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Pony Local Rules

ELIGIBILITY FOR PONY BASEBALL: CSYBA Pony is primarily for kids that are in the 7th and 8th grade. During Summer it is for kids who just completed the 7th and 8th grade. During Fall Ball, it is for kids just entering the 7th and 8th grade. Recreational level 9th graders are permitted only by commissioner approval. Any exceptions to player eligibility can be requested and will be reviewed by the commissioner.

COMPETITIVE BALANCE: Stacked teams, all-star teams, travel teams, or any preformed teams are strictly prohibited from participating at the Pony division. All participating communities are required to have an open-registration where everybody plays. Any exceptions to this rule must be requested and approved by the league commissioner.

Communities with multiple teams participating in the Pony division must make every effort possible to assure teams are well balanced. This could be achieved through a draft, an evaluation session, or other means to assure competitive balance across a communities multiple teams.

If as the season progresses, it is determined by the league commissioner that a community neglected to make an effort to balance its teams, or have included an all-star caliber team in the league, the commissioner has the authority to take disciplinary action towards that particular team or community, including making that team ineligible to participate in post-season play.

No team can be made up of predominately older players. All teams must have at least 1/3 of its players comprised of 7th graders. Exceptions can only be made to this rule if there are imbalanced registration numbers.

National Federation High School (NFHS) Baseball Rules, also commonly reffered to as IHSA rules, serve as the main rule book for the CSYBA. It is supplemented only by these Local Rules. Umpires are prohibited from making, enforcing, interpreting, or in any manner varying NFHS Rules and/or these Local Rules. Each Manager and coach must be thoroughly familiar with NFHS and these Local Rules, which supersede the NFHS rules in every instance. Compliance with the rules is mandatory and any violation as formally reported by the opposing manager or detected by the NSYBA Commissioner could be grounds for forfeiture of the game(s) in which the violation occurred.


    1. The coaches shall promote sportsmanlike conduct and control the behavior and deportment of their players, assistant coaches, fans, as well as themselves.

    2. A player or coach who swears, throws a bat or batting helmet, or is otherwise disruptive or unsportsmanlike shall be given a verbal warning by the umpire. A player or coach who engages in such conduct may, at the umpire’s discretion, be ejected from the game.

    3. Ejection of a player, coach, or manager from any game by the umpire for a substantiated violation of the Rules will subject the ejected person to appropriate disciplinary action after review by the CSYBA Commissioner.

    4. Conduct that is detrimental to the CSYBA subjects the offender to suspension from the CSYBA.


    1. Rubber-cleated shoes are highly encouraged. Metal Spikes are allowed, although they are prohibited on turf fields.

    2. During games, all players are required to wear full uniforms. The uniform shirt should be tucked in and brim of hat facing forward at all times.

    3. The ONLY bats allowed for use are USA Baseball Stamped bats, BBCOR Bats, and all Wood Bats, including Composite Wood. Bats that are marked with a USSSA Stamp and 1.15 BPF are NOT ALLOWED. If a player uses an illegal bat and a pitch is thrown, the batter will be called out and all runners will return to the base they were at when the pitch was thrown. The defensive team has until the next pitch is thrown to make a claim on an illegal bat.

    4. Any player who is catching for a pitcher must wear a catcher’s mask, including the time when the catcher is “warming up” the pitcher and no batter is present. All players must wear cups.

    5. No jewelry may be worn.


    1. The distance between bases is 80 feet.

    2. The distance from the pitcher’s rubber to home plate will be 54 feet.


    1. All games will begin at game time. Please have all players arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the game for warm up. A 15-minute grace period will be given before a forfeit is declared.

    2. The home team must provide two (2) new baseballs for the game balls for each game. If the condition of the game balls deteriorates during the game, the umpire may require either or both teams to provide one or more new game balls.

    3. Regulation games will be seven (7) innings for the Pony League. Each game will have a time limit and NO NEW INNING will start after 2 hours and 15 minutes has elapsed.

    4. When a game is tied at the end of regulation, it will go into extra innings, if time allows according to the time limits outlined in Rule 4.3

    5. There is no limit to the amount of runs that can be scored in a particular inning. OPTIONAL: During regular season games if both managers agree prior to the start of a game, the game can be played using a maximum runs per inning rule. The league recommends seven (7) if coaches agree to play with a run limit.

    6. Any team that compiles a 10 run lead after 5 complete innings shall be declared the winner.


    1. The pitcher will be allowed a maximum of 7 warm-up pitches between innings.

    2. If there are two outs and the team at bat has its catcher for the next half inning on base, the catcher on base should be removed from the base and be replaced by the player who has made the last out. In addition, if there are two outs and the catcher of the hitting team is not on base, the umpire should remind the coach to get the catcher ready to start the next half inning.


    1. Every available player on a team will bat in a continuous batting order in a game. 

    2. A late arriving player will enter at the end of the batting order as the last batter in the score book.

    3. A team must have eight (8) rostered players present to start the game. In the event a team cannot field eight (8) rostered players after the game has started, the team may continue playing with no less than seven (7) rostered players. During regular season play, there is no penalty to playing with only eight (8) players.

    4. All players present during a game must play at least 4 complete innings in the field. 3 of these innings must be in the field prior to the start of the 6th inning

    5. Substitution during regular season play: If a team does not have ten (10) players of their own, they may use a 6th grader from their communities sponsored Bronco league. That player cannot pitch but is allowed to play any position in the field. The player must bat at the bottom of the batting order for the team for which they are substituting. During the Fall session in regular season play, teams can borrow a 7th grader from another Pony team from their community.

    6. Substitution during tournament play: If a team does not have ten (10) players of their own for a tournament game, they may use a fill-in player from the lower age group. All fill-in players must be current 6th graders that played in the communities house league during the Spring, Summer, or Fall. Any usage of a fill-in player during tournament play should be noted to the opposing coach as well as the league commissioner. That player cannot pitch but is allowed to play any position in the field. The player must bat at the bottom of the batting order for the team for which they are substituting


    1. Each pitcher may pitch a maximum of three (3) innings during the Spring and Summer session. During the Fall session, a pitcher can pitch a maximum of (4) innings per game and (4) innings total over the course of a three-day weekend.

    2. Pitch Counts are not tracked by the league. However, the league strongly advises using pitch counts listed from the official PONY league Baseball rules, outlined in our League Safety page.

    3. A pitcher who has withdrawn from the mound will not be permitted to return to the mound as a pitcher in the same game.

    4. If a relief pitcher comes in cold, the umpire should allow the pitcher to warm up properly with at least seven (7) pitches.

    5. Any pitcher who hits three batters during a game will be immediately replaced and will not be allowed to pitch again in that game. The home plate umpire may waive this rule if a batter could/should have moved to avoid being hit.

    6. The umpire will warn the pitcher when a balk occurs in the first instance for each pitcher. Subsequent balks will be penalized at the discretion of the umpire


    1. Lead-offs and Base-stealing are allowed at all bases. Runners are permitted to slide head first when sliding back to a base, or if they are sliding to the next base. However, there are no head-first slides into home plate. A runner who does so will be called out.

    2. Intentionally initiating contact at any base is prohibited. If, in the umpire’s judgment, the runner either tries to make contact with the fielder or does not make an effort to avoid unnecessary contact, the runner is called out.

    3. Any defensive player who does not have possession of the ball shall not impede the progress of the offensive player as he or she runs the base. The offensive player will be awarded the base and other as seen fit by the umpire.

    4. A baserunner must make every attempt to avoid a defensive player who is fielding the ball in the baseline. If the baserunner interferes with the defensive player in this situation the baserunner will be called out.


    1. If a player shows bunt, they must either bunt the ball or pull back. If the player shows bunt, pulls back, and then swings, a dead ball will be called, and the batter will be called out.

    2. A batter who throws their bat is given a warning. If that players throws their bat a second time, he is automatically out and a dead ball will be called.


    1. Each team must supply a scorekeeper who is responsible for maintaining a game score book for that team. Scorekeepers should confirm the game score with each other at the end of every half inning. Head coaches, if requested, must supply one another with the batting lineup prior to the start of play.

    2. League standings will be kept and will be the primary determinant for playoff seeding seeding for the end of season tournament. During Fall session, slight changes to playoff seeding will be made to reduce travel.

    3. All scores must be submitted by the winning team to the league commissioner using the online form within 48 hours of the contest.

  11. RULES

    1. The League Commissioners have the authority to make final interpretations and applications of and changes to these rules at any time.

    2. For any rules not specifically covered here, NFHS rules apply


    1. Unless addressed specifically herein, Regular Season Rules in effect at the end of the Regular Season apply throughout the playoffs.

    2. For all tournament games, there is no time-limit. Games will continue until a winner is determined.

    3. The 8th inning, and any subsequent extra inning will be played under normal rules until a winner is determined.
    4. For any scenario not covered by the above, the League Commissioner will rule.