Saturday, January 16, 2021

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Majors Rules


SOAC Majors Baseball Rules 2018

SOAC Mission Statement:  The Shrub Oak Athletic Club is a youth sports organization serving Northern Westchester and Southern Putnam Counties, NY. We are an all-volunteer organization dedicated to bringing the children the best sports activities possible. Our in-house programs focus on the value of teamwork, learning the game, sportsmanship and just having fun.


A. Major League Program:   50/70

There will be a minimum of 4 teams in the division. For playoff purposes, a tie in the standings will be decided in the following order if winning percentage is same:

1. Head to head record

2. If each team won a game against each other, then the scores of the 2 games will be totaled

3. Run Differential

*In the playoffs, the higher seed for that game will be the Home team.

B. Umpires:

       There will be 2 umpires per game when possible.  The umpires assigned by the club are in complete charge of the games.
       The umpires have authority to:

    • Eject any player or coach who persist in arguing a call and/or uses profane language directed at the umpire, manager, coach, or other players;
    • Eject any player or coach for flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct such as fighting or throwing equipment or committing overly aggressive acts that could injure another player;
    • Terminate any game in which a manager, coach, or parent persists in arguing a call;
    • Rule on the condition of the field in the event of rain or darkness, or the general playing condition of the field.

C. Game Limits:

       Each league game will be 6 innings, or played to a two-hour limit.  The 2-hour limit will only apply under the following circumstances: (2hr 30min Max)

    • When other teams are scheduled to play on that field and are waiting;
    • When darkness prevents game continuation; and
    • When inclement weather or field conditions prevent a game to continue.

Games will begin promptly at the scheduled times. Managers, coaches, and players should be at the field for warm-ups 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start. Teams should share infield warm-ups - 15 minutes each. Managers should use their discretion if infield practice will worsen the condition of the field.

Teams not ready to play 15 minutes after the scheduled time will be subject to a forfeit.  A forfeit will be recorded as a 6 - 0 loss in the standings.  It is anticipated that coaches accommodate each other and use discretion in invoking this rule.

A game and score is official after completion of 3 ½ innings of play (with the home team leading) or 4 innings (with the visiting team leading).  After 4 innings the official score is determined by the last complete inning.

Partial or incomplete games will continue. (Note: Pitching rules apply for partial games).

Games in a tie after 6 innings of play and the 2-hour time limit has not expired, will continue, if, in the umpire's judgment, one full inning can be played before the next scheduled game.

Games in a tie after 7 innings of play and the 2-hour time limit has expired, will continue unless:

    • Other teams are scheduled to play on that field and are waiting;
    • Darkness prevents game continuation; or
    • Inclement weather or field conditions prevent game continuation.

Maximum length of game will be 8 innings (except for playoff games). The "California Rule" will be enacted in the 8th inning if necessary.

The Majors Commissioner reserves the right to lengthen or shorten the league schedule at his discretion as a result of rain outs/cancellations.

D. Cancellations

Managers/coaches will be informed at least 1 hour prior to scheduled game time when possible. SOAC website will post updates first.

Generally, games will be cancelled in extreme weather conditions or if there was extreme weather prior to the game that renders the field unplayable.

Rain outs will be rescheduled by the commissioner based on field availability.

If the entire Saturday schedule is cancelled, we will reschedule all cancelled games on an available Sunday.

Manager wishing to cancel and reschedule a game may do so ONLY under the following conditions:

    • At least 24 hour notice given to the commissioner; and
    • Both managers and commissioner agree.

E. Game Rules:


A rotating batting order will be used. If 1 or 12 players are available to play and are listed in the line-up, the batting order will go from #1 - #11/12.

Batting orders must be exchanged between managers at home plate before the game. Roster cards will be provided.

Any player reporting late must be added as the last batter in the rotation. Generally if a player arrives after 2 full innings have been played he cannot play in the game, unless both coaches agree that the player is allowed to play.  It is anticipated that both coaches will agree to this.

If an injury is incurred by a player in the field and continues to play, he will be expected to bat or be subject to being called out by the umpire.  If a player is removed from the field as a result of an injury, the manager/coach has until the next time his team takes the field to determine if the player can continue.  If the player cannot continue at that point, the umpire and opposing manager/coach should be informed and the injured player's spot in the batting order will then be skipped with no out recorded for the remainder of the game.

Bats 2.25 Barrel 1.15BPF  Drop 10-12 (wood bats are allowed). NO BIG BARREL BATS ALLOWED
 If a bat is used and an umpire or the opposing coach believe it to be illegal this procedure will be followed;

1) If before first pitch of the at bat, time is called to inspect the bat and the bat is found to be illegal the batter must change to a legal bat. Both teams will be warned that if any player comes up to bat with an illegal bat, the batter will automatically be called out.
2) if after a pitch is made and time is called to inspect the bat and the bat is found to be illegal the batter must change to a legal bat and continue with the at bat.  Both teams will be warned that if any player comes up to bat with an illegal bat, the batter will automatically be called out.
3) if a bat is questioned after a ball is hit but before the first pitch to the next batter and the bat is found to be illegal, the batter will be called out and all base runners will go back to their bases.  Both teams will be warned that if any player comes up to bat with an illegal bat, the batter will automatically be called out.


Catchers must be in full equipment before going behind the plate, including helmet with throat guard and protective cup.Certain Catchers helmets do not need a throat guard. These helmets cover the throat. All Helmets supplied by SOAC must have throat guard.

No phantom tags.  There will be a team warning; a 2nd occurrence by a player will result in that player being removed from the game.

A catcher or fielder who blocks the plate or base without possession of the ball or the ball being in close proximity for a play will receive one warning and the base will be awarded to the base runner. A second occurrence will warrant ejection from the game. Fielder should give a lane to the runner.


Each player must play a minimum of 3 innings (9 outs) in the field. Nine defensive players, including the pitcher, will be used. Free substitutions in the field will be permitted, with the exception of the pitcher. Once a pitcher is removed from pitching, he cannot return to the game as a pitcher.   
It is anticipated that except for situations where the safety of a player or teammate(s) exists that all recreational players will have the opportunity to play all positions.


No pitcher may pitch more than 55 or 70 pitches a day and no pitcher may pitch more than 35 pitches per game in a doubleheader. A pitcher can not throw more than 110 or 140 pitches in a week depending on age.  The week begins on Monday.

There is no requirement where a 1st year pitcher must pitch an inning. It would be beneficial to develop additional pitchers but that's the individual Team Managers decision. 

Pitch Counts will be strictly enforced. Both coaches must track all pitchers in the game. 

Breakdown of pitches by age and days rest: 

   Age          Pitches per game         Pitches       Days of Rest   
 10 55 1-21 1
    22-40  2
    41-55 3
 11-12  70 1-23 1
    24-46  2
    47-60 3
    48-70  4


An 11 or 12 year old pitcher must have THREE night's rest, if he throws 58 pitches in a game, before being eligible to pitch again in an official game.  For example, if an 11 or 12 year old pitcher throws 58 pitches on Wednesday, he may not pitch again until Saturday and a pitcher who throws 50 pitches on Thursday is done for the week. Exception : If an 11 or 12 year old pitcher throws 50 pitches or a 10 year old pitcher throws 43 pitches on Thursday and a make up game is scheduled on the Sunday of the same week, that pitcher will be eligible to pitch but that pitcher can only throw 110 or 140 total pitches for the week depending on age.
  **The night of the game counts as the first night**

An exception will be made if a team is scheduled to play on consecutive days, due to weather which causes the make up:
An 11 or 12 year old player may pitch up to 46 pitches the first day and up to 46 pitches the second day. A 10 year old pitcher may pitch up to 40 pitches the first day and up to 40 pitches on the second day.

There are no intentional walks.

Balks – no balks up to and including the May 1st Games. From May 2nd on – 1 warning  until the playoffs. Playoffs no balk warnings

Pick Offs are allowed. Ball is live and runner can lead from any base.

NO CURVE BALLS ALLOWED!! A pitcher intentionally throwing a curve ball will receive one warning.  If the pitcher throws another intentional curve ball, he will be removed from the game as a pitcher.

A pitcher who hits 2 batters in an inning or 3 batters in a game will be removed from the game as a pitcher. A ball that bounces and hits a batter is considered a hit by pitch. **All hit batter incidents will be documented and reported to the Majors Commissioner immediately after the game. The Commissioner will determine if a pitcher or team is intentionally hitting individual or team batters. If a pitcher(s) is found to be intentionally hitting batters the pitcher(s) will be ejected from the game and suspended for the rest of the season. If it is found that the Manager or Ass't Coach had knowledge of this practice he will be suspended from participating in any SOAC Baseball activities in the future.**

During the Playoffs, the nights of rest rule is suspended but the pitches per game and week still stand. 46 pitches (11 or 12) and 40 pitches (10) per game is the limit in order to pitch back-to-back days.

Players can pitch and catch in the same game.  Please use proper judgment when using a player in both capacities during a game.

All travel players will pitch 

Base running:

Must wear batting helmets.  If a helmet comes off, the base runner must pick up the helmet, place it back on his head, and then continue.  If the player does not pick up the helmet, and is not subsequently tagged out, he may advance only to the next base from the point the helmet came off.

Base runner(s) may lead from any base and base runner may steal home.

Base runners must slide into 2nd, 3rd or home when, in the opinion of the umpire, it is a close play (a play that would affect the fielder's ability to make a play).  A base runner who fails to slide in this situation will be called out. Contact is not necessary to be called out.  Head-first slides will result in the runner being called out unless retreating to a base. If a runner is caught in a rundown while attempting to go to the next base (ex. 1st to 2nd) and has changed direction at least 1 time the runner can slide head first into either base as the player technically can retreat to both bases. 

A close play is subjective, and during a close play, where a base runner doesn't slide and does not affect the play, the runner should not be called out.

If in the opinion of the umpire, the base runner’s action(s) could have done bodily harm to a defensive player, the base runner will be ejected from the game.

If defensive player blocks a base when he does not have the ball or the ball is not in close proximity for a play, the base runner will be called safe. If the block was such a nature as to render physical harm to the base runner, the defensive player will be ejected.

The season will be played with 70-ft. base paths.  A base runner may steal anytime. Base runners are not limited to one base on a steal.

Batter up with Runner in scoring position –

Should a batter walk with a runner in scoring position, the batter will reach first base and not advance.  There is no continuation.  If the ball is a passed ball the runner in scoring position has the ability to advance at his own volition.  The runner at 1st must remain at 1st base.


F: Coaching:

All coaches must pass a background check prior to player evaluations. No coach will be permitted to participate at the evaluations without a completed/passing BGC.

2 adult baseline coaches are required. No one under the age of 18 can be a base coach. NO PLAYERS ARE ALLOWED TO BE A BASE COACH 

If a baseline coach touches a base runner during a "time in" situation, the base runner will be called out.

A baseline coach, who outwardly expresses a safe or out call before the umpire makes the call, can be removed from the baseline. This IS an attempt to influence the umpire's call.

A manager/coach may go to the mound 2 times per pitcher, per inning, without removing the pitcher. A pitcher must be removed on the third visit of the inning. If a coach speaks to a pitcher during a time out, it will be considered a trip to the mound.

Managers/Coaches must remain behind the dugout fences closest to the field.

A manager/coach may bench a player for flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct such as fighting or throwing equipment or committing overly aggressive acts that could injure another player or persistent arguing of a call and/or use of profane language directed at the umpire, manager, coach, or other players.  If a player is benched the commissioner will be notified as soon as possible and the player’s parent/guardian informed of the reason for the benching.

Coaches are reminded that the some umpires are members of the club.  They too are learning a new aspect of the game of baseball.  They are to be treated with the utmost discretion. Complaints regarding the calls and conduct of the umpires are to be directed to the Majors Commissioner, Umpire Commissioner, the Assistant Director or Director of Baseball.

G. Safety Equipment:

Batters must wear batting helmets when at bat or on deck.

Only the batter at the plate and the batter on deck may have bats in their hands.

All players on base must wear a helmet. A player losing his or her helmet while running the bases must stop at the next base. If overrun by a subsequent runner, the subsequent runner is out. Helmets must not be removed until the base runner returns to the dugout.

All players must wear athletic supporters with a protective cup. NO EXCEPTION 

Heart Guards are recommended for all players.

All players with the exception of those on the field or at bat must remain in the dugout.

No spectators, player or coaches will be permitted to stay behind the home plate backstop. Umpire will stop game and remove all from backstop.

Players cannot wear jewelry during the game or during practices.  Religious and medical items need to be taped down.

Players shall not throw equipment. Such players are subject to immediate ejection from the game by the umpire.  The umpire will issue no more than one warning to a team.


Schedules will be posted on the web sites. All updates & cancellations will also 
be posted here. Please notify your parents that they should check the site 



Shrub Oak Athletic Club is a recognized 501(c)(3) charity

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