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Rules for the Independent League

2019 GAME RULES FOR THE INDEPENDENT LEAGUE FOR “A”, “B” & “C” LEVELS

 

1.      The league will use Iowa High School Federation rules with the exceptions that are listed below. 

 

2.      "A" level will use 80 foot bases with a 55 foot pitching mound.
"B" level will use 70 foot bases with a 50 foot pitching mound.
"C" level will use 60 foot bases with a 45 foot pitching mound
Coaches should see to it that players run on and off the field between the innings.  Umpires should keep the game moving and not allow any unnecessary delays.

3.       Players at the “A” level will be permitted to wear metal spikes.  Metal spikes are not permitted in the “B”, “C”, “D” or “E” levels. It is suggested that players wear long pants. Jerseys must not have frayed edges or torn sleeves. Except at the E Level, all teams should have matching uniforms and caps. Caps need to be worn properly. Jerseys must be tucked in during play. It is also suggested that players wear hard athletic cups during play. 

4.      Bunting will be allowed at "A", "B", & "C" levels. Once a batter squares away to bunt, they must bunt or take the pitch.  If the batter takes a full swing he will be called out.

 

5.      "A" level games

(a)   National Federation Rules, except the IL will use 80' bases and a 55' pitching mound.

(b)   A copy of these rules will be kept inside the Sports Complex for easy access.

(c)   Another copy of these rules will be available to be checked out by contacting the League Secretary.

(d)  The minimum number of players to start a game for a team is 8 players. In the event a team is batting only 8 players, the 9th spot in the batting order will be an out each time through the lineup as teams at this level can, and should, field 9. In the event of injury or illness to a player during the game which results in 8 players, enforcement of an out for the 9th spot will not occur. However, should an ejection result in 8 players enforcement of an out for the 9th spot will occur.

6.      "B" level games

(a)   National Federation Rules, except the IL will use 70' bases and a 50' pitching mound.

(b)   National Federation Rules, except each pitcher will get one balk warning before the runners advance.

(c)   A copy of these rules will be kept inside the Sports Complex for easy access.

(d)  The minimum number of players to start a game for a team is 8 players. In the event a team is batting only 8 players, the 9th spot in the batting order will be an out each time through the lineup as teams at this level can, and should, field 9. In the event of injury or illness to a player during the game which results in 8 players, enforcement of an out for the 9th spot will not occur. However, should an ejection result in 8 players enforcement of an out for the 9th spot will occur.

7.      "C" level games

(a)   Home Plate is closed. Runners shall not advance from third base to home unless the runner is batted home or forced home by a walk, HBP, or award from the Umpire. Runners shall not advance home on a pass ball, wild pitch, or dropped third strike. A runner shall also not advance home as the result of overthrows on an attempted steal. 

Example: Player A is at 1B. Player A attempts a steal of second and the throw is wild. The runner then runs to 3B and there is an overthrow of 3B. The runner is not permitted to advance home, even if the ball is thrown out of play.

(b)   10 player line-ups will be used. 

(c)   Pitchers need not stretch.  No balk rules.

(d)   Infield fly rule will apply at “C” level.(If a team is batting with less  than  two outs and has runners on first and second, or the bases loaded, the infield fly rule is applied) This rule is intended to prevent unfair sportsmanship by the fielders that would result in an easy double or triple play! 

(e)    A player who draws a walk is not allowed to advance to 2nd base immediately after drawing a walk. The runner may not advance to 2nd base until the pitcher delivers the next pitch or an attempt is made to retire a runner already on base.           

(f)   A batter CANNOT run on dropped third strike                                                

(g)   Scoring  - for the first 1 hour of play, each team is limited to scoring 7 runs against an opponent in each inning played. If 7 runs are scored, then your ½ of the inning is over. The other team then bats.

(h)     This will be in effect for the first one hour of play and/or until the top of the next inning. After one hour the innings are open as for the number of runs that can be scored.    (C level only)

(i)  The minimum number of players to start a game for a team is 9 players. In the event a team is batting only 9 players, the 10th spot in the batting order will be an out each time through the lineup as teams at this level can, and should, field 10. In the event of injury or illness to a player during the game which results in 9 players, enforcement of an out for the 10th spot will not occur. However, should an ejection result in 9 players enforcement of an out for the 10th spot will occur.

 

8.      Pitchers, "A", "B" & "C" Levels

(a)   A relief pitcher will be allowed 8 warm-up pitches. 

(b)   A pitcher once removed from that position cannot go back in to pitch again in that      game, he can play any other position. 

(c)   All the above rules and those below refer to all league regulation games.  This applies to all make-up and re-scheduled games.  This should be a reference for all coaches in tournaments and outside games as well. Remember it is your conscience that will determine the use of the pitcher's arm. 

 

9.      Pitching Rules - see "Pitching Guidelines" under "Rules and Regulations tab.

 (a)    A representative from each team must keep pitch counts for both teams and meet with base umpire to compare pitch count totals each half inning.  Should the pitch counts not match, the average of the two will be used while rounding up to the next whole number.

 (b)     If playing a double header, the pitching rules still applies for CALENDAR days of rest. The start of  the second game does not count as a day of rest. For league play, no pitcher may pitch in more than one game in the same day.


10.  Slide Rule
Article 2 . . . Any runner is out when he:

1.      Does not legally slide and causes illegal contact and/or illegally alters the actions of a fielder in the immediate act of making a play, or on a force play, does not slide in a direct line between the bases

2.      The runner uses a rolling, cross body or pop up slide into the fielder

3.      The runners raised leg is higher the the fielder’s knee when the fielder is in a standing position

4.      The runner slashes or kicks the fielder with either leg

Legal Slides

5.      Can either be head first or feet first.

6.      If a runner slides feet first, at least one leg and buttock shall be on the ground.

7.      If a runner slides, he must be within reach of the base with either hand or a foot.

 

11.  If a game has to be forfeited for any reason, there may be a fine levied against the team causing the forfeit. The league board will determine the fine.

 

12.  The league will use the following method to place teams for tournament play; 1st will be by win loss record. 2nd will be by head to head play. 3rd by number of runs given up.

 

13.  The umpires used in a game should be someone that is knowledgeable of the game and that person should be at least high school age or more.

 

14.  At ALL Levels, teams must bat round robin with set batting order with free substitution in the field. This is mandatory for both teams.  Round robin means:

(a)   All players are in the game and they are batting. Example: if a coach has 14 players at a game all 14 bat in a set order for the whole game. 

(b)   A coach cannot elect to bat less than the number of players he has at the game.  Example: if a coach has 14 players at an “A” "B" or "C" level game, he cannot bat 12 players. 

(c)   During round robin, coaches cannot have one player pinch run for another player, (all players are already in the game). 

(d)   In the event of an injury to a player such that the player is unable to continue to play in the game, that team will not have an automatic out when that player’s turn to bat comes around in the order.

 

15.  Any time a pitcher is warming-up, the catcher must wear a protective facemask.  This rule is for the player's safety and will be enforced. 

 

16.  A batter can be intentionally passed by merely informing the umpire that you want to put him on base without pitching to him. 

 

17.  Games in which an illegal pitcher or player is used or has been used will result in that game being forfeited. 

 

18.  A pitcher on the mound cannot have a batting glove on either hand.  No sweat or wrist bands, no frayed sleeves or anything that would distract a batter.  This is a Federation rule. 

 

19.  A coach can make one visit per inning to the mound to talk to his pitcher.  A second visit to the mound means that the pitcher must come out

 

20.  All league games will be 6 innings in length subject to the time limits which follow. No new innings may start after 1:20 (one hour and twenty minutes).  This time will be reduced with no new inning starting after 1:10 (one hour and ten minutes) until the last day of school. Games will resume the regular time starting with the next new week. An example would be, the first game of the evening is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. then no new inning could start after 6:50 p.m.  Exceptions to the rule would be weather, field conditions, and extra inning games.

 

The fifteen (15) run rule will be in effect at the end of 3 complete innings of play. The ten (10) run rule will be in effect at the end of 4 complete innings of play.  If the home team is ahead by 15 runs at the end of the 3rd inning then the game is over. If the home team is ahead by 10 runs at the end of the 4th inning then the game is over.

The start of the next inning officially begins immediately after the last out of the previous inning. It does not start with the 1st pitch of the new inning. It there is time remaining on the clock then the game may continue. If time has elapsed then the game is over.

 

21.  Extra Inning/Tie Breaker – If a game is tied at the end of its scheduled innings of play or at the end of the allotted time for the game then at the top of the next inning each team will start their portion of the inning with a runner on 2nd base. The runner will be the last official at bat from the previous inning. This will be in effect until the game is decided.

22.  Every team will furnish at least one batting helmet with a face guard for use by players. It is suggested that every male player wear an athletic supporter with a hard cup during games.

 

23.  On deck players loosening up to bat next should position themselves out of harm’s way for left or right handed batters. You may warm up in front of the opposing team’s dugout to accomplish this.

 

24.  A courtesy runner is allowed for the pitcher or the catcher at any time. 

(a)   A courtesy runner must be used for the catcher when there are two (2) outs.

(b)   The courtesy runner will be the player who made the last out as all players are in the batting lineup as a result of round robin batting rules. 

25.  A, B & C levels will not be allowed anything larger than a 2 5/8 inch barrel. There will be no weight limits or drop limits.  If an illegal bat is found to be used, the batter will automatically be called out. 

SMALL BARREL (2 ¼ inch diameter or less) bat specifications: 

Only those Small Barrel bats made by approved USSSA or USA Baseball licensed manufacturers that are either

i.           Wood, OR

ii.          Made with the New USSSA or USA Baseball Mark will be allowed.

BIG BARREL (2 5/8 inch diameter) bat specifications:
Big Barrel baseball bats with 2⅝ diameter barrels will be allowed for independent league play if, and only if,                                                       

i.                they have the New USSSA Mark OR USA Baseball (see below) prominently and permanently displayed on their taper and are manufactured by an approved USSSA or USA Baseball bat licensee, OR

ii.              is a "Qualified BBCOR Bat" (a Big Barrel bat that is made by a USSSA approved bat licensee, has a BBCOR mark permanently attached to the bat that is recognized by the National High School Federation (NHSF) as a legal bat for NHSF sanctioned play and  has no more than a minus 3 ounces difference from the length of the bat which bat must be at least 29 inches long), OR

iii.             is a Wood Bat manufactured by an approved USSSA or USA Baseball  bat licensee.

There are no exceptions to this rule!!! Please note that only Qualified BBCOR bats have any weight v. length (drop) limitation.  Please also note that there are bats on the market with 2 ¾ diameter barrels.  These bats are NOT legal for league play.

Penalties for Using 2 3/4" Bats:

First Offense- If, at the completion of an at bat (AB), be it by Coach appeal or Umpire recognition, a 2 3/4" bat is identified as used during that AB it will be an automatic out, any advancement of runners will be nullified and the player and Head Coach will be removed from the remainder of the game.

Second Offense- Along with the penalties under the First Offense the player and Head Coach will serve a one game suspension in addition to the removal from the current game. This suspension is to be served during the next League game or League EOY Tournament game. No exceptions.

The new USSSA or USA Baseball mark will be large and easy to spot making umpiring decisions on legal Big Barrel bats easy to make without disruption to the game that lists of legal and illegal bats or the close inspection of each bat would generate. The New USSSA  or USA Baseball mark reflects that the manufacturer of the bat has committed to you the customer and to that the bat meets not just the USSSA 1.15 PBF test and USA Baseball tests, but also the USSSA/USA Baseball rule book, the USSSA/USA Baseball anti-altering requirements and all other requirements as set forth in the licensing agreement between the bat manufacturer and USSSA/USA Baseball. Other marks including those of other sanctioning bodies and "1.15 BPF" (without reference to USSSA) found on some bats, however, have no meaning for USSSA purposes.

Amendment to Rules Effective 2018 Season

Effective for the 2018 season, and any seasons thereafter, Rule 25 indicating allowed bat specifications has been amended to allow for bats with the “USA Baseball” stamp. These bat models are new in 2018 and “USA Baseball” approved bats are approved for all other nationally recognized baseball leagues.  These bats continue to meet testing requirements and are also allowed for use in USSSA. For more reading, please see the following link: https://www.justbats.com/bat-resource-guide/usabat-standard/

 



 

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