|I. Sportsmanship||V. Umpiring||IX. Base Running|
|II. Eligibility||VI. Pitching||X. Suspended Games|
|III. Equipment and Field Setup||VII. The Lineup||XI. Schedule Formula/Playoffs|
|IV. Game Management||VIII. Batting/Fielding||XII. Scheduling|
Section I - Sportsmanship [top]
1. The possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages are not permitted anywhere on the property of Wright Township Recreation Park.
2. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas away from the field.
3. Players are to respect all equipment that does not belong to them.
4. To maintain a family atmosphere, participants and spectators are asked to refrain from excessive use of obscene and vulgar language.
5. The taunting or bullying of another player (in person, on the league forum, or on any type of social media) will not be tolerated and will lead to the offending individual’s removal from the league.
6. All players are asked to use honesty when making calls on the field. It is not possible to have a pleasant atmosphere when one team or player strives to gain an unfair advantage through cheating.
7. Players need to show restraint when they believe that a call has been unfairly made against them. If every individual can display integrity, most calls will be made correctly, incorrect calls will eventually even out, and controversy can be avoided.
8. Players (especially the team captains) should familiarize themselves with the league’s rules in order to avoid confusion during a game. Everyone is welcome to suggest changes to existing rules or for the addition of new rules, but these suggestions should not be made during actual competition.
9. All competitors will be expected to shake hands with their opponents immediately following the completion of the final game of a series.
Section II –Eligibility [top]
1. All players will be required to sign an injury waiver prior to participating. Players who are under the age of 18 must also obtain a parent or guardian’s signature. A new waiver must be signed for each league year.
2. Once a player competes for a team in any way, that player has been “rostered” by that team and cannot compete for another team for the remainder of that season.
3. A new player may be added to a team’s roster at any time during the regular season and there is no limit to the number of players that a team may have on their roster.
4. A player must participate in a minimum of 50% of his/her team's regular season games in order to be playoff eligible. A player shall earn a “game played” for any game in which he/she meets any one of the following criteria.
a. Had at least one full plate appearance (0-0 count to completion).
b. Pitched for at least one full at-bat (0-0 count to completion).
c. Played for three outs in the field.
5. This is a competitive league and as such, all players are subjected to the same set of rules. The league shall not endorse preferential treatment for any participant regarding plugging, fast pitching, or any other rule, regardless of age, gender, size, or athletic ability.
6. All veteran teams and teams led by veteran players shall be required to have team shirts with a logo on the front and a number on the back for all of their regular players, including players who are new to the team. New teams will not be required to have shirts in their first season, but are still encouraged to.
Section III - Equipment and Field Setup [top]
1. The baselines are 45 feet long.
2. The pitching rubber is 42 feet from the apex of home plate.
3. The strike zone is 3 feet behind the apex of home plate.
4. The strike zone is 3’ long by 2’ 11 1/4" wide and begins 14” off of the ground.
5. An arc is painted seventeen feet from the front of home plate.
6. A “commit line” is painted exactly halfway between home plate and third base.
7. A “dead ball circle” with a radius of 5 feet is painted around the center of the pitching rubber.
8. Out of play lines are painted parallel to the first and third base lines, fifteen feet away, to mark when a ball has been thrown out of play. This applies only to overthrows and ground rule doubles; the amount of foul territory in which a defensive player can catch a ball in flight is unlimited. Also, all spectators and players not currently in the field must remain behind these lines at all times.
9. The official ball of the league is that which is manufactured by Wiffle Inc. While scuffing the ball is legal, cutting it with a knife and creating gouges are not. A ball is considered "cut" if individual grooves are easily visible and one can stick a fingernail inside of them. A ball is considered "gouged" if there are any visible dents in the ball, especially if they were deliberately created.
10. Balls that belong to the league cannot be scuffed. Teams are welcome to bring their own balls to use while they are in the field if they wish to pitch using scuffed ones. Balls can also be purchased from the league for $2 a piece or three for $5.
11. Foreign substances may not be placed on or in the ball.
12. If a ball has a crack of 1/4" or more, it will be removed from play.
13. Players in the field are not permitted to use a glove, cap, shirt, or any other object to assist in fielding the ball.
14. For safety purposes, first base is split into two parts, a white base in fair territory for the first-baseman to cover and an orange base in foul territory for the runner to run through.
15. All bats not owned by the league must be approved by the commissioner before they will be allowed in competition. Aluminum bats are not allowed. The league endorsed bat is the Loco Bat, however nearly all plastic bats designed for wiffleball will be legal as long as they are not loaded and is not noticeably larger or heavier than the Loco Bat.
16. All bats that a team chooses to bring to a game must also be available to the opposing team.
17. Bats may be taped at the handle, but the tape may not add significant weight to the bat.
18. Players may not wear metal spikes, but rubber spikes are allowed. Studded spikes (also commonly referred to as "football spikes") are also not allowed.
Section IV - Game Management [top]
1. All regular season games will be part of a doubleheader. Home/away will be determined in advance with each team playing five series in which they are home first and five series in which they are away first. Teams that play two doubleheaders against each other in the same season will play one series each way.
2. Prior to the first pitch of every regular season game, these four events are to happen in order:
a. Home team declares its starting pitcher
b. Visiting team declares its starting pitcher
c. Visiting team declares its batting order
d. Home team declares its batting order
3. Games are six innings long and each team gets three outs per inning. Extra innings will be played when necessary; there is no limit to the number of extra innings that can be played as long as the game remains tied. All games will be played to the full six innings unless called due to mercy or forfeit.
4. If a team is ahead by fifteen runs following the completion of the third inning, or ten runs following the completion of the fourth or fifth inning, the game will be called due to mercy. If the home team reaches the number of runs needed for mercy, the game ends immediately.
5. Players shall not unnecessarily delay the game.
6. The batting team shall always be responsible for “catching up” for the pitcher unless all members of the team are either batting or on base.
Section V - Umpiring [top]
1. The count consists of up to four balls and three strikes.
2. Balls and strikes will be determined by the strike zone placed behind home plate. Any pitch that hits the front plane of the zone or clips the side in flight shall be called a strike.
3. There is no limit to the number of foul balls that can be hit with two strikes.
4. If a batter with two strikes hits a foul ball that then hits the strike zone in flight, the batter is charged with a strikeout.
5. If a batter is hit by a pitch, he/she is not awarded first base.
6. If a batter moves into the path of a pitch that has a chance to be a strike or is hit by a pitch while obstructing the strike zone with a part of his/her body, batter interference will be called and a strike recorded.
Note: As long as the batter does not appear to be obstructing the zone prior to the pitch being thrown then he/she shall NOT be expected to move out of the way to allow a curveball to hit the zone. If a curveball that may have hit the zone hits a batter before curving in, then it shall be declared a ball.
7. If a batter touches the ball while making an attempt to catch a pitch, it shall be called a strike, regardless of its location.
8. The foul arc is treated like the foul lines. If the ball is touching the arc, it is fair.
9. Judgment calls can be made by anyone who saw the play, including the players. In the spirit of fair play, players are expected to be honest when making calls.
10. Instant replay may be available for some games. If a play is put under review, then an original call must be made on the field first, and clear visual evidence must be seen in order to overturn the original call.
Section VI - Pitching [top]
1. The pitcher's back foot must be touching the rubber for the duration of the pitch.
2. There is no penalty for a balk. However, if a pitcher balks he/she must pause and give the batter time to reset before actually throwing the pitch.
3. A 70-mile-per-hour speed limit is in effect for all games. If a pitch is clocked at 71 or 72 miles-per-hour, then the batting team shall have the choice of no-pitch or the result of the play. If a pitch is clocked at 73 miles-per-hour or higher, then the batting team shall have the choice of a ball or the result of the play. If contact is made on a pitch over the speed limit, then the person operating the radar gun shall wait until the conclusion of the play before saying anything. Operating the radar gun will generally be the responsibility of the batting team. However, anyone associated with the league is permitted to gun and enforce the speed limit rule. A pitch clocked over the speed limit can never result in a strike.
4. The starting pitchers (prior to facing their first batter) and new pitchers entering the game may throw up to twelve warm-up pitches from the mound. Pitchers may also throw up to three warm-up pitches upon taking the mound for the beginning of their half of an inning. If a pitcher has been using only one ball and that ball is lost or becomes illegal during the course of the game, he or she shall be permitted to throw up to six warm-up pitches before play resumes.
5. The declared starting pitcher may not be removed from the game until he/she has either completed the first inning or pitched for six complete plate appearances.
6. A pitching substitution must be declared official before a relief pitcher can throw warm-up pitches on the mound. The entering pitcher must also face at least one batter.
7. Once per game, a team may re-enter a pitcher who had previously been removed, as long as he or she did not throw a pitch in any of the batting team's previous six plate appearances. However, he/she cannot record a hold or save.
8. A pitcher who enters at the beginning of the fifth inning or later is considered a closer.
9. A pitcher may not pitch in both games of a doubleheader unless he/she is used as a closer in both games.
10. No pitch may be delivered while another ball is in the field of play.
Section VII –The Lineup [top]
1. The batting lineup must consist of a minimum of four players and may contain up to nine players.
2. A new player may be inserted at the bottom of the batting order just prior to the top of the second, third, or fourth inning (not between half-innings). After the commencement of the fourth inning, a new player may not enter the batting order except as an official substitution.
3. A player who is substituted for in the batting order may only re-enter the order in the same spot that he/she exited.
4. A player may only re-enter the batting order once per game.
5. If a player leaves the batting order without being substituted for, then the vacated spot shall count as an automatic out for the remainder of the game unless the player exited the game due to injury.
6. Upon request, the official scorekeeper is to tell the batting team which player is up to bat.
7. For a batting out of order call to be made, the fielding team must first wait for the improper batter to finish his/her plate appearance. After the plate appearance is over but before the next pitch is thrown, they may make a batting out of order call. If the call is correct, then the previous plate appearance will be recorded as an out and the appropriate batter will take his/her turn at bat. The out will be charged to the team and not a specific player. If, in the middle of an at-bat, the batting team realizes that the wrong player is up to bat, then the correct batter may take his/her place at bat and the fielding team may choose to either keep the count as is or reset it to 0-0.
8. Including the pitcher, no more than five players are allowed to play the field.
9. A team cannot bat four players in the lineup but still field five.
10. There is free substitution in the field; Players are eligible to pitch and play the field at any time, even if they are not in the batting lineup (Pitching regulations must still be adhered to).
11. A team cannot legally take the field with fewer than four players.
Section VIII - Batting/Fielding [top]
1. Bunting is not permitted. If a player makes contact with an attempted bunt (fair or foul), the play results in an automatic strikeout for the batter.
2. All defensive players must remain behind the pitcher's mound until the pitch is thrown.
3. If they believe that circumstances warrant it, the fielding team may decide to use one of their fielders as a catcher. The catcher must remain behind the strike zone and out of the way until the batter makes contact with the ball. For umpiring purposes, a pitch fouled back over the top of the zone will be considered a pop-up while a pitch fouled back below the top of the zone will be considered a foul tip.
4. Plugging is permitted.
5. A player who is plugged above the shoulders while running normally (meaning he/she did not jump, duck, dive, slide, or otherwise move his/her head into the path of the ball) and within the baseline is not out. If this occurs while a runner is off base, then the ball is immediately dead and all runners shall advance one base.
6. When making a tag, the hand (or hands) containing the ball shall be treated like the ball itself, so long as the player has complete control of the ball when the tag is initiated. If a player drops the ball while making the tag, the runner is still out as if it were a plug.
7. Once a part of a base runner’s body has touched the ground on or past the commit line between third base and home, that runner is committed to going home. When a runner is committed to going home, the fielding team may tag or plug the strike zone in order to get him/her out. If this is done successfully, the ball is immediately dead. Runners who were legally advancing to a base other than home and were more than one-fourth of the way to the next base, as well as runners who are forced to advance, shall be permitted to advance.
a. If there is a force play at home, this can be done regardless of whether or not the runner has crossed the line.
b. If a runner passes the commit line after leaving base early on a caught ball, he/she may attempt to return to the proper base, but the fielding team may still attempt to tag or plug the strike zone (with the dead-ball aspect of the rule still applying) until he/she has returned to the proper base. If the ball is thrown out of play in an attempt to hit the zone and the runner has not yet returned to base, the runner shall return on his/her proper base and shall not advance further. A runner who was standing on first or legally advancing to second may advance if the base is open.
8. If a runner is tagged or plugged for an out after passing the commit line, the ball is immediately dead. Runners who were legally advancing to a base other than home and were more than one-fourth of the way to the next base, as well as runners who are forced to advance, shall be permitted to advance.
9. Once a fielder is in possession of the ball with both feet planted within the dead ball circle surrounding the mound and no runner is making a clear attempt to advance, the play shall be declared dead. A runner may still attempt to tag up on a ball caught within the circle as long as the attempt is immediate. A runner may also attempt to advance beyond the base that he/she is currently attempting to advance to as long as he/she rounds the base in stride.
10. When the ball is in play, a fielder may not use any object (such as a hat) to assist in fielding the ball. If the fielder does so and the ball is fair or potentially fair, all runners who were on base will score and the batter will be awarded third base. The official scorer will determine if a single, double, or triple shall be recorded. If use of the object may have prevented the ball from going over the fence, then a home run shall be awarded.
11. If a fair ball rolls or bounces past the out of play lines, or beyond the fence (even if in foul territory) , then a ground rule double shall be awarded.
12. Any fair batted ball that strikes a pole used to support the fence shall be ruled a home run if the entire ball strikes an area of the post that is above the fence. If a part of the ball strikes an area of the post that is below the fence, then the ball is in play.
13. The intentional distraction of another player through the use of any sounds or gestures is not allowed. If a member of the fielding team intentionally distracts the batter, then the same protocol is followed as for a pitch over the speed limit. If a member of the batting team intentionally distracts a fielder, then the batter or base runner (depending upon which is more appropriate to the situation) shall be ruled out and no runners shall advance unless forced.
14. Foul territory is unlimited in regards to catching a ball in flight and runners may still tag up on any caught foul ball.
15. When covering first base, the fielder must attempt to remain on his/her half of the base. If it becomes apparent that there is not going to be a play at first, the first-baseman must stay out of the baseline between first and second, in case the runner attempts to advance to second. A runner who uses the wrong base is not safe. A fielder who uses the wrong base shall not record the out. The runner shall only be entitled to the white base if they are rounding the base and not running through it.
16. On a close play involving a catch/no catch in which a clear call is not made immediately, baserunners will be given amnesty if they were not able to see the result and are disadvantaged by the lack of a clear immediate call.
Section IX – Base Running [top]
1. Leading and stealing are not permitted.
2. If a runner is off base when the batter makes contact with the ball, he/she shall immediately be ruled out.
3. When a ball is thrown out of play, runners who were not attempting an advance or were less than one-fourth of the way to the next base shall be allowed to advance to the next base. Runners who were more than one-fourth of the way to the next base shall be awarded two bases.
4. Use of the infield fly rule is optional and can be called only by the batting team. It may be called on any ball hit in the air when there is a runner on both first and second base. The call must be shouted prior to a fielder touching the ball or the ball hitting the ground and it must be loud enough for all players on the field to hear. If the fielding team calls the infield fly or if the batting team calls it in a non-applicable situation, then distraction rules apply.
5. After reaching base, players must run for themselves. Pinch-runners are not allowed except in the following situations:
a. An official substitution to the batting lineup.
b. If a player who is on base is scheduled to bat, his/her spot on base is to be taken by either the last player to bat who is not currently on base or a player who is not currently in the lineup. If the player gets out in his/her at-bat, he/she has the option of returning to his/her old spot on base.
6. If a base runner intentionally kicks or swats the ball, the play will be declared dead and all runners, even those who would otherwise be forced, shall return to the last base that they touched, unless that base is occupied.
7. A base runner may legally attempt to tag up as soon as a fielder touches the ball.
8. If a base runner is inadvertently touched by a hit ball while standing on base in fair territory prior to the ball being touched by a fielder, a single shall be awarded to the batter and only runners who were forced shall advance.
9. If a base runner is inadvertently touched with a hit ball while off base in fair territory prior to the ball being touched by a fielder, he/she shall be ruled out. The batter will be awarded a single and only runners who were forced shall advance (if it is not the third out).
10. A player running through first base must attempt to run through his/her half of the base.
11. A player running through first base must remain in foul territory or else they can be tagged or plugged out.
12. If a runner is called out for going out of the baseline to avoid a tag or plug, the ball shall immediately be ruled dead. Any runners who were more than 1/4 of the way to the next base, as well as runners who are forced to advance shall be permitted to advance.
Section X - Suspended Games [top]
1. A new inning shall never begin more than 15-minutes after the day’s sunset time unless both teams agree.
2. In the event of rain, games will continue as scheduled so long as conditions are not too severe to play in. Teams should never assume that a game is rained out unless contacted by the commissioner.
3. If darkness, weather, or other factors make an in-progress game unplayable, the game will be suspended and continued from the exact point of suspension at a later date. An attempt will be made to ensure that suspended games are halted in between innings, rather than in the middle of an inning, to avoid providing an advantage to either team. If there is a rain delay of more than 30 minutes, either team can request to have the game resumed under suspension rules if one of their players legitimately has to leave due to the delay.
4. Teams will not be penalized for showing up with fewer players on the day that a suspended game is continued. Additional players may also be added to the bottom of the lineup when the game is continued, regardless of the inning. However, the batting lineup must be kept as similar as possible and all pitching regulations still apply to the series.
5. If the game is suspended prior to the commencement of the fourth inning, the game can be replayed in full with stats from the suspended game not counting if, and only if, both team captains and the commissioner agree. Such a decision must be reached by 11:59 P.M. on the date following the suspension.
Section XI –Schedule Formula/Playoffs [top]
1. In a normal nine team season, teams will be divided into three divisions of three. Every team will play four games against each of its two division opponents and two games against the other six teams for a total of twenty.
2. The three division winners, as well as one wildcard team, will qualify for the playoffs.
3. When two teams are tied in the standings at the end of the regular season and a playoff spot is on the line or matchups will be affected, the tiebreakers will be as follows:
a. Head-to-head record in the regular season
b. One-game playoff.
4. When a spot is not on the line and matchups are unaffected, the tiebreakers will be as follows:
a. Head-to-head record in the regular season
b. B.Division record (Only if both teams are in the same division)
c. Coin Toss
5. A one-game playoff counts as a playoff game, for both eligibility and statistical purposes.
6. If both teams are from the same division, then the home team in a one-game-playoff will be the team with the better division record. Otherwise, the home team will be determined by a coin toss.
7. In a one-game playoff, pitchers will be limited to three innings of regulation. If the game goes to extra innings, anyone is eligible to pitch as long as rule VI-7 is still adhered to.
8. Playoff series will be three games long. The team with home-field-advantage will be home for games one and three.
9. In the first round of the playoffs, the team with the best record will play the playoff team with the worst record. If there is a tie for the worst record between a division winner and the wildcard team, they shall play the wildcard.
10. The wildcard shall not have home-field-advantage for any playoff series. In a playoff series between two division winners, the team with the better record shall have home-field advantage. If the teams have the same record, follow Section XI, rule 4.
11. As long as home-field advantage was earned and not determined by coin toss, prior to the start of any post-season series (or one-game playoff), the team with home-field advantage shall designate whether the home or away team shall declare their starting pitcher first throughout the series.
12. In terms of pitching regulations, the first two games of a post-season series will be treated like a doubleheader. If the series goes to a game three, then pitchers who meet one of the below conditions will only be eligible to pitch up to three innings of regulation. If the game goes to extra innings, then anyone is able to pitch as long as rule VI-7 is still adhered to.
a. Started game one or game two.
b. Pitched more than 2.0 regulation innings in relief combined between games one and two. Extra innings don't count toward this total.
13. In the event that 3 or more teams tie for a playoff spot and no teams can be advanced or eliminated by virtue of a head to head sweep, then MLB procedures shall be followed.
Section XII: Scheduling [top]
1. Scheduling will be very flexible during the regular season. However, playoff dates are set in stone months before the start of the season and will not be changed unless the captains of all potentially effected teams and the commissioner agree on the change or highly extenuating circumstances, such as severe weather, force the playoffs to be pushed back.
2. For the first six weeks of the season, the schedule for a given week will be posted nine days in advance. Once the schedule is posted, it is final unless the team captains and the commissioner agree to a change. The schedule for the entire second half of the season will be released all at once around the midway point of the season
3. During the first half of the regular season, all scheduling requests that are presented to the commissioner by 11:59 PM, two Thursdays prior to Sunday in question, will be honored if possible.
4. Requests for a specific time slot in a given week will be awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis. Teams are encouraged to inform the commissioner of a request as soon as they are aware of a conflict, even if the date in question is months away. It becomes more and more difficult to honor specific requests as the season progresses. If a team’s first request cannot be honored, viable alternatives shall be presented to the team.
5. Teams that prefer to play at certain times may inform the commissioner, which will add some weight to scheduling decisions. However, requests made out of necessity will always take precedence.
6. Two bye weeks are built into the schedule for each team. However, more bye weeks will be awarded upon request as long as the team is willing to play more than two games on another Sunday in order to make up for the additional bye week(s).
7. All series will start exactly at the scheduled time as long as each team has at least four players present. Subsequent games in a series shall always start minutes after the conclusion of the previous game.
8. If one team does not have at least four players at the scheduled start time, the other team will be given choice of home/away for both/all games of the series and may also decide which team shall declare its pitcher first in each game.
9. If a team does not have at least four players present 15-minutes after the scheduled start time of a series, they shall forfeit game one of the series. If they still do not have four players 45-minutes after the scheduled start time for game one, they shall forfeit the entire series as well as any other scheduled games for that day. If neither team shows up, then both teams will be given a loss in the standings.
Note: if this is the forfeiting team’s first offense of the season, the game(s) can be rescheduled if and only if both the opposing team and the commissioner agree to reschedule the game. Such a decision must be made by 11:59 PM on the date following the initially scheduled game(s).
10. All players who show up, or would have shown up to a win by forfeit will be credited with a game played. They shall also require 3.5 fewer plate appearances than they would otherwise in order to qualify as a season or career statistical leader.
For any scenario not covered in this rulebook, the ruling shall follow Major League Baseball’s rulebook.