Baseball Rules

Download the 2015 Baseball Rules

1. Rules and Regulations

1.1 The JCC Maccabi Games Baseball competition shall be conducted under the following rules and regulations except as they may be modified by the Sports Advisory Committee.

1.2 The competition in baseball shall be conducted in accordance with the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) rules force at the time of the competition. In the event of a conflict with these rules and the rules and regulations below, the JCC Maccabi Games rules shall apply and be binding.

1.3 The Organizing Committee of the Host Community shall establish a Baseball Committee, with an overall baseball commissioner, to oversee and run the competition, and to resolve any controversies that arise. The decisions of the Baseball Committee and/or the overall baseball commissioner with respect to protests, disputes, and appeals shall be final. Protests must be submitted in writing within thirty (30) minutes after the completion of a game, and shall relate solely to the interpretation of the rules.

1.4 Prior to the start of the Games all rules questions shall be resolved by the Baseball Committee, in consultation with the SAC, in accordance with the NFHS rules in force during the previous baseball season (See Rule 1.2).

1.4.1 A member of the host community must be available at each venue at which baseball is played to help manage the baseball tournaments in accordance with JCC Maccabi Games guidelines, control issues as they arise, and if applicable, to receive protests.

1.5 Rachmanus Rule–Rachmanus plays a key role in athletics and the JCC Maccabi Games. Compassion and good sportsmanship shall be displayed by athletes, coaches and spectators at all times during the JCC Maccabi games both on and off of the playing field. For more information on the Rachmanus rule please refer to Appendix 1.

2. Venue and Equiptment Requirements

2.1 The Organizing Committee of the Host Community, acting through its Baseball Committee, shall ensure that the following venue and equipment requirements are met:

2.1.1 The baseball diamond shall have the following dimensions for all age groups.

Pitching Distance = 60 feet 6 inches
Bases = 90 feet

2.1.2 Three (3) official balls are acceptable for JCC Maccabi Games play.

  • Diamond Dl Pro
  • Wilson 1010
  • Rawlings R-100

The Host Community, acting through its Baseball Committee shall select one of these as their official tournament ball. This ball shall be used throughout the tournament and each game shall begin with at least two (2) new balls.

2.1.3 In the event the Host Community cannot provide an official scorer for each game, the home team’s score book shall be considered the official score book. The score shall be checked with both teams and the umpire after each inning.


3. Participants

3.1 A team shall consist of a minimum of twelve (12) players and a maximum of fourteen (14) players.

4. Competition Format

4.1 A regulation game shall consist of seven (7) innings.

4.2 A time limit of one (1) hour and forty-five (45) minutes after the onset of play shall apply in the preliminary rounds, and a new full inning shall not begin once the time limit is reached regardless of the inning. TIME LIMIT supersedes the innings played.

4.2.1 Timing of games shall begin once the home team takes the field and the pitcher begins his seven (7) warm up pitches. A half inning shall be considered concluded and the next half inning started as soon as the team recording the third out of the inning has left the field of play (i.e. crossed the foul lines).

4.2.2 The time limit shall not apply to medal round (i.e. any game after the preliminary round) games. All attempts should be made to complete games in medal rounds when schedule permits.

4.3 An official game is five (5) innings or four and a half (4 1/2) innings if the home team is ahead when play is stopped (notwithstanding the application of rule 4.2).

4.3.1 If the umpire’s decision to call a game would cause the score to revert and change the outcome, the game becomes a suspended game and either continues to completion when play is resumed or ACTUAL PLAYING TIME has reached time limit (in preliminary rounds). The suspended time does not count against the time limit.

4.3.2 All canceled, suspended, or postponed games shall be rescheduled by the Baseball Committee. If it is impossible to reschedule such a game, the game shall be deemed a tie for determining team rankings for the medal round.

4.3.3 If a team is leading by thirteen (13) or more runs after four (4) innings or (three and a half (3 1/2) innings if it is the home team) OR by ten (10) or more runs after five (5) innings (or four and a half (4 1/2) innings if it is the home team), that team is declared the winner.

4.4 Teams should report a half hour before the scheduled start time.

4.4.1 A team shall be allowed a ten (10) minute grace period after the scheduled start time before the game is forfeit. The game shall not be delayed if and when the coach and at least nine (9) players on a team are present.

4.4.2 Teams shall be allowed an infield and outfield warm-up period only if, in the judgment of the member of the Baseball Committee at the field, there is adequate time for warm-ups. The decision of the member of the Baseball Committee is final.

If time permits, the home team shall begin ten (10) minute infield practice a half hour before game time. The visiting team shall begin a ten (10) minute infield practice twenty (20) minutes before game time.

4.5 At least ten (10) minutes before the start of the game, the manager of each team shall provide a starting line-up to the umpire, the opposing manager, and the official scorekeeper, if present, or the scorekeeper of the home team:

  • The starting batting order shall consist of nine (9) players or ten (10) players if the EH (extra hitter) is used. The extra hitter may bat anywhere in the batting order.
  • All players on the roster shall be listed by name and number beginning with the nine (9) or ten (10) players in the starting line-up, followed by all other players.

4.6 Each pitcher shall be allowed to pitch a maximum of sixteen (16) innings over the course of the tournament. One pitch by a pitcher constitutes a full inning pitched. There is no minimum time restriction before a pitcher is allowed to pitch from day to day. It is a serious expectation that all coaches will use their best judgment in taking into consideration the safety and welfare of their athletes when making such decisions.

4.6.1 If a pitcher is removed from pitching in a game, he may not return as a pitcher in that same game. He may reenter the game as a position player.

4.7 Pitchers shall be allowed seven (7) warm-up pitches at the beginning of each half of the first inning, and five (5) warm-up pitches between innings. Pitchers coming in relief shall be allowed seven (7) warm-up pitches. If a pitcher in a game is injured, the replacement pitcher shall be allowed as many warm-up pitches as necessary.

4.8 There will be no Designated Hitter due to the free substitution rule (see 4.9).

4.9 Each team may play with an EH (10 batters) in the line up. Each team may substitute freely in the field. A starting player that is in the original line up must only hit in his original spot in the order if he comes out of the batting order and returns. A starting player may re-enter the batting order only once. A substitute (non-starting player) may be put into the batting order only once during the game. Once he is removed from the batting order, he cannot return to bat but he can still play anywhere in the field.

4.9.1 If a team is down to eight (8) players due to player(s) ejections(s), then the team must finish with eight players and may not add a ninth player. This will result in an automatic out whenever the ejected player’s spot occurs in the batting line-up.

4.9.2 If a team is down to eight (8) players due to an injury, then the team may re-enter a player in the line-up for the injured player.

4.10 The manager or coach shall report the name, number and position of a player entering the lineup to the official scorer or the scorekeeper for the home team and the umpire.

4.11 A pinch runner for the catcher will be mandatory with two (2) outs. The runner shall be a player not currently in the batting order. If there is no player available on the bench to use as a courtesy runner, then the player who made the last out in that portion of the inning shall be used as the catcher’s pinch runner.

4.11.1 In addition to rule 4.11, a courtesy runner for the pitcher and catcher shall be allowed at any other time throughout the game at the coaches’ discretion. Both the pitcher and catcher may not use the same courtesy runner; however the chosen courtesy runner must be the same person each time either the pitcher or catcher gets on base. Courtesy runner(s) shall be a player(s) who have yet to be inserted in the batting lineup. If this player is inserted into the line-up to replace another position player then he may no longer act as the courtesy runner for whomever he originally ran for. At this point another athlete who has yet to be inserted into the game may act as the replacement courtesy runner for the pitcher and/or catcher. If there are no eligible players available to act as courtesy runner then the pitcher and/or catcher must run for himself. In the event that there are two outs, and the catcher is on base, rule 4.11 will take effect.

4.12 A manager or coach shall be allowed to make one (1) trip to the mound per pitcher per inning. A second trip requires a pitching change unless it is for an injury. In the event of an injury dispute, the umpire’s decision shall be final.

4.13 A manager or coach shall be limited to one (1) conference per batter or base runner per inning.

4.14 One warning per pitcher per game shall be issued in the event of a balk. The balk rule shall be enforced for a second offense.

4.15 In preliminary rounds, teams receive three (3) points for a win, one (1) point for a tie and zero (0) points for a loss. If there are ties in the standings after preliminary rounds, the following procedures shall determine team rankings.

If 2 teams are tied:

  1. Head to head competition (if applicable)
  2. Record against common opponents in preliminary round play (if applicable)
  3. Overall opponents’ total won-loss points in preliminary round play
  4. Score differential versus common opponents in preliminary play (if applicable). Maximum run differential of ten (10) per game.
  5. Draw names to determine seeding. First name drawn is the higher ranked (better) seed.

If 3 or more teams are tied:

  1. Head to head competition (used only if all 3 teams have played one another and one team is undefeated vs other opponents)
  2. Record against common opponents in preliminary round play (if applicable)
  3. Overall opponents’ total won-loss points in preliminary round play
  4. Score differential versus common opponents in preliminary play (if applicable). Maximum run differential of ten (10) per game.
  5. Draw names to determine seeding. First name drawn is the higher ranked (better) seed. Continue process until all names have been drawn.


A. If 3 or more teams are tied, using the procedures listed above; the highest seed of the 3 (or more) shall be determined. If there are still 3 or more teams tied follow the same instructions above, pulling out one team at a time then restarting the entire process until there are two teams than only one left.

B. A member of the Baseball Committee and/or the overall Baseball commissioner or designee will draw names. Delegation heads will be notified of the results.

4.16 In addition to Rule 4.4.1 above, a team shall forfeit a game under the following circumstances:

4.16.1 If a team refuses to play a game or withdraws from the field before the end of a game without a valid reason, as determined by the Baseball Committee, in such an event, the team shall be disqualified from the tournament, and all previous and subsequent games shall be forfeited.

4.16.2 If a team does not have nine (9) players to start the game or eight players (8) to finish the game.

4.16.3 Persists in tactics that are intended to delay the game in the judgment of the umpire.

4.16.4 If the coach is ejected from the game, and no other member of the coaching staff remains and no credentialed adult from the delegation, excluding spectators, is available to assume the coaching duties.

4.16.5 The score of a game that is forfeit shall be 10-0.

4.17 The ground rules for each site at which baseball is played shall be determined by the Baseball Committee.

4.18 Coaches of both teams must sign the game results’ card and return it to the umpire, who shall turn the card into the baseball site coordinator or member of the Baseball Committee.

4.19 Home and visiting teams shall be determined by the SAC, with all teams in the tournament having an equal opportunity to be the home and visiting team in preliminary rounds.

4.19.1 In medal round play, the higher seeded team will be
the home team.

5. Tournament Format

5.1 The format for all team and individual sport competitions shall be created by the Sports Advisory Committee (SAC). Final sports competition formats will be determined after consultation between the applicable SAC Chair and the Host Community.

5.2 Slotting of teams in the preliminary rounds shall be done by a blind draw conducted by a member of the SAC.

5.3 Every effort will be taken to create a tournament that allows each team to participate in a minimum of five (5) games.


6.1 A player who intentionally removes his helmet while running the bases shall be called out.

6.2 A player who intentionally throws his bat or helmet while at the plate shall be given a warning by the umpire. A second offense, whether intentional or unintentional, shall result in ejection from the game.

6.3 Only players, coaches, managers, and other credentialed team personnel shall be allowed in the bench area or on the field. All spectators must remain in the designated spectator area.

6.4 Abusive or intimidating language or aggressive behavior by any player, coach, manager, or team official shall be grounds for ejection from the game.

6.4.1 A coach, manager, or team official ejected shall leave the field immediately, and shall have no contact with the team for the remainder of the game. Failure to leave the field or continued contact with the team or remaining coaches after ejection shall result in a forfeit.

6.4.2 Rule 6.4 shall apply to spectators, and the umpire, member of the Baseball Committee, or other official of the Games shall have the authority to have a spectator removed from site. Failure of a spectator to leave the field after told to do so shall result in a forfeit for the appropriate team.


7.1 Clean and customarily acceptable baseball attire shall be worn by all participants. If there is a question as to the acceptability of the attire, the decision of the Baseball Committee shall be final.

7.2 Each player shall have at least one (1) uniform top.

7.2.1 The backs of the uniform tops shall have numbers. The numbers shall be at least six (6) inches high. Players shall wear the same number throughout the tournament.

7.2.2 Coaches are required to wear his/her team’s jersey or the delegation’s coaches’ shirt.

7.3 Metal cleats are allowed for all age groups.

7.4 All catchers must wear face masks, throat protectors, helmets, chest protectors, cups, and shin guards. Players warming up pitchers between innings must wear a facemask. The use of mouth guards by all players is strongly recommended.

7.5 Players who are on deck or on the bases must wear helmets; players coaching the bases must wear helmets as well.

7.6 Each team is responsible for its own bats, helmets, and catcher equipment, which must meet the specifications of the NFHS.

7.6.1 14U & 16U divisions – the weight of the bat shall not weigh more than three ounces (3oz) less than the length of the bat; (-3 and below weight to length ratios must be used) BBCORE certified bats only.

7.6.2 It is the coaches’ responsibility to ensure that all players use the correct size/weight bat. In the event that a player should use the wrong size/weight bat, he will receive an automatic out regardless of whatever he accomplished in that at bat. This player and his team shall receive a warning. Any further incidents involving the incorrect bat weight or size, regardless of the player involved from the team, will result in the offending player’s ejection from the game.

7.7 A player taking part in the medal ceremony must wear shoes and his competition uniform.

7.8 No jewelry shall be worn during competition.


8.1 The following medals shall be awarded:

  • First Place JCC Maccabi Gold Medal
  • Second Place JCC Maccabi Silver Medal
  • Third Place JCC Maccabi Bronze Medal

Download the 2014 Baseball Rules