Website Manager


SBP Fall Ball Rules

Microsoft Word - Irvine PONY MDT Rules2018 (5-18)

2022 Fall Season Rules

Important Note: It is MANDATORY that every coach carries a copy of these rules at all times.

Rules and Information - Also see below special rules for Pinto Kid Pitch and Parent Code of Conduct

General Information:

Please keep in mind that this is intended to be a FUN Fall Season League for the players and their families. Confrontational actions by coaches, players or family members will not be tolerated and will result in game forfeiture and/or removal from the league. We do have paid umpires, but umpire abuse will not be tolerated in any fashion.

The Fall Season will be governed by the Official Rules of Baseball as published by the Sporting News, as modified by the most current PONY Baseball rulebook and information provided in this document. The Official Rules of Baseball can be purchased

online (as well as some sporting goods stores) and the PONY rulebook may be viewed-only at South Bay PONY Baseball has the final decision making power in regards to rule changes for this League.


Roster Size

No less than 9 or more than 15 players may be rostered.


Roster Changes



Lineup Choices

You may bat either (A) your entire lineup and substitute freely defensively, or (B) bat 9 and substitute per PONY rules. An extra hitter (EH) may be used with option B. This does not apply to the Pinto or Shetland divisions where all batters must bat the entire game.

You must announce before each game what your choice is. Both managers don't need to agree (i.e., one may bat 9 while the other bats the entire lineup, etc.) If you choose to bat your entire lineup, you may not change once the game is underway.

We recommend that teams bat the entire lineup, for development purposes. But this is the Coach’s decision.

Pitchers MAY NEVER reenter in the pitching position once removed from the mound. The pitcher may remain in the game in an alternate defensive position. However, he MUST remain and hit in the same order in the lineup as previously placed.


Game Limits




No New Inning/

Drop Dead

Shetland American


1:15 Drop Dead

 Shetland National
 5 1:30 Drop Dead
 Pinto American
 6 1:30/1:45

Pinto National






Bronco 11U & 12U



Pony 14U




If it appears to the umpire that a team is purposely delaying the game to reach no-new inning or drop-dead status, then the umpire can speed up the game by calling players out or declaring a forfeit after issuing one warning. 

There will be no extra inning games, a tie at the end of regulation play will be recorded as such.   

Playoff games do not have a drop dead time.  Playoff games only have a No New Inning Time Limit (see below):  


Field Dimensions




 Shetland American
 N/A 50'

Shetland National

Machine at 38’


 Pinto American
 Machine at 38'

Pinto National









Pony 13U



 Pony 14U
 60'6" 90'



Ready Play Rules

To expedite play, a batter may not step more than one foot out of the batter’s box to take signals. One warning will be given per batter. Thereafter, each infraction will result in the umpire calling time and the batter will be issued a strike.

A courtesy runner will be allowed for the pitcher or the catcher, regardless of the number of outs.  If all players are batting, then the last out is the courtesy runner.  If less than all players are batting, then a player who is not then in the lineup shall be the courtesy runner.

No more than one offensive time out is allowed per inning per team, other than to check injury or repair equipment.

No more than one defensive time out is allowed per inning, except to check injury or repair equipment. On the second defensive time-out, the pitcher must be changed. While batting, have your catcher getting ready for the next inning. Catchers not being suited up cause most delays.

Warm ups in between innings - It should take a maximum of 2 minutes or less between the 3rd out and the first pitch of the next half inning.


Slide or Avoid Rule

Players MUST slide or AVOID contact to injure or disrupt a defensive player. If the runner elects to slide the slide must be legal. The runner must slide directly to the base or away from the play. A slide with the spikes above the fielder’s knee or the umpire determines that a player intended to harm the defensive player is considered malicious contact. The player will be recorded as an out and ejected from the game. The catcher or other defensive player may not block any base or home plate without possession of the ball. The fielder will be guilty of obstruction as in “Official Baseball Rules. Only Pony 14U division players may wear metal cleats. Metal cleats are strictly prohibited from ALL other divisions.


Pitching Rules

Please take care of your pitchers arms and don't over extend them. PONY now follows pitching guidelines set forth by the MLB’s Pitch Smart program. We offer a modified version of this that follows maximum pitches with inning limits as we typically only play 1 game per week. Remember, one pitch to a batter in an inning constitutes an inning pitched. You must keep pitching records on hand in your notebook for review at any time. There may be instances where teams will play double-headers and under no circumstance is permissible for a player to pitch in 2 games in the same day, regardless of innings, or pitch count or depth. This applies to all divisions.


Pitching Limits


Per Game Limit

Per Weekend


2 innings* or 50 pitches

Consult Pitch Smart Guidelines


3 innings* or 75 pitches

Consult Pitch Smart Guidelines


3 innings* or 85 pitches

Consult Pitch Smart Guidelines


7 innings* or 95 pitches

Consult Pitch Smart Guidelines


*Note: The innings limit only applies during the regular Fall season.  Fall Playoff games only use the pitch count guidelines outlined in PitchSmart.  There are no restrictions on innings, only on pitches during the playoffs.  However it is still forbidden to pitch 2 games in the same day. 

Pitch Smart Guidelines

Mercy Rule

10 Runs after 3 1/2 innings (home team leading) or 4 complete innings (visiting team winning). At this point, the game will be official, however, during the Fall regular season, the game will continue to be played out up to either the appropriate “No New Inning” or “Drop Dead” time limit. During the Playoffs, the game will stop at the Mercy rule. We expect all Coaches to practice proper etiquette and avoid unnecessarily running up game scores. Violations of this will subject to league review and may result in suspension of Managers. We want players getting as many possible reps to promote development.


Maximum Runs Per Inning:

Shetland, Pinto, and Mustang Divisions will employ a 5-run maximum run per inning rule, with final inning and any extra innings be played as an “Open Inning” requiring 3-outs to be recorded.

Bronco and Pony 14U divisions will be required to record 3 outs. However, Coaches are encouraged to use proper judgment during innings where excessive runs have been scored. We are a Process Over Results league and want each team to have opportunities to get a fair number of reps in during games. Please be respectful of your opponents.


A forfeiting team will be charged with a loss and the game score will be deemed to be 7-0.

Warm Up

Plan on throwing warm-up only. In-field practice is never allowed and will not be available between games. Please do not push this rule. We have a lot of teams playing help us save our infields.


There are NO PROTEST! Don't even have a problem with a call, an interpretation or anything what-so-ever, you need to call time and the Head Coach may quietly discuss it with the umpire. HIS DECISION IS FINAL...PERIOD!


If a fan becomes unruly the head coach will be
warned one time. The second warning will be the removal of the head coach; the next warning will be the removal of the asst. coach. If the problem persists, the game will be forfeited by the team which is causing the problem. Please note that we require all registered families to agree to our Code of Conduct rules and violations and have a Zero Tolerance Policy when it comes to fan behavior. That document is attached here and we expect all Managers and Coaches to follow these rules and enforce them among their teams.



Pinto National, Mustang, Bronco, and Pony 14U divisions may use USA Bats or USSSA Bats. Any diameter bat allowed within USA and USSSA standard are allowed.

Pony 14U also allows BBCOR (-3) or (-5) bats. Wood bats are accepted.

Shetland and Pinto American divisions must use USA Bats only. 2 5/8” is the maximum bat diameter allowed in these divisions, no 2 ¾” barrels.

To see a list of illegal bats, go to the USSSA website or click on this link. For illegal USA Bats click on this link. These bats are NOT ALLOWED.

Violations of bat rules will first result in removal of any illegal bats from the dugout with a warning. The bat must leave the dugout and not return. Any subsequent violation will result in game ejection of the team Manager and Player. Ignorance is not an excuse.

Footwear: Metal cleats are ONLY permitted in Pony 14U division.  Metal cleats are not permitted on portable mounds.


Score Reporting Procedures

Each team is responsible for keeping their own score, but the scorekeepers must confer with each other after each half inning to make sure there are no disagreements. The Home Team will be considered the Official scorekeeper and will be responsible for reporting the game score to league management system within 48 hours of game completions. If a disagreement arises, the umpire is the final arbiter. (Score may be kept in a scorebook, iScore, or Gamechanger) Scorebooks are not provided by South Bay PONY.

Important Note: The Home team is responsible for reporting scores. The scores will be reported by via email. Please note that only designated Team Managers have privileges that allow them to enter scores.

Teams are responsible for maintaining their own pitching rosters and pitch count tracking, and are subject to review by league officials at any time.


Game Play

Each team will play approximately 10 regular season games followed by a playoff tournament



Each team is required to have their official Roster of league registered players available with them at all times. If a coach refuses to show their notebook to the opposing coach, that team will be disqualified and take a loss for that game recorded as 1-0. The notebook may also be reviewed after the game if necessary for any reason by the other coach. If either coach is uncomfortable sharing their book on the field, you must notify the League Commissioner or President immediately. NON-REGISTERED PLAYERS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PARTICIPATING IN ANY SOUTH BAY PONY GAME AND VIOLATIONS OF THIS WILL RESULT IN FULL DISQUALIFICATION OF THE TEAM MANAGER AND TEAM FROM FURTHER PARTICIPATION WITHOUT REFUND.


Other Stuff

Parking at some of the parks may be a challenging. Arrive in plenty of time. If you're running late, drop the player off and direct him to his field, and then go park your car. Begg Field parking offers spots immediately adjacent to the field of play. Park at your own risk as errant balls have and can cause damage to vehicles. South Bay PONY is not responsible for any damage to vehicles from game play. There is also a very large church next to our Mira Costa fields and Sunday parking can be difficult. Park at your own risk as errant balls have and can cause damage to vehicles.


Fields and Dugouts

Only players, managers, and coaches will be allowed in the dugout or on the field during play. Maximum of 3 coaches per team are allowed for Mustang, Bronco, and Pony divisions, 4 coaches per team allowed for Pinto, and 5 coaches per team allowed for Shetland.

For Shetland, on offense there should be a coach to pitch, base coaches at 1st & 3rd, and 1-2 coaches handling the dugout and lineup.  On defense, there should be a coach helping the catcher and no more than 2 defensive coaches allowed on the outfield.  Try to play with no coaches in the outfield, if possible.  Additional coaches need to be in or next to the dugout.  

No siblings or parents shall be allowed in dugouts before, during, or after games. Please encourage your players to unpack and pack their own gear. Please no food in the dugouts as well. Teams are responsible for completely removing all trash from their dugouts at the end of games. Sunflower seeds and Gum are prohibited in all game dugouts. Please clean up your trash after each game.

Field Setup & Breakdown
Both teams are expected to properly set up and breakdown fields for game play, including carrying and placing pitching mounds at proper distances, chalking batter’s boxes and lines, and putting bases and returning field equipment to the proper storage sheds. If you are the last game of the day on a particular field, you are responsible for returning bases and pitcher’s mounds to their proper storage places. Put all of the bases away and return the base anchor plugs to the anchors.  If there is a dirt mound, please be sure to replace the circle mound tarp.  Put all equipment away in the equipment shed, lock the shed, and spin the dial. If no teams are warming up for play when your game ends, assume that you are the final game of the day and put everything away and LOCK the sheds.





There are no balks. There is no dropped third strike rule. A third strike is recorded as an out even if the catcher drops the ball. The strike zone will be expanded at the discretion of the umpire.

For the first 3 weeks of the season, we recommend that teams do not allow walks.  After a pitcher throws 4 balls, a coach from the hitting team should come out and throw 3 coach pitches.  If a batter does not get a hit after 3 pitches, the batter strikes out.  There are no walks.  A batter who fouls off the last pitch may receive additional pitches until they get a hit or miss a pitch.  Coaches may pitch however they like (over hand or under hand).

If a pitcher hits three batters in a game, regardless of the inning, that pitcher shall be removed and replaced with a new pitcher.  This rule does not apply to the Coach pitchers.


On a walk - ball is live until ball is returned to the pitcher within a reasonable (10’ radius) distance from the pitching mound. Bunting is prohibited. Nine players on defense, 3 outfielders.



An inning is complete when (a) three outs are recorded or (b) the offensive team has scored 5 runs. Exception: On homerun over the fence - all runs will count. During the regular season, even the last inning has a 5 run limit. During playoffs, there is no run limit in the final inning or extra innings. The final inning may be determined based on time limitations and is frequently not the 5th inning. Managers and umpire shall agree on the final inning according to “No New Inning” time limitations.


Base Running

Stealing is allowed. Base runners are not permitted to lead off and must remain in contact with the base until the ball has crossed home plate. A player who leaves a base before then shall be called out. Home is closed to passed balls or wild pitches or due to an errant throw on an attempted steal of 3rd base (“No Fault Rule”). The “No Fault” rule will also apply to attempted steals of 2nd base.  Runners are prohibited from advancement to 3rd on an errant throw to 2nd base.

All runners may advance on a hit ball at their own risk. Once the ball is under the control of an infielder and the forward progress of the lead base runner has been stopped, the umpire shall call “time out.”

layers may ask for a time out at any time, but the umpire
shall not call a timeout until the progress of the lead base runner has been halted. If the fielding team attempts to make a play on a runner before time out is called, then the umpire shall not call timeout until active pursuit of a base runner has stopped. (Example: Baserunners are advancing to second and third. The throw goes to the third baseman, but he is too late in trying to tag the sliding runner. Before time out is called, the third baseman tries to throw out the runner advancing to second. Timeout will not be called by the umpire because the defensive player kept the ball in play, rather than letting the umpire call time out.) Once time out is called by the umpire play is “dead” and no play can be made on any baserunner. The lead baserunner shall return to the base from which his forward progress has been stopped. All other baserunners shall proceed or return to the base to which they were nearest when time out was called, unless that base is occupied by the lead base runner.






All parents/guardians who have children participating within the SBP must abide by a Code of Conduct, which includes but is not limited to the provisions that follow. Any violation of these rules or any SBP rules will result in immediate expulsion from SBP. In addition, you will forfeit your membership for the current season and any other subsequent year.



  1. Player information: I/We agree to furnish proof of Birth of applicant to SBP. (i.e.: Birth Certificate, Passport or Military ID.)
  2. I/We agree to give proof of residence to SBP. (i.e.: Drivers license with the player’s address.)
  3. I/We agree to not smoke on the practice or playing field, or in the presence of a gathering of the team. (i.e.: After a game/practice or team meetings.)
  4. I/We agree to abstain from the possession and drinking of alcoholic beverages and the possession or use of any illegal substance at any SBP function. (i.e.: At games/practice, after a game/practice, team meetings or gatherings.)
  5. I/We agree not to deliberately incite and/or participate in “unsportsmanlike” conduct at any SBP function. (i.e.: Using cheers or chants that would insult or taunt the opposing team or its, fans yelling loudly at your own children and their team’s players or anyone else. This also includes treating the opposing team’s fans with respect.
  6. I/We agree to never protest a game official, judge or Commissioners decision in an aggressive demonstrative manner.
  7. I/We agree not to use abusive or profane language or actions at any time at any SBP function.
  8. I/We agree not to criticize, belittle, antagonize, berate or otherwise incite the opposing team, its players, coaches, fans, officials/judges or Commissioners by word of mouth or by gesture, These rules also apply with your own team.
  9. I/We agree to accept all decisions of the game officials, as being fair and called to the best of their ability.
  10. I/We agree to treat all children and adults at any SBP function with respect. This includes no gossip, or talking bad of league personnel, managers and coaches, players, parents or fans. Any undermining of the league, its personnel or teams will not be tolerated and you will be removed.
  11. I/We agree to follow the proper Chain of Command when filing a complaint or voicing my opinion regarding any possible rule infraction within SBP.


The Chain of Command will be as follows:
You may only advance to the next level in the chain of command providing your situation has not been handled within 72 hours from your initial filing and you need further assistance.

A. The Manager of your team

If your complaint is regarding the Manager (this can not be about playing time or positions; that is up to the Manager) you may go in this order directly to the:

B. Team or Club Representative

C. South Bay PONY Fall Commissioner or President, only in the matters of player abuse or safety.

D. If you go directly to Pony Baseball without permission you will be removed from this league without the right to appeal.


  1. I/We agree to not interfere with practices or games in any way. This includes but is not limited to: you will not go on the field of play for any reason without the Manager’s approval (this includes for injuries.) You can not yell instructions to players that contradict the Coach’s instructions. You can not pull players off the field to talk to them, get them food or for any other reason.
  2. I/We agree to take responsibility for any actions that violate this Code of Conduct by a guest or relative of attending parents/guardians.
  3. I/We agree to not bring in air horns, cowbells, drums or any other noise making device into any field with SBP games.
  4. Any act of disrespect will result in removal from the league. Any negative act from a parent or fan directed towards game officials or SBP officials, creating a disturbance either parent or fan directed towards game officials or SBP officials, creating a disturbance either in the stands or on the playing field will result in an ejection. If you are ejected from the game, practice or event, by a SBP official or game official, the penalty will be handed down to that individual immediately by the league official, and the assessed penalty will not require a hearing to be assessed.
  5. I/We agree if I/We have been ejected or removed from any SBP function. I/We will refrain from attending any practices/games/competitions for the period of my punishment. However, any penalty assessed to any individual may be appealed in writing to the Board within 72 hours from the time the penalty was assessed. The Board’s decisions will be final.
  6. Any player this is disruptive, violent in any way, endangers others, plays dirty, uses foul language, disrespects any players, coaches or fans will be dismissed from the league. All our players will play the right way.



South Bay PONY Baseball
P.O. Box 216 
Manhattan Beach, California 90266

Email: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023 South Bay Pony Baseball  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In