1) Infield Dead Ball Rule in effect. Infielder, in the infield, must raise ball overhead, in fair territory (catcher behind the plate is not fair territory), for play to be considered dead. Runners at that point past the hash mark will advance to next base. Runners behind hash mark will return to previous base. Play may be made on runners at any time unless ball is raised overhead by an infielder in fair territory. SPRING SESSION ONLY - After Memorial Day, introduce returning ball to Player-Pitcher, in the pitching circle, to cause a dead ball, for in-house games only. On inter-league play, agree during ground rules on dead ball.
FYI: a common mistake is to assume the ball is dead after an out is made. Other runners can continue to advance until the play is dead via the dead ball rule or the umpire calls time. A throw to first base does not cause a dead ball unless it is overthrown.
2) Runners may advance on over throws, except to 1st base! Overthrows to 3rd that end up out of play is a dead ball each runner advances 1 base. If the ball stays in play on an overthrow to 3rd, it is not a dead ball. i.e. overthrow to 3rd is not automatically a dead ball. Overthrows to 2nd are in play.
Note the intent of this overthrow to 1st rule is to get players to always make a play (throw the ball) to 1st base when that is a good option based on situation. Too many teams were holding any ball hit to the 3rd base side to keep the runner from advancing past 1st.
3) Coach Pitcher should have one foot inside of circle at time of Pitch. (use discretion and move closer for batters that need help) It is possible this rule will be strictly enforced during inter-league play when we are the visiting team, so get to this position as soon as possible as you develop your team and/or agree with other coach during ground rules.
4) All players must play at least 2 defensive innings in the infield. Rotate batting order so everyone is the lead-off batter and so forth.
5) All players must receive equal playing time. Yes, the best players sit the bench too.
6) Game length is 6 innings. Mercy Rule: 15 runs after 3 innings. 12 runs after 4 innings. 10 runs after five. This is for official scoring. Games can be continued for additional practice if coaches agree and/or time permits.
7) Defense will consist of 10 players, 4 of which must be in the outfield if playing with 10 players.
8) 7 pitches to each batter. 3 swinging strickes = out. Foul tip 3rd strike or 7th pitch batter continues.
9) 5 run limit per inning except last inning can bat the entire order. If one team has more players, team with less players can bat up to number of kids on other team.
10) Field Set-Up: Bases are 60'. Hashes 1/2 way between 1-2, 2-3, 3-H. Place a 15' arc originating from home between 1st base line to 3rd base line. Batted ball must pass this line or it is considered a foul ball. Pitching circle is a 5' radius at 42'. Measurements are from the back point of home plate.
11) Pitch to your own team. One of the coaches from the fielding team should back up their catcher so missed balls are returned to the Coach-Pitcher as soon as possible. Keep the game moving fast!
12) Sliding - If a runner does not slide into a base when a play is being made on the runner, and it results in a collision, the runner is out. The intent of this is for the safety of the kids. If a runner slides into first, the runner is out. The intent of this is to drive the habit of running through the base.