Texas Wiffle Ball League Official Rulebook 2018
1) THE FIELDS
Enjoy them and respect them. Keep them clean. These are your fields, this is your league.
Each team has been given 10 official Wiffle® Balls for games and practices. You are responsible for your own foul balls. An illegal ball will be declared when it has a crack greater than ¼ inch and will be removed from the game. Each pitcher will keep possession of his ball. Pitchers may only bring 1 ball on the field during the game. The ball may be scuffed, sanded, or knifed, but cannot have foreign matter added to it. In preparing a ball you may not alter the sphereness/roundness or overall quality of the ball.
Bats must be rounded on all sides, cannot exceed 38 inches in length, 2 ¾ inches in diameter, or have tape more than 18 inches above the handle end. You may bring your own bats but TWBL will provide bats for you as well. Uniforms are required at every game. Matching high socks, hats, and shorts are recommended.
3) TEAMS AND ROSTERS
A maximum of 3 players may take the field at one time but you may bat your entire lineup and rotate people in and out of positions. The batting order must remain constant throughout the entire game, batting out of order will result in an out. Once a pitcher exits the game he may not re-enter to pitch but he can play another position.
4) THE GAME
All Texas Wiffle Ball League games will last 5 innings unless time runs past one hours length then the current inning will be deemed the last inning. If teams are tied at the end of 5 innings there will be 1 extra inning. If they are still tied at the conclusion of that inning TOTAL BASES will be used to determine the winning team. If the two teams are tied in total bases at the end of that inning the game will be declared a tie UNLESS time permits for us to play another inning.
– There will be a 10 run mercy rule in effect at the conclusion of any COMPLETE inning.
– Each team receives 3 outs per inning. 5 balls results in a walk. 3 strikes results in an out.
– Fouls are unlimited unless a foul tip with two strikes hits the strike zone in which case the batter will be out.
– There are no pitching speeds. A pitcher may throw as fast or as slow as he likes. We welcome all skill levels.
– There is no physical baserunning. All baserunners will be imaginary/ghost. There is no stealing.
– Fair and foul balls adhere to standard baseball rules.
– A ball that hits the tree is considered a dead ball foul ball.
– All ground balls must reach the fair play line. If a batted ball does not cross and remain past the fair play line it will be ruled a foul ball. Infielders may NOT record ground ball outs until the ball crosses the fair play line.
-If a batted ball is dropped by a fielder and the ball falls on the ground, it will be ruled a hit.
-Any fair ball that passes the infield line will be ruled a single.
-A ground ball that comes to a complete stop inside of the infield line is ruled an infield single.
-A ball that rolls and hits the fence is ruled a double.
-A fly ball hitting the wall in the air is ruled a triple.
-A fly ball that goes over the outfield fence in fair territory is ruled a homerun
-With runner on third and/or second base and less than 2 outs, a team may try and advance the runners on a fly ball. When the ball is in the air the offensive team can yell “TAG” to activate the runner. If the fielder hits the backstop or strike zone in the air the lead runner will be out. If he doesn’t, the lead runner will advance 1 base.
During the course of the game each team will keep track of their total bases. Total bases are determined by the outcome of the batter’s plate appearance. Homerun=4 bases; Triple= 3 bases; Double= 2 bases; Single and Walk= 1 base. The batter does not earn a base when he reaches via fielder’s choice. There are no errors.
5) THE PITCHER
The pitcher is allowed 8 warm up pitches or 2 minutes before the start of the game, 5 pitches between innings, and 3 if he has to change balls due to an illegal or lost ball. He receives no warmups if he decides to change balls on his own during an inning. Relief pitchers will get 8 warm up pitches if they need it.
– A pitcher must start his wind-up from the pitching rubber. The pitcher must have one foot touching the rubber when he releases the ball. If the ball is thrown in violation of this rule it will be ruled “no pitch”. Repeated violations may result in the pitcher being removed from the game.
– A pitcher entering the game must face 1 complete batter before being replaced.
– A wild pitch will be declared whenever a pitched ball COMPLETELY misses and breaks the plane of the backstop without hitting the target, strike zone, batter, or the bat. All base runners will advance one base.
– There are no called balks in wiffle ball. However, the pitcher is not allowed to intentionally deceive the batter with balking.
– A single pitcher may throw 4 of the 5 innings of the game but may not throw a complete game. The other inning must be thrown by another player. If the inning is deemed the last inning due to time, each team will be forced to throw their next pitcher unless the current pitcher did not start the game.
6) THE BATTER
The batter may NOT intentionally move into the path of a pitch. If he does, he will be called for batter’s interference, and the pitch will be called a strike. A warning must be given first and will result in a “no pitch”. The warning remains with that batter for the remainder of the game.
– A batter must move out of the way of a fielder’s throwing attempt. If the batter is standing in front of the backstop and or strike zone target and is hit by a fielder’s throw while the ball is in the air, a successful fielding play will be recorded, i.e. the batter will be called out.
– A hit batsman results in a ball unless he is struck in the head. If the batter is hit in the head he will be awarded first base.
– The batter’s hands are considered part of the bat ONLY if the batter is swinging.
– The batter will not touch foul balls until they come to a complete stop. If the batter does touch a moving foul ball and the ball is determined to have a chance of rolling into fair territory the batter will be ruled out. Bunting is not allowed
7) BASE RUNNERS
– There is no physical base running. Base runners are imaginary.
Base runners move as follows: One base on a single, three bases on a double and triple. With two outs all runners advance one extra base on a clean (untouched) hit through the infield. An infield hit does not get the two out extra base.
A clean hit is defined as follows: Any fair ball either on the ground or in the air, which comes in contact with the outfield before being touched by an infielder. With a runner on third and/or second base with less than two outs the offense may try to advance a base by tagging up on a fly ball. When the ball is in the air the offense can yell “TAG” to activate the runner. The fielder must catch the ball cleanly and throw to the backstop or any part of the strike zone in the air. If he does so successfully the lead runner is out, if not the lead runner advances 1 base. All other base runners hold their base. The fielder has 3 seconds and 1 step to make the throw after the catch.
8) FIELDERS AND DOUBLE PLAYS
All fielders must stay in fair territory and must not line up in any manner to distract the batter. Only infielders may record ground ball outs. To be considered an infielder you must be on or in front of the infield line when the ball is pitched.
INFIELD THROWING OUTS
An out is recorded when a ball is thrown directly toward home plate hits the backstop or any part of the strike zone target in the air. The infielder has 3 seconds and 1 step to release the throw.
In an double play situation ALL fielders must be on the infield to be eligible to turn a double play.
The first out is recorded when a ball is thrown toward 2nd base to a second infielder who is positioned on or inside the Double Play Triangle when he cleanly catches the ball. If he fails to catch it cleanly all runners are safe. To complete the double play there must be a clean catch and throw to the man in the DPT and he must hit the backstop or the strike zone in the air. An infielder can “HOLD” a non-forced runner by fielding a ball cleanly and throwing to the backstop. The out is always the lead forced runner. If the infielder bobbles or deflects the ball all non-forced runners advance a base and the out will be on batter runner. The pitcher is eligible to take part in all aspects of double plays. To complete a double play all infielders must handle the ball cleanly (no bobbles or deflections).
Double plays will always record outs at 2nd base and 1st base unless the bases are loaded then it will be home plate and first base.
If the fielder juggles or deflects the ball he cannot try to turn a double play. His only option is to throw to the backstop to get the batter runner at first base. All baserunners will move up one base.
Unassisted double play- infielder fields the ball in/on DPT and throws to the backstop cleanly.
If an infielder attempts a double play in any fashion all runners will advance one base if the DP doesn’t end the inning. An infielder may NOT allow a fly ball or line drive drop intentionally in order to create a double play situation. If this does happen the defense can only record one out on the lead runner.
9) WHO MAKES THE CALL?
Fair vs. Foul balls- batter
Foul balls off the batter’s hands- batter
Singles, doubles & triples- fielder closest to the ball
Check swings- pitcher
Batter’s interference- pitcher
Determining the timeliness of “TAG” calls- defense
Whether a thrown ball hits the backstop/strike zone (tags and infield ground balls) & the timeliness of the throw- offense
Wild pitch- offense legal pitch- offense
10) GENERAL RULES
All players will respect and adhere to the rules of TWBL and will conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike fashion. Taunting, berating or other types of disrespectful conduct towards opponents/commissioners will not be tolerated. Any violations may result in an ejection from the game. Formal protests can be made to the commissioner on staff at your field. Judgement calls cannot be protested. Calls by the commissioner will be final. Rules not stated herein will follow the rules of Major League Baseball. And lastly, live your backyard wiffle ball dreams to the fullest and have fun.