Rule Book

OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE WIFFLE® RULES

2021 Edition

League Officers:

  • Commissioner: Adam Tanic
  • Lead Umpire: Chad Phillips
  • Media Director: Tom Gannon
  • Lead Broadcaster: Greg Kelley

Team Owners:

  • Bombers: Alex Carrasco
  • Night Owls: Nick DiVella
  • Legends: Brad Ogden
  • The Ones: Scottez Dobbins
  • Sandvipers: Adam Tanic
  • Snappers: Jesse Capps
  • Stone Men: Levi Lawrence
  • Warbirds: Chris Warfield
  • Vaderz: Sesai Alacron
  • Lightning: Chad Phillips

1.00 ROSTERS

1.01 Minimum five players per team. Maximum ten players per team. 

1.02 Five fielders maximum. Teams may have 5 – 10 batters in the lineup. 

1.03 Teams may DH up to five players, and may add players to the bottom of the lineup throughout the game, but the lineup may not be shortened. 

1.04 Fielders/pitchers may substitute freely even if they are not in the lineup. Once removed, batters may not re-enter the lineup, or be substituted to pinch-run.

  1. If a team bats out of order and it’s realized in the middle of the at bat, the correct player will go up and resume the at bat with the same count.
  2. If they realize after the player’s at bat is over, they are ruled out automatically.

1.05 Pitching changes and defensive substitutions cannot be made during an at-bat. 

  1. Defenders may shift or change positions, but substitutions must be made in between batters.

1.06 All players must be at least 21 years of age. 

1.07 Strike Zone is 24” x 28.5” and stands 10” off of the ground.

1.08 The distance from the pitcher’s rubber to the strike zone is 43.5 feet

2.00 GAME STRUCTURE

2.01 Regular season games are five innings in length. In case of a tie after five complete innings, a maximum of two extra innings will be played. 

  1. The batter that made the last out of the previous inning is placed on second base to start extra innings. 
  2. Playoff games have no maximum innings.

2.02 Game balls are new, or like new, official Wiffle® balls. Any ball that becomes deformed, dirty, or scuffed, must be removed from play.

2.03 Only official Wiffle® bats may be used.

  1. Grip tape may be added to the handle of the bat, and 12 inches of tape may be added to the barrel.
  2. The bat must fit through a 2” Schedule 40 PVC Tee, and may not weigh more than 10 oz.
  3. Both ends of the bat may not be tapes, and the hole must be uncovered.
  4. If an illegal bat is used and a ball is hit fair, it will be ruled an automatic out.

2.04 Ten run mercy rule applies after two complete innings.

2.05 If a team scores their 15th run, the game automatically ends in a mercy, even if they are the away team.

2.06 If the game ends on a hit that scores multiple runs, all runners advance and the batter is credited with the appropriate hit (i.e. a walk-off triple with the bases loaded in a 0-0 game results in a 3-0 win).

3.00 GAME PLAY

3.01 At bats begin with an 0-1 count. Four balls for a walk, two additional strikes for a strikeout.

3.02 Pitchers may throw any speed, but can only get called strikes on pitches that read 55mph or below on the Pocket Radar™, and hit the metal ꓘ zone (in the air).

3.03 A pitch that is not read by the Pocket Radar™ in a called strike situation will be ruled a no pitch unless the umpire (or players from both teams) make a ruling that the pitch was under 50mph(strike) or over 60mph(ball), and a strike or ball may be called.

3.04 The first foul tip by a batter into the ꓘ zone with two strikes (in the air), is “dropped by the catcher”. A second foul tip into the ꓘ zone with two strikes results in a strikeout.

3.05 A pitcher is ineligible to pitch for the remainder of the game after they walk two batters.

  1. The last eligible pitcher on a team has no walk limit. 
  2. An intentional walk may be declared, no pitches needed.
    1. An intentional walk counts against the pitcher’s walk total.
  3. When a pitcher enters the game, they must face a minimum of three batters, or finish an inning.
  4. New pitchers are allowed 8 warm up pitches, whereas returning pitchers or pitchers starting the next inning are allowed 3.
    1.  If the pitcher walks the first two batters, they will be ineligible to pitch for the remainder of the game. 

3.06 In a three game series, a different pitcher must start each game.

3.07 In a three game series, a pitcher may appear (throw a pitch)in up to nine regulation innings.

  1. Extra innings do not count towards a pitcher’s total.

3.08 There is no balk rule. The pitcher must have one foot on the rubber when delivering a pitch.

3.09 The batter may call time without appealing to an umpire before the pitcher begins their motion. This may be done verbally, or by raising a hand, and play is live when the batter acknowledges(looks at) the pitcher.

3.10 There are cones placed by first and third base to determine fair / foul calls on ground balls. If a ground ball stays within the cones, it is considered a fair ball. Any batted ball that hits the cone, regardless of its trajectory, is ruled a foul ball. If the ball is touched by a fielder before hitting the cone, it is still a live ball.

3.11 A batted ball that hits a tree is a dead ball. 

  1. If the ball hits a tree in foul territory it is ruled a foul ball. 
  2. If the ball hits a tree in fair territory beyond the home run fence it is ruled a home run.

3.12 A batted ball that hits the pitcher’s bucket is treated the same way as a ball that deflects off the pitcher’s mound in baseball. Infielders may attempt to record an out, and if it rolls foul before first/third base without being touched by a fielder, it is ruled a foul ball. 

3.13 If a live ball goes into the pitcher’s bucket, fielders may take any ball out of the bucket to continue the play.

3.14 A hit by pitch is considered a ball unless it hits the batter’s hands. The batter’s hands are considered part of the bat whether they are swinging or not.

3.15 The batter is responsible for getting out of the way to avoid blocking a strike. The pitcher may appeal to an umpire if the batter blocks a strike (still must be under 55mph). A strike, or a no-pitch may be called.

3.16 If a pitch that reads 65mph or faster hits a batter in the head, they may choose to take a ball and continue the at-bat, or take their base (hit by pitch). 

  1. A hit by pitch counts towards the pitcher’s walk total.

3.17 A hit is considered clean if:

  1. A batted ball lands in the outfield without being touched by a fielder.
    1. It is ruled an automatic single.
    2. On the line is considered the infield.
  2. If a ground ball goes through the infield without an infielder touching it.
    1. Infielders may move laterally into the outfield to make it a dirty single.
    2. Infielders may not turn their back and run straight into the outfield to make a single dirty (but they may still run into the outfield to attempt a force out).
    3. All runners in scoring position (second and third base)score.

3.18 A hit is considered dirty if:

  1. A fly ball is touched by a fielder before landing in the outfield.
  2. A ground ball is touched by an eligible infielder before it goes through the infield.
  3. Any fair ball stays in the infield without the fielders recording an out.
    1. All runners advance one base.

3.19 If a clean single is hit to the left of second base, a runner on first base advances to second base. If a clean single is hit to the right of second base, the runner advances from first to third. 

  1. A clean single that lands in the outfield must land to the right of second base for the runner to advance from first to third. 
  2. A ground ball clean single must cross on the right side of second base to advance a runner from first to third.
    1. Directly over the base is considered the left side.

3.20 A batted ball that reaches the outfield fence after it hits the ground, but isn’t touched by a fielder, is ruled a clean double. 

  1. All runners score. 
  2. If a fielder touches the ball before it reaches the outfield fence, it is ruled a dirty double.
    1. All runners advance two bases.
    2. A ground rule double is considered a dirty double even if it goes untouched.

3.21 If a batted ball hits the outfield fence on the fly, it is ruled a triple.

  1. Even if it is touched by a fielder (and knocked over the fence). 
  2. All runners score.

3.22 If a batted ball goes over the outfield fence without touching the ground, it is a home run.

  1. If a ball hits off the wall in the air and goes over the fence, it is ruled a home run. 

3.23 A batter may switch batters boxes in an at bat one time. 

  1. A batter may not switch boxes after the pitcher has started their motion.

4.00 FIELDING/ADVANCING RUNNERS

4.01 Only infielders may record force outs on ground balls. 

  1. In order to be an eligible infielder, a player must have at least one foot on or inside the infield line when the batter makes contact.
    1. Infielders may not be positioned closer to home plate than the pitcher(40ft).
  2. If an outfielder touches a ground ball, it is ruled an automatic single.
    1. They may not flip the ball to an infielder to attempt a force out.

4.02 To record a ground out at first base, an infielder must hit the backstop, ꓘ zone, or batter (if standing in front of the backstop), with the ball (in the air) within five seconds of the batter making contact. 

  1. The batter is safe if the play takes exactly 5.00 seconds (tie goes to the “runner”).
  2. The throw may ricochet off a wall before hitting the backstop as long as it doesn’t go out of play. 
  3. The foam at the top of the ꓘ zone is considered part of the middle section of the backstop. 
  4. The foam at the bottom of the ꓘ zone, as well as any Wiffle® balls in the backstop area, are considered part of the ground. 
  5. A ball that goes beyond the batter’s box is considered a dead ball.
  6.  Infielders may not take more than one step and a crow hop towards the backstop before making a throw 
  7. If an infielder runs to/steps on a base to record a force out, the step and crow hop reset. 

4.03 Infielders may tag second base and/or third base within five seconds to record a force out when applicable. 

  1. In order to retire a lead runner, a play must be made to the specific base (2nd base with a runner on first, 3rd base with runners on 1st and second).
  2. Once a base is tagged, an infielder must hit the middle section of the backstop, or the ꓘ zone in the air within five seconds to turn a double play.
    1. The poles are not considered part of the middle section. 
    2. If a runner is forced, they will advance one base on a ground out to first (the backstop).

4.04 With the bases loaded, an infielder may hit the ꓘ zone (in the air) to record an out at home plate. If they tag another base first, and attempt a double play, the out at the plate is still recorded (tagged by the “catcher”).

4.05 A runner that is not forced does not advance on a ground out unless a double play is attempted. 

  1. With runners on first and third and nobody out, the runner from third base scores if the defense attempts a double play(advances on the throw), even if the throw home hits the ꓘ zone and the double play is successful.
  2.  If they do not make the throw home, or they get the ground out at first base without tagging second, the runner stays at third base.

4.06 Runners on base are strictly placeholders (unless they are tagging up from third base).

  1. They must stay within six feet of the base they are occupying. 
  2. Runners are also responsible for avoiding fielders attempting to make a play. If they interfere with a fielder making a play, they are out.

4.07 If a runner is on third base with less than two outs, they may tag up and attempt to score on a fly out / line out. 

  1. If the runner steps over the commit line with any part of their foot, they are committed to going home.
    1. If a runner steps past the commit line (on the line is not committing to tagging up), goes back to third base, and there is no throw home before the next at-bat, the runner remains at third base. 
  2. A runner may not cross the commit line after the pitcher has possession of the ball on the pitching mat. 
  3. If a fielder hits the backstop, the ꓘ zone, or the runner, before the runner touches home plate, the runner is out. 
    1. This does not have to be in the air, and fielders may throw to a cutoff
    2. The bottom foam is still considered part of the ground.
    3. A ball thrown out of play results in the runner being safe at home, and all other runners advance one base. 

4.08 If a fielder throws or deflects a batted ball out of play (or into the outfield fence), the batter is awarded second base, and all runners advance two bases. 

  1. If a batted ball goes out of play, after passing the first / third base cones, without being touched by a fielder, it is ruled a clean single. 
  2. If the ball goes out of play in the outfield corners (home run fence extended), it is ruled a double. 
  3. When a fielder has possession of the ball, and there is no longer a play to be made, the play is dead.
    1. Throwing the ball to a spectator does not advance the runners.
    2. After the ball hits the wall for either a double or a triple, no additional bases will be awarded for a ball knocked out of play after touching a fielder, even if it goes over the outfield fence in the air. 

4.09 If a pitch goes out of play (past the backstop), it is ruled a wild pitch.

  1. All runners advance one base. 
  2. If a pitch bounces over the top of the backstop, runners do not advance.
    1. It may bounce out the sides.

4.10 Fielders may not intentionally use their feet to prevent the ball from reaching the fence. 

  1. If a fielder kicks the ball, or sticks their foot out to save a double, it is ruled a clean double. 
    1. All runners score.

Any rule not stated herein will refer to the official Major League Baseball rulebook.

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