Our mission is to provide baseball instruction, skill development and playing opportunities for players in grades 1 through high school in Brookline Massachusetts.

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(posted 9/7/2013)

The VETERANS League is a BYB developmental league for fall baseball.

Basic Overview and Philosophy
The Veterans League was created to better develop players’ skills prior to their participation in the next level of play in the following spring. As such, the overarching philosophy of the Veterans League is one of development and not competition. Individual improvement and sportsmanship is central to the purpose of the Veterans League.

Veterans League is kid-pitch and catch, and for many players this will be their first exposure to kid pitch. Coaches should be diligent in using as many kids as are able to pitch and attempt to give them multiple appearances so as to build experience. 

During the week, coaches are assisted by student baseball players from BHS by the Director of Clinics. Teams are paired to practice together, splitting the first 70 minutes practicing in the infield and outfield, and ending in a 45-minute scrimmage.

Any questions or concerns regarding the Veterans League should be directed to the fall@brooklineyouthbaseball.org.

League Format and Schedule
Teams practice in pairs once per week (on weekdays) and play games on Sunday. Weekday practices include 60% skill drills and 40% scrimmage. Sunday games are competitive with scores being kept; however, given the shortened season, there are no playoffs in the Veterans League. The Fall Commissioner shall present a schedule to each team at the beginning of the season. 

A player may join Veterans League if he or she is between 3rd and 5th grade in the current year of school with exceptions allowed by the Fall Commissioner.

Two youth umpires shall be provided by the league for each game. No one is allowed to argue calls made by the umpires. However, head coaches may calmly speak to the umpire to seek a clarification of the interpretation rules. Youth umpires will be treated with respect in all cases. 

Metal, composite or wood bats are permitted in the Veterans League. The baseballs shall be “minor league” grade balls with a flexible core. The home team is required to provide bases for each game. Both teams must provide their own bats and batting helmets, although each team must share batting helmets if the other team doesn’t have enough. Each team is required to provide a new game ball to the umpire before the start of the game.

Inclement Weather
In the event of inclement weather during the day of a game, the decision to play or cancel shall be made by the Fall Commissioner, who shall communicate such to coaches no later than 3:30PM on a weekday, or two hours before game time on a Sunday. He shall also communicate the decision to the Director of Clinics if student athletes are scheduled to assist. Time in the fall does not permit makeups for rainouts, either practices or games.

Coaches and Spectators
Only head coaches and assistant coaches are allowed on the field during a break in play to instruct players. Only coaches are allowed to coach from the first- and third-base coaching boxes. A coach is allowed to retrieve passed balls for the purposes of keeping the game moving. Only a head coach is allowed to discuss a play with an umpire. 

Fielding a Team
A team must be able to field at least eight players to play a game. If a team cannot field at least eight players when the game is scheduled to begin, the opposing team may lend players to that team. The most important thing is to get the game played.

If a coach knows ahead of time that he/she will not be able to field at least nine players for a game, he should reach out to the coach of the team who has a bye that day for replacement players, or to any other team who does not have a game at the same time. 

Players Used in a Game
The coach shall use all players present. Rules governing players are as follows:
  1. During the season, all players should sit at least one inning before any player is asked to sit a second inning.
  2. Each player should play at least five innings and must see both infield and outfield play.
  3. Teams may play up to ten players in the field with four in the outfield.
  4. During a game, a player may be benched for disciplinary reasons such as insubordination, or disruptive behavior. As this is a league that encourages development as well as flexibility, a player shall not be benched for missing weekday practices. If unexcused absence persists, the head coach and Fall Commissioner should attempt to discuss the reasons with the child’s parents and discern whether the player wishes to continue to participate.

Code of Conduct
BYB’s principal goal is to ensure an atmosphere of sportsmanship and civility. Other objectives, such as winning and personal performance, are secondary. The following Code of Conduct, which is based on these priorities, applies to all BYB games and practices.

All players, coaches, and spectators must:
  • Treat other players, coaches, spectators, and umpires with respect.
  • Refrain from: criticizing, insulting, taunting, blaming, or threatening another person; using foul language; and physically abusing another person.
  • Accept the decisions of umpires without complaint. (A head coach may question the application of a rule, but judgment calls may not be argued.)
  • Treat all equipment with care.
In addition:
  • Players must play by the rules of the game and accept coaches’ decisions without complaint.
  • Head coaches must monitor the behavior of their players, assistant coaches, and spectators, and must act immediately to put a stop to unsportsmanlike behavior when it occurs.
  • All coaches must follow the rules, treat each player as an individual, recognize and reward effort as well as talent, and promote sportsmanship.
  • Spectators are encouraged to cheer and show appreciation for good plays and efforts made by both teams, and may not challenge or criticize a coach’s decision.
Zero Tolerance Policy
In the event that a player, coach, or spectator violates BYB’s Code of Conduct, both the umpire and the league commissioner are authorized to dismiss the individual from the field, and to stop the game and declare a forfeit if the individual does not comply. In addition, BYB reserves the right to impose further sanctions, including expulsion from the BYB program (without a refund of registration fees to players or their families).

Game Rules
For both scrimmages and Sunday games, the Veterans League uses the official Little League Baseball playing rules as a standard guide, amended by the following game rules. It is the spirit of Veterans League that the rules provide a framework for letting the kids play the game, but that the rules or interpretations are never so important as to draw conflict or disagreement for this level of play. Play the game!

Basic rules for this league:
  1. Stealing is not allowed.
  2. A runner is granted one base on an overthrow, i.e., a runner from first, moving after the ball is put into play by the batter, can only reach third base if there is an overthrow in an attempt to make an out at first base.
  3. A runner cannot score on an overthrow to third base. Runners who have rounded third base and heading home can score on an overthrow to third base.
  4. The maximum number of batters in an inning is equivalent to the number of players on the team with the most players, i.e., if one team has ten players and the other has eleven, the team with ten players can bat through their order plus one extra batter.
  5. The pitcher shall pitch a maximum of three innings per game.
  6. The Infield Fly Rule is not enforced in this league. 
  7. BYB does not allow hidden ball plays designed to deceive base runners at any level of play.
  8. Bunting is not allowed.
  9. Slides shall be feet first only unless back to a base after leading
  10. Protective cups are required for catchers and recommended for pitchers and all other players.
  11. There is no mercy rule. A complete game is six innings although there is a two-hour limit (unless there is no game scheduled afterward). There are no extra innings.

Substitutions and Mound Visits
All fielding changes, except pitching changes and substitutions due to injury, must be made at the start of an inning. No fielding substitutions may be made in the middle of an inning unless it involves a pitcher switching places with another fielder.

Because a primary function of the Veterans League is to develop pitchers, no pitcher may pitch more than two consecutive innings in a game. Any pitch thrown in any inning shall constitute one full inning for purposes of calculation.
  1. A pitcher who walks five consecutive players must be removed.
  2. A pitcher who hits three batters in an appearance must be removed.
  3. A pitcher must be removed upon the second mound visit in an inning.
  4. A pitcher, once removed from the mound, may not re-enter as pitcher.
  5. Balks are not called.
  6. Intentional walks are not allowed.
A mound visit occurs any time a coach calls a time out to speak with the pitcher. Coaches are allowed one free mound visit per inning to speak with each pitcher. A second mound visit to the same pitcher in the same inning requires the coach to replace the pitcher. 

Bench Area
Only the on-deck batter may hold and swing a bat while waiting in the on-deck area. All players who are not at bat or on deck must remain on the bench at all times, unless warming up to pitch. 

Each player at this position must wear a complete set of catcher’s equipment: helmet, face mask, throat guard, chest protector, catcher’s mitt, shin guards, and protective cup.

Each batter must wear a helmet in the on-deck area and throughout the at-bat, and while running the bases.

Sliding/Avoiding Contact
A base runner may not intentionally make contact with a fielder, and shall slide or avoid if necessary. A base runner who, in the umpire’s opinion, initiates contact with a fielder anywhere on the base paths should be called out.