Rules by Division - Bronco 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 the majority of the league;

  2.  The best interest of an individual (when it does not conflict with #1);

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

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 2010 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 league will be divided into two (2) rounds plus practice games as follows:

  1. Practice Games: In practice games, machine pitch or coach pitch can be used. If using machine pitches and coach pitch there should only be 5 pitches, followed by 3 coach pitches maximum. Both teams should use the same format, meaning 1 team should not use coach pitch only with the other using machine pitch. There will be no walks. If after five (5) pitches, the coach will pitch 3 pitches maximum and if the batter has not hit the ball he will be out. If the fifth pitch is fouled off additional pitches are allowed until swinging strike or the ball is hit in play. No scores or standings are kept. No inning shall last longer than three (3) outs, OR after scoring 5 runs (runs are tracked for limiting the inning only) which ever occurs first. There will be no leading off or stealing of any bases. No bunting allowed in Shetland. A safety (level 5) ball will be used.

  2. Round 1: A pitching machine will be used for the entire game..Same rules will apply regarding number of pitches (5 plus fouls). No coach pitch. No inning shall last longer than three (3) outs or five (5) runs (runs are tracked for limiting the inning only) which ever occurs first. There will be no leading off or stealing of any bases. No scores or standings are kept. A safety (level 5) ball will be used during this round.

    • There will be no walks in Shetland. The coaches will umpire the games in Round 1.

  3. Round 2: A pitching machine will be used for the entire game. Same rules as Round 1. No inning shall last longer than three (3) outs or five (5) runs (runs are tracked for limiting the inning only) which ever occurs first. There will be no leading off or stealing of any bases. No scores or standings are kept. A safety (level 5) ball will be used. Umpires will officiate the game and scores will be kept.

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 distance shall be 38 feet. ​

    • The last 4 games the pitching distance should be moved closer to 35 feet (Round 2).

shetland baseball field dimensions


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

  2. Athletic protective cups are required for all male players.

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

  4. No bat with the t-ball marking is allowed in Shetland. This is a safety issue and no exceptions will be made.

Playing Rules

  1. Minimum Play: Every player must play at least two (2) innings per complete game (5 innings or 4 1/2 if home team is ahead) unless he is absent or injured. Three (3) defensive outs constitute a complete inning. There shall be free substitution each defensive inning and no player shall sit out more than three (3) consecutive defensive outs.

  2. Batting Order: The batting shall be continuous and made from the roster of all players present at the game. No bunting allowed in Shetland division.

  3. Playing Positions: In all rounds 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. For all games, each player shall play a minimum two innings in the infield in each game (only 1 allowed as catcher). May play up to 5 players in the outfield to prevent one player sitting out alone.

Pitching Rules

  1. No player pitching in Shetland.

  2. Pitching Machine: The pitching machine shall be located approximately 38 feet from home plate (last 4 games the pitching distance should be moved closer to 35 feet). The power setting on the pitching machine should be at level 2 only. The pitcher will take position, ALWAYS TO THE REAR OF THE PITCHING MACHINE and on the left or right side.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. 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.

  3. If the inning cannot be completed due to drop dead time, darkness or safety concerns, the game score will revert to that of the last completed inning (end of season tournament only). The managers/umpire makes the decision on halting a game due to darkness.

  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 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 managers 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 or Umpire.

    • NOTE FOR CLARITY – runners may attempt to advance only 1 base on an overthrow to 1st base, whether the ball is in control of an infielder or not.

  2. Coaches on Field: Two (2) adult defensive coaches are permitted and encouraged to be on the field during the game to give directions to their team. No coaching is encouraged behind the home plate area. This area extends from dugout to dugout.

  3. No ties for Shetland National, since score is only kept during Round 2 season tournament.

  4. There is no in-field fly rule.

  5. Standings: The Shetland league is an instructional league. No scores or standings are kept. Runs should be tracked each inning just to determine when the 5 run rule occurs. All Shetland players will receive awards at the end of the season.

  6. Minimum Player Rule: Round 2 only - A team with eight (8) players may field that team for an official game. No automatic outs apply to Shetland. A team with fewer than eight players are encouraged to play, however the game will result in a forfeit. Should a Player have to leave the game for any reason, the Team’s line-up shall “close ranks” for the duration of that game, and shall not be penalized with an automatic out.

  7. 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).

  8. 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

  9. 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 is a proud member of the PONY Baseball and Softball organization.