Senior T-Ball

Senior T-Ball Rules

The regular rules of baseball apply except as amended herein:   

1.  Equipment

1.1     Supplied by the Stanley Park Optimist Club

  • uniforms - consisting of a team shirt and hat, both of which must be properly worn by all players during all games and the photo session. Coaches and sportsmanship managers get shirts.
  • helmets (for those without their own) - includes batting helmets, safety helmets (with mask) for the pitcher & catcher and face-shields/helmets with mask for all infielders. Each team’s equipment bag(s) also include a selection of bats, a batting tee, new & used balls, a basic first-aid kit, a scorebook, a hammer, and a set of bases (including a safety base for use at first).

 1.2     Supplied by the player

  •  baseball glove - any regulation baseball glove is suitable.
  • pants - long pants recommended but shorts are OK. No dresses or bathing suits.
  • shoes - running shoes or shoes with rubber cleats may be used (no metal cleats). 
  • athletic support - recommended for personal protection 
  • personal batting helmet (recommended but a selection is included with the team's equipment). (Note: a face-shield is required when assigned to play infield.)  

 1.3     Rules concerning equipment

  • Helmets with chinstraps must be worn by all catchers, pitchers, batters, on-deck batters and base runners. (Optional for any other players.) If a batter's or a runner's helmet or chinstrap is undone before he/she is out of play, a team warning will be given. Any subsequent infractions will result in that player being called out.

Added in 2015: All infielders must wear suitable face protection, i.e. either a helmet with a face-guard or an approved separate face-shield with/without a helmet. The pitcher and catcher are required to have face protection & helmet. (The necessary equipment is supplied.)

  • Throwing any equipment in anger or disgust is a sign of poor sportsmanship and could result in the player being ejected.
  • When a batter dangerously releases a bat after swinging at the ball, the batter will be immediately OUT, the play is "dead" and no runners can advance. (Thrown bat)
  • If a defensive player deliberately contacts a fair ball with any part of his uniform or equipment detached from its proper place, e.g. throwing his glove to knock down a ball, the batter is awarded third base safely. The ball is still live and the batter can continue to home plate at his/her own risk. (Clarification added for 2015: On last batter, all runs score including the last batter.)

2.   Definitions

2.1     Base-path - direct line from the runner to the next or preceding base. The runner establishes the base path the moment a defensive play is about to be made on him.

2.2     Batter's box - the area on either side of home plate within which the batter shall have both feet when making contact with the ball. (The umpire may provide guidance to ensure compliance.)

2.3     Dead hit ball - A legally batted ball or an attempt to make contact with a ball that the umpire judges not to be a fair hit ball. No runners may advance or be put out on a dead hit ball.

2.4     Fair hit ball - a legally batted ball that in the plate umpire’s opinion could pass the dead ball line on its own momentum, in fair territory. If legally batted and caught on the fly, whether across the dead ball line or not, the batter is out and the ball is alive.

2.5     Illegally batted ball - when the batter hits a ball with at least one foot on the ground entirely outside the lines of the batter's box. The ball is dead, the batter is out and no runners can advance.

2.6     Infield fly - there is no infield fly rule in effect - all fair hit fly balls are alive.

2.7     Lead-off - when a base runner is off his/her base before the batter contacts the ball (or tee).

2.8     Legal team - a minimum of 8 eligible able players - i.e. registered with Stanley Park T-Ball in the same league or Junior T-Ball. Players from other teams can only be added to field a team of 11 - i.e. no player registered on a particular team can sit-out for a "fill-in" or "call-up" to play.

2.9    Commitment line - a line perpendicular to third base line drawn at the halfway point between home and third.  Once crossed, the runner is committed to cross the Scoring Line. If the runner backtracks across the commitment line, then he/she is immediately out. The committed runner can only be put out before crossing the Scoring Line by the catcher, with control of the ball, touching home plate -a  runner cannot be tagged out coming home once past the Commitment Line. Exception: A runner is allowed to backtrack over the commitment line if tagging up on a caught fly ball but is automatically out if the scoring line is crossed before tagging up.

2.10   No hit - When a batter hits the ball before "Play ball" has been announced by the umpire.

2.11   Out of play - imaginary lines (usually extension of the backstops) which run parallel to the first and third base lines.

2.12   Dead ball line - an imaginary line running directly from first base to third base - used as a guide for the plate umpire to determine a dead hit ball.  No one else can imagine the line!

2.13   Scoring line - a line which is parallel to 1st base line, but starts at the point of the plate closest to third base and continues to the backstop.  Runner must make contact with the ground, on or behind the scoring line to be safe. 

2.14   Strike - a dead hit ball, foul hit ball or illegally batted ball (on which the umpire gave a warning).  A third strike is only awarded when the ball is completely missed by the bat. Note: Hitting only the Tee itself is a complete miss.

2.15   Time called - when any defensive player has control of the ball in the infield area and, in the judgment of the plate umpire, there is no play to be made and/or no attempt to make a play on any of the base runners. Base runners are allowed to continue to advance to the base they were approaching (but no further) but no new advances can be started. If such a "new" play is started,  (with no defensive action being taken), then the plate umpire will immediately call "time" and send the "new" runner(s)  back to the last base they occupied. As no "outs" can be made after "time" is called, it is important that plays in progress when "ball control" is established be permitted to finish. "Time" cannot be called as long as the defence is making plays or faking plays.

2.16  Double base - There is a "double base" at first with the white bag being aligned in fair territory and the orange bag in foul. Refer to rule 4.AA.

3.  General rules

3.1     Line up

3.1.1       Each defensive team shall have a starting line-up of 11 eligible players.

  • A catcher plays anywhere behind home plate, so as not to interfere with the batter. The catcher is the only player allowed to make plays at the home plate.
  • A pitcher who must assume a set position behind the dead ball line, with one foot in contact with the pitcher's rubber (or behind it) until the ball is hit. (The pitcher must wear face & head protection.) The pitcher is the only player allowed to purposely cross the dead-ball line and assist the catcher with plays at home plate. The pitcher cannot make outs at home - he/she can only assist the catcher.
  • 4 infielders who shall play positions regularly played by these infielders except they shall not cross the dead ball line until the ball is hit. (All infielders must wear face protection.)
  • 5 outfielders who must be at least 3 m (i.e. 10 ft. behind the base lines and in fair territory until the ball is hit. (Note: usually, depending on the diamond, "on the grass" is acceptable.)

       The defensive team:  Fielding positions will be assigned by matching a list of players, such as the batting order, with a list of all possible fielding positions with the outfield & Infield positions alternating. (i.e.  Catcher, Centre Field, 2nd Base, (SIT if there are 14 players), Right Centre Field, 1st Base, Right Field, Pitcher, (SIT if there are 12 or 13 players), Left Centre Field, Short-stop, Left Field, 3rd Base, (SIT if there are 12, 13 or 14 players.) All teams must use the Official List provided by the league. Each inning the player list drops down to align one position lower against the fielding position list. There is no "SIT" if 10 or 11 players are available, and one players sits (as indicated) if 12 players are present. IF approved, exceptions may be granted due to safety issues but no player will play at the same defensive position twice in the same game. The fielding assignment list for the game must be posted on the backstop so as to be viewable throughout the game by both teams. Use the "clothespin system" (materials supplied). Failure to comply with this mandatory rotation may result in forfeiture of the game.

  • A direct substitution for an injured defensive player is allowed.
  • Players are not permitted to change defensive positions during an inning and must be assigned via the rotation system as described in the rules.
  • A team short a player(s) may play without any fielding positions except pitcher and catcher.

3.1.2           No able player will play more than one inning more than any other player. 

3.1.3           Able players must remain in the same fielding position for the entire inning.

3.1.4           Each team bats 11 batters per inning. The batting order is fixed and cannot change during the game. The batting order and the fielding rotation order are completely independent.

3.1.5           No player shall be first batter or last batter twice in one game.

3.1.6           A forfeit is declared if a legal team cannot be fielded within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time or within 5 minutes of the team dropping below the legal guidelines.

3.1.7           Team batting line-ups must be exchanged prior to the game and be posted for public view. Fielding assignments are to be posted on the backstop as per 3.1.1.

3.1.8           Late players will be inserted when they arrive. (On defence, insert at completion of the half-inning if already started unless fielding less than 11 players. On offence, insert at the end of the batting order unless a spot has already been allocated within the order).

3.1.9           Any changes at any time to any line-up must be reported to the opposing team by the scorekeeper. It is not an umpire’s responsibility to contact the other team regarding changes.

3.1.10        Intentional violation of the line-up rules will result in forfeiture of the game. Any such violations must be reported to the league convenor.

3.2     Games

3.2.1     Games should start at the scheduled time. No new inning will be started 1 ¾ hr. after the game's actual commencement. An inning ends when the last batter is put out.

3.2.2      Pre-game infield warm-ups are permitted, but shall not limit the opposing team's entitled time to practice. Equal time must be allowed for each team to practice and all in-field warm-ups will cease 5 minutes prior to the scheduled game starting time

3.2.3      The first coach/team at the diamond with equipment is expected to begin laying down the bases. Sixty feet between bases is recommended, though some playing fields may require reasonable judgement be used. Home and visiting designations are as scheduled or will be decided by a pre-game "coin flip" supervised by the umpiring crew. The 'home" team should provide two game balls (one new, one used).  Coaches and captains must be ready to meet with the umpire for ground rules 5 to 10 minutes before scheduled game time. During the championship round, the team with the higher rank in the standings has home team advantage.  

3.2.4       The plate umpire will suspend play if/when he/she sees lightning. Other weather conditions may also cause the delay or suspension of a game.

3.2.5        A regular game consists of five full innings regardless of score. No overtime will be played during regular season

3.2.6        A full three innings played constitutes a legal game.  In the event of an incomplete game, contact the umpire and/or league convenor regarding rescheduling. 

3.2.7       During regular season, playoff and tournament games, the winning team's coaching staff is responsible for posting the score (as agreed to by both teams) on the Website. Teams also have the option of tracking player stats. The season ends with an elimination wrap-up tournament with matchups determined by standings after the regular season.

3.2.8       Coaches are permitted on the field for the early part of the regular season to assist the defensive team but not once the playoffs start.


4.  Playing rules

4.AA     There is a double base (safety base) in use for first base.

             4.AA.1   The white half of the double base should be securely fastened in fair territory aligned with the first base line with the orange half in foul territory. (Use two base spikes.)

             4.AA.2   A batted ball hitting the any part of the white bag is fair; a batted ball completely hitting the orange portion is foul.

             4.AA.3   If there's a fielding play being made at first on a batted ball, the runner will be declared out if he/she fails to run directly to the orange bag.

             4.AA.4   A defensive player must use only the white portion of the bag at all times.

             4.AA.5   After over-running first base, the batter-runner must return to the white bag.

             4.AA.6   Should the batter-runner round the base on a hit through the infield or to the outfield, he/she must return to the white bag if not advancing to second base.

             4.AA.7   When tagging up on a fly ball, the white portion of the bag must be used.

       Notes regarding use of the safety bag: Once a runner reaches first safely, he/she must always use the white portion of the bag. After the initial run to reach first safely, the runner is NOT considered in contact with first base if only in contact with the orange portion and will be called out if tagged with the ball. If there is no play being made at first, the runner may use the white portion of the bag when rounding first. Defensive players should not interfere with the runner and should be taught not to stand on any base if there's no play being made.

4.1     The umpires have the authority to rule on any situation not covered specifically in the Official Playing Rules. Judgment calls can not be appealed, but the situation and rules governing the call can be questioned if done in a sportsmanlike manner.

4.2     To begin the game, the plate umpire will call "PLAYBALL" once the fielders are in proper positions and the first batter is in the batter's box.

4.3   A batter becomes a base runner when:

           He/she hits a fair hit ball

4.4   A batter is OUT when:

  • His/her batted ball, hit fair of foul, is caught in the air and controlled by a member of the defensive team. The ball is live until "Time" is called.
  • He/she has 3 strikes: the ball is dead and "Time" is called immediately.
  • He/she disobeys the rules concerning equipment (see 1.3)
  • He/she throws the bat. The ball is dead, "Time" is called, and no runners can advance.
  • He/she does not comply with the rules pertaining to the double base at first. 

4.5   A base runner is OUT:

  • on a forced play
  • when tagged while not in contact with a base. This includes after making a motion to go to second base after over-running first base.
  • when running more than 3 feet off his/her base-path to avoid a tag
  • when physically assisted by a base coach
  • when hit by a fair-batted ball when off his/her base, before the ball passes an infielder with a play on the ball. The ball is dead and the batter is awarded first base. No runners advance unless forced by the batter being awarded first. (On last batter, the base runner is out and the batter bats again.) 
    • Note: Clarification added for 2020: If a batted ball hits a base runner while on his/her base, the ball will be ruled dead, "TIME" is automatically in effect, no runners can advance and the batter resumes batting with no change in the strike count.
  • when called for a lead-off. "No pitch, time" is called, the runner is out and the ball is dead
  • when he/she passes another legal base runner
  • when tagged while occupying a base already occupied by another legal base runner
  • when he/she touches home plate and interferes with the catcher
  • when he/she crosses the Scoring Line on a caught fly ball without tagging up
  • when he/she misses a base (and does not go back legally to touch it before "Time" is called), the umpire will signal the infraction and the violator will be called OUT once all plays have been completed and time is called. (Note: Failure of the umpire to signal the infraction does not mean the runner cannot be called out when "Time" is called.)
  • when a runner fails to tag-up on a caught fly ball
  • when he/she does not comply with the rules pertaining to the safety-base at first. 

4.6   Overthrows   

In the event that the live ball goes out of play, the base runners shall be permitted to advance to the base they were approaching at the time that the ball was thrown plus one more base. Those runners with last batter status are exceptions - all legal runs score. 

4.7   Obstruction/Interference 

4.7.1       In the event that any base runner is obstructed by any member of the defensive team, the ball remains alive and it shall be the discretion of the umpires as to how far the runner would have advanced had there been no obstruction and the base runner shall be so advanced, if deemed necessary, after the play has stopped.

4.7.2       In the event that a base runner interferes with a defensive player attempting to make a play - the ball is dead and the runner is out.  The batter is awarded first base and all runners return to the last base that was legally touched. 

4.8     The offensive team's turn at bat ends when

  • The last batter has 3 strikes
  • The last batter's fair hit ball is returned to the catcher at home plate. Home plate must be touched ONLY by the catcher while in control of the ball. ONLY the pitcher may come in past an imaginary line where the no-return line meets third to halfway between first and home plate. All other plays must be made from behind this line, or from the point where fielded.
  • The plate umpire will announce "last batter" only if notified by the offensive team's coach or scorekeeper. If a coach fails to notify the plate umpire before the ball is hit, it will be the choice of the defensive team to accept the results of the play, terminating the inning, or to have the last batter bat again with all runners returning to their bases. 

4.9     Last batter 

4.9.1      The offensive inning is over when all the base-runners (including the last batter) have either scored or been declared out. All players on base at the time of the last batter's at bat have the same special status as the last batter and no defensive play can be made on them at the bases. They are all forced to home plate when the last batter has hit the ball fairly.

4.9.2      In the event that the last batter's hit is a caught fly ball, the base-runners are permitted to score provided that they are on the base when the ball is caught or they retouch it after the ball is caught before touching the next base. These runners have to score prior to the ball being returned to the catcher at home plate.    

4.10     Batting out of order 

4.10.1       If discovered while the incorrect batter is at bat, then substitute the overlooked batter who assumes the strike count of the incorrect batter.

4.10.2       If discovered after the incorrect batter has batted, but before the next batter has completed his turn at bat, then the incorrect batter is out, all the runners return to the bases they occupied before the infraction, and the overlooked batter assumes the strike count.

4.10.3       If discovered after the next batter has completed his turn at bat, then the incorrect batter is out, all advances stand, and the overlooked batter takes the current strike count.

4.10.4       If discovered after the last batter has batted, then all plays stand.


Note: Layout bases as dictated by conditions with base-paths of no more than 60 feet - refer to diagram!  Effective as of 2015, all infielders must wear equipment (supplied) providing face protection.



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