Minnetonka Baseball Association (MBA)
Community Rookie League Rules
The primary purpose of the Rookie League is to introduce the game of baseball to Baseball Age 4 & 5 year old boys and girls.
Basic skills: hitting, running, fielding and throwing are taught in a fun and safe environment intended to build self-esteem and confidence. Rules, sportsmanship and teamwork are also emphasized. All players will have an equal opportunity to hit and defensively play all positions in the field. To help individualize development and accelerate the pace of the game, the Rookie League allows for both coach pitch and batting tee hit balls (player / parent selected). A softer baseball will be used. All players must have their own baseball glove and helmet. It is also recommended but not required that each player has their own bat that fits them (See bat specifications tab).
1. Players, coaches, parents and fans will observe the MBA Code of Conduct at all times.
2. No score will be kept and there is no emphasis on winning.
3. Each game will consist of six innings (or less if the time limit occurs first).
4. A half-inning consists of each team batting through their entire order. Outs are registered but not recorded, for example a play at first resulting in an out is called out but the runner will stay on base and complete his path around the bases during the half inning. The last batter in each inning will run around the bases, clearing them after contact.
5. Coaches familiar with the rules will act as umpires and make calls. Coaches of both teams will meet to decide who will act as umpire before the game starts.
6. Games have a one-hour time limit from the scheduled start time of the game. Without exception, regardless of the game situation, the game must end five minutes before the scheduled start of the next game.
7. Teams are responsible for cleaning up the dugout and bleacher areas following each game.
8. The home team will occupy the third base dugout.
9. All batters and base runners must wear a helmet.
1. All players play in the field each inning with a six-person infield (no catcher); the remaining players will play in the outfield and must stay at least 5'-10' back from the dirt portion of the infield.
2. A team with fewer than 6 players (a full infield) may borrow fielders from the other team.
3. Players should be rotated to different positions after each inning and be given approximately equal time in the infield and outfield during a game. The coach will attempt to give all players an equal chance to play all positions equally during the season.
4. MBA’s developmental strategy is to create “baseball” situations so fielders can make plays to bases and create outs. To help support good fielding fundamentals the batter and all runners may only advance one base on a hit. Only fielders assigned to an infield position can make a play at a base. Outfielders must throw the ball to the infielders.
5. Two (2) coaches may station themselves in the outfield to assist with verbal instructions before and after each play, so long as this does not impede the progress of the game.
6. The player playing in the pitching position, may not move off the mound until the ball is hit.
Hitting and Running
1. Players (Parents) are to select and inform their coaches of their desire to hit from a tee only (Coach pitching is not permitted). Coaches will work on hitting fundamentals throughout the year, hitting balls from the tee and via other mechanisms in practice (soft toss, coach pitch, etc.). Hitting from the tee promotes development of proper batting technique, regardless of the individual player’s ability.
2. Hitters hitting via a coach pitched ball will be allowed a maximum of 5 swings prior to switching to a tee to keep the game moving, no exceptions.
3. A player cannot strike-out.
4. Teams will bat in a continuous order throughout the season (round robin), with all players batting. The starting order for the game should rotate through the entire season so that many players get the opportunity to lead off a game. A batting order and player position spreadsheet form is available at www.minnetonkabaseball.org to plan and document batting order and must be used by all coaches.
5. When the batter is hitting from the tee, he/she must wait for the ball to be placed on the tee with all players in the field in a ready position before attempting their swing.
6. The bat must contact the ball, (it may hit part of the tee), and the ball must travel at least 6 feet or it is considered a foul ball. Coaches will make the fair / foul determination.
7. A foul ball in the air can be caught for an out.
8. There is no bunting, stealing or leading off. The runner may not leave the bag until the ball is hit.
9. Batters should practice running through first base on hits. Player running through 2nd or 3rd may be tagged out.
10. The home plate umpire / coach must remove the tee if there is a run scoring or a potential play at the plate. Players (runners) must slide when there is a play at home.
11. A batter is out if they throw their bat. There are no warnings for thrown bats; a coach should make that judgment call and explain to the player why they made the call.
12. A player cannot run more than 3 feet off the base line to avoid a tag.
Updated on March 7, 2022 ETU