WEST RALEIGH BASEBALL ASSOCIATION

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

(Updated 2022)

 

Mission Statement

The mission statement of the West Raleigh Baseball Association (“WRBA”) is to provide a

highly competitive baseball league for children ages 4-14 years old, in a safe and family

friendly atmosphere, where the virtues of sportsmanship and community are promoted.

 

Governing Rules

These West Raleigh Local Rules govern all WRBA games and events. In addition, the rules of the Babe Ruth League and Cal Ripken Baseball govern in the Major, Minor and Rookie

Leagues.

 

Head Coaching Requirements

All head coaches applicants in all leagues will require review and approval from the West

Raleigh Board of Directors AND pass a background check. 

 

League Guidelines

The leagues for the WRBA are broken down into the following, where League Age for

Spring Baseball (Fall in parenthesis) is determined by the child’s age on April 30 of each year:

 

Modified Coach Pitch League 5-7 (4-6)

Rookie League 6-8 (5-7)

Minor League 9-10 (8-9)

Major League 11-12 (10-11) 

 

Local Rules for All League Play (except MCP)

1) The Pledge of Allegiance will be recited before each game.

 

2) A coach may have up to three (3) assistant coaches. There is a maximum of four (4)

coaches for each team.

  1. a) When on defense, one coach is permitted to be on the field to provide the catcher

with signs but must be against the fence and no closer to home plate than the

halfway point of the dugout. All other coaches must either be completely in the

dugout or, if helping coach the defense, can stand on the dugout entrance.

  1. b) Minor League coaches are permitted to have defensive coaches in the outfield as

provided in these Rules.

 

3) If a game is called before it becomes a regulation game (e.g. due to rain or darkness),

the game must be resumed from the exact point of interruption with the same ball and

strike count on the batter and the same line-up. The home team is responsible for the

maintaining the game situation for game completion.

 

4) When determining whether a game is called for time, game time is determined after

the third out, not the beginning of the next inning.

 

5) When inclement weather forces postponement of a game:

  1. a) As long as the game has 4 complete innings (3.5 if home team is ahead) the game

is considered a complete game and will not be resumed regardless of whether

time remains.

  1. b) If after the 4th inning, a new innings is begun but is not finished and the game is

called due to inclement weather, the official score reverts back to the last

completed inning for purposes of determining a winner and loser (or tie game).

Any pitches thrown in the inning that gets removed from the official score tally do

count toward innings pitched and pitch counts as set forth in the pitching rules.

 

6) There will be a minimum of 20 minutes between consecutive games, beginning after

the third out of the prior game or when that game is called for time. The first 10 minutes

are for both teams to get their equipment into the dugouts and conduct warm ups,

sharing the outfield. The visiting team gets the infield for 5 minutes and then the home team gets the infield for 3 minutes. The 2 final minutes are reserved for pregame and pledge. Coaches must make every effort to work with the umpires and opposing coaches to comply with these time guidelines, but player safety is paramount and players must warm-up their arms prior to game time.

 

7) A player will be ejected from a game for malicious contact, as judged by the umpire, or for disruptive conduct if the disruptive conduct continues after being told by the umpire to stop. An ejected player must go to the concession stand area or off the property. An ejected player does not count as an out when he/she comes up in the order to bat, regardless of whether or not a legal substitute player exists (to not unjustly penalize the ejected player’s teammates).

 

8) Only the Head Coach is permitted to request an interpretation of a call by an umpire,

and it must be done as follows:

  • The Head Coach must first ask for and be granted time by the plate umpire.
  • The Head Coach can then respectively approach the umpire who made the call in question, either the plate umpire or the base umpire.
  • Once an interpretation is given to the Head Coach the conversation is over and he must return to the dugout. If the umpire in question feels he could use some more information from his partner to render a different outcome of the call in question, he will do so at this time and render his final decision. Any further disagreement with the final rendered call will result in restriction to the dugout.
  • If the call is reversed, the opposing Head Coach may come to the foul line and not onto the field for an explanation.
  • This is the final decision from the umpiring crew and the game will resume at this point.
  • There will be no time added to the game time in order to discuss any issues that arise during the course of play.
  • The Head Coach will be held strictly accountable for his behavior and the behavior of his assistant coaches, players and of the parents of the players, and may be ejected for disruptive conduct of assistant coaches, players or parents of the players as the situation may warrant.
  • A coach may be restricted to the dugout or ejected from a game for any disruptive conduct if the conduct continues after being told by the umpire to stop. An ejected coach must go to the concession stand area or off the property.
  • A player, Head Coach or Assistant Coach ejected from a game will serve a minimum 2 game suspension (the game the ejection occurred plus the next game), but can also be prohibited for up to the remainder of the season and end of season tournament at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

 

9) Courtesy or pinch runners are not permitted, unless for an injured player.

 

10) In leagues with sequential batting, if a player suffers an injury during an at bat (which

does not result in a free base) and it requires him/her to leave the game, the player’s

at bat and spot in the order shall not be counted and the next batter shall come to the

plate without penalty to the team.

 

11) Tie scores are counted in the standings as a ½ win and a ½ a loss. End of season

tournament games cannot end in a tie. The tournament championship game

(including the “if” game) will not be called for time.

 

12) Designated hitters are not permitted.

 

13) Headfirst sliding is not permitted when advancing to a base. if the runner slides headfirst he is automatically out. If the runner was out on the head first slide, the umpire shall also issue a warning to the Player.

 

14) Catcher’s Throat Protector – The catcher’s helmet and mask combination shall meet

the NOC-SAE standard. Any helmet or helmet and mask combination shall have full

ear protection (dual ear flaps). A throat protector, which is either part of or attached

to the catcher’s mask, is mandatory. A throat protector shall adequately cover the

throat. The commercially manufactured catcher’s head, face and throat protection

may be a one piece or multi-piece design. A detachable throat protector in addition to

the throat protector integral to the mask is not required for an NOC-SAE approved

hockey style mask.

 

15) Practice Guidelines

  • Prior to season - Each team should practice on average 2 to 4 times per week 
  • During season - Each team should practice on average  1 to 2 times per week 
  • Each team is encouraged to offer 3 to 4 events each week. This could be 1 game and

2-3 practices, 2 practices and 1-2 games or any combination of the aforementioned. Every effort will be made to not exceed 3 games in any given week (as a result of make-up due to inclement weather). It is the intention of West Raleigh Baseball to provide adequate practice time. However, it is the responsibility of the head coach to

supplement the allotted practices to achieve these minimum requirements. The

entire team should be responsible for any fees as a result of additional practice

field rental.

 

16) Beginning on January 1, 2018 all Leagues (with the exception of MCP) must comply with the new USA Baseball bat standard. All bats in all leagues must bear the USA Bat licensing mark to be permissible for League and All-Star tournament play.

 

17) Rainout Scheduling Policy: All games will be rescheduled on the first available

date/time as the field schedule permits except where it would result in 3 consecutive

days of games except for Rookie League (coach pitch). Also except for Rookie League (coach pitch) and for tournaments, there will be no more than 3 games in a week (a week starts on Monday and ends on Sunday). Exceptions to this rule are rare and must be brought before the

Board of Directors for decision.

 

18) Slash Bunting is not permitted. This is not to be confused with a drag bunt. The definition of a slash bunt is where the batter initiates a bunting stance (shows bunt) then pulls back and takes a full swing on the same pitch. The result of the play is that the batter is out.

 

19) All batters must keep one foot in the batter’s box during their at bat. In all leagues

except for MCP and Rookie (coach pitch), the penalty is a called strike. In the Minor League, the umpire will issue one warning per at bat, after which the penalty is a called strike.

 

Modified Coach Pitch (“MCP”) Local Rules

1) The MCP league is only for 5-6 year olds in the spring (4-5 year olds in the Fall).

 

2) The MCP league is purely developmental. There will be one, approximately 1-hour game per week and one, approximately one 1.5-hour practice per week. There may be an additional game per week towards the end of the season, but there will be no more than three events per

week. There will be no umpires and no end of season tournament. The scoreboard may be used, but it is to be cleared at the end of each inning so there is no official score at the end of the game.

 

3) Players that are 6YO in the spring (5YO in the Fall) can register for MCP with the option to try out for the Rookie League. If those players tryout but are not selected to the Rookie League, they have the option (stated on their registration) to be placed in the MCP League.

 

4) Guaranteed Spots

  • This rule will not apply to MCP, except that 5-6 year old siblings in the Spring (4-5year old in the Fall) of non-MCP players that played the prior respective Spring (or Fall) season and register and play WR in the current season are guaranteed a roster spot in MCP.
  • Siblings of MCP players of any age are NOT guaranteed a roster spot in any future league.
  • Guaranteed 7-8 year olds in the Spring (6-7 in the Fall), per the sibling rule, are

guaranteed to the Rookie League but must try out to be placed on a Rookie League team unless they have a sibling already on a Rookie League team. However, the League reserves the right to place certain guaranteed 7YOs in the spring (6YOs in the Fall) into the MCP league if determined to be a safety risk.

 

5) Playing Field

  1. a) Games will be played with a regulation size baseball field and soft core Tee-Ball.
  2. b) The field size will be the same size as a Minor League field.

 

6) Any rule not covered here will be covered by Rookie League local rules and\or the Babe

Ruth League rulebook.

 

7) Rosters will be up to 13 players per team (A determination will be made by the League

Commissioner to adjust the roster number as needed)

 

8) ALL players will be in the field on defense and all players will bat each inning:

  • The Infielders must occupy one of six (6) different positions: pitcher, first base, second base, and third base, or short stop, catcher.
  • The Pitcher must stand within the pitcher’s circle until the ball is hit.
  • The Outfielders must stand on the edge of the grass as the ball is hit (there is no limit to the number of outfielders as long as the infield positions are occupied)
  • Coaches must mix up the batting order each inning.

9) 5 Coaches will be allowed in the dugout (all other leagues at WR are allowed 4

coaches).

 

10) Offense

  • Coach 1 – In the Dugout, getting players ready to bat
  • Coach 2 – At the plate, helping players hit (Coach must place the ball on the tee for

the player)

  • Coach 3 – 1st Base Coach
  • Coach 4 – 3rd Base Coach
  • Coach 5 – Pitcher

 

11) Defense

  • Coach 1 – Down the 1st Base Line, helping Direct Play in the outfield
  • Coach 2 – Down the 3rd Base Line, helping Direct Play in the outfield
  • Coach 3 – Pitchers Helper - behind the pitcher’s mound helping the infield out
  • Coach 4 – Stays in the dugout
  • Coach 5 – Score Keeper or in the field as needed

 

12) Defensive coaches may position themselves in the outfield or not closer then 3rd or

1st base to coach or direct play.

 

13) All Coaches and Players must be wearing closed toed shoes (molded rubber cleats or

tennis shoes) at all times while at the ball fields for games or practices.

 

14) Catcher’s gear is not required but is highly recommended; the catcher is to stand back

and to the side of the tee, out of the way of the batter swinging from a tee while a tee is being used. If a catcher chooses to sit behind home plate when a coach is pitching, full catcher’s gear is required.

 

15) At the coaches discretion the pitcher may wear a helmet with a full facial cage. In the

event this is needed the coach should contact the League Commissioner to

arrange for the equipment.

 

16) All Players will bat each inning, teams will not change sides after 3 outs. Any batter

or base runner that becomes an out must return to the dugout. After a team records

three outs in an inning, all base runners shall be cleared from the bases, and the

batting team will continue to bat through the order until all players have had an at bat.

 

17) Contact between a runner and defensive player results in the runner advancing to the

next base and a dead ball.

 

18) All Players will be in the field at all times. There will be no children on the bench when

playing defense.

 

19) Each player must stay at their position prior to the ball being hit. As an example, the player

playing 3rd base must stand close to or next to 3rd base before the ball is hit.

 

20) Scores will not be kept for MCP games but it is recommended that a score book is used

to track who has batted.

 

21) No mercy rule in effect. Scores will not be recorded and line-ups should only be used to

track who has batted.

 

22) Games will be a maximum of 3 innings. No new innings shall be started after fifty (50)

minutes.

 

23) Home and Away teams will be designated on the league schedule.

 

24) On the last batter of each inning (The coach should notify the opposing team when the

last batter comes to the plate); the defensive team should bring the ball to home plate,

before the inning is over. (Tag Home Plate!)

 

25) Players must remain seated on their bench in the order that they are to hit. The next

batter up may be standing w/bat and ready for his/her turn.

 

26) Bunting is not allowed. There is no infield fly rule in effect.

 

27) It is possible to have more than three outs in an inning, all players will bat and advance

around the bases only if safe. Coaches are not required to bat the same order every

inning; all players will bat every inning. Coaches have the option of changing the order

from inning to inning so the same player is not always the last batter.

 

28) Coaches will throw three pitches to each player and may choose soft toss, underhand,

or overhand as the coach deems appropriate. After three (and only three) attempts at hitting a ball out of the air, the coach will put the ball on the tee, and the player will swing until they successfully put a ball in play (unlimited swings per player off the tee).

 

29) Any ball that does not go at least 6 feet past home plate will be considered foul.

 

30) Once the ball has entered the infield and players have stopped, this will be at the

discretion of the coaches; the ball is considered dead when the ball is in the

possession of the defense.

 

31) Base runners must wait for the ball to be hit before advancing to the next base.

 

32) If a runner is thrown out or tagged out because of interference from a defensive

player, he or she is awarded the base. (Players cannot stand in the baseline).

 

33) The final batter of each inning will run for home, until the defense tags home plate, or

the player.

 

34) Offensive players hitting, running or on deck or in the hole must have a helmet on at

all times.

 

35) If a batted ball in the base path hits a Runner, they will be considered out.

 

Rookie League Local Rules

1) The Rookie League is an instructional league for player’s ages 6-8 years old (5-7 in the Fall).

 

2) The field of play shall be on 60 ft. base paths. The pitching plate shall be located 40 feet

from home plate.

 

3) Games shall be 6 innings, except that (1) no new inning shall begin after one hour and

30 minutes, and (2) if there is a tie after 6 innings (or more), additional innings may be

played to try to break the tie, subject to the time limit to start a new inning.

 

4) There is a 10 run rule in effect as follows: when a team gets a 10 run lead, they must

stop batting and take the field UNLESS they have not scored 5 runs in that inning.

Regardless of the score, the leading team is always allowed to score 5 runs in an

inning. EXAMPLE:

  • A team winning 2-0 can score 8 runs, then the side must change
  • A team winning 8-0 can score 5 runs, then the side must change
  • A team winning 14-0 can score 5 runs, then the side must change
  • A team losing 14-0 can score 24 runs, then the side must change

 

5) A play begins when the ball is hit. A play ends when the lead runner has been

confronted and held on base by a defensive player. To stop a lead runner: the defensive player with the ball must confront the lead runner in such a way as to prevent that runner from advancing to the next base. Once this control has been established, the defensive player must raise his/her hand and call for “time out”. Other runners may advance while the lead runner is being confronted and controlled. The umpire will decide if control of the lead runner has been established and either grant or deny “time out”. Play ends when the umpire grants “time out”. At that time, runners that are more than halfway will be allowed to continue to the next base.

Runners that are not halfway to the next base will be asked to return to the previous base by the umpire. A “time out” being petitioned by a defensive player in possession of the ball in the outfield will NOT be granted, regardless of whether or not the runners have stopped advancing.

 

6) Players must play their own position. They may back up other positions, but may not

cover a position for another player.

 

7) Outfielders must play at least 10 feet behind the dirt infield. They are not allowed to

come in any closer to the infield until after the ball is hit. Outfielders should be

encouraged to play in the outfield and not enter the infield. The outfielders are not

required to play at the same depth; however, they must be fairly evenly spaced apart.

The intent of this rule is to prevent teams from fielding an extra infielder of what is

referred to a “short fielder”. The umpires will use their best judgment to enforce the

spirit of this rule.

 

8) The defensive player at the pitcher position must be within 10 feet of the pitching

rubber. The defensive pitcher may stand even with or behind the pitching rubber, but not in front (closer to home plate) of the rubber. Infield defensive players may not move more than 2 feet (approx. 1 step) forward of the baseline until the ball has been hit.

 

9) Coaches must pitch overhand to their players. Coaches may move forward of the

rubber staying within ten (10) feet in a straight line to home plate. As soon as the ball

is hit, the pitching coach must move out of the way so as to not interfere with the play

in progress. In the event that a pitching coach is hit with a batted ball, a dead ball is

called, no pitch is recorded and all runners must return to the base from which the

stated the play. A batted ball striking the umpire is considered in play.

 

10) All players are guaranteed an average of 2 defensive innings per game and 1 offensive

at bat per game played, over every 2 consecutive games where a player is in

attendance. Every player must enter a game by the 3rd defensive inning, to help satisfy

the minimum play rule in shortened-game situations. The minimum inning rule is

waived in games that are shortened by the slaughter rule or inclement weather.

EXCEPTION: Players that did not attend regular scheduled practices or created

disciplinary problems during the week of the game.

 

11) There is free substitution during the game for any position and full roster "sequential

batting" in every game for each player in good standing. Substitutions (which include

position changes) can only be made between innings unless there is an injury or other emergency.

 

12) As long as a team has 9 players total, no outs will be charged if a player must leave

the game based on a conflicting activity or be removed from the game based on injury

or illness. Players may also arrive late and be added to the bottom of the order.

WARNING: If a Coach is found by the Board of Directors to have manipulated this rule

to gain a competitive advantage, the Coach will be removed as a coach from West

Raleigh effectively immediately for that season and be ineligible to be an All Star

coach, and further disciplinary action may be taken.

 

13) A game may start and/or end with 8 players. If a team is forced to start or end with 8

players, the 9th position will not be counted as an out.

 

14) Teams field 10 defensive players with 4 players in outfield positions.

 

15) Teams may use up to two (2) coaches in the outfield while on defense if desired.

 

16) There is no Infield Fly Rule.

 

17) Bunting is not permitted.

 

18) Batters are allowed 3 strikes. A batter is allowed seven (7) pitches in which to put the

ball in play or strike out. If a batter fouls a ball off on the 7th pitch, they are given two

(2) additional pitches. If the batter fouls off the last pitch after that, they are given two

(2) additional pitches.

 

19) Walks or intentional walks are not permitted. If a pitched ball hits a batter, they may be removed from the game if they are upset or injured, without penalty. The hit batter can return

to the batting order during their next time at bat. If the batter continues to bat after having been hit, the pitch that was thrown will count as one of the 7 allotted pitches.

 

20) Leading and stealing are not permitted. The runner must remain in contact with the

base until the ball reaches home plate. Leaving base early will result in an automatic

out. All bases must be tagged – a missed base witnessed by the umpire results is an

out. Appeals on missed bases are not permitted.

 

21) Catchers may use a regular glove in lieu of a catcher’s mitt if desired. The catcher will

receive the pitch from the normal catcher’s position behind home plate.

 

Minor League Local Rules

1) The Minor League is an advanced league for player’s ages 9-10 years old (8-9 in the Fall).

 

2) The field of play shall be on 65 ft. base paths. The pitching plate shall be located 46 ft.

from home plate.

 

3) All players are guaranteed an average of 2 defensive innings per game and 1 offensive at bat per game played, over every 2 consecutive games where a player is in attendance. Every player must enter a game by the 3rd defensive inning, to help satisfy the minimum play rule in shortened-game situations. The minimum inning rule is waived in games that are shortened by the slaughter rule or inclement weather. EXCEPTION: Players that did not attend regular scheduled practices or created disciplinary problems during the week of the game.

 

4) If a player is injured, any player not currently in the game may be substituted for the

injured player. The injured player cannot re-enter the game that day. However, the player may re-enter if postponed to another day and the player is healthy.

 

5) No more than 4 defensive outfielders will be allowed at any given time.

 

6) Games shall be 6 innings, except that (1) no new inning shall begin after one hour and 40 minutes, and (2) if there is a tie after 6 innings (or more), additional innings may be played to try to break the tie, subject to the time limit to start a new inning.

 

7) If after 4 or more complete innings (3½ if the home team is leading) a team has a 10-run lead, the game shall be called due to the mercy rule.

 

8) There is free substitution during the game for any position except the pitcher and full

roster "sequential batting" in every game for each player in good standing.

 

9) A game may start and/or end with 8 players, and the 9th position will not be counted

as an out.

 

10) Base runners may lead off up to the front edge of the 10’ line; however, they may not cross the 10’ line until the pitched ball reaches home plate.  Timed running starts are not permitted.  If a player commits a base running infraction, such as a running start and/or crossing the 10’ line before the pitched ball reaches home plate, a delayed dead ball warning will be issued to the offensive team; however, the respective base runner will only be permitted to advance one base, unless forced by the batter-runner.  If the base runner advances multiple bases on the play, he/she will be placed on the appropriate base by the umpire crew.  Each team is afforded one base running violation warning per game.  For all subsequent base running violations, the respective base runner will be ruled out.

 

11) Once the pitcher is on the mound with possession of the ball, a base runner is no longer permitted to advance if they have not already crossed the 10’ line.  However, a base runner is not required to return to their occupied base, and they may maintain a lead up to the front edge of the 10’ line at their own peril.

 

12) Pickoff attempts are allowed by the pitcher; however, since a base runner is not permitted to advance until the ball crosses the plate, balks will not be enforced and no base awards will be issued.  If a pitcher commits a balk on a pickoff attempt and the respective base runner is put out on the play, the umpire will initially render the out call.  The umpire will then call time and reverse the ruling due to the balk infraction.  In other words, the defense may not benefit on a pickoff play when a balk is committed by the pitcher.  A balk ruling is at the sole discretion of the umpire crew and coaches may not contest the call or no call. All base running violations, ruling reversals, team warnings, and/or base placements will occur on a delayed dead ball basis.

 

13) The infield fly rule is in effort for all games.

 

Local Rules add for Fall Season

Same as Spring rules with the following additional exceptions:

  1. a) Only players League Age 8-9 are allowed to participate.
  2. b) Each team player must play two (2) innings of defense by the 5th inning and no less

than three (3) innings of defense per six (6) inning game.

  1. c) Pitchers may pitch a maximum of two (2) innings per game and must pitch in

consecutive innings. Other pitching rules are in effect.

 

 

Major League Local Rules

1) The Major  League is an advanced league for player’s ages 11-12 years old (10-11 in the Fall).

 

2) The field of play shall be on 70 ft. base paths. The pitching plate shall be located 50 ft.

from home plate.

 

3) All players are guaranteed an average of 2 defensive innings per game and 1 offensive at bat per game played, over every 2 consecutive games where a player is in attendance. Every player must enter a game by the 3rd defensive inning, to help satisfy the minimum play rule in shortened-game situations. The minimum inning rule is waived in games that are shortened by the slaughter rule or inclement weather. EXCEPTION: Players that did not attend regular scheduled practices or created disciplinary problems during the week of the game.

 

4) Games shall be 6 innings, except that (1) no new inning shall begin after one hour and

40 minutes, and (2) if there is a tie after 6 innings (or more), additional innings may be

played to try to break the tie, subject to the time limit to start a new inning.

 

5) If after 4 or more complete innings (3½ if the home team is leading) a team has a 10

run lead, the game shall be called due to the mercy rule.

 

6) If a player is injured, any player not currently in the game may be substituted for the

injured player. The injured player cannot re-enter the game that day. However, the

player may re-enter if postponed to another day and the player is healthy.

 

7) No more than 4 defensive outfielders will be allowed at any given time.

 

8) There is free substitution during the

game for any position except the pitcher, and full roster "sequential batting" in every

game for each player in good standing.

 

9) There shall be no use of temporary fences for games or practices.

10) The infield fly rule is in effort for all games.

 

Local Rules add for Fall Season

Same as Spring rules with the following additional exceptions:

 

  1. a) Only players League Age 10-11 are allowed to participate.
  2. b) Each team player must play two (2) innings of defense by the 5th inning and no less

than three (3) innings of defense per six (6) inning game.

  1. c) A game may start and/or end with 8 players, and the 9th position will not be counted

as an out.

  1. d) Pitchers may pitch a maximum of two (2) innings per game and must pitch in

consecutive innings. Other pitching rules are in effect.

Pitching Rules (Major and Minor League)

 

1) It should be noted that the intent here is not to put rigid policies in place – but to protect and look after the well-being of our youth athletes by properly educating coaches and parents of the latest medical knowledge surrounding youth baseball. The rules must be flexible and the Board or Baseball Committee may make changes during the season if deemed necessary. Education of coaches and parents will accomplish 95% of the intended goals – not rules.

 

2) Pitches where the pitcher intentionally "breaks" his or her wrist to produce a downward or sideways spin on the baseball) will not be allowed for the Major League (11 - 12) or Minor league (9 - 10). WRBA does not expect umpires to "monitor" this rule – we expect our coaches to demonstrate good sportsmanship and concern for the well-being of their youth players. In other words – self-enforced. There will be zero tolerance for arguments about whether pitches are "curveballs" during games, on or around the field.

 

3) The starting pitcher and a relief pitcher entering a game shall have up to eight warm-up throws. Between innings, the pitcher shall have up to five warm-up throws. A coach must be ready to catch the pitcher between innings when a catcher is not ready.

 

4) Pitchers must pitch in consecutive innings. A pitcher may not re-enter the game under any circumstance as a pitcher once he/she is removed from the pitching position. This includes games that may go into extra innings.

 

5) In addition to the pitch count guidelines outlined in the table below, a pitcher may pitch in no more than 6 innings in any week (a week starts on Monday and ends on Sunday). During end of season tournaments, the “week” is considered every 2 consecutive games (not days) when calculating the maximum amount of innings. However, the regular season pitch count rules remain in effect during tournaments.

 

6) One pitch thrown in an inning counts as a full inning pitched.

 

7) A pitcher may not start a new inning if he/she is within 10 pitches of the maximum allowable limit. For example, a pitcher who finished the 4th inning and has thrown 40 pitches may not start the next inning if the pitch count limit is 50 even though they have not reached the pitch count limit. The reason for this is so we do not introduce any more unnecessary time delays in the game due to pitcher substitution.

 

8) Coaches are encouraged to make pitching changes between innings to avoid excessive game delays, but such changes may be made during an inning if the coach deems it necessary.

 

9) If a player reaches his max pitch count in the middle of a batter’s at bat – he may finish

pitching to that batter even though they will slightly exceed the pitch count limit.

 

10) There are maximum pitch counts and rest rules for each league, as outlined in the

table below.

 

11) Pitchers are required to observe minimum rest periods between pitch outings. An outing is defined as one or more pitches thrown from the mound in a game. The table below defines the minimum rest time between outings

 

12) Coaches will be required to count the number of pitches thrown by each pitcher during the game. If desired, coaches should track pitches thrown by the opposing team, but it is expected that the coach of the pitcher shall keep an accurate count.

 

13) A pitch count tracker is available online. Each coach must enter the following information in the pitching affidavit within 24 hours of the completion of the game: player name, date pitched, innings pitched, number of pitches thrown, and date of next availability. This pitch count tracker will be made available to all WR head coaches to view. It is the responsibility of the League

Commissioner to periodically review the pitch count tracker for completeness and intent. Failure to properly sign the pitching affidavit or adhere to pitching guidelines may result in game forfeit or player(s) not being eligible to pitch the following game.

 

14) WRBA has adopted the MLB.com and USA Baseball pitch count guidelines for ages 9 - 12 (Minor and Major League) as outlined in the following table (also available at https://www.mlb.com/pitch-smart/pitching-guidelines/ages-9-12):

 

(Note: WRBA does not allow ages 7-8 to pitch in league play)

 

15) Intentional walks are not encouraged. If a pitcher does intentionally walk a batter, the

pitcher must throw 4 pitches to be received by the catcher and those 4 pitches are counted in the overall pitch count

 

16) Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken governs obstruction rules for all Leagues.

 

17) In the set position the pitcher must stand with his entire pivot foot in front of and

completely within the parallel end lines of the rubber.

 

18) The pitcher may not deface the ball. Penalty: The ball is immediately dead. The umpire

may eject the pitcher. If the ball is pitched, it is an illegal pitch.

 

19) A pitcher may not rub dirt on the ball. An umpire may ask for the ball to be exchanged and warn the pitcher. If the pitcher continues this conduct, it may be deemed disruptive and the umpire may eject the player.

 

20) In the wind-up position there are no restrictions on how the pitcher holds the ball.

 

21) In his delivery from the wind-up position, the pitcher must take one step forward

and/or one step backward.

 

22) The pitcher may not intentionally throw close to a batter. Penalty: Ejection. In case of

doubt, the umpire may first warn the pitcher.

 

23) The pitcher may not wear tape, bandages, or other foreign material on his hands,

wrists, etc. Penalty: Removal of illegal material.

 

24) The pitcher may not wear any distracting items on his hands, wrists, or arms. Penalty:Removal of distracting item.

 

25) The pitching restrictions begin when the pitcher intentionally contacts the rubber.

 

26) The pitcher must stand with his non-pivot foot on or behind a line extending through

the back edge of the pitcher’s plate.

 

27) When he is in contact with the rubber in the wind-up position, any movement

of the pitching hand outside the glove commits the pitcher to delivery. Penalty: Balk.

 

28) When he is in contact with the rubber, a pitcher may not turn his shoulders to

check a runner after being set. Penalty: balk.

 

29) The pitcher may not touch his pitching hand to his mouth while on the pitcher’s plate.

Penalty: Balk if there is a runner on base, and ball, if there is no runner.

 

30) After touching his mouth with his pitching hand, the pitcher may not touch the ball with that hand unless he has wiped it off. Penalty: balk if there is a runner on base, and ball, if there is no runner.

 

31) The pitcher may not wear an exposed undershirt with white or gray sleeves. Penalty:

The pitcher must obtain a legal shirt. Failure to do so results in ejection.

 

32) A white, gray, or multi-colored glove or mitt is prohibited. Penalty: The pitcher must

obtain a legal glove/mitt. Failure to do so results in ejection.

 

33) The balk penalty is governed by Babe Ruth Rules (delayed dead ball).

 

On penalty of a balk, the pitcher shall:

 

1) In the wind-up position:

  • Stand facing the batter;
  • Not make a quick-return pitch;
  • Not pitch unless the catcher has both feet in the catcher's box at the time of the pitch;
  • Not use more than two pumps or rotations;
  • Not move from the wind-up position to the set position without first disengaging the pitcher's plate legally.

 

2) In the set position:

  • Come to a stop without interruption or alteration in one continuous motion;
  • Come to a "complete and discernible stop". Note: The "complete and discernible stop" is interpreted as complete cessation of movement of the arms and hands simultaneously with both feet on the ground and also not moving.
  • Come to the stop with his entire glove at or below his chin
  • Not separate a hand from the ball except to deliver, throw, or feint a throw;
  • Make only one stretch;
  • Step back partially within the 24-inch length of the pitcher's plate when disengaging the plate;
  • Not bring his entire pivot foot past the back edge of the pitcher's plate without delivering to the batter or throwing or feinting a throw to second;

 

3) In either position:

  • Take his sign from the catcher while in contact with the pitcher's plate;
  • After starting his movement to pitch continue without interruption or alteration;
  • Not feint a pitch;
  • Not feint toward first base;
  • Not drop the ball when the ball does not cross the foul line;
  • Step with the non-pivot foot directly toward a base when throwing or feinting

there in an attempt put out or drive back a runner;

  • Stepping directly to a base is defined as stepping with a 45-degree angle drawn between the base and home. That is, the pitcher must step more toward the base than toward home. Not throw to an unoccupied base when it is not an attempt to put out or drive back a runner;
  • Not fail to pitch after making any motion habitually connect with his delivery;
  • Not stand on or astride or within five feet of the pitcher's plate without the ball.

 

Switch Pitchers:

1) A pitcher must pitch using the same arm when pitching in any specific game (and any

resumption of that game)

 

2) A pitcher's pitch count and days’ rest shall only apply to the arm used for pitching, and

the coach shall designate in the pitch log which arm was used if a switch pitcher

Pitches

 

3) All innings pitched, regardless of which arm is used, shall count towards innings

pitched limitations during a week (or consecutive games during a tournament)

 

End of Season Tournament Local Rules

1) In all Leagues, for Spring and Fall Tournaments, tournament seeding will be based on the final regular season standings. Tie-breaking procedures, to determine final regular season standings and Tournament seeding, will be based on the league tie-breaking

 rocedures as outlined below. 

 

2) In all Leagues, for Spring and Fall Tournaments, the higher seeded team (as determined by the final regular season standings) will be designated the Home Team in all Tournament games, except for the initial Championship Game. In the initial Championship Game, the team coming from the winner bracket shall be the home team. In the event that there is a second Championship Game (i.e., an As-Needed Game), the Home Team will be determined by a coin flip between the two head Coaches.

 

3) In all Leagues, all tournament games, except the Championship Game(s), will be

played with the same time limits as the regular season games. The Championship

Game(s) will have no time limit.

 

4) In all Leagues, the regular season mercy rules will be in effect for all tournament

games, including the Championship Game(s).

 

5) In all Leagues, regular season weather-related game completion rules are in effect

for all Tournament Games (including the Championship Game(s)), including 4

complete, and if play continues but an entire inning is not finished due to weather

conditions, the official score reverts back to the last completed inning for purposes of

determining a winner, loser or tie game.

 

6) Innings pitched is reset to zero prior to the first Tournament Game, regardless

whether any regular season games are played earlier in the week. Pitch count rules

continue to apply.

 

7) Innings pitched by a player are limited to 6 innings over any two consecutive Tournament Games for Spring. For example, if a player pitches 3 innings in Game 1, he is eligible to pitch 3 innings in game 2. If he pitches 2 innings in Game 2, he is eligible to pitch up to 4 innings in Game 3. In the Fall season, innings per game are the same as the regular season (2 innings per game max).

 

8) League-specific regular season pitch count maximums and days between outings are in effect. Maximum pitch counts and days between outings are based on Tournament Days, not Tournament Games.

 

Draft and Tryout Rules

1) Draft Attendees – For a League Draft to be official, it is mandatory that the following

persons be in attendance for the draft: the League Commissioner (or delegate), the

Executive Director (or delegate), and a Coach (or representative) from each team in that league. No draft will be held without the League Commissioner (or delegate). If the League Commissioner cannot attend, he may delegate to a League Commissioner from another league or an Ad Hoc member. No more than 2 coaches or team representatives may attend the draft. Prospective assistant coaches may not enter the draft room unless their child has been drafted.

This is true of all League drafts. No other persons should attend the Draft except members of the WRBA Board of Directors.

 

2) Draft Order - Draft order will be determined by the order of finish from the previous

Spring or Fall Season. The team which finished last the previous season will draft

first, next to last second and so on. This draft order will be consistent in each round. 

 

3) The League Commissioner will attempt to communicate this draft order to the

Coaches at least 1 week ahead of draft day.

 

4) Sibling Rule – the means by which a certain player can be guaranteed a spot in the

draft because they have a sibling that has played at WR in the previous Spring or Fall

season and return to play in the subsequent Spring or Fall season. The new player

'sibling' is guaranteed a draft spot and considered a “returning player” (see below) in

the Spring only if the other sibling played the previous Spring (in the Major League, Minor League or Rookie League; excludes MCP) and is playing this Spring, and in the Fall only if the sibling played the previous Fall or Spring (in the Major League, Minor League or Rookie League; excludes MCP) and is playing this Fall. The Sibling Rule also does not apply when the returning player played in the MCP League. However, if a new guaranteed sibling is 6-7 in the Spring or 5-6 in the Fall, the sibling is guaranteed a spot in the Minor League.

 

5) Returning/Tryout Players –This rule will determine if the player must tryout and if not,

which team the returning player is placed. For any league, if a player makes it onto a team in the Spring season, they are guaranteed a spot on a team in the consecutive Fall or Spring season. However, a player that makes it onto a team in the Fall is only guaranteed a spot in consecutive Fall seasons. If a Fall or Spring season is skipped, that player forfeits their guarantee status in future Fall or Spring seasons, respectively. When “sibling” is referenced below, this means “sibling” as defined and covered by the Sibling Rule.

 

  1. a) A player may not re-enter the draft without the consent of the Board of Directors, at its sole discretion. In order for a player to request draft re-entry, parents must fill out the Request for Draft Re-entry form and, at a minimum, show good cause. The Board may conduct interviews and meet with appropriate parties, including the player’s current coach, to evaluate the request. The player’s parents will be notified in writing and/or e-mail of the Board’s decision, which will be considered final. In addition, if granted approval to re-enter the draft, the player will no longer

considered a “guaranteed” roster spot for that season and therefore could potentially not be drafted by any team in that league.

 

6) If a team has to be retracted in any league for any reason, the players that would be

returning to that team will be placed in the draft pool and are listed as a guaranteed spot.

 

7) Subject to a decision by the Board of Directors, the draft is meant to add enough

players so that all leagues will have a minimum of 12 players on a roster.

 

Rookie League

1) All new players to the league must tryout in order to be eligible to be drafted by a team with the limited exceptions listed below.

  1. a) Coach’s sons/daughters are placed on their respective Rookie League team.
  2. b) If the player has a sibling on an existing Rookie League team, they are automatically placed on that same team and do not need to tryout unless the Commissioner determines the player may be a safety risk and is eligible and best served being placed into MCP.
  3. c) If two new to WR siblings are eligible for Rookie League, are in the draft pool and one is selected in the draft, the other sibling must be selected by the same team 

unless the Commissioner determines the player is may be a safety risk and is

eligible and best served being placed into MCP.

  1. d) If the player has a sibling in another WR league (Major League or Minor League), they are guaranteed a spot on a Rookie League team, but must still participate in the tryout.

 

2) If the player was on a ML team the prior Spring, they return to that Spring ML team

(and do so in all subsequent Fall and Springs) until they age out of the Minor League.

 

3) If a player played in the prior Fall for a ML team, but did not play the prior Spring, that a player must try out and is not guaranteed a spot in the league in the Spring, or a spot on the same team in the Spring if they are drafted into the league.

 

Minor League 

1) All new players to WR and all rising returning 9 year olds must tryout in order to be

eligible for the draft, with the limited exceptions listed below:

  1. a) Coach's sons/daughters are placed on their respective Minor League team.
  2. b) If the player has a sibling on an existing Minor League team, they are automatically placed on that same team and do not need to try out.
  3. c) If the player has a sibling in another WR league (Major League or Rookie League), they are guaranteed a spot on a Minor League team, but must still participate in the tryout.
  4. d) If a 10 year old player was on a Minor League team the prior Spring (or Fall), they return to that Minor team.
  5. e) Rising 10 year olds:
  6. f) All but exceptional 10 year old players play in the Rookie League. The ultimate

determination of eligibility of any 10 year old for AL/NL consideration rests with the

WR Board of Directors.

 

Major League

1) All new 11 and 12 year old players must tryout in order to be eligible for the Major League

draft except that Coach’s sons/daughters are placed on their respective Major team

2) If a player has a sibling in another WR league (Rookie and Minor), they are guaranteed

a spot on a Major League team, depending on the outcome of the tryout and draft.

3) For returning 12 year old Major league players, they return to their Major league team with no tryout.

 

Rookie League Draft Pool

Determination of the number of kids in the Draft Pool:

1) The draft pool will be finalized by the League Commissioner and League Head Coaches prior to the start of the draft. There will be a determined number of returning players placed on the teams prior to tryouts.

 

2) If you do not show up for tryouts, you cannot play in the League unless you are

guaranteed a spot.

 

3) A Rookie League team must have at least one (1) 6 year olds (5 year olds in the Fall) on the roster by the end of the draft. 

 

4) A Rookie League team may not have more than 7 players of any one particular age.

 

5) Drafting siblings: If two or more siblings are trying out for the Rookie League, and both are on the Draft Pool, coaches must select both. Players are slotted into the coach’s current

round selection and into their highest number round open draft slot

 

Minor League Draft Pool

1) The draft pool will be finalized by the League Commissioner and League Head

Coaches prior to the start of the draft. There will be a determined number of returning players

placed on the teams prior to tryouts.

 

2) If you do not try out and are not a guaranteed spot, you cannot play in the League.

 

3) A Minor League team may not have more than 7 players of any one particular age.

 

4) Drafting siblings. If two or more siblings are trying out for the Minor league, and both are on the Draft Pool, coaches must select both. Players are slotted into the coach’s current

round selection and into their highest number round open draft slot.

 

Major League Draft Pool

1) The draft pool will be finalized by the League Commissioner and League Head

Coaches prior to the start of the draft. There will be a determined number of returning players

placed on the teams prior to tryouts.

 

2) If you do not show up for tryouts, you cannot play in the League unless you are

guaranteed a spot

 

3) A Major League team may not have more than 7 players of any one particular age.

 

4) Drafting siblings: If two or more siblings are trying out for the Major League, and both are on the Draft Pool, coaches must select both. Players are slotted into the coach’s current round selection and into their highest number round open draft slot

 

Draft Pool Considerations

1) There is no such thing as a blind “hat pick.” However, for any player that has a guaranteed spot and cannot attend tryouts, the coaches that are aware of the player’s abilities shall candidly discuss that player prior to the ranking of players or other draft processes taking place and any information about the player shared by the player’s parent shall be read to the coaches.

 

2) A proper balance of players within each age group is one of the critical success factors for our league. Therefore, the League Commissioner will closely monitor factors like: guaranteed spots by age and rankings of new kids trying out by coaches. The League Commissioner must ensure that we do not have an overbalance of kids from any one particular age.

 

3) In all leagues, the League Commissioner can talk to the coaches prior to the draft about the following factors: ensuring each team has capable pitchers to start the season and possibly catchers.

 

4) The League Commissioner can also make special recommendations to the Draft

Order for the Spring or Fall season if needed.

 

5) In this case, the League Commissioner will make sure all coaches in the Draft Room

know that a team may go over the 7 limit (e.g., 7 players of one age group in a 12 person roster). When there are no options left but still players to be drafted – this is the only case in which a team can have more than 6 or 7 players of one age on the team. In no case will a team be allowed to carry more than 8 players of any age.

 

6) Trades After the Draft – Trades immediately (within 15 minutes) after the Draft can be

allowed. Example: to ensure that teams are equipped with catchers and pitchers to be

competitive. All coaches and the League Commissioner must approve trades and the

agreement must be unanimous. A coach is NOT required to make offers or accept

offers for trades.

 

7) No Pre-Draft Placement of Players on Teams without approval from the League

Commissioner and Board.

RULES REGARDING TRAVEL BASEBALL

 

1) If a player leaves the West Raleigh spring rec league, and/or summer all-star

program for travel ball prior to completion of his 12-year old year to pursue another

baseball option, that player will be welcomed back to the league as a non-guaranteed

spot. However, his/her parents will no longer be eligible to serve in a leadership role

in the league for either the returning player or any sibling remaining on any WRBA

team. For the purposes of this rule, a Leadership role is defined as Board of Directors,

Baseball Committee, Head Coach, Assistant Coach and/or Team Parent.

 

2) Nomination to Summer All-Star teams and Fall Select is considered a reward for

competitive play, strong sportsmanship and loyalty/dedication to the West Raleigh

organization. As specified in the current All-Star nomination letter, players who

accept an all-star invitation must commit, in writing, to not play for a travel baseball

program during the given All-Star period (typically June 1 through mid August). Similarly, players who leave the West Raleigh baseball program, for a travel organization, prior to completion of their 12 year old year, will be eligible for consideration for league play (as a non-guaranteed spot) but will not be eligible for future consideration for All-Star nomination/play.

 

3) If the Board of Directors determines that a current West Raleigh coach, assistant

coach or parent is actively recruiting players/teams away from West Raleigh to a

given travel team(s), such coach, assistant coach or parent will face disciplinary

actions from the Board, up to and including permanent expulsion of the player/family

from the League. The definition of recruiting shall include but not be limited to the

following. Encouraging families to leave West Raleigh to join their team. Using or

providing contact information, names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses,

etc. to those that are recruiting.

 

4) West Raleigh All Star players will not be permitted to participate in any other baseball league or program during the All Star season.  

 

In an effort to retain elite players in the league, exceptions can be made in extenuating circumstances. 

 

*Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the board only under extenuating circumstances for players participating in another program that does not interfere with West Raleigh All Star commitments AND provides a substantial opportunity above and beyond that which West Raleigh can offer.  

 

*A request for an exception must be submitted in writing to the league.  Every effort should be made to submit the request no later than the time of All Star application submission, and in advance of All Star player selection.  Additional details may be requested by the board.

 

 

 

*Note:  Participation in another NC or local travel team is not considered to provide a substantial opportunity above and beyond that of West Raleigh Baseball.

 

Tie Breaker Rules

If two or more teams have equal league percentages at the end of the regular season,

the team that has the edge in regular season head-to-head competition will get the

higher place in the standings.

 

Example: the intent is to break the tie by using the tied teams. If there is a four-way tie

for first and Team A and Team B are 2-1 while Team C and Team D are 1-2, in games

among the four of them, A and B would be tied for first by virtue of their 2-1 record, with

C and D tied for third. Then look at head-to-head between the two (A and B) to break that

tie, and then between the other two (C and D) to break that remaining tie.

Example: Teams A, B, and C are tied for fourth in the league standings with identical

records. In games among the three, A was3-1, B was 2-2, and C was 1-3. The tie is

broken. A is fourth, B is fifth and C sixth.

 

Any time throughout the whole procedure that a multiple tie is reduced to two teams, no

matter what criteria is being used, use head-to-head competition between those

remaining if possible.

 

If a tie still exists, following the head-to-head comparison, it will be resolved by

comparing how the tied teams fared against the rest of the league until the tie is broken.

Example: A and B finished with equal league records and split during the regular

season, thereby tying for third place in the standings.

Go to the number one position in the league and compare how A and B did against that

team. If the tie cannot be resolved there (both teams split with the number-one team),

go to the number two team. Team A lost twice to the number two team but B split with

the number two team. Therefore B would be third and A fourth (even though they

finished tied for third in the final standings).

 

If the tie still exists, a draw will be held by the tied teams. All tied teams for a position

will draw, with the numbers of the spots for which they are tied in a hat.

Example: A and B are tied for third and the tie is not resolved after going through the

procedure above. The numbers 3 and 4 are put in a hat, the teams draw and assume the

position of the number drawn. The drawing will be done in alphabetical order.

Pitching Rules

 

Player Eligibility, Tryouts and Player Draft

Guaranteed Spot Rules (Amended in Fall 2014)

 

Spring Season

  • Players are guaranteed a spot on a team if they played at West Raleigh Baseball

the prior spring season. If a Spring season is missed, that player is no longer

guaranteed a spot.

  • New-to-West Raleigh siblings that are 7 years of age or older are guaranteed a

spot on a West Raleigh team if they have a sibling who has a guaranteed spot in

the Spring season, registers and plays that Spring. *

  • New-to-West Raleigh guaranteed siblings that are 6 years old in the Spring

season are NOT guaranteed a spot but are eligible for the Minor League and are

guaranteed to the Modified Coach Pitch (MCP) League.

  • Siblings of MCP players of any age are NOT guaranteed a roster spot in any

league.

  • Play in West Raleigh's Fall Baseball program does NOT guarantee a roster spot in

the Spring program.

 

Fall Season

  • Players are guaranteed a spot on a Fall team if they played at West Raleigh

Baseball the prior Fall or Spring season.

  • New-to-West Raleigh players that are 6 years of age or older are guaranteed a

spot on a West Raleigh team if they have a sibling who has a guaranteed spot in

the Fall season, registers and plays that Fall.*

  • New-to-West Raleigh guaranteed siblings that are 5 years old in the Fall season

are NOT guaranteed a spot but are eligible for the Minor League and are

guaranteed to the MCP League.

  • Siblings of MCP players of any age are NOT guaranteed a roster spot in any League.

 

* The only exception is that Fall 6YOs and Spring 7YOs who are guaranteed siblings (GS)

may be placed into MCP at the sole discretion of the League. This is typically based on

safety concerns and is not appealable.

 

Tryouts (Players New to League)

  • New-to-league players must submit a copy of their birth certificate by either mailing (a

copy only) to WR, emailing to league@westraleighbaseball.org  or bringing it to check-in prior to the beginning of tryouts.

 

  • New-to-league players who do not attend tryouts will NOT be eligible to be drafted until

all guaranteed-spot players and all new players who did try out are drafted. If open

spots remain, these players may be selected by random drawing. This scenario, while

possible, does not typically occur and should never be relied upon.