Single A Rules and Guidelines
- Single A is an instructional league where the coach's job is to teach skills, build player confidence and promote good sportsmanship - winning games is incidental.
- A successful coach will maximize the number of players who can field the ball, throw to second, hit a ball, backup a play, focus on the game, have fun, etc.
- Run limit: A half-inning is over when the defensive team records 3 outs or six batters bat, whichever comes first.
- Game time is 90 minutes, but both teams should bat the same number of times.
- No official game score will be maintained - coaches will only keep track of runs to enforce the 5-run rule.
- Coaches are strongly encouraged not to maintain a scorebook so that they can focus on actively coaching their players instead.
- Scoring in some games may be lopsided - that's OK. Coaches should motivate players by treating each inning as a new game.
Pitching & Catching:
- Coaches Pitch League (players do not pitch): A maximum of five pitches will be thrown to each batter. If the batter does not put a ball in play, the coach will soft toss up to 3 pitches. The batter is out if they do not hit the soft toss pitches. IN ORDER TO PRESERVE THE STRUCTURE OF THE GAME, COACHES CANNOT EXCEED THESE LIMITS.
- Pitching instruction should begin by having kids throw to a cathcer or target during practice.
- Catchers will begin to learn fundamental skills: drop & block, stay on toes, protect throwing hand, catch pitches, field "bunts", and hustle after missed balls.
- Each player on the team will be included in the batting order regardless of playing a field position (continuous batting order).
- Up to 6 batters hit per half inning (less if the opposing team records 3 outs).
- Coaches should rotate the batting order so that all players get to bat at the top and bottom of the order.
- All batters must wear a helmet with a facemask.
- Players must remain in the dugout without a bat until they are up. Only the batter should be holding a bat.
- Bunting is allowed. Players in a bunting stance must bunt and may not swing away.
- Players should spend roughly an equal number of innings in the infield and outfield.
- One player should play the position of pitcher for fielding purposes. The player at this position should be different every inning.
- There should be a clear distinction between infielders and outfielders (ie, it shouldn't look like there are 7 infielders even if the batter is unlikely to hit the ball into the outfield).
- When a fielder obstructs a runner (e.g., a first basemen who blocks the bag, a 2nd basemen who stands on the bag without the ball), the coaches use their judgment to award the runner whichever base they think the runner would have safely gotten to had there been no obstruction.
- The ball is in play until controlled by the coach or player palying the position of pitcher. Runners less than halfway to the next base should return to the previous base.
- On an overthrow to first base, runners can advance, at their own risk, at most one base.
- Runners must avoid contact with fielders. Sliding is always okay, although runners can simply avoid the tag as well. If contact is made and the runner does not slide, the runner is automatically out.
- Head-first slides are not allowed, except when returning to a base.
- Runners who turn to their left after over-running first are not automatically eligible to be tagged. They must also make an attempt to advance to second.
- Stealing is not allowed.
- Runners may not advance on passed balls, however, catchers should hustle after balls to the backstop.
- Runners cannot leave the base until the pitch crosses home plate. Base coaches should be vigilant about enforcing this.
- Delayed steals are not allowed.
Umpiring, balls and strikes:
- In each half-inning, a coach from either team will serve as base umpire.
- Opposing coaches should NOT argue calls.