HOPEWELL YOUTH ASSOCIATION Recreational League Park Rules Hopewell Youth Association (HYA)
plays in accordance with the Dizzy Dean Official Rule Book. In addition, HYA has established several
Park Rules as enumerated below. In the event of any conflict, the Park Rules take priority over the
conflicting Dizzy Dean rule(s).
1.1. HYA has a Zero Tolerance Policy that is in effect for all games.
1.2. All players and coaches will be expected to behave in a sportsmanlike manner at all times.
1.3. Any player, coach, or parent/fan, whose conduct is unbecoming or abusive will, at a minimum, be
warned and may be removed from the playing field and/or stands at the discretion of the tournament /
league officials and / or umpires.
1.4. Foul or abusive language will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
1.5. If a parent, player, or assistant coach has been ejected from the field for unsportsmanlike conduct
toward another player, coach, or umpire, the Head Coach of that team will ALSO be ejected, and will be
subject to disciplinary action by the HYA Board of Directors. All those ejected must exit the field, dugout,
bleachers and immediate surrounding areas.
2. RULE BOOKS
2.1. Where the HYA rules are silent, the Dizzy Dean rules apply. Where the Dizzy Dean rules are silent,
then the current MLB Official rules apply. High School rules are not applicable at HYA with the exception
of Travel Baseball.
3. COMMON RULES
3.1. Head Coaches must have a completed Consent for Treatment form for each player on their team
and must have the original or a copy of the completed forms with them at all practices and games
(forms are located on HYA website).
3.2. Teams should have at least nine players on the field and ready to play when the umpire starts the
game. In Tournament Play, failure to field at least nine players within 15 minutes of game time results
in forfeiture of the game.
3.2.1. A team may recruit any other HYA player(s) registered for the current season in the
team’s same age group or below to play a regular season game, in order to field at least 9
players. Any recruited player(s) must bat last in the batting order and must play in the outfield.
If a regular team member(s) arrives late to make a roster of 9 players (or more), any recruited
players shall be removed from the game. Adding a substitute to reach 10 players is allowed during the regular season.
3.2.2. See In-Park tournament rules for Recruited Players during the in-park tournament
3.3. Outfield Hits
In the 8U League, Umpire will stop play once the ball is in control of a player in the infield and any
in-process advance of runners is completed. The ball DOES NOT need to be centered and the player
DOES NOT need to request time. For the 8U group, Infield is defined as in the field of play inside the
baselines. An infielder can retrieve a ball from the outfield grass and run it into the infield to stop play
(cut-off), but an outfielder must throw the ball in from the OF. If an OF runs the ball into the infield and
stops the advance of runners, all runners will be awarded the next base. If an outfielder fields the ball in the infield it is considered an outfield hit. The outfielder must still throw the ball in to an infielder to stop the advance of runners.
3.4. If a fielder rolls the ball underhanded, the base runner will automatically be called safe.
3.5. For ALL Age Groups, NO PLAYER shall be omitted from the Defensive Lineup for more than TWO (2)
INNINGS per game, and those two innings are NOT to be consecutive.
3.6. Any player touched, grabbed, or otherwise diverted by a coach while on the bases during a live
play, except to remove the player out of the way of serious injury, will be declared out.
3.7. BUNTING is NOT ALLOWED in 8U and under Leagues. The Batter will be declared OUT with an
immediate Dead Ball. Runners may not advance.
3.8. FAKING A BUNT and then HITTING is NOT ALLOWED in ANY League. The batter will be declared
OUT with an immediate Dead Ball. Runners may not advance.
3.9. SLIDING - Whenever a tag play is evident, a runner must slide feet first or seek to avoid contact
with the fielder and / or catcher. Attempting to jump, leap, or dive over the fielder and / or catcher is
not interpreted as seeking to avoid contact. Malicious contact shall supersede all obstruction penalties.
NOTE: In the 7U and 8U age group a runner must slide if a ball is throw to home plate, regardless of where that ball ends up on the throw. There are a lot of collisions at these ages due to many different fielders attemtping to cover and field balls that went short or past the plate. If the runner does not slide on these plays, they will be called out.
3.9.1. Penalty: The runner shall be called out and may be ejected from the game at the
umpire’s discretion. A player should only be ejected from a game if the contact was clearly
MALICIOUS and the intent deemed to harm another player.
22.214.171.124. Comment: When enforcing this rule, the umpire should judge the runner’s
intent. If the umpire feels that the contact was unintentional, then the runner should
only be declared out. If the umpire feels that the contact was clearly MALICIOUS and
the intent was to harm another player, then the runner should be declared out and
126.96.36.199. Comment: No head first slides, a player may “dive” back to a bag when in a
3.10. The decision to not continue a game by the umpire due to time or weather is a judgment call and
cannot be challenged by a coach. Incorrect interpretation of the HYA rules can be pointed out by a
Coach to the Umpire for review. Once reviewed the Umpire’s decision is final.
3.11. All players will bat in an order established prior to the start of the game. When a batter is out, the
batter leaves the base as per standard baseball rules. If a player is late to a game, needs to leave early,
or is unable to continue because of injury, that spot in the batting order may be skipped WITHOUT
PENALTY (NO OUT RECORDED).
3.12. Team Game Responsibilities
Home Team keeps the official scorebook for scored games.
Visiting Team will complete the following task:
1. Ensure games balls, pitcher's masks and catchers gear are in field box.
2. Retrieve the scoreboard controller from the maintenance room.
3. Works the scoreboard.
4. Places one set of catcher’s gear and one pitcher's mask in each dugout.
5. Get two game balls from the field box. The two game balls should be provided to the
umpire from the field caddy at the beginning of the game. Those two balls should be used
for the game with one game-ball being provided to each coach at the conclusion of the
game for game ball awards to players.
3.13. HYA Recreation League Bat Rules
3.13.1 All non-wood bats “MUST” meet 1.15 BPF (Bat Performance Factor) for the life of the bat
and “MUST” possess a “clearly identifiable” manufacture’s certification stamp. This will include 2
1/4, 2 5/8, and 2 3/4 barrel bats. Big barrel bats ARE allowed in the 8U age group.
3.13.2. Any player found using an illegal bat will be declared out, runners will return to their
previous base and the Umpires will remove the bat from the game.
3.13.3. Coaches are required to help enforce this rule. Any team found to be using an illegal bat
will result in a Coach Review and possible suspension.
3.14. No player shall throw the bat (intentionally or unintentionally) upon hitting the ball. A bat should
be considered thrown if it hits another player, coach or umpire, or travels more than 10 feet in the air or
20 feet along the ground. The first offense in a game is a team warning, upon the second and
subsequent offenses in the game by any batter on the warned team, the batter/runner is out and no
3.15. The runner cannot be tagged out after overrunning first base as long as the runner immediately
returns to the base and does not attempt to run to second base. An attempt for the purposes of this rule
is the runner turning toward second base in a manner that carries the runner into the field of play.
3.16. The coach may substitute a courtesy runner for the Catcher when there are two outs. The
courtesy runner shall be the player with the last completed at bat.
3.17. A home plate meeting will be completed with all umpires and head coaches prior to the game.
Coaches will exchange printed lineup cards at the home plate meeting. Lineup cards should use the
Hopewell provided template or a similar lineup template. Batting order and positions for 6 innings must
be documented on the lineup card in 8U.
4. SPECIFIC RULES BY AGE GROUP
4.1.1 Game Duration
188.8.131.52 Games will be 6 innings or 1 hour and 25 minutes, whichever comes first.
184.108.40.206 No new inning will begin after time has expired on the umpire’s
official game clock.
220.127.116.11 No manager or coach shall employ tactics designed to delay, shorten or extend
the game. The umpires shall be instructed and empowered to continue any game one
(1) additional inning if, in his judgment, any coach or manager as much as appears to be
in violation of this rule.
18.104.22.168 In the event of a tie game, 1 extra inning can be played if time permits.
4.1.2 Batting and Scoring
The maximum numbers of runs per inning is 5 runs. 7 runs will be allowed in the 6th and any
required extra innings.
4.1.3 Mercy Rule
The Mercy Rule will be 13 runs after 4 innings, 8 runs after 5 innings. Games will not conclude in
the event the Mercy Rule has been reached. The Umpire will instruct the scorekeeper to turn off
the scoreboard once a game has reached the Mercy Rule and the game will continue with no
further score being kept until the time or inning limit has been reached.
A game will also not be called if a team is mathematically eliminated. The game will continue
until the time or inning limit has been reached.
NOTE: The purpose of this rule is to allow the players to continue playing regardless of score in
coach pitch age groups.
4.1.4 Defensive Coaches
Two defensive coaches are allowed in the outfield grass in foul territory, one down each line.
One additional defensive coach is allowed within the perimeter of the dugout.
NOTE: The perimeter of the dugout is within 1 foot of the dugout.
4.1.5 Defensive Players
Only a single player is allowed at each normal infield and outfield positions. Pitchers must have
one foot in the circle.
Every player must play at least one inning in the infield, other than catcher, prior to the
conclusion of the 3rd inning. The only exception to this rule is if prior agreement between both
the manager and parent(s) has been made for the safety of the player, and the opposing
manager shall be notified. Every player must also play at least one inning in the outfield prior to
the conclusion of the 3rd inning. In the event a game reaches six innings, players must play in
the infield and outfield twice.
A player who starts an inning in the defensive lineup shall complete the inning in the defensive
lineup, unless prevented from continuing by injury or illness.
Pitchers must wear facemask or helmet with mask in this age group.
The catcher may stand behind the batter/plate; they do not have to assume a normal “catchers”
position, but must be within 10 feet of home plate. All protective catching equipment is
mandatory: (Helmet/Mask, Chest Protector and Leg Guards).
The ball must be thrown in from the outfield. Players in the outfield cannot tag a runner or base
to record an out. If a player from the outfield runs a ball into the infield, all runners will be
awarded the next base. Time will not be called by the umpire until the ball has been thrown by
the outfielder and controlled by an infielder in the infield or play has fully stopped.
4.1.6 Offensive Batting Rules
Before Spring Break
Batter will get only 5 pitches unless the last pitch is fouled off. The batter will continue the at bat
as long as the previous pitch is fouled off. Batters will be out on 3 strikes.
After Spring Break
Kid pitcher pitches 2 pitches with no penalty to the batter for swinging. NOTE: We want to encourage the hitters to be comfortable with a kid pitching and swinging at those pitches to prepare them for 9U.
Kid pitcher can pitch a maximum of 2 innings. Pitch limits are automatically built into this with a max of 5 or 7 runs and only 2 pitches per batter. NOTE: Focus here is getting the kid pitchers to throw strikes.
To speed the transition between kid and coach pitcher, the coach pitcher should be directly behind the mound. The kid pitcher will throw 2 pitches and they will then switch spots with the coach pitcher, if the ball was not put in play off the kid pitcher. The coach pitcher will pitch the remaining 3 pitches, and the batter is allowed to swing at all 3, regardless of if they swung at 1 or both kid pitches.
4.1.7 Offensive Coaches
• 1 coach pitcher
• 1 coach catcher – Cannot provide batting instruction.
• 1 first base coach
• 1 third base coach
4.1.8 Base Running/Stealing
There will be one base per clean infield play. For purposes of this rule a clean infield play is one
that stays in the fielder’s glove or is cleanly fielded with the bare hand and either thrown and
caught, or not thrown.
The runners will be allowed only one base on an overthrow and there will be only one
overthrow per infield play. On balls HIT to the outfield, there are no limits.
NOTE: The play is dead once the runner has reached the furthest allowed base safely. If the
runner continues to run they will return to the correct base regardless of if they are out or safe.
In addition, the umpire will call time indicating play is dead once the ball is in control of a
defensive player in the infield and any in-process advancement of runners has been completed.
Base runners cannot further advance once time has been called by the umpire.
Runners cannot leave the base until the ball has been hit by the batter. No base stealing is
4.1.9 General Rules
• Baselines are 60’.
• Infield fly rule does not apply.
• Bunting is not allowed.
• Intentional walks are not allowed.
5. In-Park Tournament Rules
5.1. HYA Recreational League Park Rules will be the Official Tournament Rules, unless otherwise
superseded within these rules.
5.2. Rule Changes
5.2.1. For ALL Age Groups, NO PLAYER shall be omitted from the Defensive Lineup for more
than TWO (2) INNINGS per game, and those two innings are NOT to be consecutive. Coach pitch
age groups (8U and below) are NOT required to adhere to any IF/OF rotation for tournament
5.3. All elimination games still Tied after regulation play will use the International Tie-Breaker (below)
5.3.1. Pool Play games tied after regulation play will be recorded as a tie.
5.4. Tournament Games will be a maximum of 6 innings unless Mercy Rule or Tie ... No Time Limit for
Championship Games (or "IF NECESSARY" games).
5.5. Mercy Run Rules ARE in effect for ALL games, Including Championship Games.
5.5.1. A game shall be called whenever a team has been mathematically eliminated from the
possibility of at least tying the game in the last regulation inning. Play is NOT continued past
mathematical elimination in Pool Play.
5.6. Umpires may suspend a game until the following day due to weather or time factors. Suspended
games will continue as soon as scheduling permits, and at the exact point of suspension.
5.6.1. Complete Game – If a game is suspended due to weather or other criteria a game will be
considered a complete game after 3 innings, 2 1/2 if Home wining in the 3rd inning while Home
is at bat. If a regulation game is called with the score tied and one (1) or more innings has been
completed beyond three (3) innings, the score shall revert back to last completed inning, or last
completed half (1/2) inning if the home team leads but back no further than the third (3rd)
5.7. Adding a substitute player:
5.7.1. During the in-park tournament, teams may add a substitute player to reach the minimum
of 9 players. Teams may not add a substitute player for a tenth player.
5.7.2. Teams may play with a 9-player line up without penalty (i.e. no out recorded for the 10th
batting position). Any players arriving after the game has begun shall be added to the bottom of
5.7.3. All in-park tournament substitute players must be approved the HYA Coach Director
firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the game, approval will be based on:
22.214.171.124. Coaches making every effort to find a substitute of with ability equal to that of
the missing player.
126.96.36.199. Substitute players will be required to bat last and play right field only
5.8. All leagues ... BOTH TEAMS are responsible for updating your game results online using the Game
Report for their age group under Coaches Forms section the Hopewell website as soon as possible after
each game. Brackets will be posted on-line as soon as the completed results are updated.
5.9. SEEDING AND TIE-BREAKER CRITERIA:
2. Head to Head Competition
3. Run differential (The difference between runs allowed and runs scored)
4. Runs allowed
5. Runs scored
6. Coin flip
- Max run differential in any game is 7
- Once you advance to the next criteria, you do not return to the previous criteria
- Runs are considered amongst all teams in the pool, not just tied teams
- Head-to-head tie-breaker is for TWO TEAM ties only. If 3 or more teams are tied, then the first tie-breaking criteria jumps to run differential, ..., and never reverts back to head-to-head.
5.10. International Tie Breaker
If the game is tied and time has expired after the required number of innings (allowing for the home
team to bat under normal rules), the game will then continue at the top of the next inning using the
International Tie-breaker rule… - Each half-inning begins with ONE (1) OUT - Each team places their last
out (last batted out) of the prior inning on Second (2nd) base - The batting order will continue on as
normal - The game then proceeds a full inning (or more) until a winner is determined in this manner.
This is NOT a "Sudden-victory" format...the home team always has the opportunity to bat if the visiting
team scores a run.