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Summer Sandlot League Rules for 2019 Season
Amherst – Groton – Hollis/Brookline Pepperell – Townsend/Ashby – Westminster – Your Town!
This document serves to clarify some of the more important rules of baseball and to emphasize the philosophy and goals of our league. In addition to these rules, coaches should have a copy of the official Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken Baseball rules with them. Unless noted in this document, these Cal Ripken rules will be followed for all games.
League Governance
The Townsend Ashby Youth Baseball & Softball (TAYBS) league handles the oversight and management of the Summer Sandlot League. Any issues with rules, scheduling or administration should be brought to the attention of TAYBS.
Team Building Agreement
Multiple teams at the same level must be built evenly. This does not mean that both teams must have a similar record or be .500. Unbalanced teams that are formed at the beginning of the season will be reviewed by the league.
Player Participation
Summer Sandlot is intended for players whose ages are up to league age 8. The objective of this league is on player development and on teaching players the fundamentals of the game.
1) Team rosters will have a minimum of 10 players and a maximum of 15 players.
2) Every team member will be in a consistent batting order and bat.
3) All players must be in the game for 6 defensive outs. This rule applies to regulation 6 inning games. Failure to comply with this rule will result in an automatic forfeit by the team not complying. However, in a shortened game (darkness, weather, etc.) failure to comply will not result in an automatic forfeit.
4) Free substitutions are allowed between innings, but each team member will remain in the batting order. Players that have already pitched earlier in the game cannot be substituted back into the pitching position.
5) If a team cannot field at least 8 players within 15 minutes after the scheduled start time of the game, the game will count as a forfeit for that team (loss). Forfeits will be scored as 6-0.
6) If both teams have 10 or more players present, both teams will play with four outfielders: left field, left center field, right center field and right field. Should there be an unequal number of players between teams (i.e. 9 on one team and 10 on the other); coaches can agree to play 9 against 10 (defensively).
7) The guideline for defense is that all players be given the opportunity to play at least 1 infield inning per game.
Games & Scoring
1) There are NO protests allowed.
2) In the event of inclement weather, the Home team coach is responsible for calling both the umpire and visiting team coach, at least 2 hours prior to the start of the game.
3) All regular season games will start promptly at their scheduled time, no inning will be started after 2 hours has elapsed since the official start of the game as determined by the umpire. The umpire should make every effort to notify both teams of the official start time at the commencement of the game. (Example: Tuesday game – The umpire announces to both managers that it is 6:02 pm according to his watch and no inning will be started later than 8:02 pm)
4) The umpire has full authority to call the game earlier than the time limits above due to weather, darkness or any other mitigating circumstance.
5) Both teams will be able to have the playing field for a 10-minute practice before the game begins. Visiting teams should allow for travel time and arrive 30 minutes before game time for their warm ups. The home team will warm up first but MUST ALLOW the visiting team to begin their warm up 20 minutes before the start of the game. The last 10 minutes are reserved for the pregame coaches & umpires meeting and for the home team to take the field for warmups. NO PRE-GAME, ON FIELD BATTING PRACTICE IS ALLOWED.
6) The home team is responsible for paying the umpire(s) and for supplying 2 new game balls. The home team is also responsible for ensuring the field is in safe condition for play (e.g. no holes in the batter’s box or pitching mound, the area around the bases is raked, etc.). Exception is during the playoff tournament, in which case the league will handle all field maintenance, game balls and umpire costs.
7) Each team will be responsible for cleaning the trash out of their bench area after each game.
8) Each game has a 6-inning limit unless the game is tied, in which case extra innings must be played. All regular season games will play to their natural end (including extra innings), unless the allotted time for the game is reached or the game is ended because of darkness or weather.
9) Each inning has a limit of 4 runs per team. When the fourth run crosses the plate, that half of the inning ends and the team at bat takes the field. This rule does not apply to the 6th or last inning where both teams can score unlimited runs. The umpire must notify the coaches before the start of the last inning.
10) If after 4 innings, 3 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead, one team has a lead of ten (10) runs or more, the victory must be conceded to the winning team. IMPORTANT: The score at the time of concession is what must be reported back to the league. No further scorekeeping should be kept after the concession.
11) All pitching stats after a game is conceded will continue be recorded and will count against the weekly pitching stats.
12) When a game is conceded, the game must continue to be completed to its natural end, but there is then a 2-run limit per inning.
13) Playoff games will end immediately after a game is conceded.
14) The coach of the winning team MUST EMAIL THE SCORE on to the league within 24 hours or prior to their next scheduled game whichever comes first.
15) Both teams must also report the number of innings pitched by all players regardless of a win or loss. This information will be used to insure compliance to our pitching limitations rules and for the safety of the kids.
16) All playoff games must be completed to their natural end. In the event a game is not completed it shall be considered a suspended game and must be continued at another time.
17) In season league standings will be determined by:
a. Most Points (3 per Win, 2 per Tie, 1 per Loss, 0 per Forfeit)
b. Head to Head
c. Runs Against (RA)
d. Runs For (RF)
18) The post season tournament seedings will be randomized at the beginning of the season. This league is focused on learning, but we want to give these young kids their first real sense of competition.
Games Not Played
1) All teams will all have 10 regular season games and are encouraged to play all games.
2) If a game is canceled, both coaches need to arrange a make-up date within 10 days of the originally scheduled game or the end of regular season, whichever comes first.
3) The Home team shall have the opportunity to arrange a home field first. If the Home team cannot schedule a field within 5 days, the Visiting team will try to schedule the game on their field (with the original Home team still being the Home team).
4) If neither team can schedule the make-up game within 10 days, the Home team must notify their Town Coordinator. The Town Coordinator will work with the League Director to schedule the game.
5) In any event, the League Director must be notified with 48 hours of the cancellation.
6) Games not played and unreported will be counted as a loss for both teams.
Rain Outs / Incomplete Games
1) Prior to the start of the game, the home team is responsible for calling off a game because of rain. All efforts should be made to cancel the game 2 hours prior to the start (so that teams/umpires can be contacted appropriately). Should a game be canceled, it is the responsibility of the home team to reschedule the game (which includes securing a new umpire).
2) A game is a regulation game after the fourth inning has been completed or, if the home team is ahead, after the completion of three and a half innings. A game postponed before or in the first inning will be restarted at an agreed upon time. A game postponed after the second inning is started and before the fourth inning is completed will be resumed at the point which it stopped. All records, including the pitching shall be counted (and the batting orders, where possible, should be kept intact).
3) After the first pitch is thrown, a game can only be canceled by the umpires.
1) The distance of the pitching mound to home plate will be 46 feet.
2) Regular season pitching rules are as follows:
a. 6 innings per week, 1 pitch constitutes an inning
b. Not more than 3 innings in one game.
c. Week is Monday thru and including Sunday
d. 2 calendar days rest when pitching 3+ innings
3) Pitching substitution may be done during an inning. Substitutions DO NOT NEED TO BE 1 FOR 1. Example: Johnny is pitching, Billy is playing 1st base and Bobby is playing right field. Johnny is replaced by Billy, Billy is replaced by Bobby and Bobby is replaced by Johnny.
4) Once a pitcher has been removed from the pitching position, that player cannot pitch again for the duration of that game. This rule applies to both regular season and playoff games.
5) A new pitcher gets 8 warm up pitches, returning pitchers only get 5 warm up pitches between innings. (this is intended to speed up the game)
6) If a pitcher hits 3 batters in an inning or 4 within a game, then that player must be removed from the pitching position for that game
7) No pitcher in the playoffs shall be allowed to pitch in more than six innings in any two successive playoff games. All players have full eligibility at the start of league playoffs. (Pitcher eligibility is not re-set again after playoffs begin.)
8) Only coaches, assistants or team members will be allowed to warm up the pitcher. (everyone must wear a catcher's mask)
9) Any visit to the mound by a coach will count as an official visit. If it is the second visit of the inning the pitcher must be removed. (Please work with umpires to have them help to explain the infraction if/when it occurs. This is a teaching level and we want the players to learn the proper technique).
Batting and Base Running
1) Games will be played on diamond with 60’ base paths.
2) All players must use a bat that has been certified by USABat. T-Ball, BBCOR or USSSA bats are not allowed.
3) Any player intentionally throwing a bat will be out and the ball dead. Play stops and the runners will return to their original occupied bases and the player will be ejected from the game.
4) Any player throwing a bat, without malice, will get a warning the first time it happens. The second time, the player will be called out, and must then be removed from the batting lineup for the remainder of the game. The player can and should still play on defense. When that person’s spot in the lineup comes up the next time, the slot should simply be skipped, and no out should be recorded.
5) There shall be no slashing. Slashing is defined as: the pitcher is on the pitching rubber and the batter fakes a bunt to draw the infielders in and then the batter swings away. The pitcher does not need to be in his windup, the ball does not need to be struck. This is a safety issue, with the batter showing bunt, the charging third baseman does not stand a chance of protecting himself against a line drive off an aluminum bat. Penalty: Batter is out, and ball is dead. A second offense will result in the batter being ejected.
6) There is a no-contact rule in effect. A runner may not interfere with a player making a defensive play. Runners must make every effort to avoid interfering contact by either sliding or running around a defensive player. If a runner does not avoid interfering contact, then he/she is out. If contact is ruled incidental and does not interfere with the play, then the runner may be ruled safe in the event he/she has reached the base before being forced or tagged out. Headfirst sliding into a forward base is not allowed. Headfirst sliding returning to a previously occupied base is allowed.
7) Players hit by a pitch will be awarded first base - a batter must take first base (if a batter is hurt and unable to run, he/she may be replaced by the last person that got out).
8) Bunting is permitted. Only one fair bunt per team, per inning, is allowed. All established baseball rules are in effect (for instance, a foul bunt with two strikes is considered a strikeout).
9) A base runner may advance only one base on an error. Multiple errors will not result in an extra base. For example, if the pitcher throws the ball over the 2nd baseman’s head, the runner may advance to 3rd, but if another fielder throws it over the 3rd baseman’s head immediately following, the runner will not be awarded another base.
10) Runners must slide into 2nd, 3rd, and home if there is a play at the base. The catcher cannot block the plate or the baseline without possession of the ball. Headfirst slides are not allowed.
11) Base stealing will be allowed in a modified format. These rules include:
a. 3 steals per team per inning our allowed
b. Individual players may steal more than 1 base in an inning
c. A player may not advance to another base on a catching overthrow (runner leads at their own peril)
d. A player may not steal home
e. Stealing on a passed ball constitutes a stolen base (provided the runner takes the base)
12) When stealing, runners may leave the base only when the ball crosses the plate. Runners may attempt to steal any base (except 1st base) after a pitch has crossed the plate. If a player leaves the base before the ball crosses the plate, then the umpire will instruct the player to return to the base.
13) Runners must return to their base when the play has ended and when the pitcher has control of the ball and is on the mound (i.e. dirt around the mound or portable mound). Additionally, prior to the ball returning to the pitcher, if the catcher remains in the catcher’s box and the runners have stopped forward momentum, runners must return to their base.
14) There is NO leading allowed, as a result, NO balks can be called.
15) There is NO infield fly rule in effect.
16) There is NO dropped third strike rule in effect.
17) Outfielders are NOT allowed to play within the infield limits.
18) Two adult base coaches are permitted. They must be rostered coaches or CORI non-rostered coaches. Rostered players are also allowed to base coach but there should always be at least 1 adult base coach.
Equipment and Attire
1) All batters and base runners must wear a batting helmet.
2) Youth Base Coaches must always wear helmets.
3) Players may NOT wear watches, rings, pins, jewelry or other metallic items.
4) Pitchers may NOT wear sweatbands on their wrists. Exception: Medically relevant bracelets.
Umpires / Sportsmanship
1) Umpires will call balls and strikes and all safe/out calls on the bases. Neither coaches, parents or players may dispute any call by an umpire at any time. Failure to adhere to this rule may result in the coach being removed from the league for this and all future seasons. If a coach has a question on a rule interpretation, he/she may raise it with the umpire after the inning – however, an umpire's decision is final and binding. Even if you are not in agreement with the umpire, arguments will not be tolerated. It is extremely important to note that the players will be watching you and your actions, and you will be setting an example.
2) Coaches are encouraged to raise any issues and/or problems with an umpires’ performance to both the league and your umpire coordinator immediately following the game.
3) One of the most important things we are trying to teach the players is good sportsmanship. Coaches should not accept the kids throwing helmets, arguing with umpires, heckling the other team or other similar types of behavior. If/when these types of incidents occur, the coach needs to deal with it immediately.
4) At the end of each game, players are encouraged to shake hands with the other team.
5) Cal Ripken prohibits taunting of opposing players, coaches, or umpires. The rule states that “No manager, coach, or player, shall at any time, whether from the bench or the playing field or elsewhere use language which will in any manner refer to or reflect upon opposing players, manager, coach, an umpire or spectators.” If your team is on the receiving end of any taunting, you should have the umpire put a stop to it immediately. If the umpire is unable or unwilling to do so, issues of this sort should be brought to the attention of the league immediately.