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Rookie League Guidelines

Updated Tuesday April 18, 2017 by Melissa McElroy.

Henry County Youth Baseball



1. Batting

A.  All rostered players present for the game shall bat in order, whether playing defensively or not during that inning.  If a batter becomes ill or injured during the game, that spot in the batting order will be skipped without penalty.  Each team will use a continuous batting order.

B. Each batter shall receive 5 pitches which the batter may swing at.  If the batter does not hit a fair ball into play after five pitches, it will constitute a strikeout.  If the fifth pitch results in a foul ball, the batter will continue to bat until he/she hits a fair ball or incurs another complete miss of the ball. 

C.  If a batted ball strikes the pitching machine or coach, the ball will be dead and the batter will advance to first base. 

D.  There is no bunting.

E.  An inning is over when three outs have been made or all batters have batted, whichever occurs first.  No batter shall bat twice in one inning. 

F.  If a team bats through their line-up in an inning, when the last batter comes up to the plate, the offensive coach shall announce that he/she is the last batter.  If that batter hits a fair ball into play, the inning will end upon an out resulting in three outs for the inning, or upon the ball being returned to home plate.

G.  Protective headgear (batting helmets) must be worn on deck, at bat, while a base runner, and by players in the coach’s box, during practice and at all games.

H.  No stealing or leading off is permitted.

I.  Containment on the lead runner will stop play or, if the lead runner gives up efforts to advance, the play is completed and stopped.

J.  A ball returned to the pitcher's mound will stop play.  Any runner off of a base will be allowed to attempt to reach the next base or return to the last base reached.  If the runner attempts to reach the next base, the defense will have the opportunity to get the runner out pursuant to other applicable rules.

K.  On all live balls, runners may continue advancing bases until play is topped pursuant to I or J above.(it is not station to station)  All overthrown balls will be considered live and the runner(s) can attempt to advance to the next empty base.  There may be more than one overthrow before the ball is “dead” and a runner may only advance one base per overthrow.  (i.e. if first base is overthrown, the runners may advance to the next base and if the first baseman then overthrows third base, the players may advance another base.)  Balls entering dead ball areas will be dead and runner(s) will be awarded bases as specified by Rule 7.00.

L.  The pitching machine shall be set at 36 miles per hour.

M. The pitching machine may be adjusted between innings with 2-4 practice pitches.  The machine may be adjusted with each batter, but each pitch thrown will count as 1 of that batter's 5 pitches.  If the machine is hit by a ball or player, or if the machine begins throwing only wild pitches, the machine may be adjusted without penalty upon agreement of the coaches.

N.  The back leg of the pitching machine must be in front of the pitching rubber to keep it from moving.  Coaches shall make certain the machine is properly anchored and adjust the machine prior to the first inning so there will not be a delay in the start of the game.

O.  Each coach shall provide three game balls at the beginning of each game.  The offensive coach shall take the six balls to the mound prior to each at bat to speed up the game.  The offensive coach is responsible for collecting the balls from the catcher after each at bat.  If balls are lost or become damaged during the game, the coaches are responsible for having extra balls so that the offensive coach always has six balls at the machine.  A coach may not provide his own six balls during his team's at bat, this prevents coaches from gaining an advantage through the use of baseballs.


2. Fielding

A.  Each team shall play with ten defensive players, including a designated catcher. There will be six infielders, including the designated catcher, and four players in the outfield.  Outfield players cannot be positioned in the dirt of the infield. One player is placed on the pitching mound to assume the defensive position of the pitcher.  The catcher will take the catcher's position but coaches are encouraged to have a designated adult at the backstop to collect balls in an effort to speed up the game.  Coaches are encouraged to use a rotating list so that all players have the same opportunity to play in the field and all players sit out an equal number of innings.

B.  The pitcher must be in contact with the pitching mound until the batter makes contact with the ball. If the pitcher is not in the correct position, the offensive team can take the results of the play or bat again.  The pitcher may be positioned on the either the first or third base side of the mound.

C.  Each player present must play a minimum of two innings defensively.


D.  In addition to the base coaches, two defensive coaches may be positioned in foul territory to provide instruction to all defensive players - one coach positioned at least 12 feet beyond first base and one coach positioned at least 12 feet beyond third base.  In the coaches' discretion, the defensive coaches may be placed in the field of play but they must not enter the infield and must not interfere with any player or any live ball.

E.  No infield fly rule applies to Rookie League.


3.  General

A.  A game shall become final after six innings or one hour and 30 minutes, with the home team being the last to bat unless they are leading.

B. The score will not be kept during the game and there will be no live scoreboard, but each team will be responsible for keeping an official scorebook for each game and turn that scorebook into the League at the end of the season.

C.  This age group is designated as an instructional league and it should be the focus of the  coach to teach baseball fundamentals and sportsmanship first, then to focus on competitiveness.

D.  All coaches will be responsible for putting away the pitching machine after their game.  Please do not change the settings of the pitching machine. 

E.  Each team must clean out their dugout after each game. 

F.  No more than three coaches may be present on the field at anytime.  If the coach designates a person to collect balls at the backstop, that person will be in addition to the three coaches but must step outside of the fence after that team's at bat.  Teams will also be allowed to have dugout coaches/parents, but that person(s) must remain inside the dugout.

G.  At the point of the game schedule when teams only have five games remaining on the schedule, Rookie League will be played by tournament rules with the exception that the machine will continue to be set at 36 miles per hour.  Any coach not familiar with tournament rules may obtain information from any HCYBA Board Member.

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Henry County Youth Baseball in Henry County/Paris Tennessee.