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“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.
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