MATTHEWS ATHLETIC & RECREATION ASSOCIATION
2017 AA/AAA Machine Pitch MARA Local Rules
The following local MARA rules apply to machine pitch games. Any items not addressed are covered by the baseball rules in the 2017 Cal Ripken rulebook.
- Continuous Batting - will take place in both divisions. If a player arrives late, they will be placed at the end of the lineup without penalty.
- Time Limit –
AA will have a 1 hour and 30 minute time limit for all regular season games.
AAA will have 1 hour and 50 minute time limits for all regular season games.
In both leagues, for tied regular season games, extra innings are allowed within the time limit of the game. If the time limit has been exceeded, then a single extra inning is allowed. Playoff games will have no time limit. Playoff games will not end based on weather or darkness; they will be suspended based on the “Suspended Game” rule.
- Slaughter and Run Rules –
- maximum of 5 runs for each team in the 1st inning.
- For 2nd to 5th innings - if team is behind they can catch up and then go ahead by five runs. If ahead team can only go ahead by five additional runs.
- Sixth inning only there is no run limit.
- A 10 run rule applies beginning in the 4th inning for all games.
- Big Barrel Bats – Not Allowed.
- Bunting and Slashing (fake bunt then swinging) – Not allowed.
Penalties: 1st incident – team is warned and all runners return back to the previous base. 2nd incident - batter is out and all runners return back to previous base.
- Substitution – free substitution for all players (Cal Ripken rule). No player may sit more than two innings in a six inning game. No player may sit two innings consecutively. In the event of an injury, both coaches must agree to the proper thing to do.
- Minimum Players – Teams in Machine Pitch need a minimum of 8 players to start and finish a game and 9 in the playoffs. There will be no automatic out for the 9th spot in the lineup. If a team does not have the minimum number of players required for a regular season game, a substitute player from the next league down may play during the regular season. The substitute player must bat last. Teams that are not able to start and finish a game with the minimum number of players forfeit the game. No regular season substitutions are permitted for teams that have the minimum number of players from their own roster. No substitutions are permitted in the playoffs. When a team is playing with the minimum number of players, in the event of an injury and a player is not able to return to the game within 5 minutes of the injury, it is at the discretion of the opposing coach whether the game can be continued or is forced to forfeit. The decision must be made before the next pitch is made.
- Player Positioning – AA and AAA teams which start a game with less than 10 players must have all infield positions filled, remaining players will play outfield. Outfielders must be in the outfield grass when the play begins. No rover (short fielder) or additional infielders will be allowed. Outfielders may come into the infield to back up a play or cover a base vacated by a long play such as a run-down situation. Outfielders may only cover bases on over throws and other non-force plays.
- Base Runner / Fielder Contact – must try to avoid contact. Umpires have full discretion to make the correct interference and obstruction calls when contact occurs that affects the play.
- Head First Sliding – only allowed when returning to a base. Sliding into first base is NOT allowed.
- Running for Catcher – only allowed with two outs and the player who made the last batted out must be the substitute runner. A player is only deemed the catcher if they played the position in the previous inning. Do NOT call time until the substitute runner is ready to enter the game. Running for the catcher is NOT allowed during the playoffs.
- Playoffs - In the playoffs, the higher seed is always the home team. The only situation where this does not apply is during a double elimination championship game in which the loser’s bracket team beats the winner’s bracket team. Determination of the home team for the final game will be by coin flip.
- Ejections – Any coach or player that is ejected from a game for any reason, will be required to leave the facility immediately and will be suspended from the next game regardless of regular season or playoffs. Minimum number of players rule applies (see rule #7).
- Overthrows -
AA – Overthrows can occur ONLY at first and third base. Runners can advance at their own risk for one base. The defense can attempt to make a play at any base. Once all runners have safely advanced one base (they can be tagged out if they overrun the base) or a runner is put out, the umpire will call “TIME” and the play is dead.
AAA – Overthrows can occur at any base. Runners may advance at their own risk. The defense can attempt to make a play at any base at their own risk. If the defense makes a play at any runner, the ball stays alive until the lead runner stops his effort to advance. If the defense does NOT make an attempt to put out any of the runners, the play is called dead and the umpire will call “TIME”. The runner will be able to advance one base.
- Stopping Play
AA - If the batted ball is stopped by an infielder the play is live until the lead runner gives up his effort to advance. All runners can advance a maximum of one base on an infield hit. If the batted ball is in the outfield grass, runners may continue to advance until the defensive player throws the ball to an infielder standing on the infield dirt. As soon as the thrown ball hits the dirt or is touched by an infielder or an outfielder runs the ball into the dirt, the umpire is to call “TIME”. The umpire will determine if each runner is more than ½ way to second or third base or home plate and determine if runner advances to next base or returns to previous base.
AAA – The defensive team must stop the effort of the lead runner to advance. The umpire will call “TIME” when an infielder has the ball in his possession in fair territory in the infield AND the defense is not aggressively attempting to make a play on any runner. The umpire will determine if each runner is more than ½ way to second or third base or home plate and determine if runner advances to next base or returns to previous base based on when the infielder controls the ball.
- Pitching Machine
AA – The front of the pitching machine will be located 42 feet from home plate. Settings on the machine will be 6/4/3.
AAA - The front of the pitching machine will be located 46 feet from home plate. Settings on the machine will be 8/4/3.
- The operator must stand behind the pitching machine.
- The player must stay behind the front of the pitching machine (on either side) until the pitch is released.
- If the operator intentionally touches a hit ball, or a fielder, the batter will be called out and all runners on base will return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.(*\if the operator touches the ball to protect the child in the pitchers position, the batter will be awarded 1st base).
- If the operator did not intentionally interfere, the ball will become dead at the time of the interference and the batter will be awarded 1st base. All runners already on base will be awarded one base.
- The operator may not act as a coach and must remain quiet when the ball is live. After one warning, the operator will be removed from the game.
- A batted ball that hits the pitching machine before touching a fielder will be a dead ball and the batter and any runners will be awarded one base.
- If a batted ball touches a player before touching the machine or the operator, the ball will remain live.
- A thrown ball that hits the pitching machine remains live.
- Team Responsibilities –
- 1st base dugout
- Warmups - cages then infield
- Line the field
- Clean 1st base dugout and bleachers after game.
- 3rd base dugout
- Warmups - infield then cages
- Rake field after game
- Clean 3rd base dugout and bleachers after game.
- Plays at Home Plate – The catcher must be the primary fielder on plays when the ball is thrown to the plate. If the catcher is “cutoff” on a throw to the plate, the runner will be called safe (judgment call – no appeals).
- Coaches on the Field - Three coaches are allowed on the field at any time. The manager can be in front or beside the dugout (within reach of the dugout fence). The base coaches must be in the coaching boxes when the play begins. If the base coach interferes with a live runner the runner can be called out (judgment call – no appeals). The outfield coaches must be located in the outfield grass at all times during the inning. The scorekeeper must be located in the dugout, at the dugout doorway or outside the fence. AA - the outfield coaches can be in fair territory but must not interfere with the ball or assist Fielders AAA – the outfield coaches must remain in foul territory at all times.
- APPEALS – A play or game cannot be protested based on an umpire’s judgement call. It can be protested for a rules violation. Any protest must be made to the umpire prior to the next pitch being delivered. The protest must be made in writing to the commissioner within 24 hours of a game to be considered. If there is a dispute, it should be handled professionally between plays after time is called or between innings or after the game by the head coaches and the umpire. All discussions should be held quietly and away from the players and spectators. We are role models to the players and spectators.
- MISCELLANEOUS RULES (for players)–
- Holes under fence/gate – “Ground Rule Double”
- Limit frequency of huddle times and limit duration to only 60 seconds
- Throws are to be made overhand/”normal” baseball throw. Rolling the ball to the base is not allowed.
- MISCELLANEOUS RULES (for parents/spectators)
- No parents in the dugout or on the field that are not scheduled to be there.
- No siblings or other spectators are allowed in the dugout or on the field.
- Players should not leave the dugout except for medical needs or to use the restroom.
- There will be no arguing with the umpires or opposing coaches.
- No cursing, alcohol, or tobacco products will be tolerated at MARA.