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Minor: Recommended for ballplayers ages 9-10. Players build and refine their fundamental skills while beginning to understand game strategy and teamwork. In most regions, participants first experience post-season tournament competition in this level, leading to the 10 Year-Old World Series.

9/10 AGE GROUP BASEBALL RULES

(Revised March 2017)

The official playing rules, with the exceptions and variations contained below shall be "Official Rules of Major League Baseball" completely revised, as released through the office of the Commissioner of Baseball.

TEAMS

A. Teams shall consist of not more than 15, not less than 9 players.

B. Age, for the league purposes, means "league age," which is that age attained by a player prior to May 1 of the season in question.

EQUIPMENT

A. Leather covered baseballs manufactured to appropriate specifications by several companies are the baseballs to be used for league play and tournament play. Two new baseballs will be provided by the home team for each game.

B. Rubber soled tennis shoes or rubber cleated shoes are permitted. Metal cleats are not permitted.

C. The batter, player in the on-deck batting area and base runners shall be required to wear protective headgear which gives protection to the top of the head, temples, ears and base of the skull. These items shall be NOCSAE approved.

D. Catchers are required to wear a cup and proper protective equipment including a mask with throat guard, chest protector, shin guards and protective headgear which gives protection to the top of the head when catching behind the plate.

E. It is recommended that coaches make every effort to encourage the wearing of athletic supporters or a protective cup by all male players.

F. All players must be dressed in full uniforms (hat, pants, numbered shirt and socks). Shirts must be tucked into pants with hats facing forward.

THE FIELD

A. The field dimensions should be setup so that the distance between bases is 60’ and the pitcher’s rubber is 46’ from the back of home plate.

BATTING

A. The entire roster of players present for the game shall bat in rotation. Players arriving after the start of the game will be added to the end of the batting order.

B. Bats:

a. 2-1/4" are the only bat size allowed.

C. No more than one (1) player is allowed in the on-deck circle.

D. Bunting is allowed; however, once a batter gets into a bunting position/stance, he/she can either bunt, attempt to bunt, or pull back and take the pitch. He/she can NOT pull back out of the bunting stance, lean back and swing away. If he/she does pull back and swing away, the batter is automatically out.

E. 4 balls & 3 strikes from the beginning of the season

a. There will be a dropped third strike rule where a batter can advance to first base if the pitch is dropped by the catcher.

b. Players will be called out on third strike foul tips caught by the catcher, but not those that hit the ground.

F. The infield fly rule will not be used.

G. The batter must keep one foot in the batter’s box at all times in order to speed up play.

BASE RUNNING

A. Base runners are permitted to lead off.

B. A runner can tag‐up and advance to 2nd base, 3rd base or home plate on a fly ball by remaining in contact with the base until (after) the ball is first touched by a fielder.

C. Stealing. Players are allowed to steal any base. Base runner may lead off and attempt a steal at any time of play.

C. Stealing home: A runner on third may steal home.

D. There will be not baiting (taunting) by any players. Players stealing may not “bait” the pitcher.

E. Pinch runners, as well as courtesy runners for the catcher, are not permitted unless they are due to injury. We feel strongly that when a young ballplayer earns his or her way on base, he or she deserves, and needs to learn, to run the bases. Have a coach ready to warm a pitcher up.

F. Runners may advance on pitched past balls.

G. Running over the catcher at home plate is not allowed and will result in the player being called out and ejected from game.

H. All players must slide into home when there is a play at the plate. One warning per team, per game. Runner is called out on second team offense only if there is a reasonable play at the plate.

I. Runners are awarded one base on any ball that goes under a fence, under the backstop, in a dugout, etc.

J. Sliding is allowed with an emphasis on safety. Head-first slides are not allowed; except for a runner diving back to a base that he has already reached safely. If a runner attempts a head-first slide into a base he has not yet reached safely, he will be called out.

K. There will be no stealing after a 10 run lead. Any attempt to steal will be a dead play.

FIELDING

A. Free substitution is allowed throughout the game.

B. Infield players are not permitted to interfere with base runners by lining up defensively in the base path(s). Additionally, defensive players shall not stand on bases while the ball is in play. Base runner interference will be determined by the umpire and a base will be awarded to the runner.

C. At this age group, coaches are encouraged to allow kids to play a variety of positions throughout the season as it is too early to peg them as a pure infielder or outfielder. At the same time, use good judgement and keep players safety in mind by not playing him/her at a position where they are likely to get injured.

D. A player may not stay on the bench more than 1 consecutive inning when they are playing the field. Every player on the team does not have to sit out an inning. (Exception: If a player misses both practices prior to a game without providing his coach advanced notice of his absence, and then the player shows up for the game…the player can be benched at the coach’s discretion. The coach should alert the opposing coach prior to the game if this occurs.).

PITCHING

A. Pitching Distance: 46’

B. No balks will be called.

C. For the following pitching rules, as soon a pitcher delivers one pitch to a batter he/she is deemed to have pitched in one inning.

a. Same Day Limit: A pitcher may not pitch more than 3 innings in one day. If 3 batters are hit in any one inning or a total of 3 in a game by the same pitcher, the pitcher must come out of the game or be substituted to a different position. On the 2nd visit to the pitching mound in the same inning or on the 3rd visit in a game by a coach, the pitcher must also come out of the game or be substituted to a different position.

b. Pitch Count: Pitch count will not be used in Minors.  Pitchers have a limit of 3 innings to pitch and may not pitch more than 3 innings. There will be no exceptions.

c. Weekly Limit: A pitcher may not pitch more than 8 innings during a seven day period beginning at 12:01AM Monday ending 11:59PM Sunday

d. 40 Hour Rest Rule: If a pitcher pitches a third inning he/she must rest 40 hours from the scheduled starting time of the game in which the pitching occurred until the start of their next pitching appearance.

e. Pitcher cannot return to pitch ‐ Any pitcher withdrawn from the line up or substituted to a different position may not return to pitch in the same game.

D. Catchers will have no limit to the number of innings they can catch in a game.

GENERAL RULES

A. A team must have 8 players to play an official game. However, an "out" will be recorded each inning when the missing 9th batter is due up. If a team starts a game with 8 players, and a player gets hurt…they may finish the game with less than 8 players; but will record outs for the missing players below nine.

B. A team failing to field at least 8 uniformed players within 15 minutes of the scheduled starting time of a game shall forfeit. If a team has less than 8 players, a scrimmage game should be played. Substitute players may be allowed and game will be "official" if coaches agree in advance of the game to get to 8 players. Substitute players are not allowed in the post season.

C. Regulation games shall be six (6) innings in duration. An official game is four (4) innings (3½ innings if the home team is ahead).

D. A maximum of 6 runs can be scored per inning, including the 6th inning. Once a team is mathematically out (e.g. a team is up by 13 runs after 4 complete innings), it is up to the Head Coach of the losing team whether to continue play or not. Completion of the game is encouraged.

E. Mercy rule is 10 runs after 4 innings.

F. A half inning will be declared over when the fielding team records three (3) outs or the hitting team scores five (5) runs.

G. All games should be completed within 2 hours, and no new innings shall be started after 1 hour and 50 minutes of play. Innings started prior to the time limit will be played in their entirety if necessary and conditions permit. If the inning is called for any reason, the score will revert back to that of the last full inning completed.

H. The home team will be asked to provide a scorekeeper. The scorekeeper will be given a batting order for both teams and is responsible for counting runs scored per inning and for the game. The scorekeeper is also responsible for recording the official start time of the game.

I. If the game remains tied after the completion of 6 innings or within the 1:50 minute rule, the following procedures will be implemented during extra innings: Each team will begin the extra inning (and any subsequent necessary extra innings) with a player on second, no outs. The player on second will be the last out from the previous inning and the batting order will continue from the point of the next consecutive batter in the order. The batting order is not restarted and continues from the previous inning. This is not sudden death as each team has an opportunity to score in its half inning. Due to game times and play during school nights, only two tiebreaker innings will be allowed. Any game not decided under the tiebreaker rule within two additional innings is declared a tie.

J. The use of tobacco products, alcohol or illegal drugs in any form by coaches or adult leaders in the dugout or on the playing field shall not be permitted.

UMPIRES

A. Head coaches may inquire about a call made by an umpire. It is normal procedure to ask for time, and then approach the umpire in a controlled manner. It is important to remember that you can only challenge plays based on the interpretation of a rule and not on judgment calls. You are entitled to plead your case, but accept that the umpire’s decision is final.

B. Umpires are to remain and officiate up to the 1 hour and 50 minute time limit.

GENERAL CONDUCT

A. A player that intentionally throws a bat or helmet in anger will be given a firm warning. Future incidents may result in being ejected from the game or future games.

B. A player that throws a bat accidentally will be given a warning. The second offense will result in an out.

C. Any coach or player that is thrown out of a game, regardless of reason, will receive an automatic one (1) game suspension. In addition, the matter will be referred to the league coordinator, commissioner of baseball and the director of baseball for review and possible further sanctions.

D. Unsportsmanlike conduct from players, coaches, adult leaders and parents will not be tolerated.

E. Negative chatter (swing batter), chanting and taunting by anyone on or near the field will not be allowed.