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Mason County Youth Baseball Association


Mason County Youth Baseball Rules
mcyba game rules for printing.pdf
New Rules for SSB

MCYBA Game Rules

Precedence of Rules:

● MCYBA Rules first – these rules supersede PONY National

● PONY National Rules – these rules supersede MLB

● MLB Rules – these rules apply to what the rules above do not address


1. All leagues see PONY bat rules published separately and posted on web site.

2. Metal cleats are allowed only for Pony and up. No metal for Bronco and below unless authorized for tournament play. Metal cleats are generally prohibited on artificial mounds; coaches and players must plan accordingly.

3. Eight players are required on defense, except Shetland may play with 6. If a team is unable to field the minimum required players, the game is forfeit.

4. Unlimited defensive substitutions unless batting 9 or 10 with formal substitutions for Pony per rule (5), except a player removed from the pitcher’s position for any reason may not return to the mound during the same game.

5. Bat the entire line-up except formal substitutions are optional for Pony.

A. Pony and up may bat 9 or 10 and use formal substitutions if desired.

i. When 10 are batting, one is an extra hitter who may be freely substituted on defense. Starters may re-enter once.

ii. A Designated Hitter is not allowed.

6. Players must play defense at least half the innings in a game (rounded down), including when formal substitutions are used (i.e. players must play at least 2 innings of defense in a 5-inning game or 3 in a 7-inning game). Managers must plan accordingly. Violations of this rule result in forfeiture and possible sanctions for the manager.

A. The minimum inning requirement is lifted for an injured player if the injury is declared to the umpire and opposing manager, and the player is removed from the lineup.

B. Teams are not forced to forfeit when failure to meet this requirement is a result of disciplinary action by the manager, provided the umpire-in-chief and opposing manager are informed at the time of the action, and the player is removed from the lineup.

C. The minimum inning requirement is lifted for a player added late in accordance with rule (7) if the late player participates on defense during all remaining innings or until the minimum inning requirement is met.

7. Late arriving players may be inserted at the end of the line-up prior to the beginning of defensive play by the team in question: in the 5th inning for Pony and up, the 4th inning for Mustang and Bronco, and at any time for Shetland and Pinto. Late arriving players must be played so as to ensure the best opportunity to meet the minimum inning requirement of (6) above.

8. An ejected or disqualified player is the only automatic out and will be recorded as such in the batting order unless using formal substitutions for Pony and higher leagues per rule (5) and a substitute player is available.

A. If an eligible substitute is not available on the bench, the player last removed from the lineup may be used per PONY rules.

B. The game is forfeit if a team falls below 8 players as the result of an ejection.

9. Whenever an injured player is unable to complete an at bat or his/her time on base, the umpire and opposing manager must be informed, and the player must be removed from the game unless using formal substitutions per Rule (5).

A. A courtesy runner may be used for an injured player other than the catcher or pitcher of record only if the runner is removed from the game under rule 6(A) as a result of the injury.

B. A player not removed from the game remains subject to the minimum innings requirement, and must bat in turn unless substituted. A player who is not returned to the game in time to meet the minimum innings requirement must be removed from the game per rule 6(A).

10. During the pregame conference, coaches will declare any borrowed players and their position in the lineup, and will declare the number of pitches pitched by each player since midnight of the current day.

11. Pitching Rules: Any team member may pitch (excluding Shetland and Pinto where a machine is used.) subject to the restrictions of the pitch count as recommended by Pitch Smart Guidelines for the particular age classification unless modified by Pony Baseball. MUSTANG, BRONCO, and PONY are to use the chart below. No pitcher shall appear in a game as a pitcher for three consecutive days, regardless of pitch count. If a pitcher has the available pitches (aka has not reached their DAILY MAX PITCHES), a pitcher could pitch in two (2) games in a day. Pitchers reaching their maximum number of pitches in a day while pitching to a batter, may finish pitching to that batter before being removed. A pitcher is charged with the number of pitches in the specific calendar day and week in which they are pitched, regardless of whether they are local organization league games, playoff of postponed games or suspended games, tie games or exhibition games. Rest is calculated as per calendar day. Scorekeepers must maintain accurate pitch counts for both teams’ pitchers. Both books are to be signed in ink by both managers and the umpire in chief. Pitching logs also must be reported along with scores see rule #25. Pitchers in violation of any of the pitching rules shall be considered ineligible players, subject to the penalties stated for use of an ineligible player (see Pony Baseball Rules 18 - Penalties Section(s) C and D). The player and manager will be ejected, the game forfeit and said player and manager ruled ineligible for the next scheduled contest.






Daily Max Pitches

0 Days

1 Day

2 Days

3 Days

4 Days






























12. A new pitcher is allowed 10 warm-up pitches. Pitchers returning to the mound are allowed 5 warm-up pitches. Pitchers should complete their warm up in approximately one minute. Pitchers must be ready and work diligently. Umpires may allow additional time or pitches in cold weather or when other circumstances dictate, but should ensure the proper progress of the game.

13. Inning length for:

A. Shetland: after each batter on a team has batted.

B. Pinto: 3 outs or 3 runs scored.

C. Mustang: 3 outs or 5 runs scored through the 4th inning, otherwise, 3 outs.

D. Bronco: 3 outs or 6 runs scored, through the 4th inning, otherwise, 3 outs.

E. Pony: 3 outs

14. Mercy rule: 10 runs after the 4th inning and 8 after the 5th inning for all levels except Shetland and Pinto.

15. Official games, regulation games and time limits. Games will be played to time limit or regulation innings, whichever occurs first, no new inning may be started once the time limit has been reached. Any inning started prior to time limit that extends beyond said limit will be completed, aka complete an inning started before time limit is reached. There is no official game requirement related to slow pace of play. Extra innings (i.e. the 7th inning in a Bronco game) may be started in a tie game provided the time limit has not been reached; otherwise it is acceptable for a regular season game to end in a tie. For games where play must be stopped before time has been reached, see rule (16).

A. Shetland: official game 1 complete inning; regulation game, 6 innings; time 1:15 (no new inning)

B. Pinto: official game 2 complete innings; regulation game 6 innings; time 1:30 (no new inning) 

C. Mustang & Bronco: official game 4 innings; regulation game 6 innings; time 1:45 (no new inning)

D. Pony: official game 5 innings. regulation game 7 innings; time 1:45 (no new inning)  

16. The only time an official game requirement must be considered is when play must be stopped before time due to field conditions or another matter beyond the control of the officials, including darkness or the failure of artificial lighting.

The following rules govern:

A. If the last complete inning of play met the official game requirement of rule (15), and the umpire has not put the ball in play to begin the next inning, the game will be called and the score will be according to the last inning of play.

B. If the home team is leading in the bottom of an inning required to be completed in order to meet an official game requirement, the game will be called and the home team will be declared the winner with the score recorded as it stands when the game is called.

C. If the official game requirement has been met previously and the home team is leading in the bottom of the current inning, the game will be called and the home team will be declared the winner with the score recorded as it stands when the game is called. Regardless of score, if play is in the top of the inning at the time play is stopped, the game will be called and the score will be recorded as it stood after the last complete inning of play.

D. If an official game has not been played, and none of the above conditions have been met because of field conditions or another matter beyond the control of the officials other than the slow pace of play, the game will be suspended and continued at a later date. Bookkeepers confirm game situation prior to leaving the field.

17. Slug bunting – a bunt position followed by an aggressive swing is prohibited. If the batter contacts the ball, he or she will be declared out. The ball is dead and runners may not advance. Otherwise the umpire will issue a warning and a strike will be called.

18. Head first slides are allowed for Pony and up. Bronco and below base runners are out on a headfirst slide except that a dive to return to a base when in close proximity, including a pick-off attempt, an over-run, or when in a rundown is allowed.

19. Bat Regulations: Non-wood bats are identified by a “Drop Factor,” which is the difference between the length of the bat in inches and the weight of the bat in ounces. For example, a 30” bat weighing 21 ounces would be referred to as a Drop 9. A 33-inch bat weighing 30 ounces would be a Drop 3 bat. Drop 3 bats are generally for older players.

Bats Used in PONY Baseball Play must meet the following criteria:

No bat shall be used if dented, cracked, modified, or misshaped.

All bats must be 2-5/8” or less in diameter. 2 ¾ inch bats are not allowed for play at any level.

Wood bats 2-5/8” or less in diameter are approved at all levels.

Non-wood bats are approved for play as follows:

● 2-5/8” diameter Drop 3 bats must be stamped BBCOR .50 (or less) by the manufacturer and are legal at all levels of play.

● USABat: With the exception of -3 BBCOR Certified bats all 2-1/4" and 2-5/8" Bats stamped by the manufacturer with USABat licensing stamp are legal for league and tournament play.

20. If a safety base is in use, the white portion must be located where first base would normally be (in fair territory) and the colored portion in foul territory. A batted ball hitting any part of the white portion is fair. On the initial throw to first base from the infield or outfield, the batter-runner must touch the orange portion of the bag. If the runner steps partly on the white and orange bag and does not otherwise interfere with or hinder the play, he will be called safe on appeal. If the runner steps part way on the white bag and contacts the defensive player at all, or in the opinion of the official interferes or distracts from the play, or if the runner steps fully on the white bag, he will be called out on appeal, except when D below applies. The defensive player must always touch some part of the white portion. This rule is in effect only on the initial play at first base.

This does not include:

A. Returning to the base after over running. Runner goes to white. A runner fully on the orange bag is off base.

B. Running on a base hit to the outfield (runner may touch the orange or white part), or

C. Re-tag to advance on a fly ball. Runner goes to white.

D. The runner may use the white part of the bag and will be called safe on appeal if in the opinion of the official he/she does so solely for the purpose of avoiding the defensive player. Normal rules of obstruction and interference remain in effect per umpire judgment. Note: If the base-runner uses the orange portion at any time after the first attempt at first base and is not in contact with the white portion, he is considered off the base.

21. Incidental contact occurs in baseball; however, a runner must slide or avoid contact if a fielder is attempting a tag. A runner who fails to slide or avoid will be called out. A player may be ejected for intentional, flagrant or malicious contact. In all cases the rules of interference and obstruction are in effect.

22. For Mustang play and up, a thrown bat is a delayed dead ball. The batter will be called out or the defense may elect the result of the play.

23. A courtesy runner is allowed on request to the umpire in charge, for the catcher or pitcher who last fielded the position in the previous inning. A courtesy runner will be permitted only when ready to immediately assume the position of the runner on base. The courtesy runner will be the player farthest from hitting in the lineup (usually the last out), except when using substitutes, the courtesy runner will be any eligible bench player. A. A courtesy runner may be used for an injured player other than the catcher or pitcher of record only if the runner is removed from the game under rule 6(A) as a result of the injury.

24. Each team must supply one new game ball for each game when both teams are SSB teams. The home team provides two new game balls for each interlock game. Hard balls need to have a leather (not synthetic) cover.

25. The winning team is responsible for reporting game results and pitch counts for both teams within 24 hours of game completion, except the SSB team is responsible for reporting interlock games aka games vs Shelton. Shelton teams are required to report score and pitch counts thru the appropriate form on the MCYBA website. The procedure is posted in the Coaches Corner on our website. Failure to report within 24 hours of the completion of the game will result in the game being recorded as a tie, except that interlock games will be recorded as a loss. 

Penalties for managers who fail to report within 24 hours. 

A. 1st offense will result in a meeting with the coach and their district director.

B. 2nd violation will result in a one (1) game suspension. 3rd or more:

Further violations will result in a minimum one (1) game suspension, the league has discretion to increase this penalty or expel and or ban the offender. Shetland and Pinto game results are not reported.

26. The home team is responsible for reporting a game cancellation. The procedure is posted in the Coaches Corner on our website. Only weather-related cancellations will be rescheduled.

27. Interlock games will be played under the home team’s league rules.

28. The manager and Umpire-in-Charge will sign a pitching record card after verifying the score and the number of innings pitched for each pitcher. The pitching record and signatures are to be recorded in ink and will be submitted to the league by the umpire.

29. Borrowing players: if a team has fewer than 9 players available, players may be borrowed from MCYBA registered ball players of that level or the level below. Borrowed players must be announced at plate meeting, bat last, and may not pitch. A team borrowing players can only borrow for a team total of 10 players (i.e. a team having 8 players can borrow 2 players for a total of 10.). Violation of this rule will result in the game being forfeit. A). Same player may not be borrowed more than three times by the same team during the season. Violation of this rule will result in the 4th game being forfeit.

Rules specific for the MUSTANG LEAGUE


1. Base path is 60’.

2. Pitching distance is 46’.
3. 9” 5-ounce hard ball is used.

4. Base stealing is allowed

5. Base-runner can lead-off.

6. Balk rule in effect

7. Advance on a dropped 3rd strike per MLB rules.

8. Ball is live or dead according to MLB rules.

9. Infield fly enforced.

10. Metal cleats not allowed.


Rules specific for the BRONCO LEAGUE

1. Base path is 70’.

2. Pitching distance is 50’.

3. Metal cleats not allowed.


Rules specific for the PONY LEAGUE

1. Base path is 80’.

2. Pitching distance is 54’.

3. Metal cleats are allowed. No metal cleats allowed on portable mounds or turf fields.

Pony Rules
PONY Baseball Rulebook 
Mason County Youth Baseball will implement the new Pony Age Key in two (2) year increments.  This year we will implement the August 31st age cutoff in the Pre Shetland (3 & 4),  Shetland 6U, and Pinto 8U divisions.  All remaining divisions will use the April 30th age cutoff. 

Mason County Youth Baseball Association will adopt the USA Bat standard for the Spring 2019 season and beyond.  Only bats with the USA Bat stamp will be legal for play in MCYBA.