Our mission is to provide baseball instruction, skill development and playing opportunities for players in grades 1 through high school in Brookline Massachusetts.
 
 
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A LEAGUE RULES

The A League is the introductory level of Brookline Youth Baseball (BYB).

Eligibility

To be eligible this spring, a player must be in first grade during the spring.

League Format

The A League is a noncompetitive league that emphasizes skill development, team play, and sportsmanship. At this level, players are taught the fundamentals of catching, throwing, fielding ground balls and fly balls, batting, running the bases, and sliding, as well as the general rules of the game. Players are allowed to play all positions except pitcher and catcher; only coaches/adults are allowed to pitch and catch in this league. The number of teams and number of players on each team are determined by the league vice president (VP), along with members of the BYB Board of Directors, based on registration numbers. (Note: The A League is not tee-ball. BYB does not offer tee-ball or any program for kindergartners.)

Schedule

During the first several weeks of the season, each team meets twice per week on weeknights for practices. In the final two weeks of the season, each team plays two or three intrasquad games.

Practices and intrasquad games are scheduled by the league VP. Each team s practices take place on the same days, at the same time, and at the same field every week. Starting times are no earlier than 5:30 p.m. on weeknights.

Player Selection/Team Formation

All players in first grade are assigned to the A League. Teams are assembled by the A League VP, who consults the A League coaches.

Umpires

The adult who is pitching also serves as the umpire. On close plays, the umpire should favor the team in the field because outs are often hard to come by in this league. The umpire must attempt to avoid obstructing plays being made in the field.

Bats and Baseballs

Both aluminum and wooden bats are allowed in this league. Safety balls, which are softer and safer than ordinary hard balls, are used in all practices and games.

Questions

Any questions or concerns regarding the A League should be directed to the league VP. See the BYB website (www.brooklineyouthbaseball.org) for a list of VPs and their email addresses.

GAME RULES

The A League uses the official Little League Baseball playing rules as a standard guide, amended by the following game rules.

Code of Conduct

BYB s principal goal is to ensure an atmosphere of sportsmanship and civility. Other objectives, such as winning and personal performance, are secondary. The following Code of Conduct, which is based on these priorities, applies to all BYB games and practices.

All players, coaches, and spectators must:

  • Treat other players, coaches, spectators, and umpires with respect.
  • Refrain from: criticizing, insulting, taunting, blaming, or threatening another person; using foul language; and physically abusing another person.
  • Accept the decisions of umpires without complaint. (A head coach may question the application of a rule, but judgment calls may not be argued.)
  • Treat all equipment with care.

In addition:

  • Players must play by the rules of the game and accept coaches decisions without complaint.
  • Head coaches must monitor the behavior of their players, assistant coaches, and spectators, and must act immediately to put a stop to unsportsmanlike behavior when it occurs.
  • All coaches must follow the rules, treat each player as an individual, recognize and reward effort as well as talent, and promote sportsmanship.
  • Spectators are encouraged to cheer and show appreciation for good plays and efforts made by both teams, and may not challenge or criticize a coach s decision.

Zero Tolerance Policy

In the event that a player, coach, or spectator violates BYB s Code of Conduct, both the umpire and the league VP are authorized to dismiss the individual from the field, and to stop the game and declare a forfeit if the individual does not comply. In addition, BYB reserves the right to impose further sanctions, including expulsion from the BYB program (without a refund of registration fees to players or their families).

Game Format

A League games are designed to allow players to apply the skills they ve learned during practices. These games are noncompetitive, and scores are not recorded. Games last at least three innings and can extend beyond three innings if time allows and both coaches agree. A half inning consists of three outs (not including strikeouts) or 10 batters whichever comes first.

Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather during the day of a game, head coaches are responsible for contacting each other to determine whether the game can be played. Head coaches are also responsible for calling the Town of Brookline s Recreation Information Line (730-2083 or 730-2084) to find out if the fields are closed because of poor conditions; the recorded message on this line is typically updated by 11:00 a.m. on weekdays and 7:00 a.m. on weekends.

Before a game, the head coaches have the authority to decide whether the game can be played (if the fields are open); if the head coaches cannot reach an agreement, the head coach of the home team has final say. (Note: The most important consideration must be the safety of the players.)

Game Equipment

The home team is required to provide bases for each game. Both teams must provide their own bats and batting helmets, although each team must share batting helmets if the other team doesn t have enough. Each team is required to provide safety balls for use during games.

Coaches and Spectators

Coaches are allowed to choose assistant coaches to be in the bench area and on the field during games. Only head coaches and assistant coaches are allowed to coach from the first- and third-base coaching boxes; players may not serve as base coaches.

Spectators who are not coaches must watch the game in the areas designated for spectators, and are not allowed on the field or in the bench area with the team. No spectator may stand behind the backstop during a game.

Fielding a Team

Coaches may use up to 11 players in the field at a time: one on the pitcher s mound, for fielding only; four at the regular infield positions and one at the second base bag; and five spread evenly across the outfield. Outfielders must remain on the outfield grass to prevent overcrowding and confusion in the infield.

Players may not pitch to batters in this league. During games, coaches pitch to their own teams, and the coach on the mound also serves as the umpire. The coach who s pitching may not field balls hit into play, and must attempt to avoid obstructing any plays being made in the field (a player is positioned on or near the pitcher s mound for fielding purposes). The coach who s pitching is not required to pitch from the rubber, and may pitch underhand when necessary.

Players may not serve as catchers in this league. A parent or coach from the batting team must serve as the catcher and make all plays normally associated with the catcher position.

The fielding team may have three coaches positioned in the field one in the infield and two in the outfield to keep the players focused and organized. These coaches may instruct the fielders, but may not make plays or touch the ball when in play.

Playing Time

Players must be rotated among the various positions in the infield and the outfield over the course of the season. Each player must sit on the bench for at least one inning per game, except when not enough players are available. Each time a coach doesn t have enough players available to comply with the must-sit requirement, he/she must allow a different player to play a complete game. No player may play two complete games until each player on the team has played a complete game.

Substitutions

As long as playing time requirements are met, players may be freely substituted from position to position, and from the field to the bench throughout the game.

Bench Area

To help maintain order, all players who are not at bat must remain seated on the bench, or on the ground in the bench area if there is no bench, at all times. No player, coach, or spectator may stand behind the backstop during a game.

Pitchers

Players may not pitch to batters in this league. During games, coaches pitch to their own teams, and the coach on the mound also serves as the umpire. The coach who s pitching may not field balls hit into play, and must attempt to avoid obstructing any plays being made in the field (a player is positioned on or near the pitcher s mound for fielding purposes). The coach who s pitching is not required to pitch from the rubber, and may pitch underhand when necessary.

Catchers

Players may not play the catcher position in this league. A parent or coach from the batting team must serve as the catcher and make all plays normally associated with the catcher position.

Batters

Each batter must wear a helmet in the on-deck area and throughout the at-bat.

With the exception of players who become injured or leave the field early, all players must remain in the same spot in the batting order throughout the game even when not playing in the field. If a player must be removed from the order because of injury or early departure, the player s spot in the order may be skipped for the rest of the game without an out being recorded. Players who arrive after the game has begun must be added to the end of the order.

To keep players focused, an at-bat may not last longer than 10 pitches. If the batter fails to hit a pitch into play, it does not count as a strikeout or an out. An out is recorded only when a play is made in the field. There are no walks in this league, and a batter may not advance to first base if hit by a pitch. Bunting is not allowed, either as a sacrifice or for the purpose of getting a hit; the focus should be learning how to swing a bat. Sacrifice fly balls, in which a base runner tags up and advances to the next base after the ball is caught, are allowed. A batter who hits the ball into play may not advance beyond second base; however, a base runner may score from first base on a hit.

Infield Fly/Hidden Ball

The Infield Fly Rule is not enforced in this league. If a pop-up is dropped in the infield, base runners may advance and fielders may record a force-out.

BYB does not allow hidden ball plays designed to deceive base runners at any level of play.

Base Runners

Each base runner must wear a helmet until he/she returns to the bench.

Neither leading nor stealing are allowed in this league, and base runners may not advance on a wild pitch or passed ball. A base runner may not leave the base until the batter hits the ball into play. A batter who hits the ball into play may not advance beyond second base; however, a base runner may score from first base on a hit. A base runner may not advance on an overthrow or uncaught throw at any base.

A base runner may not intentionally make contact with a fielder. A base runner who initiates contact with a fielder must be warned or called out by the umpire. To prevent collisions, a base runner approaching second base, third base, or home plate (but not first base) should get into the habit of sliding feet-first if a throw is made in an attempt to get the base runner out. Learning this skill will help prepare each player for the higher levels, where sliding is required.
 

Darkness

An inning may not start after 7:00 p.m. Under no circumstances may a game be continued when it s difficult for any player to see the ball.