Last Updated on May 25, 2023

Rules Clarification

       Recently, there have been a number of issues concerning the duration of our River Valley Baseball games.  I find it necessary to answer these questions in order to dispel the confusion that evidently exists.  Here, then, are the answers straight from our rule book:
          “In ages 9u through 18u, game duration shall be 7 innings or one hour and forty-five minutes (1:45).  In these age divisions, no new inning shall begin after the time limit has elapsed.  A new inning begins when the third out is registered in the previous inning.” (2.02)
          “River Valley Baseball shall impose a ‘mercy rule’ in all age divisions.  If the run differential (the difference between the two team scores) in a game reaches 15 after three completed innings (or two and one-half innings if the home team is ahead), or 10 runs after five innings (four and one-half innings if the home team is ahead), the contest shall be declared a victory for the team that is ahead and that score shall be final”  (3.02)
          “In the event that the home team is ahead when the final inning is begun and:
1) remains ahead after the visiting team completes its turn at bat AND
2) time expires prior to the home team completing its turn at bat,
          The final score shall revert to the score of the last full inning, prior to the start of the partial inning.  In lieu of playing the inning to its conclusion when the home team is ahead and stays ahead, this rule is in place to comply with time restrictions and to guarantee fairness to both teams in regards to the tie-breakers of runs scored and runs allowed.”  (2.03)
          “River Valley Baseball shall impose a five runs per inning limit in divisions 8u & 9u, and a seven runs per inning limit in 10u & 11u.”
          Regarding the runs per inning rule, I must stress that the purpose of this rule is to ALLOW kids to play, not to LIMIT their playing time.  This rule is NOT in place to eliminate a losing team’s final at-bat, simply because they cannot tie the game or take the lead due to the run limit.  For example: The 10u game is nearing the time limit, with the home team trailing by 8 runs.  When the final out is registered in the top of the inning, the umpire calls the game stating, “Game over, because you can’t catch up.”
         That is incorrect.  The home team should not be deprived of their final at bat, regardless of the score (the lone exception being rule 2.03, above).  We do not play here at BAA simply to determine winners and losers.  We are here to help these youngsters learn the game and learn to love the game.  Run limits are there to facilitate that mission, not to thwart it.  I apologize if any of you have been victimized by the misapplication of these rules.
– Bob Totterer

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