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Hertel North Park Youth Baseball League home of the North Buffalo Blaze and North Buffalo Wildcats

Welcome to North Buffalo Baseball & Softball at Shoshone Park

League Rules



Please also see the ADDITIONAL RULES that apply to each division separately 

All playing rules not mentioned here defer to the Babe Ruth league rule book of the current year.


   1. The umpire is to meet with the coaches before the game to discuss division specific rules and ground rules. Pitching eligibility, if applicable, will be exchanged at this time.
   2. For purposes of deciding on time limits, coaches shall agree on the official start time and note it in their scorebooks. One device, usually the umpires’, shall be deemed “official”.
   3. Except as noted, all rules in the Official Babe Ruth and Official Baseball rule books accordingly will be in effect for the baseball leagues. Except as noted, all rules in the ASA rule books accordingly will be in effect for the softball leagues.



  1. Players not in full uniform (gray pants, league issued shirt and hat) will not be allowed to enter the game. This rule shall not be considered in violation if it is the league’s fault, such as improper fitting uniform, etc. Umpires and coaches shall be properly attired.
  2. Metal spikes or football shoes are not allowed. Any player found with metal spikes or football shoes on during the game shall not be allowed to continue until proper footwear is found..
  3. When at bat, players must wear an approved NOCSAE helmet which has ear flaps on both sides; a face mask is required for girls and recommended for boys. It is mandatory that players purchase and use their own helmet and/or facemask. 
  4. All batters, base runners and batters on deck must wear a helmet. Catchers warming up the pitchers between innings must wear the mask, protective cup, and helmet. It is strongly recommended that all boys wear a protective cup regardless of what position they are playing. 
  5. Pitchers must wear a helmet while warming up between innings while in the area around the mound.
  6. Pitchers are not allowed to wear white sleeves, ragged sleeves or wristbands while pitching. A batting glove on the glove hand is permitted.
  7. Jewelry is allowed as we follow the Babe Ruth League rules. Their rule is as follows: “Jewelry is permitted at all levels. Umpires have the authority to remove anything believed to distract or increase risk to player safety. Medical Alert or religious bracelets or necklaces are not considered jewelry.”
  8. No player shall be in use of a telecommunications device during the game.
  9. Catchers at ALL levels MUST wear a catcher's mitt.
  10. First Base mitts may not be used by any position player other than the first baseman.
  11. Bat Rules: All bats at boys little league levels must be stamped “USA Baseball” or be made of wood and shall have a maximum barrel size of 2-⅝”. Senior Boys MUST use wood bats. Softball bats must be ASA or USA Softball certified.



  1. The home team will be on the 1st base side.
  2. The home team is in charge of the scoreboard controller, including picking it up and returning it.
  3. No practice session should be held when weather or field conditions are not satisfactory, particularly when lighting is inadequate. Game stoppages are dictated by the Board of Directors or the umpires. Coaches MAY NOT declare a game suspended.
  4. At the first sign of an imminent electrical storm, everyone must vacate the playing field and seek appropriate shelter. Stay away from the fences and backstops. Games are not automatically over, they are suspended. Seek shelter but do not leave the park until the game is officially canceled.
  5. All accident reports are to be turned into the league within (24) hours.


Time Limits

Time Limit Guidelines: All games except Senior Baseball has a 1:50 time limit. No new inning will begin after 1 hour and 50 minutes from the starting time of the game. Senior Baseball has a 2 hour time limit.

Example: 1st game starts at 10:00 a.m.; no new inning can start after 11:50 a.m. The first game ends at 12:00 p.m. Umpires will allow a maximum of three (3) minutes per team for warm up for game 2. Game 2 begins at 12:07 p.m. and no new inning can start after 1:57.

1.    For time limit purposes, the next inning officially begins when the third out is made in the previous inning. 

2.    Games will be allowed to end in a tie at all levels. If a game is tied before reaching the time limit, then extra innings will be played until the time limit is reached. Extra-innings shall use the International Tiebreaker, with a runner starting the inning at second base. The runner shall be the last batted out of the previous inning. If the game is still tied after reaching the time limit, the game shall be declared a tie. 

3.    Hurry Up Rule: When there are two (2) outs and the catcher for the following inning is on base or reaches base, a timeout will be called and he/she MUST be substituted for by a base runner at every level EXCEPT Senior Boys, where this rule is at the offensive coaches discretion. The player who made the 2nd out of the inning, whether it was at bat or as a base runner either tagged or forced out, must be the substitute. If the player who actually makes the 2nd out sustains a game ending injury, the player that made the first out becomes the substitute runner. The coach is to instruct the catcher to promptly get his/her gear on, as the rule is designed to speed up the game, eliminating the unnecessary time wasted waiting for the catcher. Failure to use the speed up rule after being presented with it by the opposing coach or umpire will result in the runner being declared out. This will be the 3rd out of the inning.

4.    All levels may start and play with only eight players, but the ninth position if the order becomes an automatic out. There will be a 15 minute grace period for all games. If a team has insufficient players, the umpire will delay the start of the game for up to 15 minutes. If after the 15 minutes the team still has insufficient players, the game will be forfeited unless the needed player is within the umpires eyesight. If the game is declared a forfeit, both teams need to fill out each others books with their entire roster present for the players to get credit for a game played. The game must be finished with a minimum of eight players at all times.

5.    Teams shall take no more than three (3) minutes between innings to be ready for the next inning. Coaches that are found to be in regular violation of this rule will be asked to appear before the Board


Pitching Guidelines

1.    Any violation of the pitching rules shall constitute an automatic forfeit of the game. There will not be any protests and or appeals allowed for a game forfeited under this rule.

2.    Absolutely no called up players will be allowed to pitch.

3.   At Major Boys and levels below, and Triple-A Girls levels and below, pitchers are limited to consecutive outs instead of an innings limit. i.e.: If a pitcher throws one out in relief in their first inning, they are then eligible to pitch the next inning until they hit their maximum number of outs allowed

4.    Warmup Pitch Guidelines:
Baseball  - 1st inning for pitcher: 5 pitches and then 2 pitches for every inning after for that pitcher. A new pitcher entering from the field or bench would receive 8 warm up pitches in his 1st inning of pitching.
Softball  - 1st inning for pitcher 5 pitches and then 3 pitches for every inning after for that pitcher. The umpire is allowed discretion in cold weather.

5.    At all boys levels, once a pitcher is removed from the pitching mound, he cannot return to the mound to pitch.

6.    The intentional walk will be declared and is automatic. 



1.    If a team needs to call up players to fill out their game roster, they are allowed to have a maximum of 11 players (both regular and called players), for all levels except 2nd Minor Boys, Rookie Boys, Triple-A Girls, Double-A Girls, and Rookie Girls where you can have a maximum of 12 players. If at the start of the game you have greater than the above limits, you must send one of the called up players home

2.    We will be playing with a continuous batting order and free substitution at all levels of play (except Senior Boys). All players present must be entered in the batting order. A late arriving player is added to the bottom of the batting order. A player that has to leave early or is injured is removed from the lineup and skipped when their turn comes up. Their team is not charged with an out. If a player has been ejected, when their spot comes up, the team will take an out. Once removed from the game, a player may not be re-entered into the game. Being that all of these leagues are capped in the amount of batters they can have per inning, you will bat the minimum number of hitters in the lineup of the two teams or three outs are recorded – whichever comes first. (Example: Team A has 12 players and Team B has 10. Both teams will bat no more than 10 batters in an inning.) The maximum amount of batters to be used each inning will be determined with the original lineups given at the beginning of the game and will remain unchanged throughout the entire game.

3.    In divisions with a continuous batting order, an ejection shall equal an “out” when that spot comes up in the batting order. In divisions with substitutes, a sub may enter or re-enter the game. If no sub is available, that spot becomes an out.

4.    Defensive Playing Time – No player may sit on the bench for 2 consecutive innings in any game. (Exception – injury or illness, does not apply at Senior Boys).

5.    All called up players must be declared to the opposing coach at the time of the lineup exchange. 

6.    No called up player is permitted to wear the uniform shirt of the team calling them up.

7.    Called up players for all divisions will be allowed to remain in the batting order for the entire game, and they are allowed to play no more than 1 consecutive defensive innings, with a maximum of 3 defensive innings in the game throughout the game if the team has 9/10 of their own players. (Exceptions: injury and ejection if no other rostered player is available). They are required to play a minimum of 2 defensive innings throughout the game.

8.    Call Up Players: All teams can call up players from any team in the immediate division below their division. The called up players must be in the oldest baseball/softball group below them. Exception: Senior Pony may call up 11 year old players after calling ALL 12 year-old players first and no 12 year old is available to play in that game.

9.    At all levels and divisions of play, each player is required to play one more than half of that team's games during the regular season. If a player fails to do so, that player will not be eligible for playoff games. The league will review all players at the end of the season from the team score books to ensure eligibility for postseason play. Exceptions: Documented medical excuse and split home situations.. Any player not meeting playoff eligibility in their own division will not be eligible to be called up to play in the playoffs in any division. The use of any ineligible player will result in an automatic forfeit.

10.  Teams consistently showing up with an incomplete roster will be monitored by the Division Reps. Players not showing up with consistency will be contacted by the Rep and may be dropped from the program if it is obvious they are not committed to playing. The Reps have the right to contact any roster player in the league at any time during the season. If any player is determined to be no longer playing for the rest of the season, the player agent and division/system rep should be notified immediately when the information is available.




All teams must keep a scorebook. Scorebooks should be kept clear and concise. Electronic scorebooks are allowed. The following are required to be noted in your score book:

·         Date

·         Opponent

·         Each player’s last name and first initial. Not first names only.

·         All player substitutions and pitching changes along with the innings the changes were made.

·         Both teams lineups MUST be kept by both teams.

·         The announced start time.

·         All substitutions and pitching changes must be reported to the other team’s scorekeeper/manager and recorded in both scorebooks at the time of the change.

·         Innings pitched by a pitcher must be recorded in each scorebook.

Note: The home team’s scorebook will be used by the umpire as the official scorebook. 

Note: All score books are subject to review by any league official.

Playoff Rules

1.    Playoff Seeding: Playoff seeding, and regular season champion will be decided based on winning percentage. There will be no regular season co-champions. In the case of a tie for first place, see the tiebreaker scenario on the website. All other ties will be broken by head to head match up then coin toss.

2.    The champion of the winner’s bracket will be the home team for the first game of the championship series. If a second game is necessary, home team will be determined by a coin toss.

3.    For all playoff games, the offensive team must commit 3 outs, and will not be capped in the amount of batters they may have in any inning.

4.    Playoffs: There will be a 10 run mercy rule for all divisions. This rule will be in effect once a game is deemed official. 3 ½ innings (top of 4th is completed) played in 6-inning game, 4 ½ innings played (top of 5th is completed) in a 7-inning game.

5.    In AA Baseball and Softball and AAA Softball, there will be a two-hour 15 min. time limit for playoff games. All other games have no time limit.

6.    Any pitching violations will result in an automatic forfeit.

7.   In the playoffs you must start with nine players, if for any reason you drop to eight, the missing player becomes an out. If you drop to seven, it becomes a forfeit

Playoff Lineup Rules

Defense - continue to utilize free substitutions and continue to follow regular season playing time rules.

Batting order – If both teams have the same number of players to start the game each will play with a continuous batting order and bat their entire bench as they do in the regular season. If the teams have a different number of players, then to limit the competitive advantage of a smaller batting lineup, the following rule will go into effect…

This rule only comes into effect when each team has a different number of players at the start of a playoff game.

Each team will bat the same number of players. The order and number will be established at the start of the game.

For example if Team A has 10 players and Team B has 12, both teams must have a batting order of 10 players.

For the larger team- The player(s) who is not in the original batting order must be substituted into the order for at least 1 at bat. The sub(s) can be placed into the order during any inning, in any spot. Starter and sub can only be re-inserted into the same spot in the order. (The 4th batter cannot be substituted for and then re-enter in the 9th spot, they must be returned to the 4th spot). The coach can alternate the starter and sub at bats when their turn in the order comes up as long as the starter and sub each get 1 at bat. Substitutions must be announced to the opponent so that the scorebooks are the same.

Building off the first example, Team B has 2 players not in the batting order to start the game, players 11 and 12.  The coach decides that players 11 and 12 are going to bat for players 9 and 10 in the 4th inning. Their names will be entered into the scorebook as substitutes under the names of the starters. Should the coach decide to let players 9 and 10 bat again later in the game they must be reinserted at 9 and 10.*

*Late arrivals- If any player arrives after the game has started they will be treated as a substitute. The order will not be increased. Under this rule it is possible for both teams to have subs.

*If a batter refuses to bat, or is not present for their at bat, and a substitute is not available, an out will be taken.

*If a player is ejected from a game and no substitute is available, an out must be taken every time that player comes up in the order.

*if there is an injury and the batter cannot continue, no out will be taken

*if a player for any reason is removed from the game the substitute will be placed into that spot in the order, even if he/she has already entered the game in a different spot.

*If at anytime the lineup drops below the minimum required number the game is forfeit.


Glossary of Rules

BALK is an illegal act by the pitcher with a runner or runners on base, entitling all runners to advance one base.

BALL is a pitch which does not enter the strike zone in flight and is not struck at by the batter. If the pitch touches the ground and bounces through the strike zone it is a “ball.” If such a pitch touches the batter, he shall be awarded first base. If the batter swings at such a pitch after two strikes, the ball cannot be caught, for the purposes of drop third strike rules. If the batter hits such a pitch, the ensuing action shall be the same as if he hit the ball in flight. A DROPPED 3rd STRIKE is in effect when the catcher drops the 3rd strike, the batter may advance to 1st base if: (1) 1st base is not occupied or (2) first base is occupied with two (2) outs. If there are less than 2 outs and 1st base is occupied, the batter is out and may not advance on a dropped third strike.

An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule. The runners may advance at their own risk. They need to tag up if the ball is caught.

STRIKE is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which:
a. Is struck at by the batter and is missed;
b. Is not struck at, if any part of the ball passes through any part of the strike zone;
c. Is fouled by the batter when he has less than two strikes;
d. Is bunted foul;
e. Touches the batter as he strike at it;
f. Touches the batter in flight in the strike zone; or
g. Becomes a foul tip.

Penalties for batting out of order:

Catcher Obstruction: A batter becomes a runner with the right to attempt to score by advancing to first, second, third, and home bases in the listed order when: The catcher or any other defensive player obstructs him/her. The coach or captain of the team at bat, after being informed by the umpire of the obstruction, shall indicate whether or not he elects to decline the obstruction penalty and accept the resulting play. Such election shall be made before the next pitch (legal or illegal), before the award of an intentional base on balls, or before the infielders leave the diamond. Obstruction of the batter is ignored if the batter reaches first and all other runners advance at least one base.

1. Any runner attempting to advance (i.e., steal or squeeze) on a catcher’s obstruction of the batter shall be awarded the base he/she is attempting. If a runner is not attempting to advance on the catcher’s obstruction, he/she shall not be entitled to the next base, if not forced to advance because of the batter being awarded first base. If obstruction is enforced, all other runners on the play will return to base occupied at time of the pitch. The batter is awarded first base, if he did not reach base.

2. If obstruction is not enforced, all other runners advance at their own risk.


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Hertel North Park Youth Baseball League

PO Box 868 
Buffalo, New York 14207

Email Us: [email protected]
Phone : 716-862-0243
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