MERIDIAN PARK LITTLE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL RULES

PARK RULES - SPRING 2015

Updated Monday February 16, 2015 by Randall Cupp.


The Meridian Park Little Major League Park Rules are to be followed in conjunction with official 2015 Babe Ruth League, Inc. Baseball Rules and Regulations for Cal Ripken Baseball. Please read and familiarize yourself with them. The park will have a copy of the 2015 Cal Ripken rulebook available at all games along with a copy of the Meridian Park rules. The Meridian Park Board (“the board”), umpires, and coaches are responsible for the enforcement of all applicable rules. The Little Major League program is for 11-12 year olds, utilizing a 50/70 format with leadoffs and balks enforced.


Game Info:
 The head umpire will be provided with 1 new and 2 used game balls for each game. Umpires and coaches are responsible for the return of the balls at the end of the game to the concession stand. During games, game balls hit out of play should be placed in the Cal Ripken field return behind home plate.
 Each team will be scheduled 2 games per week. Games will be played Monday through Friday; 5:45pm start for the early game and 7:40pm late game. Exhibition games played at Tom Brown Park may have different start time(s)-please consult the schedule.


Time Limit:
 No new inning will begin after 1 hour and 40 minutes has passed from game start time as determined by the umpire. If an inning has started before the end of regulation time, it must be completed. There will be NO immediate stoppage of the game due to time expiration. The inning being played will be completed based on which team is in the lead. If no winner is determined at the conclusion of the final inning, the game will be recorded as a tie.


Rainouts:
 Weather decisions will be made as timely as possible; generally not more than one hour prior to game time, unless particularly inclement or dangerous weather conditions preclude safe league play. The board will attempt to contact all head coaches as far in advance as possible with any game cancellations and/or delays, and if possible email notifications will be sent. Check the Meridian Park website at www.meridianparkbaseball.com and/or visit us on our Facebook page for updates.
 Summary of City of Tallahassee Lightning Policy: The City utilizes a weather notification system. Park officials will be notified in real time about weather issues and delays. Information will be shared with umpires and coaches as it is received and every effort will be made to participants of weather delays and cancellations. The board is required to respond to weather notifications received from the City, regardless of weather conditions present at the park at the time for safety and liability reasons.
 Games that are rained out will not be rescheduled unless time permits and determined necessary by the board for the season to be considered complete.


“Mercy” Rule:
 Meridian Park enforces a 15 run rule after three innings, and a 10 run rule after four innings. If after three complete innings a team is ahead by 15 runs, that team will be declared the winner; if after four complete innings a team is ahead by 10 runs, that team is declared the winner.


Batting Cages/Warm Ups:
 The visiting team will have the batting cage for 20 minutes beginning 50 minutes prior to game time; the home team will have the batting cage for 20 minutes beginning 30 minutes prior to game time. Please remember to be courteous to the team awaiting their turn in the cages.
 To avoid unnecessary wear and tear on the batting cage surfaces, players (and coaches) are asked to avoid wearing rubber cleats in the batting cages if at all possible, and under no circumstances should players enter the cages in metal cleats. Food and drink are NOT permitted in the batting cages.
 The visiting team will have the field for 5 minutes beginning 15 minutes prior to game time; the home team will then take the field for 5 minutes beginning 10 minutes prior to game time..
 Any coach or player warming up a pitcher from the crouch must wear a protective helmet, whether on the field before/during an inning, or in the bullpens. No exceptions!


Player Participation:
 All teams will bat through their entire rosters, regardless of the number of players present.
 No player will sit for more than one defensive inning in a row. Coaches are expected to comply with the play rule, and failure to comply may result in forfeiture of the game in question.
 Bats may not exceed 33” in length, and bat barrel may not exceed 2 ¼” in diameter. Only 2 ¼” barrel, non-wood, bats marked BPF 1.15 will be allowed. Wood 2 ¼” barrel bats are allowed. All bats must be approved for use in the Cal Ripken league by the Babe Ruth organization. If a bat cannot be clearly identified for its make and model to determine the barrel composition upon examination by the umpire, then the bat should be removed from the game.
 No metal cleats may be worn by players or coaches in Cal Ripken league play.
 Players wearing permanent casts are not allowed to play until the cast has been removed and proof of doctor release has been verified for the player’s subsequent participation.
 There is no “must slide rule” in effect for play; however, if there is a play at the plate, it is highly encouraged that the player slide for the protection of all players.
 A player may not slide head first into a base, unless the player is returning to the base in which they just left. Violation of this rule will result in the player being declared out.
 There will be NO slash bunts. Violation of this rule will result in the player being declared out.
 Players and coaches will be warned about bat slinging for the first week of games only. Any player called for slinging a bat after the first week of games will be declared out.
 If a player is injured, becomes ill, or must leave the game site after the start of the game, the team will then skip over him when his at-bat comes up in the batting order without penalty. If the injured, ill, or absent player returns, he must be reinserted into their original spot in the batting order.
 A team should have 8 roster players to commence play. If a team is short the required 8 players at the start of a game, there will not be an automatic forfeit. For the game to be a forfeit, it must be agreed upon prior to game time by both coaches. It is preferred to play the game. The needed players may be sought from either the opposing team’s roster, or from the pool player rotation at the approval of the board. If a team is unable to secure the required 8 players, the game will have to be declared a forfeit. If pool players are used, they must be placed at the bottom of the “borrowing” team’s roster, and must play in the outfield. Teams may use a maximum of two pool players per game unless otherwise approved by the board.
 If the team at bat has 2 outs and that team’s catcher is on base, time out may be called at which point the catcher on base may be replaced with a courtesy runner. The courtesy runner must be the player who recorded the team’s last out. No courtesy runners are permitted for pitchers.

Pitching:
 For the health and safety of players, coaches are responsible for monitoring the responsible use of pitchers in compliance with the pitching rules listed here. As coaches, it is up to you make sure that players do not damage their arms. For example, T.O.C. recommends that coaches limit pitchers to a pitch count of no more than 100 per week. If you have any questions, please ask. Some pitchers may be stronger than others, but USE GOOD JUDGEMENT!
 A single pitcher may pitch a maximum of 65 pitches per game/and no more than 110 total pitches per week until Spring Break (i.e., the first 2 weeks of the season). After Spring Break, pitchers may pitch a maximum of 75 pitches per game/ and no more than 120 total pitches per week for the rest of the season. Further, pitchers are limited to no more than 6 innings pitched, per week, per Cal Ripken rules.
 An “inning” as spelled out in these rules, means that if a pitcher takes the mound and throws a single pitch to a batter, will be considered an “inning” pitched.
 A “week” as spelled out in these rules, is considered the calendar week Monday through Sunday.
 When a pitcher reaches his official pitch count limit as determined by the scorekeeper, he may finish pitching to the batter he is facing at the time he reaches the count limit, once that at-bat is completed the pitcher must leave the mound. If at this point a pitcher fails to leave the mound or a coach fails to remove the pitcher, the game will be recorded as a forfeit.
 Pitchers must follow the maximum pitch counts and innings pitched per week, regardless of how many games are played.
 Pitchers must have at least 2 calendar days rest between pitching assignments if they pitch in more than two innings in any one game, except during tournament play.
 For the first two weeks of the season, balks will be called but not enforced. On balks that are called but not enforced, it is a dead ball play and no base runner may be declared out as a result of a balk move (the runner returns to the bag they occupied). After the first two weeks, all balks will be called and enforced.


Coaches:
 Coaches need to fill out roster cards for each game, providing their player’s names and numbers in the order that they will be batting. A copy of the roster card should be provided to the umpire, the official scorekeeper, and to the opposing team at least 10 minutes prior to game start. Please list any pool players at the bottom of the batting order, and identify them as pool players.
 It is the responsibility of each coach to make sure that their players stay hydrated. Water will be provided in each dugout during games.
 No more than three coaches are allowed in the dugout at any given time. Only one coach will be allowed on the field during a team’s defensive play, and two coaches may remain in the dugout. Buckets are not permitted on the field during games.
 The designated head coach is the only coach permitted to discuss calls, raise questions, etc., with umpires.
 Coaches are responsible for the conduct of themselves, their players, and the parents/fans of their players. Anyone using objectionable language, excessively arguing umpire calls, or otherwise interrupting the enjoyment of others at the park will be asked to leave. Please see the Ejections section of the park rules regarding the handling of these situations.
 Coaches are responsible for making sure their team picks up trash and debris from the dugout before leaving the field after practices and games.
 
Home/Visitor Team Responsibilities:
 All teams are responsible for providing their own water cooler for each game. Teams who play in the early games need to get a water cooler from the concession stand, fill it with ice/water, and get cups for their own dugout from the concession stand. Teams playing in late games should ensure there is sufficient ice/water in the cooler for the second game, get extra cups from the concession stand (if necessary) and then empty the water cooler and return it along with any unused cups to the concession stand following the game.
 The home team is responsible for providing two (2) parent volunteers for each game. One parent volunteer will work in the concession stand, and one parent volunteer will perform grill duty.
 The visiting team is responsible for filling the water cooler for both dugouts each game.
 Games will NOT start if team responsibilities for home and visiting teams are not covered. Parents must report for duty at least 20 minutes prior to your player’s “scheduled” game time.


Disorderly Conduct:
 Abuse of umpires, other players, coaches, or officials by coaches, fans, or players will not be tolerated. Cheering must be directed toward your own players, and not against the other team.
 Any disorderly conduct, threat of, or act of violence shall result in the removal and arrest of the responsible individual(s).
 Security personnel shall also remove any person on the premises who is intoxicated from the park. Any person removed under these circumstances shall be prohibited from entering the park, including the parking lot areas, for the duration of the season.
 No coach, parent, fan, or any other person will be permitted to smoke or use tobacco products on or around the baseball field or dugout area.


Ejections:
 Any head coach, assistant coach or player who is ejected must sit out the remainder of the current game and the entire next scheduled game. Any fan ejected from the game must leave the park immediately, and may not return for any reason until the next scheduled game. If the same person is ejected for a second time, he/she will not be allowed into any park for the remainder of the season.
 Razzing, heckling, chanting or making disparaging remarks towards opponents, in any manner, is prohibited and is cause for ejection.
 Failure to comply with any of the above rules will result in forfeiture of the game.
Above all else, Meridian Park encourages good sportsmanship at all times. We expect coaches, parents and other spectators to help by promoting good sportsmanship as demonstrated in their actions when in attendance at games. The umpire or a Meridian Park board member will step in when necessary. (All other rule questions should be referred to the official 2015 Cal Ripken Rules.)
Have a great time & PLAY BALL

MPBB-CR Rules-Spring 2015.pdf