Playing Rules

Updated Saturday April 14, 2018 by LBA.

LBA Rules and Regulations - 2018 Summer Recreational League

The most current version of the Official High School Baseball Rule Book will be the official playing rules of the LBA Recreational League and Tournaments within the framework of the following regulations:

Regulation A - Uniforms and Equipment

  1. Uniforms shall be only those issued by the LBA and shall consist of a cap and a shirt.
  2. Players are responsible for purchasing their own footwear, pants and matching protective cups/supporters.
  3. Pants can be white, gray or pinstriped.
  4. Every member of the team shall have the same color pants, belts, socks and/or stirrups.  The head coach makes the final decision regarding the colors and styles of the team's apparel and accessories with the exception of the LBA issued cap and shirt.  Note: belts are not required for pants that do not have belt loops.
  5. Players not in uniform at game time shall not play.
  6. Metal cleats are prohibited in all Recreational divisions. All players must use rubber cleats.
  7. There are no bat restrictions for any recreational age group with the exception of softball bats.
  8. All male players must wear matching protective cups/supporters.
  9. Female catchers must wear pelvic protectors.  All female players are encouraged to wear such protection.
  10. Catchers' helmets must include ear protection and separate attached throat protectors. (Provided by the league)
  11. Wood bats must have a safety grip of cork, tape or composite material that does not extend more than 18 inches from the bottom knob.  Smooth tape is prohibited.

Regulation B - The Playing Field

  1. 8U Division: The diamond shall be a 60' square with the front of the pitching rubber set at 40' from the back point of home plate.
  2. 10U Division:  The diamond shall be at 65' square with the front of the pitching rubber set at 46' from the back point of home plate.
  3. 12U Division:  The diamond shall be 70' square with the front of the pitching rubber set at 50' from the back point of home plate.
  4. 14U Division:  The diamond shall be 80' square with the front of the pitching rubber set at 54' from the back point of home plate.
  5. The third base dugout on all fields will be occupied by the home team and the first base dugout will be occupied by the visiting team.

Regulation C - Participation Rules

  1. A team's batting lineup shall consist of every eligible player on the team who is present at game time.
  2. All players in uniform who are not injured or being disciplined at game time shall play a minimum of three defensive innings of the game, unless the game is called-off by mercy rule, weather, for player safety or game time limit.
  3. Late arriving players may play only if their team has not yet batted through its original lineup.  Late players must be placed at the bottom of the batting order.   
  4. There must be a minimum of eight (8) eligible players from a team's roster present at game time for the game to begin. NO EXCEPTIONS! If a team begins the game with eight (8) players, they will bat that order with one automatic out in the ninth slot. If both teams begin the game with only eight players, then no automatic outs will be assessed, even if a ninth player arrives and is eligible to play for one of the teams.
  5. A team can finish a game with no less than seven players.
  6. A Courtesy runner is allowed if there is an injury to a base runner.  The player who made the last out, regardless of which inning, must replace the injured player.
  7. If an injury prevents a player from continuing play, the injured player will be scratched from the lineup and that batting position will NOT be an out, unless it drops the team to below nine players. In that case of less than nine players, the appropriate slot will become an automatic out. 
  8. Whenever a tag play is evident, a runner must slide or seek to avoid contact with the fielder and / or catcher. Malicious contact shall supersede all obstruction penalties. Malicious contact is solely up to the discretion of the Umpire. Penalty: The runner shall be called out and may be ejected from the game at the discretion of the Umpires.
  9. There are no designated hitters.
  10. If a player is ejected, that player is out for the remainder of the game of which the ejection took place, plus the next game.  There will be no other penalty against the team unless this action drops the team to less than nine players. If there are less than nine players remaining after the ejection, the ejected player's batting position will become an out each time the position is due to bat.
  11. The maximum innings a pitcher can pitch per game is as follows: 
    • 8U division : 3 innings
    • 10U division : 3 innings
    • 12U division : 4 innings
    • 14U division : 4 innings
  12. As soon as a pitcher throws one pitch in a given inning, he/she is considered to have pitched one inning.
  13. A pitcher may return to the mound once in a game IF AND ONLY IF that player has pitched less than the maximum innings allowed per game.
  14. Only two conferences at the mound are allowed per pitcher and are considered defensive conferences. The second defensive conference within a given inning requires removal of the pitcher for the remainder of the game as pitcher.
  15. All conferences are limited to one minute.
  16. A changed conference is one that involves a coach (or his/her non-playing representative) and a player.
  17. No player shall play competitive and recreation in the same season.  If such player is found he/ she will be removed from the team.

Regulation D - Run Limit Regulation for the 8U Division

  1. A six (6) run limit per inning ends when the sixth run crosses the plate, regardless of whether or not there were additional players on base.

Regulation E - Special Regulations for the 8U and 10U Divisions

  1. Stealing or leading-off of bases is not permitted.
    • Lead-offs will be called out and may not be appealed.
  2. Base runners may only advance on a hit ball, a walk or a penalty.
  3. A dropped third strike is an automatic out. The batter may not run to first.
  4. On the infield fly rule, the ball is automatically a dead ball once it is declared by the umpires, regardless if the ball is caught or not. Runners may not advance.
  5. There is no balk rule.
  6. Base runners cannot advance once the pitcher has the ball, regardless of whether or not they are on the mound.

Regulation F - Special Regulations for the 12U Division

  1. No leading-off.  Steals may only occur once the ball has crossed home plate.
    •  Lead-offs will be called out and may not be appealed.
  2. A dropped third strike DOES NOT count as an automatic out, the batter may run to first if it is not occupied. If a runner is on first when the pitch happens, that base is considered occupied.
  3. Base runners cannot advance once the pitcher has the ball AND they are on the mound.

Regulation G - Game Length

  1. All games will be a maximum of 6 innings in length.  
  2. Official game time starts after the pre-game conference.  The umpire notifies the home team scorekeeper of the start time.
  3. In the 8U division a new inning CANNOT start after 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  4. In the 10U, 12U and 14U divisions a new inning CANNOT start after 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  5. A new inning starts immediately following the final out of the previous inning.
  6. A game will be considered official after one of the following conditions have been met:
    • 3 1/2 innings of play if the home team is ahead.
    • 4 innings of play if the visiting team is ahead.
    • the time limit has been reached.
  7. Only inclement weather, "11:00PM Lights-Out policy" or issues relating to player safety can postpone a game.  If a game is stopped before it is official, the game will be re-scheduled and will be played as a new game.  
  8. The umpires, in conjunction with the Field Directors, will determine game stoppage.
  9. "Mercy Rules": 15 run difference after 4 innings and 10 run difference after 5 innings of play.
  10. If a game ends in a tie, then each team will be awarded on-half game toward league play.
  11. If injury results in a delay of over 5 minute, the umpire may, at his/her own discretion, choose to extend the game time to equal to the time of delay.

Regulation H - Lightning Policy/Lightning Action Plan

Games at Centennial Fields:  

If thunder is observed (heard), a League Official shall immediately suspend all LBA-sanctioned activities and declare a minimum of 15 minutes at shelter time.  The 15-minute shelter time restarts each time thunder is observed by a League Official.

All persons affiliated with the game shall leave the field and seek protective cover for their own safety.  No one will be permitted to remain within the fields or dugouts for any reason.  Refusal to leave an unsafe area as mandated by a League Official may results in disciplinary action up to and including removal from the program.

Play shall not resume as long as the Lightning Action Plan remains in effect as determined by the League Official in charged.

Notification of events associated with the Lightning Action Plan:

*THREE long air-horn blasts: Clear the fields and take shelter.

*ONE long air-horn blast: All clear - Return to your assigned filed for further instruction.

If a 15-minute period goes by without a recurrence of thunder, activities may resume at the discretion of the League Official.  The League Official may make the decision to cancel or postpone play at any time during or after the Lightning Action Plan.

Practices:

Coaches are urged to monitor weather conditions and to use their best judgement regarding adverse weather.  A coach may postpone or cancel practice at any time he/she believes that it is unsafe to continue for any weather related reason.  Players and coaches shall retreat to closed automobiles or a secure structure.  A practice may resume following suspension, at the discretion of the coach, if no further thunder is heard of for a period of at least 15 minutes.  Coaches are responsible for providing shelter to any members of the team who do not have a parent or other adult present at the field.  Coaches should advise parents of this sever weather policy and should obtain contact information so that the coach can contact parents who leave their children at practice in the event of a suspension or cancellation.

Regulation I - Conduct

  1. All parents, Step-Parents and Legal Guardians are required to read and sign the LBA Parent Code of Conduct Form.  This form outlines our expected standards of behavior for those required to sign as well as all spectators at LBA games.
  2. Any player ejected from a game by an umpire will have the ejection reviewed by the LBA Board of Directors to determine whether the player's actions warrant any additional penalty.  The umpire will complete a written report for the Board to review.   
  3. At minimum, a player who is ejected will miss the remainder of the game from which he/she was ejected plus the team's next game.
  4. Any coach ejected from a game by an umpire will have the ejection reviewed by the LBA Board of Directors to determine whether the coach's actions warrant any additional penalty or other disciplinary action.  The umpire will complete a written report for the Board to review.
  5. At minimum, a coach who is ejected will miss the remainder of the game he/she was ejected from plus the team's next game.
  6. TOBACCO / CANNABIS / ALCOHOL / ILLICIT DRUG USE ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY:  There will be no use of tobacco or cannabis products, alcohol or illicit drugs inside the baseball facilities.  Violation of this rule may results in ejection from the facilities, (law enforcement summoned for alcohol/illicit drug use) and subject to a hearing with the Board of Directors to determine whether the offender's actions warrant any additional penalty, disciplinary action, membership revocation or termination.

Regulation J - End-of-Season Standings and Tournament Seeding

  1. 1. In the event of a tie in the season standings, the following methods (in order) will be used to determine the leaders
    • a. Head-to-Head Match-up
    • b. Run Differential within the Head-to-Head Match-up
    • c. Runs allowed by each team during the season.
    • d. Coin Toss

Regulation K - Tournament Rules

  1. Pitcher innings - 6 innings for the entire tournament, 3 innings per game for 8U and 10U, 4 innings per game for 12U and 14U.  Each pitcher will get an additional inning in the championship game.  No new innings can start after two hours.
  2. 15 run difference rule after 3 innings, 10 run rule after 4 innings.
  3. $50 protest fee - Tournament Director/Board of Directors shall have final decision on all tournament rules and interpretations.  If protest is upheld, then the $50 fee will be returned.
  4. Tournament games cannot end in a tie except to be postponed by inclement weather, issues of player safety or "11:00pm Lights Out Policy"
  5. Tie-breaker: "California Tie Breaker" - at the beginning of each team's at-bat, the last batter(out) from the previous inning is placed on 2nd base.  Each team has the opportunity to bat each inning.  The game ends when one team is ahead at the end of an inning.
  6. Championship Game- Six innings played, no new inning shall start after two hours and 30 minutes (2:30) since game start, NO mercy rules.

Regulation L - Game Protests

  • Protest Fee: $50 cash (on rule interpretation only - judgement calls may not be protested) by the acting head coach (whoever attended the home plate meeting) and must be done during the game and submitted to the security official at the complex.

Regulation M - Other

  1. The home team is the official scorekeeper.
    • Eligible Scorekeepers, from the home team
      • coach
      • assistant coach
      • designated coaching helper
      • LBA parent member or parent member family member over the age of 16
  2. The visiting team is responsible for providing a scoreboard operator.
    • a. Must be age 18 or above and must leave his/her vehicle keys with Security or Field Director as collateral while in possession of the scoreboard controller.
    • b. A recovery charge of $500 will be the responsibility of the scoreboard operator if the controller is returned in a damaged or non-functioning state due to neglect or vandalism.
  3. The winning team's coach or assistant coach has 24 hours from the end of the game to enter the game score in the online scoring system or face the game being a 1-1 tie on the record.  NO EXCEPTIONS!
  4. Coaches and players are responsible for cleaning their dugout after each game and for getting off the field and out of the dugout in a timely manner so the following game can begin.
  5. "Bat Boys" or "Bat Girls" are prohibited.
  6. Only three coaches/helpers from each team are allowed inside the field and dugout during a game.
  7. Any team using a player or players who are not registered with the LBA will forfeit all games won with such player.  The offending team's head coach must attend a disciplinary hearing with the LBA Board of Directors.
  8. The official copy of Rules and Regulations shall be kept and maintained online at www.lovelandbaseball.org
  9. Rules and Regulations shall be amended only by the LBA Board of Directors and cannot be amended by any other agreement.
  10. Rules and Regulations are subject to change at any time without notice.

Amendment 1 - Exception to the LBA Regulations

  • The 14U and 17U Recreational League Division will participate within the Ft. Collins Baseball Club recreational league.  All games will be played by FCBC Rules.  The preceding regulations do not apply to 14U and 17U Recreational Division LBA Teams, other than the Danny Juarez postseason tournament.