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Pinto National Division Rules

Rules By Division - Pinto National Division

Policy / Purpose Statement

The Board of Directors of South Bay PONY Baseball has adopted the following policies and procedures for South Bay PONY Baseball Specific Playing Rules.

The South Bay PONY Board of Directors is committed to ensure the best possible baseball experience for the members of our league.  League policies and procedures have been established and agreed upon by a majority decision (vote) by the Board of Directors in accordance with the following:

  1.  The best interest of safety for the league;

  2.  The best interest of the majority of the league;

  3.  The best interest of an individual (when it does not conflict with #2);

  4.  The progressive direction and vision for the future of the league (when it does not conflict with #1, #2, or #3)

The following information is designed to define and clarify the playing and administrative rules that will be followed during the 2021 season at South Bay PONY.  Play shall be governed first by:

  1.  Official Rules of Major League Baseball, completely revised, as released through the office of the commissioner of baseball;

  2.  With only those exceptions which are necessary in a youth program as listed in the Official 2020 PONY Baseball Rules and Regulations book;

  3.  In all instances unless otherwise noted here in the South Bay PONY Specific Playing Rules.

This addendum shall take precedence over any previous version.

These policies / procedures may only be amended by a majority vote of the South Bay PONY Board of Directors prior to the start of the regular season.

Playing Fields

  1. Distance between bases shall be 60 feet.

  2. Pitching distance shall be 40 feet. (see below for more detail)

  3. The pitcher’s mound provided by South Bay Pony shall be used for all games.


  1. Rubber soled or rubber cleated shoes are permitted.  Metal cleats are prohibited.

  2. All bats must have the USABat licensing stamp on it to be used in PONY baseball.  Regular baseball bats must be used starting in the Pinto divisions and above.  Tee Ball bats are prohibited.  More details, including a list of some disqualified bats, are available on the detailed rules for each division and at

  3. Athletic protective cups are required for all male players, playing any position.

  4. No jewelry shall be worn by any player, except for medical identification.

Playing Rules

  1. The entire roster of players present for the game shall bat in rotation.  Any player arriving late shall be included at the bottom of the batting order.

  2. Bunting is not permitted.

  3. Each player shall play at least every other defensive inning.  No player may sit out more than two defensive innings per game.  Exceptions:  Player leaves game due to injury, illness, ejection, or planned absence.

  4. Coaches are strongly encouraged to give every player opportunities to play the infield in every game during the regular season.  There should be some consideration for safety, but overly competitive Coaches often use "safety" as the excuse to keep their strong players in the infield and their weaker players in the outfield.  If there is a true safety concern, because a child is unable to pay attention and protect themself in the infield, the Coach should have a conversation with that family to discuss the concerns.  Otherwise, Coaches should give players opportunities to play in the infield every game.  (Playing catcher does not count as an infield inning.)

  5. All coaches should consider the first three (3) weeks to be “exhibition” so as to get all of the teams and players understanding the new rules and pitching dynamic of Pinto National.  Specifically, for the first three (3) weeks will play using these rule modifications:

    • Coaches will control stealing; limit to training for those players that need help on the concept and enable all players on opposing team to work in at catcher.

    • Players will advance only one base on an overthrow. This will apply plays in the field (see “stealing”).  Player attempting to advance the one base does so at his or her own peril (i.e. - the defensive team can throw them out).  If a second overthrow occurs the ball is dead and runners remain at their base.

    • At the point that a player has possession of the ball within reasonable proximity (5-10 feet-umpire’s judgement) to the pitcher’s mound, the ball shall be considered dead and the runners must return to the occupied base as determined by the umpire. For the first three weeks, as long as outfielders get it into the infield with the intent to get it to the pitcher or playing occupying pitcher mound area, the opposing team will not send runners beyond the base they occupy.

    • After ball four is thrown by a pitcher, in the first three weeks, the hitting team's coach will come out for a coach pitch; the batter will get three pitches to put the ball in play (if third pitch is foul then player gets a fourth, if fouled again a 5th an so on).  If the ball is not put in play after three pitches the batter is out,  the focus is on reps and building skills

  6. At the point that a player has possession of the ball within reasonable proximity (5-10 feet-umpire’s judgement) to the pitcher’s mound, the ball shall be considered dead and the runners must return to the occupied base as determined by the umpire.

    • Until the ball is dead runners may advance at their own peril.

    • An appeal can be made following the play that is to be appealed, at any time before the pitcher makes a pitching motion.  Once the pitching motion has started, the previous play stands as ruled by the umpire.

    • If an attempt to catch a stranded runner at any base is overthrown, that runner may advance, including Home.  This applies to a live play, not a steal or back-pick.  On a back-pick or attempted steal the “No Fault Throw Rule-Catcher” applies.

  7. Runners may steal second and third base, but shall not leave the base they are occupying at the time of the pitch until the pitch has been hit or has crossed home plate. Once the pitcher has the stepped on the rubber with possession of the ball, runners
     who leave base before the pitcher has released the ball and the pitch is hit are out and the ball is in play.
     If the pitch is not hit, the runner must return to the base and the ball is dead, however if the runner is put out trying to
     steal, the out will supersede the dead ball.

    • “No Fault Throw Rule-Catcher” If the Catcher overthrows to second or third base in an attempt to catch a base runner stealing, the runner must stay at that base. This includes a Back-pick attempt to any base.

    • If a runner is occupying third base and is being held there by a player possessing the ball, he cannot attempt to advance as the ball is thrown to the pitcher.

    • If a runner occupying first base attempts to steal second base and the catcher throws to second base, a runner occupying third base cannot advance to home plate.

    • Home plate is CLOSED to stealing.

  8. There is no 10 Run Rule or Mercy Rule during the regular season.  We want players to get practice reps and develop their game.  will be in effect after the 3rd game (after exhibition).

  9. The infield fly rule is applicable at Pinto National. 

  10. The drop third strike rule is not applied in this division.  The batter is out on strike three regardless if the catcher catches the ball.

Pitching Rules

  1. Pitching distance shall be 40 feet.

    • The League recommends each pitcher pitch 1 inning per game during the regular season, but it's not a hard cap.

    • 1 game / calendar week - 50 pitches or 2 innings pitched, whatever comes first.  The pitcher can finish pitching to a batter if hit pitch limit reached during at bat. 

    • If playing more than 1 game in a week, teams must follow Pitch Smart guidelines.  If a player is on another team outside of South Bay PONY, please communicate with the family to ensure proper rest time according to Pitch Smart.

    • All players should be encouraged to try pitching, especially during exhibition portion of season (first 3 games).  

    • No dropped third strike.

    • Pitcher cannot re-enter a game once they are pulled out of the game.

  2. The pitcher can complete pitching to the batter, if pitch limitation is reached during the at-bat. 

  3. Any pitcher withdrawn from the mound shall not be permitted to pitch again in the same game.

  4. Three (3) hit batters rule: If a pitcher hits three batters in a game, regardless of the inning, that pitcher shall be removed and replaced with a new pitcher.

-  We use "League Age" to determine pitching rules
- The number of pitches thrown for rest calculation is determined by the first pitch to the last batter that a pitcher faces.  Example: If a pitcher has thrown 34 pitches, they then start pitching to their final batter, the first pitch to the final batter is pitch number 35, they throw 6 pitches to that batter.  While the pitcher obviously threw 40 total pitches, for rest calculation purposes, the pitcher threw "35".
- If a 7-8 year old player throws 1-20 pitches, they do not need to rest a day and are eligible to pitch the next day.
- If a 7-8 year old player throws 21-35 pitches, they must rest 1 day.  1 Day is defined as 1 Calendar Day.  Not 24 hours.  If they throw 35 pitches on Thursday, they cannot pitch on Friday, but they can pitch on Saturday.
- If a 7-8 year old player throws 36-50 pitches, they must rest 2 days.
- A 7-8 year old player MAY NOT throw more than 50 pitches in one day.  Although they may finish pitching to a batter whose at bat started with less than 50 pitches.

Length Of Games

  1. No new inning will be started after the 1-hour 45 minute time limit has expired.  The game will end (drop dead) at the 2-hour mark.  At that time, if an inning is incomplete, the incomplete inning will not count and any runs counted during that inning will be voided.  Final score will revert to the last completed inning.

    • Maximum of five runs per inning except in the sixth or final inning which will be open.

    • Umpire will inform both Managers of the final and open inning prior to the first pitch of that inning.

  2. 10-Run Rule (Playoffs only):  If the visiting team is leading by at least 10 runs at the end of four or more complete innings, the game shall be declared complete and the visiting team shall be declared the winner.  If the home team is leading by at least 10 runs after the visiting team has completed batting in the fourth inning or later, the game shall be declared complete and the home team shall be declared the winner.

SBP Unique Rules

  1. You can designate a substitute runner for a catcher or pitcher, if they are on base with two outs.  This rule should be primarily used in the playoffs.

  2. Teams must have 8 players to play.

    • Teams may pull players “up” from our “Pinto American” division to fill in their rosters to 9 players.  If a team has 8 players, they have the option to pull a player up or play with only 8.

    • Teams may NOT use players from other “Pinto National” division teams to fill in their rosters.

    • Only registered players from South Bay PONY will be permitted to fill in rosters.

  3. Teams unable to field an 8 person roster will forfeit that game.

    • The league encourages a scrimmage game be played for the benefit of those present.  Mix & match the teams as necessary to maximize fun and player development.

  4. Both teams are responsible for set-up and break-down of the fields before and after each game.

  5. Each team is responsible for one new baseball for each game.

  6. We are a ‘Hustle League’ and expect players to run on and off the field.

    • At the discretion of the umpire, a team that does not hurry can be assessed balls or strikes as a penalty for delay of game (Two minutes from the last out of the previous inning).

  7. How to deal with problems:

    • Parents sign a Code of Conduct form.  If their behavior is inappropriate, ask them politely to stop. If they still don’t cooperate, call the park enforcement officer and walk away.  Notify the league so the league can deal with the parent directly.

    • Any person(s) that interfere with you and/or your team during a game or practice (including unauthorized use of fields) should be dealt with in the same way.

    • Park Enforcement Officer – Brent Malatesta (310)345-1141

    • If P.E. Officer is unavailable, contact the Police Dept. Front Desk (310) 802-5140

  8. Any manager that is ejected from a game will receive an automatic 1 game suspension and review for any further disciplinary action.


South Bay PONY Baseball
Manhattan Beach, California 90266

Email: [email protected]

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