Created: May 22, 2023 10:19 AM, Updated: May 22, 2023 10:19 AMSMBA 2023 Rookie House League Rules
These rules were established in keeping with the philosophy of the SMBA, that the principal aim for Rookie House
League baseball is to have fun and teach good sportsmanship, as well as try to further the basic skills of baseball. All
Baseball Ontario (OBA) rules and regulations will be followed, with the following exceptions as per the SMBA:
1. All players are to receive equal defensive playing time. Players should be moved around in defensive innings to
different positions for league games. The goal is to have all players be able to learn and experience as much
about the game of baseball as possible. This in turn leads to improvement and knowledge for all players,
increasing the love of the game and keeping these kids as players in the future.
2. All players are to be entered in the batting order. If a player shows up late they are to be added to the bottom of
the batting order, no penalty is incurred for doing so.
3. There is unlimited substitution for defense play.
4. Baseball Pants are required.
5. Maximum of 11 players on the playing field. A maximum of 7 players are allowed on the infield including the
catcher, if 7 on the infield two must remain at the pitcher position. The remaining players will play in the outfield
at a minimum of 10 feet from the infield (must be on outfield grass). There can only be four outfielders.
6. An 8 ft. diameter safety circle MUST be marked off around the pitching machine. No player is permitted to enter
the safety circle, which is considered a dead ball area. Enter means that any part of the body enters the safety
circle. The pitchers must stand on the lines drawn around the circle. The pitcher must have both feet on the
white line until the ball is released from the pitching machine. Once the ball is released from the machine, the
pitcher may move in front of the line, but may not move through the circle. Neither the pitcher nor any other
player may in any way break the plane of the 8 foot diameter circle around the machine whether stepping on
the circle line or reaching into the circle while in an attempt to field a ball. Play will be called dead and 1 base
will be awarded to the batter. All other forced runners will move 1 base.
7. 5 pitches per batter. No walks. Fifth pitch foul ball is not registered as an out except if caught by the catcher.
8. No bunting. Players are to take a full swing.
9. No infield fly rule.
10. 5 runs or 3 outs to complete an inning.
11. No lead offs. No stealing. Players may leave base once the batter contacts the ball.
12. If there is an overthrow at first base the ball is in play. Runners may advance at their own risk up to a maximum
of one base. If the overthrown ball is not returned to the pitcher but thrown to another base, trying for an out, it
is once again a live ball.
13. The play will be halted with any throw or attempted throw to one of the pitchers from any infielder, the umpire
will call time. Runners must return to the previous base unless over half way to the next base, call made at the
discretion of the umpire.
14. A batted ball that hits the pitching machine or coach is declared a single and all forced runners advance one
15. The pitching machines are to be properly setup and agreed upon by both teams prior to the start of the game. If
during the game the machine needs to be adjusted, it can only be done so after an inning has ended (after
bottom of inning) and must be agreed upon by both teams and the umpire. Once an inning starts the machine
cannot be touched (speed or height) until both teams complete their at bats, making it equal for both teams.
This applies to all league games and tournament games. Any violation to this rule will result in the following:
1st Offence in a game is a warning to the coach.
2nd Offence in a game is ejection of coach and batter declared out.
16. No new inning to start after 1hr 20 minutes or 7 Innings.
17. Players playing the Pitchers position must have a helmet with a face mask.
18. Umpires decisions are final.
Much like the players, the umpires for these games are also learning. There will be zero tolerance for abuse of
officials, any coach or player ejections must be reported and could lead to further penalty if deemed warranted
by the SMBA Executive.
Remember: Games are about development. If a team is short players there is NO forfeit. Play the game using the kids
that are there.
All coaches should try to field capable players at the catcher position. Issues arise if there is not a catcher willing to try
and catch the pitched ball. The pitched ball is then chased all over the diamond causing significant delays in between
pitches. This slows the game down, and the next pitch is likely to be quicker and higher, due to the pitching machine
picking up speed while waiting for the next pitch. While coaches are encouraged to field a capable player at catcher, it is
rookie baseball and this can be a tough position to fill. Coaches are also encouraged to find a shagger to get the missed
balls and allow play to continue at a quicker pace. A shagger can be another coach, parent or an older sibling of a player,
providing the sibling wears a helmet.
ROOKIE TOURNAMENT RULES
All Baseball Ontario (OBA) rules and regulations will be followed, with the same exceptions/clarifications as per the
SMBA Rookie House League rules.
Coin Toss to decide home team. Home team to provide an adult scorekeeper.
• Each team is guaranteed 3 games.
• 11 run mercy rule in effect after 5 complete innings.
• No new inning to start after 1 hr. & 20 minutes, or 7 complete innings for all tournament games, including semifinals
The formula to determine tie-breakers is as follows:
• Total points - 2 points for a win; 1 point for a tie; 0 points for a loss
• Head to head (if played equally)
• Total runs against / number of defensive innings
• Total runs for / number of offensive innings minus
• Run differential as a percent -runs for / runs for + runs against