The Miracle League of Southwestern PA

Every Child Deserves a Chance to Play

Competitive Youth Division

The following rules are for the Competitive Youth Division:

  • For players who are 5 to 17 years old.  Players must be 5 years old before May 1st and can’t be 18 years old or older after April 30th.
  • Special consideration can be made for children outside of that range on a case by case basis.  Please contact the Miracle League Coordinator for approval.
  • This is a competitive division.  Players can be called out and a team can lose a game.
  • Buddies are optional for a player.  This is a Parent/Guardian decision.
  • An umpire covers each game to call balls/strike, fair/foul, out/safe and has the final call on all plays.
  • The score will be kept.  A team can win, lose, or tie.
  • Teams consist of no more than 10-13 players.
  • See the rules that are the same for all Miracle League Divisions.

Game/Inning Length:

  • All rules apply as in Little League unless otherwise listed.
  • Game is played for 4 innings.
  • A half inning is completed when either 3 outs are reached, or 5 runs cross the plate.
  • Only 5 runs may be scored in a half inning, with the exception of the final (4th) inning
    • In the final inning, each team will be permitted to have every player bat one time permitted 3 outs have not occurred
  • If a home run or extra base hit results in more than 5 runs:
    • Play will continue until its end
    • Only up to 5 runs will count

Fielding Rules:

  • Fielding gloves are optional for fielders, though highly advised
  • The following positions will be filled in the infield:
    • Pitcher (must be in the pitcher’s circle as the ball is pitched)
    • 1st, 2nd, 3rd, SS
    • Rover (directly on 2nd base)
  • The remaining players will be spread throughout the outfield
  • Fielders are not permitted to block the bases.
  • If the umpire deems that the base has been blocked, the runner will be awarded the base.
  • Fielders may use a Buddy.
  • A coach or other designated person will pitch to their team.
  • A fielder may not advance towards home past the pitcher’s mound until the ball is hit.
  • If the umpire determines a violation, the batter is awarded the base.
  • Outfielders may not encroach to the infield .
  • Fielders must tag a runner, not their Buddy, to tag them out.

Batting Rules:

  • A batter may choose to be pitched to, or use a tee
  • A batter may choose either option at each at bat
  • A batter may not change their choice in the middle of an at-bat
  • A batter being pitched to will have 5 swings.  After 5 swings, a tee will be used.
  • A tipped ball foul follows foul rules.
  • A ball must be hit off of the tee to be considered in play.
  • A batter cannot foul out.
  • Batters must wear helmets.
  • A Buddy may not hit for a batter.

Baserunning Rules:

  • Runners may not steal bases.
  • Runners may not advance a base on overthrown balls.
  • Runners may not lead off.
  • Runners cannot be picked off.
  • Runners must wear helmets.
  • Runners may use a Buddy to help them run the bases.
  • Buddies must make every effort to avoid balls hit into play.
  • If the Buddy is deemed to have purposefully interfered, the runner is out, and a warning is given.
  • A hit ball that hits a runner is considered a dead ball.
  • On a dead ball, the batter is given first, and every forced runner is given one base.
  • Since the bases are not raised (flat), as long as a base runner is close to the bag while running the bases, the umpire may accept that as a “touched” base.  The same argument can be made about the fielders.

Competitive Buddy Rules

  • Buddies are there to assist the players and ensure an enjoyable experience for all the kids involved, not just their partner.
  • If the umpire determines that a Buddy is in violation of the spirit of what is in the best interests of the kids, a warning will be given. If a second offense occurs, the Buddy will be removed from the game.
  • Buddies are optional for the players.
  • Buddies may help a player run the bases by pushing their chair.
  • Buddies who are helping their players run must make every effort to avoid balls in play.
  • If a Buddy intentionally interferes, it is considered a violation and will result in their player being called out, as well as a warning for first offense, or a removal if given a prior warning.
  • A Buddy may not be tagged to tag their runner out.
  • A Buddy may not interfere with their player being tagged.
  • A Buddy may not bat for their player.
  • Buddies in the field.
    • A Buddy must always play behind their player, unless a “more advanced” player is at the plate.  A buddy may then move beside the player for safety.
    • A Buddy may not catch or throw a ball for their player.
    • A Buddy may not stop a ball for a player if it is considered to be beyond their reach.
    • A Buddy may stop a ball that is hit at a player if the player needs help fielding it.
    • A Buddy may pick up and hand a stopped ball to their player if help is needed picking up the ball.
    • Buddies must give every opportunity for their player to play the ball.