Rookie Ball Rules (St. Thomas Minor Baseball)

PrintRookie Ball Rules

Diamond Layout

  1. The pitching machine is placed directly in front of home plate at a distance of 44 feet.
  2. A 10 ft. diameter safety circle shall be marked off directly in front of home plate and its centre shall be 44 ft. from home plate. No player is permitted to enter the safety circle which is considered a dead ball area. Enter means that any part of the body enters the safety circle.

Playing Rules

  1. Each team shall have a catcher, 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, shortstop, left fielder, right fielder, 2 centre fielders and a pitcher in the line-up (10 players on the field).
  2. The pitcher must stand beside the pitching machine outside of the safety circle and behind the release point of the pitching machine. Lines shall be drawn from the release point to 4 ft. beyond the circle. The pitcher must have both feet on the line until the ball is released from the machine. Only the pitcher may return a live ball to the operating coach with runners on base. The pitcher must wear a regulation batting helmet with an attached chin strap. The pitcher must not in any way break the plane of the 10 ft. diameter circle around the machine whether stepping in or reaching in. Play will be called dead and 1 base will be awarded. All other forced runners will move 1 base. This only applies if the pitcher makes contact with the ball. No one with long hair is to act as pitcher (adult or child). The child pitcher is to stay well behind the lines and away from the machine.
  3. For house league purposes, please adjust the pitching machine speed and height as needed to ensure the smooth running of the game and that most of the players are able to hit the ball. Machine speed is up to 35 to 40 mph. Height can be adjusted at any time.
  4. Each batter shall receive a maximum of 5 strikes as called by the umpire. The batter shall not be called out if the 5th strike is called a foul ball. Note: If a ball crosses the plate over the batter's head or bounces into the dirt, the umpire will not count it as a strike unless the batter swings at the pitch.
  5. Batters cannot walk or bunt. (Bunts are automatic outs.)
  6. There are no passed balls or wild pitches.
  7. Base runners cannot leave the base until the ball crosses the plate. One warning will be issued and any infraction after the warning will be considered an out. No stealing is allowed.
  8. If a batted ball hits the pitching machine or any adult in the playing field, then the ball is declared dead and the batter is awarded 1st base with the corresponding move of any runner who may be forced to move. The coach feeding the machine must not interfere with any play being made by the defensive team, otherwise the batter will be called out and the runners will be returned to their bases of origin. If it is the 3rd out, the side is retired. If the 10th batter hits the pitching machine, then the ball will be declared dead, the batter will be awarded first base with the corresponding move of any base runners who may be forced to move, and the inning will be over.
  9. All catchers are required to wear a mask with throat protector, helmet, chest protector, shin guards, cup and cup type support (females should wear appropriate protection as well) during the game and during any warm-up, etc. The bench coach needs to assist the catcher in getting the equipment on prior to the end of the inning.
  10. An inning shall be 3 outs or the maximum of 10 batters. If there are 2 outs when the 10th batter is up, the 3rd out can be obtained by a caught fly ball, a force out (when the runner must advance a base) or a tag play. In all other instances, the ball must go to the catcher or pitcher who must touch the plate to end the inning. (Note: Only the catcher or pitcher may touch the plate to end the inning.). With less than 2 outs, if the 10th batter is put out on a caught fly ball, all base runners are permitted to score, provided they are tagging up base when the ball is caught (touched) or they retag the base after the ball has been caught. The defensive team may obtain additional outs through the appeal process. If the ball proceeds out of play, then the runners advance as prescribed by the Official Rules of Baseball and anyone forced across home plate will score.
  11. The infield fly rule does not apply.