Tee-ball, like any sport, has a number of rules to which the game is played by. The rules are not designed to be restrictive, they are designed to ensure;
FUN • FAIR PLAY • FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS • FAMILY INVOLVEMENT
The following is a sub-set of the main rule book and consists of the rules more commonly queried. Readers should ensure they consult the full rule book for more detail, that rule book is available from the TBAWA website.
1.2 Making Decisions
- When determining close decisions the rule is the ball must BEAT the runner to the base.
- Umpire's judgement decisions are final. However, an inquiry may be made on decisions based on rule interpretations, but ONLY by the team coach and directed to the plate umpire in a respectful manner. The plate umpire will then consult with the base umpire if it was his/her call.
- When more than one umpire is in attendance, umpires may consult with, but not overrule, each other. The initial question on a rule interpretation must be directed to the plate umpire.
- Umpires must discourage exploitation of gaps in the rules.
2.2 Parent Involvement
The game is for all to enjoy and have fun in participating. Parents should become involved by coaching, scoring, umpiring, managing or being an equipment officer for a team or club. By being involved we ensure the children play team sport in a healthy family participating environment.
2.3 Player Safety
- Correct uniforms must be worn during all games, including shirts tucked in and caps properly aligned.
- Shoes (enclosed type) must be worn at all times by anyone involved in a game. Screw-in studs, hard plastic and metal cleats are NOT permitted on the diamond.
- In games where baseballs are used, all batters, base runners, and catcher MUST wear helmets.
- Pitchers in all games must wear helmets with facemasks.
- Exposed jewellery such as wrist watches, bracelets, earrings and neck chains etc must not be worn during a game. The only jewellery permitted will be Medi Alert bracelets or Medi Alert necklaces and these must be taped to the body. A DOCTORS CERTIFICATE must support any request for exemptions.
- If glasses, (including prescription), are worn it is recommended they be approved sports glasses. (ASTM F803-2003).
- Chest plates are compulsory for 13’s non-gender pitchers and are recommended for all other age groups.
- When their team is batting, coaches are only allowed in the first and third base coach's boxes or team bench area. Coaches are permitted to assist and instruct a batter but must return to either the bench or Coach's Box before "Play Ball" is called. Coaches at first & third base must remain inside the marked lines of the coaches’ box during play. Should the coach move outside the lines of the box and interfere with play the leading runner shall be given out.
- When their team is fielding, all coaches must remain within the bench area. However, for nines or lower age teams, one coach may take a position anywhere behind the line of the outfielders to direct play. If a live ball touches any such coach, or he/she physically assists the fielder, the batter shall be awarded a home run.
- A coach who, whilst in the coach’s box, intentionally handles a live batted/thrown ball, the umpire will call ‘Time’, dead ball. The outcome of that play to be decided in consultation by both the plate and field umpire.
5.2 Contact By Coach
Batting coaches may not physically assist runners when in first or third coach’s boxes. Should the umpire consider any touching to be of assistance the runner shall be called out. Congratulatory physical contact is permitted; however, coaches feet must remain inside the lines of the coaches box.
6.1 Injury During Play
If any player is injured during a play, an umpire will immediately call "Time" to halt the game. After attending to the injured player, the plate umpire will then, in consultation with the field umpire, use discretion to decide the outcome of that play.
6.4 Injury Reports
- Umpires will instruct scorers to record in the scorebook next to the appropriate players name any injury they feel could/may require some ongoing attention.
- Scorers should have the umpire fill out an incident report/s after the game.
8. Violations and Penalties
Players, Coaches, Managers and Spectators, shall not make disparaging or offensive or insulting remarks to or about other players, officials or spectators. Umpires will not tolerate any conduct or allow verbal interference such that in the umpire’s opinion the sport is brought into disrepute.
9.1 Game Duration
- or a first offence, a coach, manager, spectator or player is liable at the umpires discretion to be removed from the game and the vicinity of the playing field if felt necessary. The umpire has the discretion to give a warning but on the second occasion for the same offender, they must be removed.
- Failure to leave the vicinity warrants forfeiture of the game -in such case, the score shall be nine/nil in favour of the opposing team.
- On all warnings, the umpire shall instruct the scorers to enter such, on the scorecard, with the offending members name, team and type of offence.
A regulation game shall be of nine innings or one (1) hour, whichever occurs first.
- No innings shall commence within five minutes of the scheduled finishing time. (An innings is defined as commencing at the moment the bottom of the previous innings is completed.)
- Once an innings has commenced, it must be played to completion, that is, both sides must bat.
- Exceptions to Rule 9.1 may occur during Carnivals were time does not allow for full games
9.3 Ninth Batter Indication
- At no time in the duration of the game shall anyone, that is, scorer, umpire, coach, manager, player or spectator make reference, by any verbal instruction or physical indication, to notify ninth batter is approaching.
- If a member of the batting team indicates ninth batter then the batter is out and the side is away.
- If the indication is made by the fielding team then the batter shall be credited with a home run. Such batter must still touch all bases legally.
10. Commencement of Play
When the batter is settled in the batting box, the umpire will call "Batter Up" then "Play Ball" for each batter and after every strike, foul, dead ball or when "Time" has been called.
- The umpire shall not call: "Play Ball" until all runners are in contact with their bases.
- All fielders are reasonably settled.
13.1 Foul Balls
A foul ball is a batted ball which:
- Settles on foul territory between home and first base and home and third base, without having touched a fielder in fair territory.
- Rolls or bounds past first or third base while on or over foul territory.
- First lands in foul territory beyond first or third base.
- Touches a fielder or umpire standing in foul territory.
- A ball that rolls or bounds over, or touches first or third base is a fair ball.
- At all times, it is the position of the ball (rather than the fielder) that determines a fair or foul ball.
- A batted ball should not be declared a foul until it touches the ground.
The batter is out after three strikes. A strike is called against the batter:
- If the batter hits a foul ball.
- If a full swing fails to dislodge the ball.
- If, in the umpire's opinion, the batter hits more tee than ball when striking at the ball.
- If, in the umpire's opinion, the batter does not take a normal full forceful swing when striking at the ball.
- Back foot movement. Refer 16.4
- Batting out of the box. Refer 16.6
14. Fair balls
A fair ball is a batted ball that:
- Settles within the diamond.
- Bounds to the outfield.
- Touches or bounds over first, second or third base.
- First falls on fair territory in the outfield.
- While over fair territory touches a player or umpire.
Note: All lines are considered as in.
15. Dead Balls
Umpires must call “Time” and “Dead Ball” to stop play when:
- A thrown ball crosses the Dead Ball line (see 17.3).
- A ball enters the batter warm up circle (if it is occupied).
- In their opinion a player appears hurt and in need of attention.
- In their opinion any person on the diamond could foresee ably be entering into danger.
- In their opinion any person on the diamond could foresee ably be about to cause danger. In cases (b) to (e) the umpires will after calling time & dead ball rectify the situation and then in consultation with one another determine the outcome of that play.
16.1 Batting Line-up
- Though only nine (9) players may field at any one time, up to twelve (12) players may be listed in the batting line-up, with only nine (9) to bat in any one innings. The next innings starts with the next listed batter.
- If less than three batters are out and nine (9) players have completed their turn at bat, the umpire shall declare “Side Away”.
- A side with less than seven players shall forfeit the game 9-0. If the opposing team has more players, they may lend one or two players to the opposition and such players shall be deemed to be registered players for that team for the duration of the game.
- If only seven (7) or eight (8) players are available and no ‘loan’ players come forward, the game shall proceed normally except, when batters 8 and/or 9 are due to bat, they are “automatic outs". Scorers must notify umpire and coaches of “automatic outs”.
16.2 Batting Order
- a player's position in the batting order is fixed when they have completed their turn at bat.
- Once all listed players have batted, no names can be added to the line-up, except in the case of substitution (21.2)
16.3 Batting Out of Order
- When a batter is found batting out of turn, the umpire shall call time, nullify all play, including “outs” (unless it is the third out) which took place whilst the improper batter was at bat, by returning all runners to the bases where they were before the ball was hit by the improper batter. The proper batter then takes their turn at bat.
- The rule shall apply from the call of "Play Ball" for the improper batter to bat, to the call of "Play Ball" for the next batter to bat.
- The improper batter becomes a legalised batter when "Play Ball" has been called for the next batter to bat. The next batter is then the batter named after the legalised improper batter.
16.4 Back Foot Movement
When the umpire calls: "Batter Up", the batter shall take a set stance in the batting box. From the call: "Play Ball", the batter is not permitted to reposition the back foot such that, in the umpire's opinion, the ball will be hit in an appreciably different direction. (Front foot movement is permitted.) The penalty for each back foot movement is "Foul Ball" and one strike is recorded on the batter.
NOTE: Pivoting or dragging the back foot after contact is permitted.
16.6 Batting Out of the Box
When hitting the ball, the batter shall incur a strike if, at the time of contact either foot is completely outside the batting box. The ball is dead and runners may not advance. Batting out of the box only occurs if contact is made with the ball.
16.8 Thrown Bat
The batter shall be given out for disposing of the bat in a dangerous manner. (It is considered dangerous when the bat is disposed of in a way that would allow it to make contact with another person). The ball is dead and runners cannot advance.
Runners will be awarded the next base from where they were when any thrown ball crosses the Dead Ball Line. A base is not considered crossed till it has been touched.
17.4 Leaving Base Early
No runner may leave their base before the ball is hit. When a runner leaves the base before the ball is hit, the umpire shall call: "Dead Ball", and return all runners to their bases and warn the runner who left the base early. If the same runner offends again in the same innings, the runner shall be called: "Out".(the fielding team shall not be disadvantaged by this rule)
17.5 Running to First Base
Batters, running to first base, must run the second half outside the diamond. If not and a play is made between home and first base, the batter/ runner will be called out.
17.6 Running through First Base
Batter-runners are permitted to run or slide through first base provided they return immediately to the base. Runners are out if they display any intent to move towards second and are tagged while off base.
17.7 Touching Bases in Order
When running bases, a runner must touch each base in order. If a runner misses a base, the fielder may appeal by holding the ball whilst in contact with the missed base. The appeal will be allowed only if the umpire has seen the runner missing the base and they are identified on the first appeal. Runners are not entitled to return to an occupied base. When retouching bases, runners must do so in reverse order.
17.8 Tagging a Runner
Whilst the ball is live any runner may be put out by being tagged whilst off base, by a fielder. The tag consists of touching the runner with the ball or the hand or glove containing the ball. After the tag is made, the fielder must still have control of the ball.
17.9 Force Play
A force play is one in which a runner legally loses the right to occupy a base by reason of the batter becoming a runner.
17.10 Leaving Base Early
Runners are out if they leave the base before a batted ball is caught and they fail to re-touch that base before they or that base are tagged by a fielder with the ball.
17.11 Live Ball after Catch
On any catch, whether a fair hit or a foul hit, whether in fair or foul territory, the ball is live and runners may advance at their own risk.
17.12 Passing Runner in Front
A runner is out if, and when, they pass the runner/s in front of them before such runner/s are given out.
17.13 Runs on Third Out
No runs can be scored on a play where the third out is made
- On the batter-runner before they have touched first base, or
- On a force play.
When the third out made is not as in (a) or (b) any runs scored before the third out is made will count.
17.14 Suicide Running
Umpires should be aware of any attempt by runners to force errors by suicide running or barging. Any advantage gained by this practice shall be nullified and the runner returned to the base before this occurred. Any outs made shall stand. The umpire should at least warn any player they suspect might have committed this offence. In the more severe of cases where injury could have occurd the umpire has the right to eject or give the player out.
18.1 Interference on Batted Ball
If a runner interferes with a fielder whilst in the act of fielding a batted ball, the runner is out, the ball is dead, and no players may advance unless forced.
18.2 Interference on Thrown Ball
If a runner intentionally interferes with a fielder whilst in the act of fielding a thrown ball, the runner is out, the ball is dead and no players may advance unless forced.
19.1 Number of Fielders
Nine (9) fielders occupy the field.
19.2 Sitting out Consecutive Innings
No listed player will sit out two consecutive fielding innings unless at their request to the umpire. Should the umpire notice this infringement he/she shall give one warning to the coach. On the second occasion, the umpire shall remove the coach from the game.
19.3 Fielding Positions
When the batter is swinging at the ball:
- Fielders must field in orthodox fielding areas, approximately as shown below, while maintaining relative separation.
- Fielders should be reasonably set in their positions. Eg: out fielders should not be running.
- The pitcher must be in contact with the pitching plate, and must be the only infielder inside the diamond.
- The catcher must have their whole body to the side opposite the batter, outside, and behind, the back line of the batting box. Only an arm may extend forward of the back line but not into the batting box.
- No fielder, except the catcher, may be in foul territory.
- From the call of Play Ball until the batter swings, only limited movement is permitted within their orthodox fielding positions for all fielders except pitcher and catcher.
- When, in the umpire's opinion, the offending fielder gains an advantage from a violation of (b), (c), (d), (e) or (f) the umpire shall call: "Dead Ball" and return all runners to their bases. On all occasions, the umpire shall warn the offending player.
Obstruction is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner. If a fielder obstructs a base runner, the umpire shall invoke such penalty that will nullify the obstruction. NOTE: Base runners must advance at least to the next base.