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Raymond Baseball and Softball Association

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Raymond Baseball & Softball Association (RBSA)

6U Transitional League Baseball Rules

(Rev. Feb. 2018)

 

RBSA started the Transitional League in 2018. The focus of this instructional league is to enable the players to become better acclimated to 8U baseball and softball. If during the course of the season there are rules that need to be adjusted for the betterment of the game, RBSA may and will choose to do this with input from the coaches.

Age Qualifications

●       The 6U Transitional league is open to boys and girls who are not more than 6 years old. Must be 6 years old (or under) as of January 1st of the current registration year. Players must have completed one year of Tee Ball. All players must be evaluated by a RBSA Board member at the beginning of the season during scheduled Player Evaluations, usually mid­March. If it is determined that a player is either not ready for the 6U Transitional League or the player has the ability to play up to 8U, parents and players will be advised of RBSA's recommendation

Field Dimensions

●       Pitching rubber: 35 feet from the back of home plate. Pitching machine’s rear stabilizer bar will be placed in front of pitching rubber throwing from a distance of approximately 32’.

●       Base path: 60 feet

●       Distance from home to 2nd base: 85 feet

 

Player Participation

●       Each player in attendance of any game must play two continuous innings of defense and bat at least once.

●       For the 6U Transitional League, each defensive player will be required to play at least 2 complete innings at an infield position per game.

●       The entire roster will be the batting order. All batters must follow the batting order as established by the coach. If there are only eight players the ninth position will not be an out.

●       If a player is placed on disciplinary restriction by the coach, notice must be given to the opposing coach prior to the start of the game.

●       The two inning participation rule can and should be waived in event of injury.

●       Players who are not under restriction but not allowed to play innings due to a shortened game will start the next game and play the entire game.

Insufficient Number of Players

●       A team may start and play with a minimum of 7 players in 6U Transitional League without penalty. No outs will be given for absent batters. Catcher can be assigned to an outfield position.

●       Late arriving regular team players will be added to the end of the batting order in 6U Transitional League.

●       If a team has an insufficient number of players at game start time or after the game starts, no more than 15 minutes will be given to find eligible pick­up player(s).

●       If a base runner is injured on the field and cannot continue and player number drops below 10 for 6U Transitional League, the player who made the last offensive out will pinch run for the injured runner.

●       Teams are allowed to finish a game with 7 players in the event of an injury and there are no eligible pick­up players to be found. No outs will be issued if the injured player is due to bat.

●       Pick­up players are permitted to be used throughout the regular season as long as the following stipulations are met:

○       The opposing coach are notified prior to the start of the game.

○       The pick­up player plays in an outfield position only.

○       The pick­up player bats last in the lineup.

○       Pick­up players may be from the 6U Transitional League or the league lower (Tee Ball).

○       Pick­up players must be current members of the RBSA or a participating association, in good standing.

○       Players that choose to “play up” as regular players on the roster of a RBSA affiliated team in an older age league are ineligible to play as a pick­up player in the lower age group even though they are age eligible.

○       No more than (2) pick­up players can play per team, not to exceed a starting line­up. (ie: 6U Transitional League can pick up two players to a maximum of 10 players)

○       Coaches do not have to play late arriving player(s), if the player(s) arrive after the 3rd inning has been completed.

○       Late arriving team player(s) that have been substituted by a pick­up player(s), must replace the pick­up player(s) upon arrival, unless the late arriving player(s) have already been suspended due to disciplinary action. All disciplinary actions must follow the guidelines as stated in Article IX; Formal Hearings of the RBSA Constitution.

Equipment

●       All batters must wear NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment) approved batting helmets with NOCSAE approved face guard. Batters must wear a batting helmet with approved face shield at all times when on the field of play (on deck circle, batter’s box, base paths, or any location where batting is taking place) during all RBSA sanctioned practices or games. This protective equipment shall cover both ears and temples. It is illegal to wear any other headgear when batting or running while participating in RBSA. Chins straps are mandatory and must be fastened at all times when wearing this protective equipment. A team warning will be issued to both teams for any RBSA player not intentionally wearing specified protective head­gear on the first offense. Offending player must take corrective action immediately or player will be declared out after the play is over. Player will be declared out immediately on the second offense once the player enters the batter’s box.

●       Baseball cleats are restricted to rubber only.

●       The home team will responsible for providing (2) new game balls, at the start of each game. RBSA will provide game balls which shall be issued the beginning of the season

●       The pitching machine will be supplied by the HOME team.

●       Each player must wear a baseball glove.

●       Bats may be made of wood, aluminum, and other materials manufactured specifically for baseball play.

○       Bats used in the 6U Transitional League shall not have a diameter greater than 2 5/8”.

●       Safety items. Both coaches must be notified of all medical protective items prior to the start of the game. Prior release from the attending physician must be available for review.

Offense

●       The entire team’s roster is the batting order. All batters must follow the order established by the coach.

●       There is no run rule, however a team can score no more than 7 runs per inning.

●       The offensive side is retired after 3 defensive outs have been recorded.

●       Bunting is not permitted.

 

Defense

●       There will be 10 defensive players allowed on the field. They are to be positioned as follows:

■       4 must be positioned in the outfield

■       4 must be positioned in the infield

■       1 must be positioned at the pitcher’s mound

■       1 must be positioned at the catcher’s position

●       There will be open substitutions.

●       Defensive players in the infield, except the pitcher and catcher, must not be more than 5 feet in front of the baseline until the ball is hit.

●       Throwing the ball to the circle does not guarantee a time out. Time outs will be awarded at the discretion of the coaching staff.

●       The infield fly rule will not be enforced in 6U Transitional league.


Pitching Machine (Louisville Slugger UPM 45 Blue Flame or Black Flame)

●       In 2018, RBSA will require the 6U Transitional League to begin utilizing a spring-loaded pitching machine, the Louisville Slugger UPM 45 Blue Flame or Black Flame. These spring-loaded pitching machines require cooperation between the coaches to ensure proper performance during the game. The goal of these machines are to provide a more consistent and accurate pitch, thus resulting in a more enjoyable and productive experience for the players.

●       Coaches must read and understand the instruction manual included with the pitching machine or provided by the 6U Baseball Commissioner.

●       Players, children under 18 years of age, and those who have not read the instruction manual are NOT permitted to use the pitching machines under ANY circumstances during RBSA league practices, games or functions.

●       All 6U teams will be using the pitching machine during official games. Coaches may pitch to the players, if and only if, the spring-loaded pitching machine become inoperable during a game. The 6U Transitional League Commissioner or Director of Baseball must be notified as soon as possible by the HOME team’s coach to ensure that repairs and/or replacement of unit can be made in a timely manner.

●       The machine will be supplied by the HOME team.

●       The machine's front stabilizer will be placed at 32' from the back of home plate (back stabilizer against mound at 35').

●       The range of settings of the pitching machines will be as follows: 1 or 2 ­ Power Lever, 3 ­ Release Block, 4 ­ Micro Adjustment. Adjustments may be necessary throughout the season to accommodate spring usage and/or temperature. Once an inning begins, no other adjustments will be permitted except to calibrate wild pitches or with the micro adjustment screw to adjust strike zone. All other adjustments must be agreed upon by both team’s coaches and umpire and shall not take longer than 3 minutes.

●       The speed (Power Lever) of the pitch is not much different at the 1 or 2 setting. We suggest using 1 for the start of the season and gradually move to 2. The ball will still get to the plate at a 1 setting with more of an arc.

●       The batter will receive 7 pitches. If no hit occurs, the batter will be recorded as an out. Foul balls count towards the 7-pitch allowance. If the batter foul tips the seventh pitch, the batter will continue to receive pitches until one is missed or put in play. If the batter is hit on the 7th pitch, he/she will receive another pitch. If the machine produces a wild pitch or blatantly irregular pitch, by no fault of the coach, time will be called by the coaches. The pitching machine will then be cooperatively calibrated. This shall not exceed 3 minutes. The batter will be awarded an additional pitch. Minor adjustments made with the micro adjustment screw (1/2 turn increments) to the varying heights of 6U batters will be counted toward the 7-pitch allowance.

●       A batted ball which makes obvious contact with the pitching machine or the coach operating the pitching machine (accidental or intentional contact), will be considered a dead ball and will not count towards the batter’s pitch count. If the pitching machine is moved inadvertently, the coach operating the pitching machine will be permitted to adjust and calibrate the pitching machine. This process shall not exceed 3 minutes.

●       The coach or trained volunteer operating the pitching machine shall be a coach or trained operator (over 18) for the team batting. He or she must remain behind the pitching machine and must get down or out of the way after the ball is hit to allow defensive players in the immediate vicinity to field the ball. Blatant obstruction or failure to allow defensive players in the immediate vicinity to field the ball will result in the following progressive discipline per game: 1st occurrence ­ WARNING, 2nd and future occurrences ­ OUT called against the offensive team. The exception to this rule is if the ball is popped up near the pitching machine. The pitching machine operator shall remain in position to protect the defensive players from making inadvertent contact with the pitching machine.

●       Player’s playing the defensive pitching position must be positioned behind the opposing team’s pitching coach and pitching machine with at least one foot inside the pitchers circle. Note: The pitching circle will be a 12’ diameter circle with the center located 35’ from the back of home plate.

●       Once the ball is put in play by the batter, the pitching machine operator shall refrain from providing coaching advice or cheering from the pitching mound. The operator of the pitching machine can provide instruction until the ball is pitched. The primary responsibility of the pitching machine operator is to ensure the safety of the batter and the defensive players near the pitching machine.

●       Per manufacturer recommendations, all RBSA owned machines will be inspected and have the power spring replaced at the conclusion of the season.


Catchers

●       Catchers are required to wear the following:

■       NOCSAE protective head gear and face protection with throat protector

■       Chest protector

■       Shin guards

■       A gender appropriate athletic supporter and protection

 

Base Stealing, Running & Sliding

●       There is no leading off or stealing in 6U Transitional League.

●       Runners may advance at will after the ball has been hit fair. However, base runners are only allowed to advance one base on an overthrow. Example: the batter hits the ball to the shortstop and the shortstop over throws the first baseman. At this point, the runner may attempt to advance to second base, but only at his own risk. If the first baseman retrieves the ball and attempts to make a play at second, but overthrows the second baseman, the runner must stop at second base and the play is dead. Note: if there are additional base runners on base at the time of the second overthrow, it is at the coaches’ discretion as to what base the runners will be awarded. This depends as to where the runners are when the dead ball is called. The intent of this rule is to develop the skills of the defensive player without risking additional errors. The Transitional league is an instructional league and therefore must be played to promote skill development.

●       There will be no headfirst sliding in the 6U Transitional league while trying to advance to another base. Any player sliding head first while advancing a base will be called out. Head first sliding is permitted when attempted to return to a base that has already been achieved.

●       Base runners must avoid interference with a fielder in the process of fielding a ball or making a play at a base. OFFENSIVE INTERFERENCE is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play.

●       Base runners approaching 2nd, 3rd, or home plate, when a play is imminent, will be declared out if there is a collision between the runner and the fielder attempting to catch the ball or making a tag or force out if no attempt to slide is made. Leniency should be exercised in the enforcement of this rule as the Transitional league is an instructional league and therefore must be played to promote skill development.

●       Fielders may not obstruct a base runner in the process of running the bases. If the fielder is not in the process of fielding the ball or making an out attempt directly at a base. OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner. The runner will be awarded the base they were advancing to in the event of obstruction..

Safety Concerns & Equipment Abuse

●       Any player identified as throwing or abusing any equipment, be it accidental or intentional, will be issued a team violation as follows:

○       FIRST OFFENSE­ Team Warning. Both head coaches will be notified.

○       SECOND OFFENSE­ Offending player will be called out.

○       THIRD OFFENSE­ Offending player will be ejected from the game.

●       Penalties will be assessed to each team independent of any violations by the opposing team. Exception to the above is a player who intentionally throws a bat. This player may be ejected from the game at the discretion of the coaching staff..

●       A player can be called out and or ejected from the game if the player’s action(s) is to intentionally harm another player, coach or fan.

Other General 6U Transitional League Specifications

●       Coaches must remain in the dugout during play unless they are designated base coaches (1st or 3rd base coach) or are defensive coaches, in which case they must remain behind the outfielders. Coaches or parent volunteers may also be used behind the catcher to retrieve balls and assist with batting instruction.

●       Only the Head Coach may approach the other Head Coach to clarify a call or ask a question.

●       Players should remain in the dugout except when they are playing. Players should not be standing in the dugout opening where they could be hit by a foul ball or errant throw.

●       The official RBSA 6U Transitional Ball shall be an official Indoor/Outdoor Tee Ball.

●       Within five minutes of the recording of a 3rd out of any at bat, all players from both teams must be in position and ready to resume play.

●       A complete game is four innings with no new innings starting after 1 hour and 30 minutes.

●       No standings will be kept in this league. There will be no umpires provided. Calls will be made by the coaches.

●       Score book/scores should be kept by each team.

●       At the coaches’ discretion, it may be necessary to call a game for safety reasons due to impending weather or darkness.