The Official HRL Rule Book

(Updated for 2011 Season)


Section I:  Equipment & Regulations




1.   Only baseball size Wiffle Ball brand balls are to be used.

2.   There will be four (4) bases as First Base, Second Base, Third Base, and Home Plate.

3.   There will be an object strike zone, placed 3 feet behind the tip of Home Plate and measuring 20 Inches wide, 30 Inches high and 12 Inches above the ground.

4.    For glove and bat rules, see the Fielding and Batting sections below.




1.   Each individual chooses a “Team” at the beginning of the season (i.e., Fred’s team is the Tigers.)

2.   Teams are done pick-up style, whoever shows up plays.

3.   Captains are chosen and those captains will be the pitcher of record for their own team. 

4.   A Coin Toss will determine choice of first pick.  The winner of the coin toss may waive his right to first pick and take the next two picks.  Picking is done one at a time after that. 

A.         There must be at least 4 players present to have an official HRL game.  If this situation occurs with 5 players, the Automatic Fielder rule must be invoked.  This rule states that there must be 3 defensive players on the field at all times.  The designated Automatic Fielder will play defense for both teams and is awarded two defensive games in the stats.

B.          2 on 2 games can occur as an absolute last resort.  No one player can play in more than one of the 2 on 2 games per day.  This is only to be used if all other efforts have been made to find an auto fielder.( see above rule ) Also both pitchers must agree to participate.

C.         Teams may not have more than 3 players playing defense.  That is the pitcher and 2 outfielders.

D.        Teams may not have more than 6 players per team.



5.   Players play for the pitcher’s team, even though they have their own team. (i.e., Fred is pitching, so the team is the “Tigers” even though he has two other players on his team, who each have THEIR own teams, such as Ed, who is the “Reds” and John, who is the “Giants”.)

6.   The captain acts as “Manager” of his team.  Players will play positions and bat in the order as determined by the pitcher for that game without exception.

7.   The Loser of the Coin Toss gets choice of home or visiting team.

8.   Games are 6 Innings, using extra innings if necessary, 3 outs per team.

9.   A 10 Run Mercy rule will be in effect after 4 complete innings.

10. In the case of a rain delay or any other circumstances, a game is legal after 4 complete innings.

11. Official HRL Game Sheets will be used to record all stats, including the batting order for that game.  If no game sheets are available use whatever is at hand.






Section II: Rules




1.         Pitchers must keep a reasonable speed.  It is 40 MPH as an actual Speed.  It’s a gentlemen’s game. If you are asked to slow it down, do so. After you have been warned a Ball will be issue for pitches exceeding 40 MPH, that will be followed by a walk every pitch after that.

2.   Pitchers must pitch from the Pitcher’s Mound area (From or near the rubber in the ground).

3.   Any type of pitching grip is allowed.

4.   No loading balls (i.e., putting rocks inside the ball.)  A light scuffing is allowed.

5.   Pickoffs are allowed.

6.   Balks are not called

7.    Any ball with a crack longer than one quarter inch will be deemed as unusable.

8.    A save can be obtained when the starting pitcher removes himself from the game. This can occur
only in the 6th inning or later and only if that pitcher is leading the game by 5 runs or less.

9.    If the save is blown then the loss or win goes on the record of the reliever.

10. Players with the least amount of decisions have first choice to pitch.




1.   Plastic and Aluminum bats are allowed.  No “Captain Caveman” bats allowed.

2.   No stopping potential strikes by leaning into them or stopping them with the hand or body.  Failure to abide will result in a strike on the batter.

3.   Bats may be taped to your liking.

4.   No bunting.

5.   Throwing bats deliberately to distract fielders will result in an automatic out.

6.   Teams may bat more than 3, but must use extras as designated hitters.

7.   Batting out of order results in an automatic out.

8.   Bats cannot exceed  2 3/4' in width or 36' in length.

9.   No wood bats or wood handled bats are allowed.



 Base Running


1.   No stealing is allowed but a runner may take a lead off a base and get a head start on a pitch at his own risk.

2.   Ghost runners can be forced out by tagging its destination base before the runner gets to first. (i.e., the ghost is as fast as the batter.) Ghost runners may only advance if they are forced to the next base.

3.   Tagging on flies and liners is allowed; Runners may leave at first contact.

4.    Runners are allowed to “get in the way” of a ground ball for distraction as long as the runner remains in the base line.

5.   Runners are awarded the base they were headed to plus one on an errant throw that goes past the Out of Play lines. Except in a pick-off attempt, if the ball goes out of play in this case, runners may only advance 1 base.

6.   Runners cannot advance unless the ball leaves the pitchers hand. 

7.   On an errant throw that stays in fair territory, runners may advance at will.




1.   No more than 3 fielders at one time on defense.  Players may substitute freely on defense.

2.   Fielders may not go behind the fence to catch a ball.

3.   If a fielder catches a fly ball and falls over the fence and retains possession of the ball, the batter is out.  However, all base runners advance one base.

4.   Fielders may throw balls at runners for outs.

5.   Gloves are optional.


Pinch Run Rule


1.    No pinch running of any kind before the 4th inning.

2.    A player may be used as a pinch runner only once per game.

3.    A player may be pinch run for more than once per game.

4.   Players who switch bases for strategic advantage will be considered pinch runners and cannot pinch run again for the remainder of that game.

5.   In the event of a ghost runner, players must take any base that is there base first. If they do not have a base they can take any open base.  You may not switch bases for strategic advantage. In the even of a 3 player of less team, a player may move to any open base without a penalty. This will not count as a pinch run.

6.    Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis in the event of an injured player.



Section III:  Situations


     A hit ball is a base hit if…


1.   It hits the fence in any way and the runner gets to at least first safely.

2.   The ball lands past the hit line (hit line is at 55 feet on the field of play) and the runner gets to at least first safely.

3.   A SHARPLY hit ball is bobbled. (Bobble’s are allowed, but the fielder must not let it touch the ground and have control before the batter reaches first). If it does hit the fielder then the ground an Error will be called. This case the batter is safe.

4.   If the batter gets to first safely before the play is made by the fielder whether it stops or not.

5.   A ball that  is hit foul but comes back into the field of play before 1st or 3rd it is considered a live ball and fair and must fielded before the batter reaches 1st for it to be an out.


 Ground Rule Double


1.   Ball rolls through or under the fence in any way.

2.   Ball rolls past any “Home Run Lines” where there is no fence (i.e., a grounder down the third base line that is a fair ball but rolls past the fence).

3.   A ball bounces off the ground and over the fence.

4.   If a ball bounces off the ground then goes off a fielder and over the fence.


     Home Runs


1.   Ball goes over the fence in the air, or hits a foul pole in the air.

2.   Batter legs out all four bases without a defensive error.


Doubles and Triples


      A double and a Triple will be awarded for any player that reaches the base legitimately without a defensive error. Advancing up a base when pitchers are not paying attention does not count as a 2B or 3B. You must be continuing to the base for it to be counted as either of the two.



1.   The “Dud Zone” is an area which is a 10 foot radius from the tip of home plate.

2.   Balls that die in the “Dud Zone” are ruled as a “Foul ball”.


     Automatic Fielder Rule


            If necessary, an automatic fielder may be used to ensure that there will be three defensive   players at all times.  One player will play in the field for both sides for that game.  The AF will     be awarded two games counting toward defensive stats.  Note:  Every effort will be made to get          6 players before invoking the AF Rule.  This is intended as a last resort only.


     The Gay K Rule


            A fouled third strike that hits the Strike zone board will result in a strikeout.

            As of the 2008 the Gay K rule now has immunity and cannot be voted out.


     The Mercy Rule


            After 4 innings if a team is ahead by 10 or more runs, the game is over.


     Out of Play

            Any ball that hits the bench or anything in the bench area is OUT OF PLAY.  If the ball      crosses the out of play lines, the play is dead and the base runners advance one base each.


     A grounder is an out if…


1.   It’s fielded cleanly (can be bobbled, as long as it doesn’t touch the ground) before the runner reaches first base.

2.   Any base runner is touched by the ball.

a.   If a runner is hit by a batted ball…

1.   The runner is out and play is dead.

2.   The hitter is credited with a hit and takes first base.

3.   All other runners advance one base.


     It’s a strike if…


1.   It’s swung at and missed.

2.   It’s fouled off.

3.   It hits the Strike zone board

4.   The batter messes with a good pitch.  There is no first warning.


     A base runner is out if…


1.   The ball touches any base runner and he’s not on a base.

2.   He’s forced out when a fielder tags the base he’s headed for.

3.        He’s tagged out or hit with a thrown ball.


     A word on Umpiring…


            Calls (safe/out) will be made only by players in the game only.   If the call cannot be resolved         by the players involved in the game, then a “do-over” will occur.


Playoffs Section IV


At the end of the season the top 10 teams (players) will play for the Championship.  In order to qualify for the playoffs you must pitch at least 8 games.  The top 10 winning percentages will be who makes the playoffs.  

  1. Tie Breakers
    1. First Tie-breaker is Head to Head. If you have played more than once or not at all it goes to the 2nd Tie-Breaker.
    2. The 2nd Tie-Breaker is next common opponent (i.e Fred and John are tied and they didnt play eachother. So we will look to see who there common played opponent is. We look from seed #1 down. The player with the best record vs the common opponent wins the Tie-Breaker.)
    3.   The 3rd Tie-Breaker is a Coin-Flip.
    4. If there is a tie for the last playoff spot, a play-in game will occur vs one another. If there is more than 2 teams tied, there will be a "Mini-Playoff" for the last spot.

               Disciplinary Policy


Failure to follow the instructions of the team captain or not following the un-written rules of conduct subjects a player to the following measures:

There will be no Suspension's. Collectively we will decide if any 1 person is spoiling it for others what will be done about that person. We will decide if they can stay or not.  There is no exception. You don’t need to like one another just have fun and respect each other and the game.