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League Playing Rules

ESBA PLAYING RULES: ROOKIE LEAGUE

Play is governed by the Constitution and Bylaws of East Side Baseball Association and by the Official Baseball Rules. The following Playing Rules override any similar provisions of the Official Baseball Rules.

Conduct:

Parents are expected to display exemplary conduct during games and practices, providing a positive example of good sportsmanship for the players. Players, coaches and other officials are to be treated with respect by all persons attending a game, and any form of harassment toward any individual involved in a game is not permitted.  (See full Bylaw on Conduct) 

Minimum Roster: 

In event of a short roster (less than 5 players), a team may use other players from that league. Such fill-in players must bat last.

Length of Games:

Games are scheduled for 2 full innings and scheduled game time is 1 hour. If the second inning ends within 40 minutes of elapsed game time, a third inning may be played. Each half inning ends when the entire team bats. Outs are not recorded.

Batting:

All batters use a batting tee and are not retired until hitting a fair ball. The batting order is the entire roster each inning.  Coaches will vary the order from game to game so each player experiences different spots in the batting order. Batters must use a normal stance in the batters box and the batting tee must be placed directly over home plate. Batted balls not hit to or beyond the 10’ batter’s arc are considered foul.  Bunting is not permitted (considered a foul ball).

Runners:

Runners are not called out. All batters run the bases, and the last batter up automatically gets a home run to clear the bases. Batters and runners advance as a result of a hit ball only (no base stealing).  A runner who must leave his base is replaced by the last batter retired without penalty. Offensive team coaches are stationed at every base, with the home plate coach placing balls on the batting tee and positioning batters. 

Defense:
All team members play every defensive inning, with a pitcher, 4 traditional infielders, no catcher, and the remaining players beyond the basedpaths (back of infield). Fielders may not take positions any closer to the batter than the radius of the pitcher’s rubber (38') to home plate. The defensive team may have three coaches in the outfield to help position and instruct players. 

Safety and Equipment:
All players except players at bat, on deck, on bases or in the field defensively must remain behind the backstop fence. All batters, base runners and catchers must wear protective helmets approved by ESBA. Bats larger than 2 1/4 inches in diameter or 28 inches in length are not permitted.

1/10/12

ESBA PLAYING RULES: SHETLAND

Play is governed by the Constitution and Bylaws of East Side Baseball Association and by the Official Baseball Rules. The following Playing Rules for spring and fall seasons override any similar provisions of the Official Baseball Rules.

Conduct:
Parents are expected to display exemplary conduct during games and practices, providing a positive example of good sportsmanship for the players. Players, coaches, umpires and other officials are to be treated with respect by all persons attending a game, and any form of harassment toward any individual involved in a game is not permitted.  Any coach is subject to suspension for one game if he displays any form of disrespect toward an umpire.  (See full Bylaw on Conduct)
 
Minimum Roster:
In event of a short roster (less than 9 players), a team may use other players from that league. Such fill-in players must bat last and play outfield. There are no automatic outs in Shetland for short roster.
 
Length of Games:
Games are scheduled for 5 innings, but no inning may start after 1:15. Clocked time starts on the first pitch. Subsequent innings begin on the call of the third out of the previous inning. To permit maximum playing time for all players, games should not be ended prior to the time limit.  Exceptions:  a game may end when one team cannot tie or win after the time limit has expired; or one team cannot tie or win and the half inning ends within 5 minutes of of time expiring; or both coaches mutually agree to stop play.  Home team does not bat when leading in that game's final inning. Regular season games may end in a tie; extra innings are not played, even if time remains.
 
Pitching:
An adult coach pitches to his team’s players from any distance beyond the 15’ arc and in line with the pitcher’s plate (overhand is recommended). The player playing the pitcher’s position must stand with at least one foot in the pitcher’s circle and behind the rubber until the ball is hit. The adult pitcher must make every effort not to hinder defensive play, moving to foul ground immediately after each hit. If a hit ball touches the adult pitcher, play is stopped (dead ball, no pitch).
 
Batting:
The batting order is the entire roster.  A half inning ends when 3 outs are made or 5 runs are scored, whichever occurs first.  

Batted balls not hit to or beyond the 15' batters arc are considered foul.  Bunting is not permitted.

5U:  Each batter receives up to 4 pitches; if by the 4th pitch the ball is not hit, a batting tee is then used until the ball is put in play (unless final pitch is fouled).  For the spring tournament, the tee is used after the 3rd pitch (unless foul).
 
6U:  Each batter receives up to 5 pitches; if by the 5th pitch the ball is not hit, a batting tee is then used until the ball is put in play (unless final pitch is fouled).  Beginning the 3rd week of the season, the tee is used after the 4th pitch (unless foul); by the 5th week of the spring season the tee is used after the 3rd pitch (unless foul).
 
Runners:
Batters and runners advance as a result of a hit ball only (no base stealing). To encourage throwing without fear of overthrows and the resulting base runner advances, the infield hit rule is used: no batter or runner may advance more than one base unless the ball is hit beyond the outfield arc; an outfield hit must reach the outfield on its own momentum off the bat (it may glance off a fielder to do so). It is not an outfield hit if overthrown into the outfield. Runners attempting to advance more than one base on an infield hit are subject to being tagged out; but if safe when play is stopped, they must return to their proper base. During an outfield hit, runners may not advance beyond their currently occupied or upcoming (next) base once the ball is returned to the infield and is in control of a defensive player, regardless of subsequent plays or overthrows.  A runner who must leave his base is replaced by the last batter out without penalty.
 
Defense:
All team members play every defensive inning, with a pitcher, 4 infielders and the remaining players in the outfield; 6U must have a catcher unless fewer than 9 players, and 5U does not use a catcher. Fielders, other than the catcher, may not take positions any closer to the batter than the radius of the pitcher’s rubber to home plate. Outfielders take normal outfield positions, evenly spaced and 20' away from the edge of the infield. The infield fly rule is not used. The defensive team may have two coaches in the outfield to help position and instruct players and one coach behind home plate to help the catcher and speed up the game. Base coaches also umpire: the first base coach calls first and home, and the third base coach calls second and third.
 
Position changes may not be made during a team's defensive half inning, except for injury or illness. 
 
Collisions:
A runner is out if a collision occurs between a runner who does not slide or attempt to avoid a collision, and a defensive player attempting to tag out that runner, or is immediately receiving the ball. If it is the umpire’s judgment that a runner intentionally collided with the defensive player, that runner is out. A runner is not out for not sliding if no collision occurs or if contact is slight, incidental or a brush.
 
Speed-up Rules:
Base runners failing to touch bases, including fly ball tag-ups, are called out, without appeal, after the play.
 
Protests:
Game protests are not recognized, as they are not practical with tight playing and tournament schedules. However, failure to conform to Bylaws may subject a team to retrospective penalties, including forfeiture, upon majority vote of the Board of Directors. Coaches have the right to request game officials to reconsider any ruling if such request is made timely and properly (call time, then quietly and respectfully discuss with the umpire who made the call).
 
Safety and Equipment:
All players except players at bat, on deck, on bases or in the field defensively must remain in the dugout. All batters, base runners, catchers and non-adult base coaches must wear protective helmets approved by ESBA. Steel cleats are not permitted. Bats longer than 28 inches in length are not permitted, and bats must display the USABat stamp. See bylaw on Uniforms, Equipment and Fields for more information. 
 
If a player is injured by being hit with a batted ball in the face, throat or head, time will be called immediately, and all runners will be awarded one base if the injured player is an infielder, or two bases if the injured player was an outfielder. Awards are from the time of the pitch.  Any other injury an umpire deems serious enough to stop play will be handled in a similar manner, with umpires determining bases, if any, to be awarded.

Coaches may not sit on buckets or chairs on the field of play.  Photographers are not permitted on the field of play unless pre-approved by the Board of Directors.
 
No Rules have been adopted which prohibit headfirst sliding, accidental bat slinging, and removing helmets. High school rules do not apply.
 
SHETLAND TOURNAMENT RULES:
 

Minimum Roster: In end of season tournament games, a short-rostered team may add up to 3 eligible players to reach a roster of 9. If unable to find enough substitutes to reach 9, the team may play with 8 players; if only 7 players, that team loses by forfeit.  Fill-in players must bat last and play outfield, be from the same league, not from the opposing team, and must have been drafted in a later round than the player he/she is replacing.  For example, if a team has 7 available players and is missing their 2nd, 4th and 10th round players, then it can add a player drafted in the 3rd round or later and a player drafted in the 5th round or later.  The spirit of this rule is to allow normal playing conditions while minimizing a competitive advantage. Fill-in players must be approved in advance by the league commissioner, and the league's board representative may make exceptions for highly unusual circumstances.  

If a game is forfeited due to short roster, it may be played but will count as a foreit. Teams have 10 minutes after game time to field and continuously maintain a minimum roster. 

Any ball hit from the tee will be subject to the Infild Hit Rule (no advance more than one base).   

Usual length of game rules and time limits are followed (except ties), but championship games are not subject to a time limit.  Seeding for post season tournaments is by random draw.  Home team is decided by coin toss, except for first championship game, when winner bracket team is home team.  If a second championship team is needed, home team is determined by coin toss.
 
SHETLAND TIE-BREAKER EXTRA INNING(S):
 
For Shetland tournament “elimination” games:  If the score is tied after a regulation game's final inning or the time limit expires, a special tie-breaker inning will be played.  Both teams bat, starting at the top of their original batting order, with one out, a runner on second base (last player in original order), no run limit, and play until either 3 are out or bat their entire roster, whichever occurs first.  However, one team may not bat more players than their opponent (if one team has 10 players, the other 12, both teams bat only the first 10). If still tied, repeat the special tie-breaker inning, starting at the top of the original batting order.


ESBA PLAYING RULES: PINTO

Play is governed by the Constitution and Bylaws of East Side Baseball Association and by the Official Baseball Rules for all leagues. The following Playing Rules override any similar provisions of the Official Baseball Rules.

Conduct:
Parents are expected to display exemplary conduct during games and practices, providing a positive example of good sportsmanship for the players. Players, coaches, umpires and other officials are to be treated with respect by all persons attending a game, and any form of harassment toward any individual involved in a game is not permitted.  Any coach will be subject to suspension for one game if he displays any form of disrespect toward an umpire. (See full Bylaw on conduct)

Minimum Roster:
In event of a short roster (less than 9 players), a team may use other players from that league.  Such fill-in players must bat last and play outfield.  A team loses by forfeit if unable to field and continuously maintain 8 eligible players within 10 minutes after game time. If a team has only 8 players, the unoccupied 9th spot is an automatic out each time the order reaches that spot. If a game is forfeited due to short roster, it may be played using a short roster but will count as a forfeit.

Length of Games:
Games are scheduled for 6 innings, but no inning may start after 1:15. Clocked time starts on the umpire’s call of "play" just prior to the first pitch. Subsequent innings officially begin on the call of the third out of the previous inning. To permit maximum playing time for all players, games should not be ended prior to the time limit. Exeptions: a game may end when one team cannot tie or win after time has expired; or one team cannot tie or win and the half inning ends within 5 minutes of time expiring; or if both coaches mutually agree to stop play.  Home team does not bat when leading in the game's final inning. Regular season games may end in a tie; extra innings are not played even if time allows.

Run Limit:
Each half inning ends after 3 outs are made or 5 runs are scored, whichever occurs first.

Participation and Substitution:
To maximize participation, continuous batting order is used, and no player may sit out 2 consecutive innings defensively.  Free defensive substitution is permitted, but the batting order may not change.  If a player must be removed from the lineup due to illness, injury, etc., there is no penalty (subject to league rule regarding minimum roster), and he may return to the same place in the batting order if physically able.  A baserunner who must be removed due to illness, injury, etc. may be replaced by the last batter out.

Additionally, every player must play at least 2 complete games during the season.

(See full Bylaw on Participation)

Pitching:
An adult coach pitches to his team’s players, pitching overhand and standing, in a line with the pitcher’s plate, and must release the ball while behind the 10’ pitcher’s line/rubber. The player playing the pitcher’s position must stand with at least 1 foot in the pitcher’s arc and behind the rubber until the ball is hit. The adult pitcher must make every effort not to hinder defensive play, moving to foul ground immediately after each hit. If a hit ball touches the adult pitcher, play is stopped (dead ball, no pitch).

Batting:
No balls or non-swinging strikes are called. The batter is out on the 5th swinging strike or 8th pitch (unless foul). Beginning the 3rd week of the season the batter is out after 4 strikes or 7 pitches (unless foul), and beginning the 5th week, 3 strikes or 6 pitches (unless foul). For fall season the pitch count is not reduced to 3 strikes or 6 pitches.  Batted balls not hit to or beyond the 20’ batter’s arc are considered foul. Bunting is permitted but only one player per inning may bunt (violation considered a strike).  A fouled bunt on the last strike is an out.

Runners:
Batters and runners advance as a result of a hit ball only (no base stealing). A runner is out if he leaves his base before the pitched ball reaches the batter and the ball is hit fair. No batter or runner may advance more than one base following an infield hit, regardless of overthrows. After an outfield hit, time is called when runners are no longer advancing and the ball is controlled in the infield.

Defense:
Fielders, other than the catcher, may not take positions any closer to the batter than the radius of pitcher’s rubber to home plate. The infield fly rule is not used. A team may not use more than 10 defensive players (4 outfielders) and must have a pitcher, a catcher and 4 infielders. Outfielders must be positioned in traditional areas (no unusaul, dramatic shifts or short-fielders), approximately 20 feet or more into the outfield.

Position changes may not be made during a team's defensive half inning, except for injury or illness.

Collisions:
A runner is out if a collision occurs between a runner who does not slide or attempt to avoid a collision, and a defensive player attempting to tag out that runner, or is immediately receiving the ball. If it is the umpire’s judgment that a runner intentionally collided with the defensive player, that runner is out and may be ejected. A runner is not out for not sliding if no collision occurs or if contact is slight, incidental or a brush.

Speed-up Rules:
Base runners failing to touch bases, including fly ball tag-ups, are called out, without appeal, after the play. Pre-game infield warm-up is limited to 5 minutes per team, unless additional time is available; visitors take infield first. One offensive and one defensive time out is permitted each half inning to allow a coach to confer with a player. Batters are not permitted to advance to first base when a last strike is not caught.

Protests:
Game protests are not recognized, as they are not practical with tight playing and tournament schedules. However, failure to conform to Bylaws may subject a team to retrospective penalties, including forfeiture, upon majority vote of the Board of Directors. Coaches have the right to request game officials to reconsider any ruling if such request is made timely and properly (call time, then quietly and respectfully discuss with the umpire who made the call).

Safety/Equipment/Defensive Coaches:
All players except players at bat, on deck, on bases or in the field defensively must remain in the dugout. All batters, base runners, catchers and non-adult base coaches must wear protective helmets approved by ESBA. Steel cleats are not permitted. Bats longer than 29 inches are not permitted, and all bats must display the USABat stamp. See bylaw on Umiforms, Equipment and Fields for more information on bats.

If a player is injured by being hit by a batted ball in the face, throat or head, time will be called immediately, and all runners will be awarded one base if the injured player was an infielder, or two bases if the injured player was an outfielder.  Awards are from the time of the pitch.  Any other injury an umpire deems serious enough to stop play will be handled in a similar manner, with umpires determining bases, if any, to be awarded.

One defensive coach may stand (not sit) outside the dugout, in arm's reach of the gate.  A second coach may stand behind home plate to assist with loose baseballs.  Photographers are not permitted on the field of play unless pre-approved by the Board of Directors.

Scorekeeping/Standings/Statistics:
Teams must keep a player record (score sheet) on each game, recording each player’s defensive participation and times at bat. Team score sheets must be made available to the Commissioner for review.  Standings are determined by awarding 2 points for each win, 1 point for each tie or games not played, and no points for each loss or forfeit.  Standings are not maintained for fall season.  Distribution of player statistics to players is not permitted.

No Rules have been adopted which prohibit headfirst sliding, accidental bat slinging, and removing helmets. High school rules do not apply.

Note: See Tournament Rules

ESBA PLAYING RULES: MUSTANG AND BRONCO

Play is governed by the Constitution and Bylaws of East Side Baseball Association and by the Official Baseball Rules. The following Playing Rules override any similar provisions of the Official Baseball Rules. Note: These rules govern in-park play, not games with other associations (interlocking, travel, post-season).

Conduct:
Parents are expected to display exemplary conduct during games and practices, providing a positive example of good sportsmanship for the players. Players, coaches, umpires and other officials are to be treated with respect by all persons attending a game, and any form of harassment toward any individual involved in a game is not permitted. Any coach is subject to suspension for one game if he displays any form of disrespect toward an umpire.  Coaches and players are not permitted to comment to umpires on balls and strikes.  (See full Bylaw on Conduct)

Minimum Roster:
In event of a short roster (less than 9 players), a team may use other players from that league (American may not use National players). Such fill-in players must bat last and play outfield.  A team loses by forfeit if unable to field and continuously maintain 8 eligible players within 10 minutes after game time. If a team has only 8 players, the unoccupied 9th spot is an automatic out each time the order reaches that spot. If a game is forfeited due to short roster, it may be played using a short roster but will count as a forfeit.

Length of Games:
Games are scheduled for 6 innings, but no inning may start after 1:30 for Mustang and 1:45 for Bronco. Clocked time starts on the umpire’s call of "play" just prior to the first pitch. Subsequent innings begin on the call of the third out of the previous inning. To permit maximum playing time for all players, games should not be ended prior to the time limit.  Exceptions: a game may end when one team cannot tie or win after time has expired; or one team cannot tie or win and the half inning ends within 5 minutes of time expiring; or if both coaches mututally agree to stop play.  Home team does not bat when leading in that game's final inning. Regular season games may end in a tie; extra innings are not played even if time allows.

Run Limit:
Each half inning ends after 3 outs are made or the run limit is reached (5 in spring, 4 in fall), whichever occurs first.

Participation and Substitution:
To maximize participation, continuous batting order is used, and no player may sit out 2 consecutive innings defensively.  Free defensive substitution is permitted, but the batting order may not change.  If a player must be removed from the lineup due to illness, injury, etc., there is no penalty (subject to league rule regarding minimum roster), and he may return to the same place in the batting order if physically able.  A baserunner who must be removed due to illness, injury, etc. may be replaced by the last batter out.

Additionally, every player must play at least 2 complete games during the season.

(See full Participation Bylaw) 

Pitching: 
General:
Delivery of one pitch to a batter constitutes having pitched an inning. A player removed as a pitcher may not pitch again in that game. Innings pitched in games declared no contest are charged against that pitcher’s eligibility. Use of an ineligible pitcher results in automatic game forfeiture and possible loss of future pitching eligibility. Pitching rules may change for tournaments.

Pitch Limit:
For any calendar day, players may not pitch in more than 3 innings (2 innings for fall season and 3 innings for fall tournament), nor throw more than 75 pitches for Mustang or more than 85 pitches for Bronco.

Continuation Provision:  A pitcher may complete pitching to a batter when the maximum pitch limit occurs during that at-bat. Also, if a pitcher reaches any day-of-rest threshold in the middle of an at-bat, the pitcher will be permitted to complete that at-bat; the pitcher will be recorded as having pitched the maximum number of pitches allowed at the threshold met during the at-bat and will not be required to rest an additional day.

Example: If a pitcher throws his 20th pitch during an at-bat, he may complete pitching to that same batter without being charged more than 20, avoiding the one day of rest required for more than 20 pitches.

Rest Rule:
Mustang and Bronco players may not pitch during these rest periods (full calendar days off without pitching) based on the following number of pitches:

More than 20:  1 day
More than 35:  2 days
More than 50:  3 days
More than 65:  4 days

Example:  If a player throws 51 pitches on Monday, he may not pitch again until Friday (after 3 complete calendar days, Tue/Wed/Thu, without pitching).

If a double header, a player may pitch in the second game of the day only if he did not exceed 20 pitches in the first game (but is allowed the usual continuation provision past 20 to the same batter without penalty).  All pitches thrown in the first game count toward the usual daily limit.  That player may pitch in 3 innings per game, subject to pitch limits for the first game and for the day.

Visits:
A second coach visit to the same pitcher in the same inning causes that player’s removal as a pitcher. A coach may not confer with any defensive players other than the pitcher and catcher.

Balks:
Balks are not called in Mustang. Major balks are called in Bronco after spring break (October 1 for fall). In Mustang and Bronco, a runner cannot be called out on a play caused by a balk.

Collisions:
A runner is out if a collision occurs between a runner who does not slide or attempt to avoid a collision, and a defensive player attempting to tag out that runner, or is immediately receiving the ball. If it is the umpire’s judgment that a runner intentionally collided with the defensive player, that runner is out and may be ejected. A runner is not out for not sliding if no collision occurs or if contact is slight, incidental or a brush.

Return to Bases/Leaving Base Early (Mustang):
After each play or pitch, runners must return to their bases when all runners’ progress has stopped (no longer advancing) and the pitcher is in control of the ball. A runner is out if he leaves his base before the pitched ball reaches the batter and the ball is hit fair. Unless a pitch or return throw is not caught, runners may not steal home, nor may batter-runners advance beyond first base during a base on balls award.

Intentional Base on Balls: 
No automatic or intentional walks. Pitcher must pitch to batter with catcher in normal crouching positioin.

Speed-up Rules:
Base runners failing to touch bases, including fly ball tag-ups, are called out, without appeal, after the play. Pre-game infield warm-up is limited to 5 minutes per team, unless additional time is available; visitors take infield first. One offensive time out is permitted each half inning to allow a coach to confer with a player. Mustang batters are not permitted to advance when a third strike is not caught.

Protests:
Game protests are not recognized, as they are not practical with tight playing and tournament schedules. However, failure to conform to Bylaws may subject a team to retrospective penalties, including forfeiture, upon majority vote of the Board of Directors. Coaches have the right to request game officials to reconsider any ruling if such request is made timely and properly (call time, then quietly and respectfully discuss with the umpire who made the call).

Safety/Equipment/Defensive Coach:
All players except players at bat, on deck, on base or in the field defensively must remain in the dugout. All batters, base runners, catchers and non-adult base coaches must wear protective helmets approved by ESBA. Steel cleats are not permitted. Bats must display the USABat stamp.  See bylaw on Uniforms, Equipment and Fields for more information on bats.

If a player is injured by being hit with a batted ball in the face, throat or head, time will be called immediately, and all runners will be awarded one base if the injured player was an infielder, or two bases if the injured player was an outfielder. Awards are from the time of the pitch.  Any other injury an umpire deems serious enough to stop play will be handled in a similar manner, with umpires determining bases, if any, to be awarded.

One defensive coach may stand outside the dugout, at own risk, within arm's length of the dugout doorway.

Scorekeeping/Standings/Statistics:
Teams must keep a player record (score sheet) on each game, recording each player’s defensive participation, times at bat and innings pitched. Team score sheets must be made available to the Commissioner for review. Standings are determined by awarding 2 points for each win, 1 point for each tie or game not played, and no points for each loss or forfeit. Standings are not maintained for fall season.  Distribution of player statistics to players is not permitted.

No Rules have been adopted which prohibit head-first sliding, accidental bat slinging, removing helmets, nor are there rules allowing courtesy runners for pitchers or catchers, or automatic base on balls. High school rules do not apply.

Note: See Tournament Rules.

ESBA PLAYING RULES: PONY & COLT 

Note:  If participating in the Cobb Interpark League, their rules are followed.

Play is governed by the Constitution and Bylaws of East Side Baseball Association and by the Official Baseball Rules. The following Playing Rules override any similar provisions of the Official Baseball Rules. Note: These rules govern in-park play, not games with other associations (interlocking, travel, post-season).

Conduct: Parents are expected to display exemplary conduct during games and practices, providing a positive example of good sportsmanship for the players. Players, coaches, umpires and other officials are to be treated with respect by all persons attending a game, and any form of harassment toward any individual involved in a game is not permitted. Any coach is subject to suspension for one game if he displays any form of disrespect toward an umpire.  Coaches and players are not permitted to comment to umpires on balls and strikes.  (See full Bylaw on Conduct)

Minimum Roster:In event of a short roster (less than 9 players), a team may use other players from that league (American may not use National players). Such fill-in players must bat last and play outfield.  A team loses by forfeit if unable to field and continuously maintain 8 eligible players within 10 minutes after game time. If a team has only 8 players, the unoccupied 9th spot is an automatic out each time the order reaches that spot. If a game is forfeited due to short roster, it may be played using a short roster but will count as a forfeit.

Length of Games:
Clocked time starts on the umpire’s call of "play" just prior to the first pitch.  Subsequent innings begin on the call of the third out of the previous inning.  Regular season games may end in a tie; extra innings are not played even if time allows. 

Pony:  Games are scheduled for 6 innings, but no inning may start after 1:45.  Each half inning ends after 3 outs are made or 5 runs are scored.  To permit maximum playing time for all players, games should not be ended prior to the time limit.  Exceptions: a game may end when one team cannot tie or win after time has expired; or one team cannot tie or win and the half inning ends within 5 minutes of time expiring; or both coaches mutually agree to stop play.

Colt:  Games are scheduled for 7 innings, but no inning may start after 2:00.  A Colt game ends if one team is (or will be) behind 15 or more runs after 4 complete innings, or 10 or more runs after 5 (or more) complete innings.  

Run Limit: For Pony League, each half inning ends after 3 outs are made or 5 runs are scored, whichever occurs first. 

Participation and Substitution:
To maximize participation, continuous batting order is used, and no player may sit out 2 consecutive innings defensively.  Free defensive substitution is permitted, but the batting order may not change.  If a player must be removed from the lineup due to illness, injury, etc., there is no penalty (subject to league rule regarding minimum roster), and he may return to the same place in the batting order if physically able.  A baserunner who must be removed due to illness, injury, etc. may be replaced by the last batter out.

 Additionally, every player must play at least 2 complete games during the season.

(See full Bylaw on Participation)

Pitching:
General: Delivery of one pitch to a batter constitutes having pitched an inning. A player removed as a pitcher may not pitch again in that game. Innings pitched in games declared no contest are charged against that pitcher’s eligibility. Use of an ineligible pitcher results in an automatic game forfeiture and possible loss of future pitching eligibility. Pitching rules may change for tournaments.

Pitch Limits:
Pony players may not pitch in more than 6 innings, nor throw more than 90 pitches in a day, and may not pitch in more than 9 innings in a pitching week, Monday through Sunday.

Colt players may not pitch in more than 7 innings, nor throw more than 100 pitches in a day, and not pitch in more than 10 innings in a pitching week, Monday through Sunday.
 
A pitcher may complete pitching to a batter when the maximum pitch count occurs during an at-bat. Also, if a pitcher reaches any day-of-rest threshold in the middle of an at-bat, the pitcher will be permitted to complete that at-bat; the pitcher will be recorded as having pitched the maximum number of pitches allowed at the threshold met during the at-bat and will not be required to rest an additional day.

Example: If a pitcher throws his 30th pitch during an at-bat, he may complete pitching to that same batter without being charged more than 30, avoiding the one day of rest required for more than 30 pitches.

Rest Rule: Pony and Colt players may not pitch during these rest periods (full calendar days off without pitching) based on the following number of pitches:

More than 30: 1 day
More than 45: 2 days
More than 60: 3 days
More than 75: 4 days

Example:  If a player throws 61 pitches on Monday, he may not pitch again until Friday (after 3 complete calendar days, Tue/Wed/Thu, without pitching).      

Visits:
A second coach visit to the same pitcher in the same inning causes that player’s removal as a pitcher. A coach may not confer with any defensive players other than the pitcher and catcher.

Collisions: 
A runner is out if a collision occurs between a runner who does not slide or attempt to avoid a collision, and a defensive player attempting to tag out that runner, or is immediately receiving the ball. If it is the umpire’s judgment that a runner intentionally collided with the defensive player, that runner is out and may be ejected. A runner is not out for not sliding if no collision occurs or if contact is slight, incidental or a brush.

Speed-up Rules:
Base runners failing to touch bases, including fly ball tag-ups, are called out, without appeal, after the play. Pre-game infield warm-up is limited to 5 minutes per team, unless additional time is available; visitors take infield first. One offensive time out is permitted each half inning to allow a coach to confer with a player.  When 2 are out a courtesy runner (last batter out) may run for the catcher/runner.

Protests:
Game protests are not recognized, as they are not practical with tight playing and tournament schedules. However, failure to conform to Bylaws may subject a team to retrospective penalties, including forfeiture, upon majority vote of the Board of Directors. Coaches have the right to request game officials to reconsider any ruling if such request is made timely and properly (call time, then quietly and respectfully discuss with the umpire who made the call).

Safety and Equipment:
All players except players at bat, on deck, on base or in the field defensively must remain in the dugout. All batters, base runners, catchers and non-adult base coaches must wear protective helmets.

Scorekeeping/Standings/Statistics:
Teams must keep a player record (score sheet) on each game, recording each player’s defensive participation, times at bat and innings pitched. Team score sheets must be made available to the Commissioner for review. Standings are determined by awarding 2 points for each win, 1 point for each tie or game not played, and no points for each loss or forfeit. Standings are not maintained for fall season.  Distribution of player statistics to players is not permitted.

No Rules have been adopted which prohibit head-first sliding, accidental bat slinging, removing helmets, or allow courtesy runners for pitchers or automatic base on balls.  High school rules do not apply.

Note: See Tournament Rules.


ESBA PLAYING RULES: TOURNAMENT RULES

Pinto, Mustang, Bronco, Pony and Colt: Spring seasons end with double elimination or pool play tournaments that include all teams. Fall season may end with single or double elimination or pool play tournaments.  ESBA Playing Rules remain in effect during regular season tournaments except as follows:

Seeding:
Spring season seeding is determined by regular season standings (points). Ties in standings are resolved by results of head-to-head games. If still unresolved, a coin toss is used.  Home team will be the higher seed.  In a first championship game, winner's bracket team is home team. If a second championship game is needed, home team is determined by coin toss.

Fall season seeding is by drawing, and home-visitor designation is by coin toss, except first championship game, winner's bracket team is home team.  If a second championship game is needed, home team is determined by coin toss.

Pitching - Spring and Fall season tournaments:
Regular season rules based on pitch count apply to all tournaments - same pitch count limits and rest requirements except that fall season Mustang and Bronco inning limit changes from 2 innings to 3 innings per day.

For Pony and Colt, pitching weeks might not start on Mondays or last seven days.

Limits/Tie-Breaker:
Championship games are not subject to a time limit. Usual length of game rules are followed, except single or double elimination tournament games may not end in a tie.

Pinto Tie-Breaker: If a game is tied after regulation (time or innings), each subsequent half inning starts at the top of each team's original batting order with one out, a runner on second base (last player in original order), no run limit, and play continues until either 3 are out or bat their entire roster, whichever occurs first; however one team may not bat more players than their opponent (if one team has 10 players and the other 12, both teams bat only the first 10). Repeat if still tied, starting at the top of the original batting order.

Mustang/Bronco Tie-Breaker: If a game is tied after regulation (time or innings), each subsequent half inning starts with one out, a runner (last man batted) on second base and no run limit, until the tie is broken and the game is completed.

The 1-hour rain delay wait is extended to up to 2 hours. If weather conditions prevent anticipated completion of the tournament by the scheduled season end, the Board may need to eliminate losers bracket teams. 

Forfeits:
Use of an ineligible pitcher results in automatic game forfeiture. Violation of participation rules may result in game forfeiture by action of the Board.

Minimum Roster:
In end of season tournament games, a short-rostered team may add up to 3 eligible players to reach a roster of 9.  If unable to find enough substitutes to reach 9, the team may play with 8 players, but the unoccupied 9th spot is an automatic out; if only 7 players, that team loses by forfeit.  Fill-in players must bat last and play outfield, be from the same league, not from the opposing team, and must have been drafted in a later round than the player he/she is replacing.  For example, if a team has 7 available players and is missing their 2nd, 4th and 10th round players, then it can add a player drafted in the 3rd round or later and a player drafted in the 5th round or later.  The spirit of this rule is to allow normal playing conditions while minimizing a competitive advantage. Fill-in players must be approved in advance by the league commissioner, and the league's board representative may make exceptions for highly unusual circumstances.        

Contact

East Side Baseball Association
Fullers Park, 3499 Robinson Rd
Marietta, Georgia 30068

Email: [email protected]

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