There have been a couple of rule changes this year that everyone needs to know. These have been previously posted in the Players Ideas section, but this is an email to all members re-stating these rules. The 2016 Playing Rules have been updated (now show as 2017 Playing Rules) and contain this information.
Under F. PITCHING - replace 6, 6a and 6b. Deleted 6G
6. It is mandatory that each pitcher use the pitcher’s screen or wear a protective face mask while pitching (must wear the mask consistent with the manufacturer’s intended usage of their product). Pitchers are also recommended to wear additional protective safety equipment, comprised of head gear (NOCSAE-approved), heart/chest protection and shin guards. (Added 2016)
6a. The pitching screen must be placed in front of the pitching rubber but within six feet of the rubber. (Change 2017)
6b. After releasing the ball, the pitcher must step behind the screen. Otherwise it is an illegal pitch. After the batter swings, the pitcher is not restricted to staying behind the screen, but may move and become an active defensive player. (Added 2017)
New Silver Substitute Runners
Although I realize the rule needs to be entered formally in our set of rules, I want to publish this new Silver rule that was approved before the season begins tomorrow.
i) Any batter needing a runner from the plate will have the last (healthy) out run for him. If the last (healthy) out was a courtesy runner, the next available out will run.
The second part of the new rule:
ii) Any batter able to run to any base at his time at bat, will be required to stay on the bases and continue until he is out, or until he crosses home plate. No courtesy runners for a player once he is on base. A courtesy runner will be allowed (last healthy out) if a player is injured at anytime during base running. This player will have to have a runner from the plate for the remainder of the game, or when determined, at the discretion of the coaches and umpires.