2016 League Rules
Wisconsin Baseball Association
Youth Baseball League
Amended July, 2015
1. LEAGUE FORMAT
1.1. Age Divisions & Eligibility
The Wisconsin Baseball Association Youth Baseball League, hereafter referred to as the WBA, will consist of U8, U9, U10, U11, U12, U13 and U14 age Divisions. The rules contained herein will apply to all divisions. Rules specific to a given age level will be noted as such.
No player can be older than their respective age bracket prior to May 1st of the current year. If a player’s age is questioned by a coach that player in questions coach will be notified to supply a birth certificate. Failure to do so will result not only in a forfeit for the game in question, but for all games the player(s) in question have played in previously.
The deadline to add any player to your roster for them to be eligible to play in the league’s playoffs is June 10th.
High School players are eligible to be on teams if their season is over with and they meet age requirements.
The WBA is an open league format with players on each team being able to come from any community
Team rosters will consist of a minimum of 10 players and a maximum of 20 players. Each player may only be on one WBA team roster for that age division. Rosters must be turned into the league by April 1st of the current baseball season. No player will be allowed to play in the league games unless he is listed on the official team roster, which is to be held at the league office. The deadline to add any player to your roster for them to be eligible to play in the league’s playoffs is June 10th.
Teams must provide a copy of the team’s insurance coverage in the amount of at least $1,000,000 in liability coverage, listing 5 Diamonds, Inc. as either an additional insured or certificate holder.
2. GAME PLAY
The league will play “National Federation of State High School Rules” with the following clarifications and exceptions:
Games must be played by the rules as written, coaches may not make “a gentleman’s agreement” to change any rules. Failure to play by the rules as written may result in a double forfeit.
2.2. Base Path & Pitching Distance
Bases and pitching rubbers will be placed at the following distances:
|Division||Base Length||Pitching Distance|
|U13/U14||90 ft.||60 ft. 6 in.|
|U11/U12||70 ft.||50 ft.|
|U9/U10||65 ft.||46 ft.|
|U8||60 ft.||43 ft.|
2.3. Game Length
For U8-U14, a game will be seven (7) innings in duration. The time limit for U13/U14 games will be 2
hours 15 minutes and for U8-U12 games will be 2 hours. A new inning will not start after the time limit has elapsed. In the event of a tie after 7 innings and time still remains, additional innings may be played until a winner is determined or the time limit expires. Any inning started prior to the time limit expiring must be completed. The next inning is considered to begin the moment the previous inning ends. There will be a 2 hours 30 minutes “drop-dead” rule where if a game reaches 2 hours 30 minutes it is stopped immediately and the score reverts back to the last completed inning. League games may end in a tie.
2.4. Suspended Game
Per WIAA adaption to NFHS rules,”A game called for any reason, where a winner cannot be determined, will be treated as a suspended game (Rule 4-3-1- Note 2). If the game is to be completed, it will be continued from the point of suspension and a suspended game will be completed.”
Effort should be made to play games as scheduled, however in the case of inclement weather a decision should be made early enough to notify the visiting team prior to them leaving for the game (60 minutes). In the event of a cancellation it is the responsibility of the Home team to contact the Umpires and the visiting team coach. This means talking with them, not simply leaving a message.
2.6. Run Rule
If a team is behind by 15 or more runs after 4 innings of play or 10 or more runs after five innings of play, it shall be considered a complete game.
2.7. Games Called Due to Darkness or Rain
Should a game be called due to darkness by the umpires determining it is unsafe to continue to play, the game will be considered a completed game if 5 full innings have been completed, 4 ½ innings if the home team is winning. Should a game be suspended due to darkness in the middle of an inning, but after 5 full innings, the score will revert back to the score at the beginning of the uncompleted inning. Should a game be tied after 5 full innings, it will be a suspended game. The game will be resumed at the same point as it was suspended, using the following criteria. First, if the 2 teams involved are scheduled to play at the same location again during the season, complete the suspended, prior to the start of the scheduled game. Second, if the teams are only scheduled to play at the visiting team’s field the remainder of the season, complete the suspended game prior to the start of the scheduled game. Lastly, if the teams involved are not scheduled to play one another again during the season, the suspended game will only be required to be completed if it has a bearing on the playoff seating. Should a game be called due to darkness and not reached 5 complete innings, 4 ½ innings if the home team is winning, it will not be an official game and if rescheduled, must be replayed from the beginning. With regards to weather related issues, any game that reaches 4 complete innings, 3 ½ if the home team is winning, will be considered an official game. If a game is rained out prior to being considered an official game, it must be replayed from the beginning.
All forfeits must be submitted to and approved by the WBA Commissioner before being posted to the standings. Every effort must be made to play every league game.
2.9. Courtesy Runner
A courtesy runner may be used after 2 outs for the pitcher of record or the catcher of record. The same player may not be used for both in the same inning. The runner must be a player not in the game and may not be used as a substitute for any other player in that same ½ inning. If no eligible player is available to courtesy run for the catcher the player who made the last out may run for the catcher. A courtesy runner for the catcher is mandatory after 2 outs. Pitcher or catcher of record means the player in those positions the previous defensive inning. In the case of the visiting team, in the 1st inning, it is the player who will pitch or catch in the bottom of the inning.
Note: Upon discovery of a catcher on base with two outs, a courtesy runner should be put into the game for the catcher, without penalty. For teams using a continuous batting order, the player making the last out must be used as the courtesy runner for either the pitcher or catcher, but not for both in the same inning.
2.10. Leading Off
Leading off is allowed in the U9-U14 MAJOR leagues and U11-U14 in MINOR leagues. Runners may steal on the release of the ball from pitchers hand at U8 MAJOR and U9 and U10 in the MINOR leagues. At U8 MINOR runners may steal after the ball crosses the plate. Dropped third strike and Infield fly rules are also in effect for U9-U14 in MAJOR divisions and U11-U14 in MINOR divisions.
The runner will be called out for leaving early and the pitch will not be allowed.
For the U8 league, a runner may not steal home unless a defensive play is attempted on him or any other runner. A runner attempting to steal home without a play being attempted will be sent back to 3rd base. There will be no dropped third or infield fly enforced at the U8 levels.
No Advancement on Walks.
On walks, in the U8 Leagues, the Batter/Runner (B/R) may not advance to second base if the catcher returns the ball directly to the pitcher and the pitcher is on the rubber. The B/R is only protected, by virtue of the walk, to first base. If the B/R is off the base or running to second while the pitcher has the ball and is on the rubber, the B/R will be called out. If there is a play on another runner or there is a pass ball, then the ball is live and the B/R and all other runners may advance at their own risk.
There may be no more than 9 players in the field at one time. The WSYBL will allow the game to start and be played with 8 players. The 9th position is then an automatic out each time through the lineup.
Continuous Batting Order:
Teams at any level may choose to use a continuous batting order and bat their entire team. If a team uses a continuous batting order, then they may also freely substitute their players on defense without regard to reentry rule. If a player leaves the game due to an injury or illness, there is an automatic out for that player the next time his spot comes up in the batting order. His spot is then skipped on subsequent at bats. Once the out is taken, this player may NOT return to this game. If a player leaves the game for any other reason than injury or illness, there is an automatic out for that player every time his spot comes up in the batting order. If a team is using a continuous batter order and a player arrives late, the late player may be inserted at the end of the lineup provided the team has not yet batted through the lineup at least once. If the team has gone through the line up at least once, then the player must be used as a sub and normal NFHS substitution rules will apply.
The extra player (EP) is optional for all age divisions. The WBA does not use the designated hitter (DH) rule. The Extra player is then free to rotate in and out of the field defensively.
On Deck Batters
In the interest of safety, on-deck batters may loosen up behind the batter rather than being restricted to their own side of the field
Any of the starting players may be withdrawn and re-entered once, including a player who was the extra hitter, provided such player occupies the same batting position whenever he is in the lineup. In the event of an injury with no officially available players to replace the injured player, re-entry of any available player will be allowed.
2.13. Slash Bunts
For safety reasons, slash bunts are prohibited at in the U8-U12 divisions. A slash bunt is when the batter shows a bunt then pulls back and swings away or slaps at the ball. Penalty – Batter is called out and no runners may advance.
2.14. Double First Base
Some fields use a double first base and do not have a choice to use a single base. In these cases, the double base should be considered one big base, allowing the runner or the fielder to touch either the white or the orange portion of the base. There will be no penalty for the runner or the fielder if they touch either color.
U8, U9 & U10 – up to 4 innings per game.
U11-U14 – no inning limits.
U8, U9 & U10 – up to 3 innings per game.
U11-U14 – up to 4 innings per game.
Balks will be called at all age levels that lead off, expect U8 and U9. At the U10-U12 level, one warning per pitcher will be issued before penalties will be enforced.
A pitcher must be removed upon the 2nd visit to the mound in the same inning or on the 4th visit to the mound in the game and then on every subsequent visit after the 4th, regardless of how many pitchers a team has used. Once removed as a pitcher, a player may not return as a pitcher.
It is not the responsibility of game officials to enforce the pitching rule. Teams must report violations to the league following the competition. Violations are considered in the same manner as a team using an ineligible player. The minimum penalty for such violations is forfeiture of the game.
2.16. Sliding Rules
There is NO MANDATORY SLIDE RULE!
The sliding rules for the WBA are all the same as the NFHS book rules. There is 1 main point.
The Force Play Slide Rule
Any runner who is in a force play, must either slide directly into the base or run himself out of the play avoiding contact with the fielder. If this is not done, this is considered interference and the runner is out and the B/R is automatically out for a double play, and all other runners must go back to the base they occupied at the time of the pitch. The runner may not “take out the fielder to break up the double play.” If the runner slides, it must be a legal slide according to book rule and if the second baseman is on the bag and the runner makes a legal slide into the bag and there is contact, interference should not be called.
Metal Spikes will be allowed in U13 and U14 only.
Helmets must be worn at all times by any offensive player on the playing field for any reason. Batboys must wear helmets at all times he is on the field or in the dugout.
Two new league approved game baseballs will be provided by the home team. Game balls are provided to you by the league in our entry fee. You should also have several playable game balls available in case they are needed
There are no bat restrictions regarding length, diameter or drop.
The umpires will have the right and the responsibility to end a game due to unsafe playing conditions. If a game is ended prior to seven innings, then five complete innings will constitute an official game. Four and ½ innings if the Home team is ahead at the time the game is ended. If a team does not have a home field they may use Infinity fields with a rental fee.
Protests are allowed, however, games must be played to completion. Protests are not allowed on judgment calls. The league commissioner will evaluate and rule on the protest. The league commissioners ruling will be final on all protests.
4.3. League Playoffs
Each division or team may choose to take part in the year end league tournament to be held at Infinity Fields on the last weekend in July. It will be a single elimination tournament with no gate fee.
Umpire fees are to be split between the home and visiting teams.
4.5. Scoring & Reporting
The home team will be the official scorekeeper for league games. We will be using the game changer app so whoever is the Home team will be the official book for that game as well as all pitching stats. Standings will be calculated then after with the following tiebreakers: 2 teams tied (in order) – head to head, run differential in games vs. each other, run differential for season, coin flip. 3 or more teams tied (in order) – run differential for the season, coin toss.
Anyone ejected from a game will automatically be suspended for the next game. This is the minimum punishment and the board may impose additional sanctions if deemed appropriate for the infraction.
Note: for the 2nd ejection, there is an automatic 2 game suspension. This too is the minimum punishment; it could be more if the board deems it appropriate. For the 3rd ejection, the player, coach or fan will be removed from the league permanently. Parent or coaches ejected must leave the vicinity of the playing field area including the stands and may not attend the game under suspension. It is strongly recommended that a player serve his suspension by sitting on the bench, out of uniform and supporting his team. The board of directors will, upon written documentation presented to the league commissioner, consider an appeal. The board of directors reserves the right by virtue their position to uphold the decision of the umpire or overturn the suspension.
4.7. Umpire Fees
For the U8-U10 league, there will be one umpire who will be paid $60 to be split equally by both teams.
For the U11-U14 leagues, there will be two umpires who will be paid $45 each to be split equally by both teams.
4.7.1. Rainout Policy:
The home team coach is responsible for notifying the umpires at least 1½ hour before game time, that the game is rained out. If the umpires are not notified in time or the game is started and does not qualify as a completed game then each umpire will receive a show up fee and the per inning rate per the rainout chart below (split by both teams).
Note: Umpires who are assigned to finish a postponed or suspended game will receive a show up fee and the per inning rate. If only one umpire is assigned, then apply the fee to the Single Umpire chart below to a maximum of 5 innings.