Ground Rules

Unless otherwise noted herein, the rules for most Tournaments and Open League games will be in accordance with West Houston Baseball Ground/Safety Rules internet version first, then the Official Rules of Major League Baseball for any items not specifically addressed in the West Houston Baseball Ground/Safety Rules. The tournament director has the right to adjust rules for local play and will communicate any rule changes governing specific tournaments or games.

General Provisions

A. Rosters: If required, each team is to have an online roster at www.westhoustonbaseball.com before they can be scheduled for an event. Commencement of play designates acceptance of your opponent’s roster. Any team having a fraudulent roster will be immediately suspended from play and reported to the Tournament Director. The only roster protest allowed after a game begins is the use of a player that does not appear on the roster at all. The changeable roster may consist of a maximum of 15 legal players. Roster batting shall be defined as 12 players batting in the line-up. Any player who participates in the tournament must be listed on the roster.

B. Protests: The only protest that will be allowed is concerning a rules infraction or a roster violation and a $100 cash retainer shall be given to the Tournament Director. If a protest is upheld, the retainer shall be refunded. If it is not, no refund shall be given. No protest shall be allowed on any judgement calls.

C. Sportsmanship: Unsportsmanlike behavior will not be tolerated. Umpires will handle unsportsmanlike conduct on the field of play; managers are expected to handle situations with fans or parents. Failure of a manager to immediately resolve a situation will result in the manager’s ejection. Umpires will maintain control and have the authority to eject or remove players, coaches or fans from the facility. Razzing, heckling, chanting or making disparaging remarks or noises directed at opponents in any manner is prohibited. Shakers or noise makers are not allowed. For the safety of all players and to maintain integrity of the game, organized cheering or chanting is not allowed while the pitcher is preparing to deliver the pitch or as the ball is pitched. Like all rules, enforcement is subject to umpire judgment. Foul and abusive language will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Cursing or throwing equipment is grounds for an automatic ejection. There is a zero-tolerance policy for making threats or taking physical action. Any occurrence will be immediately reported to the proper authorities.

D. Ejections: Any manager, coach, player or fan ejected from the game must leave the area and may not return until the next scheduled game, subject to league/Tournament directors review and approval. If the same person is ejected a second time, he or she will not be allowed into the park for the remainder of the tournament. Failure to comply will result in forfeit.

E. Reentry Fee: Any manager or coach ejected from a game may be required to deposit a $100 cash reentry fee with the tournament director to participate in the next scheduled game. This fee will be returned provided that the same individual is not ejected a second time during the event.

F. Method of Play: 6u competition will be played with a batting tee; the tournament director will specify the type of baseball to be used. 7u and 8u competition will be “Coach Pitch”.

G. Home/Visitor: In Open League games, Home team will be determined by the schedule. In tournament pool games, Home team will be determined by a coin toss. The Home team will provide an adult to be the official scorekeeper. The Visiting team will provide a person to work the scoreboard.

H. Dugouts: For Open League games and tournament pool play, dugouts are first come, first served. For bracket play, the Home team will normally occupy the 3rd base dugout, but may elect to occupy the 1st base dugout if the previous game’s team is leaving. When a team plays back-to-back games on the same field, they will remain in their dugout, and their opponent will occupy the other dugout.

I. Practice: Infield or batting practice on the field of play is not permitted.

J. Game Balls: For tournaments, all teams will receive two baseballs for pool games. For bracket play, teams will provide umpires with one new “brand name” leather baseball (Pro-9, Wilson, Diamond, Rawlings, etc.) at the beginning of each game. If balls are not returned in a timely manner, umpire will alternate dugouts (home team first) replacing baseballs. Umpires will provide baseballs for Open League games.

Game Length / Time Limits

  • A.Games
    • 6u, 7u, 8u
      • Games will be six (6) innings.
      • No inning will begin after 1 hour 20 minutes from the official start time.
      • There will be a maximum of seven (7) runs allowed per inning per team.
      • Three (3) outs or seven (7) runs will constitute an inning for the offensive team.
      • No infield fly rule.
      • No stealing bases–runner must remain in contact with base until ball is hit or crosses plate–runner is out.
      • Intentional walks may be issued at request of coach.
      • Lead runner must be stopped or make motion to return to previous base–umpire will determine position of player when time is called.
      • 6u tee ball batter allowed three swings–if fouls off ball on third swing, batter may continue until missing on third swing or hitting ball.
      • 7u & 8u coach pitch batter allowed 6 pitches or 3 swings–batter will continue to hit if fouls off ball on third swing.
      • No bunting or soft swing permitted.
    • 9u, 10u
      • Games will be six (6) innings.
      • No inning will begin after 1 hour 30 minutes from the official start time.
      • There is no run limit per inning.
      • Intentional walks will be issued at request of coach.
    • 11u, 12u
      • Games will be six (6) innings.
      • No inning will begin after 1 hour 35 minutes from the official start time.
      • There is no run limit per inning.
      • Intentional walks will be issued at request of coach.
    • 13u, 14u
      • Games will be seven (7) innings.
      • No inning will begin after 1 hour 40 minutes from the official start time.
      • There is no run limit per inning.
      • Intentional walks will be issued at request of coach.
  • B. For tournament championship games, an additional 30 minutes may be added to the above the time limits.
  • C. Innings that start within the time limit may be completed; however, games are final when the time limit is reached and additional play will not change the outcome. If time expires while the home team is batting and winning, the umpire shall announce, “Time has expired, ball game” before the next batter enters the batter’s box, not during a player’s “at bat”. If the visiting team is batting when time expires and additional play could change the outcome of the game, the umpire shall announce, “Time has expired, we will complete the inning”.
  • D. If a game is tied after the regulation number of innings and time remains, the game will continue one extra inning to determine a winner. If the game is still tied after one extra inning, the game ends in a tie, even if additional time remains; however, ties shall be played out to a winner in advancement (bracket) games.
  • E. An inning is deemed to begin at the moment the third out is made in the previous inning.
  • F. The umpire is the sole judge of time. The umpire will not stop the clock unless there is a serious injury or a weather delay that stops the game. The umpires on the field will determine a serious injury and the decision to stop the clock is umpire judgment.

Safety Rules

  • A. While on offense, only the batter and the on-deck batter can be outside of the dugout fence.

  • B. A bat boy/girl may leave the dugout to retrieve a bat after all playing action is completed. All bat boys/girls must wear a helmet with two earflaps when not in the dugout.

  • C. While on defense, there can be no equipment outside the dugout; this includes the on-deck circle.

  • D. Catchers are required to wear helmets that protect both ears and the back of the head. Either throat protector or mask protecting the throat must be worn. Skullcaps are not permitted. Catchers are required to wear a protective cup.

  • E. Players shall not wear jewelry. The umpire will ask the player to remove the jewelry. Play will not resume until the jewelry is removed or the player is replaced. This is not an ejection or an out. Medical alert bracelets/necklaces are not considered jewelry. If worn, they must be taped to the body to remain visible.

  • F. The use of cell phones is prohibited on the playing field by players, coaches or umpires.

  • G. Slash Rule:  There will be no slashing at 12u and below.  The penalty shall be an ejection of the manager, the batter will be called out and the ball is dead, with no advancement of the runners.

  • H. Bat Rule:  defines material and demensions

    • Wooden metal, graphite or ceramic bats manufactured for baseball play….not more than 2 3/4″ in diameter and not more than 42″ in length.  no tee ball or coach pitch bats allowed.
    • Defines the bat rule for 15-18U.  (High School bat rule).  Will only be allowed to use 2 5/8″ -3 BBCOR certified bats.
    • Penalty for an illegal bat
      • If detected before the first pitch of an at-bat, the bat shall be removed from the game.  The batter is not out and is required to use a bat that conforms to regulations.  The manager shall be warned and will be removed from the game on a second occurrence.
      • If detected after the first pitch (whether swung at or not), the batter is declared out, the ball is dead and no runners shall advance.  The manager of the team shall be removed from the game and may be suspended from the next scheduled game.
      • If detected after the ball is hit, the batter is declared out and all base runners shall return to their original base at the time of pitch.  The manager shall be removed from the game and may be suspended from the next scheduled contest.

Games Cards

  • A. Umpires are responsible for keeping the score by inning, the number of outs recorded per pitcher and the final score. Umpires are to print legibly so that there is no question on the above information.

  • B. After the game, umpires are to take the game cards to the tournament director. Umpires may choose to leave the field immediately and not approach managers to sign game cards.

  • C. Managers have thirty (30) minutes  after their game ends to verify the final score and pitching records. Failure to verify within the allotted time means that you agree with the contents on the card as written by the umpire.

  • D. Once the 30 minutes has passed, the manager states that the information on the card is true and correct. There will be no changes to game cards after the managers verified this information.  Any violation of tournament pitching rules will result in a forfeit of the game where the violation occurred.

  • E. Tie Breakers / Pool Play. The method of pool play, seeding and advancement will be determined by the Tournament Director based on teams location, strength and no play requests.

    • Tie breakers will be
      • Wins/Losses
      • Head to head competition
      • Runs allowed
      • Run differential (max +/-8)
      • Coin flip
  • F. The method of Pool Play Seeding and Advancement will be determined by the tournament director based on the number of teams entered.
  • G. Advancement to the Semi-Final games will be based on seeding and number of teams entered in a particular age division. If possible, the top 4 seeds will play in the Semi-Finals; however, a situation could occur in which only the top 2 seeds would play in the Finals.

  • H. All 7 inning forfeits will be scored 7-0.  6 inning forfeits will be scored 7-0

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram