METRO BASEBALL LEAGUE
2023 RULES, MODIFICATIONS AND REGULATIONS
The following rule modifications and regulations will govern play for the current season in the Metro Baseball League. This 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 coaches and participants. The MBL Board of Directors has adopted the National Federation High School League rules, except where modified below:
I. PLAYER REGISTRATION/ELIGIBILITY
A. Players in their respective age groups must not reach the next age before May 1. 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 12 year old may NOT play in the 11 year old division.
B. Rosters are due before the first game and must be entered on the MBL site. Maximum of 18 players per team. Roster changes may be made through June 1 of the current season. Any player(s) added after June 1 must be accompanied by the association's travel director’s signature and approved by the MBL Board of Directors.
C. In the case where a rostered player will be absent from a game, a replacement player may be eligible to replace the rostered player. The spirit of this rule is to enable a game to be played and avoid forfeit or rescheduling. For example, if a team with 11 players has three players unable to play, the coach may coordinate a one-game waiver for up to three players - coordinated with the team association's travel director and the MBL Director. Replacement player(s) must be of equal or lower age AND equal or lower level, from their own community's travel program (or in-house program, in special cases). For example, a 12AA Blue team may waiver in a player from the 12AA White team, or a 13AAA team may waiver in a player from the 12AAA team. (This individual waiver requirements are the same as MBT. MBT, however, requires a separate form to be completed.)
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. However, this is NOT intended to allow all-star or recruited teams to be formed. The MBL Board of Directors reserves 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.
III. LEVELS OF PLAY
- 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 level.
- “AA”- The intermediate level, primarily intended to provide a uniform competitive experience for communities that are not able to compete at the AAA level or communities that already have teams at the AAA level.
- “A”- Offered for 10-15 only. 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. The 14's and 15's are combined at this level.
- Interlevel Play - There shall be no interlevel play between “AAA”, “AA”, and “A”leagues. In some circumstances where interlevel play is appropriate, approval of the MBL Board of Directors must be obtained.
- Club Ball and double rostering is now the responsibility of each individual association.
IV. FIELD DIMENSIONS
- A. The following base lengths shall apply:
9 year olds - 60.0 feet
10 year olds - 60.0 feet
11 year olds - 65.0 (recommended distance is 65.0 feet)
12 year olds - 75 feet (recommended distance is 75.0 feet)
13 year olds - 75 – 80 feet (recommended distance is 80.0 feet)
14-15 year olds – 90 feet
- B. The following pitching distances shall apply:
9 year olds - 46 feet
10 year olds - 46 feet
11 year olds -46 feet
12 year olds -50-54 feet (recommended distance is 52 feet)
13 year olds – 52-54 feet (recommended distance is 54.0 feet)
14-15 year olds – 60 feet 6 inches
- 9 - 12 year olds will use molded cleats or tennis shoes.
- NO METAL SPIKES ALLOWED!
- 13-15 year olds will be allowed to use metal spikes
2. Bats - The following pertains to the legality of bats in the MBL
9-11 year olds - Bats must be 2 ¼”, 2 ½”, 2 5/8”, or 2 ¾” barrel diameter with
unlimited weight differential and the USA or USSSA stamp.
12-13 year olds- Bats must be 2 ¼” barrel diameter with
unlimited weight differential and the USA or USSSA stamp.
12-13 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.
14 year olds – Maximum diameter at the thickest part: 2 5/8” or 2 ¾”
With minus 5 weight differential with and the USA or USSSA stamp.
14 year olds- Maximum Diameter: 2 5/8” with a minus 3 weight differential and the
15 year olds – Maximum diameter at the thickest part: 2 5/8” or less
With minus 3 weight differential and be BBCOR approved.
14/15A year olds – May use either the 14 or 15 year old bat regulations.
Any age can use BBCOR stamped bats
9 – 15 year olds - WOOD BATS ARE ALLOWED
In length:…………………………...36" or less
3. Catchers Equipment
14 and 15 year olds - The NOCSAE standard for chest protectors in catcher’s gear is required for 14AAA, 14AA, 15AAA, 15AA & 14/15A leagues.
VI. COACH/PLAYER CONDUCT
- 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
- Any player, coach or spectator ejected from a game will also be suspended for their team's next game on the schedule at the time of the ejection, including a tournament or playoff game. Depending on the severity of the infraction/behavior, supplemental discipline may be given by the MBL. A second game ejection in the same season will result in suspension for the remainder of the team's regular season and playoff games.
- Anyone suspended 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 with the MBL Board of Directors.
- A. 9 – 15 year olds, all 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. Questions regarding rule interpretation are allowed after requesting time from the umpire. 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.
VIII. GENERAL RULES
- A. Each team must supply 1 new game quality ball for each game.
- B. Home team shall keep the official score book. (The Official Score book may be an electronic score book.)
- C. Line markings and bases are the responsibility of the home team.
- D. All players must be in matching uniforms.
- E. Courtesy runners
9 – 14 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.
6. 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.
15 - 18 year olds - A courtesy runner will be allowed for the current catcher anytime. The player that is run for MUST HAVE CAUGHT THE PREVIOUS INNING AND ALSO CATCH THE NEXT INNING. Players who have participated in the game in any other capacity are ineligible to serve as courtesy runners until all players have participated. If all players have participated, then the courtesy runner will be the last player that made an out.
IX. CONTINUOUS BATTING
- A. 9-14 year olds - Continuous batting and free substitution will be used in All Metro Baseball League games. This rule applies to the AAA, AA, and A leagues.
- B. 15 – 18 year olds - Teams will play 9-player baseball with the option of a DH. There will be no option of playing with continuous batting
Teams must start the game with at least 9 players. If, because of injury, illness or other circumstances, a team is reduced to 8 players, they may finish the game with 8 players. If a team is reduced to 7 players or less, the game is forfeited.
If a player must be removed from the lineup due to injury, illness or other circumstances, that player's spot in the batting order is skipped; it is not an out each time that spot comes up in the order. The only exception to this rule is if the player was ejected, in which case it is an out each time that spot comes around.
If a player arrives late to a game, including a player who is now available for the continuation of a previously suspended game for which he/she was not present, that player is to be added at the end of the batting order upon their arrival. The player is allowed to participate as any other player.
If a batter is injured during an at-bat, the last player put out assumes the injured player's count and continues the at-bat.
X. PITCHING RESTRICTIONS
*Pitch Count is the only restriction on pitchers. There is no restriction on innings pitched.
- A. 9 - 11 year olds A pitcher may pitch a maximum of 50 Pitches per game and a maximum of 75 Pitches per week.
12 year olds A pitcher may pitch a maximum of 60 Pitches per game and a maximum of 85 Pitches per week.
13 year olds A pitcher may pitch a maximum of 65 Pitches per game and a maximum of 90 Pitches per week.
14 - 15 year olds A pitcher may pitch a maximum of 75 Pitches per game and a maximum of 105 pitches per week.
** If a player reaches the max number of allowed pitches during an at-bat, they may finish pitching to that batter and then must immediately be removed from the pitching position.
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.
C. Curve balls will NOT be allowed in the 9-10-11 year old divisions. 12U and older are allowed to throw curve balls.
Penalty for 9-10-11U throwing a curve ball:
1st offense - Dead ball
2nd offense - Dead ball and pitch is called a ball
3rd offense - Dead ball, pitch is a ball and pitcher may not pitch for remainder of game
- D. Balks - In the 9-11 year old divisions, balks will not be called. However, a fake pitch or stopping mid-delivery will result in a dead ball and all runners advancing one base.
XI. LEAVING A BASE / LEADING OFF
- A. The following rules shall apply:
9-10 year olds - A player may leave a base after the ball crosses the plate.
11 year olds - A runner may leave a base after the ball leaves the pitcher's hand.
12 year olds - A player may lead off at any time.
- B. In the 9-11 year old divisions, the batter may NOT advance to first base on a dropped third strike. Dropped third strikes are ruled as outs.
C. 9U: A runner occupying third base at the start of a play (time of pitch) may only advance home on a batted ball, a bases loaded walk/hit-by-pitch, or an attempted play on said runner.
* This rule modification is in effect for MBL league play and MBT State Tournament play. The rule is identical for both.
XII. RE-ENTRY RULES
15-18 year olds only
- A. Starting Players: Any of the starting players may withdraw and re-enter once, including a player who was the designated hitter, provided that player occupies the same batting position whenever they are in the lineup. A substitute who is withdrawn may not re-enter.
- B. Exception: Replacement of injured players and/or courtesy runners. If an active player sustains an injury that requires them to leave the game and their team has used all of its available substitute players, the coach may substitute for the injured player with the first player on the bench who had previously lost their eligibility via the re-entry rule. A courtesy runner (the last player to be put out if there are no other legal substitutes) will be allowed for the catcher.
XIII. GAME LENGTH
- A. 9 - 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.
13-18 year olds Regulation 7-innings. No new inning may begin after 2 hours-15 minutes elapsed from time of first pitch. In certain field situations, a time limit of less than 2 hours-15 minutes 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 game, hustle between half innings and retrieve all foul balls in a timely manner.
- C. For 9 - 12 year olds - The 10 run rule will take effect after 3 ½ innings if the home team is ahead by 10 or more runs or after 4 completed innings if the visiting team is ahead by 10 or more runs.
For 13 - 15 year olds - The 10 run rule will take effect after 4 ½ innings if the home team is ahead by 10 or more runs or after 5 completed innings if the visiting team is ahead by 10 or more runs.
- 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 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 in the final standings will be broken by the following 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 determine the winner.
XV. RAIN-OUT PROCEDURES
- A. In the event that a field is unplayable due to weather, the home team coach must:
1) Notify the other coach 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.
3) Reschedule the game with the opposing coach and update the MBL web site within 3 days of the cancelled game.
- Games cancelled because of weather will be listed on the MBL web page each day as soon as they are cancelled.
- B. If the coach does not report the cancellation via the MBL web site, 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. 9 - 12 year olds Games started but stopped due to weather conditions are official after 3 1/2 or 4 innings.
13 - 18 year olds Games started but stopped due to weather conditions are official after 4 1/2 or 5 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 MBL web site.
XVI. SCHEDULE CHANGES
- A. Schedule changes, once the schedule has been distributed are discouraged. All MBL scheduled games must be changed on the MBL web site.
- 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 paying 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. 9 – 15 year olds ALL 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, seeding 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, seeding 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.