2024 FSYBS Baseball League Rules

This is a USSSA Sanctioned Developmental Baseball League.

For official USSSA rules click here.

The following rules have been modified specifically for Fort Smith Youth Baseball and Softball League

GENERAL

1)  All Leagues are governed by OBR, except where stipulated below.

2)  No Sunflower ( or other seeds with a shell ) are allowed. No chewing gum. These items do not go well with the turf surfaces.

3)  Home team is responsible for keeping the official score. Visiting team is responsible for operating the scoreboard when applicable. At the end of each game, a representative of each team will sign the score sheet, results of the signed score sheet shall be deemed as official once signed by both teams.

4)  Home team dugout is designated as the 1st base dugout. In the event of a team playing back-to-back games, on the same field, being designated home for one game and visitor for the other, that team does not have to change dugouts between games.

5)  Teams must have at least 8 players at the start of the game. Teams are allowed 5 minutes from Game Time for players to arrive before forfeit is declared.

6)  Metal cleats ARE NOT ALLOWED

7)  USSSA bat rules apply to age groups 8u and above.   In 6u Tball and 4.5u Rookie Leagues, no bats larger than 1 1/4″ barrell are allowed.  USA-approved bats are also allowed.

8)  Any regular-season game stopped due to any event, other than the time limit reached or mercy rule attained, will be considered official if at least half of the allotted time has passed at the point when the game is stopped. All OBR rules governing official games stopped early will still be in effect.

10)  The batting order, in all leagues, will contain all players present at the start of the game. Any player arriving after the start of the game WILL BE placed into the lineup following the last player listed at the start of the game ( example: team A starts the game with 10 players, another player arrives, and they are placed in the 11th spot in the batting order ).

11)  In 10u, 12u & 15u baseball, pitchers are limited to 6 outs per game or 9 outs per day for doubleheaders.

Once a player is removed from the position of pitcher, they may not return to that position in that game, even if they may have legal outs remaining.

Violation OF pitching rules will result in a forfeit. Repeated violations may result in the suspension of the head coach.

12)  There will be a 5-run limit, per half-inning, in all leagues.

13)  USSSA rules for courtesy runners will be used in all leagues except tball.

14) Time limits for each league are:

  • 3u Blast Ball – 3 complete innings.
  • 4/5u Rookie, 6u TBall, 8u Coach Pitch – 55 minutes, finish the inning.
  • 10u/12u/14u – 80 minutes, finish the inning.

6u T-Ball

The offensive team will provide a coach in the home plate area. This coach may assist batters in taking a stance. This coach is also responsible for placing the ball on the tee, and moving the tee from home plate once the ball is put into play by a legally hit ball.

Batters must, in the judgment of the umpire, take a full, hard swing.

A batted ball must go beyond the designated circle around home plate, and otherwise be in fair territory, to be in play. All other batted balls not reaching that status will be declared foul.

Time will be called by the umpire when, in his/her judgment, the lead runner has stopped trying to advance AND the ball is in possession of a defensive player in the infield. At the moment time is called, runners more than halfway to their next base shall be awarded said base, unless it is occupied.

Players may not leave the base until the ball has been hit into play.

A TBALL game shall be 55 minutes in length, and no more than 5 completed innings, whichever is reached 1st. Games will be officially over when one team is ahead by 11 runs after 3 innings or 6 runs after 4 innings. If an inning is in progress when the 55 minutes is reached, and the outcome is still not determined, the game will continue until the inning is completed, or the mercy rule is reached.

There will be no extra innings in Rookie League games. Games that either complete 5 innings or reach the time limit, that are tied in runs will be decided by defensive outs. If that is also tied the game shall be declared a tie.

The use of a player in the position of Catcher is NOT required. Any player occupying that position must wear a protective “hockey-style “ mask.

No more than 12 defensive players should be on the field at one time. Two defensive coaches can be in the outfield if 12 players are being used.

Time will be called when the lead runner has stopped trying to advance. The ball must be in the possession of a defensive player, in the infield.

The pitcher must start each play with both feet on the pitching rubber.

There will be no walks and no strikeouts in TBALL. Players will swing until a fair ball is hit.

Any batter that throws a bat, in the judgment of the umpire, will be given a warning for the first offense. If the batter throws a bat a second time they will be called out at the completion of the play.

FSYBS will play a 10′ arc as fair/foul line.  On turf fields, this line will be designated by the Brown/Green line.  On our grass fields, a 10′ painted arc will be placed on each field.

USSSA BPF 1.15 bats or USA-approved bats, max diameter 2 1/4”

4/5u Rookie Tball

Time will be called when:

  1. The lead runner has stopped trying to advance, or
  2. A defensive player has possession of the ball and purposely enters and stops in the pitcher’s circle (designated by the painted circle in the center of the infield).
  3. There will be no walks and no strikeouts in TBALL. Players will swing until a fair ball is hit.
  4. Any batter that throws a bat, in the judgment of the umpire, will be given a warning for the first offense. If the batter throws a bat a second time they will be called out at the completion of the play.

7/8U-COACH PITCH

Games shall be 55 minutes in length, or 5 innings, whichever is completed 1st.  Games will be officially over when one team is ahead by 11 runs after 3 innings or 6 runs after 4 innings. If an inning is in progress when the 50 minutes is reached, and the outcome is still not determined, the game will continue until the inning is completed, or the mercy rule is reached.

A batted ball striking the pitching coach will be declared dead, and all players FORCED will be awarded one base. If in the judgment of the umpire, the contact was intentional, the batter shall be declared out, and all runners will return to the base they occupied at the time of pitch.

Batters will be allowed 3 strikes or 5 pitches. After a 5th pitch foul ball, the batter will receive another pitch. This will continue until the batter:  puts the ball in play, swings and misses, foul tips the ball into the catcher’s glove, or does not swing at the pitch.

There will be no walks allowed in coach pitch.

Runners may not leave the base until the ball is put into play by the batter. There will be no stealing of bases or advancing on passed balls. Players may only advance on balls put into play by the batter.

Players in the positions of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and SS must be no closer to home plate than the designated dirt section of the infield when the pitch crosses the plate. A player stepping into the infield grass to close on a ball, before the pitch has crossed the plate will be in violation of this rule which will result in all base runners and the batter being awarded two bases, even if the ball is not put into play by the batter.

Time shall be called by the umpire when, in his/her judgment, the lead runner has ceased trying to advance.  At the moment time is called, runners who are more than halfway to the next base shall be awarded such unless said base is legally occupied by another baserunner.

The defensive team may use 10 defenders, with the extra defender being in the outfield. The positions of P, C, 1B, 2b, 3B, and SS MUST be occupied. The player occupying the C position must be legally and properly equipped, which includes hockey-style helmet/mask, chest protector, and leg guards.

FSYBS will play a 10′ arc as fair/foul line.  On turf fields, this line will be designated by the Brown/Green line.  On our grass fields, a 10′ painted arc will be placed on each field.

Any batter that throws a bat, in the judgment of the umpire, will be given a warning for the first offense. If the batter throws a bat a second time they will be called out at the completion of the play.

1 Coach will be allowed in the outfield during the first 4 weeks of the season.  This league is here for development of players and many of these kids will need extra coaching.  The outfield coach must stay behind the deepest outfielder.

 

9/10U

NO NEW INNING WILL START AFTER 1hr and 20mins have elapsed

The dropped 3rd strike rule WILL NOT be used in the minor league.

Minor league games will be 6 innings or 80 minutes in length, whichever is reached 1st. If an inning is in progress when 90 minutes is reached, and the outcome is still not determined, the game will continue until the inning ends or the mercy rule is reached, whichever occurs 1st. Run rules are 11 after 4, 6 after 5.

9/10u Baseball will play 4 outfielders.

Players may not show bunt, then pull back and swing. If this occurs, the batter will be called out, whether they contact the ball or not, and all runners returned to the base they occupied at the time of pitch.

Loose Bases will play on 1st and 2nd base.  Players on 3rd base may not leave the base they occupy until the ball reaches home plate. Players on 3rd base at the time of pitch  MAY NOT ADVANCE unless:

  1. the ball is put in play by the batter
  2. with the bases loaded the batter receives a walk or is HBP
  3. The defense attempts a play on the runner at 3rd
  4. A wild pitch/passed ball occurs ( catcher dropping the ball does constitute a wild pitch ).
  5. RUNNERS MAY NOT ADVANCE ON THE THROW BACK TO THE PITCHER EVEN IF THAT THROW IS NOT CAUGHT BY THE CATCHER.
  6. Runners advancing from second base on a wild pitch must not continue to advance home on the same pitch or play.

Violation will result in the runner being declared out, and all other runners returned to the base they occupied at the time of pitch.

Pitchers are subject to pitch counts found in general rule 11

 

11/12U

NO NEW INNING WILL START AFTER 1hr and 20mins have elapsed

Major league games will be 6 innings or 80 minutes in length, whichever is reached 1st. If an inning is in progress when 90 minutes is reached, and the outcome is still not determined, the game will continue until the inning ends or the mercy rule is reached, whichever occurs 1st. Run rules are 11 after 4, 6 after 5.

Players may not show bunt, then pull back and swing. If this occurs, the batter will be called out, whether they contact the ball or not, and all runners returned to the base they occupied at the time of pitch.

Pitchers are subject to pitch counts found in general rule 11

 

PREP LEAGUE

NO NEW INNING WILL START AFTER 1hr and 20mins have elapsed

Prep league games will be 6 innings or 80 minutes in length, whichever is reached 1st. If an inning is in progress when 90 minutes is reached, and the outcome is still not determined, the game will continue until the inning ends or the mercy rule is reached, whichever occurs 1st. Run rules are 11 after 4, 6 after 5.

Pitchers are subject to pitch counts found in general rule 11

BAT RULES FOR PREP LEAGUE ONLY

We use the USSSA bat rules in prep, but that causes some confusion due to USSSA having a different standard for 13u, 14u, and 15u. Usssa rules say 13u can use not more than a -8 length to weight measurement. 14u no more than a -5, and 15u must use a bbcor -3.

Since our league combines all 3 ages, it is not practical to check every player every time they come to bat. From gameplay, skill development, and safety standpoint, a 14 or 15u player does not need to use a -8 bat.