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WHTL Rules

--- RULES ARE AS OF May 1st, 2021 ---





1. To provide top-quality professional umpiring for the West Haven Twilight League's regular season, playoff, and NABF tournament baseball games. Without limitation, the League expects all umpires assigned to officiate its games:

  1. to maintain professional deportment at all times, including attitude, temper, language, and dress (with proper organization identification)

  2. to arrive at the field in a timely manner so that the game might start at the scheduled time

  3. to control the game at all times

  4. to keep the games moving properly between innings, change of pitchers, etc

  5. to enforce League rules regarding players’ conduct and uniforms

  6. to enforce League rules regarding bat and equipment eligibility



The West Haven Twilight League will follow the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs (Official Baseball Rules) for all of its regular season and playoff games, with the following exceptions:

1) Re-entry Rule - Each starter in the lineup may be replaced in the lineup one time in any game. When a replaced player returns to the game he must re-enter for the player who replaced him, and shall occupy the same spot in the batting order. The replacement player is then permanently out of the game. If the starter is removed a second time, he is then permanently out of the game.

2) Collision Rule - When there is a collision between a runner and fielder who clearly is in possession of the ball, the umpire shall judge:

whether the collision by the runner was avoidable (could the runner have reached the base without colliding), or unavoidable (the runner's path to the base was blocked), or

whether the runner actually was attempting to reach the base (plate) or attempting to dislodge the ball from the fielder.

Penalty - If the runner:

  1. could have avoided the collision and reached the base, or

  2. attempted to dislodge the ball, then the runner shall be declared out other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference.

A.R.1- If the fielder blocks the path of the base runner to the base the runner may make contact, slide into, or collide with a fielder as long as the runner is making a legitimate attempt to reach the base or plate.

A.R.2 - If the collision by the runner was flagrant, the runner shall be declared out and also ejected from the contest.
The ball shall be declared dead.

  1. If the defensive player blocks the base (plate) or base line clearly without possession of the ball, obstruction shall be called.
    The runner is safe, and a delayed dead ball shall be called.

A.R.1 - If the runner collides flagrantly, he shall be declared safe on the obstruction, but will be ejected from the contest.
The ball shall be declared dead.

3) Grace periods – A game shall be called forfeit if a team does not have the required nine players fifteen (15) minutes after the scheduled start.


4) Dugouts – The first-base dugout will be designated as the home team dugout.

5) Lineup cards - Each team will be issued a four-part lineup card to be completed and distributed at game time, one part to each of the following: the home plate umpire, the scorer and the opposing team. Lineup cards with be submitted to the umpires and league officials electronically. 

6) Player's dress code – FULL uniform is required at all league games:

  1. hat with team color and insignia

  2. uniform, full team jersey and pants

  3. socks in the team color must be worn

  4. jerseys are to be tucked inside of pants

  5. uniforms, including hats, must be clean and in good repair at all times

  6. old, worn-out hats and ripped uniforms must be replaced

  7. all players must wear protective helmets (inside liners are not acceptable) while batting and base running.

  8. All coaches must wear protective helmets (with ear laps or without) while in either coaching box.

Umpires are instructed to disqualify a player from a contest if that player does not comply with all of the above, or for any other dress code infraction that the umpire believes warrants disqualification.

7) Ties and completed games -

  1. games ending in a tie – Game in which there is a double header scheduled, both 6pm & 830pm games will have a 2 hour time limit. If the score is tied at the end of the time limit, the result will be a tie and both teams will receive "one point" in the standings.

  2. completed games - if a game is called for any reason it is a regulation game if five or more innings have been completed with one team ahead, or if the home team has scored more runs in four innings or four and a fraction half-innings than the visiting team has scored in five (5) completed half-innings.

  3. No games will be suspended.

8) Mercy rule -- No seven-inning game shall continue after five innings of play if one team is at least ten runs ahead of its opponent at that time. If the home team has scored ten rums or more than the visiting team as a result of action in the bottom half of the fifth or later inning, the game shall end after the play that resulted in the tenth run lead. This procedure will enable the League to complete games in a timely fashion, especially when there are double-header games.

9) Protective headgear

  1. All players must wear protective helmets (inside liners are not acceptable) while batting and base running in all League and Playoff Games. Refusal to wear protective helmet will result in the player's immediate removal from the game, and a player substituted for him at the plate or on the base. The protective helmets must have a double earflap and protector for the base of the skull.

  2. All coaches must wear protective helmets (with earflaps or without) while in either coaching box in all League & Playoff Games. Refusal to wear protective helmet will result in the coach’s removal from the game.

10) Wooden Bats - The following rule will apply to all League and Playoff games. The bat shall be a smooth round stick not more than 2 3/4 inches in diameter at the thickest part and not more than 42 inches in length. The bat shall be one piece of solid wood.

  1. Cupped Bats -
    Forming an indentation in the end of the bat up to one inch in depth is permitted and may be no wider than two inches and no less than one inch in diameter. The indentation must be curved with no foreign substance added.

  2. The Bat Handle -
    For not more than 18 inches from its end may be covered or treated with any material or substance to improve the grip. (see official Rule 1.10A ,B, C and D

11) Extra Player / Extra Hitter

At the beginning of a game, either the EP and and/or the DH may be elected.

Article 1- The Designated Hitter (DH) provision as covered in the rulebook published by the Major League Baseball rule book.
Article 2- The Extra Player (EP) is listed in the batting order and may assume any of the nine defensive positions (including pitcher) without being counted as a substitution.
Article 3- Under all of the following options, there are never more than the standard nine defensive positions.
Article 4 - Use neither DH nor EP: Nine (9) players in the batting order and the same nine (9) players on defense.
Article 5- Use only the DH, and not the EP: Nine (9) players in the batting order, where the pitcher is replaced by the DH in the line up.
Article 6- Use only the EP, and not the DH: Ten (10) players in the batting order, of which nine play on defense.
Article 7- Use both the DH and EP: Ten players in the batting order. Of the nine (9) defensive players the pitcher is replaced by the DH batting order. 
Article 8- The same number of players that are listed in the batting order to begin the game will continue throughout the game. If the game is started using an EP, the game must be finished using an EP.
Article 9- Players not listed in the starting line-up may serve as substitutes.
Article 10- In case of injury, if an EP is being used and injury prevents that slot in the batting order from being filled, an automatic “out” applies in that slot.

12) Ejection Rule

  1. Any player, coach or manager is suspended as follows:

    1. First Offense: plus one game

    2. Second Offense: plus two games

    3. Third Offense: plus three games.

  2. The ejected player, coach or manager must leave the stadium following the ejection and should be nowhere on its grounds (both inside and outside).

13) Team Player Rights and Eligibility - A team shall hold the rights to any player for this season after the latest of:

  1. Last game played for the team

  2. Date contract was signed to play for the team

  3. Date player was drafted



12) Games played

  1. In order for a player to be eligible to play in ANY postseason game, they must meet the following criteria.

    1. 5 game appearances - Position Players​

    2. 3 game appearances - Pitchers

  2. Failure to comply with the rules can result in a forfeit loss in each of the games that an ineligible player appears in​

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