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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Wed Apr 30, 2003, 10:45pm
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Our local Dixie leagues are notorious for implementing off the wall local rules.

Two leagues in the 10U (Angels) division incorporate a rule stating "after four walks in an inning, no additional batters can earn a base on balls". It can make for extremely boring games. I like to interject humor by announcing the count 15 balls and 1 strike.

One league in the 12U (Ponytails) division will not allow runners to score on pass balls or steal more than one base per pitch.

One league in the 6U (Sweeties) division will not allow the pitcher to tag the B/R between home and 1st.

Do you have any better ones than those to share?
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Old Wed Apr 30, 2003, 11:36pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by alabamabluezebra
Our local Dixie leagues are notorious for implementing off the wall local rules.

Two leagues in the 10U (Angels) division incorporate a rule stating "after four walks in an inning, no additional batters can earn a base on balls". It can make for extremely boring games. I like to interject humor by announcing the count 15 balls and 1 strike.

One league in the 12U (Ponytails) division will not allow runners to score on pass balls or steal more than one base per pitch.

One league in the 6U (Sweeties) division will not allow the pitcher to tag the B/R between home and 1st.

Do you have any better ones than those to share?

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!
Angels, ponytails and sweeties? Too funny! ours is pre-rookies, rookies, minors and majors. 6-8, 8-10, 11-12's and 13-16's. Pre's and rookies can't "steal" on passed balls. Minors(my kid plays) it is on! ASA rules, 7 runs per inning, cept the last. 10 after 4 complete, 6 inning games.As stated in another thread below, umps bang cheap strikes for jewlry delays.(not my cup of tea)I work the boys leagues.
Now we got one there, no curve balls(11-12's). I see some circle changes that some coaches want called a curve, I'll bang em if they be snapping it off, but.....
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Old Thu May 01, 2003, 07:37am
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Old Thu May 01, 2003, 07:52am
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Obviously, younger kids need some protection from chaos. However, sometimes leagues adopt too many restrictive rules. When the rules force station-to-station baserunning, things can get quite boring. On the other hand, if you let the kids come home on passed balls, take extra bases, etc., they stay awake and also have a lot of fun. They kids themselves don't notice that the game isn't "pretty."

Some leagues play that when the ball gets back to the pitcher, the runners must retreat unless they are more than half way to the next base. Naturally, any time a kid fields the ball and it's not an obvious easy play at 1B, she throws the ball to the pitcher. If you protect the fielders from the runners doing anything, how do any of the players learn the game?

I do agree that you want to avoid walk-fests and 25-run innings. Some of the leagues for younger kids have coaches pitch after a certain number of walks, or after ball 4, or something like that. Others have limits on the number of runs or batters in an inning. Those rules are good because they don't alter (too much) the way the game is played—they just limit how long the inning can go on.
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Old Thu May 01, 2003, 09:50am
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Our local rec leagues play limited run innings for each level including 16under. 5 runs per inning for first 5 and then open innings 6 & 7.

10u can only advance one base at at time an no stealing home. They also have no walks and the coach pitches however many strikes are left.

12u and 16u play regular softball rules with the exception of the run limit.

The time limit for this league is 1hr 35min. I have not had one game go to an open inning yet this season for any of the age levels.
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Old Thu May 01, 2003, 09:58am
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Here's one for 10 & under: A runner cannot "steal" home (stealing in this case meaning advancing on passed balls, wild pitches, etc.) unless the runner is played upon.

What I get on this every time I ump is what do I consider being "played upon". Running toward the runner? Faking a throw? Looking at the runner cross-eyed? I have my own defintion, but I know every umpire that does that league has their own as well.

To continue with this rule, the runner is allowed to "steal" home if the catcher overthrows back to the pitcher. So then we had catchers walking out to the rubber and handing the ball to the pitcher every time. Talk about a slow game! Then the league implemented a rule stating that there must be a 15' exchange between the catcher and pitcher, but did not implement a penalty. One of those "just don't do it" rules.

I love local leagues!
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Old Thu May 01, 2003, 12:33pm
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Local LL has for AAA implemented 5 run/inning limit thru first 4, not too bad. Has tried several variations on coach pitch in first half of season, mixed results.

Stranger is the local school (NFHS rules with local mods) rules for 12-14 (these are NOT beginners). Limited to 7 runs/inning unless you need more to catch up, then until 1 ahead. Anyone ever seen that?

And now the wierdest thing I've ever seen. Depending on how the coaches feel, some days, play 5, maybe declare the score final, then play another inning, keep the book, don't allow the outcome to change, don't count the inning against the pitcher, then go watch the baseball game that still isn't done, so the bus can't leave anyway. I once asked if the last inning isn't for real, if someone gets injured, does it not really hurt?
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Old Thu May 01, 2003, 12:50pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by alabamabluezebra
Our local Dixie leagues are notorious for implementing off the wall local rules.

Two leagues in the 10U (Angels) division incorporate a rule stating "after four walks in an inning, no additional batters can earn a base on balls". It can make for extremely boring games. I like to interject humor by announcing the count 15 balls and 1 strike.

One league in the 12U (Ponytails) division will not allow runners to score on pass balls or steal more than one base per pitch.

One league in the 6U (Sweeties) division will not allow the pitcher to tag the B/R between home and 1st.

Do you have any better ones than those to share?
Geez, alabamabluezebra, I sure hope your state commissioner doesn't get wind of this. There were several local leagues here in Texas that were doing a lot of juking with the rules themselves, and Obie hissownbadself circulated a letter to the District and State Reps stating that the only local league options that are allowed are the ones that are mentioned in the rulebook. This was probably about 7 years ago or so.

Scott
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Old Thu May 01, 2003, 12:57pm
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I like (most) Local Rules

I have spent parts of the last 40+ years as a coach, board member, and President of various local leagues. Yes, I've seen some dumb rules, but overall I see a big value in local rules.

1. They reflect the desires of the local community rather than that of a national organization.

2. They often preceed rules changes in national organizations. It took Little League 30+ years to write manditory participation into its rule book. Every league was doing that via local rules long before. Continuous batting is popular in local leagues. Well, guess what. DH, DP, EP, DEFO, CR are all forms of higher level rules that encourage coaches to get more players in the game.

3. All rules have to recognize the age differences between offensive and defensive skills. (Offensive always preceeds Defense until you get to the professional level.) The classic is the L.L. "can not lead off" rule. It is a recognization that 11 y.o. boys can run like hell, but you will have difficulty teaching the same age group to pitch from the stretch position and learn the pickoff play. Local leagues know that little kids can hit and run, but seldom can catch the ball or get an out. So that is why all those silly advancement restriction rules.

4. Parents run local leagues and safety is a bigger concern to them than is the national organization. So helmets, and helmet masks, and no collision rules etc. occur there first. I remember a coach (also a H.S. coach) in a 13-15 baseball league demanding that we follow the NFHS rules without exception. But we had parents of boys that were not H.S. players that did not want those H.S. players sliding into their kids with steel on their feet. So we had a local rule - rubber cleats only.

WMB
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Old Thu May 01, 2003, 01:35pm
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The only local rule that I truly do not like is our fall league's bat-the-roster rule. It symptomizes the problems with many local rules - they don't think through the situations and consequences.

The fall bat-the-roster rule specifies the effect as forfeit of the game. Yet it fails to distinguish between BOO and failure to bat the roster.

The result was a game a couple of years ago in the fall end-of-season tournament. A kid comes to bat early (i.e. BOO). The kid who should have batted was in the dugout. Opposing coach wanted a forfeit for failure to bat the roster. Appeal went all the way to the state HQ - ruling: forfeit for failure to bat the roster. Incredible. The rule still has not changed. Even more incredible.

So, my gripe with local rules isn't that they are somehow tinkering with the integrity of the game. It's just that the rule's ramifications are usually not well thought through.
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Old Thu May 01, 2003, 02:41pm
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One league in the 6U (Sweeties) division will not allow the pitcher to tag the B/R between home and 1st.

Our 6U division has a rule similiar to this. We have an imaginary line running from home thru second base. A fielder is not allowed to cross this imaginary line to tag a ruuner going to 1st or 3rd. In effect, the pitcher cannot run to her right, then run and tag the runner going to 1st. The intent of this rule is for the coaches to teach the girls to throw and catch the ball. If we did not have this rule, coaches tend to put their best player at pitcher or SS and have them run everyone down. The other players get to stand around and watch Suzy do everything.
A lot of these "silly" rules do have good intentions behind them.
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Old Thu May 01, 2003, 03:33pm
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Dixie National Director

I sent an e-mail to Wayne Bishop, Chairman, National Umpire's Committee, about some of the local rules. He sent back a message stating "contact your District Director". Maybe Dixie doesn't want to rock the boat with ASA gaining popularity in our area.

[Edited by alabamabluezebra on May 2nd, 2003 at 08:25 AM]
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Old Thu May 01, 2003, 04:13pm
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One of the problems with local rules and the unforeseen effects is that local staffs and committees are not rules experts, even if they are softball/baseball experts. Also, the rule makers usually go by their preference for restrictions, not what's best or most neutral. If only they checked with nationals or other leagues to see why a given rule would or would not work. And possibly get suggested wording that does work. They might even ask umpires for the eventual procedural questions. Do any geos get in the way? For the lower levels, I think runs per inning works best, but I'm sure everyone has their own preference.

Also, I would not umpire after a game is possibly final, because of the liability and bad management precedent.
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Old Fri May 02, 2003, 07:57am
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ABZ, I was up in MB last night for 2 ponys, I had the first plate. I had the visitors earlier this year and the coach complained the whole game about the other team's little cheers. It was just the standard stuff, nothing special about them.

Well, last night in the bottom of the first, she comes out and tells me that the league there decided the players couldn't use positions names in their cheers (hey pitcher look at me, I'm a monkey in a tree). I said ok, told the other coach, he thought it was petty, but told his girls.

So we start to play ball again, and what do I hear the defense saying? Hey batter, hey batter.

So I call time, remind the coach of what SHE just told me. Told her to get a handle on it or she was gone. I knew what was coming

Couple pitches later, the shortstop says hey batter, so I tossed the coach. Couple minutes later a different coach from that team comes over to tell me their protesting the game. Ooook.

Anyway, I enjoyed myself, and after the coach left it turned into a good close game.
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