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New for 2018: USA Baseball Bat Rule

USA Baseball, the national governing body for baseball in the US, has adopted a new method for measuring bat performance in youth baseball. Through in-depth research, USA Baseball has concluded that recent advancements in science, engineering, technology, and the materials available to fabricate non-wood bats, now allow the manufacturers to construct youth bats that can perform at a wood-like level through the entire range of lengths and weights of youth bats.

The new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat), which applies to bats that are classified below the NCAA and NFHS level of play, will be implemented on January 1, 2018, allowing the bat manufacturers sufficient time to bring these bats to the marketplace. All of these new bats will have the "USA Baseball" logo on the bat, which is what umpires will be looking for.

FCABSA's Adaption

The Fox Chapel Baseball and Softball Association decided to adopt and enforce the new USA Bat rule AFTER the spring in-house season of 2018. All players were able to use their existing bats for the 2018 spring in-house season OR use one of the new approved bats. 

If you are looking to purchase your player a new bat please buy a USA Baseball certified bat, https://usabat.com

If you need further information regarding the change please follow the link below:

 https://usabat.com/about/

“T-BALL” DIVISION BASEBALL RULES (5 AND 6 YEAR OLDS)

FOX CHAPEL AREA BASEBALL & SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION

2018 “T-BALL” DIVISION BASEBALL RULES 

The goal of T-BALL is to introduce the youngsters to the most basic concepts of baseball.  This should be accomplished in a low stress atmosphere conducive to learning. Coaches should downplay the competitive aspects of the sport. T-Ball Players must be 5 years old by April 30 of the spring season.

Special rules have been designed which allow for all of the basic skills (i.e., hitting, catching, throwing and running) to be utilized under real-game situations, but including provisions which guarantee equal playing time for everyone, provide experience by continuously putting the ball in play and reward the players for trying their best by minimizing the risks and penalties possible on any play.

The Field

  • Bases shall be 60’ apart.  A hash mark shall be placed half the distance between first and second base, second and third base, and between third and home.  An arc shall be drawn 15’ from home plate. Batted balls, which do not cross this line, are considered foul.  A line shall be placed 45’ from home plate. The player at the pitching position shall not cross this line until the ball is hit.
  •  The home team is responsible for preparing the field for each game. This includes setting the bases and tee, lining and raking the field, placing a circle around the pitcher’s mound, doing any general tidying up the field needs and making all decisions on field conditions due to the weather.

Equipment

  • FCABSA uses a softer, safer ball designed for small players. Bats and tees are provided by the league
  • Bases are kept in the equipment boxes at the fields.
  • Balls will be provided to the managers by the league.
  • The players must bring their own gloves.
  • Baseball shoes are not mandatory, but recommended. METAL SPIKES ARE NOT PERMITTED. The players may bring their own bats and batting helmets if they wish. All equipment should be prominently marked with the player's name as equipment has a tendency to get misplaced at this age.

Players

  • There will be 5 infielders:  First base, Second base, Third base, Shortstop, and Pitcher. A parent coach will serve as the catcher.
  • The outfield will consist of all the remaining players arranged in an arc at least 20’ behind the bases.
  • Players shall rotate positions and all players shall play at least two innings in the infield. No child shall play more than one inning per game at any infield position. Innings will be rotated between infield and outfield. Example: First inning – player X plays 2nd base, second inning – player X plays outfield, third inning player X plays 3rd base, fourth inning player X plays outfield.

Game Play

  • The game will be at least 2 innings and no more than 4 full innings. Games will run no longer than 1 hour and 45 minutes. 
  • All players will bat in a continuous batting order.  Each team should keep a batting order for their players to insure the players bat in the proper order. Players arriving after the start of the game shall be added to the end of the order.
  • All players will bat each inning. Keeping a game score is not necessary and is discouraged.
  • The final batter of each inning will run all the way home. The team in the field is to stay in the field until the last batter crosses home plate.
  • Each batter will hit from the batting tee until a fair ball is hit. In addition to the standard foul lines, any ball not hit past the 15’ arc will be ruled foul. Any time the player loudly strikes the tee, the play will be ruled dead by the batting team’s manager and the swing will be retaken.
  • Full swings must be taken at all times, as there is no bunting. First year players MUST use the tee the first 3-5 games. Second year T-Ball players may choose either to hit off the tee or have the coach pitch to them.
  • Players should try for a maximum of 5 swings with the tee and 5-7 swings from coach pitch.
  • A batter may not throw the bat. If this occurs, play is ruled dead and offending batter is warned. If the player throws the bat for the second time in the same at bat, the player shall be declared out.

Baserunning

  • There are no leads or stealing.
  • The base runner must stay on the base until the ball is hit.
  • Once the ball is in play, runners may advance until play is stopped, at which point the runner is awarded the base entitled to by the half way line between the bases.
  • The base runner should stay within the baselines. The only exception is to avoid a batted ball or interfering with a fielder attempting to field the ball.
  • If the runner interferes with a fielder attempting to field a batted ball, the base runner is declared out and play stops. The runner may round first base in either direction providing there is no deliberate move toward second base.
  • Every batter runs the bases. Even if the team in the field makes the out, the runner stays on the base.
  • In essence, there are no outs in T-Ball.

Fielding

  •  After a fair ball is hit, the fielders are encouraged to make the play at the closest force play for the out. While the runner will be allowed to stay on the base, we want the players to start to understand where to throw the ball. Play also continues until: an outfielder or infielder throws the ball in a forward motion toward home plate, an infielder holds the ball after a throw to him or her, or the ball goes out of play.
  • On an errant throw by an infielder or a subsequent errant play by the receiving infielder, no base runner (including the batter) may advance beyond the base to which he or she is going. The ball is dead when it eludes the receiving infielder and the runners may not advance.
  • The Pitcher must begin play with at least one foot located within the circle placed around the pitching mound and no closer than to the side of a Coach Pitcher. The player pitcher is required to wear a heart guard chest protector provided by the league and may wear a helmet with face shield at their discretion.

Coaches

  •  A team should use as many coaches as possible at this age level. Besides the manager, the normal base coaches are utilized and a batter coach is used to set the ball on the tee, adjust the player’s stance, and to serve as the catcher. Two outfield coaches are allowed to keep the outfielders paying attention to the game and informed about what to do on the next play.
  • The home team manager is responsible for canceling the game due to weather and notifying the other manager as soon as possible. Once the game is started, stopping or terminating the game is the responsibility of the home team manager. ALL GAMES STOP IMMEDIATELY FOR LIGHTNING.

Umpiring

  • There are no umpires at this level.



 

“A” DIVISION BASEBALL RULES (8U)

The goal for A Ball is to continue to present the basic skills of baseball (i.e., hitting, catching, throwing and running) in a relaxed, low-stress atmosphere, while simultaneously introducing players to a slightly more advanced level of skills that requires attention to the specific game situation on the field. Physical skills are naturally important and will develop over time with repetition, but the mental skills of preparation and awareness are critical to success in baseball and can be learned by children of all abilities. Special rules for young players are still in effect at this level which allow all of the basic skills to be utilized under real-game situations, but including provisions which guarantee equal playing time for everyone, provide experience by continuously putting the ball in play and encourage the players to try their best by minimizing the risks and penalties possible on any play.

The major changes to A Ball from T-Ball is more live action sequences that require the players to complete each play a little further than before. Coaches pitch at this level and outs count! Also, we introduce the Catcher position at this level. Official Little League rules for this age group will be followed.

 

The Field

  • Bases shall be 60’ apart.  A hash mark shall be placed half the distance between first and second base, second and third base, and between third and home. 
  • Use of a double bag (safety base) is optional for first base. The white bag (inside the foul line) is for the defensive player, the orange bag (foul line) is for the base runner. This will hopefully help avoid all collisions at first base between the base runner and the fielder.
  • The home team is responsible for preparing the field for each game. This includes setting the bases, lining and raking the field, placing a circle around the pitcher’s mound, and any other necessary field preparations.
  • The home team is also responsible for making all decisions on field conditions due to the weather.

Equipment

  • We use regular baseballs at this level. Practice and game balls will be provided to the coaches by the league. 
  • Bats are provided by the league; bases are kept in the equipment boxes at the fields.
  • The players must bring their own gloves.
  • Baseball shoes are not mandatory, but are recommended. METAL SPIKES ARE NOT PERMITTED. The players may bring their own bats and batting helmets if they wish. All equipment should be prominently marked with the player's name as equipment has a tendency to get misplaced at this age.  

Players

  • There will be 6 infielders: First Base, Second Base, Shortstop, Third Base, Pitcher and Catcher.
  • The outfield shall consist of four players formed in an arc (no rover).
  • By using the fielding positions as described above, ten players should be on the field at all times. For teams that have more than 10 players at a game, it will become necessary to sit one or more player out each inning in the field. To deal with this situation, a rule has been created to ensure fairness: In order to keep ten players on the field at all times, a player rotation must be established. The manager has complete discretion as to which inning to sit out a player within the confines of the rotation, but under NO circumstances should a child ever sit out twice in one game before all other players have sat at least one inning.
  • Players shall rotate positions and all players shall play at least two innings in the infield and two innings in the outfield per game. Defensive positioning should be rotated between infield and outfield. Example: First inning – player X plays 2nd base, second inning – player X plays outfield, third inning player X plays 3rd base, fourth inning player X plays outfield. This field rotation does not affect the batting order, everybody bats in regular turn.

 

Game play

  • Games will be six innings in duration.
  • Each inning will end after three outs OR on the play that scores the fifth run. Play will conclude in a half inning once the fifth run has scored. Any additional runs scored beyond the fifth run will not count. The 5 run rule per inning is in effect all 6 innings of play.There is no "unlimited run rule" at this level.
  • Games should run no longer than two hours. NO GAME can run into the next time period. Any game reaching that point must be stopped immediately. A game halted during play for weather or time limit reasons will be considered complete if the losing team has batted at least four innings. Games called before this point can be rescheduled with the agreement of both managers. There are no extra innings at this level; if the score is tied after 6 innings, the game results in a tie.
Batting

  • With a coach pitching, each batter will bat until they hit the ball or reach the 10 pitch maximum.
  • Full swings must be taken at all times, as there is NO bunting.
  • There are no called strikes. There are no walks. If the batter does not hit the ball, the batter will be declared out. If the ball is fouled on the tenth pitch, then the batter gets another pitch.  
  • It is important that coaches and managers respect and enforce these rules to keep each game fair and moving along. Please stick to the 10 pitch maximum!
  • All players on a team will bat in a continuous order in each game.  The Manager should select the batting order for the team for each game.
  • Players arriving after the start of game must be added to the end of the batting order. The Manager must keep a batting order and an inning score for the purposes of establishing when five runs have scored. Scores will be kept for all games at this level.
  • Managers or coaches will pitch to their own team. Pitching does not have to be from the pitching mound. The pitcher may move forward for the success of the batter. The pitcher may also kneel down to pitch.
Baserunning
  • There is no leading, nor stealing at this level; the runner must wait until the batter makes contact with the ball.
  • Once the ball is in play, the runner can advance until play is stopped, at which point, each runner is awarded the base he is entitled by the halfway line (lead runners take precedence over trailing runners).
  • The base runner should stay within the baseline. The only exceptions to this are to avoid a batted ball or interference.
  • The runner has the right of way at all times, except when a fielder is making a play. If a runner interferes with a fielder while playing the ball, the runner is out and play is stopped.
  • If a runner runs out of the baseline to avoid a tag, he is out.
  • If a batted ball hits the runner before it reaches an infielder, he is out and play may continue. There are still halfway lines in use between bases for determining which base a runner is awarded when play is stopped. Tagging up is allowed on any caught fly ball.
  • On an errant throw by an infielder or a subsequent errant play by the receiving infielder that travels beyond the field of play, no base runner (including the batter) may advance beyond the base to which he is going. The ball is dead when it eludes the receiving infielder and travels beyond the field of play. No runner may score from third on an overthrow out of play.
Fielding
  • Once the ball is put into play it is LIVE! Play will continue with all runners and fielders active until (a) all runners have voluntarily stopped or been held on their respective bases; (b) the ball is in possession of an infielder in the infield (dirt area) at which point play is dead and the halfway line rules apply; or (c) the ball goes out of play on an overthrow (past the 10 foot arc surrounding first and third).
  • At this age, we want to teach the players to throw to the appropriate base and not automatically back to the pitcher.
  • The Catcher will play behind Home Plate in the normal position.
  • The Pitcher must begin play with at least one foot located within the circle placed around the pitching mound and no closer than to the side of a Coach Pitcher. The player pitcher is required to wear a heart guard chest protector provided by the league and may wear a helmet with face shield at their discretion.
  • Infielders will play in the traditional positions.
  • The outfield consists of four fielders, and can be adjusted by the manager. All outfielders must start each pitch from an arc that protrudes 20 feet from the basepaths.

  • Although able to assist in the infield, outfielders are never permitted to physically make a putout on a runner; this must be done by an infielder. The outfielder may throw to an infielder covering a base for an out but MAY NOT run with the ball from the outfield and step on a base for an out. This is done to prevent players from playing a short outfield position and trying to act as a fifth infielder. Since the ball is live, outfielders must get the ball back to the infield to make a play at a base or hold the runners.
  • Batters may be out at first base on throws made by an outfielder.
  • Managers and/or coaches of the defensive team are permitted on field at any and all times.
  • The game should not be delayed while the catcher is putting on his equipment.  A coach for the fielding team shall catch until the catcher is ready to do so.

Coaching

  • Weeknight game starting times are 6:00 PM.
  • The home team manager will make a decision as to a rainout prior to the game, but no later than 4:30 pm unless rain begins after 4:30 pm. 
  • The home team manager is responsible for calling the other manager to notify of a weather cancellation. 
  • If the game is not called by 4:30 pm and telephone contact cannot be made, then both managers must appear at the field with a playing team. Once the game is commenced, it should be called for weather or darkness by the home team manager.
  • ALL GAMES STOP IMMEDIATELY FOR LIGHTNING. If no lightning occurs for 30 minutes, game may resume.
  • Managers should try to reschedule and play rainouts.  The scheduler is the only one who can reschedule a game. Please contact Tim Rice ([email protected]) to reschedule games within two weeks of the cancellation.
  •  Any manager or coach involved in oral arguments and/or fighting during or after a game will be subject to discipline by the FCABSA Board on a case-by-case basis.
  • Coaches have the right to remove unruly spectators from the game, interpreted as “the sight and sound of the field.”   

Callups

  • Any player eligible for “A” Division can play in the next higher division as a call up. A call up player may not play if his rostered team has a game at the same time.
  • Playing up a division is at the sole discretion of the manager. A player’s parent may request that a 9 year old to play in “A” Division. Such a request will be brought before the FCABSA Board for a decision. The main criterion will be safety of the player. Failure to follow these rules could result in forfeiture of a game.
  • Any A Division Team that is short players may call up a player from T-Ball, provided he/she is on the T-Ball call up list kept by the T-Ball Director.

 

 

“AA” DIVISION BASEBALL RULES (10U)

At the AA level, players will be pitching, bunting and stealing. Other concepts added or enhanced will include walks, hit batters, overthrows, live ball and development of position skills. There are still many concepts that remain restricted from this phase of baseball which will come in later years – such as: taking leads, balks, passed balls, and the infield fly rule. The goal at this level is to continue to introduce and teach new skills to the players, refining those introduced in the last few years, further increase their levels of awareness and responsibility within the game by again expanding the range of potential outcomes on the field and moderately turning up the competitive level another notch.

NOTE: The Major League Rulebook is always in effect, unless superseded by a league modification in these rules.

The Field

  • Bases shall be 60’ apart. 
  • The pitching rubber is 46 feet from Home Plate.
  • The home team is responsible for preparing the field for each game. This includes setting the bases, lining and raking the field, and completing any other necessary field preparations
  • The home team manager is responsible for making all decisions on field conditions due to the weather. The home team is also responsible for placing bases into the field box and for ensuring that all waste/garbage is removed from both dugouts following a game.    

Equipment

METAL SPIKES ARE NOT PERMITTED.


Players

  • Ten players should be on the field at all times. There will be 6 infielders: First Base, Second Base, Shortstop, Third Base, Pitcher and Catcher. The outfield shall consist of four players formed in an arc (no rover). 
  • Teams may play with 8 or 9 players. For teams that have more than 10 players at a game, it will become necessary to sit one or more player out each inning in the field. In order to keep ten players on the field at all times, a player rotation must be established. The manager has complete discretion as to which inning to sit out a player within the confines of the rotation, but under NO circumstances should a child ever sit out twice in one game before all other players have sat at least one inning. This field rotation does not affect the batting order, everybody bats in regular turn.
  • As this is Recreation Baseball, players shall rotate positions and all players shall play at least two innings in the infield and two innings in the outfield per game. Defensive positioning should be rotated between infield and outfield. Example: First inning – player X plays 2nd base, second inning – player X plays outfield, third inning player X plays 3rd base, fourth inning player X plays outfield.

Game play

  • The games will be six innings in duration. Each inning will end after three outs OR on the play that scores the fifth run.
  • Play will conclude in a half inning once the fifth run has scored. Any additional runs scored beyond the fifth run will count. In the 6th inning, either team can score up to a maximum of 10 runs. Games should run no longer than two to two and a quarter hours. Any game reaching that point must complete the inning and stop immediately.
  • A game halted during play for weather or time limit reasons will be considered complete if the losing team has batted at least four innings. Games called before this point can be rescheduled with the agreement of both managers. If at the end of 6 innings the score is tied, the game shall continue to a maximum of 8 innings. If after 8 innings the game remains tied, the result will be a tie.

Batting

  • All players on a team will bat in a continuous order in each game.
  • Slug-bunting/Fake Bunting and Swinging is PROHIBITED for safety reasons. This is defined as squaring around to bunt and then stepping back and swinging away.
  • No intentional walks.
  • A thrown bat results in a warning for the batter after the play has ended. Thrown bats calls are at the umpire’s discretion. All subsequent violations by either team will result in the batter being called out and all runners returning to the base occupied at the time of the pitch, again, at the umpires discretion.

 

Baserunning

  • No leads allowed.
  • Stealing is permitted. The baserunner must wait until the ball crosses the plate before leaving the base. Each team will receive a warning for leaving early. Once a warning has been issued, all other offenses will result in the runner being called out.
  • The stealing of any base is not permitted by a team if that team is winning by 10 or more runs.
  • Stealing of home plate is not permitted at any time. 
  • Runners may advance as far as third base on an overthrow from the catcher or pitcher to the outfield during an attempted steal play.
  • Runners are frozen on third base. Runners can only advance home on a batted ball or walk/HBP if bases are loaded.
  • On an errant throw by an infielder or a subsequent errant play by the receiving infielder that travels beyond the field of play, the base runner (including the batter) may advance beyond the base to which he is going. If the ball is thrown out of play, the runner is awarded the base he/she was headed to plus one additional base.
  • The Infield Fly rule does not apply at this level.
  • If the catcher is on base after the 2nd out is recorded in an inning, it is suggested that the manager utilize a courtesy runner for the catcher.  The courtesy runner will be the batter who made the 2nd out. This suggestion is being made to speed up the game.
  • AVOID CONTACT RULE: A runner must make an attempt to avoid contact at any base if a play is being made or they are out. It is not a must slide rule, but sliding is recommended. Headfirst slides are prohibited, unless a runner is returning to a base. The intent in these instances is to encourage safety and avoid injuries or collision.

 Fielding 

  • Once the ball is put into play it is live. Play will stop when (a) a play has been made at a base and time has been called by the umpire; (b) the ball goes out of play on an overthrow and each runner is awarded the appropriate base; or (c) with the ball under the control of an infielder and time has been officially called by the umpire.
  • Batters may be out at first base on throws made by an outfielder. Outfielders are not permitted to complete a force out play by touching any base. All force out plays initiated from an outfield position require a throw to an infielder covering the base. Tag-outs by an outfielder in a situation such as a rundown are allowed.
  • The ball will remain live when the ball is being thrown from the catcher to the pitcher. 

 Pitching

  • The pitching rubber is 46 feet from Home Plate.
  • Pitchers are permitted to throw a maximum of two (2) innings in any game. A player may pitch in a maximum of six (6) innings in a calendar week, Sunday through Saturday. Delivery of a single pitch constitutes having pitched an inning.
  • No player may return to the pitcher position once removed during that game.
  • If a pitcher hits 2 batsmen in one inning or 3 batsmen in the game, he/she must be removed from the pitcher position. In this instance, he/she may be placed in another position in the field.  Umpire has total discretion as to removing a pitcher from the game for deliberately throwing at or hitting a batsman.
  • There are no intentional walks permitted. There are no balks.
  • A pitcher 9 or under (or combination pitchers 9 and under) must pitch 2 of the first 4 innings of the game. The innings need not be consecutive. A 9 and under pitcher or pitchers must pitch 2 complete innings unless they walk a total of 5 batters/hit batsman (any combination) or 5 runs. After 5 walks/hits batsman (any combination), or 5 runs the rule is considered satisfied and the team may use senior pitchers.
  • Any player who plays “up” in this league will play one year as a nine (9) year old (even though they are 8). (This does not include call ups from the lower level for a game or two!) Their next year in the league, said player will be considered ten (10) for the experience on the mound even though they are 9. If this player stays back the following year, he will have a second year at the (10) level.

Mercy Rule

  • If one team leads by 15 or more runs after the trailing team has batted 4 times, the game will be terminated and the team with the lead is declared the winner.  If the home team is behind more than 15 runs after the top of the inning, the inning should be completed. If a team is ahead by 10 or more runs after 5 innings the game is complete.

 

Coaching

  • Weeknight game starting time will be 6:15 PM. The home team manager will make a decision as to a rainout prior to the game, but no later than 4:30 pm unless rain begins after 4:30 pm, he is responsible for calling the other manager.  If the game is not called by 4:30 pm and telephone contact cannot be made, then both managers must appear at the field with a playing team. Failure to field eight (8) players will result in forfeiture of the game.  Once the game is commenced, it should be called for weather or darkness by the Umpire. ALL GAMES STOP IMMEDIATELY FOR LIGHTNING.
  • The winning team must report a games score to the division director.
  • Managers should try to reschedule and play rainouts.  The scheduler is the only one who can reschedule a game.  Please contact Tim Rice ([email protected]) to reschedule games within two weeks of the cancellation.
  •  Any manager or coach involved in oral arguments and/or fighting during or after a game will be subject to discipline by the FCABSA Board on a case-by-case basis.
  • Umpires have the right to remove unruly spectators from the game, interpreted as “the sight and sound of the field.”  

Callups

  • Any player eligible for “AA” Division can play in the next higher division. A player cannot play in the “A” division. Playing up a division is at the sole discretion of the manager. The main criterion will be the safety of the players. Call ups from the lower level are not permitted to pitch in a game under any circumstance. Failure to follow these rules could result in forfeiture of a game.

Playoffs

Playoffs are held at the end of the Spring Season.

 

“AAA” DIVISION BRONCO BASEBALL RULES (12U)

In AAA, the kids will make the transition to the next phase of youth baseball, a game almost identical to adult, Major League baseball. Now that the kids have had the opportunity to master the basic skills of baseball, it is time to introduce more advanced skills: taking leads, pitching from the stretch, balks and passed balls, and the Infield Fly rule. The goal in this division is to introduce these new aspects of the game and to continue to refine the basic skills introduced in previous years, further increase their levels of awareness and responsibility within the game by again expanding the range of potential outcomes on the field and work on the intricate and subtle strategic maneuvers that make baseball the unique game of thinking, preparedness, and teamwork that it is.

 

NOTE: The Major League Rulebook is always in effect, unless superseded by a league modification in these rules.

 

The Field

  • Bases shall be 70’ apart. The pitching rubber is 46 feet from Home Plate.
  • The home team is responsible for preparing the field for each game. This includes setting the bases, lining and raking the field, and any other necesary field preparations.
  • The home team is responsible for making all decisions on field conditions due to the weather.

Equipment

  • METAL SPIKES ARE NOT PERMITTED.
  • Nine players should be on the field at all times. Teams may play with 8 players. For teams that have more than 9 players at a game, it will become necessary to sit one or more player out each inning in the field. To deal with this situation, a rule has been created to ensure fairness: In order to keep nine players on the field at all times, a player rotation must be established. The manager has complete discretion as to which inning to sit out a player within the confines of the rotation.
  • As this is Recreation Baseball, players shall rotate positions and all players shall play at least two innings in the infield. 
  • This field rotation does not affect the batting order, everybody bats in regular turn.

Game play

  • The games will be six innings in duration. Each inning will end after three outs OR on the play that scores the fifth run. Play will conclude in a half inning once the fifth run has scored. Any additional runs scored beyond the fifth run will count (in other words, the continuation rule is in effect). In the 6th inning, either team can score up to a maximum of ten (10) runs. No new inning can begin after 2 hours from the first pitch.
  • A game halted during play for weather or time limit reasons will be considered complete if the losing team has batted at least four innings. Games called before this point can be rescheduled with the agreement of both managers. If at the end of 6 innings the score is tied, the game shall continue to a maximum of 8 innings.  If after 8 innings the game remains tied, the result will be a tie.

Batting

  • All players on a team will bat in a continuous order in each game. 
  • Slug-bunting/Fake Bunting and Swinging is PROHIBITED for safety reasons. This is defined as squaring around to bunt and then stepping back and swinging away.
  • No intentional walks.
  • A thrown bat results in a warning for the batter after the play has ended. Thrown bats calls are at the umpires discretion. All subsequent violations by either team will result in the batter being called out and all runners returning to the base occupied at the time of the pitch, again, at the umpires discretion.

Baserunning

  • Players may lead and attempt a steal at any time the game is live.
  • On an errant throw by an infielder or a subsequent errant play by the receiving infielder that travels beyond the field of play, the base runner (including the batter) may advance beyond the base to which he is going.  If the ball is thrown out of play, the runner is awarded the base he/she was headed to plus one additional base. Runners may score from third on an overthrow out of play.
  • A straight steal of home is not permitted.
  • Baserunners may advance on passed balls.
  • AVOID CONTACT RULE: A runner must make an attempt to avoid contact at any base if a play is being made or they are out. It is not a MUST SLIDE rule, but sliding is recommended. Headfirst slides are prohibited, unless a runner is returning to a base. The intent in these instances is to encourage safety and avoid injuries or collision.
  • Stealing any base is not permitted if a team is winning by 10 or more runs. 
  • Courtesy runners are allowed for catchers with 2 outs. The courtesy runner must be the last recorded out. If a courtesy runner is used, that player much catch the next defensive inning.
  • The ball will remain live when the ball is being thrown from the catcher to the pitcher. 
  • The Infield Fly rule is in effect at this level. For more info, click here: http://www.littleleague.org/learn/newsletters/Fairball_Newsletter/2012/FBNov12/TheInfieldFlyRule.htm

Fielding

  • Once the ball is put into play it is live.
  • Play will stop when (a) a play has been made at a base and time has been called by the umpire; (b) the ball goes out of play on an overthrow and each runner is awarded the appropriate base; or (c) with the ball under the control of an infielder and time has been officially called by the umpire.
  • The ball will remain live when the ball is being thrown from the catcher to the pitcher. 
  • Dropped 3rd strike IS NOT in effect.
  • Defensive players may not block bases if they are not in possession of the ball.


Pitching

  • The pitching rubber is 46 feet from Home Plate.
  • Pitchers MUST adhere to the following rest requirements:

66 or more pitches – pitcher is required to rest 4 calendar days before pitching again

51 to 65 pitches – pitcher is required to rest 3 calendar days before pitching again

36 to 50 pitches – pitcher is required to rest 2 calendar days before pitching again

21 to 35 pitches – pitcher is required to rest 1 calendar day before pitching again

20 or less pitches – pitcher requires no days rest and may pitch again the next day

  • A maximum pitch count of 85 pitches will be observed. If the pitcher reaches their maximum pitch count limit in the middle of a batter, he may continue until the batter reaches base or is put out. Coaches must assign pitch counting to an assistant coach or scorekeeper.
  • If a pitcher hits 2 batsmen in one inning or 3 batsmen in the game, he/she must be removed from the pitcher position. In this instance, he/she may be placed in another position in the field.  Umpire has total discretion as to removing a pitcher from the game for deliberately throwing at or hitting a batsman.
  • The ball will remain live when the ball is being thrown from the catcher to the pitcher. 
  • There are no intentional walks permitted.
  • Balks will be called-after 1 warning per pitcher, per inning.
  • Two conferences in one inning means the pitcher must come off the mound.
  • Once a pitcher is removed from the mound, they cannot pitch for the remainder of the game.
  • A pitcher 11 or under (or combination pitchers 11 and under) must pitch 2 of the first 4 innings of the game. The innings need not be consecutive. An 11 and under pitcher or pitchers must pitch 2 complete innings unless they walk a total of 5 batters or 2 hits batsman in one inning or 3 batsmen in the game. After 5 walks or 2 hits batsman in one inning or 3 hits batsmen in game or 5 runs the rule is considered satisfied and the team may use senior pitchers.
  • Any player who plays “up” in this league will play one year as an eleven (11) year old (even though they are 10). (This does not include call ups from the lower level for a game or two!) Their next year in the league, said player will be considered twelve (12) for the experience on the mound even though they are 10.  If this player stays back the following year, he will have a second year at the twelve (12) level.

Mercy Rule

  • If one team leads by 15 or more runs after the trailing team has batted 4 times, the game will be terminated and the team with the lead is declared the winner.  If the home team is behind more than 15 runs after the top of the inning, the inning should be completed. If a team is ahead by 10 or more runs after 5 innings the game is complete.

Coaching

  • Weeknight game starting time will be 6:00 PM.
  • The league will make a decision as to a rainout prior to the game, but no later than 4:30 pm unless rain begins after 4:30 pm.  
  • If the game is not called by 4:30 pm and telephone contact cannot be made, then both managers must appear at the field with a playing team. Failure to field eight (8) players will result in forfeiture of the game.  Once the game is commenced, it should be called for weather or darkness by the home Umpire. ALL GAMES STOP IMMEDIATELY FOR LIGHTNING. If no lightning occurs for 30 minutes, game may resume.
  • The winning team must be report scores to the scheduler. 
  • Managers should try to reschedule and play rainouts.  The scheduler is the only one who can reschedule a game.  Please contact Tim Rice ([email protected]) to reschedule games in the next two weeks of the cancellation.
  •  Any manager or coach involved in oral arguments and/or fighting during or after a game will be subject to discipline by the FCABSA Board on a case-by-case basis.
  • Umpires have the right to remove unruly spectators from the game, interpreted as “the sight and sound of the field.”   

Callups

  • Any player eligible for “AAA” Division can play in the next higher division. Playing up a division is at the sole discretion a parent and manager. A 12 year old or 13 year old player, at the request of the parents, can play down in “AAA” division. Such a request will be brought before the Board for a decision. The main criterion will be the safety of the players. Failure to follow these rules could result in forfeiture of a game

 



DRAFT RULES

PURPOSE: A draft is held in order to make the teams as even as possible. It does not permit a coach to stack a team of the best players. In order to make teams in all divisions balanced, a draft is used.

An independent person will be in charge of the draft process. A second independent person should also be available to help out. Anyone that has a connection to a team or player cannot run the draft itself.

Prior to the draft, the commissioner and the head coaches rate the players according to ability and assign a number to every player, 1 through 5. One being assigned to the best players in the division, two to the second best batch of players, and so on to the number 5, which is assigned to the players with the least amount of talent when compared to the players in the division. This process is to be completed prior to the draft, with everyone in agreement to the assigned ratings. A minimum number for team totals will be required prior to the draft. This minimum number will be dependent upon the pool of players and their ratings and will be determined by the independent person running the draft. The minimum number will prevent a coach from stacking his team with 3 #1 rated players, especially when the pool of talent may not have enough #1 rated players for the entire league. THE RATINGS ARE STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL AND ARE NOT TO LEAVE THE DRAFT ROOM. NO PLAYER IS TO KNOW HIS RANKING.

Once the ratings are complete, each team may reserve, or “freeze” two players. This includes the coach’s sons’.  Again, a minimum point total will be required as stated above. The points for these two players are compiled by each team. The team with the highest point total is considered to be the weakest and will have the first pick in the first round. The team with the second highest total is considered the second weakest team and has the second pick in the first round. This continues throughout the round. However, if a team comes in so strong, that they are far and away the strongest team, that team may not have a pick in the first round. (I usually look at the number of #1 rated players remaining in the draft in order to give every team the opportunity to select a #1 rated player.) It could be that the team is so strong they may not get a pick until the last pick in the second round. This will keep a team that “stacks” their team with the best “frozen” players prior to the draft, to continue to pick the remaining top players. It also gives the other teams an opportunity to catch up to the strongest team and does not permit the strongest team to continue to acquire the better players.

After the first round is complete, the totals are added up again. Again, the team with the highest number of points is considered the weakest and will have the first pick in the second round. The team with the second highest points gets the second pick, and so on. This system continues throughout the draft.

An instance may arise where there are several teams with the same amount of points in a round. In that case, pick the team that seems to be the weakest due to a lack of #1 rated players. Should the same three teams have the same number of points in the next round, reverse the order. Example: Braves, Cubs then Dodgers. The order in the next round would be Dodgers, Cubs and Braves.

Also, if a player is drafted and he has a brother in the draft with a lower rating, the team that drafts the better player is required to take the brother at the appropriate time. Example: a player is rated #2 and he has a brother that is rated a #4. When all of the higher rated players are taken, and only fours and fives are available, that team must take the #4 rated brother with his first pick of that round. This is for brothers only. Cousins are not included in this at all.

At the end of the draft, the goal should be to have the teams’ total points, be within 3 points of the strongest to the weakest teams. The draft order from round to round should be conducted so that no team at the end of the draft is considerably stronger or weaker than the other teams.

Finally, a team manager cannot add to his roster. If a player registers to play after the draft is complete, the draft person is to assign the player to a team. If it is a strong player, the weakest team gets him. If he is a weak player, the strongest team gets him. Keep in mind that the number of players comes into this decision. Teams with 12 players will not receive a player until the teams with 11 players are assigned late players to fill out their roster.

The draft is mostly objective with the total points dictating the draft order. It may become subjective when there are several teams with the same number of points after a round. Try to fair by changing the order of these teams in the following round. No one is to win the championship in the draft room.

 

Play Up Policy

Fox Chapel Baseball and Softball Association strongly recommends that all players register within their correct age groups for any given season.  Even though some players may exhibit some natural talents toward the game, most youth players will benefit greatly by playing in their actual age group. 

In most cases, we recommend that a player with a strong drive and desire in baseball register in the appropriate group based on birthdate and take advantage of opportunities to be called up for teams in an older division.  Nonetheless, there may be some players who could be advanced in size, strength and skills to the point where the child could truly benefit from play at an older level for an entire season.  Then, it may be possible to make an exception and allow such a child to play up.

Here are the requirements for requesting to play up:

1. All players must make the request to play up to the Fox Chapel Baseball Commissioner.

2. The Commissioner will review the player's previous season's end of year rating.

3. The Commissioner will solicit a recommendation from the previous season's coach stating that the player is capable of playing up. If coach is player's parent, another coach in the same level's recommendation will be solicited.

The final decisions will be made by the Baseball Commissioner and the Baseball Directors of the levels in question.  The number of players that will be approved to play up will be small and the decision will be final.

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