Community/Rec 6-7-8th Grae (14U) Rules




COMMUNITY RECREATION BASEBALL

2023 RULE MODIFICATIONS

6-7-8th Grade/14U Division

Rules and regulations are in effect for the Metro Baseball League (MBL) Community Recreation regular season and tournament play.  The NFHS (National Federation of High Schools) Rules Book will govern all play, with the exception of select modifications listed in this document.  Any situations that are not covered by the NFHS or MBL Community Recreation League rule modifications will be determined by the MBL Community Recreation Board of Directors.  Said Board of Directors has the authority to make amendments to the modifications in this document.  Decisions on the rules and modifications are the product of league communities leadership and not the MBL.

QUICK GLANCE
* 7 innings or 1 hour-45 minute time limit (no new inning)
* 75' bases, 52-54' pitching rubber
* 7-run limit per inning
* Dropped 3rd strike, NFHS rule applies
* Leading off is allowed
* Stealing is allowed (including home)
* Pitching: 3 inn/game, 6 inn/week


1.  General

1.1    Game Start Time: Game start times will be published on the MBL web site.  Travel directors will have access to edit the schedules.  Depending on field availability, Visiting teams may take infield practice for 10 minutes, starting 30 minutes before game time.  Home team may take infield for 10 minutes starting 15 minutes before game time.  Coaches have discretion to adjust as desired. 

1.2   Length of Game: 7 innings.  Coaches may decide to play extra innings if daylight/time allow.

1.3   Time Limit: No new inning shall begin after 2 hours elapsed from time of first pitch.  The next inning begins at the instant the 3rd out is recorded in the previous half inning (or the final run is scored, in leagues with limits on runs).

1.4   Coaches on Field: Coaches are allowed on the field as base coaches only.

1.5   Pregame Meeting/Ground Rules: Umpires and head coaches should meet near home plate before every game. Part of the meeting should be to define ground rules and dead ball territory.

1.6 Field Dimensions: Base length shall be 75’.  Pitching distance shall be 52-54'.

1.7   Abuse of Officials: There is a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY for any abuse of officials.  Umpires are scheduled for all games by each host community.  Many umpires at the youth level are inexperienced and still learning.  There are absolutely no emotional outbursts allowed toward umpires.  This includes yelling, badgering or trying to influence a call by a player, coach or spectator.  


2.  Scoring

2.1 Runs per Inning Limit: A half inning ends when 3 outs are recorded or a maximum of 7 runs are scored. Even if a team is mathematically eliminated from winning because of this rule, teams continue playing, so long as the game is inside the time limit.

2.2 Tie Games/Extra Innings (Regular Season): At coaches’ discretion, a tie game may continue to extra innings if daylight/time limit allows.


3.  Batting

3.1 Batting Order: Every player present will be put in the batting order, whether that player has a defensive position or not. NFHS batting out of order rules shall apply, with the proper batter being called out. No runs are counted for any players batting out of order. If someone is late arriving to the game they must be placed at the bottom of the batting order. They will hit when it is their turn. Coaches should make every effort to ensure all players have a similar number of plate appearances over the course of the season (proportional to attendance).

3.2 Player(s) Removed from Lineup: If a team starts the game with more than 9 players in the batting order and is forced to remove a player because of injury or any other reason, that spot in the order is skipped; an out is NOT recorded.  An injured player who is removed from the batting order may be returned to the batting order, in the original spot, should he/she feel well enough to hit and run.

3.3    Thrown Bats: Batters may not throw bats after swinging or for any reason. Batters will be warned the first time they throw the bat. Scorekeepers are to mark it in their scorebooks. If the batter throws the bat a 2nd time, that player shall be called out, the play shall be dead and all base runners return to the bases they were on at the time of pitch. Continued display of poor sportsmanship of this nature may result in the player being benched for the rest of the game and a possible review by the league board.

3.4 Walks, Intentional Walks: Standard NFHS walk rules will apply, with exception of intentional walks, which are not permitted.

3.5    Hit By Pitch: Standard NFHS hit-by-pitch rules will apply.

3.6   Dropped 3rd Strike: Ball is live, batter must be tagged out or ball thrown to first base (unless first base is occupied at time of pitch and there are less than 2 outs, in which case the batter is out.)

3.7    Infield Fly Rule: Infield Fly Rule will be enforced.  An infield fly is a fair fly (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort (this does not preclude outfielders from attempting to make the catch), and provided the fly is hit before there are 2 outs and with runners on 1st and 2nd, or 1st, 2nd and 3rd.  The ball is live and runners may advance at their own risk.

3.8    Butting: Bunting is allowed.

3.9    Bat restrictions:

               Max Barrel – Max Weight Differential

               2 1/4” – Unlimited

               2 1/2” – minus 10

               2 5/8” – minus 10

               2 3/4” – minus 10

               Max Weight Differential” is determined by taking the length of the bat and subtracting the  weight.  For example:  A 30” bat that weights 20 oz has a weight differential of minus 10.


4.  Baserunning

4.1 Leading Off: Leading off is allowed.

4.2    Stealing: Stealing is allowed, including home.  

4.3    Passed Balls: Runners may advance on passed balls (including home). Stealing is allowed.

4.4    Overthrows: An overthrow that remains in live ball territory is live and runners may advance at their own risk. Standard NFHS rules will apply on any throw that goes into dead ball territory. On a first play in the infield where the throw goes out of play, all runners and batter-runner are awarded 2 bases from time of pitch. If there is an overthrow on an attempted steal, the runners may advance at their own risk, including to home. Runners may advance on an overthrow from catcher to pitcher after a pitch (except home).

4.5 End of Play / Time Called: Umpires are not required to call time at the end of each play.  Umpires are encouraged to keep the ball live as much as possible, only calling time when necessary.

4.7    Pregame Meeting/Ground Rules: Umpires and head coaches should meet near home plate before every game.  Part of the meeting should be to define ground rules and dead ball territory.

4.8    Sliding: Head-First sliding is not allowed. Head-First “diving” back into a base is not considered to be a head-first slide. The intent is to avoid injury to both the runner and fielder. For first violation, a warning shall be issued. Second violation by same player, runner is out.

4.9 Baserunning / Interference: A runner must avoid contact with a fielder that is attempting to make a play on them.  This can be accomplished by sliding, stopping or otherwise avoiding contact.  Leaping or hurdling are not allowed.  Failure to avoid contact by the runner will result in an out.  Runners who leave the 6-foot baseline when a play is being made on them will be called out.  Runners must also avoid fielders in the act of fielding a batted ball.  In this case, they are allowed to leave the 6-foot baseline.


5.  Pitching

5.1    Pitching Restrictions: For regular season play, a player may pitch a maximum of 3 innings in any game and 6 innings per week.  One pitch in an inning constitutes 1 inning pitched.

5.2    Pitch Selection: Pitchers are not allowed to throw any type of curve, slider or sinker or any pitch that deliberately snaps, twists or exerts pressure on the wrist, elbow or arm. One warning will be issued. On the second violation, the player will be removed from the game.  Underhand pitching is not allowed.

5.3    Warm-up: Five warm-up pitches are allowed before each inning. Additional pitches are allowed for relief pitchers that have not had the opportunity to warm-up.

5.4    Intentional Walks: Intentional walks are not permitted.

5.5    Balks: Balks will not be called.  Pitchers must make contact with the pitching rubber when delivering their pitch.

5.6    Charged Conferences / Mound Visits: One coaching trip to the mound is allowed per pitcher per inning. On the second trip in an  inning, the pitcher must be removed from the pitcher position.

5.7    Pitcher Re-Entry: A pitcher may be removed from the pitcher position and re-enter at the pitcher position one time  during regulation play provided they have eligible innings left.  If a pitcher is removed in the middle of an inning, the player cannot pitch in the same game but may play any other position.

5.8    Extra Innings: If a game goes into extra innings, pitching limits apply and continue.


6.  Defensive Play / Fielding

6.1    Player Positioning/ Free Substitution: Teams play 9 defensive positions and free substitution is allowed.  All players should get the opportunity to play all positions during the season.  For safety reasons, some players may not be placed at Pitcher, Catcher or 1B based on coaches’ discretion. Coaches should discuss this with the players’ parents.

6.2    Individual Defensive Positioning Requirements: All players must play a minimum of 3 defensive innings, unless the player is injured, suspended or late for a game. Players may only play 4 innings at the same position in a single game., with the exception of catcher. Catchers shall have no limit on innings. The philosophy of community baseball is to give the players experience at a variety of defensive positions. Every effort should be made to rotate players every 2-3 innings. Coaches should plan ahead for this, knowing some games may end after 5 innings because of the 10-run rule.

6.3    Innings Played: No player will sit the bench more than 2 innings per game and never more than 1 inning consecutively per game. In the case where this is mathematically impossible (roster too big),  every effort should be made to minimize the amount of bench time throughout the season.

6.4    Catchers: The catcher position is considered and “Outfield” position.

6.5    Obstruction / Fielder Interference: Fielders cannot block the base or baseline when they do not have the ball or if the ball is not approaching them.  A fielder always has the right-of-way when attempting to field a batted ball in the baseline, and runners must avoid contact with the fielder.  Runners are allowed to leave the baseline when avoiding contact with a fielder in this situation.

                   

7.0  Coaches, Players and Spectators Conduct

7.1      General Behavior: All coaches, players and spectators are prohibited from abusive shouting or use of obscene language and must adhere to the No Smoking and No Alcohol Policy on the field and surrounding area. Coaches and spectators who  are intoxicated will be asked to leave.  Violation of these rules will result in eviction from the field and review by the Board.

7.2     Badgering / Verbal Interference: Coaches, players and spectators are prohibited from trying to  disrupt a player at bat or in the  field (for example, by yelling “swing” to hinder the player at bat). 

7.3     Clean Up: All coaches, players and spectators should ensure the field and surrounding area are free of debris and  left in an orderly fashion when the game is complete.

7.4     Injuries: All players and spectators must report any injuries immediately to the coach.  It is the coaches’ responsibility to report these injuries to the level coordinator. Possibility of injury requires that a responsible adult  be present at all games and practices.  If parents are unable to be present at a game or practice, it is their responsibility to find an adult to watch their child.  This is not a duty of the coaches.

7.5     Umpires: Umpires are scheduled for all games by each host community.  Many umpires at the youth level are inexperienced and still learning.  There are absolutely no emotional outbursts  allowed  toward umpires.  This includes yelling, badgering or trying to influence a call by a player, coach or spectator.  This is a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY.