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Shetland National Division Rules

Rules By Division - Shetland 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 2018 season at South Bay PONY.  Play shall be governed first by:

  1.  Official Baseball Rules: “The Sporting News” edition;

  2.  With only those exceptions which are necessary in a youth program as listed in the Official 2018 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.


The Shetland National league will be divided into two (2) rounds as follows:

  1. Round 1 (4 games): The Blue Flame Pitching Machine and coach pitch will be used. There will be 5 pitches from the pitching machine, followed by a maximum 3 coach pitches.   If after 5 machine pitches and 3 coach pitches the batter has not hit the ball, the batter will be out.  If the last coach pitch is fouled off, additional pitches are allowed until a swinging strike or the ball is hit in play.  There are no walks.  Players may not use a tee to hit.  

  2. Round 2 (6 games): Only the Blue Flame machine will be used for the entire game. No coach pitch. There is a maximum of 5 pitches from the pitching machine. If the 5th pitch is fouled off, additional pitches are allowed until a swinging strike or the ball is hit in play. If the ball is not in play after 5 pitches the batter is out.

Please remember to Trust the Process.  Strike outs are not a bad thing.  Everyone strikes out.  The kids will learn to hit the ball more quickly than you realize.  Reward and celebrate their effort, and the results will come.

Playing Fields

  1. Distance between bases shall be 50 feet.

    • A 2-foot vertical line should be drawn halfway between each base to assist in determining where to place the runner when a batted ball is dead. If past the line prior to an infielder having control of the ball, said player is entitled to the next base (where he/she was going).

  2. Pitching Machine Distance shall be 38 feet.


  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.  Tee Ball bats are permitted.

  3.  Athletic protective cups are required for all male players, whether you are playing catcher or not.

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

Playing Rules

  1. Minimum Play: Every player will play the entire game unless absent or injured.

  2. Batting Order: Batting shall be continuous and made from the roster of all players present at the game. Coaches are encouraged to change the batting order for each game, so each child can experience batting in different parts of the lineup.

  3. Playing Positions: There shall be no set defensive positions (i.e., one or a number of select players continually playing the same position). No player shall play the same defensive position for more than two innings in a game.  Players shall not play in the outfield in consecutive innings.  No player shall play catcher more than one inning per game.

Pitching Rules

  1. No player pitching in Shetland National.

  2. Pitching Machine:  Shetland National uses the Blue Flame Pitching Machine. The pitching machine shall be located approximately 38 feet from home plate.  The Throwing Arm Micro Adjustment Block (where ball sits) should be set to 4, the Power Spring Bracket (where you step) should be set to 2, and the Release Lever Nylon Support Block (release lever) should be set to 3.  These settings should never be changed.  See the Blue Flame Instruction manual provided by the league for more detailed information.

  3. The player in the pitcher defensive role will take position TO THE REAR OF THE PITCHING MACHINE, ON THE LEFT OR RIGHT SIDE.  It is best for the player to be a few feet away from the machine, so they have room to field the ball and make a throw.  Do not have the player stand directly behind the machine.  Do not have the player stand in front of the machine.  Do not have the player stand close to the machine on either side.  

  4. 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.

  5. Players are NOT ALLOWED to operate the pitching machine in any manner.

Length Of Games

  1. A regulation game shall be five (5) innings in duration.

  2. Innings shall last no longer than 3 outs or 5 runs, whichever occurs first (runs are tracked for limiting the inning only). 

  3. Time Limit: A maximum time of 1 hour and 30 minutes “drop dead” will apply from the official start of the game as determined by the managers/umpire. No new innings shall start after 1 hour and 15 minutes from the start of the game.  Please keep in mind that game day schedules are tight, so it is important that you start and stop games on time.

  4. In the interest of sportsmanship and in cognizance of the objective of this rule, (which is to provide a program whose time demands are not unreasonable for players, coaches, and parents), all managers are expected and required to refrain from the use of stalling or speed-up tactics to alter the result. Flagrant abuse of this edict shall be reviewed by the League Board or designated Committee responsible for Sportsmanship. (Any coach or manager intentionally delaying the progress of the game will be forced to forfeit the game and will face a one game suspension.)

SBP Unique Rules

  1. No scores or standings are kept for Shetland National.

  2. No Fault Throw Rule:  Runners may not advance on an overthrow to a specific base.  This does not include a wild throw from the outfield to the general infield.

  3. The play is “dead” and runners will not be allowed to advance once the ball is within the control of an infielder, in the infield, in fair or foul territory, and the infielder with the ball is not attempting any baseball play. This rule will be called at the discretion of the managers and is not contestable. Infielders may lift their hands above their shoulders to indicate that the ball is dead.  Once the ball is dead, runners that have reached more than half way between a base are awarded the next base and runners who have not made it half way to the next base are returned to the previous base.

  4. There will be no leading off or stealing of any bases.  Baserunners must stay on the base until the ball is in play.

  5. No bunting or intentional soft swinging allowed.

  6. Coaches on Fielding Team: Up to 2 defensive coaches are permitted to be on the field during the game, if necessary, to give directions to their team. No coaching is encouraged behind the home plate area for the defensive team. This area extends from dugout to dugout.

  7. Coaches on Hitting Team: The team at bat shall have one coach operate the pitching machine and once coach behind home plate to gather balls. Coaches at first base and third base are encouraged.  A Coach or Team Parent in the dugout is encouraged.

  8. The Coach operating the Pitching Machine serves as the Umpire.

  9.  There is no In-Field Fly Rule

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

  11. Dugouts:  Only Players and Coaches are allowed in the dugout during the game.  There shall always be an adult in the dugout when the team is at bat.  A Team Parent can serve as an Assistant Coach to help manage the dugout.  Siblings and friends are strictly forbidden from the dugout.

  12. All Bats must meet the USA Baseball standards and have the USA Bat stamp.  Tee Ball bats are permitted.  All bats shall be kept outside of the dugout and bats shall only be swung in designated areas (ie, the batter’s box and designated “on deck” circle).

  13. A Level 5 Safety Ball will be used for Shetland National games.  The Home Team should provide 5 game balls.  It is recommended that all game balls are the same brand and same condition, to help with consistency from the pitching machine.
  14. 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

  15. 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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