NLBSA. North Lincoln Baseball Softball Organization located in St. Joseph Michigan provides youth Baseball, Softball and Football leagues at beautiful Eaton Park in St. Joseph Charter Township

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2019 8u Rules

1. Player Safety  

  1. Helmets are required to be worn by offensive players and batboys/girls outside of the dugout.

  2. A player who intentionally removes their helmet during a live ball will be called out under the judgement of the umpire.

  3. Catchers are required to wear a protective cup.

  4. Only the batter who is up and the on deck batter are allowed to be swinging bats at any time in and around the dugout.

  5. Players must stay in the dugout at all times when not on the field.

  6. Only the players, bat boy/girl, manager and two coaches are allowed in the dugout during the game.

  7. When there is a play at the plate, the runner must slide. If he does not, he will be called out.

  8. If a fielder has the ball and is in position to make a play on a runner, the runner must avoid an intentional collision, but may slide directly into the base. If the runner, in the opinion of an umpire, intentionally or maliciously collides with the fielder, he will be called out and may be subject to ejection from the game.

  9. No head first slides. A runner will be called out of this occurs. A runner may dive head first going back to a base.

  10. No sliding into first base (unless to avoid a collision.) The runner will be called out, unless avoiding a collision with a fielder.

  11. A player will be given one warning per game for throwing a bat. The next infraction during that game will result in the batter being called out.

  12. If lightning is sighted, the umpire must stop the game. If the weather clears, the game may resume. No lightning or thunder may be witnessed for 30 consecutive minutes before play resumes.

  13. No metal cleats are allowed. Shirts must remain tucked in. Hats must be league issued with the bill facing forward. Players must be in league issued uniforms when playing.

  14. The maximum barrel size for bats is 2 5/8". There are no other restrictions.

  15. No jewelry is to be worn during games, other than medical bracelets, etc.

  16. No smoking is allowed in or around the dugout or on the field of play.

  17. Managers are responsible for their players, coaches and fans conduct during the game. Any display of temper or intimidation will not be tolerated. Any swearing or other unsportsmanlike conduct will be cause for immediate ejection from the park facility by an umpire or a representative of the home team’s board. Failure to leave will result in offending team’s forfeiture of the game.

  18. Managers may only question an interpretation of the rules. Judgement calls by the umpire are final and cannot be argued or protested.

  19. In case of an injury to a player, “time” will be called immediately by the umpire to tend to the injured player. Once the injured player has been dealt with, the umpire will make the necessary base awards at his/her sole discretion.

  20. The home team’s scorebook will be the official scorebook.


2. Game Details

  1. Field will be set 46/60.

  2. 5:30 and 7:00 start times.

  3. Game length is six (6) innings or one hour and fifteen minutes.

  4. Do not start any inning after one hour and five minutes. Once inning has started it must be completed.

  5. A game is official if called for darkness if the home team is ahead after 3 and 1/2 innings or after 4 innings if the visiting team is ahead.

  6. Incomplete games will be attempted to be rescheduled and continue from the point where it was stopped.

  7. Rainouts will be attempted to be rescheduled.

  8. Two umpires will be used for all games. One behind the machine and one in the field.

  9. There will be no automatic forfeits. Teams should play with as many players as they have in attendance.

  10. The ten run rule will apply after 3 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead or after 4 innings if the visiting team is ahead. However, games can be called at any time under the agreement of both coaches.

  11. For efficient use of time, players should hustle on and off the field.


3. Offensive Guidelines

  1. All players will be in the batting order. Any late players will be added to the bottom of the line-up.

  2. Strikes will be called on pitches in the strike zone and on a “swing and a miss.”

  3. There is no base stealing.

  4. Runners may not advance on a passed ball.

  5. There are no lead-offs. Runners can leave their base when contact is made. Leaving early is a warning first and a dead ball is called. Second infraction will result in the runner being called out and a dead ball.

  6. The ball is in play until the umpire calls time.

  7. Runners may attempt to advance one base each on an overthrow to any base. (Coaches should be aware of the game situation and use respect in running the bases.)

  8. The umpires are part of the field of play. Any ball that hits an umpire is a live ball. 

  9. If the ball becomes stuck in the fence or goes out of the field of play, one additional base will be allowed per runner.

  10. A courtesy runner may be issued to the next innings’ catcher at any time he has reached his base.

  11. There will be a maximum of five runs per inning, except in the last inning of play.

  12. Any time a coach touches a base runner to assist them, this will result in that player being called out after the play has been called “dead.”

  13. The ball is considered live until the umpire calls it dead. At that point no runners may advance. The pitcher or umpire do not need to have the ball for the play to be called dead. The umpire shall determine when a play is “over” and call time. He/she may then determine whether or not runners shall return to their previous bases (should they be less than 50% of the way to the next base.)

  14. No fake bunt/swings will be allowed. Batter must attempt to bunt or pull back the bat. A fake bunt/swing shall result in a dead ball strike call.


4.  Defensive Guidelines

  1. Maximum of ten players on the field at any time. Four of these players must begin the play on the grass of the outfield.

  2. No player will sit out more than two innings per game. There are no limits on substitutions except live pitchers.

  3. Dropped third (3rd) strike is in NOT play.

  4. There will be no appeals. Examples, a player misses a base and the umpire sees it, the player will be called out once the play is “dead.”

  5. No fake tag outs.

  6. The infield fly rule is in NOT effect.


6.         Machine Rules

  1. The machine is in play on hit balls.

  2. Speed shall be initially set at 39 MPH and the distance shall be 46 feet from home plate. The speed will be increased as the season progresses. (See MPH chart below*)

  3. Pitches outside of the strike zone shall be called NO PITCH by the umpire. If the batter swings, it will still be considered a strike. Adjustments may be made at any time if the umpire deems it necessary. Managers may request adjustments, however a request does not guarantee an adjustment by the umpire. A pitch called a ball or NO PITCH will require that any base stealers must return to the previous base.

  4. Catchers may receive two practice catches per inning off of the machine.

  5. Pitchers must wear a helmet with a face mask and must stand to either side of the machine, behind the wheel, until the pitch is made.


7.   The Official BPA Book will be used except as noted in these general rules.


*Pitching Machine Speed per week:


Week 1          39

Week 2:         40

Week 3:         40

Week 4:         41

Week 5:         41

Week 6:         42

Week 7:         42

Week 8:         42