Bronco League Rules

Fall Rules

In the Fall GBA partners with the North Suburban Youth Baseball Association (NSYBA) for the Bronco League. Their rules can be found here.


Spring Rules



The objective of our association is to provide a supervised and organized program with equal importance given to the following:

  1. Each player should have an enjoyable experience, conducting himself/herself with discipline and good sportsmanship.
  2. Each player should be taught individual and team baseball skills, gain an appreciation of game strategy, and participate in an effort to win each game.
  3. Good sportsmanship and self-discipline begin with the adults participating in the program. The adults must set an example on the field for the players to follow, conducting themselves with maturity and restraint. There is nothing wrong with making every effort to win a game, but not at all or any costs.


  1. Other.  All other rules not addressed herein shall be in accordance with the “Official Baseball Rules” published by the National Baseball Congress.
  2. Field Measurements.   Baselines will measure 70 feet. The pitcher’s rubber will be 48 feet from the front edge of the rubber to the apex of home plate.

A batted ball to Right Field at Glencoe’s Bronco Field striking any part of a tree in fair territory shall be ruled dead and the batter will be awarded a Double.  Base runners shall advance two bases from the base they occupied before the pitch was thrown.

A batted ball landing fair in Left Field at Glencoe’s Bronco Field and then ricocheting foul to the left of the tennis courts shall be ruled dead and the batter will be awarded a double.  Base runners shall advance two bases from the base they occupied before the pitch was thrown.

  1. Duration of Game:
  2. 7 Inning Games. An official game consists of seven (7) innings.  However, under the circumstances detailed below, an official game may end upon either more or less than 7 innings played.
  3. Two Hour Rule. No inning may begin more than two hours after the initial starting of the game.  (The two-hour rule is from actual starting time, not scheduled starting time).  The determination of the time expiration shall be at the time the last out is made in what would be the final inning.  If the two-hours are reached during an inning, then the entire inning shall be completed, subject to “official game” rules below.  The time limit is waived for all play-off games.
  4. Maximum Runs in An Inning. A maximum of 5 runs can be scored by any team in any of the first five innings. The maximum run rule does not apply after the 5th inning [(or, in an interleague game against a KWBA team, after the 6th 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).
  5. Official game.  A game shall be “official” after five full innings have been played, or if the home team has scored more runs in four innings than the visiting team has in five innings at the time the game has stopped (e.g., weather, time limit, darkness). If the game is called for any reason before it is official, it shall be considered a suspended game and will be resumed from the point of adjournment. The full team roster is eligible when the game is resumed. (Any new players in attendance when the game is resumed shall bat only after all original players have batted again once the game is resumed. For example, if the last out were the no. 5 batter, the new players would be inserted in the batting order after the no. 5 batter hits in the resumed game. Further, if adjournment occurs during an inning, to the extent possible, upon resumption players should return to the positions they were playing at adjournment).

In the event that the Championship Game is suspended, it will be resumed later that day or the next day, subject to scheduling restrictions.  The Championship Game will not be called even if it is an “official” game based upon the rules below.

  1. Extra Innings. When a game is tied at the end of 7 innings, extra innings shall be played until there is a winner (or until the game is called by the umpire under and in accordance with the two-hour rule).
  2. 12-Run “Mercy” Rule. If a team is ahead by 15 runs after five or more full innings (or if the home team is leading by 12 runs and the visitors have already batted five innings), then the game will be terminated and the team ahead declared the winner.   The losing coach may then elect to continue the game for practice, but only until the two-hour time limit expires or until 7 innings have been played, whichever occurs first.
  3. Stoppage During An Inning. If a game is called (stopped) by an umpire during an inning, but after it is official, the score shall revert back to the end of the previous inning if the away (visiting) team has not completed batting in its half of the inning, or if the home team is losing and it has not completed batting in its half of the inning.  Players and coaches shall not, in the umpire’s judgment, delay the game (e.g. continuously walking batters) with the aim of influencing a decision to stop play and thereby causing the score to revert back to the end of the previous inning.   If the umpire determines that the game has been intentionally delayed, the game shall be suspended from that point and completed on a different date.  The umpire shall contact the League regarding the decision and related circumstances.
  4. Playing Rules:
  5. Forfeiture. The penalty for failure to comply with any of these playing rules, or any of the pitching rules in Section E below, will be forfeiture of the game.
  6. Required Play In the Field. Each player shall play in the field for at least four (4) innings of each game.  Further, except for illness or injury, no player shall sit out more than one inning more than any other player on his/her team and each player shall sit out once before any player sits out twice.
  7. Different Positions. Coaches are encouraged to play players in various positions during a game, and, in fact, each player must, during the first four innings of each game, play at least one (1) full inning at an infield position, pitcher or catcher, and one (1) full inning in the outfield,
  8. Pitching Opportunities. Coaches are encouraged to give each player the opportunity to pitch.  Any player who desires the opportunity to pitch in a game AND has demonstrated the ability to throw the ball over the plate must be allowed to face at least 3 batters during the course of the season.
  9. Batting. The batting order must list all members of the team present. All players will bat consecutively around the order (i.e. through 12th or last rostered player). A player who is sitting out an inning for a fielding substitution shall still bat in his/her place in the order.
  10. Free Substitution. Free substitution will exist for each inning. A defensive player shall not be moved from his/her position in the middle of the inning in the field (except for illness or injury) unless the player is the pitcher or the pitcher’s replacement.
  11. Nine Fielders. Nine (9) players will play defensively in the field.
  12. Dropped Third Strike. No batter may advance to first by virtue of a dropped third strike.
  13. Base Running:

(a)        A normal three step lead-off will be allowed, but a runner may not proceed any further until after the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand.  Runners who are on first or second may attempt to steal or otherwise advance to the succeeding base(s) after the ball is released.  If a runner goes beyond three steps before the ball is released, at the umpire’s discretion, the runner will either be called out or the play will be called dead and the runner will be ordered back to the bag.  After one warning per team per game, the next runner for that team who leaves the base early will be called out.  A runner on 3rd can advance only on: (i) a batted ball; (ii) a walk with the bases loaded; or (iii) a pickoff attempt at 3rd base only.  For avoidance of doubt, if a runner tries to steal 2nd base, a runner on 3rd may not attempt to advance on the throw.

(b) Attempted straight steals of home are prohibited.  Bunting is permitted, except that suicide squeeze bunts are prohibited.  Additionally, a player is prohibited from showing a bunt and then swinging away, or from attempting a swinging bunt.

(c) Base runners must slide on any “close play” (head first slides ARE ONLY ALLOWED WHEN RETURNING TO A BASE e.g. on a pick off attempt at 1st base).   A “close play” is a play where the defensive player has the ball before the runner arrives at the base, or where the ball is in play at the base. A runner is out if he/she fails to slide  and the runner is subject to immediate ejection if he/she tries running through or bowling over a defensive player in proper position or with the ball in his/her possession. “Proper Position” means that the defensive player may not “block” a base.  The defensive player must use a “straddle and tag” or a “catch and sweep” technique.  The umpires shall have absolute discretion in determining whether a “close play” or a running/bowling over of a player has occurred.

(d) A defensive player shall not interfere with a base runner if he/she does not have possession of the ball or is not playing the ball. This rule also prohibits a defensive player without the ball from positioning himself/herself in the basepath of an oncoming runner (e.g., infielders cannot stand in the basepath so as to make a base runner who tries to advance by stealing a base have to run around the infielder). If the umpire rules that the defensive player interfered with the base runner, then the base runner shall be called safe and may be awarded an extra base or extra bases.

(e) There is no pinch runner for the catcher (catcher of record) except when there are two outs.  In order to speed-up play, coaches should have catchers dressed and ready to go on the field upon the termination of the team’s at-bat.  The pinch runner is the player that made the last out.  Coaches are encouraged, but not required, to pinch run for the catcher when there are two outs.

(f) Except in situations involving catchers on base with two outs, courtesy runners will only be allowed when a player has been hurt on a play.  If a player is going to bat despite an injury, that player must also run for himself/herself and must play in the field.  In other words, hurt players are not allowed just to bat without also having to run and play the field.

  1. Overthrows:

(a) If the ball goes out of play, runners advance, without risk, to the base they were going, plus one (1) base.

(b) If the ball remains in play, runners advance at their own risk.

(c)If the ball goes out of play on an attempted pickoff, each runner can advance only to the next base.

  1. Infield Fly Rule. The “infield fly rule” shall apply.
  2. Pitching Rules:
  3. No Returning to the Mound. If a pitcher pitches more than one (1) inning, the innings must be consecutive.  A pitcher who is withdrawn from the mound shall not be permitted to return to the mound as a pitcher in the same game.
  4. Out Limitations. No pitcher may pitch more than 9 outs in any game. Other than in any calendar week in which any part of the playoffs takes place: (a) no pitcher may pitch more than 15 outs on consecutive days within a calendar week; (b) no pitcher may pitch more than 2 days in a row within a calendar week; and (c) no pitcher may pitch more than 21 outs per calendar week unless a team is scheduled for more than four games during a week, in which case such number shall be increased to 30.  In addition to the maximum innings restrictions per game and week, we strongly encourage coaches to limit pitchers to 60 pitches per game at the Bronco level.
  5. Calendar Week. A calendar week is from 12:01 a.m. Monday to 11:59 p.m. the next Sunday.
  6. Excessively Wild Pitchers. Any pitcher who hits three (3) batters in an inning or five (5) batters during a game will not be allowed to pitch again in that game.  This rule may be waived by the home plate umpire if a batter could/should have moved to avoid being hit.
  7. Warm Ups. To avoid undue delay of games, pitchers shall be allowed no more than eight (8) warm-up pitches, whether between innings or at any time during the game. (Pitchers should warm up properly on the sidelines whenever possible, especially before games begin and when a new pitcher will start a subsequent inning).
  8. Same Day Pitching. If pitching in more than one (1) game the same day (suspended game, etc.), a player may pitch any combination of outs in the games provided he/she does not exceed the maximum number of outs per day as set forth above.
  9. Mound Visits. A coach shall be permitted one trip to the mound per inning.  On the second visit, the pitcher must be removed from pitching.  An injury to the pitcher shall not constitute a trip to the mound.
  10. Position Switches With Pitchers. A pitcher who is changed during an inning must take the position vacated by the new pitcher, unless that vacated position is catcher.  In that event, teams will be allowed one extra position change for the departing pitcher.
  11. Balk Warnings. There shall be one (1) balk warning per pitcher.
  12. No Hidden Balls. There are no hidden ball tricks allowed.
  13. No Intentional Walks. A pitcher must pitch to each batter. A team shall not ask the umpire to waive this rule for the purpose of issuing an intentional walk to a batter.
  14. Equipment Rules:
  15. No Metal Spikes. Tennis shoes or rubber-cleated shoes are allowed. No metal spikes are permissible.
  16. Bat Rules. All Metal and Alloy bats with a maximum barrel of 2 ¼” diameter, a maximum BPF of 1.15, a maximum length of 33” and with a maximum differential of minus 12 are allowed. 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.
  17. Protective Cups. All male players are required to wear protective cups at all games and practices.
  18. Helmets. Batters, baserunners and players coaching the baselines are required to wear protective headgear.
  19. Catcher’s Mask. Any player warming up a pitcher must wear a catcher’s mask.


  1. Game Times. Weeknight games will begin as noted on the schedule.  No inning shall begin after two (2) hours from the actual start of the game.  Both coaches should agree upon the starting time at the actual start and confirm it with the umpire.  Weekend starting times vary and will be listed on the schedule.

Prior to the start of a game, the visiting team shall have the field first for pre-game warm-ups for 15 minutes, then the home team shall have the field for 15 minutes.  At the umpire’s discretion, and due to weather or lighting conditions, the warm-up time may be shortened so long as both teams are given the same amount of warm-up time.

  1. Coaching Restrictions. As a general policy, the only coaches who should be on the field while the ball is in play are the first base and third base coaches.  All other coaches should be in or near the dugout.  Only the players and coaches should be in the dugout during the games.  This means that no friends, relatives or other “visiting dignitaries” are allowed in the dugout.
  2. Umpires:
  3. One umpire will call the entire game behind the plate.  There may be a second youth umpire in the field, but in such event the primary umpire will always retain the right to overrule any call made by the youth umpire.
  4. The umpire will encourage managers and players to hustle on and off the field between innings in an effort to complete as many innings as possible.
  5. Prior to each game, the umpire will explain the ground rules to each team head coach.  This will include speeding up the interchange of players between innings.
  6. The umpire will enforce the rules to help control players.

(a) No Profanity.  No player or coach shall use profanity or make obscene gestures!  One warning per game!  The next player or coach of either team who violates this rule will be ejected!

(b) No Throwing of Equipment.  No player shall throw a bat, helmet, glove, or catcher’s mask!  One warning per game!  The next player on either team who violates the rule will be ejected!  This applies to objects intentionally thrown in anger.  If a bat is thrown unintentionally, as sometimes occurs when a batter swings at the ball, there should be one warning per game, but all subsequent occurrences shall result in such batter being called “out,” the ball being dead, and all runners returning to their bases.

  1. Control of Spectators. Umpires may use their discretion to ask spectators or players behind the screen to move away.  Spectators should not be permitted to “climb” up the backstops or adjacent fences. The umpire is a Baseball Association and Park District Contractor and has jurisdiction to enforce all the rules on the field.
  2. The umpires will prepare the field, making sure that the bases are aligned and the pitching rubber is secure.
  3. Umpire’s Call Is Final/Only Head Coaches May Discuss. There is no appeal from, nor is there to be any discussion about, an umpire’s judgment call. If a head coach (or acting head coach) disagrees with an umpire’s rule decision, he/she should call time-out upon completion of the play and discuss it calmly with the umpire and the opposing team’s head coach.  Assistant coaches must communicate with the umpire only through their head coaches.  Coaches must not vent their frustration upon the umpire, must not “ work” the umpire with grunts, groans, body language, facial expressions, or other “subtle” means, and must not yell “safe” or “out” or “fair” or “foul” or “ball” or “strike.”    In no event should any player argue or discuss a call with an umpire.
  4. Games Start Promptly/Minimum Player Rules. All games should start promptly.  We will try not to have forfeits.  A game must begin not more than fifteen (15) minutes after its scheduled starting time or the team that is not ready to play will forfeit the game.
  5. In Glencoe House League games, a team shall have at least seven (7) of their rostered players at the start of the game to avoid a forfeit.  If less than that number of rostered players are present, that team will be deemed to have forfeited the game, and a practice game shall be played  This is not an option. If only seven (7) of the team’s rostered players are present, such team may pick an additional player from another rostered Bronco or Mustang House League team to participate for the team with seven (7) rostered players, but such additional player must bat at the bottom of the batting order and may not pitch.   If such a player is not available or utilized, the team will receive one (1) out automatically for the eighth batting spot each time that spots comes up to bat.
  6. In interleague games against KWBA teams, a team shall have at least eight (8) of their rostered players at the start of the game to avoid a forfeit.  If less than that number of rostered players are present, that team will be deemed to have forfeited the game, and a practice game shall be played. This is not an option.
  7. In the event of a forfeit, the head coach of the forfeiting team shall contact the Commissioner within 48 hours thereof, or be suspended from his team’s next regularly scheduled game.
  8. Team Dugouts/Game Balls. The home team (designated on the schedule as the first team listed) will occupy the third base dugout; the visiting team will occupy the first base dugout.  The home team will deliver two (2) new baseballs to the umpire before the start of the game for use as game balls.
  9. Base Coaches. Either two (2) adults or one (1) adult and one (1) uniformed player (wearing a batting helmet) shall coach base paths during an inning.
  10. Weather.  A game shall be immediately suspended in the event of thunder or lightning.  The game can be restarted 20 minutes after the thunder and lightning have ceased.
  11. Clean-Up. Each team is responsible for policing the area near its bench or dugout following the game.  All candy wrappers, soft drink cans, and other trash is to be picked up and properly deposited in the trash barrels in the area.
  12. No Alcohol. No alcohol is allowed anywhere on park district property near the field and no smoking is allowed on the field or in the dugout.
  13. At the end of the season, the head coach of each team will select five (5) players from that team to participate in the annual All-Star game.  To be eligible to be selected to play in the game, a player must be available to play in the game.  Games missed as a result of sickness, family emergency, or injury, are not counted in the application of this rule.

The GBA expects our volunteer coaches to commit significant time and effort in the planning and execution of practices and games on behalf of the players.  It is thus fair and reasonable and respectful to the coaches to expect the players to also commit their time and effort as measured by attendance at practices and games.  Additionally, House League teams are rostered based upon the relative abilities of the players and every effort is made to balance the rosters to create fair and equal teams.  Lack of consistent attendance by all players may significantly impact this balance and negatively impact other players’ experiences.

In light of the foregoing, Bronco players must attend 80% of all scheduled regular practices and games (events).  For example, if there are 20 scheduled events, a Bronco player is expected to attend 16 events.  Missed practices can be made up by attendance at scheduled Batting Cage sessions, on a one for one basis.  Missed games can not be made up.  Please note that practices or games missed as a result of a player’s own religious obligation, illness, family emergency, or injury are not counted in the application of this rule.

Penalties: A player failing to adhere to this rule will be eligible to play in the league’s playoffs, but will not be eligible to play in the All Star Game.  Further, the player will not be eligible to play in the New Trier Youth Travel Program, the New Trier Pony Program, or in any other summer baseball program in which the GBA is involved in any way.  Lastly, the player’s eligibility for the following year’s Spring House League will be subject to GBA Board review.


All Bronco teams will make the playoffs.  In 2015, the teams will play a double elimination tournament.  The higher seed shall be the home team in every game.

  1. In the event of a tie, seeding will be determined as follows:

(a) First, previous game results between the tied teams.

(b) If the teams evenly split previous games, the team with the fewest total runs allowed in such previous games between the tied teams will be awarded the higher position.

(c) If both teams allowed the same number of runs in the games against each other, the fewest runs allowed for the total season will be determinative.  Thereafter, the Bronco Commissioner will conduct a coin-toss to determine the position.

  1. Playoff Pitching Rules.  No pitcher may pitch more than nine (9) outs in any playoff game.  If pitching in more than one (1) game on the same day (suspended playoff game, etc.), a player may pitch any combination of innings in the games provided he/she does not exceed the nine (9) outs per day rule.  .


  1. Start times are indicated on the schedule posted on the Glencoe Baseball Association website.
  2. No time limit.
  3. Darkness can be called by the umpires. The game will continue the next day at the exact point of termination (outs, base runners, etc.).
  4. Highest seeded team is the home team in games 1 and 3; lower seeded team is the home team in game 2.
  5. If both coaches agree to change the starting date or time of the playoff game, they must contact the league commissioner who has FINAL APPROVAL of the change.
  6. Any team with only seven players present will receive two outs for their missing players at the 8th and 9th batting spots.  Any team with only eight players will receive one out for the missing player at the 9th batting spot.  If a team has less than seven players at the start of the game, the game is forfeited.  NO SUBSTITUTE PLAYERS ARE ALLOWED DURING THE PLAYOFFS.
  7. After each playoff game, the losing and winning coaches must call or email the commissioners within 12 hours and tell the commissioner the number of innings pitched by each pitcher from each team.
  8. In the event that any playoff is suspended, it will be resumed later that day or the next day, subject to scheduling restrictions.  The Championship Game will not be called even if it is an “official” game based upon the rules herein.
  9. The Mercy rule does not apply in playoff games.