Baseball, Waterdown

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6. ROOKIEBALL

6.1. AGE: Players shall be 9 and 10 years old.

6.2. THE DIAMOND:

a) The distance between bases shall be 65 feet.
b) The distance from the back of home plate to the front of the pitching machine shall be 44 ft.
c) Safety bases will be used at 1st base for all games. A Fielder must make contact with the white part of the bag to constitute an out.
d) An 8 foot diameter circle must be drawn around the pitching rubber.
e) Pitching machine to be set at 40mph. Speed or position may be adjusted at the end of a complete inning or after 3 consecutive wild pitches for safety reason.

6.3. EQUIPMENT:

a) Bats must be no wider than 2 ¾" at its widest point and no longer than 32".
b) A helmet complete with face mask must be worn by the pitcher.

6.4. GROUND RULES:

a) INFIELD FLY: The infield fly rule does not apply.
b) OUT OF PLAY: Any ball thrown out of play is a dead ball and runners will be awarded two bases from the time of the throw

6.5. LINE-UP:

a) A team may field a maximum of 10 players with 6 in the infield and 4 in the outfield.
b) PREGAME LINE-UP and LINE-UP CHANGES: See Rule 2.1
c) ROTATION: See Rule 2.3

6.6. THE GAME:

a) Each game shall be a maximum of 6 innings. Three complete innings (or 2½ innings, if the home team is leading) will constitute a game, in the event that the game has to be called early by the umpire. An incomplete game will be replayed in its entirety.
b) If the game is called prior to completion of a full inning, the final score will revert to the last completed inning.
c) MERCY RULE: A maximum of six runs per inning applies except in the sixth inning. A 15 run lead after four or more complete innings constitutes a game mercy. The sixth inning is an open inning – mercy rules do not apply.
d) Outfielders must not act as the Primary Receivers on the infield. When this occurs, time will be called and the batter/runner will be called safe and placed on the base they were advancing to. If forced all other base runners will advance 1 base.
e) Catchers should be in proper catching position.
f) Defensive players may not block the base path without the ball unless he in the imminent act of fielding the ball. Sliding is encouraged when there is a close play at a base or home except at first base.
g) TWO–OUT CATCHER: Coaches are encouraged to ask for a substitute runner for catcher if there are 2 outs so that he may dress for the next inning. The substitute runner shall be the last "out".
h) INJURY: There are no substitute runners except for injured players. Any injured player who cannot take his place in the batting order his next at bat shall be passed over without penalty. 

6.7. THE BATTER

a) Each batter shall receive a maximum of 5 strikes as called by the umpire. The batter shall not be called out if the 5th strike is called a foul ball. If a ball crosses the plate over the batter’s head or bounces into the dirt, the umpire will not count it as a strike unless the batter swings at the pitch.
b) If a batted ball hits the machine, operator or the electric cord within the pitcher’s circle, the ball is dead and the batter is awarded first base. Outside of the pitcher’s circle, the electric cord constitutes part of the playing field and the ball is live. Runners must return to base unless forced by the batter’s award at first.
c) There are no bunts allowed. Penalty: Batter is out, runners return to last occupied base
d) Dropped 5th strike does not apply.
e) THROWN-BAT: Prior to the start of the game the umpire shall give the coaches a warning about the batters throwing bats. Penalty for thrown-bat: Offensive Interference - Batter is out, the ball is dead and runners will return to their base. Repeated offences by the same player may result in ejection from the game.

6.8. BASERUNNERS

a) LEADOFFS: No Lead-offs Allowed. Penalty: Baserunner is out.
b) ANTICIPATION: A baserunner may not leave the bag until the ball is hit (a hit includes any bat contact such as a foul tip). Each team will receive one warning per game for anticipation. Once warned subsequent penalty: Baserunner is out.
c) STEALING: There is no stealing or advancing on a passed ball. Penalty: Baserunner is out.
d) Malicious contact by runner or defensive players will result in an immediate ejection from that game plus one further game suspension.

6.9. CALLING TIME

The Umpire will call time when:

a) The Defensive Pitcher has control of the ball near the eight foot circle in the judgment of the umpire or;
b) When the defensive player has control of the ball and in the umpire’s opinion runners are being held and there is no attempt to make a play on the runner.
c) When the umpire calls time, runners will be permitted to return or advance to the base that they are closest to (without forcing other runners ahead).
d) The ball is returned to the machine operator by the pitcher only after time is called.

6.10. SPECIAL ROOKIEBALL RULES

a) If at any time the umpire deems there to be a safety risk to any players due to erratic pitching, the game will be suspended and resume at the earliest mutually available time. It is the home team’s responsibility to arrange for the diamond and umpires through his convener.
b) Only an adult from the batting team may operate the machine. Umpires are NOT to act in this capacity.
c) The Defensive Pitcher may stand on either side of but not in front of the pitching machine until the ball is hit. At no time may he enter inside the eight foot diameter circle. Penalty for any player entering the circle: ball is dead and batter is awarded the base he is heading to and runners may safely advance if forced by the batter’s award.