MACHINE PITCH 'FARM CLUB' DIVISION RULES

12.3 MINOR - MACHINE PITCH “FARM CLUB” DIVISION.

12.3.1 GAME DURATION

  1. Regular season games shall be five (5) innings or one hour and 15 minutes, whichever comes first. 

  2. If tied after 5 innings, the game is considered complete. No extra innings.

  3. No drop dead, but if time does not allow for a game to be completed, the score will revert to the last completed inning.

  4. Each team will be allowed to score unlimited runs in the last inning only (5th inning only). Their half inning at bat will end upon the completion of one of the following:
    (1) The defensive team records three outs. (2) The offensive team bats their entire lineup. 

  5. Each team will bat the same number of players in the last inning (i.e. if Team A has 12 players and Team B has 10 players, Team B will bat once through the lineup and then 2 additional batters will hit in order). This only occurs if the defensive team does not record 3 outs.

  6. Only the head umpire may call a game complete, though this may be done in coordination with the Board Member on Duty.

12.3.2 LENGTH OF AN INNING

  1. The side is retired when three offensive players are legally put out, called out by an umpire, or when all players on the roster have batted one time in the half-inning, or when the offensive team has scored five (5) runs.

12.3.3 PITCHING MACHINE SETUP

  1. The Farm Club Division uses a pitching machine. The pitching machine should be set to throw pitches from 38 ft. from the point of home plate at a speed of 35-40 miles per hour. The pitching distance will be measured from the discharge, in front of the wheel. Slower speed can be used the first half of the season but the goal is to finish the season at 40mph.

  2. Prior to each game, the umpire will have each coach feed at least one pitch and obtain a consensus that the machine is set correctly. The umpire is the only person who may adjust the machine if he/she believes it is needed and ONLY at the top of an inning, UNLESS the machine has been hit and is not set correctly. 

  3. A batted/thrown ball that hits the pitching machine, ball bucket, or pitching coach/umpire shall be ruled a dead ball. The batter is awarded 1st base. All other runners will be awarded one base only if they are forced.

12.3.4 DEFENSE AND BATTING

  1. Each batter will receive five (5) pitches unless there is a foul ball on the third strike or the umpire calls "no pitch.”

  2. Any “bad pitch” caused by the machine does not count in the pitch count (e.g. pitches neck high and shoe low), and shall be called, at the umpire’s discretion a “no pitch.” If no league-assigned umpire is calling the game, then a “no pitch” must be identified at the time of the pitch by the pitching coach. It must also be agreed upon by the opposing coach. Please do not be excessive with these calls; rather have your batters adjust their position in the batter’s box.

  3. Defensive teams are allowed up to 10 players on the field. Pitcher, Catcher,
    4 infielders and 4 outfielders. If you are short players, you may play with fewer outfielders. 

  4. All players must play one inning in the infield before the fourth inning.

  5. The pitcher position must start with one foot touching the 3 foot diameter circle and may not leave his or her position until the ball comes out of the machine.

  6. Infielders may not play any closer to the batter than the pitcher.

  7. All outfield positions must start in the grass in the outfield and in fair territory. They may move once the ball is through the machine. 

  8. No defensive player may reach into or enter into the pitcher's circle. If a player reaches into or enters into the pitcher's circle, a dead ball will be called. The batter-runner will advance to 1st base, and all other runners will be awarded one base only if they are forced.

  9. The ball shall be dead immediately any time the pitching coach/umpire touches a ball thrown to him/her at the end of a play, whether or not they catch it, and all runners will return to the last base touched.

  10. Managers should supervise a warm-up before each practice/game, but no infield practice is permitted prior to the start of the game or in between games.

  11. Players should not sit out two (2) consecutive innings, and no player shall sit out a second inning until all other players have sat out one inning.

  12. Players may only play a defensive position for a maximum of two (2) consecutive innings per game with the exception of catcher. A player may play a position for only one inning, but cannot return to that position for the remainder of the game.

  13. The offensive team is allowed to advance a maximum of one base on an overthrow by a fielder, and only on the first overthrow. Runners may not advance on subsequent overthrows during the same play. 

    1. A throw that is coming in to the pitcher is not considered an overthrow. 

    2. It will be the umpire’s judgment whether to return a player to the previous base, and the decision of the umpire is final.

  14. Once the ball has returned or is on the way to the pitcher’s circle, the play is dead.

  15. Catchers must catch or retrieve the ball and throw it back to the pitcher on every pitch. The pitcher will then hand the ball to the umpire for the next pitch.

  16. It is recommended that players sit on the bench in their batting order. This will aid in organization and keep the game moving.

  17. Bunting is not allowed. A batter must take a full swing

  18. Pitchers must wear a helmet.

12.3.4 NUMBER OF PLAYERS

  1. At the Farm Club level, games CAN be played with less than 9 players on either side. There are no forfeits. Managers should use the Player Pool if they know they will be short on players, but may only use pool players to bring their team to a maximum of 10 players.

12.3.5 MANAGERS AND COACHES

  1. A maximum of two coaches may be on the field during the game, when their team is on defense, positioned in the outfield, to allow for in-game instruction.

  2. A batted ball that hits a defensive coach, before a defensive player touches it, is declared dead. The batter is awarded one base and all other runners advance 1 base

  3. When their team is batting, Managers and Coaches must be in the 1st or 3rd base coach box or in the dugout. There must always be an adult coach in the dugout when their team is batting.

  4. Defensive coaches may not be positioned in the infield or behind home plate at any time.

  5. All other playing rules will follow the Little League rule book for the Minor “Coach Pitch/Machine Pitch” Division.

  6. No protests. The umpire is the final decision maker in all cases.

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