Rules and Regulations (Pony League)

The Vermilion County Pony League shall adhere to the 2017 National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Rules unless otherwise noted below in the Vermilion County Pony League Regulations.

Please respect all of the parks, facilities, and their rules. Clean up your dugout at the conclusion of your game. Coaches are responsible for their player’s actions on and off the field while at the host sites.  Any misconduct needs to be immediately reported to the host site president or officer of the day, and reported to the ALYB President, Brian Hensgen, bhensgen@alyb.org or 304-2761.

I. Team Composition

All players in the league must be fifteen (15) years old or younger as of midnight on May 1st.

American Legion teams are formed through a draft process once all player applications have been received. 

Teams formed outside of the ALYB draft process and using the American Legion as their home field must have rosters comprised of players from the same community.  Rosters must be reviewed and approved by the ALYB Board for any exception considerations.

NOTE: No players will be added to any Pony League team roster after June 1st.

IMPORTANT: Teams that make payments through their home parks are formed in a way deemed appropriate by the officers of those parks. The American Legion Board has no jurisdiction over the methods through which these teams are formed, playing time, etc.

II. ALYB and IHSA/IESA Eligibility

IHSA By-law 3.101 prohibits a student from participating on a non-school team or in non-school competition in the sport or any skill of a sport at the time the student is a member of a school team in that same sport. American Legion Youth Baseball will ensure that this By-Law is being adhered to at all times. (2016-17 Non-School Competition Participation Request).

III. Game Schedules

Regular Season

The regular season schedule for the Vermilion County Pony League is normally distributed to all teams the first part of May of each year. League Presidents have until April 28th to report any blackout dates for their park where teams are not able to play for reasons such as school concerts or other events where players may not be available. Once the regular season game schedule has been published, teams may only cancel and/or reschedule games due to inclement weather or other disaster-related events.

Game Days/Times

All teams will normally be scheduled to play 1-2 games per week, with regularly scheduled games typically occurring Monday-Thursday evenings.  Game times are 5:45 pm and 7:45 pm.  

Make-up Games

The President of the home team's park listed on the schedule is responsible to reschedule rain-out games. The home team has a seven (7) day grace period to reschedule and PLAY the rained out game. Once the make-up time and date is set, a team’s failure to play will result in forfeiture. Teams may use any day that is available and should make every effort to work with the opposing coach.

IMPORTANT: Teams may not cancel or reschedule their own games due to a lack of player participation or availability.  Please see the call-up rules for each age group.

IV. Field Preparation

The Home Team is responsible for striping the field and putting out the bases.

V. Footwear

Metal Spikes are allowed in Pony League (supersedes IESA Exceptions).

VI. Mandatory Playing Time

During the regular season only, every player on a Legion-based team's roster will participate in each game for a minimum of three (3) defensive outs and bat at least one (1) time in a seven inning game. PENALTY: The player(s) involved shall start the next scheduled game, play any previous requirement not completed and the requirement for the current game before being removed.

The manager shall for the:

A. First Offense – receive a written warning.

B. Second Offense – a suspension for the next scheduled game.

C. Third Offense – a suspension for the remainder of the season.


NOTE 1
: If the violation is determined to have been intentional, a more severe penalty may be assessed by the Board of Directors. However, forfeiture of a game may not be invoked.

NOTE 2: There is no exception to this rule unless the game is shortened for any reason (i.e. weather, darkness, or the 10-run rule), at which time the League may elect not to impose a penalty on the manager/coach.

VII. Fielding A Team/Borrowing of Players

A team may start a game with eight (8) players and can finish with seven (7). An out will be recorded for the open spots in the lineup. If a player leaves the game due to an injury, an out will not be recorded for his batting position. If a player is removed from the game by a parent or umpire for disciplinary reasons, an out will be recorded in the vacated position. A team cannot start a game with seven (7) players.

A Pony League team may pull up a twelve (12) year old from their home park only if that player(s) will not miss a game on their 12U team that evening. The maximum borrowed players allowed are three (3) per night and that player(s) may not pitch and must bat in the lowest spot(s) in the batting order. Twelve (12) year olds can only be used to fill up to the 9th roster spot.

NOTE: Each team/league is responsible for penalties for players/coaches that intentionally breach this rule. The ALYB Board supports players moving up to play Pony league baseball but feel that the player’s commitment should be to their regular season team.

VIII. Hitting RUles

Each coach must declare at the beginning of the game if they will be batting nine (9) players or all players present. If a team bats all players present, free substitutions will be allowed. If a team bats nine (9), a player may only reenter the game in the same batting position that he vacated. A hitter may be (not mandatory) designated for any one starting player (not just pitchers) and all subsequent substitutes for that player in the game (See NFHS 3-1-4)

Coaches will use the numbers and last names of the players on their lineup card.  This will aid home team coaches in accurately reporting of pitchers on the Online Score Reporting Form.

If a team is batting nine (9) players (not all players present) and a player is injured, the last player to be removed from the game can replace the injured player.

IX. Pitching

The pitching distance shall be 54 feet from the front of the rubber to the back tip of home plate.

A pitcher may not pitch more than a total of seven (7) innings in any one day.   One pitch in an inning is considered an inning pitched.

Any pitcher pitching four (4) or more innings in a game cannot pitch in the next game if that next game is within the same playing week (Sunday-Saturday).

Ten (10) innings will be the maximum total number of innings a pitcher may pitch in a given week.  For purpose of reference, Sunday through Saturday is a week.

NOTE 1: Rainouts and make up games are considered part of the week they are played in.

NOTE 2: A starting pitcher may re-enter the game as a pitcher. Any other player used as a pitcher cannot re-enter the game as a pitcher. He may remain in the game as a position player or DH.

NOTE 3: A team that intentionally uses a pitcher who has exceeded the allowable innings for the week or day shall forfeit the game. If it is found to be unintentional the pitcher shall be removed from the mound at the time it is discovered that the pitcher is ineligible and the game shall continue from that point.

X. Official Game/Time Limit

The ten-run rule is in effect and the game shall end when the visiting team is behind 10 runs or more after 4 ½ innings, or after the 5th inning, if either team is 10 runs behind and both teams have had an equal number of times at bat. A 15 run rule is also in effect and the game shall end when the visiting team is behind 15 runs or more after 2 ½ innings, or after the 3rd inning, if either team is 15 runs behind and both teams have had an equal number of times at bat.

There will be a 1 hour 45 minute time limit on all games except the Post-Season Tournament Championship Game. The umpires are responsible for monitoring the time limit on all games.

XI. Bat Rules

Bats must meet the IESA Regulations as defined in the IESA Exceptions to National Federation Rules.

Any non-wood bat that has a barrel diameter greater than 2 5/8 inches is illegal.

All non-wood bats 31 inches and over in length must meet all of the NFHS standards as detailed in NFHS rule 1-3-2
including: a maximum barrel diameter of 2-5/8 inches; maximum length of 36 inches, a Batted Ball Coefficient of
Restitution (BBCOR) silkscreen label on the bat; and in weight, the bat shall not weigh, numerically, more than three ounces less than the length of the bat (e.g., a 31-inch-long bat must weigh at least 28 ounces).

Additionally, any bat that has a BBCOR label that meets the NFHS standard is a legal bat.

Non-wood bats 30 inches and under in length which have a greater than three ounce weight vs. length differential
may be used provided the barrel diameter does not exceed 2 1/4 inches (e.g., a 29-inch-long bat may weigh 20
ounces and is legal provided the barrel diameter does not exceed 2 1/4 inches). The BBCOR label is not required on this type of bat.

Wood bats that are manufactured in accordance with National Federation rules may be used.

THE FOLLOWING ARE EXAMPLES OF LEGAL AND ILLEGAL NON-WOOD BATS AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE ALL INCLUSIVE OR ALL EXCLUSIVE:

XII. Base Lengths

Base paths shall be 80 feet in length (per IESA Exceptions).

XIII. Courtesy Runner

A courtesy runner is allowed at any time for the pitcher and catcher positions. The courtesy runner must be a sub (if team is batting only 9 players) or the last recorded out (if the team is batting everyone). This is not mandatory but recommended to speed up play.

XIV. Protests

Protests shall be considered only when based on the violation or interpretation of a playing rule, the use of an ineligible pitcher, or the use of an ineligible player. No protest shall be considered on a decision involving an umpire’s judgment. Equipment which does not meet specifications must be removed from the game.

The managers (or acting manager) of contesting teams only shall have the right to protest a game.

Protests shall be made as follows:

(1) The protesting manager shall immediately, and before any succeeding play begins, notify the umpire that the game is being played under protest.

(2) Following such notice, the umpire shall consult with the other umpire(s). If the umpire is convinced that the decision is in conflict with the rules, the umpire shall reverse that decision. If, however, after consultation, the umpire is convinced that the decision is not in conflict with the rules, said umpire shall announce that the game is being played under protest. Failure of the umpire to make such announcement shall not affect the validity of the protest.

NOTE: Any team manager who withdraws a team from the playing field under any circumstances prior to the official completion of the game shall forfeit all rights to protests.

Protests made due to use of ineligible pitcher or ineligible player may be considered only if made to the umpire before the umpire(s) leave the field at the end of the game. Whenever it is found that an ineligible pitcher or ineligible player is being used, said pitcher shall be removed from the mound, or said player shall be removed from the game, and the game shall be continued under protest or not as the protesting manager decides.

Any protest for any reason whatsoever must be submitted by the manager first to the umpire on the field of play and then in writing to the ALYB President within 24 hours. The umpire-in-chief shall also submit a report immediately. Such notification can be made to bhensgen@alyb.org. All protests will cost $50 and checks should be made out to ALYB. All protest revenues will be used to offset the costs of the end of the year tournament and will in turn reduce the amount charged to participating leagues. If the protest is upheld, the $50 will be returned to the team filing the protest.

A committee composed of the ALYB President, Presidents from the leagues involved, the league's umpire-in-chief and one or more other officers or directors who are not managers or umpires shall hear and resolve any such protest as above, including playing rules. If the protest is allowed, the game shall resume from exact point when infraction occurred.

NOTE 1: Individuals that have a vested interest in the outcome will not be asked to participate in the vote.
NOTE 2: The committee may solicit testimony and advice from any source it chooses, but the actual decisions shall be based on the majority vote of the committee. When feasible, the committee will make every effort to render a decision within 48 hours of the receipt of the protest in written form.

XV. Game Score Reporting

The Home Team is the official scorer. The Home team must report all scores to the ALYB Vice-President, Chris Candido, through the Online Score Reporting Form available on the American Legion Youth Baseball website.

Any posted scores that are disputed should be reported to Brian Hensgen, ALYB President at bhensgen@alyb.org or 304-2761.

XVI. Post-Season Tournament

Seeds will be determined by the overall team winning percentage. If there is a tie, then we will use the head to head record. If that cannot break the tie, then runs allowed will be the tie breaker. A coin flip will determine the higher seed if none of the previous tie-breaking methods are effective.

All pitchers will start fresh with innings allowed for the postseason beginning the first day of the tournament. Any pitcher pitching four (4) or more innings cannot pitch in the next game. There is not a maximum number of innings in the tournament.