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Blastball rules!

Rule #1 – Have Fun!
Rule #2 – Always Do Your Best
Rule #3 – Play Nice

Rules of the Game

No PitcherPitches are delivered via machine at mound by umpire/coach.
A player does play the position of pitcher from the side of the mound they choose, no less than 1 yard behind the pitching coach.
The player in the pitching position must remain on their chosen side of the mound once the coach begins their pitching sequence and may switch sides only after a pitch has been batted into play, or the pitch has crossed the plate un-batted.
All pitches are considered in the strike zone. The pitching coach may vary speed and location within the zone based on their assesment of the players skills and limited by the mechanical options based on the pitching machine used.
The receiving net opening will validate pitches as strikes. Any balls missing the net due to machine or coach error will be considered No Pitch/Do Overs
No CatcherBalls are received by compact strike zone net
A player does play the position of catcher, but does not wear catcher’s pad, leg guards, or catchers helmet and face mask. Player does wear a batting helmet with face guard.
A catchers cage will sit directly behind the recieving net to protect the player in the catcher’s position, but allow for swift exit in the event of a play at the plate, or chance to catch a foul ball.
In the event of a ball being fouled into the USZ net, a ball will be available outside of the net, to the catcher in order to throw the runner out at 1st, or whichever play they choose to make
No Base StealingRunners may only advance upon a batted ball
Live BallA ball is only live once it is batted…
Untill all runners are put out, or reach base safely and ball is retuned to pitcher
Or until time out is called
No Foul TerritoryThere is no foul territory. Any batted ball that remains within the field of play fences is a playable ball.
Any bat contact that does not send the ball outside of field of play fences is considered playable and triggers base running and defensive play, including balls deflected behind the batter
1st ball in at bat that is batted outside of the field of play is considered a do over. subsequent pitches batted out will be called as strikes.
No Dead BallsBalls caught by any fielder after hitting any part of the backstop, dugout, or boundary fence after being batted and before hitting the ground inside the field of play will be considered a Fly Out.
A batted ball that is bounced off of the pitching machine, or its guard/net is considered live, except in the case of the ball getting lodged, or signifcantly impeeded by the machine, umpire, or net resulting in a no Pitch/Do Over
If a batter is hit by a pitch they are out, unless it is the result of a pitching machine malfunction in which case it will be considered a No Pitch/Do Over
If an Ump/Coach is hit by a batted ball, the ball is still considered live and playable wherever it is bounced/deflected unless it is lodged, or otherwise signifcantly impeeded which will result in a no Pitch/Do Over
Home RunsThe modified home run boundary (HRB) will be marked on the grass field using chalk, or field paint half way between the infield boudary and the actual back fence
Any ball that hits the ground beyond the HRB before being securely caught by a fielder will be considered a home run advancing all runners.
A bobbled ball or one that bounces out of the glove and then hits the ground will be considered a no catch resulting in the Home Run.
Any batted ball that is caught in the air even beyond the HRB will be considered 1 out, no run is added
Any ball that is hit over the actual back fence will also be considered a home run advancing all runners but will add an additional run to the score ( The homerunner hitter counts for 2 runs)
The defensive teams can still earn a put-out on an in the field home run if they can deliver the ball to the catcher for a secure “force” out (no tag required) at the plate before the lead runner crosses the plate. All runs will still count, but an out will be added
If the 3rd out is added on an in the field home run play by beating the lead runner home, all runs still count, but the inning turns over.
TeamsEach game will include two 10 player teams
Fielding team will include all 9 standard position players and 1 additional outfielder
Teams will be selected each game based on participants, registered and/or present and distributed by ump/coaches to create evenly matched teams based on age, ability, size and all safety considerations.
Fielding positions will be determined by random selection for first inning and players will be rotated to a new position every inning – coaches/umps may modify initial positions and rotations to optimize for safety and fair play
Batting order will be determined by random selection before first pitch – coaches/umps may modify order to optimize for safety and fair play
Umpires/CoachesEach game will be staffed by 3 coaches/umps who will impartially coach runners and officiate all calls on the field for both teams
1 Coach will deliver pitches by operating the pitching machine and observe/call plays at home plate and 2nd base
1 Coach will attend 1st base to coach runners and observe/call plays on the right side of the field
1 Coach will attend 3rd base to coach runners and observe/call plays on the left side of the field
Player Scoring/RankingAll participating players will earn points based upon their performance in games
Offensive Points will be weighted based on the difficulty of the plays made in order from most valuable to least
– Home Runs
– Scored Runs
– RBIs
– Extra Bases
– Batting Avg /game
– Demonstration of outstanding Base Running IQ
Defensive Points will be weighted based on the difficulty of the plays made in order from most valuable to least
– Participation in a triple play
– Participation in a double play
– Participation in a tagged put out
– Participation in a forced put out
– Catching a line drive in the air
– Saving a double homerun by catching a ball before it goes over the actual back fence
– Catching a fly ball in foul territory or off of the backstop, dugout roof, or bounday fence
– Catching a fly ball beyond the HRB
– Catching a fly ball before the HRB
– Demonstration of outstanding fielding IQ
Team Points will be weighted in order from most valuable to least
– Winning Team
– Runs for/against differential
Field & equipment modifications
Pitching MachineA sling style human powered machine, or electric motorized pitching machine set at a consistent speed delivering all balls inside the universal strike zone
A combination of rigid plastic guard and netting will encircle the pithcing machine in as compact a configuration as possible allowing live balls to be deflected off of it and remain in the fied of play
The net will extend vertically to the lowest possible dimension which allows for sufficient cover protection for the coach to duck behind to avoid batted balls.
The net will extend horizontally to the narrowest possible dimension which allows for sufficient obstruction from the pitching machine and all related items (ex: chord, generator, ball bucket, etc.)
Receiving Net w/ Universal Strike ZoneAn adjustable net with a rectangular opening will receive all balls and redirect them into a basket or bucket positioned below the net and behind home plate.
The net will be constructed with a horizontal opening 22.75″ wide – 17″ home plate + width of a baseball on either side
The adjustable net’s vertical opening will align at the the top with the top of the tallest player’s strike zone and at the bottom with the bottom of the shortest player’s strike zone. The opening will be further reduced vertically by the heigth of 2 balls (-5.75″)
The net will be no deeper from the opening to the back of the net than the width of one bucket and will be placed in the center of the catchers box behind home plate.
A ball shoot will extend from the front of USZ holding balls to use for plays when the batter fouls one into the receiving net
Catchers CageA protective shield/rigid net or transparent guard will be constructed to keep the catcher safe from foul balls, but in good position to safely field plays at or near the plate
The dimensions and materials will be enginered to optimize for safety and mobility
Home Run Boundary (HBR)The modified home run boundary (HRB) will be marked on the grass field using chalk, or field paint half way between the infield boudary and the actual back fence
The HRB will be a high visibility line in similar width to the base lines following the same curve and paralleling the standard outfield back fence and intfield dirt boundary
The HRB will not extend laterally beyond the base lines
Game timing / formatEach game will be played for 7 innings regardless of time.
The score at the end of 7 innings is final including a tie – no extra innings
Play continues until the 3rd out in the bottom of the 7th inning even if the home team is ahead in the score after the top half of the last inning, or due to scoring in the bottom half – no walk off endings.
Innings turn over after 3 defensive outs, or run limit is scored by hitting team
First 5 innings are limited to 5 runs
Last 2 innings are unlimited / open innings
Unlimited innings will end before 3 defensive outs if the hitting team is ahead by more than 10 runs and their lineup turns over – the first batter of the inning will also be the last batter in this case.
Lead Runner BonusWhen more than one base runner is in play, putting out the lead runner earns an extra point for any defensive player involved in the play