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Leaside Baseball Association House League Rules
(FINAL Updated: April 25 2018)
1.1. The basic philosophy of Leaside Baseball house leagues is to help the players learn the game and develop their skills in a positive, inclusive and fun environment. Coaches and parents should employ a positive, teaching approach toward all players on all teams.
1.2. The objective is for the players to have fun while they build on the basics they learned throughout the season. Children should not be subjected to fierce competition or intense pressure to perform. House Leagues are intended to provide instruction in the fundamentals of baseball and stress sportsmanship, teamwork and fair play. Having fun is of the utmost importance and should be stressed by coaches and parents always.
2.1. Game Day
2.1.1. Practice: Teams shall practice in the first 40 minutes of the session before game time. Coaches, assistant coaches, volunteers, families and available Leaside Baseball staff shall facilitate the pre-game practice session, and shall focus on basic skill development in a fun and non-intimidating setting. Both teams shall be using the diamond at the same time and find ways to collaborate in the pre-game practice period.
2.1.2. Scorekeeping: There shall be no scorekeeping or scoring counted. Players and families shall celebrate runs scored by both teams to encourage sportsmanship and fun.
2.1.3. Home Team: The home team bats last in an inning and shall occupy the third base dugout.
2.1.4. Thunder or Lightning Rule: Should lightning be seen or thunder is heard, teams shall leave the field and seek shelter immediately. After the last thunder or lightning event, teams shall wait 30 minutes before leaving shelter. Each time there is a thunder or lightning event the 30 minute timer restarts.
2.2.1. Players: A team must bat and field every player that has come to a game each inning unless the player does not want to do so. Only players that have been assigned to the team by the Leaside Baseball Association may play in a game.
2.2.2. Late Arrival: Players who arrive late for the game will be added to the roster without penalty, no matter what inning the game is in.
2.2.3. Missed At Bat: If a player, for whatever reason, refuses or is unable to bat, the player may be removed from the game without penalty, and will be allowed to return to the game at any time.
2.3.1. Umpires/Facilitators: The umpire shall facilitate and support the pre-game practice time and shall set up the game. Umpires shall make safe and out calls on the bases. They also help coach the players in the field in making the right plays. No player, coach or observer shall put pressure upon the umpire to influence any judgement call. Those that do may be removed from the game at the discretion of the umpire. Repeat offenders may be removed from the league at the sole discretion of the Leaside Baseball Association.
2.4. Field of Play
2.4.1. Bases: The bases shall be at a distance that is optimal for the age group and that does not meaningfully interfere with nearby games (as can be reasonably expected with the space allowed and as determined in the sole discretion of the umpires).
2.5.1. Uniforms: Uniforms shall consist of a league cap, team jersey, baseball pants and socks. A player need not be in full uniform to play and may wear a jacket or sweater to stay warm.
2.5.2. Balls: Soft, reduced velocity Easton Incrediballs or equivalent shall be used for all game and practice sessions. Practice sessions may also use whiffle balls for batting practice. No hard baseballs shall be used for any game or practice sessions.
2.5.3. Bats: Metal bats with safety grips are required. Players are permitted to use personal bats provided these bats comply with the Ontario Baseball Association standards and they are made available to other players. Each team is provided a bat for all kids to use. Each team shall be supplied with a bat.
2.5.4. Batting Tee: When used, the batting tee shall be placed directly on the tip of home plate and the coach may adjust the tee to each batter's preferred height.
2.5.5. Batting Helmets: Each team is provided a minimum of three (3) regulation protective batting helmets on its bench prior to starting a game or practice session. Chin-straps are provided with each helmet and must be worn at all times. If the bases are loaded, a team shall borrow a batting helmet from the opposing team. A helmet must be available for all base runners (3) and the batter (1). Players may supply a personal batting helmet. This helmet does not have to be shared in the same manner that bats are.
2.5.6. Baseball Gloves: Any type of baseball glove may be used. It is discouraged to wear large softball gloves. Something 9” to 11" is fine.
2.5.7. Shoes: Shoes with metal cleats and sandals are prohibited. Non-metal cleats may be used, however are not required. Running shoes are encouraged on turf. The use of soccer shoes is discouraged. Players wearing prohibited footwear will not be allowed to play until such footwear is changed to be acceptable. This is a safety issue.
2.6. Offensive Play
2.6.1. Outs: Outs shall be called by the umpires and once a player is out they shall return to their dugout. However, there are no limits on outs a team is permitted in a half inning and every player for a team shall bat exactly once each half inning. Once each player has batted the half inning is over, regardless of the number of outs.
2.6.2. Dugout: All offensive players must be behind the cones set out by the umpire or the coach to delineate a safe distance from the batter while waiting their turn to bat. Every effort should be made to speed up the batting process by having the next batter ready.
2.6.3. At Bat: The batter is allowed five (5) hittable underhand pitches from their coach (or at the coach’s request, the umpire) to put the ball in play. Players should be encouraged to swing at every hittable pitch. After five (5) hittable pitches, if the ball is not yet in play then the coach or umpire shall place a tee for the player and allow them to hit. Players are given as many opportunities as required to put the ball in play from the tee. The coach can assist the batter in hitting off the tee, (after three (3) or four (4) attempts) so that the batter has an opportunity to run the bases. No batter shall get out through a strike out (i.e. every batter shall have the opportunity to run to first base). There are no walks and no advancing to first base on a hit batter.
If the batter knocks over the tee during the swing, the ball is considered foul no matter where or how far the ball goes.
2.6.4. Pitching: If a batted ball hits the pitching coach or umpire the ball shall continue to be in play. The pitching coach or umpire are discouraged from fielding the ball.
2.6.5. Bat Throwing: There will be an imaginary 12 foot circle (6 foot radius from the centre of home plate) surrounding home plate. If a batter throws, slings, or otherwise tosses their bat in the air, completely outside the circle, the batter will receive a warning on the first occasion. On the second occasion the batter will be declared out and no runners will be allowed to advance. If there is a third occasion, the batter will be removed from the game. If a player carries their bat just outside of the circle, there is no penalty. In all cases of bat throwing, it is the responsibility of the coach to assist the player and attempt to correct the situation.
2.6.6. Base Running: Runners must stay in contact with the base until the ball is hit. There is no leading off or base stealing. If the base runner leaves the base before the ball is hit the baserunner is given a warning.
Tagging up and running to the next base after a caught fly ball is not stealing.
If the tee was used on the play, a coach should make every effort to remove it before the runner gets to home plate. If the tee is still there, all the runner has to do is touch the tee to be safe at home.
2.6.7. Overruns: A base runner that overruns another base runner shall not be automatically out if they return to their correct sequence and are safe on bases at the end of a play.
2.6.8. Advancing: The hitter may only advance as far as second base on a hit ball. Other base runners may advance as far as they wish.
Base runner(s) may only advance, at their own risk, until such time as:
(a) the umpire calls time as the play has stopped;
(b) the ball is returned to the pitching coach or umpire; or
(c) an infielder in or within the baseline holds the ball above his/her head, calls “time”, and does not attempt to put an advancing runner out
At this point, the play stops and all runners will return to the last base touched. If a runner has advanced more than half way to a base, that runner will be allowed to advance to the next base.
Outfielders may not stop advancing baserunners by calling time unless they are within the infield.
2.6.9. Overthrow: In the event of an overthrow past any base runner will be allowed to continue to the next base at their own risk but shall not advance further.
2.6.10. Contact: When a defensive player is in possession of the ball, it is the obligation of the base runner to avoid contact. If contact is made the player shall be given a warning.
When a defensive player does not have possession of the ball, it is obligation of the defensive player to avoid contact. If contact is made the player shall be given a warning.
Sliding is discouraged into first base. A base runner sliding into first base shall be given a warning.
2.7. Defensive Play
2.7.1. Positions: Positions should be rotated such that players are getting the opportunity to play multiple positions. Coaches are strongly encouraged to equalise the defensive playing time in the infield and outfield for all players on their teams. No player may be held out of the game for disciplinary reasons unless approved by the Leaside Baseball Association.
2.7.2. Infielders and Outfielders: Only a maximum of six (6) players may be within the infield when a ball is hit, and no players may be closer to the batter than the location that pitch was tossed. Remaining players shall be at least 10’ behind the infield baselines. Once the ball is hit there is no restriction on fielder movement.
Players are encouraged to assume normal baseball positions to the extent possible.
2.7.3. Catcher: There shall be no catcher. The coaches or volunteers shall return pitched balls to the pitching coach or umpire. Players may assume the catcher position mid-play if they see a play developing at home plate.
When the tee is in use, the defensive team only needs to touch the tee with the ball to have contact with home plate.
2.7.4. Tagging: Tagging a runner out is not allowed in any situation. Since no tagging is allowed, in both force and non-force play situations, if the runner/s passes the half way mark, they are considered out if the defensive player has possession of the ball at the next base.
2.7.5. Infield Fly: The infield fly rule does not apply.
2.8. The Season
2.8.1. Regular Season: The regular season runs weekly from the first week of May through to the last week of June. No scores are kept and no standings are maintained.
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