Pitching Machine Rules for Rookie Ball (Clinton Minor Baseball)

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Pitching Machine League Rules for Rookie Ball

(Ref. OBA Playing Rules Q2.3)

  1. Bases are at a distance of 65ft. The baseline begins and ends at the back point of the plate.

  2. Pitching mound is 44ft from home plate and is the center point of an 8ft diameter safety circle.

  3. The release point of the pitching machine is to be centered inside the safety circle 44ft from home plate.

  4. Lines shall be drawn from the release point to 4ft beyond the circle. The pitcher must have both feet behind the white line, but not more than 4ft behind the line, until the ball is released from the machine. Once the ball is released from the machine, the pitcher may move in front of the line, but may not move through the circle.

  5. Neither the pitcher nor any other player may in any way break the plane of the 8ft safety circle around the pitching machine. This includes stepping on or inside the line, or reaching into the circle. The play will be called dead and 1 base will be awarded. All other forced runners will move 1 base.

  6. Only the pitcher may return a live ball to the operating coach with runners on base.

  7. The on deck batter, batter and base runners must wear a batting helmet with ear flaps covering both ears. Chinstraps are mandatory and must be worn. A player is not permitted to remove the helmet until they are safely in the dugout.

  8. The pitcher must wear an approved batting helmet with a facemask and chinstrap attached.

  9. The pitching machine speeds cannot be altered except at the end of an inning. The machine speed is a minimum of  35mph and a maximum of 40mph. Any tampering with the machine speed by the coach feeding the machine shall result in the coach's immediate ejection. If the machine speed is erratic, it shall be corrected by the umpire (this may be done at any time).

  10. The height of the pitched ball can be adjusted at any time.

  11. Batters cannot walk or bunt. Bunts are automatic outs.

  12. If a batted ball hits the pitching machine or any adult on the playing field, then the ball is declared dead and the batter is awarded first base. All other forced runners will move 1 base.

  13. When a thrown ball hits the pitching machine or the cord within the circle, then the ball is declared dead and each base runner, including the batter-runner, shall advance 1 base from the time the ball becomes dead.

  14. The coach feeding the pitching machine must not interfere with any play. Otherwise, the batter will be called out and the runners will be returned to their original bases. In case of the third out the side is retired.

  15. The coach operating the pitching machine may instruct the batter before feeding the machine, but shall not instruct runners during the play. Penalty: the operating coach shall be warned. If the action continues, the individual will be removed from that position.

  16. The coach/manager may only communicate positive instructions to the players on the field. 
    Batters must drop the bat and not throw it (intentionally or unintentionally) upon hitting the ball. Penalty: each team shall be entitled one warning per game. Any further offences by a team shall result in the batter being declared out, the ball being dead and the base runners must return to their bases.

  17. The umpire shall call 'Play' to make the ball live. If the pitching machine operator feeds and releases a ball from the machine, prior to the Umpire calling 'Play', the ball will be declared 'no pitch.