2023 Rule Clarifications
ALL LEVELS –
- This is early spring, and most games that are not under lights will not make 6 full innings. Work with your umpires to make sure you are able to try to finish the complete inning before you start it. At this time of year, starting a new inning in Minors or Major/60 after 7:40 would be almost impossible to finish before it gets too dark.
- If you decide anyway to start a new inning, and it gets too dark and the game needs to be called in the middle of an inning, the score will revert to the final score of the last completed inning. Basically, meaning that anything that happened in that inning will be erased as if it did not happen.
- I have received a bunch of emails about people not knowing how to use the website to record pitch counts and scores. Before you send this message, please make sure you have watched the coaches meeting recording which went through step by step how to do this. There is also the slide deck which also outlines this process -
- Last night we had an incident where a coach was unhappy with a call and was loudly yelling at the umpire for a short period of time. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE
- More context – I spoke with the umpire after the game, and he admitted that he realized he made a bad call, but all umpires are trained to make their call as they see it at the moment and stick with the decision regardless of change of their thoughts afterwards about it, and especially if a coach is yelling that they made a mistake.
- As a reminder this year we have a HEAVY emphasis on parent and coach behavior towards umpires. If we see or hear about this again, we will be forced to recommend suspensions.
- Remember at all levels of the MAC League, there are no protests, and umpire calls are final – right or wrong.
- Your players will respond to umpire calls by watching you. If you start yelling, and are show you are unhappy with a call, they will follow your lead.
- 7:40 is not a hard rule to stop new innings – it’s just a rough guideline for this time of year.
- You do not have to start a game at 6pm, if both teams are ready and the umpire is there, go ahead and start the game as soon as possible.
- Example game arrival/warm-up times for a 6pm game start:
- Home team player arrival is no later than 5:20pm, must conduct their on-field warm-ups between 5:30 – 5:40pm
- Visiting team player arrival is no later than 5:30pm, must conduct their on-field warm-ups between 5:40 – 5:50pm
- It is recommended that players arrive an additional 10 minutes earlier to stretch – very important to stretch!
- Pregame conference between coaches and the umpire is at 5:50pm
- Home team should take the field by 5:55pm
- First pitch should happen no later than 6:00pm
The mercy rule has been changed to the following:
- In Minors, a victory must be conceded to the winning team if:
- At the end of the 3rd inning, one team has a lead of twelve (12) runs.
- At the end of the 4th inning or the end of the top of the 4th inning if the home team is ahead, one team has a lead of eight (8) runs or more.
- During the bottom of the 4th if the home team goes up by eight (8) runs the game is immediately conceded.
- In Majors, a victory must be conceded to the winning team if:
- At the end of the 3rd inning or the end of the top of the 3rd inning if the home team is ahead, one team has a lead of fifteen (15) runs or more.
- At the end of the 4th inning or the end of the top of the 4th inning if the home team is ahead, one team has a lead of ten (10) runs or more.
- During the bottom of the 4th if the home team goes up by ten (10) runs the game is immediately conceded.
- The score at the time of concession is what must be reported on the MAC website. No further scorekeeping should be kept after the concession. However:
- The game must continue to be completed to its natural end, but there is now a 2-run limit per inning at all levels of play.
- All pitching stats must continue be recorded and will count against the pitcher’s pitch count restrictions.
- This is not a live ball, when on ball 4 there is a passed ball, the batter is not able to steal second base. This would be allowed in majors as it is a live ball.
- In the event of darkness, and a game gets called before the natural end of an inning, the score will be required to be reverted to what it was at the end of the previously completely inning. This means that say the home team is winning 4-3 at the end of the 5th inning, and during the 6th inning the away team, goes on a rally and the score is now 11-4, heading into the bottom of the 6th, if the umpire calls the game with 2 outs 2 strikes in the bottom of the 6th, the score will revert to the score at the end of the 5th with the home team winning 4-3.
- You have a runner at 1st and a runner at 3rd, pass ball.
- The runner on 1st takes off for 2nd to steal.
- The catcher throws the ball to second base to throw out the runner stealing second.
- BEFORE the ball gets to second base, the runner on third is allowed to run home.
- Once the ball gets to second base, the runner on third must go back to third.
- If there is an error in fielding the throw (or bad throw) from catcher to second, the third base runner is not allowed to go home.
- Yes, this is a judgement call on the umpire on timing and can be difficult for an umpire to see both runners and determine when that ball got to second. The umpire will do their best to see the entire situation, but this is not always possible – they will make the call as they see it – not as you argue the rules and how you saw it.
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