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“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.

 

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