Rules and Regulations
The Official Rules of Baseball serves as the official guide for governing play for any HTA game.
The exceptions are included in these rules alterations.
1.01 Clubs: Each Club is independent of the Hoosier Townball Association (HTA). Club Managers
coordinate all activity, inclusive of building rosters, securing uniforms and equipment, soliciting
for sponsors, coordinating practice sites and activities, and communicating with HTA governing
Members. In order to be entered into season play, Managers must:
1.01.1 Agree to all HTA rules and regulations governing conduct and competition;
1.01.2 Submit necessary documents, e.g., rosters, signed insurance waivers, etc., to league
officials by specified dates; and
1.01.3 Pay the published club entry fee.
1.02 Age Minimums: HTA operates a single 30+ division. Players must be 30 years of age or older,
and Pitchers must be 35 years of age or older, by the end of the current season’s calendar year.
All players must have signed an insurance waiver and each Club Manager must independently verify
his players meet HTA age requirements prior to competing. Club Managers will submit roster
information to HTA governing Members before the first game of the season and upon request
thereafter if changes to the roster are made.
1.03 In Good Standing: Players must be in good standing with the league in order to be eligible to
compete. In good standing includes, but is not limited to, having served suspensions for
ejections, having not been sanctioned by the league for behavior infractions, etc. Club Managers –
as independent operators – may establish additional guidelines for their players as they deem
1.04 Professional Experience: A player may not have participated in a professional baseball game
within the previous calendar year. Professional baseball refers to Major League Baseball, its minor
league affiliates and any league where players are paid to perform.
1.05 Penalties: A player found to be in violation of HTA regulations is subject to expulsion from
HTA games and associated activities. Any Club Manager found to have used an ineligible player is
also subject to sanction, up to and including expulsion. All decisions in these matters will be
made by the governing Members of HTA LLC.
1.06 League Playoff Eligibility: To participate in postseason play, a player must:
1.06.1 Be on the initial season roster and participate in half of all played games, or
1.06.2 Gained explicit approval from the HTA governing Members.
Use of ineligible players will lead to forfeiture of playoff games in which the ineligible player
2.01 Good Sportsmanship and adult attitudes must prevail, no matter the situation. Umpires will
eject players/managers before, during or after games for any of the following behaviors, which the
league considers to be unsportsmanlike behavior:
2.01.1 Consumption of alcoholic beverages during a game. Umpires may also eject participants who
smell of alcohol and/or appear inebriated.
2.01.2 Threats or physical intimidation of umpires, players or spectators.
2.01.3 Verbal abuse of umpires, players or spectators. Umpires’ calls at the plate or in the
field may be respectfully questioned by Club Managers after time is called, but players shall not
engage in the questioning of, or debate with, umpires regarding rules or judgment calls.
2.01.4 Excessive profanity, defined as profanity that, in the umpire’s judgment, is audible in
the stands, dugouts and areas surrounding the field of play.
2.01.5 Throwing of equipment outside of normal play.
2.01.6 Fighting (see 2.03)
2.02 Ejection: A first time ejection will carry an automatic 1-game suspension.
2.02.1 Ejected participants must gather their belongings and vacate the dugout/field of play
within a reasonable amount of time. If appropriate, as determined by the umpire, the participant
may also be instructed to leave the field site.
2.02.2 Appeals: All suspensions may be appealed to the governing Members. Appeals must be
coordinated with the Club Manager and made to the Members within 48 hours.
2.02.3 Carryover: Sanctions will carry over from season to season.
2.02.4 Two ejections: Any participant ejected twice within a season will automatically be
suspended for the remainder of the season. The governing Members may levy additional sanctions,
including permanent expulsion, as circumstances dictate.
2.02.5 Reporting: Umpires and Club Managers are required to report ejections to a governing
Member within 24 hours of the completion of the game.
2.03 Fighting: Players involved in fights will be suspended for the remainder of the season and
must petition HTA governing Members for reinstatement the following season. As in all cases,
players and their Club Managers may appeal the suspension to the governing Members.
2.04 Tobacco: Smoking is prohibited in the vicinity of the playing field before, during and after
games. Players should also be mindful of any field owners’ rules and any violation committed by a
participant that may endanger the league’s relationship with owners may subject the player and Club
to HTA sanction.
2.05 Property Responsibility: Players responsible for damage or vandalism to facilities or property
used by the league will be indefinitely suspended from play, pending a review by the governing
Members, and be assessed the cost of the damages.
2.06 Right of Appeal: Players may appeal any league suspension or sanction to the governing Members
within 48 hours of the precipitating event.
3.0 Pre-Game and Starting Rules
3.01 Where possible, Club Managers will coordinate with each other to ensure pregame field time is
evenly split. Pre-game warm up time on the game field (e.g., taking infield) is not guaranteed.
3.02 When multiple games are scheduled at the same site on the same day, there will be a minimum of
15 minutes scheduled in between games. Club Managers and game officials may coordinate to start
games earlier if the field is available.
3.03 A club must have at least 8 players to start an official game. The deficient club has a
10- minute grace period to get enough players before the game is declared a forfeit. A club may
start a game with 8 players; however, the ninth slot in the mandatory 9-man batting order will be
declared an out until such time as it is filled. Exception to the out: A club’s final at-bat in the
contest may not end on an automatic out via the missing hitter.
3.03.1 Managers must notify an HTA member by Friday if they suspect they will not have enough players to
field the required 8 for Sunday play. HTA will attempt to call in replacement players to ensure the game
can be played as scheduled. If the Manager does not make timely notification, and forfeits a game, the club
will lose one seeded position in post-season play. A second such infraction may include sanctions up to and
including suspension from post-season play at the discretion of HTA governing members.
3.03.2 Clubs may employ two replacement players (with HTA member notification and consent) and play the
game for record. Replacement players must bat at the bottom of the order and be positioned in RF and LF.
If three or more replacement players are employed, the game will be declared a forfeit, but as long as the
game is played, there will be no additional sanction (i.e., no loss of seeded post-season position).
3.04 If a game is declared a forfeit, the deficient club may pick up players from the opposing club
or other HTA players at the site. The game may be played for recreation and umpires are committed
to call the game up to the time limit.
3.05 The club at-bat is responsible for retrieving foul balls both in and out of the field of play.
3.06 Managers are required to exchange their official line-ups, including the last name and jersey
number of each player prior to the start of play. Non-runners (2 max) will be marked “NR” and
communicated to the umpire during the pregame meeting. Late-arriving players may be added to the
bottom of the line-up, so long as that spot has not already batted (exception for starting a game
with 8 players – see 3.03).
3.07 Both clubs are required to keep scorebooks and to communicate any changes, e.g., late
arrivals, pitching changes, etc. Individual offensive and pitching statistics must be submitted by
each club, for each official game, within 3 days of the game’s completion, via the method
communicated by the governing Members. The stats site will be reviewed each Thursday morning, and clubs
will be docked one Win for each delinquent or missing submission during the during the post-season
4.0 Games: Complete and Length
4.01 Length: Games are 9 innings, unless playing in a doubleheader format. In such cases, games
will be 7 innings.
4.02 Time Limit: No new inning may start after 3:00 of playing time for 9-inning games (2:30 for
7-inning games), subject to local curfew. If the time limit is reached during an inning, that
inning will be completed and the game will end. A new inning begins at the time the third out of
the previous inning is recorded. If the score is tied at the end of a full inning, and time has
expired, the clubs will move into the Shootout format described in section 4.06 below.
4.03 Rainouts: Can occur only prior to the start of a game. The field owner, responsible governing
Member, or home team manager (in that order) determines the status of the field. Once a game is
underway, rain decision is in the hands of the umpire.
4.04 Suspended Games: Games suspended due to weather, darkness or other such conditions may be
resumed at a later date if 2 full innings have been completed. If anything short of two innings has
been completed, the game may be rescheduled (opportunity permitting) and started over.
4.05 Complete Games: Any game that has completed 5 innings (4 ½ if the home team is ahead) may be
considered a complete game if weather, darkness or other such conditions dictate that play must be
4.06 Tie Game: If the score is tied at the end of regulation play (9 or 7 innings) or time (3:00 or
2:30), the game will be completed in the Shootout format:
• Play one inning at a time, with the last scored out from the previous inning starting as a
runner at second base.
• Each batter starts with a 2-1 count.
• Full 3-out innings, as modified above, will continue to be played until there is a winner.
4.07 Time Between Innings: Teams should expect that the first pitch of each half-inning will come
within 2 minutes of the final out of the previous half-inning.
4.08 Mercy Rule
4.08.1 9-inning game: 15 runs after 5 innings, 10 runs after 7 innings
4.08.2 7-inning game: 10 runs after 5 innings
5.01 Clubs will forfeit under the following conditions:
5.01.1 Fewer than 8 players are available at the start of the game after a 10-minute grace
5.01.2 Fewer than 8 players are available after the start of the game because of
players being lost due to ejections or injuries – regardless of the inning or score.
5.01.3 Use of an ineligible player.
5.01.4 Failure of an ejected player to leave the playing field, dugout or site, as directed by
5.01.5 Three or more replacement players are employed.
5.02 If a game has been declared a forfeit and both managers agree to share players, the game may
still be played for recreation. Umpires are obligated to call the game up to the scheduled time
5.03 Forfeits will be scored as a loss for the forfeiting team and a win for the opponent. Double-forfeits
will be scored as a loss for both teams.
6.0 Protests and Appeals
6.01 Protests are only allowed on rules interpretations or violations. Protests on judgment calls
by an umpire will not be accepted.
6.02 Process: Protests must be made at the point at which a rule has been broken or misapplied. To
protest, the manager must:
6.02.1 Stop the game before the next pitch is thrown.
6.02.2 Notify the umpire and the opposing manager that the game is being played under protest and
6.02.3 Note the situation and on what grounds the game is being protested in the scorebook and
sign the comments.
6.02.4 Obtain the umpire’s signature and his notes on the situation of the game at that point,
e.g., baserunners, hitter’s count, etc.
6.02.5 Contact an HTA governing Member within 24 hours of the completion of the game to lodge the
protest and schedule a meeting.
6.03 Decision-Making Authority: The HTA governing Members maintain exclusive authority to rule on
all game protests. They also rule on all matters that arise from player ejections and other
disciplinary matters. Their decisions are effective immediately and may not be grieved or otherwise
arbitrated by any other individual or body within the framework of HTA.
7.01 Uniforms: All teams must have uniforms of a traditional baseball style and quality and worn in
accordance with the rules of baseball.
7.01.1 All players on the club must be dressed alike, at least with jerseys and hats. The wear of
the same color/style of pants, belts and socks is encouraged.
7.01.2 Uniform jerseys must have a front logo or team name and a player number on the back
measuring at least 6 inches.
7.01.3 Team logos must be in good taste and approved by the governing Members
7.02 Protective Equipment: Each hitter must wear a batting helmet with at least one ear flap
(toward the pitcher). Catchers must wear full five-piece catching gear behind the plate (helmet,
mask, chest protector, shin guards).
7.03 Bats: All components of the bat must be natural – most commonly maple, ash, bamboo, hickory,
or some combination thereof (excepting taped handles or rubber grips not integral to the
construction of the bat itself). Players using illegal bats, and their managers, are subject to
league sanction including ejection, forfeiture of wins and suspensions
7.04 Cleats: Metal cleats are allowed.
7.05 Game Balls: Baseballs used for league play will be provided to managers by HTA. Managers
should expect to use 3 new baseballs for each game while maintaining previously-used game balls (if
in good condition) in case they are needed.
8.01 Any player – offensive or defensive – who initiates intentional and/or malicious contact with
an opponent shall be called out, if applicable, and ejected from the game.
8.02 Any player who conducts an illegal slide shall be called out and ejected from the game. An
illegal slide is described as:
• Body blocking
• Sliding with such momentum that it takes the sliding player into a fielder beyond the base.
• Sliding out of the baseline towards a fielder (more than an arm’s length from the base)
• Sliding with spikes above the fielder’s knee.
8.03 Runners may not hurdle a defensive player attempting to make a play or to avoid a tag.
8.04 When there is a collision between a runner and a fielder who clearly has possessions of the
ball, the umpire shall judge:
• If the collision was avoidable (i.e., could the runner have reached base without colliding) or
unavoidable (i.e., the runner’s path to the base was blocked).
• Whether the runner was attempting to reach the base or attempting to dislodge the ball from
8.05 A defensive player may not deny an offensive player access to a base (or plate) without
possession of the ball. Obstruction is the ruling – the runner is safe and a delayed dead ball
shall be called.
8.06 If a pitcher hits 4 batters in a game, he must be removed, but may re-enter in a defensive
non- pitching position.
8.07.1 If the umpire judges that a runner could have avoided the collision and reached base –
or – the runner attempted to dislodge the ball, the runner shall be declared out. The ball is dead,
and all other baserunners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference.
8.07.2 If the collision initiated by the runner is ruled malicious, rule 8.06.1 shall apply –
AND – the runner shall be ejected.
8.07.3 If an umpire rules obstruction for blocking a base/plate without the ball, the defensive
player will be warned; a second warning could result in ejection.
8.07.4 If an umpire rules obstruction as identified above, and the runner collides maliciously,
the runner shall be declared safe on the obstruction, but will be ejected from the game. The ball
9.01 Defensive: There are unlimited defensive substitutions in the field.
9.02 Pitchers: Pitchers may re-enter as pitchers as long as they remain in the game defensively.
9.03 Offensive: All players participating in the game will bat, in order, in accordance with the
standard rules of baseball.
9.03.1 Batting orders must contain at least 9 batters (see section 3.03 on playing with 8
players). The order may be expanded to permit late-arriving players, so long as that position has
not yet come to the plate. The order may not be decreased except for injury when a player leaves
the game (see 9.04).
9.03.2 Pinch-hitting/running is not permitted (except as defined in 9.06)
9.03.3 Follow existing baseball rules for batting out of turn penalty.
9.04 Injured Players: If a player is removed from the game due to injury or emergency, as judged by
the umpire, his position in the batting order may be scratched without penalty so long as there are
still at least 9 positions listed in the order. If the player voluntarily leaves the game, his
place in the order will be recorded as an out each time it comes up regardless of the number of
batters in the order.
9.05 Ejected Players: An automatic out will be enforced for positions in the order vacated by
9.06 Courtesy Runners: Each manager may designate two courtesy runners per game. These players will
have their names marked with an “NR” (non-runner) on the line-up. If the manager decides to
exercise this option, he must call time and replace the NR with the player who recorded the last
out (not last batted out) before the next pitch.
9.06.1 A courtesy runner (last recorded out) must be used for the catcher with 2 outs as a speed-up rule.
This does not count against the two NR cap per team and applies to the catcher who was in that position
defensively during the preceding half-inning.
10.0 Post Season Play:
10.01 HTA will run a single-elimination Townball Tournament for all eligible teams competing in regular
10.02 Seeding: Clubs will be seeded based on 1) winning percentage 2) runs against 3) runs for (as recorded in LeagueLineup and reflected in its Standings).
10.03 Bracketing will follow the standard high seed/low seed configuration. If brackets are
uneven due to the number of clubs participating, low seed/low seed play-in "Wild Card" games will be scheduled.
10.04 Regular season rules shall be applied to all post season games with the exception of the
Townball Tournament Championship Game in which there will be no time limit or tie-breaker Shootout
LOCAL CLUB GUIDELINES