League Rules

  1. You MUST be age 36 by the end of the current calendar year or older to pitch.  You must be age 60 by the end of the current calendar year to pitch in 60+ games.
  2. A continuous batting order and set lineup will be used. The batting order picks up in the next game where it ended in the previous game. In playoff games the batting order will be continuous but need not pick up where it left off the previous game.
  3. All players must wear a helmet at bat and on the bases. Catchers cannot wear shin guards when batting. Catchers must wear a helmet when catching.
  4. The last player to make out is the pinch runner for the catcher and pitcher (48+ only) with 2 outs and in all other pinch running situations.
  5. The offensive team’s inning will end after 3 outs have been made or 4 runs have been scored, whichever comes first. This rule is waived after the 6th inning in scheduled 9 inning games, and after the 5th inning in scheduled 7 games. All runs count on a home run that clears the fence.
  6. A pitcher shall be removed and may not return to the game as a pitcher if he hits 3 batters during his time on the mound.
  7. No pitcher may pitch more than 5 innings in a scheduled 9 inning game and no more than 4 innings in a scheduled 7 inning game. Any appearance constitutes an inning.
  8. All players rotate defensively with the intention of all players having equal playing time during each game.  A player should never sit out two consecutive defensive innings unless he/she chooses to.
  9. No malicious or unsportsmanlike conduct will be permitted. A fielder cannot block any portion of a base/plate with or without possession of the ball. The umpire will call obstruction and award the offended runner the base where the contact took place and additional bases as he deems appropriate. The runner should make every attempt to avoid physical contact with a fielder. A runner will be declared out if he initiates contact with the catcher or any other fielder in an attempt to dislodge the ball. The runner’s actions may also result in other runners being called out. If the conduct of the runner or the fielder is deemed intentional, malicious or unsportsmanlike by the umpire, the player will be immediately ejected from the game.
  10. A fielder is not permitted to fake a tag on an incoming runner. The fielder must be in possession of the ball when making a tag. Violation of this rule will result in all runners, including the batter runner, being awarded an additional base.
  11. ONLY players are permitted in the team dugout or on the bench. NO children, wives, friends, dogs, etc.
  12. If an offensive player is injured during play he may have a pinch runner; last player to make out. However, he will not play the next defensive inning. If a defensive player is injured during play he may be replaced but will not bat in his team’s next offensive inning. Injured players coming to bat must run the bases or be declared out. All players must bat, but may, in their sole discretion, not play the field. An out will be declared each time a player does not bat. Players who are injured at the onset of the game should be declared as injured during the plate conference and are thus excused from batting or playing defensively.
  13. During playoffs a team forfeits if it has less than eight (8) players. If it has only 8, it plays with 8, and an out will be declared each time the 9th batting spot come about. During the regular season there are no forfeits. Teams who have less than 9 players will borrow players from the opposing team or any other league player in good standing for defense only or as permanent players. Offensively the opposing team’s bench bats in all vacant lineup slots.
  14. NO PLAYER MAY PLAY WITHOUT THE OFFICIAL PONCE DE LEON LEAGUE UNIFORM – they are available here. http://webstore.poncedeleonbaseball.com/
  15. A player ejected from a regular season or playoff game will be suspended for his team’s next played game. If this happens twice in a season, the player will be suspended for the season.
  16. No intentional walks are permitted.
  17. In Ponce, if there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when the pitcher stands anywhere on the dirt circle of the mound without the ball, and an attempt is made to tag a runner out via the infamous hidden ball trick.
  18. Any game that ends at the drop dead time of 3 hours will revert back to the score at the end of the previous inning except when the home team has taken the lead.  In that case the game would be ended with the home team winning anyway.  If the score were tied at the end of the previous inning for regular season games, it would stand as a tie.
  19. Each team is allowed courtesy runners for 2 of their players per game.  The intent of this rule is to allow a runner for an injured player who can still participate in the game but is unable to run effectively.  THIS RULE IS NOT FOR THE PURPOSE OF RUNNING FOR YOUR SLOWER RUNNERS. 

    If the manager knows of an injury going into the game, he must let the other manager and the umpires know at the plate conference that you will be using a courtesy runner for them.  If you don't declare courtesy runners at the plate conference, none will be allowed except for a player who is clearly injured during the game and is still in the game.

    If someone gets injured during the game you may use a courtesy runner for them only if you haven't already designated courtesy runners for 2 other runners.  If you already have 2 designated, the normal Ponce rules will apply if you run for them (they won't be able to play defense the next inning).   

    In all cases, the courtesy runner will be the last out made (not the last batted out as in MSBL).  If it happens in the first inning with no outs, it would be the last batter in the lineup.

    All courtesy runners MAY NOT STEAL.  If the pitched ball leaves the batter's-catcher's box area, the runner may advance, but no straight steals are allowed with courtesy runners.  Courtesy runners may not steal if the catcher blocks the ball and it stays in the plate area, the ball MUST leave the catcher's-batter's box area for them to advance.

    All other regular rules still apply for runners for pitchers and catchers with 2 outs.  These are not considered courtesy runners, and they may still steal when running for these players with 2 outs. 

  20. All other rules if not specifically stated above will follow professional baseball rules and regulations.
  21. For 60+ games only:  batters making a clean hit to the outfield may not be thrown out at first base.  Runners advancing to others bases may be thrown out from the outfield.

Play-Off Rules

  1. All games will be 9 innings.
    • 5 inning pitching rule in effect.
    • 4 run rule through 6th inning, 7 through 9 unlimited.
    • No new inning after 2:45 and drop dead at 3 hours, umpire shall announce the last batter of the game when 3 hour limit is reached.
    • If tied, game reverts back to last complete inning with a team ahead, they are then declared the winners.
    • A team must have a minimum of 8 players from their own team to play
      the game – otherwise the game is forfeited and no game will be played.
      If you only have 8 players, you play with 8, no borrowing of players from
      any other team. An out will be recorded for the 9th missing batter each
      time his turn is reached in the batting order.
  2. The second team and/or game is the home team. Bring both jerseys!
  3. In the event of rain, you will be notified of when and where your next game
    will be scheduled. Make up games are posted on this website as soon as they have been scheduled.
  4. A new line-up may be drawn up for the play-off games.