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Park Rules



Winthrop Park Baseball is played under Cal Ripken rules, in conjunction with Winthrop Park Rules and Bylaws. Winthrop Park officials have a copy of the Cal Ripken rulebook available at all games. The Cal Ripken 11-12 year old competitive division, including all spring, summer and fall leagues, plays a 50’/70' format with leadoffs and balks. Below are more specific park rules and procedures.

Batting Cages / Warm-ups 

·        Coaches need to fill out roster cards for each game providing their player’s names and numbers in the order that they will be batting. A copy should be provided to the opposing team and the announcer at least 10 minutes prior to game start.

·        There are 2 batting cages and 2 soft toss areas. Prior to all games, each competing team shall have priority access to one batting cage and one soft toss area. There is no assigned start time for use of batting cages. Team teams with the early game on a given day may show up and begin use of a cage at their convenience.

·        The visiting team will take infield practice for 5 minutes, starting 15 minutes prior to game time; the home team will then follow with infield practice for 5 minutes.

Player Participation / Game Rules / Equipment

·        Teams will bat through their entire rosters.

·        No player will sit for more than one defensive inning in a row.

·        If a player is injured, becomes ill or must leave the game site after the start of the game, the team will skip over him/her when his/her bat comes up in the order without penalty. If the injured, ill or absent player returns, he/she is merely reinserted into their original spot in the batting order.

·        A team must have at least 7 players to play. If a team cannot field at least 7 players at the game’s starting time, or within a ten-minute grace period, the Umpire-in-Chief will declare the game a forfeit to the team that has at least 7 players present. If neither team can field 7 players, then the game is considered a loss to each team.

·        If there are two outs and your catcher is on base, you can call time out and replace him/her with a base runner. The replacement runner must be your last recorded out.

·        There will be no intentional walks.

·        Bats must be 2 ¼”, may not exceed 32 inches in length and must be approved for use in the Cal Ripken league by Babe Ruth.

·        No metal cleats may be worn by players or coaches.

·        There is no “must slide rule” in effect for play; however, if there is a play at the plate it is highly encouraged that the player slide for the protection of all players.

·        Head first slides are permitted in all situations, but coaches are advised to teach players how to do so safely.

·        There will be NO slash bunts or the player will be declared out.

·        Any player that is called for slinging a bat after a warning will be declared out.

·        Any player warming up a pitcher in the bullpen needs to have full head protection, including a mask, when catching in a squatting position.

·        Pitcher limitations are based on innings pitched. See Rule 0.06 attached.  

o       Each pitcher can pitch six innings per calendar week.

o       If a player pitches more than two innings in any game, he or she must have two calendar days rest before pitching again.

o       In the event that rainout games are rescheduled resulting in a team playing more than two games in a week, pitchers will be required to adhere to the Cal Ripken rule which states that they may not pitch more than six innings per week.


Game Duration / Time Limit

·        There is a 10-run rule after four innings. If after four complete innings the team with the lead is ahead by 10 or more runs (3 ½ innings if the home team is ahead by 10 or more runs), the game will be called.

·        If no winner is determined once 6 innings are completed or the game is called due to time limit, the game will be recorded as a tie. Winthrop will not use extra innings or the Texas tie-break system for the regular season.

·        Time starting and time ending decisions are made at the discretion of the umpire based on the following guidelines:

o    Time starts once the umpire announces to play ball and/or signals to pitcher to begin the 1st pitch.

o    Regular season games will be played through completion of 6 innings, mercy rule, or until the game is called for time limit, whichever occurs first.

o    No new inning will be started once the time limit is reached (i.e., if the time limit is reached prior to final out of an inning, then no subsequent inning warm-ups or inning play will go forward).

o    The game does not end automatically and immediately once the time limit is reached. Instead, an inning is completed based on traditional baseball rules, depending on which team is in the lead.

§   If the home team is ahead and the time limit is reached within the top of an inning, the top of the inning will be completed. This gives the visiting team a chance to tie the score or take the lead, which would then force continued play into the bottom of the inning.

§   If the score is tied or the home team is trailing and the time limit is reached within the course of an inning, play will continue through the bottom of the inning until the home team has taken the lead or has been retired.

§   If the home team is leading and time was not reached in the top of the inning, play may continue into the bottom of the inning. However, if the time limit is then reached before the conclusion of the bottom of the inning with the home team leading, the game does indeed end at that point in play based on time limit. The umpire may use his discretion on whether to let a particular at-bat continue or not.


·        Weather decisions will be made as soon as possible but not more than one hour before game time. The Park President has sole responsibility for determining if a game is cancelled. If he/she is not present at the field, he can relay the final decision to the Board member(s) on duty that evening.

·        Summary of City of Tallahassee Lightning Policy: the City implemented a new weather notification system in 2011. Park officials will be notified in real time about weather issues and delays. Information will be shared as it is received and every effort will be made to notify coaches (who in turn will notify parents and players) of weather delays and cancellations. The Park President and/or Board member(s) on duty are required to respond to the weather notifications received by the City, regardless of the weather conditions present at the time for safety and liability reasons.

·        For a game to be considered officially complete, 4 innings must have been played (or 3 ½ innings if the home team is leading). 

·        Decisions regarding resumption of postponed play and/or rescheduling of games will be made by mutual consent of both of the coaches and the Park President and/or Board member(s) on duty.



·        Winthrop Park has upheld a proud tradition of competitive, but fair and enjoyable baseball. Cheering that is positive in nature is welcome; however, the parks will not condone chanting or singing, specifically when it is directed at a pitcher or the players of the opposing team.

·        The head coach will be the only coach allowed to discuss calls, questions, etc. with the umpires.

·        No more than three coaches are allowed in the dugout at any given time.

·        Only one coach will be allowed on the field during your team’s defensive play.

·        Coaches are responsible for the conduct of themselves, their players and the parents/fans of their players. Anyone using objectionable language, excessively arguing umpire calls or otherwise interrupting the enjoyment of others at the park will be asked to leave. If a coach or player is ejected from a game, they will be asked to sit out the next scheduled game and will be unable to participate in the dugout.

·        The umpire or Board member(s) on duty will step in to 'mediate' a given situation when necessary.

·        It is the responsibility of each coach to make sure that their players stay hydrated. Water will be provided in each dugout during games.

Home and Visitor Team Responsibilities 

·        The home team will be responsible for providing at least one parent volunteer to work in the concession stand and one parent volunteer to perform grill duty. Older children (teens) may also help with concession duties.

·        The visiting team will be responsible for providing one parent volunteer to announce.

·        Games will NOT start if concession stand/grill duty is not occupied by the home team.

·        Parents must report for duty at least 20 minutes prior to your player’s “scheduled” game time.

  Have a great time & let’s PLAY BALL!

Alan Baker,
Jan 23, 2014, 7:02 PM