OWBL 2021 Summer League
League Rules

All OWBL events will utilize the same rules used in Major League Baseball, with the following exceptions.

Sportsmanship:  Teams, or any player, engaging in any behavior that the site director deems to be “unsportsmanlike conduct” will be removed from the game of play immediately at the director’s discretion. Because of the confined nature of the game and unique umpiring setup (see Umpiring), players watching games must refrain from commenting on calls. Failure to comply will result in the noncomplying team’s removal from the site and will result in a loss in the next game. Captains are responsible for monitoring fan and team behavior. If that monitoring becomes difficult, the captain shall seek the assistance of a site director.


  1. Teams will umpire their own games.
  2. Captains will settle all disputes over calls.
  3. The home team will be designated by the league schedule.


  1. All bats used in league play must be regulation, yellow Wiffle® bats. They may not be altered in any way; however they may have one layer of tape or cloth-like material on the handle.
  2. Balls must be baseball size Wiffle® brand.
  3. All shoes will be flat-soled (no cleats, turf shoes, spikes, trail running shoes, etc.).


  1. Teams may have up to four players on their roster.
  2. No team may have fewer than three players in the game at any time. (See Players in a Game/Optional Designated Hitters.)
  3. No roster changes will be allowed under any circumstances, after the OWBL begins.

Players in a Game/Optional Designated Hitters: 

  1. Teams unable to field three rostered players at the beginning, or any time during a game will forfeit that game.
  2. At the beginning of a game, teams may choose to include four players in their batting lineup.
  3. Three and only three players may play in the field at any time. When utilizing three players, if a player is unable to continue playing or is removed from the game for any reason during a game, that player may not re-enter the game (see Subsitutions). That player’s at-bat in the order will become an automatic out for the remainder of that game if unable to substitute their fourth player.

Positions & Switches: 

  1. Position players may switch defensive positions at any time.
  2. Designated hitters will not play the field; however, they may switch their DH position with any defensive player at any time (only one time switch).
  3. Regardless of position switches, batting orders will stay the same for the duration of games.


  1. Substitutions may be made. However, once a player leaves a game, that player may not return to the same game. Exception: If a player suffers a game-ending injury, a player who has previously left the game may re-enter that game as a sub.

Innings and Slow Play: 

  1. All games will be three innings (also see Mercy Rule).
  2. There is no time limit. Teams suspected of stalling (purposefully failing to throw or swing at hittable pitches) may be cited by the site director for “unsportsmanlike conduct” under Sportsmanship and removed from the tournament.


  1. Pitch speed should not exceed “unhittable” speeds.  Unhittable speed is defined as a speed in which is deemed unhittable by both team captains.  NOTE:  Both team captains must agree on speed prior to game play.
  2. A pitcher who deliberately refuses to throw legal, hittable pitches after a reasonable period of time may be cited for “stalling” by the site director, which will be treated as a sportsmanship violation. (See enforcement under Sportsmanship.)
  3. Balks are legal.
  4. The pitcher must have one foot on, and one foot in front of the rubber when the ball is released.
  5. No backpedaling will be allowed until the ball is released.

At Bats: 

  1. One-handed batting will not be allowed for non-ADA players.
  2. Batters must have both feet in the batter’s box through the conclusion of each pitch.
  3. If the ball goes over the fence on a bounce, goes under the fence,or goes through one of the openings- it is a ground-rule double.
  4. If you are thrown 4 balls, you must take the walk.
  5. Three strikes for an out.
  6. A batter can hit the ball off a bounce.
  7. If you are hit by a pitch, it is ruled a ball.
  8. You may switch batters boxes in your at bat but you may not while the pitcher is in there motion towards home plate.
  9. If you use a bat that is illegal and you hit the ball fair it will be ruled an automatic out.
  10. You need to hold each bat by the handle.
  11. If a team bats out of order and the other team finds out in the middle of the at bat the right player will go up with the same count but if they find out after the player's at bat is over they are ruled out automatically.

Intentional Walks: 

  1. Each team may intentionally walk one batter per game (including any extra innings). The batter will go to first on the command of the pitcher.
  2. Intentional walks will be declared before the at-bat begins.

Pitcher’s Hand/Poison: 

  1. All force plays on the batter going to first base may be made to the pitcher, who may be anywhere in fair or foul territory. The runner may also be put out by force at first base.
  2. All other force plays must be made to the bases or to home plate.

Infield Fly Rule:

  1. There is no infield fly rule.

Dropped Third Strike: 

  1. There is no dropped third strike.
  2. Batters who strike out cannot reach base.

Stealing and Leading Off: 

  1. Baserunners may not lead off.
  2. Baserunners may not steal.
  3. Baserunners cannot leave that base until the ball is contacted.
  4. Baserunners caught leaving their base early will be ruled out.
  5. Baserunners may not advance without a batted ball.


  1. Fielders may throw the ball at runners.
  2. Runners struck with the ball below the neck will be ruled out.
  3. Runners hit below the neck with a thrown ball which first hits any player, a base, or the ground, or anything else will be ruled out.
  4. The ball remains live if a runner is hit with a ball while on the base.

Runner/Ball Contact: 

  1. Base runners in contact with a base that are hit with a batted or thrown ball will be ruled safe.
  2. Base runners between bases hit with a batted or thrown ball will be ruled out.

Home Runs: 

  1. All batted balls landing over the designated home run fence, will be home runs. (Exception: See Irregular Fields).
  2. If a defensive player catches a fly ball but lands outside the field of play (i.e. over the fence), that is a home run.
  3. The batter and all baserunners must touch all bases – in proper order – after a home run.

Extra Innings: 

  1. Each team will begin its half of all extra innings with two outs.
  2. The batter who made the last out in the previous inning will go to third base and the next batter will bat first. 

Mercy Rule: 

  1. If after the first inning, or at the end of any subsequent inning, a team leading by 15 runs or more, the game will be over.

Irregular Fields: 

  1. Due to the nature of the field setup, irregular fields are a part of wiffleball.
  2. Captains are required to reach agreements prior to the game on handling irregular fields/fencing.
  3. Captains are not allowed to change ground rules on portions of the field/fencing that are not irregular.
  4. If there is a situation that requires a rule clarification, players must inform the site director, who will resolve the situation. 
  5. Violation of this rule will result in both teams getting a loss. 
  6. If the same team violates this rule more than once, they are subject to disqualification.

Ohio Wiffle Ball League Site Director Discretion: The site director may resolve any and all conflicts regarding the interpretation of the above rules – or any loopholes therein – at their discretion. If a site director is not available, team captain must call another site director.