Team. A minimum of 8 PLAYERS (i.e., playing two outfielders instead of three) is required for an official game. It is the coach’s responsibility to ensure there are enough players for a game. If a team has less than 8 players, that team will forfeit the game. In the event of a forfeit, the coaches will balance out the number of players on each team and have a scrimmage.
Heart guard, cups, and helmets. All players who appear for a game are required to wear a heart guard and a cup. All players who appear for a game must have their own batting helmet.
Batting lineup. All players who appear for their team’s game must be included in the batting order (e.g., if 11 players show up, all 11 players are part of the batting order even if they are not in the field). If a player arrives late, that player must be inserted into the lineup as the last batter.
Playing the field. A team with more than 9 players who appear for a game will have to sit players when taking the field each inning. In those circumstances, each player who appears must sit out an inning in the field before any player sits out a second time. Although the AA league provides players with the experience of playing "realistic baseball games”, all coaches, players and parents should be mindful that it is still an instructional league. Coaches are therefore encouraged to rotate players’ positions from game to game and avoid having any player playing the same position every game. A coach’s responsibility to give players an opportunity to play different positions from game to game is subject to the coach’s best judgment on where to place players in the field based upon skill level and any attendant safety concerns (e .g., if a player struggles with catching, the player should not play 1st base until those skills are further developed).
Length. A game will consist of FIVE (5) INNINGS or one and one -half hours (whichever comes first). If a game ends before 5 innings are fully completed, the final score at the completion of the last completed bottom-half inning will be the final score. It is up to the coaches and the umpire to decide when to stop a game if time constraints come into play. Please begin all games on time and make sure to have your team at the field 15- 30 minutes early for warm -ups.
Half-innings. A half-inning will end when three outs are made OR when the team at bat has batted around (regardless of the number of outs). Coaches must announce the last batter when a team bats around. Both teams will bat around to the number of players on the team which has the most players (i.e., if team # 1 has 7 players and team # 2 has 10 players then both teams can bat 10 players in any given half-inning).
Reporting scores. All scores will be reported to the commissioner, or a designee, to monitor league play. Standings will not be kept, and team records will not be published.
Pitching distance. The pitching distance will be forty-six (46) feet. Coaches must work on developing pitchers at each practice so that the pitchers will be able to throw strikes, which makes for a better game for all involved. Coaches should encourage all of their players to practice pitching at home. If they can consistently get the ball over the plate and be prepared to field the position, they should be given a chance to pitch.
Strike zone. UMPIRES will be assigned and will call balls and strikes. In the event no umpire appears for the game, a coach or parent (from the hitting team) must call balls and strikes from behind the pitcher. The STRIKE ZONE WILL BE LARGE – from shins to shoulders.
Count. The count will begin on the earlier of: (1) the first strike or (2) four balls called.
Walks. If a pitcher WALKS four (4) batters in a row, he must be replaced as the pitcher.
Hit batsmen. If a pitcher HITS three batters, he must be replaced as the pitcher.
Innings limit. A pitcher may pitch no more than two (2) innings in a game and they must be consecutive.
Mound visits. Coaches may only visit the mound twice in an inning to talk to the pitcher. On the second visit, the pitcher must be removed.
Intentional walks. There are no intentional walks.
Catching. Because many teams will have players who are pitching or playing catcher for the first time, many passed balls and wild pitches can be expected. To protect the pace of play, an assistant coach from the fielding team will stand behind the catcher and against the backstop to retrieve and return the baseball to the pitcher.
Approach. Coaches should encourage players to be aggressive at bat. Players should swing at all good pitches and attempt to put the ball in play.
Bats. Only approved non-wood bats or wood bats may be used in the AA League.
Bunting. There will be no bunting.
Throwing the bat. If a batter dangerously throws the bat after hitting the ball (thus putting the catcher and/or umpire at risk) a warning will be issued. The player will be called out if it occurs a second time and will be removed from the lineup (but allowed to play the field) if it occurs a 3rd time.
Overthrow. A runner cannot advance on any OVERTHROW. Once an overthrow is signaled by the umpire, the play is dead. The runner will be directed to go to the base to which he was advancing, which shall be determined by the umpire in his discretion.
Advancing. No runner can advance another base once the ball reaches the pitching mound. Encourage your players to get the ball back to the infield, and then the pitcher’s mound, as fast as possible.
Stealing. STEALING will not be permitted.
Infield fly rule. There will be NO INFIELD FLY RULE.
Dropped third strike. There will be no running to first on a DROPPED 3RD STRIKE.
Contact with fielder. A base runner must avoid contact with a fielder who is making or about to make a play. A base runner must not collide with or run into a fielder in any situation. That said, fielders should be taught NOT to block the bases (especially when the play is away from them). A base runner must slide or attempt to avoid contact by running around the fielder. If a base runner contacts a fielder, the runner will be called out and all other base runners must return to their original base.
Head-first slides. A base runner may NOT slide head first into any base, even if returning to a base. If a base runner does so, the runner will be called out.
Arguing. The umpire is in charge of the game. "Arguing" with the umpire by any coach, player, or parent will not be tolerated. Any player, or parent, who yells at the umpire or coach critically (arguing balls and strikes, safe /out calls, player choices, etc.) for any reason will be removed from the game and the field. It is the responsibility of the coaches from both teams to monitor disruptive behavior and address immediately with the umpire. Any player or parent removed for this reason must be reported to the AA League Coordinator by the coach.
Mistreating equipment. Bat or helmet throwing is extremely dangerous and will not be tolerated. Any player who FLAGRANTLY THROWS a bat or helmet in anger will be removed from the game (and must sit for the remainder of the game). No warnings need be issued. Any player who is removed from the game for this reason must be reported to the AA League Coordinator by the coach.
AFFILIATE CALL UP POLICY
All coaches need to emphasize the importance of attending games. Parents must notify coaches of absence or tardiness to games as early as possible and a minimum of 48 hours in advance. All parents should be using the RSVP functionality of the website. There should be 10 players present for every game if possible. Coaches should activate call ups to get to 10 players for every game.
Each team will have an affiliate to call upon in case the team has less than 10 players because of illness or conflicts.
AA League team can call up a 2nd grader from its A League affiliate in case of a shortage of players for a given game. Each A League coach should provide his AA affiliate coach with the names and contact information of his top four 2nd grade players, preferably in order. On an exception basis, the best 1st grader from the AA affiliate can be called up.
AA coaches will be notified as to who their A affiliate team is by the AA League Coordinator.
All coaches should talk with their affiliate coach when trying to call up so the most appropriate player is identified to substitute. There should not be any mismatches. Please use good judgment and do what is best for the safety and development of all the players.
Call ups CANNOT pitch.
Reporting. ALL INJURIES are to be reported to the Chatham Recreation Department and the AA League Coordinator. An injury is defined as any time that medical treatment (from band aid to ice pack) is performed. Additionally, all AA coaches will carry a FIRST AID KIT to each practice and game. Kits will be refreshed with supplies when depleted.
Emergency contact. Each coach will have an emergency contact number for each player at all practices and games. In the unfortunate event of a serious injury, parent and/or guardian emergency contact must be made, and the emergency contact person will be responsible for further medical attention.