League Rules

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Revised 2-24-17

NEW in 2016 All Catcher's must wear a Hockey Style Mask at all ages

All teams registered for the ACB League must upload their roster on the ACBL site and provide verification of proof of insurance that lists Atlantic Coast Baseball as additional insured prior to April 1st.

Player's birthdates must meet the age requirements of their respective age divisions. A player's league age is based on the age they are as of May 1st. The team manager must have a copy of the birth certificates of all players on him at all times at all ACB league games and tournaments. If the manager does not have a copy of a player's Birth Certificate, he/she cannot participate in the game. If a team is caught using a player that is older than the cutoff for that age division, that team will forfeit every game in which that player has played.

Double Rostering
Players can be rostered on a District Team and Travel Team as long as the District Team is not part of a Travel Organization and the Team is not in the same Division.

Division Rules
(Age division's 9U-12U will play leads and steals)

8U-10U 11U-12U 13U 14U-19U
65' bases 70' bases 80' bases 90' bases
46' mound 50' mound 54' mound 60' 6" mound
6 inning game 6 inning game 7 inning game 7 inning game
2 Hour Time Limit * 2 Hour Time Limit * 2 Hour Time Limit * No Time Limit
*Unless both teams agree before hand that they will not play with a Time Limit.
** 8U - 43' 60' Little League Rules. Kid Pitch. No Stealing Home. No Leading. Steals are allowed after the ball crosses the plate. Runners cannot advance on a dropped 3rd Strike. Infield Fly Rule IS in effect.

Teams will have a maximum roster of 18 players. The rosters will be placed on the ACB website and will be frozen on May 1st.

The home team, or host team, is responsible for scheduling umpires. Teams will split umpire fees. Patch umpires are required for all ages. 11U and down may have 1 patch umpire. 12U and up must have a Plate and Base Umpire in which both are required to be Patch Umpires.

Official Game
All games are official if the home team is leading after 3 1/2 complete innings for ages 8U-12U, and 4 1/2innings for ages 13U and up. If the home team is losing, you must complete 4 innings (9U-13U) and 5 innings (14U and up) for an official game. All games that are stopped due to rain, or darkness, will be picked up from where it was left off unless the first inning has not been completed.

  • Each team's manager should prepare 1 written copy of his lineup listing first & last names and numbers of all players and substitutes prior to each game. Lineups will then be provided to the opposing team's manager.
  • The Official Scorebook is to be kept by the home team. Both teams should confer after each inning to confirm the score.

There are no inning or pitch count rules for age's 13U-18U. Age's 8U-12U will follow the below pitching rules:
  • 3 innings per game
  • 5 innings total for a DH

This is not a gotcha rule. No forfeits. If a team violates this rule, the pitcher shall be removed at the time of notification to the umpire. Also, if a player does not pitch in the first game of the Double Header, he/she can still only pitch 3 innings in the second game of the DH.

08U-10U will receive 1 Warning per pitcher. The 2nd infraction will be called a Balk.
11U-19U there will be no warnings on balk calls.

A new rule that MLB posted in their 2013 MLB Rule book will be enforced.
If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when—
b) The pitcher, while touching his plate, feints a throw to first or third base and fails
to complete the throw; A pitcher is to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base and is required to throw (except to second base) because he steps. It is a balk if, with runners on first and third, the pitcher steps toward third and does not throw, merely to bluff the runner back to third; then seeing the runner on first start for second, turn and step toward and throw to first base. It is legal for a pitcher to feint a throw to second base.

Defensive: Each team will be allowed unlimited substitutions in the field. A player does not have to be in the batting order to play the field.

Offensive: You may bat nine players, your entire lineup, or anywhere in between. After the start of the game, you cannot change the number of batters you have; it must remain the same for the whole game. If you bat your entire lineup and a player should get ejected, or injured, and no substitute (a player not in the batting order) remains then you must take an out in that spot. Once a substitute bats, or runs, for a player in the batting order, then those two players are locked into that position. From then on, one of those two must hit/run in that spot only.

Courtesy Runners
Courtesy Runners for pitcher and catcher are allowed with 2 outs and must follow rule #11. If a team is playing with 9 players, or batting their entire lineup, then you may use the last recorded out as a courtesy runner.

Slide Rule
In the event of a close play the runner must avoid contact. On double plays, a runner must slide straight into the bag, not past the bag, or to the side to make contact. If a player does make contact sliding past the bag, or to the side, then that player and the runner, to where the defensive player was trying to make the play, are out and the sliding player may be ejected. All close plays and slides are at the umpire's discretion.

Baseball Cleats
Metal spikes are allowed in divisions 13U and older only.

Bat Restrictions
8U-13U there are no bat size restrictions and the 14U-18U will follow PA HS rules and use BBCOR Certified bats.

  • Judgment calls by the umpire cannot be protested, rules only.
  • The protesting coach must tell the umpire and the opposing team's manager that he is going to protest the game at that specific point in the game. You cannot protest after that point in the game. Play the game out.
  • A $100 cash protest fee must be presented to the Atlantic Coast Baseball administrative offices within 24 hours of the protest along with the umpires name and cell phone number.
  • A protest is only "Official" if accompanied by the $100 and done within 24 hours.
  • Protests include questioning a player's age.
  • If the protest is upheld, then the $100 will be refunded and the game will be replayed from the point of the protest.

Entry Refunds
There will be no entry refunds for withdrawal from the league after February 1.

  • All ejections are at the umpires' discretion.
  • NO WARNINGS will be given to coaches, players, or fans for unsportsmanlike or unruly behavior.
  • Upon ejection, the coach, player, or fan must completely leave the premises. Failure to comply will result in a team forfeit.

Mercy Rule
7U-12U Age Divisions
12 run lead after 3 innings/10 run lead after 4 innings/8 run lead after 5 innings

13U-19U Age Divisions
15 run lead after 3 innings/12 run lead after 4 innings
10 run lead after 5 innings/8 run lead after 6 innings

***If both teams managers agree, you are encouraged to play the game out in an instructional based setting***

Intentional Walk
Coach must notify the umpire and 1st base will be awarded

Each team will provide two new Official ACB Baseballs per game. All teams are required to supply “used” or “new” baseballs at the umpire's request. However, they must be Official ACB Baseballs. If you run out of the Official Ball, please contact ACB Headquarters at 866-6-PLAYAC or info@playacbaseball.com. They are $35/dozen plus tax.

League Standings
Regular Season standings will be determined by Win-Loss record. ACB Tournament games that include 2 ACBL teams are to be included on their ACBL Schedule as well and counted towards the ACBL Standings.

14U and up: HOW TO MARK GAMES AGAINST DIVISIONAL OPPONENTS ON YOUR SCHEDULE. ALL GAMES AGAINST LEAGUE TEAMS ARE MARKED AS "LEAGUE". THE FIRST 2 GAMES AGAINST A DIVISIONAL OPPONENT ARE TO BE MARKED AS "LEAGUE" AND "DIVISION". If you play a Divisional Oppenent 3, 4, 5, etc. times, then those games will only be marked as "LEAGUE". Any questions, please contact Matt DeSantis for help!

Playoffs (14U and up)
  • Teams must play a minimum of 10 League Games to be eligible for playoffs and only the top 4 will advance to the playoffs. If there are two, or three, divisions in an age group, the top 2 teams from each division will advance. The 1 seed in Atlantic Division will play the 2 seed in Coast Division and the 1 seed in the Coast Division will play the 2 seed in the Atlantic Division. Games will be played at the higher seeds field. If there are 3 divisions, the top two teams overall will have a bye. If the higher seed does not have a field, and the lower seed does, the game will be played at the lower seed's field. The home field team will be responsible for assigning umpires. Semi-Finals will be on Tuesday. Championship on Wednesday. Thursday will be reserved for rain make-up.Standings will be based on Win-Loss record.
  • If two teams have the same record, it will then go to:
  • Head to Head
  • Winning Percentage
  • Coin Flip

In the case of multiple divisions, divisional standings will be based on:
  • Win-Loss Record in their Division
  • Head to Head
  • Winning Percentage in their Division
  • Win-Loss Record in the League
  • Winning Percentage in the League
  • Coin Flip
  • Players must have played in at least 10 games to participate in the post season and must be on original roster.
  • Playoffs: Home Team is responsible for getting umpires. Teams will split umpire fees.
  • Championship games: Umpires will be paid for by ACB.
  • Champion and Runner Up will receive team and individual awards.

Game Cancellation/Refundable Forfeit Fee
If a team needs to cancel a game, you must notify the opposing team 6 days prior to the scheduled game to allow the opposing team ample time to schedule another game. If you cancel inside of 7 days, that game shall be scored as a forfeit and the League Office needs to be notified immediately. If a team cancels twice during the course of the season, they will be immediately dismissed from the league. Canceling team must give opposing team 3 open dates to reschedule.

Each team will pay a $150 Refundable Forfeit Fee. $500 for Organizations that enter 4 or more teams. If a team does not forfeit, your money will be returned at the end of the fall season. If your team forfeits, your $150, your money will not be refunded.

Reasons for Cancellation:
  • Only acceptable reason is because of playing field conditions, unless proper notification above is followed.
  • Unacceptable reasons
  • Not enough players
  • Played in a tournament and you have no pitching left
  • Another game