Rules Updates for 2021

There were some clarifications added this year:

  1. The description of an approved bat (Handbook, p5 #6)
  2. Batting in playoff games (Handbook, p7 #9)
  3. Pitcher location (Handbook, p9 #6)
  4. Tagging up (Handbook, p10 #15)
  5. Handling of ejections (Handbook, p12 #4)

Some rules introduced in 2020 will be in force for the first time:

To avoid injury ALL PITCHERS MUST WEAR A MASK. The league does NOT supply fielder’s masks so pitchers are required to supply their own mask. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE to this requirement. Should a team not have a pitcher with a fielder’s mask available another player may use the catcher’s mask in order to pitch. The league is offering to subsidize 50% or $50 (whichever is less) toward a mask purchase if the player does not currently have one. The purchase receipt must be submitted and the player’s captain must confirm that the player pitches for the team. 

A player may hit no more than one home run over the fence per game. If a player hits another home run over the fence in the game the hit will be ruled a SINGLE. Any baserunners already on base at the time of the subsequent home run over the fence will move to the next base only if forced to advance by the single awarded to the batter.

And some rules from 2018 and 2019 that are worth repeating:

Baserunners must now run to the base, not past or beside, and no overruns except at first base. Every play on a runner at any base is still a “force play”, and there is no need for the defender to “tag” the runner if the defender has the ball clearly in possession and is touching some portion of the base or plate. Base runners may be tagged between bases. There is no tagging at home, past the commitment line.

No player shall sit out twice before all other players have sat out once.

No limit on the number of times substitute runners can be used. A player can only serve as such a substitute runner once per game. It is up to the BASE RUNNER to request a runner.

No outfielder or outfield rover may make an out at first base. If a batted ball reaches an outfield player, he/she cannot put out the batter by throwing to first base.
Note (1): this applies, regardless of where the ball is when the outfielder reaches it.
Note (2): a baserunner from first base may still be thrown out by any defender on a tag-up play.