Chapter 4: Game Objectives and Game Preliminaries

Updated Tuesday April 18, 2017 by Boys Baseball of Aurora BBA.

CHAPTER 4

GAME OBJECTIVES AND GAME PRELIMINARIES

 

SECTION 401

OBJECTIVES

 

401.1 Defining the Game.  Boys Baseball of Aurora games are between two teams with nine players each on the field at one time, under the direction of a manager, played on a regulation field in accordance with these rules, under the jurisdiction of one or more umpires.

 

401.2 Game Objective.  The objective of each team is to win by scoring more runs than the opponent.  The winner of the game shall be that team which shall have scored, in accordance with these rules, the greater number of runs at the conclusion of a regulation game.

 

401.2.1 Offensive Objective.  The offensive team’s objective is to have its batter become a runner, and its runner to advance and score.

 

401.2.2 Defensive Objective.  The defensive team’s objective is to prevent offensive players from becoming runners, and to prevent their advance around the bases to score.

 

SECTION 402

FIELD REQUIREMENTS

 

402.1 Playing Field.  The playing field shall be laid out according to the instructions below for each level.

 

402.1.1 Pony.  The field shall be 80 foot square.  The outfield shall be the area between the two foul lines formed by extending the two opposite sides of the square that are the first and third base lines all the way to the outfield fence.  A distance of 250 feet or more along the foul lines and to center field is recommended.  The space within and including these boundaries are fair territory and all other area is foul territory.  The distance from home to second base shall be 113 feet and 2 inches.  From home and second measure 80 feet and the intersecting points on either side shall establish first base and third base respectively.  The pitchers plate shall be set in the ground so that the distance between the front side of the pitcher’s plate and home base (the rear portion of home plate) shall be 54 feet apart.  The pitching mound shall be elevated 6 inches above the elevation of home plate.

 

402.1.2 Major.  The field shall be 65 foot 70 foot square.  The outfield shall be the area between the two foul lines formed by extending the two opposite sides of the square that are the first and third base lines all the way to the outfield fence.  A distance of 200 feet 220 feet or more along the foul lines and to center field is recommended.  The space within and including these boundaries are fair territory and all other area is foul territory.  The distance from home to second base shall be 91 feet and 11 inches  99 feet.  From home and second measure 65 feet 70 feet and the intersecting points on either side shall establish first base and third base respectively.  The pitchers plate shall be set in the ground so that the distance between the front side of the pitcher’s plate and home base (the rear portion of home plate) shall be 48 feet apart.  The pitching mound shall not be elevated more than 6 inches above the elevation of home plate.

 

402.1.3 Minor.  The field shall be 60 foot square.  The outfield shall be the area between the two foul lines formed by extending the two opposite sides of the square that are the first and third base lines all the way to the outfield fence.  A distance of 200 feet or more along the foul lines and to center field is recommended.  The space within and including these boundaries are fair territory and all other area is foul territory.  The distance from home to second base shall be 84 feet and 10 inches.  From home and second measure 60 feet and the intersecting points on either side shall establish first base and third base respectively.  The pitchers plate shall be set in the ground so that the distance between the front side of the pitcher’s plate and home base (the rear portion of home plate) shall be 46 feet apart.  The pitching mound shall not be elevated.

 

402.2 Batter’s Box.  The Batter’s Box shall be rectangular, 6 feet by 3 feet.  The inside line, if used, shall be parallel to and 4 inches away from the side of home plate.  It shall extend forward from the center of home plate 3 feet and to the rear 3 feet.

 

402.3 Catcher’s Box.  The Catcher’s Box shall extend approximately 6 feet, 4 inches to the rear of home plate.  It is determined by extending each foul line 9 feet beyond the back point of home plate.

 

402.4 Coach’s Box.  The Coaches’ Boxes shall be 4 feet by 8 feet and shall not be closer than 6 feet from the foul lines.

 

402.5 Foul Lines.  The foul lines and all other playing lines shall be marked with chalk or other white material.  If doing a 3 foot double base line it shall be placed 3 feet to the foul side of the first base line, starting 30 feet from home plate and running parallel to the first base line to a point three feet past first base.

 

402.6 Home Plate.  Home base shall be marked by a five sided slab of whitened rubber, 17 inches wide.  The top edges of home base shall be beveled and the base shall be fixed in the ground level with the ground surface.  The black beveled edge is not considered part of home plate.

 

402.7 Bases.  First, Second and Third bases shall be marked by white canvas or rubber covered bags, securely attached to the ground.  The first and third bases shall be entirely within the infield.  The second base bag shall be centered on second base.  The base bags shall not be less than 14 nor more than 15 inches square.  The outer edges shall not be more than 2-1/4 inches thick and filled with soft material.  Bases designed to disengage their anchor systems for safety purposes are permitted.

 

402.7.1 Disengaged Bases.  If the impact of a runner breaks a base loose from it position, no play can be made on that runner at that base if the runner had reached base safely.  If there is continual action involving a subsequent runner, the base plate becomes the actual base for rendering of the umpire’s decision.

 

402.8 Pitching Rubber.  The pitcher’s plate shall be a rectangular slab of whitened rubber 18 inches by 4 inches.

 

SECTION 403

EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS

 

403.1 Baseballs.  The ball used must meet Little League specifications and standards.  It shall weight not less than 5 ounces nor more than 5-1/2 ounces (142-149 grams).  It shall measure nor less than 9 inches nor more than 9-1/4 inches in circumference (22.9-23.5 cm). 

 

403.1.1 League Provided.  The League shall provide sufficient baseballs to each team based on the number of games for the season and their Level.  Should a team need additional baseballs the manager should request them from their Representative Board Member, who will then get approval from the Treasurer.

 

403.1.2 Pony League Baseballs.  Baseballs for this level must be leather covered and bear the emblem of “Pony Baseball” stamped on the cover by the manufacturer.

 

403.2 Bats.  Bats used by participants in the League must conform to the following standards for their Level.

 

403.2.1. Pony Bat Specifications.  Wooden or metal bats which are round, not more than two and three-fourths inches (7.0 cm) in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 42 inches (106.7 cm) in length, are acceptable.  Any bat which is 31 inches or longer must be BBCOR approved, and so stamped on the bat.  Any bat which is shorter than 31 inches may be composed of any material, including composite.

 

403.2.2 Major, Minor and Rookie Bat Specifications.  The bat must meet Little League specifications and standards.  It shall be a smooth, rounded stick and made of wood or of material tested and proved acceptable to Little League standards.  It shall not be more than 33 inches in length, not more than 2-1/4 inches in diameter, and if wood, not less than 15/16 inches in diameter (7/8 inches for bats less than 30”) at its smallest part.  Bats may be taped or fitted with a sleeve for a distance not exceeding 16 inches from the small end.  No laminated bat shall be used.

 

403.2.3 Donuts and other Resistance Devices.  Any device designed to remain part of the bat, including but not limited to donuts and wind resistant devices, are legal for use in practice or while warming up on deck.

 

403.2.4 Illegal Bats.  The first violation of the season for a team shall result in the batter being called out and the manager being given a warning.  The second violation of the season for a team shall result in the batter being called out, the batter ejected from the game if it is also the players second violation and the manager being ejected from the game.  A team with additional violations will endure additional consequences including but not limited to suspensions and forfeiture of games and will have to appear before the Manager Review Committee.

 

403.3 Uniforms.  All of a team’s players must wear numbered uniforms of identical color, trim and style.

 

403.3.1 Undershirts.  Any part of an undershirt exposed to view shall be of a uniform solid color (not white) for all players on a team.

 

403.3.2 Uniform Condition.  No player shall wear ragged, frayed or slit sleeves.

 

403.3.3 Uniform Attachments.  No player shall attach to a uniform tape or other material of a different color than the uniform.

 

403.3.4 Jewelry.  Players must not wear watches, rings, pins, jewelry or other metallic items.

 

403.3.5 Casts.  Players may not participate while wearing a plaster cast.

 

403.4 Shoes.  Players may wear shoes with molded plastic or rubber cleats.  Metal cleats or spikes are only allowed at the Pony Level.

 

403.4.1 Shoe Attachments.  No players shall attach anything to the heel or toe of the shoe other than a toe plate.

 

403.5 Gloves.  The following rules will govern gloves worn by all defensive players.

 

403.5.1 Fielder’s Gloves.  Each fielder, other than the first baseman and the catcher, may wear a glove not more than 12 inches long nor more than 7-3/4 inches wide, measured from the base of the thumb crotch to the outer edge of the mitt.  The glove may be of any weight.

 

403.5.2 First Baseman’s Gloves.  The first baseman may wear a glove or mitt not more than 12 inches long from top to bottom and not more than eight inches wide across the palm, measured from the base of the thumb crotch to the outer edge of the mitt.  The glove may be of any weight.  A first baseman may also wear a normal fielder’s glove.

 

403.5.3 Pitcher’s Gloves.  The pitcher’s glove shall be of uniform color, including all stitching, lacing and webbing.  The pitcher’s glove may not be white or gray.  No pitcher shall attach to the glove any foreign material of a color different from the glove.  No pitcher shall wear sweatbands on his wrists.

 

403.5.4 Catcher’s Gloves.  The catcher must wear a catcher’s mitt (not a first baseman’s glove or fielder’s glove) of any shape, size or weight consistent with protecting the hand.

 

403.6 Catching Equipment.  Catchers must wear long model chest protectors, a mask that fully protects top and back of head with throat guard and shin guards when catching in a game.

 

403.6.1 Catching Helmet.  Any non-adults serving as a catcher to warm up or practice with a pitcher shall wear a mask whether the pitcher is performing such activities in the bullpen, the mound or any other location.

 

403.7 Batting Helmets.  Each team shall have five (5) protective helmets.  Use of helmet by the batter, on-deck batter, base runners and player service as base coach is mandatory.  The helmet shall provide protection to the head, temples, ears and base of skull.

 

403.7.1 Helmet with Face Mask.  The League shall provide one (1) helmet with a protective face mask to each team.  Use of the helmet by a batter is elective.

 

403.8 Athletic Supporter.  Managers shall make every effort to encourage all players to wear an athletic supporter.  Catchers must wear the metal, fiber or plastic type cup supporter.

 

403.9 Equipment on the Field.  Members of the offensive team shall carry all gloves and other equipment off the field and to the dugout while their team is at bat.  Members of the defensive team shall carry all bats, helmets and other equipment off the field and to the dugout while their team is in the field.  No equipment shall be left lying on the field, either in fair or foul territory.

 

SECTION 404

WARMUPS

 

404.1 Pregame Warmups.  Prior to the start of a game each team will be provided the opportunity to warm up on the field in accordance with Sections 105.2.5 through 105.2.7.

 

404.1.1 Unprepared.  Team failing to be ready to start games on time will not be permitted additional time for warmups.  See Section 405.6.2 for additional rules regarding starting the game.

 

SECTION 405

STARTING THE GAME

 

405.1 The Umpire.  The League shall appoint one or more umpires to officiate at each league game.  The umpire shall be responsible for the conduct of the game in accordance with these official rules and for maintaining discipline and order on the playing field during the game.  Each umpire is the representative of the League and is authorized and required to enforce all of these rules.  Each umpire has the authority to order a player, coach or manager to refrain from doing anything that affects the administration of these rules and to enforce the prescribed penalties.

 

405.1.2 Umpire Equipment.  Plate umpire must wear mask, shin guards, chest protector and protective cup.  The umpire shall not wear metal spikes or cleats.

 

405.1.3 Rules not Covered BBA Rulebook.  Each umpire has authority to rule on any point not specifically covered in these rules.

 

405.1.4 Disqualifications.  Each umpire has authority to disqualify any player, coach, manager or substitute for objecting to decisions or for unsportsmanlike conduct or language and to reject such disqualified person from the playing field.  If an umpire disqualifies a player while a play is in progress, the disqualification shall not take place until no further action is possible on that play.

 

405.1.5 Ejections.  Each umpire shall have authority at their discretion to eject from the playing field any person whose duties permit that person’s presence on the field, such as ground crew members, photographers, newsmen, etc. and any spectator or other person not authorized to be on the playing field.

 

405.1.6 Judgment Calls.  Any umpire’s decision which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out, is final.  No player, manager, coach or substitute shall object to any such judgment decisions.

 

405.1.7 Appealing.  If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire’s decision may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made.  Such appeal shall be made only to the umpire who made the protested decision.

 

405.1.7.1 Consulting.  If a decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision, may ask another umpire for information before making a final decision.  No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse, or interfere with another umpire’s decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.

 

                405.1.8 Replacement.  No umpire shall be replaced during a game unless injured or ill.

 

405.1.9 Failure to Report.  If the assigned umpire fails to appear, the game may be umpired by others, provided both managers agree on the substitute umpire.  Both managers must sign the official scorebook declaring they agree on the substitute umpire prior to the start of play.  Attempts should also be made to contact the Umpire in Chief to provide a substitute umpire.

 

405.1.10 Number of Umpires.  At least one umpire is required at each game, but multiple may be used.

 

405.1.10.1 One Umpire.  Where there is only one umpire, that umpire shall have complete jurisdiction in administering the rules.  This umpire may take any position on the playing field that will enable said umpire to discharge all duties (usually behind the catcher, but sometimes behind the pitcher if there are any runners).

 

405.1.10.2 Multiple Umpires.  If there are two or more umpires, one shall be designated as plate umpire and the others as field umpires.

 

405.1.10.2.1 Plate Umpire.  The plate umpire shall stand behind the catcher and the full duties shall be to: (a) take full charge of and be responsible for the proper conduct of the game, (b) call and count balls and strikes, (c) call and declare fair balls and fouls except those commonly called by field umpires, (d) make all decisions on the batter, (e) make all decisions except those commonly reserved for the field umpires, (f) decide when a game shall be forfeited, (g) announce any special ground rules.

 

405.1.10.2.2 Field Umpire.  A field umpire may take any position on the playing field best suited to make impending decisions on the bases.  A field umpire’s duties shall be to: (a) make all decision on the bases except those specifically reserved to the plate umpire, (b) take concurrent jurisdiction with the plate umpire in calling “Time”, illegal pitches, or defacement or discoloration of the ball by any player, (c) aid the umpire-in-chief in every manner in enforcing the rules, excepting the power to forfeit the game, (d) shall have equal authority with the umpire-in-chief in administering and enforcing the rules and maintaining discipline.

                               

405.1.10.3 Different Decisions.  If different decisions should be made on one play by different umpires, the plate umpire shall call all the umpires into consultation, with no manager or player present.  After consultation, the plate umpire (unless another umpire may have been designated by the league president) shall determine which decision was most likely correct.  Play shall proceed as if only the final decision has been made.

               

405.1.11 Violation Reporting.  The umpire shall report to the league umpire-in-chief within 24 hours after the end of the game all violations of rules and other incidents worthy of comment, including the disqualification of any manager, coach or player, and the reasons therefore.  After receiving the umpire’s report, the umpire-in-chief shall report to the league president.  If such reported incident includes any disqualification, the league president shall require such manager, coach or player to appear before at least three member of the Board of Directors to explain his conduct.  In the case of a player, the manager shall appear with the player in the capacity of an advisor.  The members of the Board present at the meeting shall impose such penalty as they feel is justified.

 

405.1.12 Official Start Time.  The Umpire shall be the official time keeper and will announce the start time of each game to both teams.

 

405.1.13 Rules Observance.  Before the game begins the umpire shall require strict observance of all rules governing team personnel, implements of play and equipment of players.

 

405.2 Field Fitness.  The managers of both teams shall agree on the fitness of the playing field before the game starts.  In the event that the two managers cannot agree, the president or a duly delegated representative, usually the umpire, shall make the determination. 

 

405.3 Active Rosters.  A roster sheet, listing starting players, available substitutes, status of missing players, and number of innings pitched by each pitcher in prior games which might have an effect on eligibility for that game, shall be given to the opposing manager ten (10) minutes before the start of the game.

 

405.3.1 Changes to Lineup.  Changes to the lineup handed to the opposing team may be changed at any time prior to the first pitch.

 

405.4 Official Scorekeeper.  The official scorekeeper shall be that of the home team, unless an official scorer has been assigned by the League.

 

405.4.1 Official Scorekeeper Duties.  The Official Scorekeeper shall record at bats, hits, run, errors, strikeouts, base on balls, innings pitched in by each pitcher and actual starting time of the game.  These records must be made available to any Board Member, the Umpire, or opposing Manger upon request.

 

405.5 Baseballs.  The umpire shall receive from each team one new baseball in the Major, Minor and Rookie Levels and two new baseballs in the Pony Level.  The umpire shall be the sole judge as to the fitness of the ball to be used in the game.  The umpire can replenish his supply of baseballs by choosing from among the used baseballs available both before and during the game as needed.

 

405.5.1 Discoloring or Damaging Baseballs.  No player shall intentionally discolor or damage the ball by rubbing it with any foreign substance.  The umpire shall remove the ball and the offender, if known, from the game.

 

405.6 Game Start.  At the time set for beginning the game the umpire shall order the home team to take its defensive positions and the first batter off the visiting team to take position in the batter’s box.  As soon as all players are in position the umpire shall call “Play.”

 

405.6.1 Once Started.  After the umpire calls “Play” the ball is alive and in play and remains alive and in play until, for legal cause, or at the umpire’s call of “Time” suspending play, the ball becomes dead.  While the ball is dead, no player may be put out, no bases may be run and no runs may be scored, except that runners may advance one or more bases as the result of acts which occurred while the ball was alive (such as, but not limited to an overthrow, interference, or a home run or other hit out of the playing field).

 

405.6.2 Unprepared.  Team failing to be ready to start games on time will have 15 minutes from the official start time to take the field or that game will be declared a forfeit by the Umpire.  If there is a second game for that location it may start anytime thereafter, but no sooner than the officially scheduled game time.

 

405.7 Field Lights.  The umpire shall order the playing field lights turned on whenever in such umpire’s opinion darkness makes further play in daylight hazardous.