My my My my
McLean County PONY Baseball
Local Ground Rules

PONY International Baseball Rules and Regulations

PHILOSOPHY ~ McLean County Pony Baseball hopes to provide all members a positive and enjoyable experience in the sport of baseball.
GOALS ~ Through the efforts of parents, players, coaches and the board:


  • Have fun playing baseball;
  • Learn important life lessons – improvement through efforts, team spirit, sportsmanship, fairness, self-discipline and fun;
  • Balanced playing time;
  • Balanced teams for balanced competition.

“If you teach them to play by the rules, they’ll learn to live by the rules.”
These rules supplement or supersede Federation and Pony National Rules.
The home team shall occupy the third base dugout.
The visiting team shall occupy the first base dugout.
The home team shall make sure the batter’s box and baselines are marked prior to each game and bases are put out prior to the start of the game. 
The visiting team shall 'broom' the dirt out of the grass edges around the field after every game.  At the conclusion of the day's games, the pitching mound should be tarped with no more than 4 weights and the bases (and pitching machine for Pinto) should be put away. 
The on-deck batter shall occupy the on-deck circle on the same side of the field as their teams dug-out and remain on the turf area provided (i.e. stay off the grass).
Each team is required to keep the dugouts clean during the game and patrol the dugout and spectator areas after the game.
Any team losing a player(s) must notify the division president or the player agent a.s.a.p.
All regular season and in-house tournament games hosted by McLean County PONY will be played according to federation (high school/junior high) baseball rules when they differ from major league baseball rules, except that courtesy runners are not permitted.
Equipment rules, specifically regarding bats and cleats will be those included in the Official Pony League Rules & Regulations except as noted in the following paragraph:
For all McLean County PONY regular season and in-house tournament games the penalty for use of an illegal bat, even after it has been used in play, will be removal of the bat from the game.  It will NOT nullify any play on the field or result in the ejection and/or suspension of the team’s manager.  In addition, minus 3 bats that are BESR certified are acceptable for all MCPB regular season and in-house tournament games.         
SHETLAND & PINTO  (Instructional leagues)

  1. Only coaches allowed on the playing field – (parents helping out the coaching staff are considered coaches)


  1. On deck batters must warm up in the on deck area.  No batters will be allowed to swing bats outside of the playing area (behind the fenced playing field).


  1. Runners may advance one base per hit unless hit to the outfield and then stopped when the ball reaches the infield.  No advance on an overthrow.


  1. Pitcher – No player may play the pitcher’s position more than one inning per game.

SHETLAND only (Tee Ball) – time limit – 1 hour and 15 minutes

  1. All players bat and all play the field each inning.

PINTO only (Machine Pitch) – time limit – 1 hour and 15 minutes

  1. 6 Pitch rule:  A batter shall be declared out after failing to hit a fair ball after 6 pitches are delivered by the pitching machine.  The batter is out if there are three strikes before the 6th pitch.  Missed swings are counted as strikes, as are foul balls and foul tips.  A batter is not out on a foul ball or a foul tip unless it is also the 6th pitch.


  1. If a batted ball strikes the pitching machine or the coach operating the pitching machine the ball is dead.  The batter is awarded first base and all runners advance one base.


  1. The ball will become dead if a thrown ball hits the pitching machine.  All runners including the batter will be awarded one base only.


  1. Each defensive team will field 9 or 10 players.  No more than 6 players may be located in the infield.  The extra player must be in the outfield. 


  1. No player will be on the bench defensively for more than 2 innings per game.

Pitchers must be warmed up by properly equipped players (mask & cup).
A pitcher should have no more than five (5) warm-up pitches per inning.
Extra innings are permitted to break a tie if the time limit has not expired.  No inning may be started after the time limit, as soon as the winner is determined the game is over.  For purposes of this rule, an inning starts the moment the prior inning ends.
For in-season in-house games, the clock continues to run during any weather delay.  Games that don’t reach the time limit, 10 run rule, or max innings are NOT suspended as there is no plan to resume.  Games that reach 3 innings or more (2.5 innings if home team is ahead) will be reported to the Pantagraph, scores recorded on web site and counted in the standings.  Games stopped by weather that do not meet this limit will not be reported, recorded on web site and therefore not included in the standings.
For in-house tournament games, games are not considered complete until the time limit, 10 run rule, or max innings are completed.  For TOURNAMENT games, the CLOCK STOPS DURING A WEATHER DELAY.  Games that are not completed will be suspended and will resume at a later time/date with the remaining clock time left to play.
MUSTANG ONLY ~ Time limit – 1 hour 30 minutes

  1. Runners may steal bases, but shall not leave the base they are occupying at the time of the pitch until the pitched ball has reached or passed the catcher.  Once the pitcher has stepped on the rubber with possession of the ball, runners who leave base before the pitched ball reaches or passes the catcher shall be called out and the pitch shall be considered a dead ball.


  1. Pitchers may pitch from wind-up or stretch, there are no balks.


  1. The batter is out when a third strike is not caught. 

Equal playing time is a fundamental principle of McLean County PONY baseball.  All players should be given equal playing time and should learn how to play multiple positions.

  1. All players who attend the game shall be placed in the batting order.  Players arriving after the first pitch will be inserted into the last batting spot on the line-up sheet. 

  2. The attached roster and batting line-up shall be completed by the head coach or assistant coach for each game.  A copy of the line up sheet shall be available upon request for inspection by league officials. 

  3. A player shall not sit out for two consecutive defensive innings and shall not sit out more than one inning more than any other player for that game.

  4. Only pitching changes must be reported to the opponent’s coaching staff.


BRONCO, PONY, COLT, PALOMINO ~  Time limit 1 hour and 45 minutes:
PLAYING TIME (Bronco / Pony / Colt / Palomino):
Equal playing time is a fundamental principle of McLean County PONY baseball.  All players should be given equal playing time and should learn how to play multiple positions.
Every player in attendance on a team roster will participate in each game for three innings (minimum of six defensive outs) and bat at least once except when a game lasts less than six innings.  In most games all players should enter the game by the end of the third inning.  By end of the regular season, all players should have balanced playing time by full and partial games, innings or other criteria.  (Missed games may be counted against playing time.)  The three innings / one at bat rule does apply to the in-house tournament; however, balanced time for all players is not required during the in-house tournament.
(This rule does not apply to tournament or travel teams.)
The purpose of player pool is to keep a team, who is short of players, from having to forfeit a game.  A player will step in and play for a team so that team will have enough players to play the game.  Player pool is used for Mustang (9 & 10), Bronco (11 & 12), Pony (13 & 14) Colt (15 &16), and Palomino (17, 18 & 19) divisions. There are no additional fees associated with player pool to play these additional games.  When player pool players are used, the following rules apply:

  1. Player pool players must start and play in the entire game.


  1. Player pool players play in their own team uniforms, not the uniform of the team they are playing for in that particular game.


  1. Coaches should request player pool players through the player pool coordinator for noticed absences.  If a player is needed and a player is obtained from the preceding game the coach obtaining the player must disclose this to the opposing team and promptly notify the player pool coordinator (within 1 day) of the name of the player used and the time and date of the game.


  1. Individual coaches may not request specific players for player pool assignments for known absences.


  1. Player pool players bat at the bottom of the order, 9th position, and must play the 9th defensive position (RF).  If more than one player pool player is used the second player pool player must be 8th in the batting order and play the 8th defensive position (CF), and so on...


  1. Player pool players may not be used for the in-house tournament.

FORFEITS (Bronco / Pony / Colt / Palomino):

  • A game is forfeited if a team does not have eight players 15 minutes after the scheduled start time has elapsed.


  • If eight players are used there is an out recorded for the ninth batting position.


  • The game can and should be played using players from the other team; however, the game will be a forfeit for the team unable to field at least eight players from their roster or player pool players.