T-Ball Rules

Updated Saturday April 29, 2017 by Knapp Ranch Baseball.

T-Ball Rules

Rev 12/13

General Notes


1.     The league will draw up the official playing schedule on which, date, time, game location and names of visiting and home teams will be designated.


2.     Trophies will be available on closing day and will be exchanged for the teams' equipment. No exceptions.


3.     Disciplinary actions taken to enforce proper player conduct and/or to encourage full participation on the part of players may only be taken when communicated to the Division Representative, Coaches, and parents.


4.     "Zero tolerance" There is no appeal process available for a player, Coach, or spectator who is ejected by the Umpire. The purpose of the program is to teach basic baseball skills: running, hitting, throwing and catching. In addition, the responsibilities of belonging to a team, respect for coaches and umpires, and good sportsmanship will be emphasized. Our main goal is to have fun and develop skills in a structured, positive environment. Therefore, the Umpire’s game decisions are considered final.

5. The Umpire may eject players, managers, coaches, or spectators for un-sportsmanlike actions before, during or after a game. Ejection means a one (1) game suspension, for the next game played by that team, (if ejection is after a game, the ejection would affect the next two (2) scheduled games for that team.) The Knapp Ranch Baseball Board may suspend individuals for longer periods of time, if the infraction warrants this action.


Uniforms and Equipment


1.     A player must wear shoes at all times during the course of a game. A player may wear tennis shoes, rubber or plastic cleats, or rubber-soled shoes. Metal cleats and removable cleats are not allowed.


2.     Helmets must be worn by batters and base runners at all times on the field of play. The umpire shall warn any batter or base runner, who removes his/her helmet before entering the dugout or the alley leading to the on-deck cage. A helmet that unintentionally falls off in the normal course of play is not a violation. The only time a batter or base runner may remove his/her helmet is when time has been called or when play is dead after a third out.


3.     After uniforms have been issued, a player must be in a complete uniform in order to compete. A complete uniform consists of the team hat, team jersey, baseball pants (optional) and legal shoes.  Uniforms may not be altered from their original state at the time of issue (Other than the addition of a name to the upper rear of the jersey).  Players may not play with an altered uniform.  A player who alters their uniform will be suspended until they reorder and receive a new uniform at their expense.  Examples of alteration include, but are not limited to, removing the sleeves, significantly cutting any part of the jersey, dying or altering the colors in any way.


4.     The use of doughnut bat weights is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If used before or during a game, both the player and manager will be ejected.



General Rules


1.     An official score is not kept in the T-Ball division, but a line-up order will be established for each game and given to the opposing team's coach five minutes before the start of the game. Players not physically present should not be listed in the batting order. If a player arrives after the start of the game, the player shall be placed at the end of the batting order.  The batting order that is presented to the opposing coach will be considered a fixed lineup, however, if a child is afraid to come to the plate, or steps away from the field of play for a bathroom break (or other issue), the child shall be allowed to bat if he/she is ready to bat before the final player comes to bat during the team’s half-inning.  If the child returns before the conclusion of his/her teams’ half inning, the child shall bat last for that inning.  Should this occur, the coach of the team shall inform the umpire and opposing coach of the change.  Otherwise, all players in good standing on a team's roster, who are present at the game, shall be "batted through" in strict rotation.    


2.     No team shall employ any tactics to stall or speed up the game.


3.     A copy of the Medical Release Form, signed by all participant’s Parent or Legal Guardian should be kept by each team during all games and practices, as this is needed for medical care.


4.     Each team is responsible for providing a First Aid Kit and cold compress (ice or chemical cold compress) at all practices and games. If neither team has a First Aid Kit and cold compress at a scheduled game, the game will not be played.


5.     Only the manager, coaches, assistant coaches, players and umpires will be allowed on the playing field. No spectators are allowed on the playing field at any time, unless permitted by the umpire, manager, Division Representative or a member of the Board of Directors. Even if an injury time-out has been called, permission to enter the playing field must be granted. For exceptions, see Coaches section, Rule #2.


6.     Coaching from behind the backstop, the on-deck cage, or the bleachers will not be permitted. It is a distraction and a danger to the players.


7.     If a team loses a player prior to the halfway point in the season, the coach is required to notify the Knapp Ranch T-Ball Division Representative immediately, and another player (if available) will be provided for the team at the direction of the Knapp Ranch Baseball Board of Directors. The T-Ball Division Representative will present the Knapp Ranch Board of Directors with the name of the replacement player.  The Board will then approve the replacement.  Generally, the player chosen will be the first name on the waiting list.  If the child chosen is not the first name on the list, the Division Representative shall also provide a written explanation as to why another player was chosen (no longer interested, injured, etc).  A player will not be added to a team after the half way point of the season, however the coach must still advise the T-Ball Representative of the lost player.


Playing Schedule and Game Time Limits


1.   The league will draw up the official playing schedule on which date, time, and game location, as well as names of visiting and home teams, will be designated.


2.   An official game shall consist of three (3) innings.  The next inning officially begins when the last batter of the home team has hit the ball and the play is dead. No new inning will be started 60 minutes after the official start time of the game. The umpire has the discretion to determine whether a new inning will be started, knowing that the game may extend past the 60-minute time limit.  


3.   A team must have at least eight (8) players to start an official game. If there are enough players from both teams to field two complete teams, then the game shall start on time.  If either team is short of the required number of players within 10 minutes of the official start time of the game, then the game will be considered a practice game. The team short of players may borrow players from the other team to complete the eight (8) players needed to play a game. The practice game will end after 60 minutes, regardless of the status of the game (mid-inning, etc) if it will interfere with the start time of the following game.  If there is no game following the practice game, and the practice game extends past the 60-minute time period, then the coaches may agree to complete the game if they choose to do so.  The umpire is not required to stay and officiate a practice game.


Playing Rules


1.   The infield shall consist of no more than five (5) players. The infield shall consist of no fewer than three (3) players. All infielders must remain behind the restraining line until the ball has been hit.  There shall not be more than one player playing the pitcher position.


2.   All remaining players will play in the outfield and must play a minimum of ten (10) feet behind the baselines, prior to the ball being hit by the batter.


3.   Only base runners and the player at bat for the offensive team will be allowed on the playing field. The on-deck batter must remain behind the backstop, in the on-deck cage, or the dugout until the umpire has called for the next batter. All other players must remain on the bench in the dugout, unless the coach, or his/her designated representative has granted permission to use the restroom or to get a drink of water.


4.   The Infield Fly Rule is not in effect and will not be called in this division.


5.   If a base runner slides into a base and the base slides away, the runner need not chase the base.  If the runner does not attempt to advance to the next base, he/she does not have to go to the moved base. Any subsequent runner need not touch the moved base if play continues; they must touch the approximate spot where the base was originally located.


6.   Helmets must be worn by batters and base runners at all times on the field of play.


7.   Each team will bat all of its players in each inning. Outs will be called and the players called out will leave the field. The half-inning will end when the play initiated by the last batter comes to an end. In the first and third innings, batters will bat starting at the top of the lineup and working down the list. In the second inning, batters will reverse the lineup, starting with the last batter and working to the top of the lineup. The offensive team must notify the defensive team when the last batter comes to bat.


8.   Base runners are allowed to tag and advance, at their own risk, after a fair or foul fly ball is caught or touched.


9.   The umpire may stop play, at his discretion, when a player or runner has been injured. All play will stop and any runners must return to the base last achieved.


10.Any batter who throws his bat in a manner deemed unsafe in the umpire's judgment may be called out. A warning may be given, but is not required. If an out is called, it is a dead ball and base runners will not advance.


11.Unsportsmanlike conduct of any type, by any player, coach, or spectator, is grounds for ejection without warning.


12.The Umpire may eject players, spectators, or coaches for un-sportsmanlike actions before, during or after a game. If the ejection is after a game, the ejection would affect the next scheduled game for that team. The Knapp Ranch Board of Directors may suspend individuals for longer periods of time, if deemed necessary. 


13.Once the first batter is called to the plate in each half-inning, the defensive team should not move players from the infield to the outfield, or from the outfield to the infield. Exception 1: If a player is injured, any other player can replace the injured player. Should the injured player return during that same half-inning, all players must return to their original infield or outfield positions.  Exception 2:  If a player’s skill level does not allow him/her to play a particular position safely, the coach may elect to move that player during an inning.  This exception is often seen at the pitcher position.  Should a player choose mid-inning to change positions because he/she is uncomfortable at a position, then the coach may also change players’ positions.   


14.Lead-offs are not permitted. Base runners must be in contact with the base when the ball is hit. If a base runner is not in contact with the base when the ball is hit, a dead ball will be called and the base runner will be called out.


15.Balls thrown out of bounds at first and third base shall not allow base runners to advance to additional bases; runners shall be allowed to continue to the base they were headed at the time the ball was thrown out of bounds, and the play shall be deemed over at the time the ball is thrown out of bounds.


16.Play will stop when the defensive team throws the ball into the infield and the umpire declares “Time.”


17.Base paths for the T-ball division will be 50’.



1.   One coach will be allowed in each of the coaching boxes, and along the first and third baseline. The coaching boxes are three (3) feet from the foul lines.


2.   For teams in the field, no more than two coaches are allowed to be in the field. Coaches are not allowed in the infield area but may stay within 5 feet of the infield to instruct players on what to do during a play.  A coach may not physically assist a player during a play, but may provide instruction during the play. Exception:  Should a player have special needs, then an additional coach or parent may provide additional assistance to the player on the field, or along the sidelines with approval from the other coach and umpire.  Should a parent be allowed to assist the player, the parent must be admonished that their involvement shall be restricted to that player only; if the parent fails to adhere to the admonishment, then he/she may be asked to return to the bleachers.   


3.   Coaches cannot physically assist runners while the ball is in play. When a runner touches home plate, he/she is no longer considered a runner. Assisting a player/runner shall result in that player/runner being called out.


4.   Coaches may assist any and all hitters that need assistance at home plate prior to them attempting to hit the ball.  Coaches may position the player and readjust the player prior to swinging at the ball as needed.  This is both a safety rule and it assists with ensuring the game can be completed within the 60-minute time period.  Coaches should be mindful to refrain from assisting players who do not need the help, and allow them to perform on their own. 




1.   The batter will have unlimited swings to put the ball into play.


2.   A ball not hit past (not on) the 15-foot arc in front of home plate is a foul ball.


3.   A half-swing or bunt attempt that puts the ball in play will be called a dead ball. Base runners may not advance. (It will be the Umpire's discretion as to what is less than a full swing.)


4.   The batter must be set in the batter's box for two seconds prior to starting his/her swing. Once set, the batter may not change his/her stance in the batter's box with the intent to change the flight of the ball, without first exiting the batter's box.


5.   Defensive players must be behind the restraining line when the ball is on the tee. The restraining line runs on an arc from five feet in front of first base, across the pitcher's circle to five feet in front of third base.


6.   The plate umpire shall be responsible for placing the ball on the tee. Coaches may request that the tee be raised or lowered and the umpire shall be responsible for the adjustment.


Duties of the Umpire


1.   Each umpire is the representative of the league and is authorized and required to enforce all of the above-mentioned rules. Each umpire has the authority to order a player, coach, manager, or team to refrain from doing anything that affects the administering of these rules and to enforce the prescribed penalties.


2.   Each umpire has the authority to rule fairly on any point not specifically covered in these rules.


3.   Each umpire has the authority to disqualify any player, coach, manager, or spectator for arguing to any judgment calls, or for un-sportsmanlike conduct of vulgar language and to eject and disqualify such persons from the playing field and general area of the baseball diamond being used. If an umpire ejects a player while a play is in progress, the ejection will take effect at the end of the play. Time will be called and the ejection will then be enforced.


4.   Each umpire has the authority to eject from the playing field any persons whose duties permit his presence on the field, such as grounds crew members, ushers, photographers, newspersons, broadcasting crew members, etc.


5.   Any umpire's decision, which involves judgment such as, but not limited to, fair or foul, safe or outs is final. No player, manager, coach or spectator is permitted to argue a judgment call.


6.   If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire's decision on a specific rule is correct, the manager may appeal the decision to the umpire that made the objectionable decision.


7.   If a decision is appealed, the umpire that made the decision may, if asked, confer with his partner for information before making a final decision. No umpire will criticize, or seek to reverse or interfere with another umpire's decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.


8.   Should a base runner not touch a base, and the umpire sees it, at the plays end he shall call time and call the runner out, no appeals.


TBall Rules Dec 13.pdf