12 Year Old Rules





These rules will govern play in 2024.  Please excuse references to 2022 for the time being.



QUICK GLANCE for all 12U games:
* 6-innings, no new inning after 2 hours
* Bases: 75' | Pitching: 52' (50-54' is acceptable)
* Dropped 3rd Strike: NFHS Rules
* Pitching Rules (Balks): NFHS Rules
* Pitch Count: 60/game, 85/week (MBL league games only; this count is separate from tournaments)
* Leading Off: NFHS Rules
* Curve Balls/all pitch types are legal
* Courtesy Runner: Catcher only, anytime, last out runs for catcher
* Continuous Batting, free substitution
* 10-Run Rule/Official Game after 3.5 or 4 innings

The following basic rules and regulations will govern play in the Metro Baseball League for 2022. The list of rules and regulations is NOT intended to cover all of the playing rules, but rather highlight those areas that are referenced most often by the coaches and participants.  In general, the MBL Board of Directors has adopted the National Federation High School League rules.  Except where modified below.


A.           Players in their respective age groups must not reach the next age before May 1, 2022.  It is permissible for a player to play up from their designated age division, but they may not play down.  For example, an 11 year old may play in the 12 year old division, but a 13 year old may NOT play in the 12 year old division.

B.           Rosters are due before the first game and must be done on-line. A player may only be rostered on one team.  There is a maximum of 18 players per team.  Roster changes may be made through June 12022.  Any player(s) added after June 12022, must be accompanied by the association's travel directors signature and approved by the MBL Board of Directors.


A.              The Metro Baseball League is a community based program.  Players are eligible to participate on teams from the community in which they live with their parent(s) or legal guardian, or their school attendance area.  In some cases a "natural baseball community" exists which may be a combination of nearby communities based on high school attendance area or other demographics.  However, this is NOT intended to allow all-star or recruited teams to be formed.  The MBL Board of Directors reserve the right to rule on any questionable situations.

B.  If a player attends a private school in another community, the option is for that player to play for that school’s summer program. e.g.- if a player lives in ‘Pipestone’ and attends school at ‘Holy Angels’ then the player would be eligible to play for either Pipestone’s Or Holy Angels Summer Program.

C.  Club Ball and double rostering is now the responsibility of each individual association.


A.              In order to encourage the development and expansion of baseball within the state and to provide for uniformity of competition for the purpose of obtaining these goals, the MBL shall be divided into three competitive levels as herein provided.  The policy of the MBL is that all associations must have a "AAA" team to have a "AA" team unless they petition the board for an exception.  It shall be the responsibility of each association to maintain the integrity of each level within their own association and to properly classify their teams.

“AAA” -The highest competitive level and every association shall have the right to enter teams in the AAA League level.

AA”- The intermediate level, primarily intended to provide a uniform competitive experience for communities that are not able to compete at the AAA League level or communities that already have teams at the AAA League level.

A”- The intermediate level essentially designed to be a developmental league to provide a competitive experience until they are ready to advance to a higher competitive level.

B.           Interlevel Play - There shall be no interlevel play between “AAA, AA, and A” leagues.

C. Club Ball and double rostering is now the responsibility of each individual association. 


A.   The following base lengths shall apply:

       12 year olds - 75 feet (recommended distance is 75.0 feet)

B.   The following pitching distances shall apply:

      12 year olds -50-54 feet (recommended distance is 52 feet)


A.  Shoes
      12 year olds will use molded cleats or tennis shoes.  NO METAL SPIKES ALLOWED!


B.             Bats – The following pertains to the legality of bats in the MBL

            12 year oldsBats must be 2 ¼” barrel diameter with

                                  unlimited weight differential and the USA or USSSA stamp.

             12 year olds - Maximum diameter at the thickest part: 2 5/8” or 2 ¾”

                                    With minus 10 or less weight differential and the USA or USSSA stamp.


             12 year olds - Maximum diameter at the thickest part:  2 5/8" or less

            with a minus 3 weight differential and be BBCOR approved. 

             12 year oldswood bats are allowed


             In length:……………………..36” or less




A.           All players, coaches and spectators are to behave in a manner that reflects the positive fun associated with the game of baseball.  Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated including:

- Verbal abuse                                    - Arguing judgment calls

- Physical aggression                           - Profanity

- Tantrum-like acts

B.           Any player, coach or spectator ejected from a game will also be suspended from their teams next game.  Further sanctions may be warranted depending upon the behavior.  A second game disqualification will result in suspension from the remainder of the team's regular season and playoff games.

C.           Anyone ejected for the season is entitled to an appeal.  They should submit their appeal in writing to the MBL Board of Directors.  A hearing will be scheduled to include the party involved, their coach, the umpire, the travel director, and the MBL Board of Directors.


A.           12 year old teams       It will be the responsibility of each home team to supply and pay for an umpire for each game.  It is also the responsibility for each association to determine how much each umpire will be paid.

B.            No judgment call may be protested.  Only rule interpretations are allowed.  Protested games will be completed only when the outcome has significant bearing on the final standings.

C.        While the MBL hopes to eliminate all "no-shows", we must also have a policy in the event that you do have a "no-show".

            If an umpire is not at the field at game time, both managers must agree to one of the following options:

1)      Wait for the umpire to show.

2)      Start the game with an agreed upon substitute umpire.  To avoid conflict between both teams have one person from each team umpire the game.

3)      Do not play the game and attempt to reschedule.

D.             In any event, call the MBL to report problems that arose and what solution was agreed upon.  If a substitute umpire was used, and the MBL is responsible for payment, supply their name and address on an umpire reimbursement form with the game number and they will be paid for their services.


A.         Each team must supply 1 new game ball for each game.

B.         Home team shall keep the official scorebook.

C.         Line markings and bases are the responsibility of the home team.

D.         All players must be in matching uniforms.

E.         Courtesy runners
year olds    The last player to be put out will be allowed to run for the current catcher any time.  The player that is run for MUST HAVE CAUGHT THE PREVIOUS INNING AND ALSO CATCH THE NEXT INNING.Exception:  A courtesy runner (the last player to be put out) will be allowed for an injured player. 

F. There can be a maximum of 4 adults in the dugout during the game.

 SLIDING: MBL does not modify the NFHS rules regarding sliding.  Players are never required to slide.  If a runner elects to slide, the slide must be legal.  Runner is out if he/she does not legally attempt to avoid a fielder in the immediate act of making a play on her/him.  Jumping, hurdling or leaping to avoid a fielder are illegal - unless the fielder is lying on the ground.


A.         1year olds     Continuous batting and free substitution will be used in All Metro Baseball 12 year old games.  This rule applies to the AAA, AA, and A leagues.



A.             12 year olds    A pitcher may pitch a maximum of 60 Pitches per game and a maximum of 85 Pitches per week.
                 PENALTY: The game in which the pitcher went over the pitch count - either per game total or weekly total - is forfeited. 

B.        Definition - A week consists of Sunday through Saturday.



A.        The following rules shall apply:

            12 year olds - A player may lead off and steal at any time.



A.        12 year olds    Regulation 6-innings. No new inning may begin after 2 hours elapsed from time of first pitch. In certain field situations, a time limit of less than 2 hours may be in place due to city ordinance or other special rules. Extra innings will be played when inside the time limit.  

B.        Ties will stand after curfew or darkness.  Do not risk injury due to darkness.  To insure the playing of the full six innings, hustle between half innings and retrieve all foul balls in a timely manner.

C.         The 10 run rule will take effect after 3 1/2 or 4 innings.

D.         Games called for any reason in mid-inning will revert to the score at the end of the last completed inning.


A.        The MBL shall keep current standings and they will be available to the respective coaches on both the Metro Baseball League website: www.mbl.bz.

B.         Both coaches must report their completed game score to the MBL score reporting system on the MBL Web Site by 10:00am the day after the game was completed.  Teams will be contacted if scores are not reported and will be assessed a penalty if it occurs more than one time.

C.        The Metro Baseball League standings are computed by a point system.  Each team will receive 3 points for a win, 2 points for a tie and 1 point for a loss.  Ties will be broken down by the followings procedure:

1)      Head to Head competition

2)      Best winning percentage (games won divided by games played)

3)      Best positive run differential in games between the tied teams

4)      Best positive run differential in all games played

5)      If still tied, a one game playoff will determine the winner


A.         In the event that a field is unplayable due to weather, the home team coach must:

1)      Notify the other coach and assigning umpire as soon as the decision is made.  This should be done no later than 3:45pm.

2)      Report the weather cancellation via the MBL web site.

·         Games cancelled because of weather will be listed on the MBL web page each day by 4:15pm.

B.         If the MBL does not hear from a coach or the coach does not report the cancellation via the score reporting system, it will be assumed that the game is on as scheduled.  It is then up to the umpire to decide if the field conditions are playable.

C.        12 year olds    Games started but stopped due to weather conditions are official after 3 1/2 or 4 innings.  

D.        Unofficial games will be made up from the exact point of interruption.  When both coaches agree on a specific date for the completion of the game please notify the umpire association and the MBL via the rain reschedule form.


A.        Schedule changes, once the schedule has been distributed are discouraged. A MBL Game Rescheduling Form must be completed for any game that is to be rescheduled. Be sure to carefully follow all procedures spelled out on this form

B.        Games that are not properly cancelled or rescheduled results in umpires arriving at the fields and deserving to be paid for their time. If the paying of the umpire is the responsibility of the MBL, any reschedule or make up game will be the responsibility of the participating teams. Please check with the umpire association for umpire availability before rescheduling games. 

C.        12 year old Teams    All teams supply their own umpires. In case of a game cancellation it will be their responsibility to schedule and pay their own umpires.


A.        All teams will make the playoffs. For all "AAA" Teams, the playoffs will start the week of July 4, 2022.  For all "AA" and "A" Teams, the playoffs will start the week of July 11, 2022. The top teams from each region will be placed in a single elimination playoff.  All the remaining teams will be placed in a single elimination playoff.

B.        For all "AAA" Teams, seedings for the MBL playoffs will be determined based on the league standings as of June 30, 2022 at 10:00am.  For all "AA" and "A" Teams, seedings for the MBL playoffs will be determined based on the league standings as of July                7, 2022 at 10:00am.  Any games played after this date will not count toward the playoff standings.

C.        Games will be played at the home field of the high seed. The coach of the high seed will be responsible for scheduling the field, contacting the other coach and supplying all pertinent information, and scheduling the umpire.

D.         MBL will pay all umpires used in the playoffs for all levels.