Rules

Section 1: Equipment and Field Regulations

1. Bats and Balls: Only official regulated wiffleball bats and balls are allowed. No scuffing or taping of the balls.
-No scuffing or taping of the balls.
-Taping around the handle of the bat (for grip) is allowed.
-Cracked balls are to be thrown out.
2. Bases: There are 4 bases. Each base is 42 feet apart.
3. Strike Zone: There will be a strike zone placed behind Home plate. Measurements: 21” wide by 31” tall. Will stand 13” off the ground.
4. Pitching Distance:
Far pitching mound will measure 48’ from the strike zone with no speed limit.
Medium mound will measure 44′ from the strike zone with a 69 mph limit.
Short mound will measure 40’ from strike zone with a 59 mph limit.
-Foot must stay in contact with the rubber for the duration of the pitch.
-No walk up pitching (i.e. standing next to/behind the mound and gaining momentum prior to making contact with the rubber).
5. Pitching Mound Selection: Before the game starts, you may select any mound to pitch from.
-You are allowed to switch only once during the game and must stay at that mound for the rest of your appearance.
6. Dud Zone: There will be a “Dud Zone” in front of home plate. This is a 17’ radius from the strike zone. Any ball that lands or is fielded within the zone will be considered a foul ball.
7. Towels: Towels are allowed on the mound for pitchers.
8. Food/Drinks: No food/drinks are allowed on the field.
9. Team Uniforms: Teams are required to wear matching uniforms.
10. Umpires: A third party will be at most games to call safe/out/check swings. If the umpire gets the call wrong when benefiting your team, please speak up and correct the umpire. Be honest and have good sportsmanship. If no third party is there, safe/out/check swings will be made by players in the game. Again, honesty and sportsmanship.
11. Forfeits: For any game that results in a forfeit, the pitching rotation resets for both teams. The team that cannot show up to play will be given two losses, while the other team will earn two wins.

Section 2: The Game

1. Length: The game is 6 innings long. If the score is tied at the end of 6 innings, extra innings will occur to determine a winner.
2. Players: There must be a minimum of 3 players to field a team. Any less will result in a forfeit. Only 4 are allowed on a field, and only 6 can bat per game.
3. Mercy Inning: Only 9 runs are allowed to be scored per inning. If a team hits a home run before reaching the 9 runs, all runs count. For example: with the bases loaded and 8 runs already scored, if the team hits a grand slam all the runs score. This would result in 12 runs scored.
4. Mercy a Team: If a team is up by 12 or more runs following the 4th inning, the game is over.
5. Make-up Games “series to be made up”: Teams are not allowed to reschedule any of their first 6 games. If one team cannot make it, that team will forfeit. After the first 6 games, any one team can reschedule a series. If that same team needs to reschedule another series before they make up the first reschedule, they will either need to play or forfeit. Weather reschedules do not count towards “series to be made up”. (This will affect pitching rotation resets – see the commissioner/committee members for more details).
6. Darkness Rule: If both teams agree that a full inning can’t be completed because of darkness (prior to the inning starting), the game will be suspended and will resume at a later date. If both teams agree to play in the darkness to ease scheduling, then you play at your own discretion.
-If the game is suspended, make sure the score sheets reflect who is up in each respective lineup.
-This scenario will not count towards “series to be made up”

Section 3: Offense

1. Foul Strike Out: This rule only applies when the batter has two strikes. If the batter foul tips the ball and the ball hits any part of the strike zone, the batter is out.
2. Big Elbows: No part of your body, in particular your arms, may extend into the strike zone. Umpires discretion to give a one-time warning if it was close or issue a strike if it was blatant.
3. Bunting: There is no bunting.
-Slapping at the ball is allowed.
4. Batting out of Order: Batting out of order results in an automatic out for the person who is batting out of order.
(i.e If Batter 2 was due up but Batter 1 batted out of turn, Batter 1 is out and Batter 2 is up.
If Batter 2 was due up and Batter 3 batted out of turn, Batter 3 is out and Batter 2 is up; Batter 3
would be skipped but no additional out recorded following Batter 2’s at bat.)
-If batting out of order is caught multiple batters later – any runs resulted from the batting out of order will be taken off the scoreboard).
5. Leading: There is no leading. Runners may advance only when the ball crosses the plate.
-If you leave early based on the ump’s discretion and the ball is put in play, the runner is out and the hitter can only advance to the base where the runner started from. (i.e. Runner from second left early: the hitter at best can get a double, nothing more. The one exception is on a home run, the leaving early rule is ignored because it didn’t affect the outcome of the at bat.)
6. Leaving early on 3-2, 2 outs: On a 3-2 count with 2 outs, the runners are allowed to leave on the release of the ball. This only applies to runners in a force situation.
(i.e Runners are on first and third with 2 outs and the batter has a 3-2 count: the runner from first may steal when the pitch leaves the pitcher’s hand. The runner on third is not allowed to steal and can only advance when the pitch crosses the plate).
–If you leave early based on the ump’s discretion and the ball is put in play, the runner is out and the inning is over (The one exception is on a home run, the leaving early rule is ignored because it didn’t affect the outcome of the at bat.)
7. Stealing: Teams are allowed 1 steal per inning. Runner must announce “steal” when the pitcher begins his motion.
-You cannot steal home.
-More than one runner is allowed to steal. If caught stealing, the lead runner is out. He receives the Caught Stealing stat on the boxscore, and not the other runner.
8. Designated Hitters: Teams with more than 5 players in the field may have designated hitters. You are not allowed to alter your batting lineup regardless of who is playing in the field per inning.
9. Joining Late: If a player joins late and is going to play, they will be put at the end of the batting lineup.
10. Ghost Runners: Ghost Runners can be forced out by touching their destination base before the runner reaches first base. The Ghost runner is as fast as the batter going to first.
11. Dead Base Rule: If a player slides into a base before he is pegged or thrown out and the base dislodges, the runner is safe and the play is dead. Any other base runners will be sent to the base they are closest to.
12. Maximum Run’s Last Inning: This allows the visiting team (in the 6th inning only) to score as many runs as possible to tie the game. If a team hits a home run before tying the game, all runs count.

-This only comes into effect when the visiting team is down by more than 9 runs in the 6th inning.

 

Section 4: Defense

1. Players in Field: There is a minimum of 3 players in the field with a maximum of 4.
-1 pitcher and 3 fielders.
2. Pegging: Pegging is allowed but the ball must hit the player in the air. If the ball hits the ground first, the player is not out. After a player is pegged, the play is dead.
3. Gloves: Only 2 gloves are allowed on the field at any time for position players.
-Pitchers are allowed to wear a glove and aren’t considered “position players”.
4. Force Out – Strike Zone Rule: This rule only applies when the bases are loaded. The fielding team may throw the ball and hit the strike zone. If the ball hits the zone before the player reaches home, the runner is out. The play also becomes dead and no runners may advance. If the player misses hitting the strike zone or if the runner beats the throw, the play is still live.
5. Out of Play: If a ball is hit/thrown where it goes “out of play” (i.e beyond the foul line, into the bushes…ect) the ball is only considered “out of play” if the fielder throws their hands up and calls/signals “out of play!” When this occurs, the runner may advance only one base. If the ball is “out of play” but the fielder makes an attempt to field/recover the ball, the runner may advance multiple bases AT THEIR OWN RISK. (It is recommended to raise both arms and call “out of play” immediately.).
-If a runner is more than half way to the next base, an ump can award them an additional base with their discretion.

Section 5: Pitching

1. Pitching rotation: If a pitcher throws more than two innings in any game, he may not pitch the next two (2) games. If the pitcher throws two innings or less, he is allowed to throw in the next game.
2. Rotation Reset: Teams with a losing record may reset their rotation after their first 6 games. (Keep in mind, if you were the team who forced a reschedule then you will be given hypothetical “wins” on your record for the scope of the rotation reset. For example, a 2-4 team forces a reschedule, they would be considered a 4-4 team for their next series and not eligible to reset their rotation. On the other hand, a 0-6 team forces a reschedule, they would be considered 2-6 for their next series and still eligible for a rotation reset.)
3. Max 8 innings: Both starting pitchers are allowed to go 8 innings only.
-Any relief pitcher in this scenario will not lose eligibility for upcoming game(s).
-If ANYONE on the team is eligible to pitch, they must pitch in relief.
-If one team doesn’t have an eligible pitcher, then the rule is ignored.
4. Strikeout: 3 strikes is a strikeout.
5. Walk: 4 balls is a walk.
6. Balks: There are no balks.
7. Pitchers windup: Foot must stay in contact with the rubber for the duration of the pitch. No walk up pitching (i.e. standing next to/behind the mound and gaining momentum prior to making contact with the rubber).
8. Wins: Starters must pitch more than 2 innings to receive a win. If 3 pitchers pitch 2 innings each, the first pitcher will receive the win.
9. Short Mound First Pitch Strikeout: Only from the short mound – if the first pitch of an at bat is a strike and the batter does not swing, it is an automatic strikeout.
10. Saves: 4 run lead constitutes a save situation.
11. Pickoffs: There are no pickoffs.
12. Re-entry: Once a pitcher is taken out of the game, they may not return to pitch in that game.
-Will result in a forfeit if this occurs.
13. Wild pitches: If a pitched ball (in the air) goes outside of the netted backstop, the pitch is deemed wild and all of the base runners may advance one base.
14. Quick-Pitch Rule: Pitchers must allow a batter to put both feet into the box in addition to a one-second pause before starting their pitching motion. Ump’s discretion when being called, 1 warning then auto balls.

Section 6: Base running

1. Player Interference: Ump’s discretion but the base runner must give the fielder a chance to make the play.
-This is the only time running out of the base path is allowed.
2. Dual First Base: Batters must run to the right-sided base when running to first (for safety reasons). If the runner hits the inner base, it is still allowed but frowned upon.

Section 7: Playoff Rules and Format

1. Playoff Eligibility:
-Must play 8 games to be playoff eligible.
-Must play 8 games to be playoff eligible from pitching from the short mound.
-Must play 10 games to be playoff eligible from pitching from the long mound.
2. Playoff Format:
-Round 1 (seed 5-8): Single elimination (5 v 8) and (6 v 7).
-Round 2 (winners of first round and seeds 3 & 4): Best of 3 series.
***3rd seed faces worst remaining seed from round 1.
-Semi-Finals (winners of second round and seeds 1 & 2): Best of 5 series.
***1st seed faces worst remaining seed from round 2.
-World Series (winners of semi-final round): Best of 5 series.
3. Playoff Rotations:
-Rounds 1 & 2: 2-man rotations.
-Semi-Finals & World Series: 3-man rotations.
4. Playoff Rotation Reset:
-Rotation reset after Round 1

Section 8: Unique rules for each field

1. Telephone Wire: If the ball hits the telephone wire at Hess Field, the ball is ruled an automatic triple. If the ball goes over any of the wires, it is a homerun. If the ball goes under the wires it is a live ball.
2. Green Monster Rule: If the ball is hit off the large pine trees at Hess Field, and falls into play, the ball is live. It would only be a HR if the ball falls on the other side of the fence or if the ball was hit over the wires. It’s similar as if the ball is hitting off the Green Monster at Fenway.
3. Birch Trees: If the ball hits the birch trees directly above the strike zone, or right down the LF line, it is an automatic foul ball. No out can be made by catching the ball once it hits those trees. The exception to this rule only works with the tree down the LF line. If the ball hits any part of the tree, but goes over the fence for a HR, it is a HR. If the ball hits the tree and drops fair or foul, it is ruled a foul ball.

Section 9: Game Over/Series Over

1. Sportsmanship: Good game to the opposing team after the final game is played.
2. Clean Up: Pick up after yourself.
-Return all balls to the “ball box”.
-Return all bats to the bat container.
-Throw out all of your trash.
-Turn off scoreboard and return to the shed with remote.
-Turn in score sheets.

Section 10: Allstar Selection

1. Each team captain will receive 1 vote for All-Star teams.
2. Each committee member will receive 2 votes for All-Star teams.
3. At least 1 member from each team must be represented in the All-Stars.
4. A vote will determine the top 18 starters and 6 alternates.
5. The top 18 players will go into a pool (Starters) and the top 19-24 will go into a second pool (Alternates).
6. Within the 18 starters: 2 Long-Mound Pitchers and 1 Short-mound Pitcher for each team. A short mound pitcher will be forced to pitch 3 innings of the allstar game.
-The captain of the allstar team can use multiple short mounders to fill these 3 innings.
7. Captains from the previous season’s World Series will “draft” 9 players to be starters. They will take turns picking from the “Starters” pool.
-Defending champion’s captain of the WS will be pick first.
8. The 6 alternates will be ranked “1-6” by the wiffleball committee and will be used if starters from either team cannot make the game in the order they were ranked.
9. HOME RUN DERBY selection will be handled by the committee. The top 8 homerun leaders will be invited to the derby. The committee will vote on two additional players as “special guests”.
-The HR Derby will start an hour before the allstar game’s start time. No exceptions.
-First round will be 8 outs – top 4 move on. If there is a tie, there will be a 3 out tie breaker.
-Second round will be 10 outs – top 2 move on. If there is a tie, there will be a 3 out tie breaker.
-Final round will be 10 outs. If there is a tie, there will be a 3 out tie breaker. A champion will be crowned.

Section 11: Wiffleball Committee (established 2013)

1. Hessfieldwiffleball will now consist of 7 wiffleball members involved with the league. They will vote on any future rule changes and will be in charge of handling the league’s budget. All members should know the entire rulebook and be available to address any questions or suggestions you may have.
2. 7 members: Chris Hess, Corey Zeh, Josh Longo, Omar Husain, Jay Rozell, Anthony Auspelmyer (Aussy), Jorge Stegman.
If a ruling needs to be made and the rule is not written here, we will follow MLB rules.

If a ruling needs to be made strictly in the scope of backyard wiffleball, any third parties with both respective teams will discuss an appropriate resolution. If one cannot be made, a redo will occur.

Leave a Comment