2014 Pony League Rules

A. OFFICIAL RULES

Official Baseball Rules, “American Baseball Congress” edition, as modified by the following local rules.

B. PLAYING RULES

1. Minimum Play

A. Each player present in uniform at the start of the game must play at least three innings defensively in a regular seven-inning game.  If a team has 13 or fewer players at a game, each player must play at least four innings defensively in a regular seven-inning game. With the exception of the pitcher, teams are allowed free substitution on defense. Once the pitcher has been removed, that player may not re-enter as a pitcher.

B. Each player present in uniform at the start of the game is part of his/her team line-up. Each team must bat its entire line-up consecutively.

2.         A player who arrives after the start of a game may play at the discretion of his/her manager. If allowed to play, the player must play a minimum of half the remaining innings defensively, but may play the lower number of innings if an odd number of innings remain. In the Blue League and the Green League, the player must bat after the last player listed in the continuous batting order.

3. Everyone Plays Rule

The penalty for not complying with rules one and/or two is automatic forfeiture of the game, providing that the opposition manager points out the impending violation to the offending manager and the umpire before the end of the game.

If the violation is determined after the game, the Commissioners shall review the facts and circumstances and consider whether any sanctions apply.

4. Pitchers – Both Divisions

A. General Rule

A pitcher is not allowed:

(1) To pitch more than seven innings per day or game:

(2) To pitch more than seven innings total on consecutive days. If a pitcher   pitches three innings on day one, he cannot pitch more than four innings on day two. If more than three innings are pitched on day one, there must be a one calendar day rest period before pitching again: and

(3) To pitch more than ten innings per week, the week starting 12:01 am Monday morning, ending midnight Sunday night.

In all cases, one pitch constitutes an inning pitched.

B. Pitching Rules – Playoffs

During the playoffs, a pitcher may pitch four innings maximum per game. The one day rest and pitching week rule will be waived.

5. Contact

(a) “Unnecessary Contact” at any base is prohibited. If in the umpire’s judgment there is unnecessary contact, the runner will be called out.

(b) “Bowling Over” at any base is prohibited. If in the umpire’s judgment the runner tries to “bowl over” the fielder, the runner will be called out and ejected from the game. If a player is removed from the game, the League Commissioner or representative must be contacted to determine if any further action is required.

(c) Umpires may also call illegal blocking of the base without the ball.

(d) If the ball beats the runner and the fielder has possession of the ball, the runner must slide into the base.   A runner who doesn’t slide will be called out.

(e) For safety reasons, runners on third are prohibited from taking running lead-offs.  The runner is not allowed to move toward home plate once the ball is released and until after the ball crosses home plate.  The umpire may call a runner out if the runner violates this rule.

(f)  Head first slides are prohibited, except that a runner may dive back to a base head first.  Runners who do a head first slide will be called out.

(g) For safety reasons, batters are prohibited from faking a bunt and then swinging away at the pitch.  The umpire may call a batter out if the batter violates this rule.

6. If in the umpire’s judgment a fielder forces a runner to slide by using a fake tag or other ruse, the runner is called safe and is rewarded an extra base.

7. Balks will be called immediately by the umpire.  There are no balk warnings in the Blue Division.  Each team gets one balk warning per pitcher in the Green Division.

8. A team may play with a minimum of eight players. If a team has less than eight players at any time (the start of or during a game), that team forfeits the game.

9. Coaches may make one defensive trip to the field each inning. The second trip per inning requires a pitching change. During these trips to the field a coach may meet with only three defensive players at a time. Trips to the field for injury will not count as a ‘trip” for purposes of this rule.

10. FOR SAFETY PURPOSES SAFETY, TEAM ARE PROHIBITED FROM USING A ‘SUICIDE SQUEEZE’ PLAY.

11. Lightning Guidelines

Please use the following policy for thunder and lightning.

If thunder or lightning interrupts a game at any time, the game will not be resumed until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder is heard, or the last bolt of lightning is seen. The umpire will have sole discretion in determining the 30-minute period, and he may not be overruled by the managers of the teams playing the game. If the game cannot be resumed, it will be considered a suspended game.

Prior to the start of the game, the home team manager in coordination with the umpire will determine if a game should begin. The above rule of timing should be used prior to the start of the game.

12.      The home team takes infield practice 25 minutes before game time. The visiting team takes infield practice 15 minutes before game time. On weekends if five minutes or less is all that remains before the scheduled starting time, neither team may have infield practice. No batting practice is allowed on the game field 30 minutes prior to game time.

13.      At the start of a game, pitchers are entitled to ten warm-up pitches from the mound. (Both the visiting and the home pitcher). At the start of each inning after the first inning, pitchers will be allowed five warm-up pitches. New pitchers are allowed seven pitches at the time they enter the game (whether at the start of an inning or during an inning) unless the previous pitcher was removed due to injury. If the change in pitchers is due to injury, warm-up shall be determined by the umpire.

14. As soon as a player delivers one pitch to a batter, the pitcher shall be considered as having pitched one inning. Also, a player who delivers a warm-up pitch with the intent, as determined by the umpire, to be a pitcher will be considered as having pitched one inning even if that player is removed from the mound without pitching to a batter. Warm-up catchers must wear a mask both if warming up a pitcher on the field or on the sidelines.

15.      A player who intentionally tips his helmet off while running bases will be called out.

16. A player who throws his bat or helmet in anger will be ejected. No warnings required. Players will be charged for broken helmets

17. Only rubber spikes are allowed in the game. No Metal spiked allowed. Managers are responsible for this rule. If a player is found to be wearing metal spike, he will be removed from the game immediately.

18. For both the Blue and Green Leagues, the Maximum Bat Barrel Width is 2-5/8” and the maximum length of the bat is 34 inches.  For the Blue League, the maximum bat differential of -5; For the Green League, maximum bat differential is -8.  There is no differential rule for smaller barrel sizes.  All metal and alloy bats meeting these requirements are approved.  Composite barreled bats meeting these requirements will be allowed if they are approved for Little League play as evidenced by a stamp on the bat.  All BBCOR bats which meet these requirements will be allowed.

19. Players and fans are not to harass players on the opposing team. In cases of vocal harassment, the umpire will direct the manager to put an end to it, whether created by players or by fans. If the harassment does not stop, the umpire may declare the game a forfeit. No “trash talking” will be permitted. The umpire has authority to declare a forfeit if the trash talking continues after one warning per game.

 

20. Protests

Protests must be made at the time of an infraction with immediate notice given to the other manager and the head umpire. Within 24 hours, a written letter of protest must be given to Mike Brohman, or whoever is serving as League Commissioner in his stead, who will resolve all protests.

21.  Speed-Up Rule

In any game, if there are two outs and the team at bat has as a base runner which is the catcher for the next half inning, the catcher on base must be removed from the base and be replaced by the player who has made the last batted out. The purpose of this rule is to speed up play by allowing the catcher to prepare for the next half inning. If the defensive manager (with two outs) asks the other manager if any base runner will be the catcher for the next half inning, the team at bat shall either:

(a) Remove the runner and use him at catcher the next half inning; or

(b) Allow the runner to remain and be prohibited from using the runner at catcher the next half inning.

22. Runners

Except for injury, there is no category “pinch runner”. In the event of an injury,       the batter making the last out shall serve as substitute runner.

C. ABBREVIATED AND POSTPONED

1.        Prior to the start of a game, the home team manager shall determine whether the game is to be postponed due to weather or ground conditions. After the game begins, any delay or postponements is the umpire’s determination.

2. Slaughter Rule

If a ten-run differential exists after the losing team has batted in their half of the fifth or sixth inning, the game is over.

3. Maximum run per Inning– Green Division Only,

Through May 7th, a maximum of 5 runs can be scored by any team in any of the first five innings.  After May 7th, maximum runs increase to 7. The maximum run rule does not apply after the 4th inning.  The maximum run rule will not apply to playoff games.  (This is the honor system between the coaches- umpires will not be asked to monitor this).

4. Regular Season Time Limitations

At the beginning of each game, each team manager and the umpire should agree upon the time at which the game commences. In case of questions as to that time, the umpire’s ruling shall govern. No new innings may begin more than two and one- half hours after the beginning of the game, unless the game is tied at the end of the last inning and that inning started at or prior to the two and one-half hour mark. This rule cannot be waived. A tie game may continue, subject to being called for darkness or being called for interfering with the scheduled start time of the game to follow on the same diamond. If the game is called under those circumstances, it shall be treated as a tie.  The two and one-half hour time period shall not include game delays (as determined by the umpire). If a game is stopped due to rain and lightning, it is a suspended game.

5.  Late Starts

All games must start at scheduled start time with a minimum of eight players. If 15 minutes after the scheduled start time, either one or both teams do not have eight players, the game is forfeited. If either team causes the game to begin after the scheduled start time (which determination of causation shall be made by the umpire), and the game is called for darkness when the team causing the delay is ahead, then the game shall be continued on another day (if possible at the home team field) until seven innings have been played in the game

6.      An official game is defined in the National Pony League Rules. The losing team must have had five bats. Games stopped due to lightning are suspended games. Games of less than five innings are suspended games. If an umpire’s decision to call a game would cause the score to revert and change the outcome of a game, it also will be a suspended game.

When suspended games are resumed, all players on the rosters from that game may be used. Players not at the suspended game must bat after all players who played in the suspended game bat once in the resumed game.

7.        Postponed games and suspended games must take place as soon as the schedule permits. The home team manager must contact the Umpire Hotline within 24 hours after a postponed or suspended game to determine the next available date for the make-up game. Failure to do so by the home team manager may cause a forfeit.

8.        The game schedule is not final and may be changed by the League Commissioner for rain-outs, other make-ups, etc. as he determines.

D. TEMPORARY REPLACEMENTS

1. Pony Blue Division

A temporary vacancy on a Wilmette/KWBA/Glencoe/Highland Park Blue Division team will be filled by players from its own community Green teams.  A temporary vacancy on an Evanston or Glenview team will be filled by players from that community’s house Pony league.  The replacement player may only play in the outfield, must bat last and cannot play if the Blue team conflicts with his scheduled Green game. If the replacement player brings the Blue team roster to ten players, the replacement player will play the minimum allowed.

No player shall be a temporary replacement more than six times in the regular season. The six-game limit shall not apply to the play-offs. Please do not use the call up rule if you have ten players.

All temporary vacancies in Blue & Green Division must play in their regular team uniforms.

2. Pony Green Division

A temporary vacancy on a Green Division team will be filled by players from another Green Division team of the same community who must not be higher than a fourth round pick and/or from a sixth grade team for that community.(honor system)

The Green player filling a temporary vacancy on a Green team may only play in the outfield and may not play in a game that conflicts with a scheduled game of his/her permanent team. The temporary replacement player must bat after all non-temporary players in the batting order.

No player shall be a temporary replacement more than six times in the regular season. The six-game limit shall not apply to the play-offs. Please do not use the call up rule if you have ten players.

All temporary vacancies in Blue & Green Division must play in their regular team uniforms.

3.        All teams in both Divisions must have at least six regular roster players to play a regular season game, and six regular roster players to play a play-off game. A Blue team may not use more than three replacement players in any game. Failure to have the six-player regular roster minimum will result in a forfeit.

If the addition of replacement players would bring the roster present prior to start of the game to more than nine players, then replacement players must split their time as equally as possible during the game and (1) bat last (2) not start over a rostered player and (3) play only in the outfield.

4.         The replacement player or players cannot play more than one-half the game if there are ten players (including the replacement player or players) at the game. In every case, if a replacement player attends a game as a replacement, he must play in the game.

5.         FOR BOTH DIVISONS, A REPLACEMENT PLAYER CAN ONLY PLAY THE OUTFIELD AND MUST BAT LAST IN THE ORDER. IF THE REPLACEMENT PLAYER IS NEEDED TO BE A CATHER, THE MANAGER OF THAT TEAM MUST INFORM THE OPPOSING TEAM PRIOR TO THE START OF THE GAME. THIS WILL ALSO APPLY DURING THE YEAR END TOURNAMENT.

6. THE MANAGER WHO IS USING REPLACEMENT PLAYER’S MUST IDENTIFY THOSE PLAYER TO THE OPPOSING MANAGER PRIOR TO THE GAME.

E. Playoffs

All teams will be seeded in a postseason single elimination tournament. Seeding ties will be broken by head-to-head records or least runs allowed in head to head play.   If a tie is still not broken using this procedure, then the tie will be broken in favor of the team which has given up the fewest runs per game.  If there is still a tie, then the tie is broken by a coin flip.

The higher seed will be the home team and provide baseballs. Pitchers may pitch a maximum of four innings per game. The one-day rest rule and pitching week will be waived.

Replacement players will not be allowed to play if a team has nine players at a playoff game. A replacement player may enter a playoff game only if a starter is injured or leaves. The replacement player must take the exact spot in the batting order of the starting player.

All replacement players can only play the outfield and bat last in the order unless such player is replacing a injured or a starter that leaves.

The Final World Series game must go seven innings (six and one half innings if appropriate) to be official. The slaughter rule will apply. The two and one half hour time limit will be waived for this game.

 

F. PARTICIPATION

No player can participate in the Pony League for more than two years.

No high school student (as of May 1st) can participate in the Pony League.

In the event a player attains age 15 before August 1, subject to the rules provided above, participation in the Pony League is permitted.

G. The home team shall provide and retain two official Pony League game balls.

Download 2012 Pony Rules