Tiverton Wiffleball League Rules

League Rules

Basic Rules:

  • 2 outs per inning
  • 7 innings per game
  • 3 strikes and you're out
  • No walks (unless intentional walk is issued)
  • Minimum of 4 fielders required to play, Maximum of 7
  • Batters must run the bases
  • A baseruner hit by the ball is out
  • Pitching speed limit of 35 MPH


Complete Rule Book:

Section 1: The Playing Field

1.00: Field: The angle created from the tip of home plate will be 90 degrees from foul line to foul line.

1.01: Infield: There will be a distance of 45 feet between all bases.

1.02: Outfield: The foul poles will be no less than 100 feet, and no more than 130 feet from home plate. The center field wall will be no less than 94 feet, and no more than 150 feet from home plate. The outfield wall will be no lower than 4 feet high.

1.03: Pitcher's Mound: The pitching rubber will be 36 feet from home plate, and may not be elevated more than 12 inches.
     1.03a: There will be a circle with a 5 foot diameter around the rubber known as "The Pitching Circle".

1.04: Grundle Zone: A straight line going across the infield, known as the "Grundle Zone" will be marked 20 feet from home plate. The Grundle Zone is considered foul territory.

1.05: Batter's Box: Batting boxes are optional.

1.06: Foul Territory and Out of Play: Foul territory is not considered out of play. (*see rule 6.06)

1.07: Ground Rules: Will be discussed between the two team captains prior to each game.


Section 2: Playing Equipment

2.00: Ball: Only white, baseball sized, official wiffleballs (eight slots on one side) will be used for play.
     2.00a: Balls artificially scuffed, or doctored will be deemed illegal.
     2.00b: Balls with a crack longer than 1/4 of an inch will be deemed illegal.
     2.00c: No foreign matter may be added to the ball.

2.01: Bat: Can not exceed 36 inches in length, and 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
     2.01a: Can not have tape or any other foreign matter 18 inches from the knob of the handle.
     2.01b: Must have it's outer barrel made of plastic, unless it is made by the Moon Shot Company.
     2.01c:  May be "corked" with any stationary, non-metallic substance.
     2.01d: A poorly constructed bat may be ruled illegal if it poses a safety risk.

2.02: Footwear: Any footwear, or lack of, will be allowed with the exception of metal spikes.

2.03: Gloves: No gloves will be allowed in the field.
     2.03a: Batting gloves may be worn by the batter, and base runners only (but you will be made fun of).


Section 3: Uniforms

3.00: Uniforms: Are not required.


Section 4: Teams

4.00: Teams: Rosters must have a minimum of 4 players,  prior to the start of a game.
     4.00a: A team can use a maximum of 7 fielders.
     4.00b: If teams are uneven, the team with more players may play with up to 7 fielders.
     4.00c: Players arriving after the start of a game will be placed at the bottom of the order and may play immediately.
     4.00d: Injured players will be skipped over in their spot in the batting order, with no penalty assessed to their team.
     4.00e: A player having to leave a game early must inform the opposing team before the start of the game, otherwise an out is recorded when their spot in the lineup comes up
     4.00f: A player must play for his team during two separate weeks, prior to the trading deadline to be eligible for their playoff roster.

4.01: Batting Order: Teams may choose their own batting order.

     4.01a: All players present during the game will bat, regardless of how many players the other team has.
     4.01b: A team batting out of order will be charged with an out.

4.02: Substitutions: A player can not DH two consecutive innings.
     4.02a: All fielders (with the exception of the pitcher, *see rule 8.02) may change positions at any time.

4.03: A team may utilize a steady pitcher, who is not in the batting line up (ex. most likely due to injury).
     4.03a: If a steady pitcher is substituted for, he will not be permitted to play in the field, or bat.

Section 5: Game

5.00: Game: Seven innings equal a normal game.

5.01: Outs: Two outs per team, per inning.

5.02: The Count: Three strikes is an out.

5.03: Walks: Only intentional walks will be awarded. Hit by pitches will count as a ball.
     5.03a: A team can only receive one intentional walk per inning.
     5.03b: A player can only receive one intentional walk per game.

5.04: Strike Zone: The strike zone will be approximately 26" high x 22" wide. The bottom of the strike zone will be approximately 18" from the ground, and be set 30" from the back of home plate.

5.05: Base Running: No leads, or base stealing will be permitted.
     5.05a: Base runners can not advance when the ball is possessed within the pitching circle, unless they have already rounded a base prior to said possession.

5.06: Mounding: The fielding team may force a runner out at first by possessing the ball within the pitching circle.
      5.06a: If a player is already awarded first base he can not be mounded out (example: not tagging up).

5.07: Pegging: Any ball hitting a base runner while he is not on base will be considered an out.
     5.07a: When a player is pegged, the ball is considered dead. No base runners can advance, except runners forced to advance, or a player more than half way to the next base.
     5.07b: If a player is pegged while on a legal base, he will be ruled safe, and the ball will be considered in play.
     5.07c: A fly ball that hits the batter while not in the batter's box is considered an out.
     5.07d: If a player is hit by a batted ball while on base, the play is dead, and the batter is ruled out. (*per MLB rules)

5.08: Strike Zone Pegging: The fielding team can throw the ball into the strike zone to record an out when a runner is attempting to score.
     5.08a: If the runner is more than half way between third base, and home plate when the chair is pegged, he can not claim that he was on his way back to third.  

5.09: Tagging: When a fielder physically tags a baserunner, without ever releasing the ball, it will be ruled a "tag".
     5.09a: When a baserunner is tagged, play is still alive.                           

5.10: Bunting: Bunting is legal, as long as the ball bunted does not rest in, or is fielded in the grundle zone.
     5.10a: A bunted ball that rests in, or is touched the grundle zone, with two strikes to the batter will result in an out. 
     5.10b: If either team has only 4 fielders,bunting will not be permitted.                                  

5.11: Infield Fly Rule: There is no infield fly rule.

5.12: Extra Innings: Will be played the same way as the first seven innings, until a winner is determined.

5.13: Official Game: A game is considered official when 4 complete innings have been played, and one of the teams is winning.

Section 6: Game Situations

6.00: All batted balls must be in fair territory, and past the grundle zone to be playable. Otherwise, it is a foul ball.
    6.00a: A ball that comes to rest on, or is fielded on the grundle zone line, will be fair.

6.01: A ground ball touched by a fielder in the grundle zone is automatically ruled foul.

6.02: A fly ball touched by a fielder in fair territory will be considered in play, regardless of where the ball lands.

6.03: A fly ball hitting the wall, and then a fielder that gets deflected over the wall is considered a ground rule double.

6.04: If a fielder attempts to catch, or stop a batted ball in fair territory with a foreign object (ie. hat), the batter will be awarded a ground rule triple.

6.05: Any fly ball caught, without the use of a foreign object, regardless of how far into foul territory, is considered an out.

6.06: When a peg attempt misses the baserunner, all base runners may advance (at their own risk) to the base they were running towards at the time of the missed peg, plus one additional base. 
     6.06a: Regardless of where the ball lands, it will not be considered out of play.

6.07: If a ball is damaged, but still whole, during a play, the play must be finished until completion.
     6.07a: A ball that splits in half when batted is considered a ground rule double, regardless of whether or not it is caught.  As long as one half lands in play, or is caught in fair territory.
     6.07b: If a batted ball splits in half, and one half lands over the wall, a home run will be awarded.

6.08: A fly ball hitting the top of the wall, and going over is a home run.

6.09: If a fielder's momentum carries him over the outfield wall to make a catch, the batter is considered out.

Section 7: Batter

7.00: Switch Hitting: The batter may switch sides at any time, prior to a pitch, unless there are two strike in the count.

7.01: Legal Positioning: The batter must be in the batter's box during the pitch delivery, but may step out of the batter's box to hit the pitch.

7.02: Batter's Interference: The batter must make an attempt to avoid getting hit by a pitch, or it will be ruled a strike.
    7.02a: Each batter will be given one warning per week before interference is called.

Section 8: Pitcher

8.00: Balks: If a pitcher throws 8 consecuitive non strikes, a Balk is issued, advancing all runners on base. 

8.01: The pitcher must have at least one foot on the rubber when the ball is pitched.

8.01a: The pitcher must start his windup from inside the pitching circle

8.02: Once a pitcher is substituted for, he can not return to pitch.
     8.02a: If a pitcher is substituted during a game that goes into extra innings, he will not be eligible to pitch in the extra innings.

8.03: A pitcher can not pitch more than 7 innings in two consecutive games, except in the following circumstances.
     8.03a: A pitcher can continue to pitch into extra innings, with those extra innings not counting toward his inning count.
     8.03b: A pitcher already at his inning limit can enter a game in extra innings (*see rule 8.02a).
     8.03c: Extra innings will never be counted against a pitcher's inning count.

    8.03d: A pitcher who reaches his inning limit during a no-hit/perfect game bid will be allowed to stay in the game until a hit is recorded, but will not be able to pitch for 9 innings (unless the pitcher completes the No Hitter/Perfect game, then no penalty is awarded)

    8.03e: A Pitcher can throw a maximum of 80 non strikes per game. upon exceeding this count, you are taken out of the game with 7 innings pitched.

Section 9: Fielders

9.00: The fielding team can have only one player positioned in foul territory prior to a pitch.

9.01: A fielder can not be positioned on the "out of play" side of the outfield fence prior to a pitch.

9.02: A fielder may distract the batter as long as there is no physical contact.

9.03: All fielders must play bare handed.


Section 10: Officiating

10.00: If possible, both teams will agree on an umpire prior to the game.

10.01: No Umpire Available: The fielder closest will call balls fair and foul, and the pitcher will call the grundle zone.
     10.01a: The pitcher will rule on check swings.
     10.01b: The pitcher will call batter's interference.
     10.01c: Foul off the hands will be the batter's call.
     10.01d: Pegging will be called by the closest  fielder.


Section 11: Stats and Score Keeping

11.00: Official Score: Each team will have one player designated their official scorer.

11.01: A pop fly that isn't caught, regardless of wind, will be ruled an error.
     11.01a: A pop fly landing with no fielder in the general area will be scored according to the official scorer's descretion.
     11.01b: A fly ball hit deep into the outfield that isn't fielded will be scored according to the scorer's descretion.

11.02: A ground ball that is bobbled will be scored an error.

11.03: A missed peg attempt will be scored an error.

11.04: Wins: A starting pitcher must pitch at least 4 complete innings in order to qualify for a win.

11.05: Holds: A relief pitcher that enters a game with the lead, and runners on base, and is replaced after never relinquishing that lead will be awarded a hold.
     11.05a: If any inheritted runners charged to the relief pitcher score, thus tying the game, no hold will be awarded.

11.06: Saves: A relief pitcher that enters a game with a lead of no more than three runs, and finishes the game to completion, never relinquishing the lead, will be awarded a save.
     11.06a: If a pitcher inherits runners that could bring the score to within three runs, and finishes the game without relinquishing the lead, he will be awarded a save.

Section 12: Playoffs

12.00: The 1st and 4th place teams, and the 2nd and 3rd place teams will play each other in a best of 7 series, with the two winners advancing to play in a best of 7 championship series.

12.01: In the first round of the playoffs, the higher seed will be home for Game 1, with the home team alternating every game after.

12.02: In the championship series, the higher seed will be home for Game 1, with the home team alternating every game after.

Section 13: Awards

13.00: At the end of the regular season, all qualifying players will vote for an MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved, and 3 Golden Hands (1 outfield, 1 infield, 1 pitcher).

13.01: Each voter will vote for a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Most Improved. And vote for 2 gold glovers at each position.
     13.01a: A 1st place vote is worth 3 points, a 2nd place vote is worth 2 points, and a 3rd place vote is worth 1 point.
     13.01b: In the event of a tie, the player with more 1st place votes will win the award.

13.02: Voting criteria is as follows:
     13.02a: MVP: The player deemed most valuable to his team in the batting and fielding aspects of the game (pitching stats have no influence on the vote).
     13.02b: Cy Young: The player deemed most successful in the pitching aspect of the game.
     13.02c: Rookie of the Year: The player deemed most valuable to his team, who has never qualified for stats (in any category), in any previous season.
     13.03d: Most Improved: The player with the greatest increase in skills, and statistics (batting, fielding, and pitching included) who has qualified for stats in a previous season.
     13.03e: Gold Hands: The player deemed best in the fielding aspect of the game at his position (players can possibly win multiple awards for different positions).
Section 14: Draft

14.00: The TWL Primary Draft will be held annually at a time of the GMs choosing, with a Supplemental draft held before the start of the season.

14.01: Each team's GM will be present to draft his team.

14.02: Primary Draft: The GMs will determine a salary cap, and open bid on the players available.
14.03: Supplemental Draft: The GMs will determine a salary cap, add it to the original cap for a final cap number, and open bid on the players available.
         14.03a: At the completion of the Supplemental Draft, all teams will have the same amount of players on their roster.                         


Section 15: Player Management

15.00: Player protection: Each GM will be able to "franchise" one of his players for two seasons. All other players will be designated one year players, and reenter the draft the following season.

15.01: GM's must designate their franchise players before the start of the season.

15.02: If a player doesn't want to be franchised by his current team, he can choose to become a restricted free agent, and be eligible for the draft the following year.

15.03: If a GM's franchised player becomes a RSA, he can not franchise another player until the completion of the next draft.
15.04: Trades: Trading of players is permitted (with respect to the salary cap) until the 21st game of the season.
     15.04a: Any trade involving a franchised player must be approved by the 2/3 of the league's acting GMs.

15.05: Releases: A GM can release a player at any time, but half of that player's salary will be counted against the team's cap.
      15.05a: A player released will be able to play for which ever team open bids the most, as long as the new team can fit his entire salary under their cap.
      15.05b: A player's old team will no longer have a cap penalty held against them after the released player signs with another team.

15.06: Restructuring: During a trade, one team involved can agree to pay a portion of a player's salary in order for the trade to fit under the cap.

15.07: Free Agents: GMs will open bid on any new players wishing to join the league.


Section 16: Miscellanious

16.00: The original edition of the Tiverton Wiffleball League rule book was unanimously approved by all league players at the beginning of the 2012 season.

16.01: The addition, subtraction, or changing of any rule will need a 2/3 vote by the league's acting General Managers.

16.02: Rules not stated herein, will follow the rules in accordance with Major League Baseball.