The A League is an instructional league. The objective of this league is to have the players improve and have fun.
Team. Short warm up and then play the game. All players will play in the field each inning—use short left/right fielders and position a fielder with the Coach pitcher.
Heart guards are required for ALL players.
Helmets are mandatory for ALL players. All players who appear for a game must have their own batting helmet.
Batting lineup. All players must be included in the batting order. A side is retired after 3 outs or when the entire team bats through once.
Only your better skilled players should play first base. This is for flow of game and safety, and it’s important that your players and player parents understand this.
There are no umpires. Coaches call all plays at the bases.
Coach Pitch/Coach Catch ONLY
Coaches from the team at bat will pitch and catch
3-4 strikes and then hit off tee
Foul balls and missed ball swings ONLY are strikes. NO called strikes.
It is recommened that the coach pitch on one knee or sitting on a ball bucket. It is much easier to hit the ball when it is on plane as opposed to traveling on a severe downward angle.
Approach. Coaches should encourage players to be aggressive at bat. Players should swing at all good pitches—e.g., anything close to the plate—and attempt to put the ball in play.
Bats. Only approved/regulation bats will be permitted for use.
Bunting. There will be no bunting.
Throwing the bat. If a batter dangerously throws the bat after hitting the ball, a warning should be issued. The player should be called out if it occurs again.
Overthrow. A runner CANNOT advance on any OVERTHROW. Once an overthrow is signaled by the coach, the play is dead. The runner will be directed to go to the base to which he was advancing, which shall be determined by the coach at his discretion.
Advancing. We recommend that players generally advance one base at a time, so that both infielders and base runners can experience various baseball situations. Running indiscriminately from base to base just to score a run is not permitted. For example, a runner should not score from second base on an infield hit or slow roller that reaches the outfield, and a runner should not score from first base on a single to the outfield.
Stealing. STEALING will not be permitted.
Infield fly rule. There will be NO INFIELD FLY RULE.
Contact with fielder. A base runner must avoid contact with a fielder who is making or about to make a play. A base runner must not collide with or run into a fielder in any situation. That said, fielders should be taught NOT to block the bases (especially when the play is away from them).
Head-first slides…And sliding in general. A base runner may NOT slide head first into any base, even if returning to a base. If a base runner does so, the runner will be called out. Further, players should be DISCOURAGED from sliding at all, even feet first. Sliding is not integral to the game at this level, it is not a priority for instruction, and players (the runner and/or the fielder) are more prone to injury.
Arguing. Arguing from among coaches, players and/or parents will not be tolerated. Any individual arguing over a call or other such incident will be directed to leave the field. It is the responsibility of the coaches from both teams to monitor disruptive behavior and address immediately. Any player or parent removed for this reason must be reported to the A League Coordinator by the coach.
Mistreating equipment. Bat or helmet throwing is extremely dangerous and will not be tolerated. Any player who FLAGRANTLY THROWS a bat or helmet in anger should be removed from the game (and must sit for the remainder of the game). No warnings need be issued. Any player who is removed from the game for this reason must be reported to the A League Coordinator by the coach.
Reporting. ALL INJURIES are to be reported to the Chatham Recreation Department and the A League Coordinator. An injury is defined as any time that medical treatment (from band aid to ice pack) is performed. Additionally, all A League head coaches will carry a FIRST AID KIT to each practice and game. Kits will be refreshed with supplies when depleted.
Emergency contact. Each coach will have an emergency contact number for each player at all practices and games. In the unfortunate event of a serious injury, parent and/or guardian emergency contact must be made, and the emergency contact person will be responsible for further medical attention.
SKILLS CHECK LIST
All coaches are obligated to continually develop individual player skills:
Learn to approach ground balls, catch, set and make a strong throw to the appropriate base.
Learn to catch a pop up/fly ball, set and throw to the appropriate base.
Learn how to hit a pitched ball with a quick level swing, DROP the bat and run to first base, looking to take the extra base if instructed to do so by the 1st base coach.