THE PLAYING FIELD (Click HERE for Field Diagram)
- There will be 12 fields (and one practice field)...each with different dimensions based on division.
- There is no base running. Instead, a line in the infield will be drawn from foul line to foul line, and will extend from a distance of about 48 feet from home plate. This will be the "singles line".
- A line in the outfield will be drawn from foul line to foul line and will extend from a distance of about 65 feet. This will be the "doubles line".
- The pitcher will throw from a distance of approximately 45 feet from the tip of home plate (championship mound will be appox. 47).
- A strike zone (target) and placed approximately 3- feet behind home plate.
THE PLAYING EQUIPMENT
- Balls - baseball size WiffleBalls, (eight slots on one side) will be provided by the tournament will be used for play.
- Bats - Wiffalo will provide each field with a Louisville Slugger (it will have Wiffalo stickers on them). These are to be left on the field by the strike zone for the next game. Bats from previous years are allowable (ie. Louisville slugger bat, Grey 2011 bat, and previous Easton). Wiffalo sells upgraded Easton bats have a bigger barrel.
- Gloves - Only Pitchers can use a fielding glove (this is allowed so the pitcher can conceal his pitches). Batters can use batting gloves (but only when hitting - not in the field of play).
- Players can tape the handle of the bats only (not the barrel)
- A team's roster will consist of four players or five. Teams with 5 players can put 4 in the field and use the 5th as an extra hitter. Co-ED teams can play with five players in the field.
- Any team playing with less than 3 players will start each inning with an out.
- Innings - 5 innings equal a normal game (6 innings in Championship game for each division)
- Outs - 3 outs per inning for each team.
- Count - 5 balls to a walk, 2 strikes is an out. Foul tip that hits the target on strike two is a strike out (There are NO WALKS in the fun division).
- "One and done" - An exception to the "2 strikes equal an out rule": If the batter watches the first strike hit the strike zone target without swinging, he is out. (This is to promote swinging, and to discourage people from standing and watching while a struggling pitcher throws the ball around the target. Hopefully, if a pitch is close, people will be swinging).
- Extra Innings - both teams will begin the inning with the bases loaded. This format begins immediately after 5 regular innings.
- Mercy Rule - 15 run mercy rule after 3 full innings (non playoff games). The maximum number of runs a team can win by is 15 runs.
- There is no base running in Wiffalo. See below for more details.
Championship - Medium-Fast pitch speed. Pitchers are limited to 4 innings total in one game.
Intermediate - Medium pitch speed. Pitching rubber to about 44 feet.
*Note for Championship and Intermediate - Pitchers are given one warning on pitch speed.
After that they are asked to move to a fielder position and can no longer pitch for that game.
Fun - Slow toss or underhand pitch. Pitching is allowable up to about 30 feet. Men in this division must hit opposite handed and use two hands when swinging. There are no walks.
- Fly Balls - Any fly ball caught in the air is an out (foul or fair). There is no infield fly rule. Balls knocked out of the air or blocked from crossing the infield are singles as long as the fielder does the blocking from in front of the infield line.
- Ground balls - ground ball fielded before stopping or passing the singles line is an out. Any fielder can mishandle a ground ball providing it doesn't hit the ground. If a ground ball comes to a complete stop before fielded is considered an infield hit. If a ground ball is dropped by a fielder in front of the singles line (45 feet) and the ball falls on the ground, it will be ruled a single. Ground balls that hit the ground before the infield line are singles no matter how far they roll, and can only be fielded for outs in front of the 45 foot infield line. All foul balls that start foul cannot come back in fair.
- Single – A ground ball that travels past the singles line unfielded, a ball that is dropped before the singles line, or any ball that comes to a complete stop inside the singles line.
- Double - A ball that travels past doubles line in the air is a double as long as it is not caught.
- Triple - A ball that hits any part of the outfield fence on the fly is a triple.
- Home Run - A fly ball clearing the home run fence in the air is a home run. A fly ball hitting the foul pole is a home run.
- Tag play - If there is 1 out or less and there is a runner on third base, the batting team can call "Tag" on an outfield fly ball (before the fielder catches it). The outfielder can get the runner out at home by catching the fly ball and in one motion throwing to the target at home. IF the ball hits the any part of the target (on a fly, or it bounces and hits, hits the pole)... the runner is out at home. No other base runners advance on the throw regardless of the runner being safe or out. If the outfielder bobbles the catch at all there can be no chance at a tag out a home.
- Double play - if there is 1 out or less... and a runner on first. To do this a fielder must pick up an infield grounder cleanly (no bobbles) and then complete a throw to home that hits the strike zone target on the fly. This doesn't have to be done fast... but it must be in one continuous motion. The offensive team will be the judge on this play. If it is determined that there was a delay in the throw... only a ground out will be awarded. Any balls that miss the strike zone on a double play will be considered a dead ball. Runners do not advance.
- Triple play – if there are no outs and base runners on 1st and 2nd (or bases loaded). A team can try for a triple play. To succeed…the team must cleanly field a ground ball, then quickly throw the ball to any other infielder (who is positioned behind the pitchers mound), must catch it cleanly and then quickly throw it into the strike zone area (there can be no bobbling or delays in motion throughout).
- IMPORTANT - the outfield fences are made to be portable and lightweight. They can be easily damaged by running into them (not to mention it will heavily delay the game to fix the walls). So in the hopes that everyone pays close attention to the fences when making a play, any fielder who runs through, jumps over, or hits or falls into the fence in an attempt for the ball will result in the batter given a home run. Fielders must say in the field of play. All runners on base will score. Guys/Gals - Let's hope for the enjoyment of all that we don't have to use this rule. Thx!
- There is no actual base running in this tournament. We will be using ghost runners.
- Base runners move as follows: Simply put..the runners on base can advance as far as the last hit. Ghost runners will advance 1 base on a single, and 2 bases on a double, 3 bases on a triple. Runners do not need to be forced. For example, a single with a runner on third scores a run, and a double with a runner on second scores a run. A walk only moves runners by being forced over to the next base.
- The batter may switch sides at any time in the count.
- Once the batter has legally positioned himself, he is NOT required to move out of the path of the pitch. However, if the batter is ruled by the pitcher to have intentionally moved into the path of the pitch (leaning in) in an attempt to block the pitch from going through the strike zone, he shall be called for batter's interference, and the pitch will be called a strike. This is a strikeout on the second strike.
- A player that leaves the game (after the lineups are set) for non-injury, will be considered an out when he/she is scheduled to bat (unless they have a 5th player to move into the open slot).
- The hand's of the batter are considered part of the bat. A ball hitting the batter's hand(s) and landing in foul territory is ONLY a strike if the batter is in the act if swinging, if not the pitch is ruled a ball. If a ball hits the batter's hands when the batter is not in the act of swinging the pitch is ruled a ball. If a batter checks his swing, and the ball hits his hands, the pitch will be ruled a strike.
- Bunting is NOT allowed
- Must use 2 hands on bat during a swing. One-handed "whip" swings are not allowed.
- The pitcher must have at least one foot touching the rubber when he releases the ball. If a ball is pitched in violation of this rule, the pitch will be ruled a ball.
- A pitcher can throw for NO more than 4 innings in a game (5 innings in the championship game - because it is a 6 inning game).
- At least one other pitcher must come in to pitch to 3 outs.
- Pitching Speed - each division will have different pitching speeds allowed:
- The FUN division will be considered a slow-medium "Toss" throw.
- The Intermediate will be considered a medium pitch division.
- The Championship division will be a medium-fast pitch division.
- There will be an example of pitching speed for each division prior to the tournament start.
OFFICIATING AND SCORE KEEPING
All games will be policed by the teams themselves. Disputes should be resolved by the team captains. I recommend that if two teams disagree on something simply do a "Do Over". Let's remember this is about the local charity and having fun.
- FAIR AND FOUL CALLS: Batter (because he is looking down both foul lines)
- LINE CALLS: (Single, Double, Triple) Fielder closest to the ball (because he has the best view of the play).
- CHECK SWINGS: Pitcher.
- TAG PLAYS: Hitting team captain will determine if the defensive play was reasonably smooth.
- DOUBLE PLAYS: Hitting team captain will determine if the play was reasonably smooth.
- BATTER'S INTERFERENCE: Pitcher.
- 35 MPH PITCH RULE: Hitter.
- OFFICIAL SCORE AND TIME KEEPING: Both teams will be asked to keep baserunners and score confirmation after every hit.
- MERCY RULE - There is a 15 run mercy rule after the 3rd inning. Teams can only win by a maximum of 15 runs in the differencial catagory.
- Rules not stated herein, will follow the rules in accordance with Major League Baseball.
- There is no refund on tournament fees once a team is registered unless the tournament is completely cancelled.
- Once a schedule is made, there will be no changes in game times.
- Games will be played in all weather conditions - a rain date has been set for 2 weeks after the tournament if the tournament is absolutely unplayable.