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Machine Pitch Baseball Ground Rules

1.     Machine pitch games will play 6 innings or 1 hour and 30 minutes. .  A new inning starts when the last out of the previous inning is made.
A) If a new inning is started it will be completed if the game is within reach (tie or win).
B) If a new inning is started and the game is NOT within reach (due to run limits per inning), the game should be continued with a hard    stop at 1:30.  However, the manager of the team with the least runs (not umpires) may elect to concede the victory to their opponent at    which time the game shall end.
C) Machine pitch games CAN end in a tie.                                                                          
D) Game time begins once the meeting between opposing managers and umpires is completed.  At this time the umpires are now                          in charge of the playing field.

2.     The 10-run rule is in effect after 4 innings (3 1/2 if the home team is ahead).

3.     Each team must have at least 8 players to begin an official game. You must have a catcher.

4.     Pitching machine shall be set with the back leg right in front of the pitching rubber.  The pitching rubber is 46’ from the back corner of home plate.  The speed shall be set at @ 34 mph.  It is the responsibility of the coaches to set up the machine before the game. 

5.     The run limit will be five (5) per inning. 

6.     Teams will play with a full-roster (continuous) batting order. Innings are three (3) outs or four (5) runs. Whichever comes first.

7.     Defensive substitutions do not need to be reported to the umpire or opposing manager.

8.     All non-wood bats must have the USA Baseball mark, whether they are 2 1/4 or 2 5/8.  T-ball bats are allowed.

9.     There are no walks in machine pitch. Maximum of five (5) pitches allowed. If 5th pitch is fouled off the batter will continue to bat until the ball is hit fair or he/she strikes out.

10.   If necessary, coaches can call time to adjust the machine to ensure the ball is passing through the strike zone.  However, coaches are not allowed to adjust the machine from batter to batter.  Example:  Your second batter is tall, but your third batter is short.  Have the batter adjust themselves in the batter’s box. Both head coaches must mutually agree that the machine needs to be adjusted.

11. Batted balls that hit the machine, extension cord or pitching coach are considered “dead balls”.  The batter is awarded 1st base (regardless of if the batter is put out) and runners will advance one (1) base only. 

12. Base stealing or advancing on a pitch that gets by the catcher is NOT permitted in machine pitch.  Also, there is NO bunting in machine pitch. 

13. There is no swinging of bats outside the batter’s box, dugout, and NO on-deck circle. A player should not handle a bat, even inside the dugout, until it is their time to bat.  Please do not allow players to swing the bat outside of the dugouts either. 

14.   Runners may advance one (1) base on a passed ball or overthrow. No advance is allowed on a reasonable attempt to throw back to the pitcher in the pitcher’s circle. (Example: Runner on 1st and ground ball hit and overthrown to 2nd base, runner can advance to 3rd base. Example: No runners on base, batter hits ground ball and overthrown to 1st base, runner can advance to 2nd base.)

15.   There is no “must slide” rule in Little League.  However, any runner is out when he/she does not slide or attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag.  Runners cannot slide headfirst while advancing but are allowed to slide head first when retreating to a base.  See Rule 7.08 (a) – (k) on pages 104 – 106 in the rule book for more info.  If the umpire feels the runner did not make reasonable effort to avoid contact, the player may be called out and the manager will be issued a warning.    

16.   Teams are allowed four (4) coaches before and during games.  One adult must always remain in the dugout during the game. All coaches must be in the dugout while their team is on defense.  On offense, only the base coaches can coach the batter and runners.  The coach placing the ball in the machine may NOT communicate to the batter.  However, that coach may communicate to the base coaches which can then speak to the batter.  The pitching coach should take a knee after the ball is hit and try to protect the pitcher from running into the machine. TEAM MOM/PARENT IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE DUGOUT.

17.   There will be no penalty in the batting order if a player is injured and removed from the game.  The new batter does not inherit the count of the previous batter, no out is recorded, and the new batter assumes a fresh count.  If a player is using the restroom when it’s their time to bat, that player loses his/her at bat, but no out is recorded, just move on to the next batter in the lineup. 

18.   NO infield fly rule in machine pitch.

19.   There can be a total of nine (9) players on defense. Play with a regulation infield and three (3) outfielders.  Outfielders must be positioned in the grass.

20.   Machine pitch is an instructional division.  No player shall play the same position for more than two consecutive innings. If safety is a concern, please communicate that to the parents and make an effort to work them in.  No player, unless sick, injured, removed from the game by the parents, or displaying conduct not fit for Little League shall sit more than two (2) innings defensively during a regulation six (6) inning game.  Players may not sit defensively more than one (1) inning during the first four (4) innings.

21.   Please make sure your players (especially your catcher) are wearing a protective cup and neck guard (neck guard is required for the catcher).

22.   Time will be called once a reasonable attempt to get the ball to the pitcher has been made. If runners are more than halfway to a base when time is called, the runners will be permitted to advance to that base.  This advancement will be based on the judgment of the umpire and should not be argued

23.   Pool players must bat at the end of the lineup, start defensively, and play no less than three consecutive innings (9) outs on defense.  Pool players may not play pitcher, catcher, or 1st base on defense.

Each team is responsible for cleaning their dugouts and bleacher area after the game.


Greater Helotes Little League

Greater Helotes Little League, PO Box 968
Helotes, Texas 78023

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