PLAYER ROTATION, LINE-UP AND POSITIONING
1. Every player must play at least 2 innings in the infield, with only one of those innings being at catcher.
2. A player can play 3 innings maximum at any position each game.
3. Every player must play at least one inning in the outfield. A player can satisfy this requirement with one inning at the catcher's position.
4. Bat the entire line up.
5. Ten (10) players used defensively (4 in the outfield, no infield rover).
6. No player may sit out two innings until every other player has sat out at least one inning.
7. Outfielders must be placed equidistant apart and may not be closer than 15 feet from edge of infield prior to ball being hit. Infielders (other than P and C) must be placed no closer than 1 foot in front of the infield grass line, unless the play is at home. Under no circumstance may an infielder (other than P and C) be closer than 45' from home plate when the ball is hit.
8. The pitcher must have one foot touching the “mound” during the pitch, but needs to be even with or behind the pitching machine.
9. Failure to field 8 players 5 minutes after official start time (and at any time during the game) will result in forfeiture. When playing with 8 or 9 players, there is no penalty. The defensive team must field a catcher at all times. When playing with 8 or 9 players, the "open" positions can be determined by the defensive team (other than catcher), and can be changed between innings but not during an inning (no mid-inning switches).
10. No player may switch defensive positions in the middle of an inning unless a player gets injured or the opposing team manager agrees with the switch.
11. Prior to the first pitch, managers must exchange positional line-up cards delineating who is going to play each of the ten positions in each inning. During the game, one inning may be exchanged for another in its entirety (prior to the start of that inning) so long as the other manager is notified and all positional requirements are still met.
HITTING AND BASERUNNING
The pitching machine will be set at:
- 38mph for the regular season
- 40mph for playoffs and into the tournaments
*Any violation of the pitch speeds as elevated to the Pinto’s LP will result in an automatic forfeiture. As of 2023, LJYB has opted to stick with 40mph for the entirety of the season.
1. A batter is out on three strikes or by not swinging at the 6th pitch or any pitch thereafter. A batter can continuously foul a ball off for as many pitches as it takes to produce either a swing and a miss or a ball hit in play.
2. The umpire may call “No Pitch” for a bad pitch only if the batter did not swing.
3. Bunting is not allowed.
4. Stealing or leading-off is not allowed. A runner cannot leave their base until a batter makes contact with the baseball. If a runner leaves early, and the ball is hit in play, the umpire has the right to call that baserunner out and return all other baserunners to their original base.
5. If the batter’s hit ball strikes the pitching machine, and stays in fair territory, the ball is in play. If it bounces into foul territory past 1st Base or 3rd base, the ball is in play. If it bounces into foul territory before 1st base or 3rd base, the ball is considered dead and the hitter advances to first base and all runners advance one base.
6. Base runners may continue to advance until a play is “killed,” which is when an umpire calls time after a player holds up their throwing hand with the ball above their head. The player holding up their hand must be in fair territory and an infielder. Runners will then be awarded the base last occupied unless a base runner has passed the halfway point from one base to the next, in which case, they will be awarded the next base.
7. We want to encourage kids attempts to make outs. As such, any overthrow made on a direct attempt for either a force out or tag out on a base will limit the runners to one additional base, assuming no attempt to make a play at the following base.
8. Head-first slides are not allowed in Pony Baseball at the Pinto level.
INNING AND GAME DURATION
1. Each Pinto Division game can be up to 6 innings.
2. Each inning ends for the offense when 5 runs score or 3 outs are made.
3. In the sixth inning (or the final inning as determined by both managers before the start of an inning), each team may score unlimited runs until three outs are made; no Mercy Rules apply during the recreational season.
4. For all games that are followed by another game, no new inning will be allowed to begin after 1 hour and 35 minutes and all of these games must end at 1 hour and 50 minutes. If this time limit ends a game in the middle of an inning, the final score will be determined by the score at the end of the last completed inning.
RULES ON MANAGING AND COACHING
1. The pitching machine may be adjusted by the manager/coach operating the pitching machine at any time.
2. The manager/coach for the team "at bat" will operate the pitching machine. The manager/coach operating the pitching machine shall not direct or coach in any way on offense once the ball is hit (PENALTY: the manager/coach will receive one warning and the second time he/she must be removed). The manager/coach operating the pitching machine may not in any way interfere with the defensive players, meaning this manager/coach should immediately duck upon contact.
3. Two defensive coaches are allowed in the outfield. These coaches should be located beyond the deepest outfielder and well out of the action.
4. On offense, a pitching coach on the machine and two base coaches are allowed.
5. The winning manager of each game is responsible for inputting the final score into LJYB's website at the conclusion of every game. The home team should provide an official scorekeeper though we do recommend that each side has a scorekeeper of their own in order to corroborate the score at the conclusion of each half-inning.
6. The home team will provide the umpire with three new game balls at the start of each game. If more balls are needed, both managers can select the best available balls from their used game balls.
7. The home team manager is in charge of coordinating pre-game field maintenance, keeping the official score, and clean-up after the game. Both team managers are responsible for post-game clean-up.
SAFETY AND REGULATIONS
1. All players must be registered with the Pinto Division in La Jolla Youth Baseball.
2. All players must be in compliance with the specified age requirements set forth by PONY Baseball.
3. A player who quits, or due to injury is unable to continue the season, shall be reported immediately to the League President by the manager in the form of a written report.
4. No batting practice nor infield practice on the dirt is permitted on field before games.
5. No player may ever operate the pitching machine.
6. Make sure that while the pitching machine is in use, all players are in proper fielding position and paying attention.
7. All players not batting must remain in the dugout, with the exception of the on-deck batter, who may warm up wearing a batting helmet.
8. The pitcher may not stand forward of the pitching machine and must have one foot in the pitcher's circle until the batter contacts the baseball.
9. Metal spikes are not allowed.
10. Batting helmets must be worn while at bat and on the base paths.
11. All catchers must wear a protective cup and catcher’s equipment.
1. Conduct should always emphasize setting the best example possible for the kids.
2. Only the manager may discuss or dispute umpire calls. Under no circumstances shall a coach, player or parent do this.
3. Under no circumstances is a verbal or physical confrontation acceptable between any parties involved, including managers, coaches, parents, umpires, players, or other fans. Any such confrontation should be immediately reported to the League President and can result in a warning, suspension, or permanent removal from the league.
4. Managers are responsible for not only leading by example, but also for communicating to their coaches, players, and related parents and fans what is considered appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
The Official playing rules, with the exceptions and variations contained in this document, shall be set forth in the PONY Rule Book.