Coach Pitch RulesUpdated Friday January 27, 2017 by Knapp Ranch Baseball.
KNAPP RANCH BASEBALL –
1) Baseball Rules – Coach Pitch
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. Games may be rescheduled only for reasons that are concerned with standings (for playoff positions). League officials will conduct any rescheduling. Note to coaches: Due to the fact this is a children’s league, we are affected by school vacations, normal childhood illnesses, school projects, and family crises. Lack of players is not a valid reason for rescheduling. It is a normal aspect of league play and if affects all the teams.
a) Trophies will be available on closing day and will be exchanged for the teams’ equipment. No exceptions.
b) 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.
c) “Zero tolerance”; there is no appeal for a player, coach, or spectator that is ejected by the umpire. The objectives of the program are to foster, promote, regulate, develop, and conduct league baseball play; to promote clean sportsmanship, fair play and good conduct among affiliated club members; and to organize and promote such league baseball programs as will result in the greatest good, being guided by the policies established by the Parents of Knapp Ranch Baseball. These program rules are modeled on the standard High School Baseball Rules of Play. Any rule discussed below will supersede the rule covered in the standard National Federation of High Schools rulebook. Any rule which gives rise to question will be interpreted by the Knapp Ranch Baseball Rules Committee.
2) Uniforms and Equipment
a) 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.
b) Helmets must be worn by batters and base runners at all times on the field of play. Any batter or base runner who removes his helmet before entering the dugout or the alley leading to the on deck cage shall be warned by the umpire, and that warning shall be entered into the official score book. A second violation by that player will result in his ejection from the game. If the ejected player was a base runner, an out will also be recorded. The only time a batter/base runner may remove his helmet is when time has been called or after the third out. The ejected player may remain in the dugout with the team. A helmet that unintentionally falls off in the normal course of play is not a violation.
c) After uniforms have been issued, a player must be in complete uniform in order to compete. Complete uniform consists of the team hat, team jersey, baseball pants (optional) and legal shoes. A player’s shirt must be tucked into pants at all times during the game. Failure to comply will lead to the exclusion of the player from the game until the player complies. 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.
d) Catchers must wear headgear (covering the ears), mask, with throat protector, chest protector, shin guards and a protective cup at all times while catching. It is recommended (not mandatory) that all players wear a protective cup while playing in a game.
e) A pitching machine will be installed just behind the pitching rubber as designated by the Knapp Ranch Baseball. This pitching machine will be preset at the start of the game at speed and angle settings predetermined by Knapp Ranch Baseball and approved by the umpires. At no time during the game will any coach change the major settings, unless the machine significantly changes its’ delivery (i.e. due to being dislodged, etc.) If the pitching machine delivery does change significantly, every attempt will be made to set it up again to the preset settings with the approval of the umpires. If the machine cannot be set up properly to the umpires’ approval, the machine will be removed from the field and the coaches will pitch from the rubber as described below.
f) Only T-ball or 2 1/4 little league approved bats (bpf of 1.15 or less) may be used in the Coach Pitch division. No 2 5/8 or 2 3/4 inch bats or bats with a bpf greater than 1.15 may be used.
3) General Rules
a) No coach or manager will be allowed to act as the official scorekeeper unless he or she is not actively involved in the game as a coach. No game will be canceled without the prior approval of the division representative or a member of the Knapp Ranch Baseball Board. Requests for cancellation must be received prior to 3:00 PM on the day of the game. After that time, it will be up to the discretion of the umpire.
b) Five minutes before the start of the game, line-ups, including first inning fielding positions, must be given to the official scorekeeper by both managers. Also a line-up card must be presented to the umpire before the game. At the time they are presented the line-up becomes official. Players NOT physically present should NOT be listed in the line-up.
c) No team shall employ any tactics to stall or speed up the game. Penalty after one warning is forfeiture of the game.
d) The use of doughnut bat weights is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If used before or during a game, both the player and manager will be ejected.
e) A copy of the player registration form will be kept by each team as this also serves as the medical release form, and will be needed if medical care is required.
f) 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 and will be considered a double forfeit.
g) Only the manager, coaches, assistant coaches, players and umpires will be allowed on the playing field. The designated offensive pitcher/coach mist be a finger printed coach or manager dressed in the team shirt or hat. No spectators are allowed on the playing field at any time, unless permitted by the umpire, manager, division representative or a member of the Knapp Ranch sports board. Even if an injury time-out has been called, permission to enter the playing field must be granted.
h) No coaching from behind the backstop, the on-deck cage, or the bleachers will be permitted. It is a distraction and a danger to the players.
i) If a team loses a player prior to the halfway point in the season, the coach is required to notify the appropriate Knapp Ranch Baseball division representative immediately, and another player (if available) will be provided for the team at the direction of the Knapp Ranch sports board. The vice president with the division rep and the executive members of the board will be the body that approves a replacement player. A player will not be added to a team after the half way point of the season, however the coach must still advise the division rep of the lost player.
4) Playing Schedule and Game Time Limits
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. Games may be rescheduled only for reasons that are concerned with standings – for playoff positions. League officials will do any rescheduling.
a) A normal game shall consist of six (6) innings played within the 1-½ hour (90 minute) time limit. If the score is tied after 6 innings, additional innings may be played if the time limit has not yet been reached. In all cases, no new inning may be started after the 1 ½ hour time limit has been reached. If the score is tied at the completion of 6 innings and the time limit has been reached, a tie will be recorded as the official result.
b) A game shall be considered “official” when the visiting team has completed three (3) turns at bat, and the home team is ahead, or if the visiting team is ahead and the home team has had three turns at bat. If a game is called before it is an “official” game, it will only be rescheduled if necessary for league standings.
c) A team must have at least eight (8) players to start a game. A ten (10) minute grace period from the scheduled game time will be allowed before a game is declared a forfeit. If and when the player arrives within the grace period, and the game begins, the originally scheduled time shall be the start time. If neither team can field teams, a double forfeit will be declared and both teams shall record a loss. In the event of a forfeit, a practice game will be played. The team short of players may borrow players from the other team to complete the eight (8) players needed to play a game. If a practice game is played, it will end if it will interfere with the start time of the following game (if any).
d) Playoff Championship game will be played a full 6 innings with no time limit and no mercy rule.
5) Playing Rules
a) Mangers/coaches will provide the opposing teams with their batting orders, including the players’ names and jersey numbers five (5) minutes prior to the start of the game. Players not present should not be listed even if they are expected to arrive late. The batting orders will be entered into each teams’ score book, with the home teams’ scorekeeping book acted as the official score book. Once the batting orders have been exchanged and noted in the official scorekeeping book, and the umpire calls “Play”, the batting orders are official.
b) All players in good standing on a team’s roster, who are present at the game, shall bat in strict rotation. Prevailing baseball rules govern any player batting out of order. Any player, on either team, who arrives after the batting orders are official, shall be placed at the end of the batting order. Thereafter, he/she shall remain in that batting position for the remainder of that game.
c) The infield shall consist of no more than six (6) players with a player at the catcher’s position. The infield shall consist of no fewer than three players with one of the three at the catcher’s position. In all cases one of the infielders must be a catcher unless the team has only 8 players present. All infielders must remain behind the restraining line until the ball has been hit. Catchers will be positioned behind home plate at least 4’ from the rear point of the plate. Catchers must be in full gear as outlined in rule 2d.
d) All remaining players, up to a total of 11 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. All remaining players will remain on the bench and will be subject to substitution rule 7a-c.
e) One offensive coach will be allowed in each of the coaching boxes, along the first and third baseline. The coaching boxes are five (5) feet from and parallel to the baseline at first and third base. Only the base runner 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, until the umpire has called for the next batter. All other players must remain on the bench in the dugout unless permission has been granted by the coach or his/her representative to use the restroom or to get a drink of water. One defensive coach will be allowed in each of the coaching areas, along the first and third baseline. The coaching areas are from the outfield fence to a maximum of fifteen (15) feet from the fence and parallel to the baseline at first and third base. Defensive coaches must maintain a distance of 15’ or less from the outfield fence. The first violation will result in a warning from the umpire. A second violation and the offending coach will not be allow to coach on the field during the defensive side for the remainder of the game.
f) The Infield Rule is not in effect and will not be called in this division.
g) 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.
h) Helmets must be worn by batters and base runners at all times on the field of play. Any batter or base runner who removes his helmet before entering the dugout or the alley leading to the on deck cage, shall be warned by the umpire, and that warning shall be entered into the official score book. A second violation by that player will result in his ejection from the game. If the ejected player was a base runner, an out will also be recorded. The only time a batter/base runner may remove his helmet is when time has been called or after the third out. The ejected player may remain in the dugout with the team. A helmet that unintentionally falls off in the normal course of play is not a violation.
i) If the defense fails to achieve three (3) outs in an inning, it is possible the offensive team may bat its entire roster. If one team has fewer players than the other team, the team with fewer players may bat the same number as the team with the greater number. The offensive coach, or his/her representative, must announce “Last Batter” to the other team and the umpire when he/she comes to the plate. Failure to notify the defensive team and umpire of the “Last Batter” will cancel any runs scored on the play initiated by him/her. On a play initiated by the last batter, a ball intentionally thrown out of play, in the judgment of the umpire, will be ruled a home run. An unintentionally thrown ball out of bounds will result in an award of two (2) bases to any runners and batter/runner from base occupied at the time of the hit.
When the “Last Batter” has been declared and a ball is batted in play on the ground and is fielded by the first line of defense (defined as pitcher, 1st, 2nd, 3rd basemen and shortstop) the player must attempt a play on a runner or the batter-runner before time may be called. A “play” is defined as a throw to base in an attempt to put out a runner or batter-runner, or an unassisted attempt to put out a runner at a base by force or by tag. If a player requests time before any attempt at a play is made the umpire will ignore the request for time and allow play to continue until a play is attempted, or all bases are unoccupied, or all action has ceased.
j) Deliberate blocking of the baseline by a defensive player is not permitted. Based on the umpire’s judgment, a runner may be awarded one (1) base beyond that achieved before being blocked. A defensive player may be in the baseline before a play is started, but must give way to the runner if he/she is not act of fielding a batted or thrown ball.
k) If the fences are not in place, then a fairly hit ball that goes through the outfield and ends up in the concrete grain in left or center field, shall be an automatic home run.
l) Coaches who physically assist any offensive players while the ball is in play shall cause that runner to be called out at the end of the play.
m) A base runner intentionally running into a defensive player will be declared out. A runner sliding into a base must make contact with the ground prior to making contact with the defensive player. Incidental contact, in the umpire’s judgment, is not an out.
n) Base runners are allowed to tag and advance, at their own risk, after a fair or foul fly ball is caught or touched.
o) The home team scorekeeper shall be the official scorekeeper. The scorekeepers shall verify the score with each other once per inning.
p) 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.
q) Any batter who throws his bat in an unsafe manner, 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 any base runners will not advance.
r) Unsportsmanlike conduct of any type, by any player, coach, or spectator, is grounds for ejection without warning.
s) The umpire may eject players, spectators, or coaches for un-sportsmanlike actions before, during or after a game. Ejection means a suspension for the next game played by that team. If the ejection is after a game, the ejection would affect the next “2” scheduled games for that team. The Knapp Ranch Baseball sports board and/or the park director may suspend individuals for longer periods of time, if deemed necessary.
t) Once the first batter is called to the plate in each half-inning, the defensive team may not move players from the infield to the outfield, or from the outfield to the infield. Exceptions: In the event of an injury requiring the injured player to be replaced by a player already in the game. Should the injured player return during the same half-inning, all players must return to their original infield or outfield positions.
u) 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, at the end of the play the umpire will call “time” and declare the base runner in question “out”. There are no appeals; If an umpire sees a base runner not in contact with the base at the time of the hit or if a runner misses a base while in the course of running the bases, the umpire shall declare that runner out, once play has ended.
v) There shall be no automatic dead ball areas for coach pitch. If an infielder has possession of the ball and is in the infield and calls time out, then (i) if a runner is more than halfway to the next base, the runner shall be awarded that base, or (ii) if the base runner is less than halfway to the next base, the base runner must return to the previous base unless the base runner is forced to advance; i.e. half way rule EXCEPTION: If a base runner is more than halfway home when the catcher receives the ball, a play may be made on that runner only. All other runners must hold their base even in the case of an overthrow.
w) If the ball is thrown and hits the pitching machine, it will be ruled a “Dead Ball” by the umpire(s) then: (i) if a runner is more than halfway to the next base, the runner shall be awarded that base, or (ii) if the base runner is less than halfway to the next base, the base runner must return to the previous base unless the base runner is forced to advance; i.e. half way rule. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule if it hits the pitching machine.
x) Base paths for Coach Pitch will be 50’.
y) Players, coaches and team personnel who occupy the dugout must refrain from yelling, loud talking or any other noise that, in the judgment of the umpire, may distract the batter from the time the pitcher-coach depresses the foot pedal on the pitching machine until the pitch is hit or is past the batter. Each team will be given one warning per game. On the second infraction the offending coach/player/team official will be ejected from the game.
6) Pitching – Hitting
a) The designated offensive pitcher/coach must be a fingerprinted coach or manager dressed in team shirt and/or hat. The designated offensive pitcher/coach shall use the PITCHING MACHINES ONLY and deliver six (6) pitches to each batter. (At no time can they change any major settings on the pitching machine unless the machine significantly changes its’ delivery. See Uniforms and Equipment Rule 5) No strikes will be called. If the sixth pitch is fouled, the batter may continue as long as he/she keeps fouling the pitches. After the sixth pitch, and the batter swings and misses, or takes the pitch, the batter will be out. If the machine significantly pitches out of the strike zone and can not be properly adjusted to the satisfaction of the umpires, the machine will be removed from the field and the following rule will be substituted and employed for the rest of the game: The designated offensive pitcher/coach will deliver six (6) underhand or overhand “soft toss only” pitches to each batter. The pitching coach MUST depress the foot pedal fully and keep it depressed until the ball leaves the machine. Any attempt to manipulate the pitch by “feathering” the foot pedal will result in a warning from the umpire. A second violation by the same coach during a game will result in the removal of said coach from operating the pitching machine for the remainder of the game.
b) The batter must be “set” in the batter’s box for two (2) seconds prior to starting his/her swing. Once set, the batter may not change his stance in the batter’s box with the intent to change the direction of the hit ball.
c) If the pitcher/coach deliberately touches the ball or interferes with a defensive player (in the judgment of the umpire), a dead ball will be called and the last runner to score, prior to the interference, will be called out and the run will not be scored. If no run scored, the lead base runner will be called out.
d) When a pitched ball is hit into play, the pitcher/coach must REMAIN on the playing field in a CROUCHED position and protect the players from running into the pitching machine, making every effort not to interfere with the offensive or defensive players and the umpires. Any ball hit by the batter that hits the pitcher/coach (self-defense) will result in a “no pitch” situation and then re-pitched. The pitcher/coach will not coach the base runners. If a batted ball hits the pitching machine it is a dead ball and the batter is awarded first base and any other base runners are allowed to advance if forced. If a player is in the act of fielding a ball but the pitcher/coach stops the player in an effort to protect the player from injuring themselves by running into the pitching machine, it is a dead ball and the batter is awarded first base and any other base runners are allowed to advance one base if that runner has passed than half way point or is forced.
e) A ball hit over the fence will be a Home Run.
f) An overthrow to first or third base does not automatically advance the runner to the next base. It will be determined by the umpire’s judgment. IF in the judgment of the umpire the runner has achieved the base before the ball leaves the field of play, h/she will be awarded the next base. If first or third base was not achieved, the base runner will remain at first of third.
g) A ball not hit past (not on) the 15 foot arc in front of home plate is a foul ball
h) A half swing or bunt attempt that puts the ball in play will be called a dead ball.
7) Substitution Rule
a) The term “Substitution” denotes “sitting out”.
b) The defensive team must sit out one or more players each and every inning throughout the game if they have more than eleven (11) players present. No individual player may “sit out” more than once per game. The number of players on the field defensively, will be eleven (11). If a team only has eleven (11) players or less present at the game, then the “Substitution Rule” does not apply. The official scorekeeper will be responsible for keeping track of all substitutions in a game. This rule is for the defense only, and all players will bat, in turn, without a substitution.
c) Monitoring of player time is the responsibility of the scorekeeper of each team. The coach will report which players are substituting in each inning to their scorekeeper. Scorekeepers are to meet in between each inning to verify the score as usual and at the same time share the names/numbers of the player that was substituted in the prior inning. Any infraction of the substitution rule follows the disciplinary rules already in the Knapp rules. Note that there can be more than one infraction in a single game, which could potentially result in a suspension.
8) Illness or Injury
a) If a player has to leave during a game, the manager/coach of the team with the departing player must notify the umpire and the opposing manager/coach before the game begins. In this situation, the team shall take one (1) “out” and only one out the next time the player comes to bat. If there is no notification prior to the game, then there will be an out called each and every time that that player’s turn to bat comes up.
b) In the event of an illness or injury of a player present at the game, the player in question must declare an illness or injury by the next turn at bat. If so declared, an out will be called one time and one time only. The player’s name shall then be removed, and the batting order shortened by one.
9) Duties of the umpire
a) 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 to enforce the prescribed penalties.
b) Each umpire has the authority to rule fairly on any point not specifically covered in these rules.
c) 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.
d) Each umpire has the authority to eject from the playing field any persons whose duties permit his presence on the field, such as ground crew members, ushers, photographers, newspersons, broadcasting crew members, etc.
e) Any umpire’s decision, which involves judgment such as, but not limited to, strikes and balls, fair of foul, safe or outs is final. No player, manager, coach or spectator will argue a judgment call.
f) A pitching machine will be installed just behind the pitching rubber as designated by the Knapp Ranch Baseball Board. This pitching machine will be preset at the start of the game at speed and angle settings predetermined by the Parents of Knapp Ranch Baseball Board and approved by the umpires. At no time during the game will any coach change the major settings, unless the machine loses its setup due to being hit by a ball, etc. If the pitching machine does change significantly, every attempt will be made to set it up again to the preset settings with the approval of the umpires. If the machine cannot be setup properly to the umpires’ approval, the machine will be removed from the field and the coaches will pitch from the rubber as described above.
g) If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire’s decision on a specific rule, the manager may appeal the decision to the umpire that made the objectionable decision.
h) 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. 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.
10) Procedure for Protesting a Game
a) The umpire must be notified that the game is being played under protest. Such protests must be announced by the manager/coach of the team protesting, to the umpire and noted in the official score book, prior to the next pitch. The opposing manager/coach must be notified by the umpire as well.
b) Such protest will affect that game only.
c) The protest must be submitted in writing before 6p.m. of the next working day to the division representative. Please be concise and to the point in writing the protest, we cannot make any judgment on personal opinions. The protest committee can judge the facts on rules only. The coaches and umpires involved will be interviewed and a decision will be rendered. The decision of the protest committee will be final.
d) Any team that fails to have a representative at the pre-season mandatory Rules Meeting will forfeit their right to file a protest.
10. Draft Rules
a) All players must be evaluated before being placed on a team. Every effort will be made to allow coaches to view make-up evaluations.
b) Players will be placed on teams through a draft system that will be determined by the Parents of Knapp Ranch Baseball, and will utilize whatever method is deemed by the Parents of Knapp Ranch Baseball Board to provide the best balance and fairness to the entire league.
c) Players added after the draft must be taken from the waiting list and evaluated by the division representative. Only players that are evaluated at the same skill level will be used as a replacement player. In the event the space being filled is in lieu of a last round pick the fill in player must be rated at the same skill set as those in the last two rounds of the draft.
d) All players are required to register for the appropriate division, based upon player age as of May 1. For Spring Season applicants, age is based on the current Spring Season. For Fall Season applicants, age is based upon the following Spring Season.
o Exception: Players who have played two Spring Seasons in one division at Knapp Ranch Baseball, but are not yet old enough for the next division, may register for the next division up if desired. For example, players who have spent two years in Coach Pitch, but are not old enough for Minors, may register in Minors.
Requests to “play up” one division will be considered by the Board, based upon the following (except as permitted above):
o All requests to “play up” are at the discretion of the Board.
o Players shall be evaluated in both the age-appropriate division and older division.
o Players must rank in the top three rounds of the older division, to be eligible to be moved up.
o Moving up is subject to space availability, after all registered players whose ages fall within the division’s age range are accommodated.
o No player shall be allow to “play up” more than one age division.
Players may play down one division only if they have either physical and/or mental special needs. The executive board of The Parents of Knapp Ranch Baseball will review requests and determine their validity.. Players who play down may not pitch in the lower division
e) The following protocols will be used to balance the draft order in the event that two coaches children are rated into the top rounds: