Machine Pitch (1st and 2nd Graders)
Commitment: 1 practice and 2 games each week.
Season: April to Mid/Late June
MGSA's in-house league for 1st and 2nd graders is Machine Pitch. Coaches use a spring-loaded machine to deliver pitches in a relatively straight manner to a relatively consistent place over home plate.
This league uses yellow soft softballs, slightly larger than baseballs. They are perfectly sized for little hands, nice for young girls to hit, and soft enough to cushion if they end up hitting anyone.
Still the emphasis is on basics: hitting, catching and throwing. Girls will start to learn where to throw the ball in the field.
The Machine Pitch league plays games on Thursday nights at Bennett Family Park and Sunday early afternoons at Legacy Fields, at the Minnetonka High School.
Players receive a t-shirt, black socks and visor. Players must provide their own batting helmet (with mask) and softball mitt. Gym shoes are fine, plastic cleats are optional.
Machine Pitch Rules
• Each batter will receive 7 pitches delivered by the machine from her coach. If the batter does not put the ball into play after seven pitches, the batter will then hit off of a batting tee. There will be no strikeouts. The machine should be placed 35 feet from home plate and be pitching with a slight arch (this is a guideline).
• The batter may foul the last pitch and receive another pitch before hitting off of a batting tee. If the batter continues to hit foul balls, she will receive as many pitches as it takes for her to either miss or put the ball in play.
• A ball that is hit and goes less than 5 feet in front of the plate in fair territory is considered a foul ball. For a visual, draw a line in the dirt.
• If a batted ball strikes the pitching coach, the play will be dead. The batter and all runners may not advance, and the pitch will not be counted.
• The home team will supply the tee, pitching machine, and game ball.
• The game ball will be a 10 inch soft softball.
• There will be one defensive player near the pitching coach. This player may not leave the pitching area until the ball is hit.
• A base runner may not leave a base until the batter strikes the ball.
• Runners may not advance further than the base to which they were approaching once a fielder has picked up a batted ball.
• On an overthrow, runners may not advance beyond the base to which they were approaching when the overthrow occurred.
• The infield fly rule is not in effect.
• Base runners may not tag and advance on a fly ball.
• The distance between bases is 50-60 feet.
• The home plate umpire will remove the tee from home plate if a play is likely to be made at home plate.
• Two coaches are allowed in the outfield to provide instruction to fielders. Play may not be stopped for instructional purposes.
• All available players may play in the field at one time, with no more than 6 players in the infield; the rest of the players must be in the outfield (standing in the grass)
• There is no minimum number of players required to start a game.
• The game shall end no more than 60 minutes after it begins.
• Coaches should make every effort to rotate players evenly between infield and outfield positions during a game.
• Each team is responsible for cleaning up their dugout and bleacher areas.
Starting in June
• Innings will end by either five runs or three outs.