Recreation Rookie League Rules

Coach Pitch: Coaches pitch to their own team. The coach should pitch (overhand) from either a seated position (on a bucket) or from a one knee down (kneeling) position. The player playing the position of pitcher must play a position within three feet of the coach pitching, but no closer to the hitter. Any batted ball that contacts the pitching coach (and/or the ball bucket) will be immediately called a foul ball. 

Rotation of players: No player may play more than one inning in the same position and each player must be rotated to the infield and the outfield in each game. For the reason of safety, minimally skilled players should not be played at the position of first base.

Player Participation: Player shows, player plays. No player shall play more than one inning more than any other player. All players bat in a pre-established sequence regardless of whether the player is in the field. Players must remain on the bench during the game.

Coach Expectations: The home team will have the third base bench. If disputes arise between coaches they should meet privately at the time of the dispute and resolve it. Make all efforts to resolve the dispute in a dignified manner. In the interest of good sportsmanship, teams and coaches should shake hands following the game. Coaches should promote and exhibit sportsman-like conduct at all times.

Umpires and Coaches: Coaches serve as umpires. When possible there should be coaches at both first and third base. The first base coach will make the calls at first; the third base coach will make the calls at third and the pitching coach make the calls at home and second. Close calls are always in favor of the hitter/runner. Respect the calls of each umpire. Arguing about a call and/or even using negative body language is inappropriate for this age level.

Game Duration: Games that start at 5:30 must be completed by 6:40. Games that start at 6:45 will end at approximately 7:50 or at darkness. The home team coach shall announce the end of the game due to the safety concerns brought about by dusk. There shall be no disputing his/her calling of the game due to this time.

Equipment: Players are not allowed to have any type of metal cleats on their shoes. No metal jewelry may be worn. Equipment should be in good repair. Play should be stopped immediately while damaged equipment is replaced. Players should wear ball caps (not backwards) when on the field.

Field Maintenance: The home team is responsible for setting out and putting away the bases. The visiting team is responsible for picking up the field area, dugout and bleacher area. Both teams should pick up all water bottles near their bench area. Have the kids help with field maintenance duties - it is important to teach kids at this level to respect our fields.

Less than 10 Players: One additional outfielder is used in this league. If less than 10 players are present, the only positions that can be omitted are pitcher and two outfielder positions. All other positions must be assigned and played. An official game can be played with a minimum of 7 players. The extra/10th player cannot play as an extra infielder.

Sliding: No headfirst slides.

Overthrow Advancement: No runner advancements on overthrows of first, third or home.

Dead Ball/End of Play: The ball will be deemed dead (and play over) after either of the following actions

by the defensive team:

● Defensive player makes an attempt in getting an out at any proper base.

● Defensive player throws the ball to the pitching coach

Switching Players from Team to Team: Must be approved by the Rookie League Commissioner.

Game Play: Three outs or 9* batters, whichever is first. Outs can only be made in the field – no strikeouts. Inning is done when 3 outs or when the play from the last batter is done. *Coaches can determine in unison to increase inning batter limits prior to game (Example - Team A has 11 players & Team B has 10 players coaches can agree that they’ll have an 11 batter limit per inning) 

Batters get 6 swing attempts before being presented a batting tee.

Note: Players who have little chance of hitting a pitched ball can begin their at-bat from a batting tee.

No score is kept

Miscellaneous Rules: There is no on-deck circle. Kids should stay in the dugout until it is their turn to bat. Kids love to swing bats randomly, so please stress safety.

Coaches should not hold up play to instruct players. Coaching instructions should be done on the bench or before or after a game and at practice.

Keep balls, gloves, bats, etc. away from the front of bench area and playing field.

The home team supplies a “new” game ball for each game. Additional game balls may be needed in wet conditions.

Suit up the catcher as soon as possible to avoid long delays.

There is no stealing or leading off.

No infield fly rule.

If the coach on the pitching mound touches a hit ball, it is a dead ball and the play must be repeated.

Weather policy:

In cases of questionable weather the day of a game: Reference the RAYB Rookie League website to determine if there is a league-wide cancellation of games.

Coaches looking to cancel their game should please consult with the opposing Coach as timely as possible. Coaches will be responsible for rescheduling of all non-league-wide game cancellations.

For games already in progress, the safety of the players and spectators should be of main concern. Coaches should get all children off the field if lightning is observed anywhere in the sky (or if there is a storm warning for the area)

Do not continue to practice or play in such cases that there is any chance in a player being injured due to poor field conditions. Games can always be rescheduled.

Rookie League Commissioner

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