- GAME TOTAL: Each team will play no less than 20 total games. They may not play more than this total, with the exception of a tie breaker.
- ROSTERS: Rosters must be set before the start of the regular season. A player must play in 2 games before the start of the 4th week to be eligible to play in the Playoffs. Exceptions can be made by the League Rules Committee and will be addressed individually. You must contact the League Rules Committee in order to discuss an exception.
- SPRING TRAINING: Two weeks of Spring Training will be available starting as soon as March. The commissioner decides the date for opening day and the season schedule.
- PLAYOFFS: The top 3 teams in each division and a wild card from each division will advance to the playoffs. Playoffs and Championship are winner-take-all games (not 3-game series, etc.)
- REDEMPTION SERIES: Teams ineligible for the playoffs may play in the Redemption series. The two worst teams play each other to determine which team is the worst in the league.
- 1.00: BALL: Only baseball sized Wiffle ball brand balls with be used (8 slots on one side). Scuffing is allowed but only the use of sandpaper is authorized.
- 1.01: BASES: All Bases will be approximately 40’ apart.
- 1.02: STRIKE BOARD: The strike zone will consist of a board that measures 20” wide by 30” tall. The strike zone will be 12” off the ground, and located 48’ from the pitching rubber and 3' from the front of home plate.
- 1.03: BAT: Only official yellow skinny Wiffle Ball bats are to be used. Bats cannot be taped at the barrel, but may be taped on the handle for grips. No filling bats with foam; they must be standard hollow plastic.
- Bats cannot be tapped any higher than the molded grip on the wiffle bat.
- The bottom hole of the bat must be unobstructed and remain uncovered. No exceptions.
- 1.04: GLOVES: Baseball gloves are NOT allowed, but batting gloves may be used while batting only. If you choose to wear batting gloves you will be ridiculed.
- 1.05: FOOTWEAR: No metal spikes are allowed. Plastic cleats or turf cleats are permitted. No bare feet or sandals allowed. Vibram 5-fingers can be worn, but you may also be ridiculed
- 1.06 TEAM SHIRTS: All members of a team roster must wear matching shirts with their team's graphic on the front of their shirts and numbers on the back. Teams are responsible for producing their own jerseys.
TEAM AND GAME REGULATIONS
- 2.00: TEAM PLAYER REQUIREMENTS: Minimum of 3 players per team to play a regulation game. 6 player’s maximum per team roster.
- 2.01: AGE REQUIREMENT: All players must be at least 18 years of age.
- 2.02: FIELDING: Teams are required have no more than three other fielders other than the pitcher. Teams with a 4th member must have one player sit out on defense. However, all 7 players can bat. Defensive substitutions can be made at any time at team captain's discretion.
- 2.03: GAME LENGTH: Games are 5 Innings, using extra innings if necessary, 2 outs per team each inning.
- Mercy Rule Adjustment. 10+ runs up after 3 complete innings is ruled an official mercy-ruled final game. Teams do not end their at bat if they score 10 runs in a single inning. They continue until they have recorded two outs as normal.
- 2.05: RAIN OUTS: Games become official after the 3rd inning. Any Rained out game can be rescheduled for future dates. Rain outs can be determined at the commissioner's discretion.
- 2.05: DARKNESS: Any games called for darkness after the 3rd inning will be posted official. Make up games can be rescheduled for future dates. Darkness can be decided at the commissioner's or committee's discretion.
- 2.06: Game Sheets will be used to record all stats, including the batting order for that game. If a team bats out of order, an out would be received for every batter that batted out of order. It is the team’s responsibility to keep track of the order, not the stat keeper or opposing team.
- 2.07: TEAM TARDYNESS: If a team does not have enough players to field a team 10 minutes past the scheduled start time of the game, the team that is waiting gets to choose field advantage for both games.
- If a team does not have enough players to field a team by 20 minutes past the scheduled start time, the waiting team can call for a forfeit of the game, at a score of 9-0. If the waiting team allows, the shorthanded team can find a fill in substitute for the game and not forfeit their games. By 30 minutes if no resolution has been made it becomes an automatic forfeit.
- If both teams do not have a Team to field within 30 minutes of the start of the first game, both teams need to try to figure another time to reschedule the game. The next scheduled game will then begin on that field.
- If one team needs to reschedule a game, and the game does not get played before the end of the season. Then the team that requested the reschedule will have to take a forfeit for those games.
- If a player shows up to a game late, it is the opposing team’s decision to allow them to join in the current game or make them wait until the next game.
- Teams that are waiting for one of their players to arrive may not stall the team tardiness procedures.
- 2.08: INJURED OR LEAVING PLAYERS: If a player starts the game, they must finish the game, or they are considered an automatic out when they are due up (unless they are injured). If the Team has a substitute, they can sub him into the game in place of the leaving or hurt player.
- 2.09: FIELD SETUP ASSISTANCE: Teams scheduled for the first games of the evening MUST assist with setting up fields if the fields are still not prepared when they arrive. Likewise, teams that are scheduled for the last games of the evening MUST assist in tearing down the fields.
- 2.10: UMPIRING SCHEDULE: The commissioner(s) and/or League Rules Committee may at any time create a umpiring schedule for players to cooperate with. Umpires would be players that have a free time period in which their team is not playing to officiate games. Only one player will serve as umpire in any given game per field. No player shall umpire more than one game on any given night.
- 3.00: SPEED LIMITS: Pitching for this league is Medium-Fast.
- 3.01: GRIPS AND THROW: Any type of throw, overhand or underhand is allowed. Any type of grip is allowed, but no deforming or altering the ball. No “loading” the ball with rocks, dirt or other debris.
- 3.02: BALKS: Balks are legal. Pitchers must have their foot in contact with the pitching rubber before they release the ball.
- 3.03: ROTATION:
- A Starting pitcher may pitch the entire game he or she has started, including all extra innings.
- A Starting Pitcher must pitch the first 3 innings of the game to earn the "win" for their personal stat totals.
- Once a pitcher has been switched, they may not be switched back in during that game.
- 4.00: No Bunting
- 4.01: Any interference with fielders making plays is an automatic out.
- 4.02: No Stopping potential strikes by leaning into them intentionally or stopping them with the elbow or hand. Pitcher is entitled to make the call. First offense is a warning, second offense would result in called strike. Any offense after that will be called automatic strikeout.
- 4.03: LINEUP: Teams may bat a minimum of 2 players, and a maximum of 7. Batters must stop batting practice once it is time for the scheduled game.
- 4.04: FIELDING: Fielding positions may be changed at the discretion of the defense. Teams may only have 3 fielders other than the pitcher. All fielders must stay in fair territory until batter makes contact with the ball. No fielders can play closer to the plate than the pitcher's mound. And players must stay in fair territory until contact is made with the ball.
- 4.05: BATTING ORDER: Game sheets will keep track of batting order, if a team bats out of order it is the responsibility of the opposing team to catch it.
- For every batter that starts an at bat out of order in an inning, the team is assigned an out, not the individual batter(s).
- Once the mistake is discovered, the correct batter is up to bat and the inning continues the way it's written on the score sheet.
- 4.06: SWITCH HITTING: All though not required, Switch hitting versus the lower winning percentage teams is encouraged to keep things interesting.
- 4.07: All forward moving hits in fair territory, as long as it is in front of the 20' line, are playable.
- 4.08: FOUL BALLS: Foul balls are any balls that first hits ground in Foul territory. Any ball hit in the infield that bounces foul before a player can touch it would be foul. Any ball landing in fair territory and then bouncing foul after or over the 1st and 3rd base are fair balls. If a ball hits the base, it is a fair ball. Defense is responsible for ensuring bases stay in their designated locations so that fair/fall calls can be fairly made using 1st and 3rd base. It is up to the offense to point out if the defense is not properly keeping up with field conditions.
- Any batted ball that hits a tree, backstop, or other foreign outside object is considered a “dead” foul ball. Meaning no play can be made on the ball.
- If a batter hits a ball off his arm/wrist on a swing, the ball would be foul.
- A ball hit off the hands would be playable if fair, or a foul ball if in foul territory.
- A ball that is in fair territory but does not cross the line 20' in front of home plate.
- (A) Any ball that goes over the designated fence in the air.
- (B) Any ball that hits the foul pole in the air above the fence line
- (C) Batter legs out all four bases with a defensive error.
- (D) Any ball that hits the top of the fence and bounces over.
- (E) If an outfielder bobbles the ball over the fence.
- Any fair hit ball that the batter beats out for one base.
- (A) Any ball that bounces under or over the fence or is trapped in or around the fence.
- (B) Any batter legs out two bases without a defensive error.
- (C) Any fair ground ball that that rolls past the outfield fence line is a ground rule double.
- (A) Any batter legs out three bases without a defensive error.
WALKS AND STRIKEOUTS
- 5.00: Six balls = Walk. A batter must walk after 6 balls, no exception.
- 5.01: Strikeout = 3 Strikes, 5 fouls, or tipping a foul ball into the strike zone when a batter already has 2 strikes.
- It's a strike if…
- It's swung at and missed.
- It's fouled off.
- It hits the Strike zone board
- The batter messes with a good pitch with the hand or elbow. There is one first warning.
- It hits a batter.
- It misses the strike zone board
- The pitcher messes with the ball.
- 6.00: No leading off or stealing. Any team caught leading off will be warned once and runner will be called out if incident occurs again. Warnings stop after Week 3. Runners are to only leave the base once the batter has made contact with the ball.
- 6.01: GHOST RUNNERS: If needed, must be the lead runner. All ghost runners must be forced to advance to the next base by the trailing runner.
- 6.02: Runners must yield right of way to the fielders. A runner cannot intentionally interfere with any fielder making a play on a ball. If a fielder runs into an unsuspecting base runner, the play continues regardless of the interference. A runner DOES NOT have to move off of a base for a charging fielder. The runner may stand safely on the base, but may not interfere with the play in any way. This includes but is not limited to; waving of arms, stretching body out of the base while the foot is planted, and making intentional contact with the ball.
- 6.03: OVER THROWS: Runners may advance at will, as long as the overthrown ball stays inside the fair field of play. Any ball thrown into the bench area or in/around/beyond the backstop will be considered out of play. If the ball continues into foul territory, the lead runner is awarded the base they were headed. The trailing runners are also awarded ONLY the next base. Example: Over throw at a runner heading to third on a hit ball. The hitter would be awarded second base on the pass ball, but no further. The hit would be scored as a SINGLE.
- 6.04: PLAYS AT THE PLATE: If there is a play at the plate, the fielders can either tag the runner with the ball, or hit the strike board or backstop net before the runner crosses home plate. Once a runner rounds third base they must commit to running home. This is to prevent any confusion with plays at the plate. Pitcher or the closest fielder can determine if the ball got the runner out unless it was a tie (which goes to the runner).
- 6.04: CLOSE PLAYS AT BASES: Tie goes to the runner on any close plays at any base.
- 6.05: Pegging runners with the ball is legal. Once a ball hits a player for an out, the play becomes dead and no runners may advance any further.
- A base runner is out if…
- The ball touches any base runner and he or she is not on a base.
- He or She is forced out when a fielder tags the base he's headed for (force out).
- He or She is tagged out or hit with a thrown ball.
- He or She makes contact with a fair batted ball with at least one foot in motion (off the base) in fair territory.
PITCHER'S HAND OUT
- 7.00: Pitcher’s hand is in affect when:
- A fielder throws the ball to the pitcher has one foot, one knee, or one arm in the Pitcher’s Circle before the batter reaches first base.
- 7.01: The ball must be in the Pitcher’s hand cleanly (no bobbling) before the batter reaches 1st base is ruled out.
- 7.02: FORCE OUTS: Pitcher's hand rule DOES NOT apply to the lead runner, only for a batter running to first.
- 7.03: No infield fly ball rule.
- 8.00: Calls (safe/out) will be made by only players in the game. On close calls, players can ask people on the bench or people that are watching. If calls cannot be resolved, then a “do-over” will occur.
- Players, Friends and Family outside of the game cannot make calls inside the game. The calls must be made by the players that are participating in the game. As respect to your opponent, please keep your friends and family from inserting un-needed comments and opinions! If they are not part of the game, they are not part of the calls!
- League Rules Committee members and the Commissioner(s) are also not always part of the game. You may ask for rule clarification, but do not ask for them to make calls inside the game if they are not involved in it. They should be viewed the same as family, friends and other players of the HWL.
- 8.01: If there are any gaps in the rules above, Major League Baseball rules apply.
- 9.00: If a rule is violated during a game and it directly affects the outcome of the game, a team may protest the game by contacting the Commissioner before noon the next day.
- 9.01: The protest will be reviewed by the League Rules Committee and a ruling will be made within 3 days.
Rules for Huntington Wiffleball League were adopted and modified from the rules of the Kalamazoo Wiffle League in Kalamazoo, Michigan.