• GAME TOTAL: Each team will play no less than 16 total games. They may not play more than this total, with the exception of a tie breaker.
  • ROSTERS: Rosters must be set before the start of the regular season. A player must play in 2 games before the start of the 4th week to be eligible to play in the Playoffs. Exceptions can be made by the League Rules Committee and will be addressed individually. You must contact the League Rules Committee in order to discuss an exception.
  • SPRING TRAINING: Two weeks of Spring Training will be available starting as soon as March. The commissioner decides the date for opening day and the season schedule.
  • PLAYOFFS: The top 3 teams in each division and a wild card from each division will advance to the playoffs. Playoffs and Championship are winner-take-all games (not 3-game series, etc.)
  • REDEMPTION SERIES: Teams ineligible for the playoffs may play in the Redemption series. The two worst teams play each other to determine which team is the worst in the league.
  • 1.00: BALL: Only baseball sized Wiffle ball brand balls with be used (8 slots on one side). Scuffing is allowed but only the use of sandpaper is authorized.
  • 1.01: BASES: All Bases will be approximately 40’ apart.
  • 1.02: STRIKE BOARD: The strike zone will consist of a board that measures 20” wide by 30” tall. The strike zone will be 12” off the ground, and located 48’ from the pitching rubber and 3' from the front of home plate.
  • 1.03: BAT: Only league approved bats (may vary) are to be used. Bats cannot be taped at the barrel, but may be taped on the handle for grips. No filling bats with foam; they must be standard hollow plastic.
    • Bats cannot be tapped any higher than the molded grip on the wiffle bat.
    • The bottom hole of the bat must be unobstructed and remain uncovered. No exceptions.
  • 1.03B: Lady's BAT: Ladies will be allowed to use a different bat, supplied and approved by the league.
    • Starting on week 4, only ladies with a slugging percentage under .400 (SLG %) can continue to use the bat. (using current up to date regular season stats) Captains will be required to monitor this.
  • 1.04: GLOVES: Baseball gloves are NOT allowed, but batting gloves may be used while batting only. If you choose to wear batting gloves you will be ridiculed.
  • 1.05: FOOTWEAR: No metal spikes are allowed. Plastic cleats or turf cleats are permitted. No bare feet or sandals allowed. Vibram 5-fingers can be worn, but you may also be ridiculed
  • 1.06 TEAM SHIRTS: All members of a team roster must wear matching shirts with their team's graphic on the front of their shirts and numbers on the back.
  • 2.00: TEAM PLAYER REQUIREMENTS: Minimum of 2 players per team to play a regulation game. 5 player’s maximum per team roster.
  • 2.01: AGE REQUIREMENT: All players must be at least 18 years of age.
  • 2.02: FIELDING: Teams are required have no more than two other fielders other than the pitcher. Teams with a 4th member must have one player sit out on defense. However, all 4 players can bat. Defensive substitutions can be made at any time at team captain's discretion.
  • 2.02B: Ladies’ FIELDING: Teams consisting of all women are permitted to have 3 outfielders and 1 Pitcher
  • 2.03: GAME LENGTH: Games are 5 Innings, using extra innings if necessary, 2 outs per team each inning.
    • Mercy Rule Adjustment. 10 runs after 3 complete innings. If home team is up by 10, they would not bat their bottom half of their inning (including the 4th). The innings must be completed, but the losing team will not get any additional at bats beyond a normal complete inning. (i.e. if a home team scores 10 runs in the bottom of the 5th, the visiting team would not get another at bat. If the visiting team scored 10 in the top of the 4th, the home team would get their at bats). Teams viciously beating another team are encouraged to switch hit to give them a fighting chance...although it is not mandatory.
  • 2.05: RAIN OUTS: Games become official after the 3rd inning. Any Rained out game can be rescheduled for future dates.
  • 2.05: DARKNESS: Any games called for darkness after the 3rd inning will be posted official. Make up games can be rescheduled for future dates. Games will be called for darkness at 9:00 PM.
  • 2.06: Game Sheets will be used to record all stats, including the batting order for that game. If a team bats out of order, an out would be received for every batter that batted out of order. It is the team’s responsibility to keep track of the order, not the stat keeper or opposing team.
  • 2.07: TEAM TARDYNESS: If a team does not have enough players to field a team 15 minutes past the scheduled start time of the game, the team that is waiting gets to choose field advantage for both games.
    • If a team does not have enough players to field a team by 25 minutes past the scheduled start time, the waiting team can call for a forfeit of the game, at a score of 9-0.  If the waiting team allows, the shorthanded team can find a fill in substitute for the game and not forfeit their games. 
    • If both teams do not have a Team to field within 30 minutes of the start of the first game, both teams need to try to figure another time to reschedule the game.
    • If one team needs to reschedule a game, and the game does not get played before the end of the season. Then the team that requested the reschedule will have to take a forfeit for those games.
    • If a player shows up to a game late, it is the opposing team’s decision to allow them to join in the current game or make them wait until the next game.
  • 2.08:  INJURED OR LEAVING PLAYERS: If a player starts the game, they must finish the game, or they are considered an automatic out when they are due up (unless they are injured).  If the Team has a substitute, they can sub him into the game in place of the leaving or hurt player.
  • 3.00: SPEED LIMITS: Pitching for this league is Medium-Fast.
  • 3.01: GRIPS AND THROW: Any type of throw, overhand or underhand is allowed. Any type of grip is allowed, but no deforming or altering the ball. No “loading” the ball with rocks, dirt or other debris.
  • 3.02: BALKS: Balks are legal. Pitchers must have their foot in contact with the pitching rubber before they release the ball.
  • 3.02B: Lady's PITCHING: Ladies must pitch from the carpeted pitching mound, but they do not have to pitch from the pitching rubber.
  • 3.03: ROTATION:
    1. A Starting pitcher may pitch the entire game he or she has started, including all extra innings.
    2. A Starting Pitcher must pitch the first 3 innings of the game to earn the "win" for their personal stat totals.
    3. Once a pitcher has been switched, they may not be switched back in during that game.
  • 3.04:  PITCHER BALL IN HAND: Pitchers may have ONE ball in hand, which is the one he/she is pitching. Offensive team may call this violation if the pitcher has more than one ball, and, if called, is an automatic ball.  If the play results in favor of the offense (i.e., base hit or HR), the offensive team does not need to call the violation out. The pitcher or defensive team may NOT overrule a hit or other favorable offensive result by invoking the "ball in hand" rule.  It's purely the offense's call. Balls in a pitcher's pocket or clothing do not count as "in-hand". 
  • 3.05:  BALLS IN PLAY: It is the pitcher's (defense's) responsibility to make sure the field of play is clear of extra balls. A batted ball that hits any ball or ball bucket in the field of play (fair territory) results in an automatic single.  It is a dead ball, and all runners advance one base.
  • 4.00: No Bunting
  • 4.01: Any interference with fielders making plays is an automatic out.
  • 4.02: No Stopping potential strikes by leaning into them intentionally or stopping them with the elbow or hand. Pitcher is entitled to make the call. First offense is a warning, second offense would result in called strike. Any offense after that will be called automatic strikeout.
  • 4.03: LINEUP: Teams may bat a minimum of 2 players, and a maximum of 4.
  • 4.04: FIELDING: Fielding positions may be changed at the discretion of the defense. Teams may only have 2 fielders other than the pitcher. Teams consisting of all Ladies are allowed to field 3 fielders and 1 pitcher. All fielders must stay in fair territory until batter makes contact with the ball. No fielders can play closer to the plate than the pitcher's mound.
  • 4.05: BATTING ORDER: Game sheets will keep track of batting order, if a team bats out of order it is the responsibility of the opposing team to catch it.
    • For every batter that starts an at bat out of order in an inning, the team is assigned an out, not the individual batter(s).
    • Once the mistake is discovered, the correct batter is up to bat and the inning continues the way it's written on the score sheet.
  • 4.06: SWITCH HITTING: All though not required, Switch hitting versus the lower winning percentage teams is encouraged to keep things interesting.
  • 4.07:  All forward moving hits in fair territory, as long as it is in front of the 20' line, are playable.
  • 4.08: FOUL BALLS:  Foul balls are any balls that first hits ground in Foul territory.  Any ball hit in the infield that bounces foul before a player can touch it would be foul.  Any ball landing in fair territory and then bouncing foul after the 1st and 3rd base are fair balls.  If a ball hits the base, it is a fair ball.
    • Any batted ball that hits a tree, backstop, or other foreign outside object is considered a “dead” foul ball. Meaning no play can be made on the ball.
    • If a batter hits a ball off his arm/wrist on a swing, the ball would be foul.
    • A ball hit off the hands would be playable if fair, or a foul ball if in foul territory.
    • A ball that is in fair territory but does not cross the line 20' in front of home plate.
  • (A) Any ball that goes over the designated fence in the air.
  • (B) Any ball that hits the foul pole in the air above the fence line
  • (C) Batter legs out all four bases with a defensive error.
  • (D) Any ball that hits the top of the fence and bounces over.
  • (E) If an outfielder bobbles the ball over the fence.

  • Any fair hit ball that the batter beats out for one base.

  • (A) Any ball that bounces under or over the fence or is trapped in or around the fence.
  • (B) Any batter legs out two bases without a defensive error.
  • (C) Any fair ground ball that that rolls past the outfield fence line is a ground rule double.

  • (A) Any batter legs out three bases without a defensive error.

  • 5.00: Six balls = Walk. Any player hit above the neck with the ball has the option to take their base. A batter must walk after 6 balls, no exception.
  • 5.01: Strikeout = 3 Strikes, 5 fouls, or tipping a foul ball into the strike zone when a batter already has 2 strikes.
  • 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 with the hand or elbow. There is one first warning.
  • It's a ball if…
    1. It hits a batter.
    2. It misses the strike zone board
    3. The pitcher messes with the ball.

  • 6.00: No leading off or stealing.
  • 6.01: GHOST RUNNERS: If needed, must be the lead runner. All ghost runners must be forced to advance to the next base by the trailing runner.
  • 6.02: Runners must yield right of way to the fielders.  A runner cannot intentionally interfere with any fielder making a play on a ball.  If a fielder runs into an unsuspecting base runner, the play continues regardless of the interference. A runner DOES NOT have to move off of a base for a charging fielder.  The runner may stand safely on the base, but may not interfere with the play in any way.  This includes but is not limited to; waving of arms, stretching body out of the base while the foot is planted, and making intentional contact with the ball.
  • 6.03: OVER THROWS: Runners may advance at will, as long as the overthrown ball stays inside the fair field of play.  Any ball thrown into the bench area or in/around/beyond the backstop will be considered out of play. If the ball continues into foul territory, the lead runner is awarded the base they were headed.. The trailing runners are also awarded ONLY the next base.  Example: Over throw at a runner heading to third of a hit ball.  The hitter would be awarded second base on the pass ball, but no further.  The hit would be scored as a SINGLE.
  • 6.04: PLAYS AT THE PLATE: If there is a play at the plate, the fielders can either tag the runner with the ball, or hit the strike board or backstop net before the runner crosses home plate. Once a runner rounds third base they must commit to running home. This is to prevent any confusion with plays at the plate.
  • 6.04: CLOSE PLAYS AT BASES: Tie goes to the runner on any close plays at any base.
  • 6.05: Pegging runners with the ball is legal. All pegs must be below the neck. Any balls that hit runners above the neck are safe and are awarded the base they were headed towards. Once a ball hits a player for an out, the play becomes dead and no runners may advance any further.
  • A base runner is out if…
    1. The ball touches any base runner and he's not on a base.
    2. He or She is forced out when a fielder tags the base he's headed for.
    3. He or She is tagged out or hit with a thrown ball.
    4. He or She is the lead runner on a pitchers hand force out
    5. He or She makes contact with a fair batted ball with at least one foot in fair territory.
  • On plays at home, fielders can either peg the runner, the strike zone, or the backstop net before the player crosses home plate. If runner is out at home and the ball hit the strike board, the ball is dead and runners can no longer advance. If the ball travels beyond the backstop, the play becomes dead and runners only advance one base.
  • 6.06: PITCH RUNNING: Once a hitter reaches base safely, they must remain at the base runner until forced to take their next scheduled at bat. Any player not currently on base can take over base running responsibilities. Injured player exception: A player may pinch run for an injured player after the player has safely reached base. If a player is opting for a pinch runner, they may not field during the game.
  • 6:07: TAGGING UP: There is no tagging up on Foul Balls. However, a base runner may tag up on any fair hit ball.
  • 6.08: BALL/RUNNER CONTACT:  If a batted ball hits a runner while he/she is safely standing on a base, the play would become dead.  The batter would be awarded a single, runners would advance only if forced.  A runner MAY NOT intentionally make contact with the ball from a base.  If this happens, the hitter would be called out and scored as a normal ground out.
  • 6.09: BASE COACHES: Teams may opt to use a first or third base coach to aid the runners.  The base coach may not make on field calls unless the fielding team asks.  The coach must avoid the fielders.

  • 7.00: Pitcher’s hand is in affect when:
    •   A fielder throws the ball to the pitcher has two feet or two knees or a combination of the two in the Pitcher’s Circle before the batter reaches first base.
  • 7.01: The ball must be in the Pitcher’s hand cleanly (no bobbling) before the batter reaches 1st base is ruled out.
  • 7.02: FORCE OUTS: Pitcher's hand rule DOES NOT apply to the lead runner, only for a batter running to first.
  • 7.03: No infield fly ball rule.
  • 8.00: Calls (safe/out) will be made by only players in the game. On close calls, players can ask people on the bench or people that are watching. If calls cannot be resolved, then a “do-over” will occur.
    • Players, Friends and Family outside of the game cannot make calls inside the game. The calls must be made by the players that are participating in the game. As respect to your opponent, please keep your friends and family from inserting un-needed comments and opinions! If they are not part of the game, they are not part of the calls!
    • League Rules Committee members and the Commissioner(s) are also not always part of the game. You may ask for rule clarification, but do not ask for them to make calls inside the game if they are not involved in it. They should be viewed the same as family, friends and other players of the HWL.
  • 8.01: If there are any gaps in the rules above, Major League Baseball rules apply.
  • 9.00: If a rule is violated during a game and it directly affects the outcome of the game, a team may protest the game by contacting the Commissioner before noon the next day.
  • 9.01: The protest will be reviewed by the League Rules Committee and a ruling will be made within 3 days.
Rules for Charleston Wiffle League were adopted and modified from the rules of the Huntington Wiffle League & Kalamazoo Wiffle League  in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

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