Rookies

UpdatedThursday May 13, 2021 byKCRBL.

The Rookies level is intended to be a fully developmental experience that is both fun and safe for all players. At this level, we are still teaching the basics and fundamentals and applying them in game situations. We do not track wins and losses and final scores, as this is solely about developing these players and keeping them interested so that they will have fun, learn, and hopefully continue to play the sport as they grow and age. 

  1. DISCIPLINARY OPTION
    1. Coach may bench a player for arriving late frequently or for being disruptive or unruly after being spoken to. Player is to remain in the batting order but will not play for up to 2 innings or may be removed if continuing to be disruptive. 
  2. SCORES AND RECORDS
    1. KCRBL does not keep track of game scores, wins, or losses at the Rookies level. Coaches are encouraged to maintain positivity with the players, winning or losing, because it is the experience of playing the game that is important at these ages.
  3. PITCHER
    1. At this level, all games are coach-pitch, which means a coach for the batting team will pitch to the players of that team.
    2. A player for the team on defense will assume the pitching position defensively by positioning to one side of the pitching mound.
    3. Batters will receive no more than five pitches to put the ball in play. If after five pitches, the batter has not put the ball in play, the batter is out.
    4. This method encourages batters to feel more comfortable swinging the bat and hitting the ball, with less fear of being hit by a pitch, etc. This also eliminates walks and increases actually playing of the ball on defense.
  4. DEFENSE
    1. Teams may play a fourth outfielder and a fifth infielder at this level on defense. However, both teams must be afforded this opportunity. For example: one team only has 10 players in attendance (thus not able to field 11), so the other team can only field 10 on defense as well. 
    2. With 11 players on defense, they are positioned as four outfielders, five infielders, one pitcher, and one catcher.
    3. With 10 players on defense, they are positioned as four outfielders, four infielders, one pitcher, and one catcher.
    4. With 9 players on defense, they are positioned as three outfielders, four infielders, one pitcher, and one catcher.
  5. RUNNER ADVANCEMENT
    1. A base runner at third base shall not advance to home on a “pitched” passed ball or wild pitch.
    2. A runner on third base may not advance home except on a batted ball..  
    3. A runner on third base may not advance home on a throw from the catcher to the pitcher even if it is a wild throw.
    4. Play is over when the pitcher is in possession of the ball on the mound, all base runners must return to respective bases.
    5. Runners can advance no more than one base on a throw in which the ball leaves the field of play.
    6. Runners can advance no more than one base after a defensive error is committed regardless of the number of errors committed during a single “play.” This is to avoid situations where the ball is thrown all around with no outs being recorded. (e.g., Runner on first base runs to second base on a ball hit to the outfield. Outfielder throws the ball toward the infield and it rolls past the infielder, so the runner goes to third base. The infielder then throws the ball to third base to try to get the runner out but throws the ball over the third baseman’s head. At the occurrence of the second defensive error the ball is dead. Runner on third cannot advance on this second error.) 
  6. STEALING
    1. Stealing bases is NOT allowed.
  7. STOPPAGE OF PLAY
    1. 90-minute limit: No new inning can begin after 90 minutes.
    2. Dead stop: KCRBL does not have a dead stop timing rule.
  8. FIVE-RUN RULE
    1. An inning shall end upon the batting team scoring five runs.
      1. Exception: All runners that score from an outside-the-park (over the outfield fence in fair territory) home run count (e.g., Team A has scored four runs and has a runner on base when a home run is hit. Therefore, both the runner and the hitter score, giving Team A six runs in the inning).
    2. The five-run rule shall apply to all but the last scheduled inning of a regular-length game (i.e., the sixth inning of a regularly scheduled six-inning game).
  9. CONTINUOUS LINEUPS
    1. Every player shall bat in the lineup, with free defensive substitution of players during the game.
  10. MUST-PLAY RULE
    1. All players on a team’s roster for a game must play a minimum of two (2) innings in the field on defense.
  11. ROSTER GAME MINIMUM
    1. Teams may play eight (8) players without taking an out in the batting order (e.g., Team A has seven players. The #8 spot in the batting order is an automatic out).
    2. It is recommended that when a team knows in advance that they will have fewer than 8 players available, the coaches of both teams find a future date to play the game rather than a team playing short-handed.
  12. TIE GAMES
    1. If a game is tied at the end of six (6) innings, the game shall end in a tie.
  13. JAW GUARDS (aka C-flaps)
    1. Players are allowed to use batting helmets with jaw guards, or C-flaps, when batting.
  14. BATS
    1. All bats used in league play, and practices, must have the USA Bat designation on them.
    2. Coaches should ensure their players use only approved bats. This is a liability issue for the league.
  15. HEAD-FIRST SLIDES
    1. Head-first slides are not allowed when advancing to home plate. The sliding runner is out and play continues until the ball is dead.
    2. Runners may slide head-first into any other base whether it is a return to a base (e.g., diving back after overrunning the base) or advancing to a base.
  16. All other rules are as per 2018 Cal Ripken Baseball League rule book.