STANLEY PARK OPTIMIST - 3-PITCH RULES (2020)
Note: All games Sunday to Friday start at 6:30 p.m. while Saturday games are at 9 a.m. unless otherwise scheduled. Teams are responsible for arranging their own practices.
Overview of the game, philosophy & sportsmanship
Section 1: Equipment
Section 2: Definitions
Section 3: Playing Rules
Section 4: The Batter
Section 5: Base Runner
Section 6: Diagram of 3-pitch field.
Section 7: Sportsmanship & Fair Play
Section 8: Diagrams of pitcher's and batter's boxes.
THE GAME: This is a recreational game of softball between two teams of 10 players each with a sufficient number of alternates under the directions of a manager and coaches played under the authority of an umpire or umpires.
The regular rules of softball/fastball apply except as amended herein.
Our 3-Pitch play is meant to get young people interested in the game of softball by encouraging and maintaining the active participation of all players. The offensive team utilizes a batting line-up consisting of all players to score as many runs as possible (while exhibiting good sportsmanship) and the defensive team uses 10 players to make three outs in accordance with the rules.
Rotation of players through the defensive positions is mandatory at each game. Effective as of 2015, all players playing infield positions must wear face protection; the catcher and pitcher must also wear a helmet. (Equipment is supplied.)
TEAMS: Each team is required to have a sportsmanship manager and as many coaches, assistants & helpers as needed to operate the team. The playing roster consists of a maximum 14 players. All participants must have signed sportsmanship contracts filed with the league officials before being allowed to participate.
The Stanley Park T-Ball Association was formed in the mid-1070s provide young boys and girls with the opportunity to participate in and learn about the game of baseball.
The emphasis is on fun, fair play and participation of all players.
The Association is run entirely by volunteers (executive, coaches, convenors, etc.) who generously devote their time. New volunteers are always welcome regardless of how much or little time anyone is able to give. In recent years, youth have been employed to officiate the games. Disputes are discussed between coaches and/or umpires in a friendly and professional manner. Unresolved matters should be directed to the convenor for resolution.
We mandate that all coaches rotate their players and let them have a turn at all the various positions.
All players, coaches, assistants, umpires, officials, parents, guardians, and spectators are expected to abide by the city ordinances, league rules, and behave in accordance with our guidelines, codes of conduct and philosophy. All players and coaching staff are required to sign a contract agreeing to such before being allowed to participate.
Sportsmanship supervisors (managers), at least one per team at each game, help administer the program and intervene as necessary to promote good sportsmanship. Managers, pre-designated and in uniform, are permitted on the field at any time to monitor behaviour.
Our officials have a "zero tolerance for abuse" and enforce it to ensure that all participants enjoy the games and practices. There is no smoking (or any simulation thereof) permitted on, or by, the diamonds during our permit times (which cover the warm-up and post-game activities). Abusive language and swearing are not acceptable. Be a great role model.
Please do your part. Relax. Have fun. Let everyone enjoy the experience. It's only a game.
1.1 Supplied by the Stanley Park Optimist Club
1.2 Supplied by Player
1.3 Rules Concerning Equipment
Gloves: (a) The catcher may use any type of baseball glove.
(b) The first-base person is permitted to use a trapper mitt (glove).
(c) All other members of the fielding team must use a fielder's glove (fingered).
Balls & bats: 11"balls are provided by the Optimist Club. (Usually the "home" team uses one of its new balls - either white or yellow - and a good used backup ball of the same colour for the game.) The bats are provided by the Optimist Club. Players may use their own bat but must be prepared to share it with the other players and that means sharing with both teams. If sharing isn't acceptable, the bat cannot be used and will be declared an illegal bat.
Helmets: Batters & base runners: The Optimist Club provides some protective helmets with chinstraps (little league style) to each team, to be used by players of both teams as required during games. (Players are recommended to provide their own helmet. Personal helmets are not expected to be shared.) Helmets must be worn by the players while at bat, on-deck to bat and while running the bases with the chinstraps properly fastened at all times. If a helmet or chinstrap is removed or undone before a player is out of play, a team warning may be given. Any subsequent infractions will result in that player being called out.
Helmets: Pitcher & catcher: Helmets equipped with a face-mask are provided and must be worn by both the fielding pitcher & the catcher. All other infielders must wear face protection; helmet optional. This equipment must be worn during all practices and warm-ups as well as the games themselves.
The offensive pitcher: often one of the coaching staff, must wear face protection (supplied) and additional "body" protection is highly recommended. (Players registered in our Senior 3-Pitch Program are also eligible to pitch but only after passing our qualification test. Such players must also wear shin and chest protection and are subject to re-certification tests as required.)
Catcher's equipment: consists of a chest protector, shin guards and a face-mask, or an adjustable helmet with face-guard, (all supplied by the Optimist Club), which must be worn during all practices, warm-ups and games. The catcher is allowed to remove the face-mask, and/or helmet, after the ball has been batted and is in play. Note: The biggest hold-up in play is waiting for the catcher to be ready at the start of batting so special effort and assistance is requested to speed up this process. A substitute runner, the last out, is allowed for an offensive team's catcher who is on base with two out.
(a) Throwing equipment in anger or disgust is poor sportsmanship and could result in the player being ejected.
(b) If a defensive player deliberately contacts a fair ball with any part of his uniform or equipment detached from its proper place, (e.g. throwing his glove to knock down a ball) the batter is awarded third base safely. The ball is still live and the batter can continue to home plate at his/her own risk.
(c) Thrown Bat: When a batter dangerously releases a bat after swinging at the ball, the batter is "OUT" and the ball is immediately dead. A second infraction during the same game will be that player's last plate appearance for that game. (He/she may still play defensive positions as per the mandatory rotation schedule.) The umpire's call is final.
2.1 Base path - direct line from the runner to the next or preceding base. The runner establishes the base path the moment a defensive play is about to be made on him.
2.2 Batter's box - the area on either side of home plate within which the batter shall have both feet when making contact with the ball. (The umpire may provide guidance to ensure compliance.)
2.3 Dead-hit ball - A legally batted ball, or attempt at such, that the umpire judges not to be the result of that batter's full swing. (No chop swings, tap swings, drag hits nor bunts are allowed.) No runners may advance or be put out on a dead-hit ball.
2.4 Fair-hit ball - a legally batted ball that lands in fair territory in the infield and stays within the baselines in the infield or which passes over or between first and third base before rolling into foul territory.
2.5 Illegally batted ball - when the batter hits a ball with at least one foot on the ground entirely outside the lines of the batter's box. The ball is dead, the batter is out, and no runners can advance. (The umpire may provide guidance to avoid this.)
2.6 Infield fly - there is no infield fly rule in effect - all fair hit fly balls are alive.
2.7 Leadoff - when a base runner is off his/her base before the batter contacts the ball.
2.8 Legal team - a minimum of 8 able players, registered with Stanley Park in the same league or "one level below". Players from other teams can only be added to field a team of 10 - i.e. no player registered on a particular team can sit-out for a "fill-in" or "call-up" to play. For playoff games, teams can only use fill-ins from one level below. (See also rules 2.17 and 3.2.A & 3.2.B)
2.9 Commitment line - a line perpendicular to third base line drawn at the halfway point between home and third. Once crossed, the runner is committed to cross the scoring line, unless tagging up on a caught fly ball or foul ball.* If the runner backtracks across the line, then he/she is out at the completion of the play. The committed runner can only be put out before crossing the scoring line by the catcher or pitcher, with control of the ball, touching home plate -a runner cannot be tagged out coming home once past the commitment line. (See also rule 3.4.D) *Exception: A runner is allowed to backtrack over the commitment line if tagging up on a caught fly ball but is automatically out if the scoring line is crossed before tagging up.
2.10 No hit - When batter hits the ball before the plate umpire has authorized the pitcher to pitch.
2.11 Out of play - imaginary lines (usually extension of the backstops) which run parallel to the first and third base lines.
2.12 Dead ball line - There isn't one in 3-Pitch. As long as the batter attempts a full swing, any resultant hit is a playable ball.
2.13 Scoring Line - a line that is parallel to the 1st base line, but starts at the point of the plate closest to third base and continues to the backstop. Runner must make contact with the ground, on or beyond the scoring line to be safe.
2.14 Strike - a missed swing on a hittable pitch, a hittable pitch, a foul ball, a dead hit ball or an illegally batted ball. The third strike is not generally called on a dead hit ball unless it is a repeated infraction. A foul ball on the third strike is not a strikeout.
2.15 Time Called - when any defensive player has control of the ball in the infield area and, in the judgment of the plate umpire, there is no play to be made and/or no attempt to make a play on any of the base runners. Base runners are allowed to continue to advance to the base they were approaching (but no further) but no new advances can be started. If such a "new" play is started, (with no defensive action being taken), then the plate umpire will immediately call "time" and send the "new" runner(s) back to the last base they occupied. As no "outs" can be made after "time" is called, it is important that plays in progress when "ball control" is established be permitted to finish. "Time" cannot be called as long as the defence is making plays or faking plays.
2.16 Illegal bat - a bat that is unavailable for use by all players of both teams or is dangerous/unsafe to use.
2.17 Eligible players - Only registered players from teams in the same league or one level below are allowed to serve as call-ups or fill-ins. This means Junior 3-Pitch teams in need of players may only use players from other Junior 3-Pitch teams or those registered in Senior T-Ball. Senior 3-Pitch teams can only draw players from other Senior 3-Pitch teams or call-ups from our Junior 3-Pitch league. Senior T-Ball players cannot play in our Senior 3-Pitch league. Under no circumstances can a player be allowed to fill-in on a team lower than registered for. (See also rules 3.2.A and 3.2.B)
2.18 Unhittable pitch - at the umpire's discretion, an obvious unhittable pitch will not count as a strike even if swung at. (Rule 4.4 Strikes.) The "hittable" will be enlarged as the season progresses as agreed to at the pre-game meeting.
(a) At least five minutes before the start of the game, the managers/coaches must show the batting line-up for the 7 innings to be played to the opposing team's managers/coaches for review. Each team's scorekeeper must have both teams' lists and line-ups before the start of the game. (Note: for Junior 3-Pitch, the line-up is for 5 innings.) Each teamâ€™s defensive line-up must be posted before the start of the game on the backstop as per rule 3.4.a.
(b) The batting order cannot be changed once circulated and is used throughout the game. If there is an excused absence, then that batter is skipped and misses batting during that entire run through the order.
(c) Late-arrival players are allowed to play on defence at their arrival inning at the discretion of their team's coach. Their spot in the batting order is either: (i) reserved at the spot listed in the original line-up or, (ii) added at the bottom of the original line-up if they were omitted. Players are not to be inserted elsewhere.
(d) Line-up changes must be reported to the plate umpire, the official scorekeeper (if assigned) and the opposing team's scorekeeper.
A team should field 10 eligible players but is permitted to play with 8; a team fielding only 7 players (or less) forfeits the official game but all players are encouraged to utilize the facility and have an "exhibition" contest. (Borrow players from the other team if needed; play 5-on-5 (or whatever) with coaches in the field!)
(a) Call-ups and invitees: During the regular season teams are encouraged to recruit players from other teams (in the same league or one level below (refer to rule 2.17) to make up a game roster of 10. All players have to be registered with Stanley Park and cannot be missing one of their own team's games. During playoffs, recruiting can only be from "one level below". (Refer to rule 2.17) Note: No team member can ever sit out for a recruit to play.
(b) Requests to play: Players from other teams who have missed game(s) may request to play for teams (in the same league during the regular season) and must be permitted to do so if the team does not have a full roster of 10 present for the game. Players from "one league below" are also eligible to play but, with exception of playoff games, as second priority to those of the same league.
3.3 Regulation game:
The first available equipment should be laid out (as per diagram) and the field ready for play. There is a "pregame meeting call by the umpires about 5 minutes before the scheduled game time. The meeting should include both team's coaches, managers, that game's captains, and the umpires. The meeting includes introductions and a brief discussion of any diamond or rule issues, e.g. strike zone. Unless already designated, use a coin to flip to determine home and visiting teams. Note: for championship-round games, the home team is the one that finished higher in the playoff round.
(a) A complete game consists of 7 innings for Senior 3-Pitch; 5 innings for Junior 3-Pitch. Three outs must be completed in the final inning subject to score as per mercy rule 4.7 (a) and (b).
(b) No full inning will start 1¾ hours after the gameâ€™s actual commencement. (Note: This may be shortened by mutual agreement of the teams and may not be achievable due to lighting conditions early in the season.) In the event the umpire terminates the game before the end of 7 completed innings (5 for Junior 3-Pitch), e.g. curfew, rain, snow, and there have been at least 5 innings completed, the game will be ruled a complete game and the final score will be as of the last completed inning. If less than 5 full innings have been played, the game must be replayed in its entirety. (For Junior 3-Pitch, 3 innings is a complete game if conditions don't permit all 5 to be played.)
(c) If a coach cannot field a team within 5 minutes at any time during the game then his/her team will forfeit the game. (In regular season, please lend players so exhibition play can occur - even if it's with only 5 players per side - or play a game of "scrub".)
3.4 Defensive team:
(a) Fielding positions must be assigned by matching a list of players, such as the batting order, with the list of all possible fielding positions (supplied) with the outfield & infield positions alternating. (i.e. For a team of 13: Catcher, CF, 2nd Base, Rover, Sit, 1st Base, RF, Pitcher, Sit, LF, Short-Stop, 3rd Base, Sit). Each inning, the player list drops down to align one position lower against the fielding position list. The "Sit" positions are evenly spaced on the lists to ensure everyone sits out equally. (i.e. no "Sit" if 10 players available, 1 player sits if 11, and 2 "Sits" if 12 as per lists provided). Prior approval from the league is required for any deviations but no player will play at the same defensive position twice in the same game. The list of players and fielding positions for each inning of the game must be posted on the outside of the backstop before the game and remain there throughout the game. Use the "Clothespin system" (materials supplied). Failure to comply with this mandatory rotation may result in forfeiture of the game.
(b) An immediate direct substitution for an injured defensive player is allowed.
(c) Players are not permitted to change defensive positions during an inning and must be assigned via the rotation system as described in rule 3.4 (a). Note: The outfield rover can play anywhere in the outfield and can move with each batter (if desired) but the game will not be delayed for this, or any, fielding adjustments.
(d) The catcher will occupy the position normally taken by the catcher behind home plate, far enough back not to interfere with the batter. The only players allowed to make plays at home plate are the catcher and the pitcher. (There can be no encroachment of the area by other players or runners at home plate will be declared "safe".) The catcher/pitcher must have control of the ball and touch the home plate before the base runner crosses the scoring line to make the runner out.
(e) The pitcher will play on the mound in the infield with both feet inside the defensive pitching box until the ball is hit. If the pitcher goes out of the box before the ball is hit and makes a play on the ball, the umpire will call "Replay" and the ball is dead. (If the pitcher is not involved in the play, the play will stand.) The pitcher is allowed to make/assist in plays at home plate.
(f) Outfielders (4) must be positioned at least 4 meters, (12 feet), behind the baselines. Note: for most diamonds we use, "on the grass" is acceptable for the outfielders).
(g) A team short a player(s) may play without any fielding position except pitcher and catcher.
(h) Coaches may be permitted on the field early in the season as arranged at the pre-game meeting.
3.5 Offensive team:
(a) a manager and two coaches in the coaching area. The coaches may coach at first and third and must stay in the coaching boxes at all times. Coaches must not physically assist any player while the ball is in play or else that player will be called "out" by the umpire, i.e. no physical contact with any player.
(b) A capable* person, wearing approved face protection, throws underhand to his/her own team at bat. There can be only three good pitches (unless the third results in a foul; replays do not count). The pitches can be thrown from anywhere in line with 2nd base & home plate but preferably within the pitcher's box. The offensive pitcher must not take part in nor interfere with defensive plays and is not permitted to coach runners. (If the ball contacts the offensive pitcher, the umpire may let the play continue and stand if there was perceived to be accidental or unavoidable action/inaction with no affect on the play, rule "dead ball" or "replay" if the play was affected, or rule the batter "out" if contact was intentional.)
(i) A pre-qualified Senior 3-Pitch player may be allowed to pitch to his/her own team (or other team) with league approval, when wearing all the required safety apparel including, but not limited to, helmet, face-shield and body protection. League officials will monitor pitching performance, run re-qualification sessions as needed and maintain a list of qualified players.
3.6 The game begins when the plate umpire has instructed the home team to take its field positions, calls for a batter, checks everyone is in position and ready and calls "Play ball".
(a) is called immediately upon injury to any player and the plate umpire will award bases as he/she sees fit.
(b) may be called by the plate umpire before the batter makes an attempt to swing.
(c) is called by the plate umpire when the ball is in possession of the defensive team, in the infield, and there is no attempt to make a play and/or no play to be made. (The plate umpire will let any runners finish their current advancement to their next base but will call "time" immediately if any new advancement is started.) No outs can be made after "time" is called. If the defensive team is attempting a play, "time" cannot be called and runners may try and advance further. The offensive pitcher should not ask for, nor accept, the ball until after the home-plate umpire calls time.
No player will sit out a second time before everyone has sat out at least once and no player will sit out two consecutive innings. (Refer to Rule 3.4 a) (Note: absences do not count as "sitouts".)
At the end of the regular scheduled league games, there is an elimination playoff round followed by the championship games. During the regular season, scores should only be posted on the website when agreed to by both teams. During the playoff rounds, the winning team is responsible for ensuring the scores are either posted or reported to the convenor ASAP for posting. 3-Pitch teams have the option of tracking player stats on the website and are encouraged to do so.
4.1. The batter must stand completely inside the batter's box while attempting to swing. (The umpire is allowed to provide guidance to ensure compliance.)
4.2. Bunting is not allowed. A full swing must be attempted on a fair-hit or else the umpire will declare a "dead hit" and award a strike. A batter will not strike out on a "dead hit."
4.3 Foul ball: A foul is a batted ball that lands in the field of play and crosses the base line between home and 1st or home and 3rd. A foul ball counts as a strike but a batter cannot strike out on a foul ball. Normal softball rules apply for foul balls. Note: all bases, including home plate, are in fair territory so if hit, the ball is fair and in play. (The orange side of the safety base is in foul territory.)
4.4 Strike: A strike is called when the ball is swung at and completely missed or hit foul. Note: "Replay" decisions (e.g. pitcher interference, umpire's time/discretion), are not considered strikes. As per rule 4.2, a strike is also called when the ball is bunted or hit with a 'chop' swing.
(a) at the umpire's discretion, an obvious un-hittable pitch will not count as a strike even if swung at.
(i) a ball that bounces before reaching the plate or is over the batter's head should be declared a "bad pitch" even if swung at and does not count as a strike.
(ii) a bouncing pitch will be called a "bad pitch" and cannot be hit into play; it is DEAD.
Note regarding the calling of strikes: In our 3 Pitch leagues, the "strike zone" for a batter is not as narrowly defined as in softball. The zone is influenced by each individual batter's perceived ability to hit and encompasses an area within a reasonable reach of the bat. Balls pitched over the plate as "strikes" in a softball game are definitely eligible as strikes within our 3-Pitch guidelines. With the exception of foul balls, all strike calls are at the judgment of the plate umpire. As we want all batters to have 3 good opportunities to hit, and the pitching is not always "there", this game is more aptly called "3 Hittable Pitch". While the umpires are instructed to be more lenient in the assessment of strikes in Junior 3-Pitch, there are still strikeouts. In both leagues, leniency lessens as the season progresses and players develop their hitting ability. Much is also dependent on the pitcher's ability!
4.5 An OUT occurs on a batter when:
(a) The batter has 3 good pitches, that the umpire has called strikes, without hitting the ball into the field of play.
(b) A hit ball is caught in the air, regardless of height, unless it is a foul-tip back to the catcher in which case it must pop 6 feet or higher. A foul-tip caught on the 3rd strike is an "out" regardless of height.
(c) The bat, in the umpire's judgment, is thrown out of control or dangerously. (Whether the bat interferes directly with play or a defensive player or not, the play is "dead", there can be no advances, and the batter is out.) Note: Umpires may warn offending batters and notify coaches of both teams whenever there is a "borderline" instance.
(d) Note: There is no infield fly rule. A fly ball that is deemed to be intentionally dropped (in an attempt to make a double play) will result in all runners being declared safe and advancing as forced. On a caught fly ball, runners are allowed to tag up and try to advance immediately once the ball is caught, otherwise, after a second's delay, the plate umpire will call "Time".
(e) The batter hits the ball with at least one foot on the ground completely out of the batter's box, the ball is dead and no runners can advance. Note: (The umpire may provide guidance to ensure compliance and avoid this infraction.)
(f) Batting without a properly worn batter's helmet, i.e. chinstrap securely fastened, will result in a warning. Repeated infractions will result in the batter/runner being called out.
(g) Batting with an illegal bat after a warning. (Refer to rule 1:3 regarding bats and sharing thereof.)
4.6 Batting out of order:
(a) If the batting error is discovered while the incorrect batter is still at bat, the correct batter may take his/her place, assuming all strikes accumulated to that point,
(b) If the error is discovered after the incorrect batter has batted but before the next batter has completed his/her turn at bat, then the player that batted out of order is out, all runners return to their bases occupied before the batting order infraction, and the correct (missed) batter bats with the accumulated count.
(c) If the error is discovered after the next batter has completed her turn at bat (but before the end of the inning), then the player that batted out of order is out but other runners will hold their advanced positions and any runs scored will stand.
(d) If the error is discovered after the last batter of the inning has completed his/her turn at bat, then all plays stand. (The "missed" player's "next bat" is as per original batting order.)
4.7 Mercy rule: In SR 3-Pitch, there is a 7 run per inning maximum except in the 7th inning; JR 3-Pitch has a 7 run per inning maximum in all 5 innings of its games.
(a) If the "home" team has already won (or proceeds to win) by (during) the last inning, it is fair that the home team bats through its order once, or 3 outs, whichever comes first.
(b) In the regular season of SR 3-Pitch, there is a 10 run maximum in the 7th inning. In playoff games, there is no maximum.
5.A Rules regarding plays at the double base (safety base) in use at first base.
5.A.1 The white half of the double base should be securely fastened in fair territory aligned with the first base line with the orange half in foul territory. (Use two base spikes.)
5.A.2 A batted ball hitting the any part of the white bag is fair; a batted ball completely hitting the orange half is foul.
5.A.3 If there's a fielding play being made at first on a batted ball, the runner will be declared out if he/she fails to run directly to the orange bag.
5.A.4 A defensive player must use only the white portion of the bag at all times.
5.A.5 After over-running first base, the batter-runner must return to the white portion of the bag.
5.A.6 Should the batter-runner round the base on a hit through the infield or to the outfield, he/she must return to the white bag if not advancing to second base.
5.A.7 When tagging up on a fly ball, the white portion of the bag must be used.
Note regarding use of the safety bag: Once a runner reaches first safely, he/she must always use the white portion of the bag. After the initial run to reach first safely, the runner is NOT considered in contact with first base if only in contact with the orange portion and will be called out if tagged with the ball. If there is no play being made at first, the runner may use the white portion of the bag when rounding first. Defensive players should not interfere with the runner and should be taught not to stand on any base if there's no play being made.
5.1 The batter becomes a base runner when: (i) he/she hits the ball in fair territory or, (ii) the catcher interferes with the attempt to hit the ball. In the case of catcher interference, the ball is called "dead" and the batter is awarded first base but no runners advance unless by force.
5.2 The base runner is out when: (a) tagged by a fielder with the ball when off a base. Note: regarding play at home. Once the runner crosses the `no return' line half-way between 3rd and home, he/she must proceed home and cannot be "tagged out" at the plate. The out must be made by the catcher (or pitcher) touching home-plate while in possession of the ball before the runner has crossed the scoring line. However, such a runner may be tagged by any defensive player between 3rd and the "no-return" line and in the vicinity of the "no return" line.
(b) He/she is forced out.
(c) He/she does not tag up on a fly ball and a defensive player touches the base the runner left early. (A runner crossing the scoring-line without tagging up on a caught fly is out as soon as the score line is crossed.)
(d) He/she runs into a defensive player attempting to make a play on the ball.
(e) He/she is hit by a fair-batted ball when off his/her base before the ball passes an infielder with a play on the ball. The ball is dead and the batter is awarded first base. No runners advance unless forced by the batter being awarded first. Note: Clarification added for 2020: If a batted ball hits a base runner while on his/her base, the ball will be ruled "dead", "time" is automatically in effect, no runners can advance and the batter resumes batting with no change in the strike count. (IF the runner is hit by a batted ball that a fielder has made a play on, then play continues and the runner is not out.)
(f) He/she leaves the established base-path by more than 1 meter (3 feet) to avoid a tag.
(g) He/she overruns another eligible base runner.
In effect since our 2009 season, (h) He/she misses touching a base and is called out by an umpire. No appeal by the fielding team is required nor expected. (The umpire will continuously "point" at a missed base if he/she notices such but play will be allowed to continue. If the offending runner has not tagged up when all plays finish and "time" is called, the runner will be out and all other plays stand unless affected by this being the third out of the inning.)
(i) He/she interferes with the catcher by touching home-plate instead of crossing the scoring line. Note: There need not be physical contact for the runner to be declared out. This is a judgment call by the umpire.
(j) He/she loiters in the vicinity of home plate after scoring. All runners must clear the home plate area immediately after scoring. Other players are not permitted to gather at home-plate.
(k) He/she leads off, i.e. is off the base before the batter hits the ball. Refer to rule 5.5.
(l) He/she repeatedly violates the helmet requirements by not having the chinstrap fastened securely and/or removing the helmet before leaving the playing area. Warnings may be given but are not required.
5.3 No-return line: A runner crossing the no-return line is committed to attempt to score except on a caught fly ball in which case he/she may tag up at third and then stay there or re-attempt to advance home. A runner crossing the scoring line cannot tag up, i.e. he/she is out if the fly is caught, or scores if it is not.
5.4 Interference on the runner: When a runner is not allowed his/her established base path by an opponent who is not attempting to make a play on the ball, the umpire will award the runner the number of bases he/she decides the runner would have achieved. (Note: Defensive players should clear the base area when there is no play there and let the runner(s) pass.)
5.5 Lead offs: Lead offs are not allowed. A runner cannot leave his/her base until the bat contacts the ball. The plate umpire, with or without notification from a base umpire, will call all runners breaking this rule "out" and the ball is "dead". No runners may advance and the batter resumes his/her turn at bat with the same count as before the infraction.
At the start of the season, runners will receive a warning if they are off their bases when the ball is swung at and missed. There is a maximum of two warnings per team per game, then "outs" will be called. (No warnings once playoffs start.)
If the third out of an inning is due to a lead-off infraction, the batter bats again next inning.
Note: There can be more than one runner called out for a lead off on any one play.
5.6 Overthrows: When a ball is overthrown and leaves the playing field, past the boundary lines (not the foul lines), all runners are awarded one extra base. This award is governed by the position of the runners when the ball leaves the thrower's hand. (i.e. runners get the base they were proceeding to - if in motion at the time of the throw - plus one additional base.