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Wellwood Baseball Rules Summary By Division
Wellwood Baseball’s official rules are published on the website (http://www.wellwoodbaseball.org). Our rules are based on Little League Baseball rules (Official Baseball rules for the Pony division) with some modifications. The summary below highlights some of our rules, but the official rulebook takes precedence in case of conflict.
General Safety Rules
1. As soon as either (i) lightning is seen; or (2) thunder is heard (no matter how far it way it seems) the game must immediately be suspended for at least thirty minutes since the last sound of thunder. This is true even if lightning is not visible. When the game is suspended, all coaches and player must go to a safe area: either inside a building or inside a car. Sheltering under trees is not considered sheltering in a safe area. Stopping the game, but milling around waiting for the game to be restarted is not acceptable.
2. In both practice and during games, both batters and runners must wear batting helmets at all times. There are no exceptions for “underhand pitching,” “just practicing,” etc. These rules apply at all levels of play.
3. Catchers must wear a full set of catcher’s equipment including helmet, mask, chest protector, catcher’s mitt, and cup any time that the set up to take pitches behind the plate whether or not there is a batter present. Players may not catch wearing a non-catcher’s mitt or glove.
4. Umpires may not stand behind the catcher unless they are wearing full protective gear. If a game must be umpired by someone not in full gear, the umpire must stand behind the pitcher and call the game from there.
5. No player should be holding a bat except for the player that is batting and the on-deck batter in a designated on-deck area (in older divisions only). In accordance with Little League rules, the on-deck batter is not permitted in Peewee, Single A, Double A or Triple A divisions.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Please note safety violations immediately when observed and refuse to allow the game or practice to continue until all violations are resolved.
General Rules for Peewee, Single A, Double A and Triple A Divisions
In accordance with Little League rules, no “on deck circle” is permitted. Players should hold a bat only when they are they are batting. No other player should be holding a bat.
1. Players should be rotated through different positions after each inning.
2. Peewee: The ball is hit off the tee. Teams bat through their batting order and then take the field to let the other team bat (the inning does not end with 3 outs). Once the ball is returned to the infield, the runners should stop at the next base. Teams typically will bat 2-3 times before ending the game.
3. Single A: The ball is pitched underhand by a coach from the batting team to the batter or is hit off the tee for those who cannot yet handle underhand pitching. After four swinging strikes to any batter, the batter hits the ball off the tee (no strikeouts). Teams bat through their batting order or until 3 outs are recorded and then take the field to let the other team bat. Once the ball is returned to the pitcher, the runners should stop at the next base.
4. Double A: The ball is pitched overhand by a coach from the batting team to the batter. Balls and strikes are not called, but a player is called out on strikes after 4 swinging strikes. Teams bat through their batting order or until 3 outs are recorded and then take the field to let the other team bat. Once the ball is returned to the pitcher, the runners should stop at the next base.
5. Triple A: The ball is pitched by a player with a member of the offensive team behind the pitcher to call balls and strikes as well as all other umpiring duties. Three strikes is an out, but after four balls, the coach/umpire takes over pitching duties for that at bat and pitches until a strikeout or a ball is put into play. The number of strikes is carried over from the kid pitcher. If a player is hit by a pitch, the coach/umpire takes over immediately for that at bat. Thus, a batter is never awarded first base for a base on balls or a hit by pitch. After 3 bases on balls or 2 hit by pitch, the coach/umpire takes over pitches to all batters for the remainder of the inning. Player pitchers are limited to 1 inning per game. A pitcher who is removed from the mound may not return to pitch in that game. Teams bat through their batting order or until 3 outs are recorded and then take the field to let the other team bat.
General Rules for Minor, Major and Pony Divisions
1. All players bat through the lineup (“continuous batting order”). The batting order must be set prior to the game and late arriving players must be placed at the bottom of the batting order.
2. The game may be started with a minimum of 7 players. If 7 players are present, then the eight batting slot counts as an “automatic out.” If 8 players are present, the no “automatic out” applies.
3. Head first sliding is not permitted, except in returning to a base. In case of a head first slide, the runner is called out.
4. Any pitcher who hits 2 batters in one inning or 3 batters in one game must immediately be removed from the mound.
5. A pitcher who is removed from the mound for any reason may not return to pitch in that game.
6. Throwing or slinging the bat results in a team warning (bench warning) to the batting team. A second instance of bat throwing/slinging results in an out. The play is dead and all runners return to their bases.
7. When two are out, if the catcher is on base, he should be removed from the base and a pinch-runner substituted for him. The pinch-runner shall be the player who made the last out. The catcher then gets his gear on in anticipation of catching in the next inning.
8. Any runner is out when the runner does not slide *or* attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag. There is no “must slide” rule. The rule is slide or attempt to get around. The key in this situation is fielder has the ball and is waiting to make the tag. This video can help to eliminate the misconceptions: Click Here.
Minor and Major Division Rules
1. Game is played by Little League rules. This means runners may not leave the base or “lead off” until the ball crosses the plate.
2. Bases are set at 60’. Pitcher’s mound set at 46’.`
3. Games last six innings. If after four (4) innings, three and one-half innings if the home team is ahead, one team has a lead of eleven (11) runs or more, the manager of the team with the least runs shall concede the victory to the opponent.
4. Games must last at least 4 innings (3-1/2 if home team is ahead) to be official. If an inning cannot be completed, the score reverts to the prior inning’s score.
5. While “leading off” is not permitted, there is no requirement that the runners “stop running” when the ball is returned to the pitcher. After a pitch, hit or walk, if the pitcher has the ball ready to pitch and the catcher is behind the plate ready to receive the ball, then the runners must commit to either stopping at their bases or proceeding to the next base.
6. A pitcher may not pitch more than 3 innings in one game or 6 innings in one week. Innings in a game are “rounded up” so that pitching 2 innings (6 outs) + 1 batter in a game is counted as pitching 3 innings.
7. 10 players may play in the field at one time. Once a player has sat defensively for one inning, he/she may not sit again until all other players have sat out at least one inning. Coming late to the game does not count as sitting out an inning.
Minor Division Only
1. Wellwood rules do not allow for “stealing home” in the Minor division. Unless the ball is hit, players may not go home on a “passed ball,” “wild pitch,” “overthrow to the pitcher” or any other kind of throwing error, nor may they attempt a straight steal of home. If the offensive team attempts a double steal and the defensive team throws to second base, the player on third may not attempt to come home. Exception: If the defense makes a throw to third base, then the runner may attempt to come home. This includes throws to third base on an attempted steal of third as well as pickoff attempts to third base for a runner already at third base.
2. Players may proceed to go home on any kind of hit (including their own hit) and do not need to stop at third base.
3. In the Minor division, there is a run limit of 5 runs per inning, except in the final inning of the game where any number of runs can score. If it appears that the game will end due to darkness or other time limit before 6 innings have been completed, then the coaches and umpires shall designate a “final” inning where any number of runs can score.
Pony Division Rules:
1. A maximum of 9 players in the field.
2. A pitcher may not pitch more than 4 innings in one game or 8 innings in one week. Innings in a game are “rounded up” so that pitching 2 innings (6 outs) + 1 batter in a game is counted as pitching 3 innings.
3. Bases set at 75’. Pitcher’s mound set at 54’.
4. “Leading off” is permitted. Runners can leave their bases at any time.
5. Balks are enforced with the allowance of one warning in a game to each pitcher.
6. Games go 7 innings. 5 innings required (4 1/2 if home team is ahead) for an official game.
7. Players may sit defensively a maximum of 2 innings.
8. Pitchers may pitch a maximum of 4 innings per game and 8 innings per week.
Wellwood Baseball Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What equipment do I need to supply for my child?
A: Wellwood Baseball will supply your child with a hat and shirt.
You'll need to supply a baseball glove and baseball pants. Baseball pants can be purchased cheaply at stores such as Modell's, Target, and KMart. Sweatpants and other types of pants are not recommended as they will quickly develop holes from sliding.
If you purchase a new glove, it is recommended that it not be too large or stiff for you child to close easily. New gloves should have glove oil applied and be broken in so that they are easy for your child to open and close.
You'll also need to supply your child with something to drink during the games. On hot days, this will mean supplying more than a single water bottle.
Baseball Cleats are encouraged in the older divisions, but not required. They will enable your child to run the bases without slipping. All cleats must be plastic. Metal cleats are not allowed in any division of Wellwood baseball. Soccer cleats will work fine if you have them already or can find them more cheaply than baseball cleats.
Catchers are required to wear a cup. If you child is interested in catching, it is recommended that you purchase one. Cups are recommended, but not required, for all other players.
Players may bring their own bats, but this is not required.
Q: When does the season start and end?
A: Practice for most divisions officially starts in early April. Exact dates TBD.
Opening Ceremonies and Opening Day will take place in mid-April (details TBD) Following Opening Ceremonies, teams will disperse to their scheduled fields to play their Opening Day games. Due to Opening Ceremonies, the Opening Day games will start one hour later than normal.
The season will end in mid-June (dates TBD) for Pewee, Lower and Upper Clinic divisions. In the Minor, Major, and Pony divisions, the playoffs are scheduled to end on or around June 17th, the last day for Baltimore County schools. Please note that if you're planning summer travel prior to June 17th, there's a chance that your child could miss playoff games.
There will be no practices or games on Pesach (4/21, 4/25), Easter (4/21), Memorial Day (5/27) or Shavuos (6/9-10).
Q: Are there scores or standings kept?
A: In the younger divisions (Peewee and Lower and Upper Clinic) no scores or standings are kept and all umpiring is done by coaches.
In the older divisions (Minor, Major, Pony), games are umpired by professional umpires and scores and standings are recorded on the website. In addition, playoff and World Series games are held. All teams are entered in the playoffs and trophies awarded to both the Champion and Runner-up teams. In addition, an all-star game is held for each of the older divisions toward end of the season.
Q: How much playing time will my child get?
A: In the younger divisions, all players bat and play in the field. In the older divisions, all players bat, but only 10 (Minor, Majors) or 9 (Pony) players can play in the field at one time. The rules mandate that Minor and Major players that must sit out an inning in the field do not sit out another inning in that game until all other players have also sat out one inning defensively. In the Pony divsion, players may sit no more than 2 innings defensively.
Q: How do I get information about rainouts?
Our main source of communication will be an opt-in service called RainedOut.com. You can opt in by visiting the following link:
When you see rain, please don't assume that the game is automatically rained out. Games in different locations may have different conditions from your local conditions, especially in the case of localized rainshowers.