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Washington Baseball

American League

American League

  • Games are Monday/Wednesday
  • Ages 9 (if they've played organized baseball) , 10 & 11 years old
  • Certified Plate Umpire.

1. GENERAL

1.1 The “Manager’s Code of Ethics” will serve as a guide for the expectations for all managers and coaches. Managers or coaches in violation in the code of ethics will face discipline by the Washington Baseball Board of Directors. 

1.2 Any situation not listed under the current rules or bylaws will be dealt with on an individual basis by the Washington Baseball Board of Directors.

1.3 Eligibility for each division is defined by USSSA Baseball (equals player’s age, in full years, as of April 30). 

1.4 Pre-Game Warmup: Unless otherwise mutually agreed, the home team will have the field for warm-up from 6pm-6:15pm. The visiting team will have the field for warm-up from 6:15pm-6:30pm. 


2.  FIELD DECORUM

2.1 The actions of all players, coaches, managers, umpires, parents, relatives and any other visitors must be above reproach. ANY PERSON, IN THE OPINION OF THE UMPIRE(S), NOT ACTING IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE WASHINGTON BASEBALL WILL BE REQUESTED TO LEAVE THE PLAYING AREA. Failure to comply with the umpire’s ruling may result in forfeiture of the game by the team involved. The umpire and both managers shall make a full written report of any such incident available to the Commissioner of the division within 24 (twenty-four) hours of the conclusion of the game. Further disciplinary actions may be taken by Washington Baseball Board of Directors, including additional suspension for the team manager.

2.2 Any umpire not acting in the best interests of the Washington Baseball after review by the Commissioner of the Division and the Umpire-in-Chief may be suspended from officiating for a period up to and including permanent suspension.

2.3 The umpire shall report any player, coach or manager ejected from a game to the Commissioner of the Division. Any such ejection will automatically result in the suspension for the remaining games that day and a minimum of one (1) subsequent game date. Depending on the severity of an original infraction, additional game – or longer – suspensions and/or disciplinary action(s) will be at the discretion of the Washington Baseball Board of Directors. During the suspension, the player, coach and/or manager may not enter the confines of the park or recreational area that supports the field of play.

2.4 Only uniformed players, managers, coaches, and umpires are permitted within the confines of the playing field just prior to, and during, the game.

2.5 With the exception of the batter, on-deck player, base coaches, and base runners, all players must be on the bench while their team is at bat.

2.6 Only managers and coaches are allowed to coach the bases. 

EXCEPTION: In the absence of enough coaches to properly coach the bases in any given game, the manager may appoint an adult as a substitute coach for that game. The name of the substitute must be reported to the umpire prior to the game.

2.7 A manager or coach may not leave the vicinity of the bench except to confer with the umpire or one of his players, or to serve as a base coach.

2.8 No use of tobacco products or alcoholic beverages is permitted by managers, coaches, parents, fans, etc. on or near the playing field, the bench, or the dugout.

2.9 Players or coaches throwing batting helmets or bats are subject to ejection from the game.

2.10 Sportsmanship:

2.10.1 Substantial emphasis will be placed on good sportsmanship. Teams (managers, coaches, and players) cannot make any derogatory remarks or gestures to any official or member of the opposing team, parents, fans, etc.; or attempt to distract them while making a defensive play; or, while batting, by either talk or actions. Umpires will be encouraged to eject anyone from the game not complying with this rule.


2.10.2 Any offensive player hollering at a defensive player to cause a mistake can be called “Out” for interference.



3.  UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT

3.1 All players must be in their full uniform supplied by the league, including caps, for each game, otherwise they will not be allowed to play. The only exception is that the socks provided are optional.  It is expected that managers and coaches attire be consistent, and clearly identifiable as part of the team they represent. 

3.2 Metal cleats are not permissible in the American League.

3.3 Catchers are required to wear all protective equipment while catching per current Michigan High School rules. A catcher’s mask must be worn by the catcher or any other player designated to warm up the pitcher on or off the field.

3.4 All batters and base runners, and players who act as base coaches, must wear batting helmets.

3.5 The umpire(s) shall not allow a player to enter the batter’s box without a batting helmet.

3.6 It is recommended that all players wear protective cups.

3.7 Bats must be USA Baseball or BBCOR certified (verified via stamp on the bat).

League umpires and managers from opposing teams may request to inspect team bats during a stoppage of play during a game if an illegal bat is suspected. If a bat that is not permitted is used during a game, the batter will be called out immediately. If a batter is discovered to have used an illegal bat after they have reached base safely, all runners will return to their original base(s) and the batter will be called out. 

If a team continues to violate this rule and uses illegal bats in game play after a single violation, the team may be required to forfeit the game(s) when illegal bats were used as determined by the division commissioner.

Please click here to find more information on the USA bat certification, legal, and illegal bats. 

3.8 Prior to the start of each game, the home & visiting team must provide one new leather covered ball to the home plate umpire. Riddell BB-LL2 model baseballs are the only baseballs allowed to be used during league games. Each team will be supplied new game balls to be used for each game by the league at the beginning and at mid-season. 

Deliberate substitution of inferior baseballs into a game by a manager, coach or team, will immediately be removed from game play. If this action is determined to be deliberate to gain an advantage by the lead umpire, the Washington Baseball Board of Directors will determine further penalty to the team that may lead to suspension or possible forfeiture of game(s) were illegal baseballs were used.

3.9 A pitcher may not wear sunglasses or any type of mirrored glasses.  Prescription glasses and /or goggles and transition glasses / lenses are allowed. 

3.10 A pitcher may not wear loose fitting long sleeve shirts or wear any type of jacket over the uniform while pitching. Compression type long sleeve shirts are permitted as long as they are a dark solid color.  White color is not allowed.

3.11 All jewelry must be removed.  Pitchers may not wear any type of arm sweatband, jewelry or batting gloves. 

3.12 No batting gloves may be hanging out of a pitcher’s pocket or be exposed.   

4. PITCHING

4.1 Any player on a regular season team may pitch. (NOTE: There is no limit to the number of pitchers a team may use in a game.) 

4.2 Once a pitcher is removed from the pitching position he/she cannot return as a pitcher for the rest of the game.

4.3 The manager must remove the pitcher after throwing sixty-five (65) pitches, but the pitcher may remain in the game at another position.

EXCEPTION: If a pitcher reaches the limit while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions occurs: 1. That batter reaches base; 2. That batter is put out; 3. The third out is made to complete the half-inning.

4.4 If a pitcher hits two (2) batters in the same game he/she will be issued a warning.  After the third hit batter the pitcher must be removed from the pitching position but is allowed to remain in the game in another position.

4.5 Pitchers must adhere to the following rest requirements:

·      If a player pitches 66 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest must be observed.

·      If a player pitches 51-65 pitches in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest must be observed.

·      If a player pitches 36-50 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar days of rest must be observed.

·      If a player pitches 21-35 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar days of rest must be observed.

·     If a player pitches 1-20 pitches in a day, no (0) calendar day of rest is required.

4.6 A player that has played the position of catcher in three (3) or more innings and moves to the pitcher position can deliver no more than thirty (30) pitches in a single game. If a player that has played the position of pitcher and delivers 30+ pitches then moves to the catcher’s position can catch no more than three (3) innings in a single game. 

4.7 Managers are required to submit pitch count records for their team to the league by 12pm the following calendar day after a game. A pitch counter will be provided to each team.  If a team manager fails to report the pitch count report the league may restrict the player(s) in question from pitching in the next scheduled game. 

4.8 In the event that there is an illegal pitcher used during a game, the player will be removed from the pitching position upon discovery of the infraction and the last pitch will be counted as a ball. Managers are responsible for submitting proper pitching records to the Commissioner of the Division. Any violation will result in disciplinary action recommended by the Commissioner of the Division and approved by the Washington Baseball Board of Directors.

4.9 Violations of any the above rules will result in disciplinary action recommended by the Commissioner of the Division and approved by Washington Baseball Board of Directors.

4.10 In a pitcher’s first appearance of a game, he will be allowed a maximum of 8 (eight) practice pitches. At the beginning of each subsequent inning, a pitcher will be allowed a maximum of 5 (five) practice pitches.

4.11 With runners on base, the pitcher must attempt to pitch from the set position. 

4.12 The balk rule shall be in effect. This rule has been modified to allow each pitcher 2 (two) warnings per game before the violation is called.

4.13 Pitching mounds distances are forty-six (46) feet in the American League.

5. HITTING

5.1 Bunting by the batter is permitted. “Suicide squeeze play” bunting is not permitted.  

5.2 On a called or swung at and dropped third (3rd) strike the batter is out.  

If the ball passes the catcher on a dropped third (3rd) strike the base runners are still permitted to steal second (2nd) or third (3rd) base.  One (1) base maximum. See Rule 6.4 below for complete Stealing Rules.  

6. RUNNERS

6.1 A courtesy runner may be used for the pitcher or catcher who is currently in the game (not a new pitcher or catcher who will enter the game when batting teams returns to the field) by a player who is the last batter out.

6.2 A base runner deliberately running into a defensive player, including the catcher, will be ejected from the game and will be called out. It is the equal responsibility of the defensive team to avoid a collision on the field. It is up to the umpire(s) to decide whether a collision is deliberate or not.

6.3 Leadoffs by base runners is permitted only once the pitched ball crosses home plate.  Until then the runner must remain on the base.   

6.4 Base stealing of 2nd and 3rd base is permitted only if the pitched ball passes the catcher in the form of a wild pitch or passed ball.  The base runner may only advance one (1) base maximum on the play.  Base runners are not permitted to advance bases on balls returned / thrown from the catcher to the pitcher after a completed pitch.  

As a safety precaution attempting to steal home on a pitch is prohibited. Penalty is declaring the offending baserunner and batter out and returning any other baserunners to their positions at the time of the pitch.

6.5 Runners may advance one base on overthrows to a base by the defense. 

6.6 During an offensive play, play will end when the ball is secured by the pitcher. Runners will not be permitted to advance to another base. In the event runners advance to another base while the ball is in the pitcher’s possession, they will be required to return to the previous base. 

6.7 A batter will not be allowed to advance past first (1st) base when issued a walk or hit by a pitch.  


7. PLAYING MINIMUMS

7.1 Teams should field 9 defensive players and should have a minimum of 9 or more players on the active roster for the game. Teams are encouraged to rotate players in different defensive positions throughout the course of a ball game. 

7.2 Each team must have a minimum of 8 (eight) players to start and finish a game. If a team is unable to field the minimum required players during a game due to injury, ejection, etc. the game will be considered a forfeit and the opposing team with the minimum required players will receive the win for the game regardless of the score at the time of forfeiture. 


8. FORFEITURES

8.1 10 (ten) minutes grace time will be allowed before a forfeit is called. EXCEPTION: After the grace period has expired, the visiting team may take its first at bat with less than 8 (eight) players. If 8 (eight) players are not present by the time all present team players have batted or by the time the visiting team must take the field, the game is forfeited. If any game is started with 8 (eight) players, outs are awarded in the normal manner (with no penalty for the ninth batter). If a ninth player should subsequently report to the team, that player must be inserted into the lineup in the ninth position. However, if a game has begun and subsequently the roster of any team is reduced to 8 (eight) for any reason, an out will be called each time the removed player was to bat.

8.2 Failure to appear for a scheduled game will result in a forfeit.

8.3 It is the home team’s responsibility to reschedule a game that has been cancelled due to weather, field conditions, etc. Failure to reschedule a make-up game will result in a forfeiture of that game if the Commissioner of the Division is not notified.


9.  CHAMPIONSHIPS AND POST-SEASON PLAY

9.1 Team standings will be determined by total wins during the season. The team with the most wins will be the first place team; the team with the second most wins will be the second place team, etc. In the event of a tie between any positions, the tie will be decided in the following manner, in the order shown:

1. Records against each other

2. One playoff game, or, if a playoff game can’t be played:

A. Runs against each other

B. A flip of a coin, by draw, if three-way tie exists

C. If the above steps do not resolve ties, final tie-breakers will be at the Commissioner of the 

Division discretion. 

9.2 Tournament play will be single elimination with the top seed playing the bottom seed, second highest seed playing the second to last seed, etc.  The higher seed will be the home team in each game. Seed number is based on final standings. There will be no re-seeding in the playoffs.

9.3 Teams must complete their regular season games including any make up/resumed games, prior to beginning of the post-season. 

10.  MISCELLANEOUS

10.1 The umpire in charge may cancel a game due to weather. Umpires, with the agreement of one manager, may also cancel a game or end a game early that is already in progress due to weather conditions.

10.2 The home team is responsible for keeping the official scorebook. The winning team is responsible for submitting the completed score to the Commissioner of the Division within 24 hours of the scheduled game.

NOTE: Games may be played with 2, 1 or no umpires.  If both teams agree on a substitute person(s) to officiate a game in the event of no umpires, the game becomes official.

10.3 Game Length

   
10.3.1 The game will consist of six (6) innings.

  
10.3.2 An abbreviated game shall be counted as official after four (4) innings. A game with less than four (4) innings played will         continue from the point of suspension if called for any reason (i.e. rain, lightning, etc.). No game will be started over from the   beginning. 

10.4 Mercy Rule

10.4.1 After the third inning, if any team is winning by 15 fifteen (15)  or more runs, the game shall be called and awarded to the leading team. If at any time after both teams have batted five (5) or more complete innings, and a team is leading by ten (10) or more runs, the game shall be called and a victory awarded to the leading team. In these cases, if behind, the home team is always entitled to its at-bat.

10.5 Game Time Limit

10.5.1 All games will be scheduled to begin at 6:30 pm and will be scheduled to end at 8:15 pm. No new inning can be started at 8:15 pm or later. Any game that is active at 8:15 pm will end after the following: 3rd out of active inning is recorded, the winning run for the home team is scored, or play is suspended due to the account of darkness by the lead umpire. 

10.6 Base Distance

    10.6.1 The base distances are sixty-five (65) feet in the American League.

10.7 Injuries

10.7.1 If a player becomes injured, and all substitutes have been used, a “courtesy substitute” may be inserted for the injured player. The opposing manager will pick the “courtesy substitute”.

10.7.2 This rule does not apply if a player leaves the game for any other reason, including ejection from the game.

10.8 Conferences

10.8.1 Each team, when on offense, may be granted not more than one (1) charged conference per inning to confer with the batter, base runners, etc. The umpire shall deny any subsequent offensive team requests for charged conferences.

10.8.2 Each team, when on defense, may be granted not more than two (2) charged conferences per inning. In extra-inning games, each team will be granted one (1) additional conference each inning while on defense. Prior to accumulating two (2) charged conferences, a conference is not charged if the pitcher is removed as pitcher. After two (2) charged conferences, or for any charged conference in excess of one (1) in each extra inning, the pitcher must be removed as a pitcher for the duration of the game.

10.9 Lineup Cards

10.9.1 Lineup cards must be prepared in triplicate (for umpire and both team managers) and must show players’ last names (with first names or initials if necessary). All subs must be listed on the initial lineup cards to be eligible to participate in the game. All substitutions (including courtesy runners) must be reported immediately to both plate umpire and the opposing team’s manager or scorekeeper.

10.10 Sliding Restrictions

10.10.1 There are no sliding restrictions, including no prohibition on “head first” slides. Umpires may not enforce any sliding restrictions, beyond what is stated in league rules, based on their own desires or on their experience in any other program.

10.11 On Deck Hitter

10.11.1 To minimize risk of injury, the on-deck hitter must stand in the area to the back side of the current batter (1B side for LH hitter, 3B side for RH hitter).


   10.11.2 All on deck hitters must be wearing a batting helmet while on-deck. If the on-deck batter does not have a batting helmet, 
   the game should be stopped immediately and the player must return to the bench.

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