should be filled and packed or tamped down. If dirt is dry, pour water in the area and then tamp.

Returning equipment: Return all equipment clean at the end of the season by deadline. At the end of the year, take a hose and clean off the equipment and the equipment bag. No equipment or jerseys will be used for purposes other than official RAYB play. No exceptions. Returned bags should have 2 bats, 2 catcher’s helmets, 2 chest protectors, 2 catcher’s mitts, 2 sets of catcher’s shin guards, 1 set of cushions, first aid kit, and baseballs. 

B League Commissioner

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