10 and Under Rules

South Dakota VFW Baseball Rules

10 and under

March 1, 2017


1.     Competition is open to boys and girls who are 10 and under years of age and eligible to play VFW Baseball. A boy or girl who has reached his or her 11th birthday by May 1st of the current year is not eligible for the 10 and under programs. There will be four classes AA Majors and Minors, A, and B. Tournament sites and dates will be chosen in advance by the Department of SD VFW Baseball Chairman, Director of Baseball Operations, Region Commissioners and State VFW Officials during annual VFW Baseball Committee Meeting held in January. The number of teams that register, skill level of team players and high school enrollments will be factors when teams are placed in a class. Considerations that best fit the situation for each team will be taken to place a team in a certain class.

2.     A 10 and under Baseball team to be eligible for any tournament play must register online at www.sdvfwbaseball.com by July 1. Registration fee is $150 per team. Registration is now closed.

3.     Team roster forms must include the name of the player, complete address of the player, name of the school attended last year, date of birth, and age on May 1st of the current year. If this information is incomplete, it can affect the eligibility of the player. You may list up to (20) twenty players per roster for the team.

4.     VFW baseball rules will apply to all games unless a change is listed below.

A.    Bases will be (60) sixty feet apart. Pitching distance is forty-five (44-46 ft.).


B.    All games in the 10 and under division will be (6) six innings. No new inning after 1 hour 45 minute, however the 10-run rule will be in effect after 4 innings and the 15-run rule will be in effect after 3 innings. There will be no tie. Games will go extra innings if needed to determine the winner.


C.    Pitching limits: 2 innings in one game. No balks, if a pitcher leaves the mound he/she cannot pitch again in that game. No curve balls, curve ball will be called a ball. If curve ball is put in play the offense can choose to accept the play or take a ball.1 pitch constitutes 1 inning. The American Sports Medicine Institute, pitch count suggested estimated maximum pitch counts for age 8-10 is 52 pitches/game with four (4) days of rest. Any violation to the pitching rules (inning pitch) will result in a forfeit of that game.


D.    Batters, base runners, batboys, any players acting as base coach, and any players out of the dugout must wear a helmet that covers both ears.

E.    Catchers must wear a protective headgear, chest protectors, throat protectors, catcher’s cup and shin guards. This includes catchers warming up a pitcher.

F.    Metal cleats are not allowed.

G.   Bats may be no more that 2 ¼” in diameter and no more than 32” in length. No barrel bats will be allowed. Any illegal bats will be removed from the game and the batter is out.

H.    Base running.

a.     No leading off.

b.     Players may steal after the ball crossed home plate. If a player leaves early, he will be out. No stealing home or advancing home on a passed ball or wild pitch. A runner may not steal home on an overthrow back to the pitcher nor can a runner advance home by enticing the catcher with an extended lead to throw to 3rd.


Note: In 1st and 3rd Situations: A runner (at third base) may not advance home if the catcher has attempted a throw down to second base in a steal situation. If an error occurs on the throw, the runner at third may not advance.


c.     This rule will only apply in 1st and 3rd situations. Rationale: The VFW desires to facilitate the development of catcher’s and their ability to throw to 2nd. In other instances of a runner attempting to steal 2nd or 3rd, the runner may advance at his own risk on an overthrow/error.


I.      A courtesy runner is encouraged but not required for a catcher with two outs and it is also optional for a pitcher with two outs, but must be a bench player. The courtesy player must be a player who is not currently in the game and does not count as entry into the game.

This rule is to keep time between half innings to a minimum.

J.     Slide rule is in effect if a fielder has the ball before the run reaches 2nd, 3rd, or home. The runner is out if contact is made, umpire discretion will be applied and decision is final. A player may not intentionally create contact with another player at any time. If the defensive player has the ball and a play is being made, the offensive player must either slide or make every effort to avoid contact with the defensive player. Should a player run over or crash into another player, he or she will be ejected from the game and the out is awarded to the offensive team. If a defensive player is in the base path without the ball and makes contact with, or impedes the path of the offensive player, interference may be called on the defensive player. Any runner obstructing a throw to attempt a double play will result in a double play being called.

K.    A minimum of eight (8) players is required to start a game. When batting, the ninth (9) positions will be an out. Any fewer players will require a forfeit.

L.     ALL players will bat through the lineup. This lineup will be exchanged prior to the first pitch and final after the first pitch.

M.   Free substitution for all players except pitchers. This will not affect batting order. Batting order will stay intact and in order as per rule L.

N.    No dropped third strike

O.   Home is open only on an overthrow of 2nd base or 3rd base. -Can’t entice the throw.

P.    Bunting is allowed.

Q.   If a player cannot bat due to an injury there is no out for that, if 9 batting positions are still used, but he is out of the game defensively and offensively. If the injury leaves the team with only 8 players then an out will be charged for the 9th batter.

R.    Infield fly rule will be used. *See complete rule below.

INFIELD FLY RULE: An infield fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt), which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied before two are out. The pitcher, catcher, and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule. When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly” for the benefit of the of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare “Infield Fly, if Fair”. The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same as any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul. If a declared Infield Fly is allowed to fall untouched to the ground, and bounces foul before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball. If a declared Infield Fly fall untouched to the ground outside the baseline, and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an Infield Fly. On the Infield Fly rule, the umpire is to rule whether the ball could ordinarily have been handled by an infielder – not by some arbitrary limitation such as the grass, or the baselines. The umpire must rule also that a ball is an infield fly, even if handled by an outfielder, if, in the umpire’s judgment, the ball could have been as easily handled by an infielder. The infield fly is in no sense to be considered an appeal play. The umpire’s judgment must govern, and the decision should be made immediately.


5. Pool Play Tie Breakers Formats for all VFW Baseball Tournaments.

a.     Win-Loss record in pool play.

b.     Head-to-head competition provided all teams have played each other.

c.     Fewest runs allowed (overall).

d.     Best Run differential in all pool play games (maximum per game run differential of +10 or -10).

If, in the event of a 3-way tie or more, the 3-way tie is broken either before step #4 or upon completion of step #4 and a 2-way tie still remains, the two remaining tied teams will revert back to step #2 and repeat the tie-breaker criteria from that point in order to break the tie.

In the event of forfeit in Divisional/Pool Play, the non-forfeiting teams will be credited with a 10 run differential victory. Teams that forfeit a game cannot advance in tournament play.

e.     Coin Toss.

South Dakota VFW Baseball Code of Sportsmanship

(It is recommended that this Code is recited by both teams before a game during the season

at regional and state tournaments it is a requirement.)

  • Keep the rules.
  •  Keep faith with my teammates.
  •  Keep my temper.
  •  Keep myself fit.
  •  Keep a stout heart in defeat.
  •  Keep my pride under in victory.
  •  Keep a sound soul, a clean mind, and a healthy body.