WELCOME TO THE MINOR LEAGUE PAGE AT EAST LINCOLN OPTIMIST
Recommended for ballplayers ages 9-10, as of April 30, 2020. Players are given the opportunity to build and refine their fundamental skills while beginning to understand game strategy and teamwork. In most regions, some of the participants may experience post-season tournament competition in this level, leading to the 10 Year-Old World Series. East Lincoln has joined the Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken League, which is exiciting news for our organization. See the following link for any additional information.
Spring 2020 Baseball Important Dates (Tenantive Schedule and Subject to Change (Weather and Other)):
Signups begin 1/18/2020
In person signups at the Clubhouse 2/22/2020
Late Fee for Signups begins 2/27/2020
Signups close 3/5/2020
Assements 3/7/2020; field 2 at 8:00 am (further details will be provided the week of)
Practices begin the week of 3/9/2020
Games start the week of 4/4/2020
Tournament Championship Game 6/6/2020
SEE ABOVE LINK FOR THE BATTING RULES FOR 2020 (EFFECTIVE 1/1/2018).
ELOC Boundaries to Qualify for All Stars- South of Hwy 150, West of Catawba River (Mecklenberg County, North of 485/I85 and east of Hwy 321. Any questions please ask.
Thank you to all the coaches and all of our volunteers.
Minor League President
Minor League rules are governed by Official MLB Baseball rules supplemented or superseded by Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth and/or ELO Local Rules. The following rules are specific for the spring 2019 Minor League Season.
Schedule: Once the schedule is put in place it is considered “final”. Other than weather, or another very material event, a game will not be canceled or postponed. Note any “make up” may be played within 40 hours from postponement.
Uniforms: Shirts are to be tucked in and hats straight while the child is on the field of play during a game. The umpire is to send back a player to the dugout prior to the start of an inning in the event any adjustment(s) to the uniform must be made. Please note this will take away warm up time, including a pitcher/catcher, during either the beginning or middle of an inning.
Stealing: Players are allowed to steal all bases. Bases are 60 feet with No lead-offs. Base Runner(s) must maintain in physical contact of the base (1st, 2nd and/or 3rd) at all times. Once the pitched ball reaches the catcher’s initial position by either hitting the glove or by means of a “passed ball” the runner(s) can steal/advance at their own risk. Runners leaving/crossing line before ball reaches the catcher’s position may be called out, an umpires judgment. Batters who are walked may attempt to advance to 2nd base at their own risk, only if the play is continuous (i.e., if they do not stop on the bag/base).
Once the pitcher is around the area of the rubber (both feet on the mound, umpires judgement) a runner cannot steal until either the pitch crosses the plate, a pick-off attempt (at defenses own risk) is made at any base or the pitcher steps off the rubber and leaves the mound.
Delayed Steals: Delayed steals or intentionally baiting or attempting to draw a throw to advance another runner by the back runner(s) are not allowed, examples of this are as follows:
The back base runner intentionally runs only a few steps with the intention of baiting a throw from the catcher and stops. However, this is a judgment call by the umpire and the “baiting” needs to be obvious. It should not just be an honest mistake by a young player who misunderstood a “steal” sign and took a few steps in the direction of the next base and turned around and came back. Nor should it be a player who instinctively is almost at the next base and when he sees the ball in the baseman’s glove (a sure out) turns and goes back in the other direction. If the umpire deems a delayed steal has occurred, all runners will be made to return to the previous base. It will be considered a dead ball once the ball is under control- however until under control the runners will be running at their own peril.
Pinch running: Is allowed only when an injury has occurred, unless there are two recorded outs for the “catcher” position only, at the discretion of the head coach/designated coach, not a requirement. This deviation is allowed to help speed up the game. The pinch runner must be the last “batted” out.
Sliding: There is no mandatory slide rule (however we should be coaching it); unless there is a play at Home Plate (a play at the plate- Catcher has the ball to make the play/ attempt an out). If there is a play at home plate all players must be taught to slide. However, if at any time a player intentionally runs over, lowers his head, shoulder or forearms a defensive player in an attempt to be safe, the base runner shall be automatically called out at the discretion of the umpire- depending on the severity of the infraction, an ejection may and can be imposed. Again please know the rule for the catcher- the catcher is not to be in the base path without the ball (play being made), as that is an interference call, which creates an unnecessary collision.
Head first sliding is also not allowed except when returning to a base that he/she has already reached safely. Assuming no intentional or incidental contact (as described above) is made during a head first slide, a warning shall first issued, with the runner called “out” if the same infraction is repeated during the same game by the same runner.
Minor League Pitching Rules: Pitching mound to back tip of home plate shall be 46 feet.
As soon a pitcher delivers one pitch to a batter he/she is deemed to have pitched in one inning. Same Day Limit: A pitcher may not pitch more than 70 pitches in a day. However if a pitcher faces a new batter prior to 70 pitches, he may complete the full time at bat (for e.g. a pitch count may exceed 70 pitches, as long as a new batter was faced with 69 pitches or less). If 3 batters are hit in any one inning or a total of 4 in a game by the same pitcher, the pitcher must come out of the game or be substituted to a different position. On the 2nd visit to the pitching mound in the same inning or on the 3rd visit in a game by a coach (to prevent delay of game with a time limit), the pitcher must also come out of the game or be substituted to a different position. NEXT Day Limit: A pitcher is allowed to pitch on consecutive days only if he/she pitches a total of 45 or less the first day and may pitch up to 45 for day 2 (90 total pitches for the 2 days). Weekly Limit: A pitcher may not pitch more than 140 pitches during a seven day period beginning at 12:01AM Monday ending 11:59PM Sunday 40 Hour Rest Rule: If a pitcher pitches 46 or more in one day he/she must rest ~40 hours (no back to back days- this is to allow those to pitch Thursday evening and Saturday morning) from the scheduled starting time of the game in which the pitching occurred until the start of their next pitching appearance.
Pitcher cannot return to the pitching position (differs from MLB and Cal Ripken) ‐ A pitcher removed from the pitching mound and substituted may not be able to return to the mound, regardless if he remains in the defensive field line up through the entire game.
Pitch Counts- it is the responsibility of both teams to determine the pitch count. It is recommended each time the side is retired (middle and bottom of the inning(s)), the pitch count is confirmed between both teams. If there is a conflict the two numbers should be averaged to be enforced by the umpire.
Balks: Balks will not be enforced. However, if a balk occurs that materially impacts the batter’s at bat (judgment call by the umpire), the umpire shall call “time” and the play is considered dead.
Overthrows: A runner may advance as many bases as possible at his/her own peril on an overthrow, except when a ball goes out of bounds (e.g. rolls into the dugout, etc.), in that instance the runner is given one additional base regardless of the location from which it was thrown. Please note that the maximum base advancements for an “out of play” throw is one (may differ from MLB).
Also any obstruction call, there is only one automatic base advance granted. Any additional base advance is at the risk of the runner (for e.g. if an obstruction occurs between 2nd and 3rd and there is no play at 3rd or 2nd, nor a run down and the runner makes a decision to advance home, he/she does at his own risk- unless the obstruction is so blatant that he/she would of reached home with ease and no play would have been made (for e.g. a knock down and injury to the runner, which renders him powerless to continue)- note this is solely a judgment call).
Dropped third strike: Will not be in effect, regardless of the number of outs.
Intentional Walks- In the event of an Intentional Walk, the coaching staff may indicate to the umpire without a pitch being thrown (follows the MLB rule). However 5 pitches shall be added to the pitch count for an intentional walk (to avoid intentionally walking a batter to get further down the line up without incurring additional pitches to the pitch count).
Player Batting Order: All players present for a team will bat in a successive order for the entire game. Only 9 defensive players will be allowed on the field at any given time (e.g. 3 outfielders), a minimum of 8 players is needed for a game; otherwise the game is a forfeit. If a player arrives late he may be inserted into the line‐up and must bat in the last position. If the line‐up already has batted around by the time the late player arrives – they still may be inserted in the last spot WITHOUT an out recorded the first time through the line‐up. This only applies if the team STARTS with 8 batters. If 9th spot comes up before the 9th player arrives – an out is recorded. If the late player is the 10th batter – NO OUT is recorded. If a team starts with 10 and a player has to leave early (for any reason; personal, injury, or otherwise), then the vacated spot is NOT to be counted as an automatic out. However, if a team starts with 9 and a player has to leave for any reason then the vacated spot IS counted as an out.
Substitute players are defined as: any player registered in the ELOC baseball program for the season in question that is in the Rookie League if the coach and parents feel he has the skill set to play up. Substitute players can only play an outfield position and bat last in the line-up. A player assigned to the team cannot sit out innings while substitute players play (If there are 9 rostered players a Substitute cannot be utilized).
Player substitution: No player may sit out consecutive innings (unless it is for disciplinary reasons, injury or illness). Violation of the substitution rule must be corrected immediately if identified by either Head Coach. Willful violation of this rule will result in forfeit and/or Head Coach Suspension. Any disciplinary, injury or illness must be reported to the opposing head coach and umpire. A player is NOT required to sit out during the game. A player sitting twice before another player sits out once is allowed. It is however encouraged that each and every player, who is willing, to play one inning of defense in the infield of play. Infield play positions include 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, P, or catcher- a total of 6 different positions.
Infield Fly Rule: Does apply Definition of Rule - Since the purpose is to prevent double plays, the rule applies only when there are fewer than two outs, and there is a force play at third base (i.e., there are runners at first and second base, or the bases are loaded). In these situations, if a fly ball is in fair play, and in the umpire's judgment it is catchable by an infielder with ordinary effort, the umpire shall call "infield fly", and the batter will be out regardless of whether the ball is actually caught in flight. Umpires typically call out “Infield Fly the batter is out” or raise one arm straight up to signal to everyone that the rule is in effect.
If "infield fly" is called and the fly ball is caught, it is treated exactly as an ordinary fly ball; the batter is out, there is no force, and the runners must tag up. On the other hand, if "infield fly" is called and the ball lands fair without being caught, the batter is still out, and there is no force, but the runners are not required to tag up. In either case, the ball is live, and the runners may advance at the risk of being doubled-off if the ball is caught. Foul balls - If the fly ball is near the foul lines, the umpire is to declare "infield fly, if fair." If the ball is not caught and ends up foul (including if it lands fair and then rolls foul), infield fly is cancelled, and the play is treated as an ordinary foul ball. In contrast, if the ball lands foul and then rolls fair, infield fly takes effect and the batter is out. "Ordinary effort" - Any fair fly ball that could have been caught by an infielder with ordinary effort (Minor Skill Level taken into account) is covered by the rule regardless of where the ball is caught. The ball need not be caught by an infielder, nor must it be caught in the infield. For example, if an infielder retreats to the outfield in an effort to catch a fly ball with ordinary effort, the infield Fly Rule may be invoked, even if an outfielder ultimately caught the ball, and even if no infielder attempted to make a play on the ball. Similarly, a fly ball within the infield that could have been caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, but is caught by an outfielder, would also be covered by the rule.
Bunting: Bunting is allowed and encouraged; however, once a batter gets into a bunting position/stance, he/she can either bunt, attempt to bunt, or pull back or take the pitch. A batter can NOT pull back out of the bunting stance, lean back and swing away; should this occur, the batter is automatically out (no slashing).
Scorebook: The Home Team scorebook is the official record (must retain and turn all scorebooks in at the end of the season). The Head Coach of the Home Team shall report via email the final score of the game to the Minor League President within 48 hours.
Ten (10) Run Rule applies to all games after 4 innings except the tournament championship game. End of the season all Scorebooks are to be turned into the League President.
Time Limit: Official games will typically be 2 hours max with no new innings to be started after 1hr 45 minutes. The exception to this rule may be for any evening games played during the week that are “double stacked” back‐to‐back where for example we have a 6:00pm start time followed by another 7:45pm start time on the same field. Doubled stacked games during the week will not start a new inning after 1hr 30 minutes (instead of 1 hr. 45 minutes). This will apply to both the first and second game. The 7:45 game- teams are to be ready to hit the field and ready to play at 7:30.
Tournament Championship Game: there is no time limit; however, it may be discussed in the event it is played during a school night.
The time limit determination is made based on the start time called by the umpire at the beginning of the game and the time the umpire has when the last out is made in the bottom of the preceding inning.
Games will consist of 6 innings. Intentionally stalling for time in order to avoid another inning being played is prohibited.
In case of inclement weather, or time limits a game is considered complete after 3 innings (2.5 innings if the home team is ahead) or 50 minutes of play.
In some cases the time limit restrictions may be extended (within reason) for Saturday games that go into extra innings or nights not double stacked.
Games that end in a tie should be extended for one additional inning under the International Rules (last batted out starts at 2nd base to start the inning). If after one inning the game remains in a tie, it shall be recorded as a tie. The exception to this rule may be for any evening games played during the week that are “double stacked” as described above, for example we have a 6:00pm start time followed by another 7:45pm start time on the same field, where there may not be additional time for an extra inning; therefore, results are considered a “tied game” and shall be recorded as such.
Please clean and clear your dugouts immediately following your game so the next game can proceed ASAP
Protective equipment: Catchers and pitchers must wear protective equipment and a cup. No player can catch or pitch in a Minor Game without a cup. A cup is also strongly recommended for all other players, but is not required. Helmets with facemasks must be worn by all batters. Metal cleats are prohibited; rubber molded cleats are allowed.
Baseball Bats: All bats must be regulation baseball and be no more than 2 5/8” in diameter with a USA Bat stamp to comply with Cal Ripken bat rules. However in the event of a bat rule change by Cal Ripken during mid-season, the ELO Baseball Commissioner and/or Minor League President will make a decision prior to any exclusion of a particular bat goes into effect (House Rule).
Umpires: Umpires are to be treated with the utmost respect at all times. It is not permissible for coaches to yell, strongly debate, or in any way show disrespect to umpires. It is the Head Coach’s responsibility to ensure that all Assistant Coaches, spectators, parents, and players maintain respect for the umpires. It is ok to ask questions or to ask for clarification of a rule or call.
Suspension: Any coach or player that is thrown out of a game, regardless of the reason will receive an automatic one game suspension. Furthermore, the matter will be referred to the League Director and the Baseball Commissioner for review and possible further sanctions. If ejected another time in the same season the coach will have to appear before the Board of Directors before coaching another game. Keep in mind the Board meets once a month and no special meetings will be called for coaches that are ejected for the second time.
Protest: The proper procedure for a protest of a call is to call “time” and for the umpire to grant you time. Then you need to go speak with the umpire in a controlled and subdued manor. You have the right to an explanation of a call or rule. However, you must understand and respect that much of baseball rules is left to the sole judgment of the umpire. Although you may plead your case, you must accept their decision as final. Any rule violations should be discussed with the umpire and the opposing head coach for clarification and/or correction, however games will not be played under protest. I must reiterate only the head coaches (or the designated coach) shall enter the conversation/field of play during a time out. All other coaches are to return to their dugout.
House Keeping: ALL dugouts and fields will be cleaned up after each game by both teams. Remember if you see trash on the fields and in the common areas PLEASE pick it up and throw it away. Bases will be put out and put up by both teams. Team or teams to have the last game or practice of the day will put the bases away and rake fields to fill in holes around bases, pitching mound and home plate.
Field Lights: Do not turn on field lights until 15 mins before dark. Never turn off the Main Breaker in the Electrical Panels; to turn off and on, please use the individual breakers.
Press Boxes: Children under the age of 16 are not allowed in the press boxes without parental/adult supervision. Please turn off all lights, equipment, etc., dispose of any trash and make sure all windows and doors are locked before leaving.