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Pinto American Division Rules

Rules By Division - Pinto American 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 machine distance shall be 38 feet.

  3. Distance between home plate and center of second base shall be 84 feet 10 inches

  4. The pitcher’s mound will be occupied by a Jugs MVP pitching machine provided by South Bay PONY. 


  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, which means that 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.

  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 or deliberate “soft-swings” are not permitted.

  3. No Infield Fly Rule.

  4. Defensive positions are free-flowing, however:

    • Each player MUST play at least 2 defensive innings.  
    • A player MAY NOT sit out 2 consecutive defensive innings.  
    • Players is limited to no more than 2 innings at the same position per game, including no more than 2 innings on the bench.
    • Players should never be placed at a position where they are at risk of injury or unable to adequately protect themselves. 
  5. Players MUST have an opportunity to play infield positions every game, with rare exceptions allowed only for player safety. 

    • Best Practice is to rotate infield to outfield, and outfield to infield every inning.
    • Infield positions are P, C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS
  6. When an infielder has possession of the ball in the infield, and is not attempting to make a play (as determined by the umpire), the play shall be considered dead and the runners must return to the occupied base (as determined by the umpire).

    • The infield is defined as inside the foul lines and within 10 feet of the baseline from 1B to 2B & 2B to 3B.

    • If an attempt to catch a stranded runner at any base is overthrown, that runner may advance, including Home.

    • EXCEPTION:  A back-pick to third base when the ball is thrown by the catcher.  See “No Fault Throw Rule-Catcher”

  7. There is no stealing allowed in Pinto American.

  8. “No Fault Throw Rule”   Runners will not be allowed to advance once the ball is within the control of an infielder in the infield, fair or foul territory applies. This rule will be called at the discretion of the manager/umpire and is not contestable. However, stranded runners are at the risk of being tagged or thrown out if they continue to advance after an infielder has the ball, even though they will be sent back to the base they left by the manager/umpire. NOTE FOR CLARITY:  Runners may attempt to advance only 1 base on an overthrow to a base, whether the ball is in control of an infielder or not. Rules may be modified to allow advancement upon approval from the division Commissioner and League President. Any modifications should be based on a review of the advancement of the players during Pre-Season Games.

Pitching Rules

Pitching machine distance shall be 38 feet measured from the back of the plate to the front legs of the machine. The player fielding the pitching position may not stand closer than 38 feet from home plate. The pitcher will take position, ALWAYS 5 feet TO THE REAR OF THE PITCHING MACHINE and on the left or right side.

If a batted ball strikes the pitching machine and remains in fair territory, the ball is in play. If a batted ball strikes the pitching machine and goes into foul territory, the ball is dead, the batter is awarded first base and all runners advance one base.

The speed setting on the pitching machine should be set the same for each game per season as determined by the division VP.

  • Pitching machine speed is initially set at 35 mph for the first 3 weeks of the season.  Pitching machine speed shall be increased 1 mph each week starting in Week 4, until reaching 38mph.  (Wk4=36mph, Wk5=37mph, Wk6+=38mph)  Pitching machine speed for Playoffs will be set at 38mph.

  • Pitchers position will be based 5 feet behind machine and placed either to the right or left of the machine to have full unobstructed view of batter.

  • 5 pitches or 3 strikes (whichever comes first) = strike out.  Foul ball on last pitch will result in additional pitches until batter either puts the ball into play or strikes out.  There are no called strikes.  If a player takes a pitch, it is considered a ball. 

  • Caught foul tip on 3rd strike by catcher is an out.

  • No dropped third strike.

  • Home team will provide 2-3 newer “game” balls.

  • Players of any age are NOT permitted to operate the pitching machine in any manner.

Length Of Games

  1. No new inning will be started after the 1-hour 30 minute time limit has expired.  The game will end (drop dead) at the 1-hour 45 minute 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.  Any inning started after 1-hour 25 minutes should be considered the final inning.

    • An uncapped inning allows all batters to bat once.  If teams have different numbers of players, the team with fewer players is allowed the same number of at bats as the team with more players (example: team of 10 vs team of 12, the team of 10 has a max of 12 at bats the final inning).

  2. Ten run rule:  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


  • We do not use substitute runners for pitchers or catchers.

  • Teams must have 8 players to play.

    • Teams may pull players up from our Shetland National division to fill in their rosters.  Teams are only allowed to pull players up from Shetland National during the regular season.  If teams are short players and unable to play a playoff game, they may pull players up from Shetland National, but officially the game is considered a forfeit.

    • Teams may not use players from other Pinto American division teams to fill in their rosters.  If teams use players from another Pinto American team, officially the game is considered a forfeit.

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

  • Players pulled up from lower divisions should be placed at the bottom of the batting lineup.  They should not be placed at key positions (1st base), but they should be afforded some opportunities to play the infield.  The priority is the players permanently on the team, and all safety issues should be considered, but call ups should not be stuck in the outfield all game.  

    • 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.

  • In the Playoffs, during Pool Play, a game that ends in a tie is considered a tie.  During elimination games, a game that ends in a tie will continue until one team wins.

  • For Playoff Pool Play, the tie breakers are 1. Fewest Runs Allowed, 2. Run Differential (Max 10 RD per game), 3. Coin Flip.

  • Per division Commissioner, teams may play with 10 players, with the extra player only permitted to play in the outfield.  Additional players, beyond 10, will sit on the bench.  Please balance the bench time throughout the team for the season.  Every child deserves equal playing time.

  • Should a player have to leave early for any reason, that player’s position in the batting line-up will incur an automatic out for the first time that batting spot is reached.  No out is recorded thereafter.

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

  • Each team is responsible for two new baseballs for each game.

  • 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).

  • Standings: The Pinto American division is an instructional league in nature, but standings and scores will be kept.

  • 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

  • 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
P.O. Box 216 
Manhattan Beach, California 90266

Email: [email protected]

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