2016 T-Ball Division Rules (4-5 Year Old Players)
All teams will follow the 2016 Southeast Regional T-Ball rules (where applicable) or 2016 Cal Ripken Baseball Rules, with the exception of the following local league rules:
- Preseason practices are to be scheduled weekly. The manager has an obligation to adequately prepare his team. The basic skills of baseball should be taught. These include base running, fielding positions, batting stance, catching and throwing techniques, what and who is the cut-off man and the difference between a force out and a tag out.
- Good Sportsmanship and team attitude are essential goals of VYS. Coaches, players and parents are expected to conduct themselves accordingly. This is an instructional division and each child needs to learn the importance of respect for themselves, their teammates, their coaches, and the umpires. Arguing with the umpires is not acceptable. Managers and coaches must set a good example on and off the field.
- Regular season standings will not be kept.
- All games shall start promptly at the posted times, unless delayed by previous games. As managers and coaches, it is your responsibility to make sure the game moves along in a timely manner.
- All players who arrive by game time must play at least one inning of outfield and at least one inning of infield. For this rule, catcher shall count as an infield position. Players cannot play the same position for consecutive innings. Example: a player cannot play SS on defense in the 1st and 2nd inning. A player can play SS on defense in the 1st and 3rd inning.
- A regulation game is five three innings. A called game is complete if 2 1⁄2 or 3 innings are completed.
- The maximum runs that can be scored per inning by the batting team is five (5).
- The home team is responsible for keeping the official score book for the game. The score book shall be used to officially document player participation, track the amount of runs scored per inning and make sure the five run maximum is not exceeded and ensure that teams are continuing to bat in the proper batting order.
- No inning shall start after 8:00pm on a school night, and no new inning shall begin after 1 hour and 30 minutes of play.
- The games will be umpired by the teams involved. Each team will provide a coach to umpire. That coach must be positioned behind the pitcher’s mound. That coach/umpire is the final say on all plays during the inning (outs, fouls, etc).
- Only players in uniform, the manager, three coaches, umpires and league officials shall be allowed on the playing field or in the dugout during a game. During play, manager, coaches and substitute players must remain in the dugout. Managers or coaches of the offensive team shall occupy the base coach boxes.
- All players are prohibited from wearing jewelry of any kind.
No records will be kept and there will be no playoffs for this division.
- A base runner that passes another base runner is immediately out.
- If two base runners are touching the same base in a non-force out situation, the following (second) runner shall be out when tagged. The lead runner is entitled to the base.
- Base runners can advance only one base “at their own risk” on an overthrow. If a second overthrow occurs on the same play, base runners may not advance an additional base.
- The “Hash Mark Rule,” between first & second bases and second & third bases will be enforced. If a base runner has not passed the hash mark when "Time" is called, then he must return to the base he last occupied.
- The base runner must stay in contact with his base until the ball is batted. If the base runner leaves early, the umpire will call dead ball; the runners will return to their bases and play will start over.
- A base runner will be called out if he runs more than 3 feet out of base line to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball
- A base runner that interferes with a fielder making a play, even in the baseline, is out.
- All hitters will hit the ball from a batting tee. The tee should be adjusted to such a height that the batter will be able to swing and hit the ball at a height which best suits that individual batter.
- A maximum of five (5) swings shall be allowed for each batter. This includes a foul ball or a ball that does not travel past the 25’ arc on the fifth swing. After five swings, the batter shall be assisted by a coach.
- All players on roster present for the game shall bat in order, whether playing defensively or not. All late arriving players must be placed at bottom of line-up.
- The half inning is over when 3 outs have been recorded or 6 5 runs are scored.
- There is no bunting.
- The pitcher must be in contact with the rubber and must make a pitching motion before the batter swings at the ball.
- The batter must wait to hit the ball until after the manager says, "Pitcher Pitch" and after the pitcher makes a pitching motion. If the batter hits the ball before those actions occur, the ball will be a called 'dead' and runners will return to their bases.
- The batter and all base runners must wear a helmet on the field.
- The tee must totally cover home plate. The batter must be in proper batting position in the batter’s box. Batters may not be purposely “lined up” down the first or third base lines.
- The offensive coach at home plate may adjust the tee height for each batter.
- The batter may not 'address' the ball on the tee with the bat before hitting. The first time this occurs, it will be a warning. The second time it occurs, it will be called a strike and it will count towards one of the 5 swing maximum.
- A batted ball must travel beyond the 25’ arc in order to be considered a live ball.
- If a batter hits part of the ball and part of the tee, the ball is live if it travels past the 25’ arc. If a batter hits all tee or the ball does not go past the 25’ arc, it is a foul ball. Foul balls do NOT count as strikes unless a foul ball is hit on the 5th and final swing of an at- bat.
A warning will be given to a batter that throws his bat. It is up to the umpire to decide if a bat has been thrown. An out will result with the 2nd thrown bat by the same player.
- “Time” is called when the ball is controlled by an infielder and the lead runner is contained. The infielder must acknowledge the lead runner. Once the lead runner is acknowledged the play stops and the runners are placed on the base according to the” hash mark” rule.
- Ten (10) players will play defensively each inning.
- No player may sit the bench while the team is in the field for more than one inning in a row in any game. (exception – injury or illness). A player who has sat for an inning while his team is on defense may not do so again in a game until all other players on the team have sat out at least one inning. If a team is caught out of compliance with this rule, the game will be considered a forfeit.
- No player can play the same position in 2 consecutive innings. All players must play at least 1 inning in the infield and 1 inning in the outfield. If a team is caught out of compliance with this rule, the game will be considered a forfeit.
- Catchers must wear a batting helmet or catcher helmet and be in foul territory next to the dugout opening. If it is a right handed batter, the catcher will stand by the first base dugout. If it is a left handed batter, the catcher stands next to the third bases dugout when each play begins.
- The catcher must make the INITIAL LIVE PLAY within the 25-foot arc. If he misses or loses the ball, another player may recover it and make a play at the plate. A batted ball that has not reached the 25’ arc can be touched by any defensive infielder.
- The 1st baseman must be coached to field throws from the corner of the base. Standing on the middle of the base will result in obstruction after one warning.
- The catcher may not stand on home plate or in the baseline unless he is in possession of the ball. A tag must be applied at home plate in a non-force out situation. Tagging the plate in a non-force out play is not an out. You must tag the runner.
- The pitcher must be touching the pitching rubber while making the pitching motion, and until the ball is put in play.
- During a play, the ball must be thrown (not rolled).
- If the pitcher makes a play on a hit ball, he must attempt to throw the ball to the base or plate to record an out. The pitcher may not “chase” the runner to the base. EXCEPTION: if the pitcher makes a play close to the first or third baseline that naturally would allow him to tag a runner, he may do so.
- Infielders cannot begin a play closer to home plate than 10’ in front of the base path.
- Infielders must stay out of the base path unless making a direct play on the ball. If an infielder is not making a play and there is contact with a runner, this is obstruction on the defense and the runner gets his intended base plus one additional base.
- Outfielders must be positioned on the outfield grass and in fair territory when the ball is put into play. An outfielder may not make an infield play. The outfielder must throw the ball to the infielder.
Defensive coaches may be stationed in the field of play during a defensive half of the inning. A maximum of two (2) defensive coaches per team shall be allowed in the field of play and these defensive coaches shall assist the umpire in making calls at 2nd base. In the event that a team chooses to have a coach stand with the catcher during the defensive half inning, this coach shall not be counted as part of the two (2) coaches allowed on the field. A manager may ask for time from the umpire to enter the field of play and talk to a player(s). The manager may do so once an inning.