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 HRL Rules of Play

Equipment
1. Only baseball size Wiffle Ball brand balls are to be used.
2. There will be four bases as First Base, Second Base, Third Base, and Home Plate, roughly 45 feet apart.
3. There will be an object strike zone, placed 3 feet behind the tip of Home Plate and measuring 20 Inches wide, 30 Inches high and 12 inches above the ground. The strike zone will be 42 feet from the pitching rubber, and 2 feet behind the tip of home plate.
4. Only "classic Yellow" wiffle bats are to be used. Bats cannot be taped at the barrel, but can be taped on the handle for grips.
5. Baseball gloves are NOT allowed, but batting gloves may be used while batting only.
6. Metal spikes of any sort are not allowed.

Regulations
1. At least 4 players total (2 per team) must be present to play a legal HRL game.
2. Teams may not have more than 6 players per team.
3. Teams must have at most 3 players playing defense. That is the pitcher and 2 outfielders.
4. Games are 6 Innings, using extra innings if necessary, 3 outs per team.
5. 10-run Mercy Rule will be used after 4 innings if one team is ahead by 10 or more runs.
6. For darkness & rain purposes, games become official after 4 innings are complete.
7. Game Sheets will be used to record all stats, including the batting order for that game.

Scheduling
1. The current HRL regular season is played on a rotating Monday/Thursday schedule for 18 weeks.  Each night is a double-header against the same team.  (36 games total)
2. Teams are allowed to play 3 'extra games' of their choosing.  (A maximum of 39 games in a season)
3. Teams are expected to make up any games that are canceled for any reason.  In the case that one team cannot field a squad and the games cannot be made up, a Forfeit will be awarded to the opposing team.
4. Teams are strongly encouraged to avoid Forfeits and play the games at some point as opposing teams expect a certain number of games during the season.
5.In case of Forfeit due to one team not being able to field a squad, 2 wins will be awarded to the opposing team and 2 losses to the forfeiting team.

Walks/Strikeouts
1. A walk is 5 balls
2. A strikeout is 3 strikes

Pitching
1. Pitching is medium-fast speed. Enforcement of the speed rule is as follows:
    
1. Pitchers must throw within the HRL:TC's demonstrated acceptable speed limit (60 miles per hour).
           1.1 During the game, it is the batter's responsibility to call any pitch he believes to have exceeded the limit
           1.2 Pitches that are called for exceeding the speed limit will be resolved as follows:
                 1.2.1 1st occurrence during a particular at bat:  Redo
                 1.2.2 Subsequent occurrences during a particular at bat:  Ball
           1.3 Call Contention:
                 1.3.1 A pitcher may contest a batter's call of excessive speed at any time.
                 1.3.2 If a pitcher contests a batter's call, all future pitches thrown by contesting pitcher will be resolved by                              using the city's designated radar gun.
           1.4 Continued radar gun violations will be resolved as follows:
                 1.4.1 The first three (3) radar gun violations will result in a Ball for the batter.
                 1.4.2 The fourth violation, verified by the gun and regardless of  which at-bat it occurs during, will result in                             an immediate, mandatory, pitching change
                 1.4.3 Pitchers forced to leave the game in this manner will be reported to the league vice commissioner, and                               shall assume the position for a bare ass spanking.

2. Pitchers must pitch from the rubber or any mark on the ground meant to simulate the rubber.
3. Any type of pitching grip is allowed, but pitchers may not dent or otherwise deform the ball.
4. Ball-in-hand Rule: Pitchers may have ONE ball in hand, that is the one he/she is pitching. Offensive team may call this violation if the pitcher has more than one ball, and, if called, is an automatic ball.  If the play results in favor of the offense (i.e., base hit or HR), the offensive team does not need to call the violation out. The pitcher or defensive team may NOT overrule a hit or other favorable offensive result by invoking the "ball in hand" rule.  It's purely the offense's call. Balls in a pitcher's pocket or clothing do not count as "in-hand".
5. No loading balls (i.e., putting rocks/sand inside the ball.)
6. Pickoffs are allowed and Balks are not called.  The new pickoff rule is as follows:
    
6. Runners can take as big a lead as they want - initial or secondary leads- at their own risk.
           6.1 Pitchers can walk/run a leading baserunner back to their base
                 6.1.1  No baserunner may advance if the pitcher still has the ball, even if they have left the mound.
                 6.1.2  If the pitcher beats any baserunner back to their base of origin, the runner is out and play is dead.
           6.2 Pitchers can throw the ball at leading baserunners
                 6.2.1  If a ball is thrown and misses a runner or is dropped, play is live and baserunners may advance.
                 6.2.2  If a thrown ball hits a baserunner, the runner is out, play is dead, and no runners may advance.

Pitching Rotations
1. Any pitcher who started and/or pitched 3 or more innings the previous game MAY NOT PITCH AT ANY TIME during the following game. This is to avoid teams throwing their ace pitcher every game in fairness.
2. Relievers who threw LESS than 3 innings the previous game MAY start the following game.
3. No matter how many innings a starter goes in the previous game, they may not pitch AT ANY TIME during the following game.
4. A Save Opportunity for relief pitching is defined as follows:
  • Pitch the last 2+ innings when the relief pitcher came in with the lead.
  • Comes in with the tying run in the on deck circle (or at bat or on base), maintains the lead and finishes the game.
  • Starts the last inning with a 1, 2, or 3 run lead and finishes the game.

Batting
1. No stopping potential strikes by leaning into them or stopping them with the hand, elbow or body.
    
1.1  The pitcher is entitled to make this call.  First offense will result in a strike on the batter.  Subsequent offenses               result in an automatic strikeout.
3. No bunting.
4. Throwing bats deliberately to distract fielders will result in an automatic out.
5. Teams may bat more than 3, but must use extras as designated hitters.
6. Batting out of order results in an automatic out.

Baserunning
1. No stealing is allowed but a runner may take a lead off a base and get a head start on a pitch at his own risk. See Rule 6 under "Pitching".
2. Ghost runners (if needed) can be forced out by tagging its destination base before the batter gets to first. (i.e., the ghost is as fast as the batter.)
3. Tagging on flies and liners is allowed; runners who leave early can be tagged out at the base they left.
4. Runners are allowed to "get in the way" of a ground ball for distraction as long as the runner remains in the base line.
5. Runners are awarded the base they were headed to PLUS ONE on an errant throw that goes past the Out of Play lines.
  
5.1  Out of play is considered to be the following:
               5.1.1 A ball that goes outside the rink
               5.1.2 A ball that travels inside fair territory on the neighboring field.
               5.1.3 A ball that gets caught or stuck in any chairs, coolers or equipment along the side of the rink
6. On an errant throw that stays in play, runners may advance at will.
7. A throw that misses a runner, hits the rink wall, and then hits the runner is NOT an out, and play continues.

Pinch Runners
1. No pinch running of any kind before the 4th inning. After 3 complete innings, pinch runners may be used.
2. A player may only be used as a pinch runner once per game.
3. A player may be pinch run FOR more than once per game, as long as he is substituted for by a different runner each time.
4.
Players who switch bases for strategic advantage will be considered pinch runners and cannot be used as a pinch runner for the remainder of that game.
5. In the event of a ghost runner, players may cover a ghost runner's base and it will not be considered as using a pinch runner. The lead human runner (non-ghost) must be the one who covers the open base. (ex: bases loaded, ghost on third. Runner at second must be the one to cover the ghost, not the runner on first.)
6. Exceptions MAY be made on a case-by-case basis involving injured players who may not be able to run.

Fielding
1. No more than 3 fielders at one time on defense. Players may substitute freely on defense.
2. Fielders may not go behind the fence to catch a ball.
3. If a fielder catches a fly ball and falls over the fence and retains possession of the ball, the batter is out. However, all base runners advance one base.
4. Fielders may throw balls at runners for outs.
5. Players on defense MUST play barehanded. No gloves of any kind are allowed.

Balls in the field of play
1. It's the pitcher's (defense's) responsibility to make sure the field of play is clear of extra balls.
2. A batted ball that hits any ball or ball bucket in the field of play (fair territory) results in an automatic single.  It is a dead ball, and all runners advance one base.
3. A batted ball that hits any ball in the dud zone results in a dud, or 'foul ball'.

A hit ball is a base hit if…
1. It hits the fence in any way and the runner gets to at least first safely.
2. A batted ball lands past the "hit line" and the runner gets to at least first safely. (can sometimes be a judgement call).  The new "hit line" rule is as follows:
    
2.1  The hit line will run from the back side of 1st base, straight to the back corner of 2nd base, then to the back                   side of 3rd base.
               2.1.1 Line calls will be made be the team in the field
               2.1.2 A ball that lands on the line is the same as a ball that lands past the line.
               2.1.3 A ball that lands on a base is NOT considered past the line.
       2.2  Any ball that lands on or past the line is not subject to the Ground Ball Rule.
3. A sharply hit or non-routine ball is bobbled. (judgement call for scoring purposes)
4. The batter reaches first base before a grounder gets to the fielder's hand.

The Ground Ball Rule
1. It's fielded cleanly (can be bobbled, as long as it doesn't touch the ground again) before the runner reaches first base.
2.
A ground ball is NOW defined as: A ball that lands INSIDE the "hit line" in fair territory, regardless of how high the ball goes. (i.e.  a weak pop-up that lands inside the hit line is now considered to be a ground ball.)

Ground Rule Double
1. Batted ball goes through or under the fence in any way.
2. Batted ball rolls past any "Home Run Lines" where there is no fence. (i.e., a grounder down the third base line that is a fair ball but rolls past the fence.)
3. A batted ball bounces off the ground and over the fence.

Home Runs
1. Ball goes over the fence in the air, or hits a foul pole in the air.
2. Batter legs out all four bases without a defensive error.

Dud
1. The "Dud Zone" is an area which is approx. a 10-15 foot radius from the tip of home plate.
2. Ground Balls that die or are picked up in the "Dud Zone" are ruled as a "foul ball".
3. Pitchers who attempt to catch a pop-up in the Dud Zone beware:  It's considered fair territory, and if dropped, is a live ball.

Automatic Fielder Rule
There is no longer an Automatic Fielder option.  Teams can play with 2 players.  No penalties are enforced other than they will be short 1 fielder.   Note: Every effort will be made to have 3 players a side before playing with 2 instead. This is intended as a last resort only.

The "Board K" Rule
A fouled third strike that hits the Strikezone board will result in a strikeout.

No Man's Land
The "no-man's land" or foul territory between two fields is considered to be in play for BOTH fields.

It's a strike if…
1. It's swung at and missed.
2. It's fouled off.
3. It hits the Strikezone board
4. The batter messes with a good pitch with the hand or elbow. There is no first warning.

A baserunner is out if…
1. The ball touches any baserunner and he's not on a base.
2. He's forced out when a fielder tags the base he's headed for.
3. He's tagged out or hit with a thrown ball.

A word on Umpiring…
Calls (safe/out) will be made only by players in the game. On close plays players often ask people on the bench or others watching if they saw the play. If the call cannot be resolved by the players involved in the game, then a "do-over" will occur.

 
 

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