2023 Spring Ball
Bats MUST BE USA stamped.
The following Rules are in addition to the basic MLB baseball rules and as contained in the Pony League Rulebook. In the event of a conflict, THESE Rules shall supersede:
- GAME STARTS:
- The Manager or a Coach MUST have the team roster and the medical release forms for all players at each game.
- The home team is responsible for setting up the field including portable fencing and supplying four (4) new approved baseballs for each game.
- No team shall practice on the infield prior to the start of the game.
- NO batting practice is allowed on the game field before the start of the game.
- FIELD PREP
- The home team is responsible to drag the infield areas and water down the field after each game.
- The visiting team is responsible for the portable scoreboard operation and setup.
- The last visiting team of the day is responsible for storing the scoreboard.
- Each player shall be permanently assigned a uniform number at the beginning of the season. Names of the players may be affixed to the uniform shirt.
- No team shall make changes to the league issued uniforms. If so, the manager and team will face disciplinary action. A player may buy and wear his own fitted cap as long as it has the same logo as the league issued cap.
- Metal cleats are permitted in the Bronco division.
- BATTING ORDER:
- The batting order shall include all players on the team’s roster present at the commencement of the game.
- A team may play with eight (8) players, but must take an out at the 9th batter’s spot without forfeiting the game.
- If a player leaves during the game he will NOT be considered out unless he takes his team to 8 players. If a player shows up late to a game (after the official line up has been exchanged he may enter the line up as the last batter, at no time is the player ineligible to enter the game.
- REGULATION SEASON TIME LIMITATIONS (TIME RULES):
- Each game shall be seven (7) innings in duration, unless the game is tied, and subject to time and darkness restrictions, then the game will continue until a winner is decided.
- There is a 10-run mercy rule. If a team is up by 10 or more runs after the losing team has had five (5) at bats then the game shall end (4.5 innings for a visiting team and 5 complete innings for a home team).
- No new inning may be started after two (2) hours and fifteen (15) minutes from the starting time of the game or 10 minutes before forecasted sunset, whichever is earlier. There is no “drop dead” rule. All innings that are started must be completed. At the beginning of each game, each manager and the umpire should agree upon the time at which the game commences. In case of questions as to that time, the umpire’s ruling shall govern. The two (2) hour and fifteen (15) minute period shall not include game delays (as determined by the umpire). If a game is stopped due to rain and lighting, it is a suspended game.
- If a game is tied and the next inning would start after the (2) hour and fifteen (15) minutes or it is too dark to continue, the game shall be treated as a tie.
- An official game is defined in the National Pony League Rules - The losing team must have had five at bats. Games stopped due to rain and/or lighting are suspended games. When suspended games are resumed, all players on the rosters from that game may be used (pitchers may not re-enter as a pitcher if previously used in the suspended game as a pitcher). Players not at the suspended game must bat after all players in the suspended game bat once in the resumed game.
- Postponed games and suspended games must take place as soon as the schedule permits.
- The game schedule is not final and may be changed by the Bronco Director or League President for rain-outs, other makeups, etc. as he determines.
- MANDATORY PLAYING TIME:
- Each player must play a MINIMUM of three (3) innings on defense.
- There will be free substitutions defensively, with the exception of the pitcher.
- There will be no sitting on the bench for consecutive innings
- No player shall sit more than two (2) innings in a game until all of the players have sat out at least one (inning).
- Each player must play one (1) inning of infield per game for the entire season, Playoffs included!! Exceptions need to be discussed and approved by the Division Director.
- PONY - NHBA BAT RULES:
- Bats MUST BE USA stamped.
- 2-5/8” barrel bats are LEGAL, if a 2-5/8” bat is a -3, it must be BBCOR certified.
- 2-3/4” barrel bats are ILLEGAL
- 2-1/4” bats are LEGAL, if they are manufactured to a Bat Performance Factor of 1.15 or less. In addition the bat must be labeled “approved for play in PONY Baseball” and stamped “BPF 1.15” and the year manufactured. Recognizing that some bats may not have the year manufactured on the bat it still must have BPF 1.15 stamped on the bat.
- Wood bats are LEGAL with a barrel no larger than 2-5/8”
- IF A LARGER BAT IS USED or deemed ILLEGAL, IT IS AN AUTOMATIC OUT!!
- THROWING THE BAT: Any player who, after one warning, throws the bat while batting may be ejected from the game as a safety hazard.
- STEALING: Stealing is permitted.
- PLAYER EJECTION: Any player that is ejected from a game will be subjected to a review of the play by the Division Director, which could include an additional suspension. If a player is ejected from a game for a second time during the same season, that player shall be suspended from the team's next one (1) to three (3) games (including practices) upon review and ruling of the NHBA President and Division Director. If a player is ejected for a third time in the same season, that player is subject to probable suspension for the remainder of the season upon review and ruling of the NHBA Board.
- PITCHING RESTRICTIONS:
- A week is defined as Sunday to Saturday.
- Prior to Spring Break, three (3) innings max per game, seven (7) innings max per week
- After Spring Break, four (4) innings max per game, eight (8) innings max per week.
- At 3 innings the forty (40) hour rule goes into effect. One warm-up pitch in an inning is considered a full inning. Forty (40) hours is calculated from the start to start time of scheduled games.
- For double headers – four (4) innings max per day. However, if a player pitches three (3) innings in the first game they cannot pitch in the second game.
- DROP THIRD STRIKE: The drop third strike rule shall apply.
- MUST AVOID RULE (Per PONY):
- There shall be no collisions between base runners and defensive players. In all cases, without exception, the runner shall avoid a collision.
- If the runner makes any contact with a defensive player, the runner shall be declared out. Should the contact be, in the judgment of the umpire, more than incidental or deemed intentional contact, the runner shall be ejected from the game.
- Should the umpire determine, in his judgment, that there was intent to injure on the part of the runner, in addition to the ejection there will be an automatic one (1) game suspension that accompanies pending an incident review and determination by the Board of Directors.
- If the runner slides or runs past a base to avoid a collision because the defensive player is blocking access to the base without possession of the ball or without the ball en route to the defensive player, then the runner shall be declared “safe” and awarded advancement of a minimum of one (1) additional base. Additional bases may be awarded if, in the judgment of the umpire, the runner would have attained such bases safely.
- WEEKLY EVENTS: There shall be no more than four (4) events per week. Events are games or practices at which a coach and more than three team members are present.
- Tie-Break Rules shall be as follows:
- Win-loss Record
- Head-to-Head Play
- Fewest Points Allowed in Head-to-Head Play
- Fewest Points Allowed overall
- Coin Toss
Each game shall be seven (7) innings in duration, subject to the following conditions:
Both the official start time of the game and the sunset time must be agreed-upon by both teams’ head coaches and the umpire, before the game commences.
No new inning may be started after two hours and fifteen minutes (2:15) from the official start time of the game, even if this means that less than seven (7) innings will be played.
In the event that less than seven (7) innings are played as a result of the 2:15 “no new inning” time constraint, the leader after completion of the final full inning will be declared the winner.
If the game remains tied after the final full inning, play shall resume until a winner is established, even if this means that more than seven (7) innings must be completed, and the game is over the two hour and fifteen minute (2:15) time rule. In this situation, no new inning may be started after ten (10) minutes prior to the previously agreed sunset time.
The umpire has sole discretion to stop play in the event of darkness. In the event that the umpire determines that the game cannot safely continue due to darkness, the game shall be suspended. There is NO outcome where the score will revert.
The suspended game shall resume the following day, at least thirty (30) minutes prior to the next scheduled playoff game, regardless of whether either team was previously scheduled to play that day.
The final pitcher for each team at the time the game was suspended may return to pitch in continuation of the suspended game. Pitches thrown in continuation of the game will be applied to the pitcher’s daily pitch count for the day that the game originally began. All other daily and weekly pitch rules will remain in effect.
The suspended game shall continue according to the foregoing rules, until a winner is established.
- There is a 10-run mercy rule in effect after the losing team has had a minimum of 5 at bats.
- PITCHING RESTRICTIONS: A week is defined as Sunday to Saturday. A player shall pitch a maximum of four (4) innings per game. A player shall pitch a maximum of nine (9) innings per week. If a player pitches three (3) innings in any one game, he shall be required to rest for forty (40) hours from the scheduled start of the game before being able to pitch again. For this purpose, a pitcher is deemed to have pitched an inning if he pitches one pitch in that inning.