Rule Changes for 2018
The League Handbook for 2018 will contain the details, but here’s a summary of the rules to note for this year.

4-Pitch vs. 3 Strikes
Home Run Limit
Outfield Restriction
Courtesy Runners
Penalties and Female Spares


Four Pitch (not three strikes): A batter may receive up to four pitches in order to hit safely. No balls, strikes or foul balls need to be counted. For example, a batter who hits three foul balls will receive one more pitch to hit.

Home Run Limit: A player may hit no more than one home run (over the fence) in a game. Except for the number of players on a team, there is no limit to the number of home runs a team may score during a game. If a player has already hit a home run in a game, he may receive up to four pitches to put the ball in play. A ball hit over the fence is considered one of the four pitches, similar to a foul ball. If he fails to hit a fair ball in four pitches, the batter is out.

No outfielder or outfield rover may make an out at first base. If a batted ball reaches an OF player, he/she cannot put out the batter by throwing to first base. Note: this applies, regardless of where the ball is when the outfielder reaches it.

Courtesy Runner Limit: Our rules say that players must be able to run the bases. To shorten the discussion with a runner at first base, a re-write specifies that the batter should advise the umpire before receiving a pitch. This is to emphasize that it is up to the base runner to request a runner. The limit on the number of time a runner can be used has been removed. However, a player can only serve as such a substitute runner once per game.

Female Spares: If a team did not comply with rule 7(c) that deals with absent female players, an automatic out will be recorded throughout a game. The list of potential female spares will be augmented by permitting players to spare for other teams. Assigning spares is done by the VP Operations, Gerry Lelievre.

New players especially, should note the following detail.

Baserunning
3e) Every play on a runner at any base is a "force play", and there is no need for the defender to "tag" the runner if the defender has the ball clearly in possession and is touching some portion of the base or plate.

f)i) Base runners approaching second or third base
may overrun the base after touching it. However, collisions must be avoided. If defending players are close to the base, the base runner is encouraged to run beside the base on the side opposite the fielding play. It is not necessary to touch the base before running past it.

ii) A base runner that runs past a base without touching it, must touch the base before advancing.
Note 1: After overrunning a base, if a player attempts to advance (in the umpires judgement), the base runner is at risk of being put out. As per 3 (e), this is a force play.

Note 2: A defender may not block the path of a base runner. See rule 4 c) Obstruction

 


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