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Morgantown Pony Baseball League

Morgantown Pony Baseball League


2022          Pinto Division Playing Rules

1.   Players shall be evaluated and drafted onto their teams in accordance with the procedure set in place by the Morgantown Pony Baseball League.

a.        The number of teams will be determined based on the number of registered players

b.        Once the number of teams has been set, the Pinto Director will assign coaches to each team.

c.        The Head coaches may partner with two assistant coaches or one assistant coach and one sponsor prior to the draft and any coach/sponsor players shall be assigned together on that team. Please note that there cannot be a head coach, two assistant coaches, and a sponsor all protected. The limit is a combination of three.

d.        All players must attend the player evaluation

e.        The coach/sponsor players must be drafted in the round that corresponds with that player’s ranking. If the coach/sponsor’s player did not go to the evaluation those players must be drafted first by the team. If other players not assigned to a team through a coach/sponsor do not attend the evaluation they will be picked randomly from a hat at the end of the draft by the teams.

f.         The team draft order by round starts with the lowest score based upon evaluations. After each round, the teams are reranked again according to evaluation score and a new order will take place. In certain rounds a team will not have a choice for their draft pick because they will have to draft a coach or sponsor’s player.

g.        If a player signs up after the draft the player may still be placed on a team, but the head coaches must unanimously approve any additional players placed on a team.

2.    Pinto playing fields will be set up in accordance with PONY recommendations where possible. In addition to this, a 10 foot diameter circle will be inscribed around the pitching mound. Bases will be set at 60’. The pitching mound will be at 39’ and will act as a center for the pitching circle.

3.    Bats may be no larger than 2 3/4 inches in diameter at its thickest point. T-ball bats may NOT be used.

4.    The batter, players in the on-deck batting area, and baserunners shall always be required to wear batting helmets.

5.    Catchers are required to wear proper protective equipment including a mask with throat guard,

chest protector, shin guards, and approved headgear. Coaches should encourage all male players to wear athletic supporters.

6.    The entire roster of players present for the game shall bat in rotation. If a player fails to bat in their batting position for any reason except for injury, an out will be recorded. If a player misses an at-bat due to injury and returns to the game, they must do so in their original batting position. Any player who shows up after the start of the game will be inserted into the last batting spot.

7.    No player may sit for more than one (1) defensive innings until all players have sat for one (1) defensive innings, unless injured. It is strongly encouraged that all players experience playing in the outfield and in the infield. Therefore, no player shall play the same defensive position for more than two (2) defensive innings.

8.      Ten (10) players shall be used defensively. The positions shall be as follows: pitcher, catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, left field, left-center, right-center, and right field. Outfielders shall be positioned 20 feet behind the baselines when the pitch is being made. The act of pitching to the batter will be conducted by a coach-pitcher, and not by the player occupying the pitcher position.

9.      No player participation rule applies. Free substitution on defense, including pitching position.

10.    Batters are not permitted to bunt or soft swing at the ball. An arc will be drawn at 10’ in front of home plate from foul line to foul line. If a batted ball does not pass this line, the pitch will count as a foul. In the event a fielder plays a ball within this arc while it is still in motion and the play has no been ruled dead, then it shall be a live ball.

11.    A batter shall be declared out after failing to hit a fair ball after six pitches are delivered by a coach-pitcher. The batter is out if there are three (3) strikes before the sixth pitch. Missed swings are counted as strikes, as are foul balls and foul tips. A batter is not out on a foul ball or foul tip even if it is the sixth pitch.

12.    The catcher must assume the catcher’s position behind the plate. (There is no dropped third strike rule).

13.    Baserunners are not permitted to steal bases and shall remain in contact with the base until ball is hit. PENALTY: Runner may be warned one time, as warning is then issued to both teams. If a runner is off the base and the ball is hit, the runner is out and the ball is in play. If the ball is not hit, the runner must return to the base and the ball is dead

14.    There is no infield fly rule.

15.    Umpires shall call “Time” after every play and declare the ball dead. “Time” shall be called when the ball is in possession of an infielder and in the umpire’s judgement, all play on the runner or runners has ceased, the umpire shall call “Time”. The ball is dead and shall be returned to the coach-pitcher.  Runners that did not have ONE FOOT ON THE GROUND past the half-way markers will return to the previous base.

0.      Runners may only advance one base on any balls overthrown in an attempt to register a force out. Runners advance at the risk of being put out. Defensive players should be encouraged to make plays on the advancing runner where feasible. The overthrow rule is in place to encourage players to make the “extra” throw after the overthrow. There is no additional penalty since there is a maximum of one base on the first


16.    If a batted ball hits the coach-pitcher, the ball is dead and the pitch will not count.

17.    A batter who throws the bat while swinging will receive a warning for the first occurrence. A second occurrence will cause the batter to be out and play will be stopped. The ball will be ruled dead.

18.    Runners must slide to avoid contact with defensive players at home plate. If a runner fails to slide and a collision occurs between the runner and any defensive player with the ball or receiving the ball, the runner shall be out. A defensive player shall not block the plate when no play is being made at home. If a collision occurs when no play is being made at the plate, the runner shall not be out. The catcher, or any other defensive player, must receive the ball out in front of the plate and tag the runner, or proceed up the 3rd base ling to tag a runner.

***There shall be no head-first slides, except when returning to a base.  The runner shall be declared out if they slide head-first.***

20. No defensive player shall stand on a base when no play is being made at that base or in any other manner obstructs a runner from advancing to the next base. If in doing so, the defensive player obstructs an offensive player from advancing to the next base, obstruction shall be called and the runner may advance to the bases they would have reached, in the umpire’s judgment, if there had been no obstruction.

21. Any runner is out when he runs more than 3 feet away from his baseline to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner’s baseline is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely.

22. . The following rules govern the use of a coach-pitcher:

a.   The coach-pitcher shall have one foot on the mound when beginning his delivery.

b.   The player fielding the pitcher’s position shall take position always to the rear coach-pitcher, and on the left or right side of the coach-pitcher with one foot in the circle until the

batter makes contact with the ball.

c.   Coach-pitcher must throw the ball overhand. No kneeling or pitching from the knee is


d.   Coach-pitchers, may not wear white long-sleeved shirts, wristbands, jewelry, or any other distracting article.

23. Players are not permitted to pitch.

24. A team must start a minimum of 8 players or the game will be forfeited. The player must be present and able to play to be “starting.” If you do not complete the game with the same number of players started, the absent batting position will be an automatic out every time it comes up (i.e. if the player leaves the game after it is started). The only exception would be for a player injured in the game and unable to complete their at-bat because of this injury.

25. If a defensive team has less than 10 players, they may first eliminate one of the four outfield positions. If a team would start a game with only 8 players than they may eliminate the catcher’s position.

26. Once play has begun, the game shall be played to regulation length (six (6) innings) or five (5) and a fraction if the home team is leading unless called because of run rule. Maximum five (5) runs per inning except in the sixth or extra inning which is open.

27. If a game goes into extra innings, it shall not exceed nine (9) innings in length.

28. If a game is called for any reason, it shall be a complete game if four (4) innings have been completed, or if the home team has scored more runs in three (3) and a fraction innings than the visiting team has scored in four (4) completed innings. i.e. home team is still winning after the visiting team has batted in the fourth inning. Exception: all tournament games must be fully completed.

29. If game is called for any reason before it is a complete game as described in Rules 26 and 28 above, or when the score is tied, it shall be considered a suspended game and shall be resumed from the point of curtailment at the time scheduled by the league director.

30.   If a game is called for any reason in an uncompleted inning, after having reached complete-game length as described in Rules 26 and 28 above, and the visiting teams ties the score or takes the lead in the uncompleted inning, and the home team does not tie the score or takes the lead in its portion of the uncompleted inning, the game shall be considered a suspended game and shall be continued from the point of curtailment at the time scheduled by the league director.

31.   Mercy Rule -15 after 3 innings, 10 after 4 innings, 8 after 5 innings.

32.   Once a game is stopped for lightning, it cannot be resumed until 30 minutes after last cloud-to-ground lightning strike. Teams must vacate the entire field to wait the 30 minutes. Teams CANNOT wait in the dugouts.

33.   Each team shall be limited to one timeout per half inning.

34.   Both teams shall keep an official score book of each game. Scores must be reported, by both coaches, to the league director within three (3) hours of the completed game.

35.   When a team is batting, a coach may be permitted on the playing field as a 1st base coach, 3rd base coach, or a coach-pitcher. If a parent/coach is stationed behind the catcher to help with the returning of balls and pace of game, that parent/coach is not permitted to direct the offense or defense in any way. One warning of coaching will be given, after that the parent/coach will no longer be able to be behind the plate.

36.   When a team is in the field, two (2) coaches are permitted on the field, beyond the baselines to provide verbal instruction to the defensive team. Said coaches must position themselves in the outfield.

37.   Players, managers, and coaches shall remain in the dugouts, on the benches, or in the prescribed areas throughout the game.

38.   No coach, manager, or player shall argue with an umpire. A spectator, player, or coach who uses profanity will be removed from the game at the umpire’s discretion. See Code of Conduct.

39.   Coaches should explain to their players that any verbal communication or “chattering” during games should not be overly aggressive or negative toward the other team’s players, and they should take reasonable steps to eliminate any such overly aggressive or negative verbal communication. If the offended team feels that the other team’s behavior has crossed that threshold, the head coach should civilly and quietly discuss their concerns with the opposing head coach without any unnecessary involvement with the parents or children. If the offended team feels that the behavior is too offensive to continue, they should contact any present board member for discussion. If none are present, they can complete their game under protest, or make a decision to terminate the game. In that event, the board will need to make a decision as to the final result of the game after investigation. (i.e. game considered cancelled or a loss/win by the respective teams).

40.   A bat or helmet thrown in anger will result in ejection from the ballgame as determined by the umpire. The umpire shall notify the league director.

41.   Penalties for Coaches: Violations of these rules shall be reported to either the league director or the safety committee by the umpires. Violations may result in the coaches being suspended and/or forfeiting the game.

42.   Any coach or player removed from a game by an umpire for conduct prohibited above, will be suspended for the team’s next game, tournament games included.

43. All uniforms must be MPBL issued only.

44. All Star Selection

a.      Any interested player in the Pinto Division must try out for All Stars.

b.      The players who try out will be evaluated by the head coaches.

c.      The Pinto Director through consultation with the MPBL governing body will then select an All Star head coaches, 2 if the interest is high enough.

d.      The All Star head coaches in consultation with the Pinto Director will work to assign players to each team and create an A & B team. There should be at least 12 players on each team if 2 teams are created.

e.       All Star Practices will start prior to the regular season ending and go until the All Star tournaments have concluded.

f.      All Star players may be required to pay extra fees, participate in fundraising, and other activities as necessary to help with the cost for uniforms and travel to the tournament.

45. Any rules not stated here will refer to official Pony Baseball rules and the Pony baseball handbook.

46. To the extent not already expressly stated in these rules the Pinto Director shall have sufficient latitude and authority to implement any reasonable measures necessary for the fair and efficient administration of these rules with the consultation of the division head coaches and the Board of Directors. Minor deviations from the rules are acceptable as long as those deviations are not materially harmful to the purpose of the rules.


Morgantown Pony Baseball League (MPBL)
PO Box 1382 
Morgantown, West Virginia 26507

Email: [email protected]

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