Rookie Ball Rules

UpdatedSunday January 5, 2020 byBEN BARRS-20200104.




The following rules are to be used exclusively for Rookie League division for district and state tournament play in South Carolina and also by Midland for regular season t ball division play.


The National Dixie Youth Baseball “AA” division rules that are currently in use will be the basic set of rules for Rookie League / Midland division play with the exception of these rules noted below.

  • Baselines shall be Sixty (60) feet.
  • A twelve (12) foot diameter circle will be used for the pitching area with the center of the circle being thirty five (35) from the back edge of home plate.
  • Level 5 safety baseball will be used.
  • The pitching coach must pitch standing up.
  • A team may score a maximum of five (5) runs per inning with the exception of the last inning when they can score ten (10). (Amended 03/2017)
  • There will be a ten (10) foot arc in front of home plate, the ball must pass this line to be fair.
  • Each team may have five (5) coaches. Pitcher coach, catcher coach, two base coaches, and the dugout coach.


1:01 The length of the baselines shall be sixty feet (60).

1:02 The distance from the front side of the pitching slab to the point of home plate shall be thirty five feet (35’).

1:03 The minimum distance from home plate to the nearest outfield fence shall be 160 feet.

1:04 Player-Pitcher must wear a protective helmet with a face guard. 1:05 The catcher must wear a batters helmet with facemask. The Catcher may play anywhere within the catchers box.

1:06 There will be a (10’) arc from the back of home plate, the ball must go past the arc to be a fair ball


2:01    “Pitching Circle” is a circle approximately twelve feet (12’) in diameter, around the center of the mound or pitcher’s slab.

2:02    “Player-pitcher” is the defensive player playing the pitching position, except he does not pitch to the batter.

2:03    A “bunt” is defined as an obvious attempt by the batter to bunt the ball, including but not limited to the normal squared around stance.


3:01 Ten (10) players will be allowed in the lineup on defense. 3:02 An inning will consist of three (3) outs or five (5) runs. 3:03   A continuous batting order will be used.

3:04    Players on defense must play 6 outs.

3:05    Four (4) Outfielders will be at least ten feet (10’) behind bases.

3:06 A team may score a maximum of five 5 runs per half inning, except in the 5th inning, they may score a maximum of ten (10) runs.

3:07 There will be five coaches (5). One (1) will remain in the dugout at all times.


4:01   There will be no: “Infield Fly” rule in effect; Walks or Intentional Walks; Base stealing;

Called-strikes, a strike must be a missed attempt or foul ball; Bunts;

4:02 A regulation game shall be five (5) innings for tournament and Midland league play unless the 10 or 15 run rule applies. (Fifteen runs after three (3) innings or ten (10) runs after 4 innings.

4:03    Coaches will be limited to the following:

Offense: Pitching Coach who can coach the batter while in the batter’s box, a Dugout Coach, (2) two base coaches and the catcher coach.

Defense: Two coaches will be allowed on the field and they must stay 10ft behind base path at all times unless time is called to address umpires. (Amended 02/201

4:05 The pitching will exit the playing field as soon as the ball is hit and any interference on the part of the pitcher will be a judgment of the umpire and will result in a no pitch.

4:06 The Pitching Coach must STAND while delivering the pitch.

4:07 All teams must play a regular baseball infield. Up to six (6) players will be allowed in the infield. Infielders must stay behind the (35’) line until the ball is hit. Outfielders must stay (10’) behind the base path until the ball is hit.


5:01 With runners on base, a timeout will called by the umpire after each play comes to a natural end.

5:02 A caught fly ball, the ball is alive and runners may advance at their own risk.


6:01 Each batter will be allowed five (5) attempts. After three (3) pitches the batter must hit from the Tee. If the third pitch is fouled off.  The batter will receive another pitch.  If the ball is not fouled off, then the batter must hit from the Tee.  THE TEE WILL BE PLACED ON THE PLATE. If the fifth (5) attempt is fouled, the batter will be allowed another attempt. If that pitch is fouled, the batter will be allowed another attempt, etc...A foul ball on the last attempt shall not count unless a foul fly is caught in the air; then the batter is declared out. If the batter hits a live pitch, the batter/runner can advance unlimited bases until play comes to natural end.  If the batter hits from the tee then the batter/runner may advance one base only.  (Amended 1/2019)

 6:02 Any over thrown ball to first base ONLY, each runner may only advance one base in which an attempt has been made to reach that base and is liable to be put out. (Amended 1/2019)


7:01    The Player-pitcher must have at least one (1) foot completely inside the pitching circle at the time of the pitch and no closer than the pitching slab. Penalty: Pitch or no-pitch at the choice of the offensive team.

8:00-THE BAT

8:01   In the Rookie League division, only TEE BALL BATS will be allowed. Tee Ball Bats will be stamped with the USA Baseball Mark and the language “only for use with approved tee balls”


A simple procedure to teach and follow:

  1. If time is OUT: Pitcher takes position on mound, catcher takes position behind home plate, wait for home plate umpire to call or signal that time is IN, pitcher steps out pitching circle and takes or throws the ball to the player covering the base on which the appeal is to be made,* player with the ball in his possession tags (steps on) the base missed by the runner and state what you are appealing. If more than one runner crossed the base, specify the specific runner (such as "the second runner") that missed the base.
  2. If time is NOT OUT: Any player in possession of the ball takes or throws the ball to the player covering the base on which the appeal is to be made, and proceed at the corresponding point as shown by the * in the above paragraph.
  3. When time is OUT, the coach will make appeals for 5 & 6 year olds.


REVISED and approved by the South Carolina Dixie Youth Board 11/30/2018

(To download a copy of these rules, click on the file below)


Midland Rookie Ball Rules vev11:2018.pdf