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WSBL Baseball Game Rules 
(West Suburban Baseball League)

 

GAME RULES:

A. 8U & 9U Teams will have a 14-18 game schedule. 10U-14U Teams will have a 16-18 game schedule. Elite schedules will be determined by the Age Directors.

B. Season will start April 1, 2016. Teams are required to play the games scheduled by the league. For Teams playing a fourteen (14) game schedule, a minimum of twelve (12) WSBL games must be completed prior 11:59PM on June 12, 2016 to be playoff eligible. For teams playing a sixteen (16) game schedule, a minimum of fourteen (14) WSBL games must be completed prior to 11:59PM on June 12, 2016 to be playoff eligible. For teams playing an eighteen (18) game schedule, a minimum of sixteen (16) WSBL games must be completed prior to 11:59PM on June 12, 2016 to be playoff eligible.

C. Member teams will not intentionally “double book” games with league teams or from other leagues thereby causing WSBL games to be cancelled. Similarly, Teams should not register for tournaments that conflict with the WSBL playoffs during the last two weeks in June and first week of July. Failure to comply with this rule may result in forfeits of WSBL league or playoff games for the subject team.

D. Teams must give opponents at least 48 hours advance notice of any game cancelation due to scheduling conflicts. Affected teams must reschedule within 48 hours or the canceling team may forfeit the game.

E. Teams that forfeit two WSBL league games will not be eligible for end of year playoff and may be subject to removal from WSBL.

F. If there is a dispute between teams in scheduling a makeup game, each team will be required to submit two (2) open dates (open for both teams) to their Age Director. The Age Director will choose the date on which both teams will be required to play.

G. The home team manager must contact the visiting team manager at least 1 1/2 hours before game time to cancel and reschedule game due to inclement weather or unplayable field conditions.

H. Home teams are required to supply and compensate one “patched” umpire (IHSA or equivalent) that has no connection to your team or organization during WSBL league, and playoff games. If the umpire is not “patched”, the managers must agree to the use of a “non-patched” umpire prior to the start of the game. The “non-patched” umpire must be at least 18 years of age. If agreement to play the game is not reached, the team providing the "non-patched" umpire is subject to forfeiting the game at the determination of the Age Director. Once the game begins, there will be no forfeit, regardless of the outcome. Please report any team using “non-patched” umpires to your Age Group Director immediately following game.

I. ALL 14U ELITE GAMES MUST HAVE 2 PATCHED UMPIRES for each game. The WSBL highly recommends using 2 umpires at the 13U and 14U levels.

J. Teams that reschedule a home game on their opponent’s field may be required to compensate the manager of the team with the field for all reasonable fees to compensate the umpire(s) and other related costs associated with hosting a game, prior to the start of the game. The non-home field team will be the home team. Failure to pay the reasonable costs may result in a forfeit being entered against the visiting team.

K. Home team must provide at least two (2) new game balls for each WSBL game. The WSBL requires that baseballs are NFHS (National Federation of High School Association) approved. Coaches must agree on game balls to be used before the start of each game. See Rule 9-I for a list of approved baseballs.

L. Home team must wait 15 minutes after the scheduled game time for traveling teams to arrive (or longer if agreed upon by the participating managers) before the game is forfeited.

M. Hosting team selects their dugout regardless of the scheduled “home team”. N. If games are cancelled due to weather and cannot be rescheduled during the regular season, these games will be made up during the mandatory open week between the end of the regular season and the start of the league playoffs. Failure to complete games before 11:59PM on June 12, 2016 may result in a forfeit being recorded for each game not completed.

O. "OFFICIAL GAME STATUS” ALL AGES

1. Game Length 8U-10U: Games will be six (6) innings in length. A game is considered an official game once four (4) innings have been completed. If the home team is leading after 3 1/2 innings the game is considered official.

2. Game Length 11U-14U: Games will be seven (7) innings in length. A game is considered an official game once five (5) innings have been completed. If the home team is leading after 4 1/2 innings the game is considered official.

3. If game is tied after regulation then teams will play California Rules to determine winner. Each inning will start with one out and last batted out of previous inning on second base. All batters will start with a 1-1 count.

4. A game that ends in a tie and despite reasonable attempts to reschedule cannot be completed, will be declared a tie.

5. If teams start a game, and they have played less than 1 complete inning and any condition arises to cancel the game, then the game will be rescheduled and replayed in its entirety as a NEW game. START OVER at 0-0.

6. If teams start a game and they have pitched 1 (one) pitch during the top of the 2nd inning and any condition arises to cancel the game before it is deemed an Official Game, THEN the game is ruled a SUSPENDED GAME. The teams will finish playing the game at a later date until it becomes an OFFICIAL game using the same players and batting order that was in place at the time the game was suspended.

Suspended games shall be picked up at the point where the game was called – same kids on base, count, etc. Each team will use the exact same line-up as the original game. A pitcher who had pitched previously and was taken out of the line-up as a pitcher cannot pitch again. If kids who were in the suspended game are not available for the continued game, their spot in the batting line-up will be “moved up” (your 3rd hitter in the line-up is not available – your 4th batter is now up after the 2nd batter – no penalty). If kids were not available for the suspended game and show up for the continued game, they will be allowed to bat at the end of the batting order and be allowed to pitch in the continued game.

7. If teams have another game scheduled later in the season, then they MUST complete the SUSPENDED game prior to the next game. Even though the teams may play a double header and that 2nd game may not be completed that day, the suspended game must be played first.

8. Games that are rained out or not completed due to inclement weather, darkness or not completed for any reason whatsoever, shall be re-scheduled and played before the end of the regular season. Failure to reschedule and complete league games may result in forfeiture of the game and elimination from the league playoffs.

9. Temperature Restriction - A game may be re-scheduled due to cold temperature at game time. The IHSA uses 43 degrees Fahrenheit as a minimum temperature to play games. We expect both managers to cooperate and be reasonable when determining whether or not to play due to temperature at game time. If both managers cannot agree, contact your Age Director who will make the decision. If the Age Director is not available, then the game will be rescheduled with the Age Director determining how any additional costs associated with the rescheduled game should be shared between the respective teams.

 

REPORTING SCORES:

A. Official Scoring: The Home Team will keep the official scorebook for each WSBL game. Please verify scores with opposing team every 1/2 inning to avoid errors or confusion.

B. The WINNING TEAM must report all scores within 24 hours of the game being played. With the ability to enter scores on the website by smart phone or computer, there is no excuse for teams failing to promptly report scores.

 

PLAYING RULES:

A. Games will be played using IHSA rules unless otherwise noted in these rules. Each manager is required to review these rules and encouraged to provide a copy to the umpire(s) used in each WSBL game.

B. If there is a double-header between the same teams, the field has games scheduled back-to-back, or the lighting ordinances may result in a “stoppage” of the game two (2) hours from the scheduled start time, no new inning will be started in the “1st” game after 1 hour and 45 minutes have elapsed from start time. The Home Team must notify the visiting team and the Umpire(s) prior to the start of the game if this rule may come into play so that all involved are aware of the time limit.

 

BASE DISTANCES:

8U& 9U: 60’

10U: 60’&65’

11U & 12U: 70’

13U: 80’

14U: 90’

PITCHING MOUND DISTANCES:

8U & 9U: 46’

10U: 46’&48’

11U: 48’&50'

12U: 48’ & 50’

13U: 54’

14U: 60’

Fields may or may not have mounds and we encourage the use of portable mounds. Home team field dimensions are used.

E. AGES 10U-14U: Full baseball rules apply including; Lead-Offs, Infield Fly Rule, Balks (each pitcher will receive one balk warning per outing for ages 10-13, no warning at 14) and dropped Third Strikes.

F. AGE 8U & 9U – OTHER RULES:

1. No lead offs

2. Leave your base - any base after the pitched ball reaches the front of the plate

3. No dropped 3rd strike

4. No balks

5. Infield fly? NO

6. Is bunting allowed? YES

7. Are delayed steals allowed? NO

8. Can a baserunner steal home on a passed ball, wild pitch, etc.? NO

9. Can a baserunner come home if he steals third base and there is an overthrow into the outfield? NO

10. Can a baserunner try to go to third if he steals second? YES

G. Continuous Batting Rule: Teams will bat a continuous lineup and free defensive substitutions are allowed to encourage maximum player participation. Announce before a game if a player must leave during the game. If a player is injured and cannot bat for his designated spot in the order, he must leave the game, and no out will be recorded.

H. Courtesy Runners: Will be allowed for catchers & pitchers scheduled for the following half-inning after one (1) out and in case of injury to a player. The courtesy runner used must be the last batted out. An injured player who requires a courtesy runner must be removed from the game and will not be allowed to re-enter. A team caught pinch-running for a Pitcher or Catcher that does not enter the following inning will start the next inning with an out for each improper runner used during the previous half inning and may be subject to further league discipline.

I. Avoid Contact Rule: Runners should slide or otherwise attempt to avoid contact at any base where the defensive player has, or is about to receive the ball to make a play.

J. Mercy Rule Ages 11U-14U: 15 Runs after 4 or 10 Runs after 5 innings, 3 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead.

K. Mercy Rule Ages 8U-10U: 15 Runs after 3 or 10 Runs after 4 innings, 2 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead.

L. Batters who show bunt must either bunt or take the pitch. Batters who show bunt and then swing the bat will be called out whether they make contact with the ball or not AND will be immediately ejected from the game. NO WARNING. The player's spot in the batting order will be an automatic out for the remainder of the game.

M. Any infielder who fake tags a runner when no throw is made will be removed from the game (Ejected – spot in batting order is an out). That person will be replaced in the field.

N. Warm-ups: Each team will be allowed 15 minutes of warm up time prior to the game provided they arrive early enough. The home team should be the first to warm up. Use good judgment and courtesy in order to get the game started on time.

 

PITCHING RULES: Maximum innings per game, per pitcher: 1 pitch = 1 inning.

8U - 10U -- 2 innings/game

11U – 13U -- 3 innings/game

14U -- 4 innings/game

Violations must be reported during the inning where the violation occurs. The manager and the pitcher involved will be immediately ejected. No exceptions. Any player who faced an illegal pitcher shall be awarded first base and no out shall be recorded.

A. One free trip to mound per inning by a coach or manager is allowed and only a total of two free trips are allowed per pitcher per game. On the second trip per inning or third trip per game the pitcher must be removed. Balk explanation trips are excluded as a trip to the mound.

B. A major league-sized pitching rubber should be used. Again, fields may or may not have mounds and we STRONGLY encourage teams playing on flat mound fields to provide a temporary pitching mound.

C. Pitchers – once removed from a game as a pitcher may not re-enter as a pitcher.

D. Pitchers will receive a maximum five (5) warm-up pitches prior to each inning. Relief pitchers will receive a maximum of eight (8) warm-up pitches.

PITCHED BALL RESTRICTIONS:

E. 8U – 12U – No breaking balls – including a slip pitch – will be allowed. Only the umpire will deem a pitch a breaking ball. One warning will be given. On subsequent breaking balls, the pitch will be deemed an illegal pitch, the pitch will be called a “ball” and the pitcher will be removed from the mound.

F. Breaking balls are permitted at ages 13 & 14.

G. Pitchers may not wear white wristbands, a white batting or fielder’s glove or a white long sleeved undergarment (which may distract the batter).

H. A pitcher hitting two batters with a pitched ball in an inning or three within the game will be removed from the game as a pitcher.

 

EQUIPMENT:

A. Rubber spikes only at the 8U - 12U Divisions.

B. Metal spikes may be worn at the 13U & 14U Divisions.

C. Batters, on deck hitters, and base runners must wear helmets.

D. Players may not wear metal jewelry.

E. All Bats must have the new USSSA fingerprint stamp or be BBCOR Certified. Wood bats are also allowed.

F. 14U will have a –5 Bat restriction.

G. Players coaching bases must wear a helmet.

H. For safety reasons all players must wear a protective cup. Catchers must wear protective catcher’s equipment in addition to a protective cup.

I. Baseballs approved for play - Rawlings: ROLB and ROLB1, Wilson: A1010 and A1030, Baden: 2BBG and 3BNFHS, AD Starr: 300, Diamond: D1-Pro NFHS,D1-OL, D1-NFHS, DOL-MVP and DOL-A.

 

Tie Breakers – Divisional Standings (Regular Season)

A. Division winners will be the Teams with most wins as of 11:59PM on June 12, 2016

(not highest winning percentage).

B. In the event that there is a tie after A:

1. Team with the best record in head-to-head competition. If three or more teams are tied, next tie breaker will be used.

2. Record within the Division.

3. Runs against per game average.

4. Coin Flip.

 

WSBL – End of the Year Playoff

A. Total Teams -- Maximum of 16 teams per Age Group per Level (Elite, A, B) will make the End of year Playoffs.

B. Playoff Seeding will be determined based on standings as of 11:59PM on June 12, 2016. In the event two playoff teams have the same number of wins, seeding will be determined based on:

1. Team with the best record in head-to-head competition. If three or more teams are tied, next tie breaker will be used.

2. Runs against per game average.

3. Coin Flip.

Rostered Players and Coaches:

Each manager must carry copies of the Birth Certificates and Roster with them and have each available for inspection at all WSBL games. If the opposing manager asks to view these documents, and the manager cannot provide same, OR the players in question are not rostered, eligible players, that team may forfeit the game and any other game where ineligible players were used. Outcome and final ruling will be made by WSBL Executive Board.

Note: The game involving a challenged player(s) must be completed. The game will be played under protest and final result determined by the WSBL Executive Board.

Note: An “eligible” player includes a player rostered on another WSBL team who is brought up from 1 age level below the level at which he is asked to play. Example: a 12U WSBL rostered Oak Brook player is eligible to play on a 13U Oak Brook team to prevent the 13U Oak Brook team from forfeiting the game. A player will not be allowed to play down EVEN if the player is age eligible.

1. A limit of two team coaches in addition to a team manager and a team scorekeeper will be allowed in the dugout or on the field at any one time.

2. Managers may not be on the playing fields while the opposing team is batting. They must remain in the “out of play” areas – this includes managers that sit on the buckets.

3. Late arrivals will be placed at the end of the batting order.

4. You may start a game with Eight (8) eligible players, but MUST FINISH WITH NINE (9) ELIGIBLE PLAYERS. The 9th spot in the batting order shall be recorded as an “out” UNTIL AN ELIGIBLE PLAYER ARRIVES. If the game finishes and a team has only Eight (8) eligible players, THAT TEAM FORFEITS THE GAME regardless of the score. HOWEVER, if the “9th” Player is injured during the game and cannot continue, then THAT SPOT WILL NOT BE AN ‘OUT’ IN THE BATTING ORDER AND THE TEAM WILL NOT FORFEIT THE GAME IF THEY WIN.

5. IF YOUR “9th” PLAYER IS EJECTED, an out will be recorded when his batting spot comes up. If you do not come up with another eligible player before the game ends, your team will forfeit the game, regardless of the score.

Best Interest of the League:

The WSBL Executive Board retains the right and ability to resolve all disputes regarding the playoffs including but not limited to scheduling, game time and location, opponent, and all other issues with the goal of playing the games and to promote timely completion of the playoffs. Specific WSBL Playoff Tournament guidelines will be provided to each Team by the WSBL Age Directors. Guidelines may include, but not be limited to; seedings, dates, format, trophies, concessions, umpires, game time limits, cost reimbursement, etc.

 

Teams that schedule tournaments during the time devoted to the WSBL Playoffs run the risk of forfeiting WSBL Playoff Games if they are not available to play the games as scheduled by the League.

 

Before scheduling tournaments during the last three weeks in June and the first two weeks in July, please make sure to confirm that your tournament will not interfere with your team’s ability to play WSBL games during the rain make-up week and the Playoffs.