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Framingham Baseball

General Rules

PDF Version of Rules for Printing
Rule clarifications

Framingham Baseball League:

Majors Division Playing Rules
(as of 04/22/2019)


Pre-season Requirements

Each manager must submit to the league commissioner any assistant coaches, maximum of two per team, to the roster. All assistants must be approved by the commissioner and the board prior to the season.

Each team may have a single bench coach/score person on the roster. All bench coaches must be approved by the commissioner and the board prior to the season.

No person shall represent a team on the field without approval of the Board of Directors.

All coaches, assistant and bench coaches must fill out a CORI form and submit to the league commissioner by established deadlines or they are not be eligible to participate.

All head coaches, assistant and bench coaches must read the Code of Conduct.

All parents must sign the Code of Conduct and must return that document to the Head Coach- this is the responsibility of the head coach.

Call ups

If a head coach is aware that a player will be absent from a game, he/she may bring up an 8-year-old (only) from A League if needed. 

Note – Each appropriate league commissioner will have a call-up list to work from. Coaches MUST contact commissioner to obtain a call-up and NOT pursue this on their own.

Game Preliminaries

All coaches must remain in the dugout, behind the fencing (HEAD COACH can be on the field in proximity of their DOUGOUT ONLY), during their teams defensive half-inning. During their teams offensive half-inning each team will be allowed 2 base coaches on the field.

No equipment whatsoever should be in the field of play.

No exceptions. Failure to abide by these rules will result in a warning, first offense, and ejection of the HEAD COACH, second offense.

All coaches and players are expected to appear at fields unless officially notified by the league via the website, phone or text.

Each team must have a minimum of 9 players on the field at time of play for each game. The away team can start with 8 players while batting in the top of the first. But if the 9th player is not there for their at bat (if their spot comes up) or to play defensively in the bottom of the first inning (if their spot does not come up in the top of the inning), that team will forfeit the game. You must start with 9 but can finish with 8.

If you start with 9 and then have to go to 8, every time that batter (the one that was your 9th player) would have come up to bat, an out is recorded in his/her place.

Playing time

Every player properly dressed for the game must play.

If a team has 11 kids or less dressed for game time:

A “complete inning” as defined for purposes of playing time is defined as the top and bottom of an inning (with the exception being a player slated to play his/her 4th complete inning is the bottom of the 6th and their team is ahead and thus the bottom of the 6th is not played. In this case the player is considered to have played 4 full innings). No player will sit for more two full innings. Players that have not played the first two innings must enter the game before the first pitch of the 3rd inning, and play the entire 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th innings, giving that player the full 4 innings required.

If a team has 12 or 13 kids dressed for game time:

A “complete inning” as defined for purposes of playing time is defined as the top and bottom of an inning (with the exception being a player slated to play his/her 3th complete inning is the bottom of the 6th and their team is ahead and thus the bottom of the 6th is not played. In this case the player is considered to have played 4 full innings). No player will sit for more two full innings. Players that have not played the first two innings must enter the game before the first pitch of the 3rd inning, and play the entire 3rd, 4th and 5th innings, giving that player the full 3 innings required

If the game is called due to darkness after the 4th inning. That player will have only played 2 innings, but that is not a violation of the innings rule. A player that arrives late can enter a game upon his/her arrival as long as the player they are replacing has met or will meet (in the case of a player playing 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th innings) the minimum playing requirements, including innings, 6 defensive outs if applicable and at least one at bat. This late arriving player may not have sufficient time to meet the minimums.

Note: If a player arrives prior to the 3rd inning being started, then it is required of the coach to play that player the minimum 3 innings. It is not required that a coach play a player that arrives after the 3rd inning has started, but it is expected that a coach will attempt to get the player in and play him/her as many innings as possible. The minimum inning requirements for players are waived for games that are incomplete or shortened due to weather, darkness or other causes. If any player is deemed to have not met the playing time criteria (other than due to injury or other notable exceptions noted herein) and this is recognized by the opposing team, then the offending team will forfeit the game. Both coaches must contact the league commissioner within 24 hours to report the incident. At the coach’s discretion a player may be “benched” for one game due to behavioral issues; NEVER due to performance and the commissioner must be notified within 24 hours of the game. If this is to be repeated, then the head coach must again inform the commissioner prior to further action taken (i.e.: a player CANNOT be “benched” for a second game or more unless the commissioner has been informed prior). If a player is to sit out, for any reason the coach must inform the opposing coach prior to the start of the game. Each player must play at least 3 full games during the regular season.

 

Substitutions

A player may not be removed from a game during the progress of an inning except as the result of an injury.

After one pitch, a batter may not be substituted for except due to injury.

There will be no pinch runners except in the case of injury or ejection.

Substitutions for injured or ejected players will not be subject to the standard substitution rules as specified. The home plate umpire will resolve any substitution questions in this case.

Players that and goes in and goes in and goes in are removed from the game due to injury may be reentered into the game at the top of an inning only. The player that was substituted in simply goes back to his/her original status. Example: Player A is in the game and gets hurt, player B is on the bench and goes in for player. If player A reenters the game for player B in an inning prior to the inning that player B was slated to play, then player B is back on the bench until the inning comes up that player B was slated to originally  play, then player A must replace another player-being sure to follow the aforementioned substitution rules.

A player in the starting line-up who has been removed for a substitute may re-enter the game once, in any position in the batting order, provided that proper substitution rules and playing requirements are followed.

A player in the starting line-up who has been removed for a substitute may re-enter the game for another starting player in any position in the batting order; PROVIDED the SUBSTITUTE that entered the game for the starting player now about to re-enter: Has been at bat once, and has played in the field a combination of (24) offensive and defensive outs. Fulfills the 4-inning rule.

Note: This rule deals with players returning in extra innings.

If a pinch runner is needed due to injury or ejection, the coach of the team with the injured or ejected player will select a player who is not currently in the line-up to pinch run.

All players must play at least 1 complete innings in the field every game.

Batting Order

Each coach must exchange a written batting order and available substitutes list prior to the start of the game.

If a team has more than 10 kids dressed for the game:

We will bat 10 continuous batters, the 10th batter is called the EH (Extra Hitter)

 

Starting and Ending a Game

Game Durations:

For weekday games: The official starting time is 5:45PM. No new inning may begin after 7:30PM. The inning in progress must be completed by 8:00PM. (HARD STOP…No exceptions; score reverts to last complete inning and game is over).

An inning starts the moment the preceding inning ends. The umpire’s clock is official. If no umpires’ clock, then defer to the home team’s coach as the official time-keeper. Check the official time at start of game and as 7:30 approaches so as to avoid problems.

NOTE: In the spirit of fair play, no member of either team, their coaches, should deliberately delay the progress of an inning in order to take advantage of this rule. The game will be subject to protest by the opposing team.

Official Game

A complete 6 innings

A game becomes official once 4 innings (or 3 ½ innings if home team is ahead) have been played

Once a game is started (but it does NOT meet official game requirements) and becomes suspended (weather, curfew or darkness) it will be resumed at the point of interruption. The game will not be replayed in its entirety. Both teams should mark their books with game status. If the game is official and a winner can be determined, then the game ends, regardless of score or current situation. If a winner cannot be determined then game is suspended.

Example 1: Team A is the home team and is winning 4-3 at the end of the 5th inning and it starts to rain, but game is continued. In top of the 6th inning Team B scores 2 runs and now leads 5-4, but in the bottom of the 6th Team A has not scored and has 2 outs (or less) and lightning starts and the game is called by the umpire-then the game is stopped it reverts back to the 5th inning ( which is a complete game) and the game is reported as a 4-3 win for Team A.

Example 2: Team A is the home team and losing 4-3 at the end of the 5th inning and it starts to rain, but the game is continued. In the top of the 6th inning Team B scores 2 runs and now leads 5-4, but in the bottom of the 6th inning Team A proceeds to tie the score and has the bases loaded with no outs and lightning starts and the game is called by the umpire-then the game is stopped and since both teams had an opportunity to score in the 6th inning the game is suspended and DOES NOT revert back to the 5th. The game would be picked up as it was when the suspension was called: tie score, bottom of the inning and bases loaded with no outs.

A suspended game picks up exactly where it left off and will be continued at the next available date as determined by the commissioner. In some cases this will be the next time the teams meet.

Mercy Rule- Game with a 15 run differential after 4 complete innings (or 3 ½ innings if home team is ahead) will be stopped immediately and recorded as a complete game.

On Field Postponement

As the weather or field conditions dictate and prior to the first pitch, the home team coach must make the final decision regarding the ability to start game.

Once a game has been started it is the decision of the umpire whether or not a game should continue.

The home team coach is responsible for notifying the commissioner that a game needs to be rescheduled or continued.

Pitching

All players on the roster are eligible to pitch.

Pitch Count

Maximum pitches for any pitcher is 75

A pitcher may finish a batter started if pitch count was under 75 at time that batter was started. (Pitcher will not pitch to a new batter if pitch count is at 70)

If player pitches 66 or more pitches in a day, 4 calendar days of rest

If player pitches 51-64 pitches in a day 3 calendar days of rest

If player pitches 36-50 pitches in a day 2 calendar days of rest

If player pitches 1-35 pitches in a day 1 calendar day of rest

Coaches need to check pitch count after each ½ inning. If a discrepancy exists, then we go to the books and if there is still a disagreement, the home team’s counter will govern.

Note: Bookkeeper MUST track ALL pitches Including foul balls. The pitch count recorder must provide the current pitch count for any pitcher when requested by either coach or any umpire. However, the HEAD COACH is responsible for knowing when his/her pitcher must be removed. The league will purchase counters for each team.

Home coach needs to confirm pitch counts with the Visiting coach at end of game. The Home coach must report game score and pitch counts on league web site within 24 hours of the completion of game.

Violation of Pitching Rules

The goal is to play each game to its completion but to do so fairly.

Violation of the pitching rules (rest of pitchers/etc.) can result in the offending team forfeiting the game. The league commissioner will educate the coaches as to the particulars regarding pitch rule violation and has final say as to the interpretation of each situation and the penalty. Any coach who violates these pitch count rules will get a warning on the first offense. The coach will be suspended for a game on the second violation.

Warm-ups

 Pitchers should be warming up on the side and throwing the minimum amount of pitches required to warm up properly. COACHES need to police this.

Pitchers that have not pitched in the game will get up to 8 warm-up pitches maximum. Those returning to the game that have already pitched will get up to 5 warm-up pitches maximum.

Note: Be sure to have catchers ready with equipment PRIOR to the last out being made whenever possible. Coaches need to police this well so as not to stall the games progress.

Pitching: Visits and Substitutions

The Coach may make 1 trip per inning to the mound with a maximum of 2 trips per game per pitcher. Exceeding these limits requires the pitcher to be removed from the position (i.e. on the third visit in a game or on the second visit in an inning, the player must be removed and can ONLY be replaced by a player on the field at that time).

No players from the bench may be placed in the pitcher position during an inning. Also, if a substitute enters a game for an injured player he/she cannot pitch that inning and can only pitch the inning he/she would normally have been slated to come back in. If the player would have been on the bench for the rest of the game, he/she would not be able to pitch at all, no matter the inning.

Example: Player A played innings 1-4 and now is now on the bench, the right fielder is injured and Player A goes in during the 5th inning to play right field- Player A cannot pitch in that game at all, unless extra innings come into play and then the substitution rules for extra innings apply; if that same situation happened in the 3rd inning and Player A was on the bench and slated to play innings 1, 2, 5 and 6 and came in for the injured player in the 3rd inning, he/she would not be eligible to pitch until the 5th and 6th innings).

Note: A visit is any time a coach crosses the foul lines to visit the mound (whether a player is present or not), except in the case of an injury.

Miscellaneous

The pitcher’s foot must be in contact with the rubber at the start of his/her motion, thus pitching off to the side of the rubber is not allowed.

There are NO intentional walks via a declaration to send a batter to first. Pitchers must throw a pitch and catchers must remain in a squat in the catcher’s box until the pitch is released (or a NO PITCH will be called by the umpire). If a pitcher starts their windup and then stops without delivering to home, an illegal pitch is called by the umpire and a warning is issued. Subsequent violations from same pitcher will result in a “ball” being called each time.

Playing Rules

The Batter

A helmet with a face protector is required for all batters.

 

Bunting

Once a batter squares to bunt, the batter may not rest and take a full swing (i.e. Slashing). The player may take the bat back to take the pitch or may follow through on the bunt but may not take a full swing. The penalty is an immediate dead ball, the batter is out and all players return to the bases held at time of pitch.

The Runner

Any runner is out when the runner does not slide or attempt to avoid contact of a fielder who has the ball and is in position, waiting to make the tag.

In the case of a double play situation, if the runner into second is called out for not sliding and the lack of a slide causes interference in the fielder’s opportunity to attempt to turn a double play, the batter-runner will also be called out.

If a fielder is in the base path without the ball, and the runner collides with the fielder, the fielder may be subject to an obstruction call.

If a fielder is in the base path without the ball, the fielder must allow access to the base and cannot block the base at all (including home plate). If, in the opinion of the umpire, the runner did not have clear access to the base, the fielder will be called for obstruction and the runner will be safe at the base.

Note: Once an obstruction is indicated by the umpire, the ball is dead. Runners will be awarded the base they were going to. If, in the opinion of the umpire, runners would have attained more than one base, then the umpire can indicate this and award more than the base the runners were going to.

Example: A runner between 1st and 2nd is obstructed as the ball is still rolling to the fence. The umpire calls the obstruction and may award the runner 3rd; if in the umpire’s opinion the runner would have made it to that base.

If a fielder is in the base path with the ball, or if the ball has been determined (umpire’s judgement) to have arrived prior to or at the same time as the runner, there is no obstruction and the runner must slide or attempt to avoid contact (or return to the previous base).

If the base moves when the runner slides and the runner loses contact with the base the runner is considered safe, and should not move until time is called. If the runner moves to the base he/she is still safe in the opinion of the umpire the player was not attempting to advance.

Any runner is out when the runner slides head first into a base. The only exception to this rule is returning to base previously occupied.

Batting Out of Order

If a player bats out of order and the opposing team recognizes this and brings it to the attention of the umpire PRIOR to a pitch being thrown to the NEXT batter, then the player that batted out of order is out (if that player reaches base) and all runners return to their previous spots (if applicable) prior to that player’s at bat. If the out of order player is still batting at the time, then that player steps out and the correct player steps in and inherits the count of the out of order batter. If the infraction is not noticed in time and a single pitch (or more) has been thrown to a subsequent batter, there is no change the batter that was out of order remains where he/she is and play continues. There is no recourse for the opposing coach if the infraction is not called out prior to a pitch being thrown to any subsequent batter after the player that batted out of order.

Stealing Home

There will be no limit. But urge coaches to not abuse this rule. (The goal is to get players aware of the possibility of the steal of home.)  Stealing home on a passed ball from the catcher back to the pitcher will not be allowed. 

Scoring

The inning ends when 3 outs are recorded or 5 runs have been scored, whichever comes first.

In the final inning (which is the 6th, or otherwise declared by the umpire due to time constraints), if the Visiting team is losing or the game is tied, the Visiting team may score unlimited runs up to a maximum of 5 or more than the Home team’s total. If the Visiting team is ahead going into the final inning, the 5 run maximum rule applies. If the Home team is losing in the bottom of the last inning, they may score unlimited runs until the game is won or ended with 3 outs.

The Mercy Rule and Game Duration previously discussed supersede these last inning scoring rules.

Protesting a Game

Protest must be made at the time of the issue at hand, prior to the next pitch. If an issue comes up and the coach does not call attention to it to the umpire prior to the next pitch being thrown, then there can be no protest.

If attention is called to an issue at the proper time, the coach must then have the umpire sign the game-book of record (the HOME book) noting a protest and then BOTH coaches must also sign. The game continues (or if a commissioner can immediately be reached, then do so to help deal with the issue in real-time).

Protesting coach must then submit a detailed description of the protest: date and time of game, coaches and umpire involved, what the protest is and any other pertinent information. The document must be submitted to the protest committee within 24 hours of the games end. The protest committee consists of the league vice president, the league commissioner and umpire and chief.

Post Season

Playoff Eligibility (Player)

A player is only eligible for post-season playoff play if they played in ½ of their team’s regularly scheduled spring games, with exceptions being made if legitimate injury or illness was the cause of the majority of the missed games. If there is any question, the commissioner and/or Board of Directors will determine eligibility.

Tie Breakers

In order to seed teams for playoffs and the World Series the following sequence will determine the positioning of teams with identical wins and losses. These tie breakers are to be applied in order.

Two Way Ties

Head to head competition

Division Record

Least runs allowed head to head

Most runs scored head to head

Least runs allowed over entire schedule

Coin flip by the Commissioner

Three or More Way Ties

As soon as a tie is broken, the remaining teams shall immediately start at the top of the appropriate tie breaker. If two teams are eliminated on the same tie breaker, the remaining team is the winner. It is the intent of this rule to eliminate the bottom team, that is the tie is broken from the loser’s standpoint.

Head to Head competition

Division Record

Least runs allowed head to head

Most runs scored head to head

Least runs allowed over the entire schedule

Coin flip by the Commissioner

Tournament

The Home team is highest seed

World Series

Game 1 highest seed is Home team, 2nd game teams switch Home and Visitor. If there is a game 3 highest seed is Home team.

Fielding Team

As per regular season

Post Season Pitching Rules

As per regular season



Rules Clarification

Game Time/Duration

Q - There is a weekend game, with no games scheduled immediately after our game.  Do the game time limits still apply?
A - 

Q - Our game started late due to issues with the umpire.  Is our time limit extended?
A - 


Playing time/Lineup

Q - We have 10 players and started the game with an extra hitter.  During the game, our 10th player had to leave.  Do we need to take an out when that players position comes up in the line up?
A - No.  The intent of the extra hitter is to allow more players to participate in the game at once.  In the event that the 10th player has to leave, that spot in the line up will just be skipped for the duration of the game.  Should another player need to leave resulting in a lineup of only 8 players, the position in the lineup of the 9th player shall result in an automatic out for the duration of the game.


Stealing/Base Running

Q - Can a runner take home on an overthrow of third base on a steal?
A - Yes.  Runners may advance at their own risk.  The only situation where a runner shall not advance is from third to home on a throw from the catcher back to the pitcher (delayed steal).  If the catcher attempts to throw to another base (such as a runner stealing second in a first and third situation) the runner on third may attempt to advance home.

Q - Is there leading allowed in the Majors?
A - No.  The runner must maintain contact with the base until the pitch crosses home plate.  If the runner leaves the base early and steals a base, the umpire shall call time and have the runner return to the base.  If the umpire deems that the runner left early on a ball put in play, at the umpires discretion they may rule the runner out (if leaving early affected a force out at a base for example) or have the runner return to an earlier base (for example, if the runner leaving early caused the runner to score, the umpire can have the have the runner return to third).


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Framingham Baseball League

PO Box 1053 
Framingham, Massachusetts 01701

Email Us: [email protected]
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