Pony League Official Rules and Best Practices The Pony League is open to all players between the ages of 13-16 on April 1 (7th -11th Graders) No metal or screw type cleats may be worn. All players that arrive on time must play at least three (3) innings in the field (assuming the game goes a 7 full innings). Batting the roster is in effect for all games (regular, playoffs, Championship). Any player who arrives late will be entered in the next available spot in the batting order. When the catcher is on base with two outs a courtesy runner will be used. The last batter to make out will be the courtesy runner. Runners at all bases are allowed to take leads. Runners are allowed to steal on the pitcher’s first movement when the pitcher is on the rubber. Stealing of all bases is permitted. Continuation of play: To prevent a baserunner who has just received a base-on-balls from further advancement the pitcher must have the ball AND be in contact with the pitching rubber. No slap/slash bunting is allowed. A batter MAY run to first on a dropped third strike (unless 1st is occupied and there are less than 2 outs). Baserunners may advance at their own risk. A team must field at least eight (8) of their own Pony players at the start of the game or forfeit. Forfeits will be entered as a 10-0 for the winning team. Teams that only have eight (8) players may borrow a player from another team in Pony. No player from the Majors or below can be used. A borrowed player is NOT be allowed to pitch A borrowed player must bat last in the batting order A borrowed player is not needed if a team has 9 players A regulation game shall be seven (7) innings and an official game five (5) innings (or 4 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead). Each regular season game is scheduled for 2.5 hours (hardstop). No new inning shall begin after 2 hours 15 minutes after the scheduled start time. Playoffs and Championship games go a full 7 innings. Scorebooks must be maintained throughout the game by both teams. Infield fly rule is in effect. Mercy rule is in effect – 10 runs after 4 complete innings are played. All team registered players in the 7th, 8th and 9th Grade are allowed to pitch. 9th graders can pitch a total of 2 innings per game Pitching rules: A pitcher is not allowed to throw more than 85 pitches per week. A pitcher is not allowed to throw more than 60 pitches or more than 3 innings per outing. If a pitcher reaches his/her maximum outing limit during a batter, he/she may finish pitching to that batter. If a pitcher throws 41-60 pitches or more in a day, two (2) calendar days rest must be observed. If a pitcher throws 21-40 pitches or more in a day, one (1) calendar day rest must be observed. If a pitcher throws 1-20 pitches in a day, no (0) calendar days rest must be observed. Pitcher is allowed unlimited walks per outing. If a pitcher hits three batters during the course of a game he/she must be removed, but able to stay in the game at another position. Curve balls are permitted. Once a pitcher is removed from a game he/she may not reenter the game as a pitcher. Intentional walks will be permitted in the last inning of a game when the score is either tied or a 1-run game. Umpires will issue one balk warning to each pitcher. Coaches must maintain a record of pitch count and innings pitched in the scorebook for the opposing coach to sign off at the end of the game. The pitching week starts on Sunday and ends in Saturday. No contact rule is in effect. Runners must slide to avoid contact with the fielder at any base. Free substitution is permitted. A manager may make only one trip to the mound per inning, except in the case of injury. The second trip to the mound will result in the removal of the pitcher. Baseballs allowed for league play must be Pony level (Diamond DPL-1) only. Bats: Aluminum or wood bats can be used.