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).
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)
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.
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)
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.