Pee Wee League (U9) Playing Rules

This is Draft 4 of the Baseball SA Pee Wee League Playing Rules (current as at 15th October 2018)

The goal of this level of baseball is to provide players with a fun, enjoyable experience whilst developing their hitting, base running, fielding and throwing skills as well as an awareness of teamwork, sportsmanship and being organised.

Emphasis is placed on keeping the game moving and providing as many “touch opportunities” as possible. Coaches will pitch the ball, batters will hit the ball and fielders will make the plays!

Team Composition:

A total of 9 players play defence in the field, a minimum of 7 fielding players are required at all times. All positions are set as a traditional baseball field except for the pitcher who will stand to one side of the coach/pitcher (the coach/pitcher may NOT field the ball, they must let it go). The catcher may remain behind the plate but to keep the game moving, an adult must be close by to the catcher to retrieve balls. A batting line up may consist of 7 (minimum) to 12 (maximum) players.

Zones:

Competition to be played in 2 zones, City and Coast (7 clubs in each).

  • City: Gawler, Northern Districts, Golden Grove Central Districts, East Torrens, Kensington, Goodwood,
  • Coast: Port Adelaide, Henley & Grange, West Torrens, Woodville, Glenelg, Southern Districts,

Player Eligibility:

As a sanctioned Baseball SA competition, players must be of League Age 8 or League Age 7, that is, for season 2018/19, they must be born between 01/09/2010 and 31/08/2012, must be registered on Baseball SA’s Sports TG database and be financial. Baseball SA understands that flexibility is the key with this age group.

Younger players may play up if Clubs feel they have the ability. On the other hand, sometimes older children may not be quite up to the standard to advance to Under 11 baseball. A permit system will be available to assess needs in this area.

Permit System:

Clubs may email Baseball SA with a Permit Request for an over aged player. Each situation will be assessed individually. Permits will only be granted if the player’s level of skill and/or confidence is deemed lacking or the player has a disability that inhibits their ability. Safety and player comfort is paramount.

Equipment:

The ball will be an 8.25 inch soft core Tball. The tee will be a collapsible, adjustable metal tee. Bases can be flat throw down rubber bases. All players must field using gloves and bats must be 2.25 inch barrels and can be up to 28 inches in length. The pitcher must wear a protective grill helmet and the catcher must wear full catching gear. It is the Home Team’s responsibility to provide a diamond for play, bench areas and a pass ball line marked with cones (a coned home run fence is optional).

The balls and tees are also the Home Team’s obligation. All other equipment is each team’s responsibility.

Diamond Dimensions:

Pee Wee diamonds have 50 feet base paths (approx. 15 metres) and a coach/pitcher pitching length of 30 to 35 feet (approx. 9 to 10 metres) or whatever is deemed reasonable by the person pitching. A fielder’s pitching plate should be marked at 35 feet and slightly to the side of the coach/pitcher (this is done so the fielder (pitcher) knows where to stand whilst the Coach pitches for safety reasons). A home run line is optional and can be set at 100 feet (approx. 30 metres).

Pitching:

A Coach (or designated coach/pitcher) must throw overarm pitches to the batters of their own team. It is recommended to throw from one knee from approximately 30 to 35 feet (9-10 metres). A bucket of balls should be placed next to the pitcher to keep the game flowing. A small netted frame can be put in front of the pitcher for safety if required but this is only an option and not mandatory (if the ball hits the net it can be an automatic one base). One batter can face up to 4 pitches to get their hit, no exceptions.

Batting:

The batting side must bat in order, every player (maximum of 12) must be included in the batting line up. Each team bats for exactly 10 minutes which is timed using a stop watch by a designated time keeper (or maybe the scorer) for each team, batters keep going through the line up until time is called, therefore organisation on the bench is paramount. Time will be held in the event of an injury that requires attention. When the time is up the time keeper must advise all players “last batter” and the batter in the box completes their bat and innings is called. Every batter faces a limit of 4 pitches to try and get their hit in play, after the fourth attempt it is ‘tee time’ and the tee is brought out to home plate and the batter gets to hit the ball off the tee, batter and runners are only allowed to advance one base on a tee hit. The pitching limit must be adhered to, no exceptions. Once the last batter bats, teams swap over to complete the innings. Batters and base runners must wear helmets at all times. Base runners run as though there are none out at all times, holding up on a fly ball can be coached but there will not be any infield fly rules. If a ball is caught, runners must return to their base.

No bunting, the ball must be hit approximately 5 metres away from the batters box to be a fair hit, this will encourage batters to have a good swing at the ball and not a little tap.

Base Running:

Base runners must wear helmets and have one foot on the base at all times prior to a hit. Base runners can leave the base once the ball is hit. Runners can advance as many bases as they can on a hit, but only one base on a hit from a tee. If a ball is hit in the air, Coaches have the opportunity to teach their base runners the ‘holding up on a fly’ rule. If a fly ball is dropped then they can advance, a runner can be out for not tagging up or can be tagged out if they don’t get back to the base in time. Runners can be called out when it is a force and the fielder steps on the base with the ball, or they can be called out if they run without it being a force if the player with the ball tags the runner. A base runner or batter who is called out must return to the batting bench and resume their position in the line-up. In the event of an outfield hit, runners must not continue to run bases once the ball has made its way back to the infield and is in control. Coaches will be responsible for maintaining a sportsmans-like approach to base running. Sliding feet first is encouraged when there is a play at a base or home plate, head-first sliding is not allowed.

Stealing:

No stealing of bases is allowed. No pass balls.

Outs:

Games are played as though there are NO outs as each batter takes the box. This eliminates confusion with base running. If a ball in the air is caught, the batter is out, and base runners are taught to hold up/return to their bases. Outs can be made by catching a fly ball, fielding a ground ball and making either a force play at a base or by the fielder tagging a base runner when there is no force. Double plays can be made. Side away is after the 10 minute time is up.

Number of Innings per game:

Three full innings will be completed, that is 3 batting and 3 fielding innings per team.

Game Length:

Each game should run for approximately 75 minutes, that is each team will have 30 minutes of batting time and 30 minutes of fielding time with a few minutes for innings change overs.

Scoring:

Each team is required to have their own Scorer. Teams get one point per runner who crosses the plate during the offensive batting inning and one point per out in their defensive fielding inning. No premiership table will be contested. The intent is to give players lots of batting and fielding experience.

Coaches:

Each team must have:

Coach Pitcher: can be the head Coach or an adult with the ability to throw strikes. Base Coach: generally an assistant to the Coach, someone who can help the children run the bases, 2 Base Coaches is best (a coach at 1st and 3rd).

Bench Manager: a responsible person to manage the bench while the team is batting. This is important in getting players as many ‘at bats’ as they can in the one inning.

Fielding Coach: whilst fielding, the team may have 2 Coaches stand in the outfield or in foul territory just outside the 1st and 3rd base path lines in order to give directions to their team.

Scorer: a volunteer to mark down points for runs and outs. Scorers may possibly also take on the role of Time Keeper (see below).

Each game must also have:

Time Keeper: this can be spectator, someone responsible for keeping time and advising “last batter” when time is up. Games can have one independent time keeper or each Scorer can keep time when their team is fielding.

Tee Manager: someone who runs the tee out to home plate when required.

Catcher Backstop: a responsible ball retriever, someone who stands close by the catcher and retrieves the balls that are missed. Balls can be put in a bucket and returned to the coach/pitcher after every few batters, or when required.

Umpires:

Games are umpired by the Coaches. Base Coaches and the coach/pitcher can call outs. If a club wants to supply a base umpire this must be made known before the game begins so coaches and players are aware. It could possibly be a good starting point for volunteers to have a go at umpiring, it would not be discouraged.

Scheduling:

Games will be played on Sunday mornings, 9:00AM start time. There will only be 8 games scheduled in its inception season. Games will be played at club grounds and also Diamond Sports. Clubs must nominate teams by COB first Friday of September. The fixture will be live on the last Friday of September. Generally, the first round will begin on the 2nd Sunday in November, there will be 4 games scheduled before Christmas and 4 games after Christmas in the month of February. One full Round may be played at Diamond Sports before a Bite game so all Pee Wee players can watch and be involved in game day activities.

Heat Rule:

Pee Wee League will be governed by Baseball SA’s Heat Policy. Games can be rescheduled by Baseball SA’s Tball & Schools Coordinator.

Official Results Sheet:

The home team must complete a Baseball SA Official Results Sheet. All players playing in the game must be listed, along with their date of birth, and the form must be emailed to Baseball SA after each game (or no later than Monday 5pm the next day). No record of scores is required to be completed. This is purely an administrative exercise to ensure players playing are registered (just like any other Baseball SA junior competition).

Fees:

All Pee Wee League players will be charged a small Baseball SA fee as well as the mandatory Baseball Australia fees to ensure all players are appropriately insured which is a requirement Baseball SA must adhere to. League Age 8, 7, 6 and 5 players will all be charged the same fee. Older player’s fees will be negotiated during the Permit approval process. All League Age 8, 7, 6 and 5 players playing Pee Wee League may also play Tball at no extra cost for their Club’s Tball Program.