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Rev. January-2020
376 WESTERN PA PONY LEAGUE
2021 PONY LEAGUE RULES
UPDATED AND APPROVED BY ALL PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS

January 2021
Approved by all board members on January 31, 2021.
League:
1. League shall be made up by teams from Beaver/Brighton Twp., Blackhawk, Central Valley, Hopewell, Riverside and South Side. Only one (1) organization permitted from each school district.
2. Each Organization participating in the league must enter all Pony league teams under the Organization’s control.
3. New Organization(s) that are interested in joining the league MUST be voted in by February 1st by the League Directors. 2/3 vote required to be added to the league.
4. Each parent organization which provides teams to the league shall select a director to establish and vote upon rules for the league.
5. The elected directors shall meet and vote on the rules. Each director shall have one vote. Majority vote rules. The league directors are responsible for all coach and player conduct within their organization. All incidents must be reported to the league within 2 hours of the incident.
6. Directors shall vote for a league commissioner.
7. League commissioner shall handle and decide all disputes between teams.
8. The official playing rules, except as modified by the league, shall be the “Official Rules of Major League Baseball” and “National Pony League”.
9. Only Children who are not 15 years old before May 1st are eligible to play.
10. Playing time is NOT guaranteed.
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Games:
1. Regulation games shall be seven (7) innings.
2. If a game is called for any reason, the game is official if five (5) innings have been completed or if the home team is ahead after visiting team has completed the top of the fifth (5th) inning.
3. If a game is tied after completion of five (5) or more complete innings and is called for any reason, the game will be official and will be recorded as a tie.
4. 15 Run Mercy Rule: If a team is ahead by fifteen (15) runs after completion of four (4) full innings, the game is over.
5. 10 Run Mercy Rule: If a team is ahead by ten (10) runs after completion of five (5) full innings, the game is over.
6. Game(s) that are not completed, when played, game(s) will resume from the point where it was stopped.
7. All week day games shall start at 6:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday games can start earlier. There is a 15 minute grace period for each game. (Games can start earlier only if the managers agree)
8. All coaches must enter their scores, schedule change dates, and pitching info after each game within 24 hours into the Google Sheets. It is a spreadsheet programmed to keep track of wins, losses, tie breakers, standings, game changes and available pitchers. It can be accessed by any phone, computer or tablet at any time. If any pitcher is not reported on Google Sheets in the 24 hour time limit, that pitcher will not be permitted to pitch for 1 week or at least 2 games.
Teams:
1. Prior to the first regular season game played, each parent organization shall submit a roster for each team in the league.
PLEASE NOTE: Players must reside within the team(s) school district. Any Player that does not reside within one of the school districts/communities listed above AND their hometown does not have a Pony League team in any league, may be placed in our league by exception to the rule with a Pony League board member majority vote.
There is no grandfather rule for students playing in an organization. Each organization will submit a report card for each player to show what district they are attending. If a player is home schooled or attends a catholic school, they will play for the school district they would attend according to their address. A proof of address will be required. Any team caught with an illegal player will forfeit their right to participated in playoffs for the current season.
2. Roster information shall include full name, date of birth, address of each player and the name of the school district each player attends. All players that are playing on teams outside of the league must list all additional team(s) on the roster.
3. The maximum number of players per team is eighteen (18).
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4. Once the rosters are submitted, there shall be no changes. (Call ups excluded)
• Call ups should be made only to complete a roster (9th player)
• In the event a coach wishes to call up to roster 10 players, all 10 must be in the batting lineup for the entire game.
• They can play any position (except pitcher) and bat anywhere in the order.
• No more than four (4) call ups are to be used per game.
• If a team has 10 or less players, Little League rosters must be submitted.
5. Teams may have up to four (4) coaches and a score keeper in the dugout during a game. All coaches MUST have all of the following current clearances on file:
1) PA Criminal
2) PA Child Abuse
3) FBI Fingerprints or PA Residency Affidavit (if applicable).
6. A team must start a game fielding nine (9) eligible players and may end a game with eight (8) if necessary due to injury only (see Batting, #6 for additional details).
7. Once the rosters are submitted, a team cannot have a currently rostered player from another team play for that team.
Equipment:
1. All batters must wear a double earflap helmet while batting and running the bases.
2. All catchers must wear a hockey style mask or a mask with throat protection, chest protector, cup, and shin guards.
3. Metal cleats are permitted.
4. A player warming up a pitcher must wear a catcher’s mask.
5. Home teams will provide baseballs, two (2) new baseballs and acceptable backup baseballs. All game baseballs must have the Pony logo.
6. USABat
As will be stated in Section 8 “Equipment,” in conjunction with USA Baseball and its other participating National Member Organizations, PONY Baseball has adopted the new USA Baseball Bat Standard (USABat). Effective January 1, 2018, with the exception of the -3 bat (BBCOR certified), all other 2-1/4” and 2-5/8” minus factor bats (-5 only) must be certified with the USABat licensing stamp on the bat in order to be used for league and tournament play. 2-1/4” and 2-5/8” minus factor bats (-5, -7, -9, etc.) used in 2017 will be illegal to use in 2018 and beyond. 2-¾” barrel bats are prohibited in PONY Baseball.
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Wood Bats – Players can use Wooden Bats, however they must have the following characteristics and components:
1. Must be one Piece and made of a single piece of wood.
2. Must not have rough or sharp edges or any form of exterior fastener.
3. Bats that are broken, altered or that deface the ball are illegal. Materials inside the bat or treatments/devices used to alter the bat specifications and/or enhance performance are prohibited and render the bat illegal.
4. Must have a knob and it must protrude from the handle.
5. MUST be 2 5/8” in diameter ONLY.
6. It may be roughened or wound with tape not more than 18 inches from the handle end of the bat. No foreign substance may be added to the surface of the bat beyond 18 inches from the end of the handle.
Playing Field:
1. Bases shall be 80 feet apart.
2. Pitching mound shall be 54 feet from home plate.
3. Home team shall mark infield foul lines.
4. A marked batter’s box is mandatory.
5. A Running lane is mandatory on first base.
Pitch Count: 1. Pitchers are to adhere to the following pitch count rules for league and sanction tournament play.
Daily Max Pitches: 95
Pitches: Required Rest:
1 - 20 0 days rest
21 – 35 1 day rest
36 – 50 2 days rest
51- 65 3 days rest
66+ 4 days rest 2. Pitchers reaching their maximum number of pitches in a day, while pitching to a batter, may finish pitching to that batter before being removed. A pitcher is charged with the number of pitches in the specific calendar day and week in which they are pitched, regardless of whether they are local organization league games, the playoff of postponed games or suspended games, tie games, or exhibition games.
Rest is calculated as per calendar day. No pitcher shall appear in a game as a pitcher for three consecutive days, regardless of pitch count.
Teams should assign an official scorekeeper for each game to track pitch counts. Coaches should compare and agree on pitch count between every inning. Pitch counts will be recorded on Google Sheets.
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3. During a game, once a pitcher is removed from the mound, he cannot return to the mound to pitch in that game.
4. All pitches thrown in a calendar week shall count regardless of outcome of game.
5. One visit to mound per inning. Upon the second visit in any given inning, the pitcher must be removed.
6. If a pitcher or manager wishes to intentionally walk a batter, then after informing the umpire, the batter shall take first without a pitch.
7. Each team shall receive one (1) balk warning, per team, prior to a balk being called by the umpire.
Batting & Runners:
1. A maximum of 10 hitters may be used in the batting order.
2. If 10 batters are used during a game, the extra batter may substitute for any fielder at any time.
3. A starter may be substituted for at any time. He/she may re-enter the game provided he/she enters their original spot in the batting order. If removed from the game a second time the starter may not re-enter the game.
4. Any substitute who enters the game and then is replaced May not re-enter the game.
5. If a player is injured and must leave the facility, the injured player cannot return to the field or bat in that day.
6. Injury to a player will be the only exception to these rules. In such case, any player who has not previously been in the game must be inserted before a substitute who has entered and left the game and any starter who has entered the and left the game twice.
7. A team that starts with 9 batters may finish a game with 8 players due to injury only. When the injured player’s spot in the order comes up, it is recorded as an out. If a team cannot field 8 players or batters at any time during the game, the game is over and opposing team is credited with a win, 10-0.
8. With two (2) outs, a manager may insert a courtesy runner for the catcher of record.
Courtesy runner must be a Bench player not in the batting order. If there are no bench player(s), then the last batter called out must be used.
9. On any close play, the runner must slide to avoid contact, except for 1st base. If the runner does not slide and makes contact, he may be called out.
10. No hurdling within in three (3) feet of any base, Runner may be called out.
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On Field Conduct:
1. All players must wear baseball caps while in the field and jerseys must be tucked in.
2. Throwing or misuse of equipment or abusive language shall be reason for automatic ejection from the game.
3. Any individual on the roster (player or coach) who is ejected from a game must serve an automatic one (1) game suspension during his teams next scheduled game and faces possible additional disciplinary action which will be determined by the League Directors on a case by case basis. All ejections must be reported to all board members and coaches immediately following the incident.
4. No use of tobacco (Includes smokeless) products by coaches, umpires or players during pre-game and game.
5. League Directors reserve the right to discipline any individual on a team roster for behavior they feel is not in the best interest of the League.
6. Discipline may include warning, suspension, dismissal, being barred, or any other disciplinary action the League Directors may choose. This will be determined on a case by case basis. In the event of suspension, dismissal, or being barred a League meeting must be called.
Scheduling:
1. Prior to the start of the season each organization shall meet to do their team’s schedule. Each team shall provide their no play dates and field availability dates. If there is ever a change in field availability the team must notify the League Directors at immediately.
2. Any request after the schedule is complete will NOT be accepted unless approved by the League Directors. This request must be made at least seven days in advance.
3. The League Directors will, whenever possible, schedule all regular season, playoff, and makeup games on the home team’s field. However, League Directors reserve the right, whenever it deems necessary, to reschedule a game on a neutral field in order to play that particular game in a timely manner.
4. Every effort shall be made not to schedule games for three consecutive days. However, this does not apply to makeup games.
5. All regular season games must be played, regardless of their outcomes on the playoffs. Any team refusing to play the remainder of its scheduled or rescheduled games so as to not complete the regular season shall forfeit all games remaining. All forfeits shall count as a score of 10-0.
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6. The season will start during the second week in April and be completed during the second week in June. One week will be given for makeup games. The last week in June is reserved for the playoffs. The 1st week in July is reserved for the All Star Game and the 2nd week in July is the Championship series. Each team will play 3 games per week for at least 2 weeks during the season.
7. 376 Pony League games will be played Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Cancellations:
1. A game may not be canceled due to rain or wet grounds more than four hours prior to the game unless both teams agree. The home team manager must notify the opposing team and their umpires association as soon as the determination not to play has been made. Failure to do so may result in umpires’ fees being assessed.
2. No manager or organization may postpone a scheduled or rescheduled game for any reason other than wet field or rain. Any request for postponement of any scheduled or rescheduled game must be approved in advance by the League Directors or will be grounds for a forfeit. The League Directors will not consider postponement of any game because a manager, coach, or player(s) will not be able to attend.
Rescheduling:
1. All games not played as scheduled shall be attempted to be played on the NEXT available playing date.
2. All scheduled games must be played by Friday night of the final week of the regular season. This would be the end of the makeup week on the 3rd week in June.
3. The two team managers must both agree upon when a game will be rescheduled. This must be done within 24 hours of the canceled game or as soon as possible. League Directors must be included on all communication(s) regarding the rescheduling and/or makeup of games. League Directors will schedule any game that is not rescheduled in the 24 hour time period.
4. The penalty for not rescheduling a game that results in no game being played shall be a forfeit for both teams. (Exception: If one or more teams refuse to reschedule makeup game(s), the League Directors will review)
Umpires:
1. Each home team shall provide and pay for two (2) patch umpires.
2. If only one umpire shows for a game, the game shall be played.
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Playoffs:
1. All Teams will make the playoffs. (Exceptions; forfeits, see #4 under playoffs, and/or violation(s) of conduct) Playoffs shall be single elimination with a best of three games for the Championship. (Unless decided otherwise by vote of the League Directors)
2. Pitch counts will follow season limits.
3. Season record will set seeding for playoffs. Any games not played will count as a loss for both teams.
4. Any team(s) forfeiting 3 or more regular season games will be ineligible to participate in the playoffs. (Except for weather related circumstances with the League Directors approval)
*Tie Breakers:
1st Head-to-Head
2nd Runs Allowed for tied teams
3rd Run Differential amongst teams tied
4th Coin Flip
5. Higher seed is always the home team.
6. Two (2) umpires per game. Each team will pay for one (1) umpire per game.
7. Trophies will be awarded to the league Champions and Runner up.
Drafting:
1. The purpose of the draft is to disperse playing talent evenly, so that league balance can be maintained and teams can remain competitive.
2. A complete re-draft of all players will be conducted each year.
3. A random draft order will be established by the league and the draft selection will proceed in a “snake” format.
4. Any player who is in the immediate family of the head coach will be drafted in the second (2nd) round unless agreed upon otherwise by coaches and commissioner based on talent level.
5. Alternate Draft Selection rules must be approved by League Directors.
6. Organizations with multiple teams must be within two (2) per age group for their 13 and 14 year olds.
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MEETINGS:
1. Four (5) meetings will be set during the calendar year (Pre-season, Scheduling, Coaches/Managers and Post Season/Fall Ball)
2. Meetings are mandatory. Each organization must have a representative at each meeting.
3. Additional meeting(s) maybe called, as needed by the League Directors.
Fall Rules:
Follow spring rules except for the following.
• 2 innings allowed per pitcher per game.
• Continuous batting order will be used.
• 6 inning games will be played.
• 12 game season will be played.
• 1 Umpire will be used instead of 2
All organizations must have their own insurance and turn in a copy of their insurance certificate and code of conduct by the Scheduling meeting.
All teams must have with them a first aid kit at all games and practices.
Disclaimer: The 376 Western PA Pony League is not responsible for any action(s) by coaches, players, umpires, and/or spectators before and/or after the game.
End of season notes:
Start season May 1st
14 games
-5 USA or -3 BBCOR only
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Beaver, Pennsylvania 15009
Email : [email protected]
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